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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 27, 2009 12:30pm-1:00pm EDT

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judicial philosophy, including her speeches as well as the cases. her second amendment decisions appear to have unnecessarily minimized and confined the scope and vitality of this second amendment constitutional right. even after the supreme court in heller indicated that the second amendment indicates -- protect not only in an individual right, but collective, and she consistently said that it does not protect their right to bear and keep arms. this appears to be an approach focused on politically correct results rather than a judicially correct process. other circuits looking at the issue, as the distinguished senator from alabama said, gave it much more attention and analysis then did judge sotomayor. -- a band did judge sotomayor. -- than did judge sotomayor let
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me put it this way, i wish she had been similarly restrained on these issues. these are among the most important issues and questions that her record raises and which must be addressed at her hearing. this is a fair way of letting her know in advance that this is an important issue to a majority of senators in the u.s. senate and, certainly, the majority of the people in this country. we will expect her to tell us what her real feelings are on this and what she believes a lot really should say. -- balad really should say. -- trhhe law really should say. and we will give her a chance to address this.
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>> the questions here about the second amendment really bring up the question about whether the constitution still applies to all americans. president obama, before he was president, suggested in interviews that he saw the -- the constitution as incomplete, as a charter of-liberties -- of negative liberties, that it told the government would could not do, but did not tell the government what it had to do on behalf of the people. the present constitution is seen as limitations on the role of government. and we have seen the new administration attempts to expand its powers into many parts of our society. when i had a chance to meet with judge sotomayor and ask her about the second amendment -- if
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the second amendment apply to every american kaman was not asking her to prejudge any particular case. but to just give me your interpretation of the second amendment, which is pretty clear -- the right of the people, it says "people" and it should not be infringed. it should be clear whether the constitution still applies. that is my concern with this nominee. it appears to reflect a pattern of this president, that he's that -- that he does not respect the limits of our constitution and intends to have himself and his administration and his judges reinterpreted on our behalf. if the second amendment does not apply to every american, as it very clearly does, then the constitution no longer has any bearing on controlling the role of the federal government. it is a very important question that goes beyond the question of
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bearing arms, but whether or not we are still a constitutional republic. >> 200 plus years ago we had a debate about what the constitution should consist of. you remember the fight between the federalists and the anti- federalists and as a result of that, the bill of rights was adopted. that includes some of the rights that, as was said, the basic freedoms against the government constraint and control that americans now believe constitutes their fundamental rights -- their right to free speech in the first amendment. çwe would like to ask just -- judge sotomayor about her commitment to political speech and activity. the second amendment, the --
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again, part of the bill of rights. the fifth amendment, the 14th amendment, which deals with equal protection of the laws. this is the first time in our nation's history that i know of where the supreme court nomination will focus on, in many ways revolve around, the nominee's commitment to the bill of rights and most particularly, the second amendment in the constitution. and of course, the stakes, as you have heard, are very high. even though the supreme court has decided just this last year in the heller case that the right to keep and bear arms for individuals in the district of columbia, there are other cases that are on the way to the u.s. supreme court. this is not a fanciful or made up the issue. this is a real issue that will be addressed by the supreme court of the united states.
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-- of the united states if just -- judge sotomayor is confirmed to be on that court. the second concern i have is that she essentially denied that the right to keep and bear arms under the second amendment was an individual right and a fundamental right of all americans. doug was in the case -- perhaps you are familiar with it. the maloney versus cuomo case where she basically held that it did not apply to cities and states but merely to the federal government. it limited it in a way that is really impossible and, i would say for any law student much less if federal judge of 18 years, to take that kind of cramped and restrictive view of basic civil liberty in our bill of rights is troubling, indeed. again, i agree with senator hatch, in fairness to the
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nominee, we are highlighting issues of concern to us to give her the time to prepare for the questions that we expect to ask her. we look forward to the hearing on the 13th and her candid responses to these questions about important issues. >> on the maloney case, wasn't that opinion that was pure -- that was on the side not by any judge. the heller case, [inaudible] because in heller they had not specifically said they were doing that, this court was just following supreme court precedent. >> i would say that if, in fact, the rights of the stegeman and apply to every american and
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guarantee -- the rights of the second amendment apply to every american and guarantee the right to keep and bear arms, her position was inconsistent with that decision. we can talk about corporate doctrine and indeed, it takes a restricted view and an unnecessarily cramped view of an individual right to keep and bear arms. >> senator, as was mentioned, this has come up in trees tikrit and likely to come up in the supreme court. how can she -- this has come up in three circuit court and likely to come up in the supreme court. how can she addressed this issue has yet to rule on it? >> we have discussed that. as you know, justice roberts and justice alito were all asked about cases they had decided and their reasoning was examined in
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that, but i do not think is appropriate for us to try to insist that she stayed how she might rule on the case in the future because -- that she state how she might rule on a case in the future because i think that would be an improper act by the congress. and i would also suggest that there may be a question of whether or not she should sit on a case in the future if it is one that she has personally already ruled on. it could be a case coming up. who knows? >> but she did --ç they did say that this was an individual right. i think she should have to respond to the question, "do you believe that is an individual right?" i think she can be asked that
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question and appropriately so pure -- and appropriately so. >> [inaudible] >> [unintelligible] is this somehow more fertile territory? >> i think there has been a lot of discussion about the teach -- the speeches that she has made. the president has even said that she misspoke, but if she did, she did about half a dozen times because she repeated that statement i will not say that she misspoke. it will be interesting to see if she answers about, whether the court of appeals or policy- making bodies. those are important issues and will be examined at the hearing. i will say that there will be
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other issues and this is one of them -- that have not been talked much about and i think it is time again to discuss this issue because i think the second amendment is a viable constitutional amendment. a lot of people do not think that they have to enforce the constitution as it is written. they think they have to -- they can enforce it as they would like to have had it written. it will be an interesting discussion. >> i am not picking on you, but first used the word "attack." you are not the only one i have seen to characterize what we are doing as attacking the nominee. this is the opposite. we're performing our constitutional duty under the constitution, under the advice and consent clause. i think it is unfair to do -- to characterize that what we're doing is an attack. we are raising legitimate
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questions and we want to have a nominee respond to them. i would once again say, however, the stands in stark contrast to the way that miguel estrada, who perhaps would have been the first hispanic nominee on the u.s. supreme court if he had not been filibustered seven times and denied an up or down vote by democrats when they were in our position now, and in contrast to the disrespectful and unfair process by which previous nominees have been considered, i think this stands in stark contrast. we are committed to a fair and dignified process raising these issues, but doing our job under the constitution. >> i'm still confused why you think that she and the panel opined on whether the second amendment was fundamental or not when heller specifically applied to the states.
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>> may i read you two sentences? on page 3, she says "the 14th amendment similarly applies -- provides no room for appellate. legislative acts that do not interfere with fundamental rights are seen without suspect classifications and carry with them a strong position of constitutionality and must be upheld if they are to be related to a legitimate state interests. a fairly read, she says that this is not interfere with a fundamental right. i believe that every american under the second amendment in the constitution has the right to keep and bear arms unless they have been convicted of a crime. >> [unintelligible] >> you are right to the extent that this is about incorporation. that archaic doctrine which i
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thought had been decided in which the supreme court said that all of the bill of rights have been incorporated into the to -- into the constitution. all i'm saying is that she went out of a way to deny the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right in the constitution. >> we are saying that it was not necessary to the opinion and it raises questions that we will need to talk about. she can be asked about that opinion that she wrote. >> democrats are going to try to get health care reform done in the next month and they're also going to try toç pass judge sotomayor's nomination. [unintelligible] >> he has got more experience than i. we both have to run the committee here. i would say that the supreme court nominations are perceived as more important now than 20 years ago for a lot of reasons. i think you will have a lot of senators that want to speak on
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and and it will take some floor time. i think the nominee deserves not just a dismissal because of this holding more about holding, but a real legal analysis. the nominee was either incorrect or correct spiritual of supporters that i am sure will defender rulings and some critics on certain -- incorrect or correct. she will have supporters that i am sure will defend her rulings and some critics on certain other rulings. >> in the past, it took whatever time it took. the fact of the matter is, this has been scrunched together in a way that was really unjustified, without any consultation from the minority at all, which is highly unusual. in my 33 years here, i have never seen -- which occurred side was during the committee -- whichever side was chairing the committee set a timeframe.
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by the way, we are not getting all the documentation we have asked for. hopefully, we will. but is it going to be just a day or two before the hearings, something that is voluminous? again, i share the opinion of senator come in and the distinguished ranking member of the committee, senator sessions, i expect judge sotomayor to be treated with great respect and care by our side, more so than a number our nominees to the supreme court and the second court of appeal. nobody here has a desire to misuse the process in an offensive way, but these are very important questions.
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at least that four of us here today, and i would have to say the vast majority of the senate, are very concerned about -- well, impromptu discussions about the second amendment in cases of law that were not necessary in deciding the case. and especially when they fly in the face of what we believe the law really is. these are matters of great concern and i suspect that by raising this in advance, it will help judge sotomayor during the hearings. which is a lot more than they did for our nominee. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> i have sought recognition to comment briefly on the pending nomination of judge sotomayor to
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be an associate justice on the supreme court of the united states. i have made it a practice to write to nominees in advance of hearings in order to give advance notice to the nominee so that the nominee will be in a position to respond to questions read the cases were considering the issues and facilitate the proceeding. i commented to justice -- judge sotomayor when she had the so- called courtesy call with me that i would be doing that. in a letter dated june 15, i wrote her the first letter and commented about a floor statement discussing in some detail the qualifications of judge sotomayor for the supreme court. i would like to briefly
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recapitulate that i noted in my earlier fourth statement that her excellent academic record -- in my earlier floor statement that your excellent -- her excellent academic record, her experience at harvard and yale, a professional experience and her tenure on the federal trial court under current tenure and the court of appeals for the second circuit. today, i am writing to judge sotomayor to give her advance notice that i willç be inquirig to reviews on television. -- to her views on television. i have long advocated to televise the proceedings of the supreme court. i have introduced legislation to require that, subject to a decision by the court on a particular case if they thought
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that it ought not to be televised. i think the televising the proceedings of the u.s. senate or house of representatives informs the public as to what is going on in these public matters. the arguments of the supreme court are open to the public. but only a few people have an opportunity to see them. first, it is not easy to come to washington. second, there are so many people even who do come to washington that they are allowed to be their only very few minutes. but with the marvels of television, this proceeding appears in the homes of many americans on2 -- on c-span2, the
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house and televised on c-span1. it is a great educational tool and also shows what is going on. the supreme court of the united states in 1980 decision, richmond newspapers vs. virginia, noted that a public trial belongs not just to the accused, but to the public and the press as well. the supreme court noted that such openness has "long been recognized as an indispensable attribute of an anglo-american trial." chief justice william howard taft put the issue into perspective stating, "nothing tends more to render judges careful in their decisions and anxiously solicitous to do exact justice than the consciousness that every actor bears is
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subject to intelligent scrutiny -- of every act of theirs is subject to intelligent scrutiny of their fellow americans." in the same vein, justice frankfurter said, if the news media would cover the supreme court as the early as they do the world series, it would change the public's perception of it. richmond newspapers certainly would comprehend television in modern days. answer the, just as frankfurters use of the return, "media" would -- of the term "media" would help as well. chief justice roberts and justice stevens appeared on prime-time abc tv. justice ruth vader ginsberg appeared with mike wallace and
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was televised. and justice scalia and justice breyer appeared in an interview on the web. there is no doubt that there is enormous public interest in what the supreme court does when the case -- in the case deciding the supreme court -- the box around the supreme court was loaded with trucks. although the cameras could not get inside, there was a tremendous public concern. and the decisions of the court on all of the cutting edge issues of the day. the court decides executive power, congressional power, defendants' rights, habeas corpus, guantanamo, civil-
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rights, voting rights, affirmative action, abortion, and the list could go on and on. in both the 109th and 110th congress, i have introduced legislation calling for the court to be televised. twice it was reported favorably out of committee, but neither time reached the floor of the united states senate. united states senate. xu1ñno carrierringno carrierrin0
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whether she agrees with justice souter, justice stevens. whether she agrees with justice breyerç the televising judicial proceedings are a valuable teaching device, whether she agrees with justice kennedy that televising the court is inevitable. and she can shed some light on the issue because her courtroom was part of a pilot program where it was televised. there was a program from 1991 through 1994 were the judicial conference evaluated a pilot
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program conducted in six federal district court and two federal circuits and they said "overall attitudes of judges towards elections, media coverage of civil proceedings were initially neutral and became more favorable after experience in the pilot program." judicial centers conclusions also stated that judges and attorneys who had experience with electronic media coverage under the program generally reported small or no effect of the presence -- but camera presence when the pri dissidents -- on the participants or the court decorum. or the administration of justice. some justices have expressed concern that the dynamics of the court would be changed. with the ability to put a camera in a concealed position, the findings of the digaetano
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center -- judicial center is in favor of proceeding. to repeat, i intend to press the issue in the confirmation -- and i think the confirmation proceedings will be a good opportunity to ask her about her experience when she presided over the pilot program. and perhaps to further stimulate the more public interest. >> monday marked the last day for decisions by the supreme court this term. one that is expected -- but firefighters reverse discrimination case, reverses this definition. judge sotomayor rejected the appeal in that case. you can watch reaction to following the supreme court's decision on the c-span network. for more about the nomination of judge sonia sotomayor to the supreme court go to
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you can watch the president's announcement of her nomination, reaction from members of congress and interest groups. also, senate floor statements from a 1998 appeals court nomination. >> you are watching c-span, and public service provided by the nation's cable companies. next, house debate on the climate change bill. then, defense secretary robert gates on iran posing nuclear- weapons program and the situations in iraq and afghanistan. later, a joint news conference with president obama and german chancellor merkel. . .


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