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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 14, 2014 1:30am-3:31am EDT

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candidate and in the legislature on choice and civil rights and marriage equality. did you rule in any those cases when you were a judge? cases involving those issues? >> as a trial court judge in georgia's highest level of trial court, didn't have jurisdiction to rule on constitutional questions. as a judge in the intermediate appellate court for the last two and half years, we of limited constitutional jurisdiction specifically we only deal with constitution is applied and whether it was applied in an unconstitutional fashion. jurisdiction and confidential cases present with the supreme court. >> can you talk about your overall judicial philosophy? how your personal views have shaped that philosophy? >> i don't know if my personal views have shaved my philosophy.
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my experiential views has shaped my philosophy. i try to emulate characteristics that i see in other judges that i value. my general judicial philosophy is that judges should be faithful to the law. they should understand the limited role of the judiciary and they should not be policymakers. in addition, i think it is imperative that judges are continually treating every party that appears in front of them equally before the law. that build public confidence and a fair and impartial judiciary system which i think is very important. >> in your opinion, how strongly should judges themselves to the doctrine? >> i think the doctrine should bind all judges. inbound me as a trial court judge. inbound me to the supreme court of georgia. i think as an appellate court judge, i am bound by the decisions of the supreme court of georgia. i would be bound and follow the decisions of the supreme court, even on those issues that you discussed. >> the supreme court rule of nearly 50 years ago is about
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privacy rights and access to contraception. do you view these cases as federal law? >> i do and i would follow that precedent. >> i am concerned about this amendment. i know there is a lot of background and have read it all but one of the things that really stuck out to me as someone who was a former prosecutor dealing with public safety issues was the amendment you supported in the georgia state legislature. i think senator blumenthal asked about this. i have some or questions. it would've required posting on the internet about the number of medical procedures that doctors have performed having to do with terminating a pregnancy. there can clearly be public safety implications for these doctors if you put all this detailed information about them online. i think you can see in other areas as well and i think we have certainly seen lives being taken from these doctors that
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terminate pregnancies. we don't put this kind of information online for other procedures and other medical areas. my first question is if your views on this issue are still the same? >> i would be hesitant to give you my views on that issue. as much as that may come before me as a judge, but i will tell you that was a floor amendment. i didn't have any idea it it was coming. i didn't have any thing to do with the altering of that amendment. in retrospect, it particularly in light of what i have learned subsequently concerning the public safety issue, i should not have voted for that amendment. >> you consider that at the time you voted on it a public safety risk? >> i was not aware as i am now of the public safety risk. again, the back of throat of bringing up a bill, i should have. in hindsight, it was regretful i did not. >> last year, the supreme court issued an important ruling on
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marriage equality in the windsor case. how would your personal views on marriage equality impact of decisions as a judge? >> they would not. i would follow windsor and any other cases out of the supreme court. >> would you commit to following supreme court precedent in this area when it comes to marriage equality? >> absolutely. >> i know that there have also been some attention around comments you made while running to be a state court judge. what role do you think about your personal opinions on women's reproductive rights would be? >> it has no role on how i would decide legal issues or decide cases or analyze issues where i could be confirmed as a district court judge. >> one of the things that has
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been brought to my attention -- i think would concerning a lot of people, but not as much as the amendment on the doctors posting. there was a bill that took some pictures of license plates and you took pictures with a license plate, i think. what do you think about that and how would that influence any decision that you would make going forward? >> the choose life adoptions program was a bill i cosponsored with the majority of the members of the house of the general assembly in georgia because it was important to the constituents. it would have no impact, my personal beliefs on reproductive rights as well is my personal beliefs on issues. it would have no impact but i think my record demonstrates that i am faithful to never interject my personal opinion
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into decisions i make. >> were there any questions about you injecting your personal opinion into decisions that you made? i am sure yet that cases appealed as a state court judge or the basis of any of the appeals that you somehow injected your personal views on any subject? >> not one time. >> thank you very much. [laughter] >> pay to keep this going but judge boggs, in 2013, you receive the grassroots justice award given by the georgia justice project on behalf of the criminal justice reform counsel. according to the georgia justice, it was created in 2008 as a way to lift up the work of people and organizations whose efforts give voice for lent aid
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to the poorest in the community. it complements the work that they do that the georgia justice project. can you tell us about the role you played in the criminal justice reform counsel and the work you did to receive that award? >> thank you, senator. that award was received by me. it was not award specific to meet but an acknowledgment of the whole. i've had the pleasure to work to improve the judicial system for the very people that are most frequently involved in it, particularly the criminal justice arena. as a judge, i presided over our circuits first felony program. i believe it was appropriate to try to assist people whose mental health issues or substance abuse issues were driving their conduct. i am proud to say that program still exists.
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it has now expanded into a mental health court program which i always aspired to do. in 2011, the chief justice of the georgia supreme court appointed me as part of the reform counsel and we addressed criminal justice reform by doing a lot of the things that this body is considering both in the smart sentencing act and chairman leahy's safety valve acts of 2013. we have looked at mandatory minimums and provided a couple of safety valves. we have looked at programs that would assist people with substance abuse issues that are involved in felony criminal conduct so we can assist them in the community. we found those programs that are evidence-based programs were very successful in reducing recidivism. they're better at saving taxpayer money.
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they put people back with their families. they restore people to a productive life. later, the governor of the state of georgia appointed me for the last two years to cochair the criminal justice reform. in 2013, we addressed juvenile justice reform. developed a fiscal program to incentivize local communities to treat juveniles and their communities as opposed to very costly and unproductive out of home placements. last year, i cochair the council again and we addressed the concept of reentry. what do we do with the approximately 18,000 inmates that are being released a year? how can we better cook them to be successful? how can we ensure public safety at a better rate? our recidivism rates were roughly 30%. that is unacceptable, particularly with respect to the cost of the taxpayers. with the charge we were given, i was very fortunate in being part of developing a program in the
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state that will help these inmates while they are in prison. help these inmates with substance abuse programs while in the system. provide a seamless transition from prison to the community and then provide some resources to the community to ensure the citizens are productive, lawful, compliant with the law, but also productive citizens that can get their lives back. i have been proud to be a part of that. >> thank you. that is all. >> senator feinstein? >> thank you. i would like to ask a couple of questions if i can. again, i regret i was not here. judge boggs, to hear your answer to the question on essentially the bill that had online profiles to the number of abortions performed by a doctor. i think you said it was a mistake and what did you mean by that? >> i don't think it we
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appropriate to post it online. it will be a huge public safety risk for the physicians that are performing abortions. >> you are saying the bill was wrong? >> the amendment that was proposed -- it was not mine. the amendment was ill-conceived, i believe. >> i trust you are aware of the kinds of violence that takes place around this issue. and, there is a question i think among many of my colleagues whether an activist-conservative judge or an activist and conservative can become a judge that is not an activist judge. i happen to believe that is possible. in a couple of cases, i voted for 11th circuit and fifth circuit judge which i think have done very judge when they said they would not continue to be activists. i think when you come to a federal court, is really very
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important that the questions of constitutionality on an issue are acted by someone who, as judge abrams has said, will follow precedent. i've said on this committee for 22 years. we have been acutely disappointed by the fact that people pledge themselves to be decisive and they leave here and they take the oath of a judge and you just watch and you say where has it all gone? i don't want to cast a vote for someone where that happens. and so, i want to ask you a couple of questions. the issue of choice is extraordinarily important to me. i represent a state which is
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dominantly pro-choice. what would be your position on issues revolving around a woman's right to choose? this is purposefully an open question. >> thank you. my position on matters that might appear before me regarding a woman's right to choose would be faithfulness to the rule of law, faithfulness to the doctrine. while there have been some bad experiences by members of this committee, i think the best example i can give you is not what i say that i will do, but evidence of what i've done. i spoke to a judge in my state disposing of roughly 14,000 cases.
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i think my record is the best evidence that i can separate any political or partisan or public policy position i may have from my ability to be an impartial decision-maker. if i am fortunate enough to be confirmed, i will follow the precedent of the u.s. supreme court on women's reproductive rights issues. >> you see, i listened to a couple of supreme court justices say just that. we don't have -- there were long discussions on this. bingo. it all changed. it makes us feel very foolish to believe what we hear. so, i mean, for me, i have to make a judgment whether you mean what you say or whether it will be just like the supreme court justices who pledge to us diligent pursuance of decisive. it just didn't happen. let me ask you another issue and senator klobuchar began it in a web like to do it in a slightly
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different way. that is u.s. v. windsor. i am aware a lawsuit is pending so i want to be very careful. i am the main author on repealing the defense of marriage act. i was one of 14 that voted against it in the 1990's and we have 42 cosponsors. we are getting close. as you know, 17 states and the district of columbia have essentially approved the right of marriage to same-sex partners. what doma did was family law, divorce, etc. is generally to preserve a state law. in that case, they made it to preserve a federal law. in so doing, removed some 1100 federal rights from couples that are duly married in their state. so, this involves a state tax right, a social security right,
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and on and on. the question i have would be if your state were to approve same-sex marriage or the supreme court on the windsor case, i guess would repeal doma, how would you feel and how would you act as a judge? >> my personal feelings would be irrelevant to how i act as a judge. you have my commitment i would follow the decision of windsor. i would follow any precedent on marriage equality issues as i would any issues. i personal opinions expressed over 10 years ago on that issue may or may not have changed to whatever might personal beliefs are on that, they have never been relevant to how i have decided cases. with respect to your earlier question, my fundamental philosophy as a judge is to have an obligation to follow the law. you don't have to believe me
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necessarily when i sit here today under oath. i hope you would. i hope you would also look to what i have done over the last 10 years that demonstrates a faithfulness to follow precedent in over 14,000 cases and opinions i have authored that all have been made available to the committee. i think it is a fundamental obligation of judges to follow. i recognize that maybe that is not always follow through with by some nominees. >> well, at least my vote depends on whether i believe that or not and for a long i can continue to believe that. i think this is a very hard one.
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the third issue is race. i think you were eloquent on the subject of the confederate flag and what it means. it really means much more than just the material of that flag. it is a whole history, and whole set of beliefs which are rather countered to america of today. my hope is, and i don't know, i hope to have a chance to talk with you more after this, but what i want you to know is for my vote, i have to have certainty. i don't know quite how to get it in view of his record. i just want to put that on the table publicly. >> i respect that position. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator feinstein.
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let me close by going back to a line of questioning that i began. i know some of my colleagues have pursued it. the amendment dealing with publicizing doctors performances of abortion. i know that you said that it wasn't your amendment. you may have been, maybe i should just ask you -- were you unaware about the violence that was linked to performing abortions at that time? dr. barnett was killed in 1998. the faith statute in new york was passed in 1994.
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your amendment was voted on in 2001. it was clearly a very powerful history of violence linked to doctors providing these services. i find, frankly, incredible the idea that you would not understand that this amendment would put doctors at risk. >> thank you for the question. indeed, it was not my amendment, however i did supported on the floor. i stated earlier in this hearing that i believe the amendment was ill-conceived. i regret that i voted for it. i recognized the public safety risk now much more so than i did
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at that time. ultimately, i think as a legislator casting thousands of votes or amendments and bills, making decisions and committee -- in committee, it is not entirely unexpected there may be some votes that i cast that looking back on them as a legislator try my best to represent the people i represented it in a very staunchly pro-life district, i might've made some mistakes. i was in the perfect legislator. i'm not a perfect judge, but looking back on it, i regret that vote in a recognize the fully safety risk. >> i appreciate -- i think it is more than just another vote. this one was significant. we all cast votes here and we are responsible for every one of them. some of more significant and
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this one strikes me as profoundly significant because it involves not just a matter of constitutional right, not just the will of law, but physical safety per doctors who were providing constitutionally guaranteed rights to women vulnerable to the same kind of violence. i appreciate the comments on it. and, i think it is something we will have to take into account. senator franken. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do have some questions for judge boggs. i know that mainly -- the rest of you should feel good about that. that is what i am saying. you should feel very happy about that. judge boggs, i had the opportunity to meet you a couple of weeks ago. i enjoyed that meeting. i believe that judges can decide things by, you know, in the
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proper way even if they have had a record before of votes when they are in the legislature that are contrary to constitutional -- what has been decided constitutionally. i don't want a situation where we cannot ever have people confirmed because they had some public record on something. i think that is a bad tendency. that is a bad tendency to do that. so, i think that -- because a judge's role is to make decisions based on what the law is. not take their personal opinions, although, personal opinions or experience do shape how a judge invariably has to. experience is the law in many ways for judges. i think it is important we have to factor that in but we cannot
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establish a system here where just looking at things in the past, either it is voting in the legislature or just opinions expressed by a professor who is writing scholarship, i think that is a dangerous thing we're doing. i do think that it is good we get to question you and it is good we get to meet you beforehand in private. when i talk to you about the confederate flag or the confederate war symbol or battle emblem on the flag, you told me that you voted against changing the flag because your constituents wanted the right to vote on it -- on a referendum. was in that right? >> yes.
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>> it turned out you voted twice on this in the first time in 2001, there was no referendum. so, i felt kind of -- a little odd. that one there was no referendum and -- give me a chance -- i'd like to give you a chance to explain that because what i got out of our meeting was that you had was that your constituents overwhelmingly wanted a referendum on this. yet, there was no referendum attached to it the first time. can you explain both votes? >> indeed, there was no nonbinding referendum presented in that legislation. my constituents overwhelmingly believed that a vote against
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that bill might subsequently result in a referendum that would offer them an opportunity to choose the old flag and the new flag. i have expressed earlier my position on that. i don't know how to explain it any further. i will tell you that it was an agonizing opportunity 17 days into my legislative career to make this balance between -- address this challenge between voting the will of my constituents and will in what i believe was the correct thing to do. subsequently, there was an opportunity to choose to present to the public in georgia nonbinding referendum that including the post-1956 flag and the flag we change to, i voted for that. it provided my constituents with
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what i thought they wanted. however, that didn't pass and there was another referendum to the one you refer to. voted the same way i did the same time -- the first time. >> did you present a resolution to provide a referendum? >> no. i didn't author any of his bills. >> you understand from my point of view where when asked about this, you said it was because your constituents overwhelmingly wanted a referendum. but, there was no referendum on that vote and you didn't introduce anything about a referendum. did you say anything? was there anything in the public record about you saying there should be a referendum? >> i never spoke been about my position on the flag. >> ok. but you talk to me about it and what you said to me was the way you voted was because your
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constituents overwhelmingly wanted to vote on it. it doesn't seem like that vote had anything to do with a referendum. >> i understand the question. i don't see the inconsistency that your question presumes. my constituents wanted to vote. we were not presented with an opportunity and that therefore represents an inconsistency. my position was my constituents'position was was to vote against any flag change that didn't present them with an opportunity to vote. 17 days into my career would not have been the time for me to introduce a binding -- a nonbinding resolution on that matter. >> what you told me was that you voted because you wanted to have a chance to vote. nevertheless, there is no record of you saying that. actually, there was a record of you telling in local newspaper that you voted to keep the flag -- this is in 2001 -- you voted to keep it because you
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constituents overwhelmingly supported the flag. >> i did say that. i think that is consistent with what i have said today. and when we met. >> it seems like that when you -- when we met. you said that -- you didn't say it was because your constituents overwhelmingly supported the flag, it was because her constituents overwhelmingly wanted to vote on it. i think those are two different things. it gave me -- it led me to the understanding whether you intended it or not, was that your only vote was a vote on whether to put that flag up for a vote. that is what you wanted. that you voted against changing
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the confederate flag on the georgia state flag. it is like a big part of the flag, like half the flag or something. that was passed in 1956. that was because of brown. so, it really was about -- this wasn't something that was part of the georgia state flag after reconstruction. it happened in 1956, 2 years after brown. to me, this is a very important thing. as i said, i don't think that we should be judging or we should be confirming people based on public stuff they have said before unless it is so an pedicle to being a judge. i know you've been a judge for 10 years now. i hear wonderful things about you. the thing that upsets me or that gave me some pause is that we have this meeting.
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in the meeting, i felt that you gave me a little slightly misrepresentation of your record on this by saying that the reason you voted against the changing the confederate flag being on the state flag was that your constituents wanted a referendum on it. but, there was a referendum tied to it. you didn't raise anything about a referendum. you didn't say anything public about it. in fact, you told a local newspaper that the reason you voted against it was because your constituents overwhelmingly wanted to keep that flag. those are two different explanations to me. while i am very, you know, i am very disturbed of this tendency
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of us to vote against people because something in their past because they were brave enough or acted out of conviction beforehand. i do judge by my meeting with people how forthright they are. on this last thing, on this thing that the chairman brought up about the voting to put online the number of procedures, the abortion procedures that doctors have performed. there was that time, these nürnberg feil that they talked about. they put on the names of
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doctors. there have been doctors murdered for this. and yet you say that your state legislator -- you were a state legislator, but you're not aware of that? >> it was not my amendment. the bill proposed to be amended was the patient right to know act, predominantly related to medical malpractice lawsuits. i don't recall, senator, if it listed other procedures. i have indicated here today and i would've indicated previously that my position on that -- >> you were a state legislator at the time but not aware of any of the public safety issues involved around this issue? >> i wasn't and i think that is attributable to the fact that this came as a floor amendment
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and not something i had an opportunity to study or even speak to other legislators about. >> it is simply off your radar. with all this news around the threats to doctors and bombings of clinics, those kinds of things. how old were you at the time? >> 37. >> a state legislator. and were not aware of any of that. >> no, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think all of the panel members for being here. you explained your vote
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regarding the georgia flag. you explained your position regarding the online posting of abortion instances as basically, if i understand you, you selecting your constituents views and not your own conscience. is that accurate? >> with respect to the flag, yes. with respect to my position on reproductive rights issues, i was respecting also the will of my constituents. >> for those of us that have served in state legislatures, we know the challenges and when to express your constituents views and when to vote your conscience. as you think back, can you give an example of when you went against the will of your constituents? >> i can think of several instances, senator. i supported reapportionment maps drawn by democrats in the general assembly drawn by my term in the legislature. they were not supported by the majority of people in my
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district. >> considering that so many of the questions we have been asking have to do with the area of reproductive rights and civil rights, have you, at any point, voted your conscience on matters that are related to the gist of the questions we have been asking? >> i can't think of any specific instance. without given the opportunity to review my voting record. >> that's fair. bills and amendments, i wanted to ask you, you said your personal view would not be appropriate for you to let us know. do you agree with the supreme court's decision that granted a constitutional right to a woman to have an abortion? >> absolutely. i would be bound by those if i
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were confirmed and i pledge to you that i would faithfully follow that precedent. >> until the u.s. supreme court changes its decision, you will apply it in the way that it should be applied? >> without question, senator. >> you are also a vocal proponent for georgia's constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. you've also raised questions about judicial activism. the way you put it is that you have concerns about judges issuing decisions that venture into policymaking. i take it that's what you mean by judicial activism. that should be left to the legislature. >> yes. >> back to the constitutional amendment, you know that the constitutional amendment is being challenged. >> yes.
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>> if the amendment is struck down by the federal court, would you consider that court to be engaging in judicial activism? >> i would not. to go back to my comments made in 2004, as a state legislator, candidly, i did believe that at that time. my comments about judicial activism were that judges would have been engaging in that. looking back on that now, particularly with 10 years being a judge, 10 years being faithful to the obligation. 10 years of looking back on a career as a legislator, noting the notable differences between both roles, that is what i was referring to in 2004 but i do not believe that now. that that judge might decide
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that that constitutional amendment would be engaging in judicial activism. >> would you consider judicial activism in the context of if it were a lower court that word doing things that don't comport with what you've you as what the u.s. supreme court held? for example, when our supreme court decided lilly ledbetter or decided citizens united, would you consider those decisions judicial activism? it did take a lot of people by surprise. >> i would not and the difference is my view of judicial activism as a legislator and as a judge. i have grown in my job as a judge to respect the role of judges to decide those cases based on the facts presented before them. when i was a legislator, i was not a judge. i was not making decisions in that capacity. it was determining what i was at the time that i made those comments. but certainly, you are correct.
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the comments i made in 2004 were reflective of the sentiment you expressed. >> as a judge, you will be confronted with cases before you. the decisions that you make could be described i state legislators like you were as judicial activism. and you can see that possibility as a federal judge? >> judges at all levels of court in my state are routinely criticized for making unpopular decisions. maybe making legislation that legislators don't believe are appropriate. i have been a judge ride for that happened and i've been there when it happened. a judge the show's faithfulness to the rule of law will apply precedent faithfully and while it is true those issues, the
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equal rights issues have not come before me on a regular basis as an appellate judge, the jurisdiction i have on the court of appeals is broad. and in each instance, i have been faithful to follow the rule of law. >> you could engage in what some legislators may consider to be judicial activism based on the facts of the case and was presented to you. >> i can't presume what a state legislator might think about any decision. one like me may very well criticize me. but what i would say to that is that i have shown dedication to the code of judicial conduct and never decided cases based on fear of clamor or fear of criticism. >> just for clarification, as a state court judge, have you had a cases dealing with marriage equality, equal protection for gays and lesbians, and i think
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you noted that you had a case involving a minor seeking an abortion. as to marriage equality cases, equal protection of gays and lesbians, have you had any cases in those areas? >> i have had one, senator, that is an adoption case and the record is sealed and i would not want to do anything to jeopardize the rights of the mother. but i will tell you that i did have a case is a trial court judge several years ago wherein a woman who identified herself as lesbian and identified her partner before me requested that i approved for adoption of a child from foster care. georgia law is particular in respect to juvenile court matters and adoptions. it is sacred that we maintain the fidelity of our laws in that
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those records are sealed. i don't know what she may have told family or others in her community concerning her sexual orientation. it's irrelevant to me. but i know i was presented by that case with a lawyer that told me he had presented that case to our circuit's chief judge and he refused to hear that case. so he came to me, the junior judge in the circuit. i listened to her evidence, her fitness to be an adoptive parent. i listened faithfully and impartially to the evidence presented and i approved the adoption. and as i've said routinely, i am faithful to follow the law. that was the appropriate decision, not because of her sexual orientation but because the facts warranted it. she had shown an ability to take care of the child to the foster care program. any time they conducted a home of valuation, her home was clean
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and she was capable of taking care of the child. i handled that case as i would for any other petitioner concerning adoptions. >> my time is up. thank you. >> i would like to thank all the nominees that appeared before us this morning. g. thank you for the opportunity to join what i understand has been a vigorous exchange and i like to thank senator blumenthal for chairing today. i would like to ask each of you if you would offer the comments you wish on what role you think you would have as a member of the federal judiciary in ensuring equal access to justice and ensuring a fair and balanced treatment of all litigants that appear before you and what gives us some confidence that you will
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make that a priority. >> as i stated, i believe that my role as a judge, if i am confirmed, will be to fairly and impartially apply the applicable law to the individual facts of each case. and it would necessitate a be fair and impartial with each person that comes before me. i believe that throughout this process, people have talked to lawyers that appeared opposite me and i think my interaction with them, to be fair in all cases to see the full picture not disregarding my duty as a prosecutor, but to be fair and considerate of what was going on. lawyers who have worked with me say that i attempt to be fair and balanced and would carry
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that into being a district court judge if i am confirmed. >> equal access is kind of a broad topic. i view equal access to the court as being a model of efficiency. that the judge has an obligation to move cases through the system so that they don't languish and litigants have the opportunity to bring closure to their cases. the efficiency of the judicial system is bent on that. and i think it is necessary. you have corporate litigants that have no closure to cases. equal access means a lot of things, that the judge should remain active in the case, move cases forward, sets reasonable deadlines. and also move the court into a system that is more efficient. and it may mean -- i developed a drug court program to move some of the felony cases off of the original docket.
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it may mean i supported pretrial programs and mandatory civil trials where juries have been requested. all models built on allowing equal access by improving how quickly people can get to court. with respect to ensuring everyone is treated fairly, the best evidence i could give you of that is my record is trial court judge and appellate court judge where i have an unblemished record of having ensured that everybody that appears before me is treated equally with an unbiased and impartial application of the law. that is what has prepared me, i think, to model that. >> if i am fortunate enough to be confirmed, the oath that i would take provides that i would administer justice without respect a person and do equal rights.
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i would take that very seriously. i think it is a cardinal fact that any federal judge has to consider when he or she is presiding over a case. it is important, just looking at my record, a lot of attorneys in private practice have done pro bono work and i have certainly done some with respect to working with the atlanta bar association's eviction defense program, representing people that are being unjustly thrown out of their apartments. and i served on the board of the wilderness group that provided for alternative sentencing for juveniles that should not have gone into a juvenile detention facility, but deserved to do go to a program where they can get education and work to keep themselves out of the adult prison system down the road. we have the federal defender program. whenever a defendant came before may, we would ensure the defendant had the opportunity for counsel to represent that person. >> throughout my time in private practice, i have mainly been handling negotiations. interns of my work experience, i
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find that people are not for mayor with the court system and we have to take them through what is going to happen and educate them about the civil system. along with my colleagues, i believe the most important part of equal access is to treat everyone fairly before the law, the matter what their circumstances are. there are concrete activities
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that judges can do to make them more likely. courts on their website can provide links to different resources that people can utilize. judges can provide more details for those representatives and they can learn more what is expected of them in the courtroom. ultimately, a judge has a responsibility to encourage pro bono work and be out in the community and speaking on issues of equal access to the court. and i have been very active in my own career with pro bono activities. >> thank you so much. it's no problem at all. i have concerned myself very much with equal access. we do have a lot of litigants in state court. it is important to ensure that they know the resources available to them including the services of the public defender and legal aid as well as the law library. and in terms of fairness, i am very fair and respectful to the
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litigants who appear before me, whether they are the most well-versed and well-known attorneys or first-time litigants. if i am fortunate enough to be confirmed, i would definitely continue it. >> if i might, i have a few questions that i wanted to get to. you cast a vote as a member of the georgia legislature to approve posting profiles of up abortion doctors online and there has been some exchange about that. what motivated your vote for that measure? and how can i understand that measure as being anything other than an attempt to burden a woman's right to choose. >> i was motivated by a very strong desire to represent the will of my 38,000 constituents that were predominantly pro-life. those issues were important to my constituents. that amendment, an amendment i
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did not have very much time to consider and from which i have expressed regret for having not been more considerate of that vote, at the end of the day, the motivating factor on pro-life issues in general was motivated by my desire to represent my constituents. >> in 2012, you completed an application and you stated, the "judiciary continues to endure criticism by issuing decisions that venture into policymaking." this is the question of activism by the judiciary. if you could, help me understand. or lawrence versus texas, were they being inappropriately activist? >> no, sir. >> have they earned criticism
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for the aggregating their constiutional authority? >> comments on the floor is a legislature, judges that were declaring same-sex marriages constitutional. that is what i thought, as a legislator, the cases i was referring to. those states where they had to clear that law constitutional. looking back on that, 13 years later and with the benefit of having been a judge for 10 years, the concept of activist judge that i had as a legislator is no longer prevalent in my mindset. >> you said earlier today it would be inappropriate under the canon of judicial ethics or perhaps the federal canon to convey to this committee where you stand on particular issues,
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but those same cannons would have applied to you as a judicial candidate in 2004 when you made a public announcement about where you stood on issues like same-sex marriage. was that a violation of the canon of judicial ethics? >> i will tell you looking back on those comments made while i was still in legislator but also seeking the job of judge and candidly probably after i qualified for the position, i regret that i wasn't more articulate and artful crafting an explanation to my constituents that reflected my understanding of the role of the judge. >> the georgia canon says that a candidate shall not make a contribution to a political organization. a political organization is defined as a political party or group, to further the election of a candidate to office. would you considered georgia conservatives and action to be a
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political organization under that definition? >> i would have to look at it. i am familiar with the organization but not enough with regard to tax status status. >> your campaign committee made a contribution to it in september of 2012 and my understanding is the georgia conservatives and action endorses political candidates. that is an issue that is of some concern to me that i think crosses a line that is fairly clear. they also say a candidate shall not publicly endorse a candidate. when did you announce your candidacy for superior court judge? >> i don't recall. it would've been sometime in 2004.
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>> were you a member of the bush-cheney democrats for bush national steering committee? >> to my knowledge i had never been a member of that committee. it was only through this process that i've discovered that i had been listed. and i believe that listing without my permission or knowledge was by virtue of me having attended a meeting prior to his fundraiser in georgia. i did not make any political contribution. i realize that everyone that attended that with the exception of one member was listed. it was done without my authority and i had no knowledge of it. at the time, i made a contribution from my judicial campaign. i had no knowledge of their sponsorship or endorsement of any candidate for elective office. >> i appreciate your answers and i may have others. i appreciate your forbearance at the time i've taken. i think there is a record that
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well bears consideration and i appreciate your testimony today. >> the questions you have been asked lead me to one last set of questions and i promise they will be brief. on the topic of judicial activism and the right to privacy, you may recall in february of 2004, in your capacity as a state legislator, you spoke on the floor of the georgia house of representatives in favor of a resolution calling for a proposed constitutional amendment that would've banned same-sex marriage. and in support of that resolution, you said to your colleagues that they should recognize the "dangers posed by activist judges operating in current state law." and you cited, as an example of
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that activism, a decision by the supreme court of the state of georgia in the 1998 case of powell versus state. they struck down the georgia sodomy statute that made it illegal for people to engage in consensual sex in the privacy of their own homes. do you think the georgia supreme court wrongly decided? >> i don't now. my views have changed and my roles have changed. as a legislator talking about activist judges, it was different than what i believe now. >> and you would not now support
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a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage? >> no, sir. my position, whatever it might've been then and whatever it is now, has no import whatsoever on how i decide cases. >> and the judge carly dissent, you cited his dissent as
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evidence of the potential dangers -- i wonder if you would agree now with justice carly who wrote in that dissent a "constitutional right to privacy obviously cannot include the right to engage in private conduct which was condemned as criminal at the very time the constitution was ratified." the constitutional right to privacy obviously cannot conclude the right to private conduct that was condemned as criminal at the very time the constitution was ratified. you cited that dissent with approval and support of the view that in effect, powell was wrongly decided. i would just point out that georgia had many statutes, including criminalizing sexual relationships and marriages between people of different races at the time was passed and justice carly's dissent indicated the right to privacy
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would cover non of those kinds of private consensual acts. >> i think to the extent that you ask me to agree or disagree, i haven't read the dissent in 10 years. the personal views are irrelevant but to the extent his opinion has conflicted with decisions with the supreme court, i would follow the decisions of the supreme court and well i have respect for him, a very good friend of mine formally on the georgia supreme court, my role as a judge would be to apply precedent. >> i want to close by thanking all of you as potential and likely district court judges because you are really going to serve as the protectors and guardians of our nation's legal conscience. i reminded of that fact thinking
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of judge frank johnson whose memory was invoked by senator durbin. you know judge johnson's history. he was more than an icon. he was a hero. he is the reason that many of us chose this career and chose to be trial lawyers or prosecutors. because of his conscience and conviction and courage standing up to ostracism, physical threat, and violence. i hope that you will take this responsibility -- i know you will take it seriously because you are truly going to be the voice and face of justice for people coming to your courtrooms. i want to thank you for the long hours you will spend, willing to serve here today.
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their leadership making nominations possible and the president of the united states for his faith in your ability to serve. with that, i will adjourn this hearing and the record will be kept open for one week. thank you all for attending. >> >> susan rice will sit down to talk about policy. eastern.rrow at 1:00 then president obama's choice to head the health and human
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services department will take questions at the senate finance committee. eastern.rage at 2:13 >> a lot of time coming you you can attribute it to a white house source. you can't do that with life cameras. say i'm just giving you this for background. >> did you brief on background from the podium? >> let me give you something on background. the fatal mistake i made, and this is in the weeds for our audience, i did not put the restriction that i had at the state department.
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it was available for use as part of the stories that you would produce because the briefing is not a news event. it is part of the way in which people gather information, put their stories together, test other sources, get other information, and deliver it to consumers of news. >> i had to do -- it was like 56 questions on what is universal health care? what about 97%? what about 96 when five percent. >> -- 96.5%? dave berry wrote a column. >> the life of a white house as secretary. the ups and the downs of the job. sunday at 5:00 eastern. ont of american history tv
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american history -- c-span3. >> in december of 2011, debra peters was at her home in nigeria. members of boko haram came to her house and killed her brother and father. we will hear more of her story in a moment and about last month's kidnapping. this one-hour event is hosted by the hudson institute. >> good afternoon. i am the chief operating officer of the hudson institute. i would like to welcome you to the conference center. hudson has had a long history of working on humans rights and one of the people is nina shea. she is chairing today's session. i want to thank her for her work.
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stories that need to be told. they are bringing greater attention to the suffering that we all need to pay attention to and act to reverse. i want to thank her for her work and dedication. i will let her take over the panel. >> thank you all for coming. especially on short notice. is a privilege and honor for me to be introducing this panel . we have a friend of ours who is a human rights lawyer for the jubilee campaign. he has been on this podium before. in november. he brought another survivor of the boko haram to washington to tell about his ordeal. he was shot in the head after refusing to deny his faith.
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he lived. he survived and came here i brought the x-rays. you can look on our video stream. the video of his testimony is there. today we are also honored to have deborah peter. she is hudson's youngest speaker ever. she is 15 years old. she is from northern nigeria and her family moved. there were 300 girls in slaves. -- enslaved. she is the sole survivor of her household. it was a boko haram attack that she will tell you about today. it is a terrible story. it is an extremely important one for americans to hear stop she -- to hear. she is doing it and it is very painful for her to tell. she is doing it because there
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are 300 girls her age who are suffering today in nigeria. please join me in giving them a warm welcome. [applause] deborah, can you start by telling us what happens on the night of december 22, 2011 ? just bring it close. >> on december 22, 2011, me and my brother rode home. we heard a gun shooting. my brother called my dad and told him not to come home. they were fighting. my father told him to forget about it. it is not the first time that he has come home and they were fighting.
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he came back home and he told us that he wants to take a shower. he went to the bathroom to take a shower. at 7:30 p.m., three men knocked on our door. i open the door for them. they asked him, where's your dad? i said that he is in the bathroom, taking a shower. they went in. they dragged him out of the bathroom. they did not have time to wait for him. they take them out of the bathroom and they tell him that he cannot deny his aid. -- faith. they said they would kill him if faith.'t deny his that he would rather die than go to hellfire. god said that anyone who denied him would be in prison and died. my dad refused to deny his faith
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and they shot him three times in his chest. my brother was in shock. he said, why did you kill him? they told him to be quiet. or they would shoot him too. there were three that came in that night. when my brother kept quiet, the first -- there were three and one is the leader. one is the person close to the leader and the other is a servant. the servant said, unless you kill my brother -- the leader said no. he's too young. the leader told them that if my brother stayed human growth and -- state, he would grow up and become a pastor like my dad. they said to kill him too. so they shot him twice in his chest.
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he felt. he started moving. they went ahead and shot him again in his mouth. and then he fell down and died. i was in shock. i did not know what was happening stop they put me in the middle of my dad and my brother. the next day, they took the to the hospital. >> deborah, thank you for sharing that. that is not easy to talk about. can you tell us why they singled out your family? why did these men -- did you know them? why did they come to your house?
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>> i know one of them. the other one lives close to our house and i do not know his name. the reason why they came to our house was because my dad was a pastor. they wanted to warn him. they went ahead and came to him and killed him. in november, they burned his church. he did not give up. they tried to burn it again. they said they would kill him. >> your father was a christian pastor and he had a church and that was burned down. boko haram is closing in on the area. this area is in northeastern nigeria. >> my dad and my mom are from there.
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>> you came to the united states to come to a summer camp. emanuel helped you. he brought you here. it was a 9/11 foundation. it was meant to help children of terrorism. you have not talked about your story before. this is the first time that you are starting to talk about it. why? why are you coming here to talk about it? >> because i want to help the other kids and i want to help people from what is happening. they told me that i should help them. >> what are you hoping will come
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of your talks? >> i hope that if people hear my story, they will understand and they will know more of what god said. they will understand what it means to stand strong. >> thank you very much. we are learning now in the papers that these girls, at least 100 of them, have been forcibly converted. they were christian. is that your understanding -- would there be christians there? >> there would be. it is a small group of people. there are a lot of christians there. they don't really fight. it is the boko haram --
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>> the u.s. government finally designated nigeria's boko haram as a terrorist organization. before that, the state department had been saying that the boko haram had nothing to do with religion. this was the assistant secretary for africa who was saying that. i was dumbfounded. it was after an attack on another church. he gave the speech. he said that it had nothing to do with religion. thank you so much. emmanuel? emanuel just returned from nigeria on friday. he has been in the northeast in cameroon for three weeks,
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collecting stories from boko haram's victims. >> thank you for having me. thank you for attending this lunchtime event where we are not serving lunch [laughter] we have seen the headlines and we thought it would be a good idea to drill down a little and put a face to the reality of the atrocities that are going on. this is important. we face a major wall of denial. not from the soviet or the traditional establishment, but from the state are met. deborah'sent stop story is one that we have known for a few years since we entered into a fact-finding mission. i should point out that she was denied a visa twice by the u.s.
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government. the reason she was denied a visa is because they said to her, and you cannot make this stuff up, they said to her, you do not have family ties. they essentially traumatized a girl whose family was exterminated by terrorists just because she wanted to come to america. the good thing about the story is that it is a story of what is good about america. the 9/11 victims, the children of people who died in 9/11, decided to have a camp for other child victims around the world. it was that program that we got deborah enrolled in. we brought her to the states. when she was heading back to nigeria, some folks said, let's find a school here so she can go
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to school. that is how deborah ended up in this part of the country. we tactically decided not to put her in the public space because she was very frightened. she has nightmares. even though we were facing an administration that was denying the religious genocide going on against christians in nigeria, we felt that we could not sacrifice the mental health of this young child just to get one over the administration. that changed a couple of weeks ago. the terrorists went to deborah's village and adopted about 300 girls. it was people she has played with.
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her mother graduated from med school. in a normal world, she might have gone to that school. we reached out to deborah and said, you want to speak out and bring -- put a face to this travesty? she was kind enough to say, yes, i will do the. a point we areto at now. contextive you a bit of for what boko haram has been doing. haram is gentlemen terrorists. i say that tongue-in-cheek. the point is that boko haram says they do not kill the elderly or the young or women. those are the three exceptions. the christians, jews, and muslims don't count.
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agoory from a couple years is classic. they came in, they killed the pastor. then they made sure that his son, who was an exception to the , he might be killed grow up to become a pastor. harams an example of boko shifting the goalposts of those they will not kill. what happens with all be fact-finding missions we have conducted is a christian response to the genocide that they would move the men out and leave the women behind. we found that there are many account of christian men who left town and left the women behind. boko haram said that they do not kill women. that changed last month. boko haram realized, we have killed all the men.
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we are in the terrorism business. we need to have a new game plan. the next thing we have is 300 young women abducted. camp andtaken to this they have become slave brides. say thatrate this to deborah. staple it to years ago when boko haram was operating on that rules of engagement. but now, the story has changed. if she was in her village that day they would not have done the gentlemanly thing to stop they would not have left her overnight. this resident evil is evolving. few ofto quickly share a the trends we have noticed from this recent trip to nigeria. the first one i shared is the
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gender based targeting of women now that they have essentially decimated the male population of many part of nigeria. trend that i would like to mention is the fact that boko haram is becoming tactically more superior than the security forces on the ground. noticed that they are bringing in more sophisticated techniques. outcryonse to the global of the girls, we have seen reports saying that americans are sending us a sense. what happened last week while we were out there is that boko haram blew up bridges.
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this is a group that is taking preemptive action. it is way before the u.s. or the french forces come in. that shows you how resilient and deadly they are. i want to mention another concern that we noticed. i do not know whether to call it a trend. it is the humanitarian impact of the crisis. we are seeing population displacement from nigeria in chad.t care -- into and , iare seeing entire villages was at a refugee camp last week in cameroon. night villages woke up at and they marched across the border. boko haram had retreated from the capital.
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they had moved to the rural areas and they were killing people in their homes. this mass operation and displacement has been going on for almost a year. what is particularly disturbing is that last week boko haram struck a village. they killed close to 300 people. then there was population displacement. people fled again. we have this going on for a year. wonder, where is the humanitarian response to this crisis? let me mention two things that concern me. u.s. -- u.n.s the refugee camp. people have fled there from nigeria you stop when we interview them, they say to us, this is the first time that we
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have been given food in 49 days. this is the people at the official u.n. cap. they have not been fed for the nine days. there are other unofficial cabs. you can only imagine how bad the conditions are there. there is an ineffective military response to terrorism. then we have an ineffective humanitarian response. are at the point where the international community needs to response effectively to what is going on in nigeria. maybe i should also add at this trends of one of the boko haram attacks that we have been seeing, the one i referred to earlier, about gender and actuallytion, we have
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-- the jubilee group has encountered a couple of escape child brides. the stories that they narrate are chilling. they are harrowing. in september trips that thelly were told terrorists are striking right now. you have to turn back. so we asked, why are they striking right now? there is a girl. she has escaped from the camp was stop they are looking for her. unexpected became superheroes. that the only thing for us to do was get her out of there. we got her out of there. some of you may have seen her on
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cbs -- cbs news yesterday. she is the only escape child bride to give an interview. we were able to move her out of that location. thought, this is a one off thing. but we now realize that this is personal. it is the agenda of boko haram to attack women. most of the men have gone to nutshellll say in a that some of the atrocities this girl shared with us was that boko haram takes you back to the camp. i will speak specifically to her case. that was on cbs news yesterday. i do not think i am doing much harm if i go into details. in the camp she was taken to in the mountains of nigeria and cameroon, every day for a week
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she was asked to renounce or they were dying. she refused. day, one of the terrorists who was related to her came up to her and said, today is the final day. they will clear throat. when i ask you to do yourself a favor, just accept islam. spare your life. even if you do not believe it. and asked her to accept islam -- they put her in the bunker like the girls on tv. she was assigned to be the wife of one of the terrorists, the lead terrorist. this is an interesting phenomenon. they said, she is an infidel. she needs to go through a purification process before she can become good enough to be the
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bride of the head terrorist. they did not sexually molest her. ony designated her interpretation plan. the good thing is that she played along with them and she studied the koran and she was trained in arms. but she realized that her window of opportunity was slipping. so close to the 90 day grace. where -- great fewer, she feigned illness. they got worried. what will we do? someone has to go get her treatment. they would not have cared about the life if she had remade a christian. but now that she had played along for 90 days and she had carried ammunition for them, she was one of the boys.
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they let her go out for treatment. woman took her. when they got to the town, that is when she escaped. we were able to get her and was curled up there. storyis a little more per that is very disturbing. some of it is online. thatre very disappointed the reuters reporter went to nigeria and met her and took her photograph and splashed it on the internet and gave her name. it was so revolting. what we did is we had to relocate her again within the country. that is why we do not always ring victims out. some people do not have intelligent discretion to realize that you can put this young lady at. -- at risk.
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this was a snapshot of a slave bride that we encountered. in the last eight months, we have encountered about five. this is the first time that we are seeing huge numbers. we're talking hundreds who have been abducted. >> can i ask you a question? an incidento be that is an escalation for boko haram. there have been these abductions in the past that you are describing. but to take 300 girls all at once, what is going on? why are they escalating? the are you recommending west do about it? what can be done? >> they are escalating. they are a resilient group.
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when the military deploys, they can attack schools. theywe noticed is that would attack empty schools. need to protect schools. now they are attacking schools and killing kids. the terror group is way more resilient than the state department. -- state department is in their response to the problem. i wrote an article about the reduction of the girls. i think i ask that it be circulated to all of you. my point there was that the terrorists are energized by the media attention they are getting. that is not to say we should not
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report it. but they have done so many horrible things and finally they picked up the girls and everyone is watching them. i said, they're going to strike again and go for more girls. , they struckr again and took it more girls. this is a make it or break it time for boko haram. if we snuff them out now, they know what will get our attention. they're going to keep putting it in our faces. go,ar as recommendations the state department in the u.s. needs to pay attention to the core theological basis of this group. economic rebel movement. i read in a newspaper that said they were rebels. they are not rebels. their anarchic and jihadist.
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it in the right context, then you can have an up or print response. -- appropriate response. they do not have the same responses. we do not have a cure for ebola and we do not have a cure for stream -- extreme islamism. istainment, not appeasement, the solution. point to make one key that we understand how crazy these guys are. in the first place, they want an islamic bureaucracy in northern nigeria. you cannot achieve that in a country where the population is 50% christian. we are talking about massive genocide. here's the thing. in northern nigeria, when they
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are at -- insisting and demanding sharia law, a guy was sentenced to death by stoning for rape. there is sharia law. but they want a very extreme version. is why they were originally called the nigerian taliban. they want to have public beheadings and ace adm where people can gather. -- in stadiums where people can gather they do not like the process were you go into court and you have trials. that is too slow and boring. they want to do it the old-fashioned way. they are savages that we are dealing with. this is a threat of existential proportions to the inchoate
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democratic governmental structures in africa. when 9/11 occurred in the united aids, it was an inconvenience to some of our constitutional right to privacy and tsa was a nuisance. but in africa, it is a different ballgame. it is a threat to the legal system and to the rule of law and to democracy. dr. king says it well. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere to stop that is why this should be of great importance. >> thank you very much. we have time for a few questions. stope identify yourself and wait for the microphone. >> thank you. scott newman from abc 7. thank you for doing this.
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i am curious, deborah, as we talked about boko haram and how much it affects the communities, the neighborhoods, was this something you always feared? is there a day that you go through life without worrying about boko haram? what is it like to be in an area where they are so dominant? yes, we move from one place to another. we were concerned that they would attack. my dad always moves, but they kept following him. gotou said earlier that you somehow to move out of that region into the capital from another pastore. what happens to that pastor? >> he was killed by boko haram. >> it was may 15 last year.
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the pastore who paid for her to get out of town, this very pastor who introduced me to her, boko haram came to his home and killed him in front of his kids. >> hearing these stories, you get the sense of boko haram is encircling these areas and sporadically but consistently. it is not systematic, but over time, a lot of people are being effected -- affected. >> they have different strategies. they were very systematic in some places. they would go out and mark the homes of christians. they would come back at night and kill off e-mails. that is how entire neighborhoods would be.
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most of the wounds that we see on male christians from northern nigeria our trauma to the head. they shoot to kill and most times it is that my blank range. we have worked with several survivors. there are only three survivors of boko haram in the u.s.. we have worked of all of them. deborah and one other guy in texas. the guy in texas has trauma to the head. he was shot in the head. boko haram killed his landlords. they came to the funeral and shot everybody to stop he is the sole survivor. -- med-ev he backed aced to the u.k.. they said, there's nothing we
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can do for you, let randy to america to stop they all have gunshots to the head. that is what they do. inland.led state, they are back in the rural communities. that is why they are fleeing. there is much for are the people inland. literally ranle out of town. entire villages on foot. systematiclevel of behavior. .hey are also sporadic like the assassination of this pastor.
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>> ryan? >> brian murphy. retired from the department of state. have thed you international community do that has not been done? particularly in the united aids? recommendation is a change in the paradigm that they are using to look at this. ins must be properly framed the lands of jihad. then we can formulate appropriate responses. the u.s. has had extensive experience dealing with insurgencies. in afghanistan and in iraq. the u.s. terrorism report says that obama rahm is the second deadliest terrorism group next to the tall on all stop who has
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the best experience dealing with the taliban? the u.s.. we can make this works. there needs to be tactical intelligence. we have not seen much of that. again, the humanitarian response. i cannot emphasize this and not. when you have a country that is , ifchristian and 50% muslim the christians get pushed to the wall, something will give. that is the doomsday scenario that i dread. there has been an amazing reserve of grace and graciousness. but that is not inexhaustible. bursts, it is a country of 150 million people.
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bosnia look like child's play. one of the things we noticed is that people who did not flee are being re-victimized. naomi. widow named haram killed her husband in front of her and they burned her home in front of her. she had nowhere to go. she said to them, please kill me. she had an eight-month-old baby and said, these kill me. you have destroyed my home until my husband. and they said, we do not kill women. she eventually went to live with her uncle stop and then some months later, they came to her uncle's house and killed again stop how she is not in a vegetative eight, i do not know. at some point, people will say, i cannot take it anymore.
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that is where we will have bigger problems. assistance to the victims will help. that is one of the things we need to be looking at. >> this lady over here. >> you spoke about difficulty in getting a visa for deborah. where is the place now for people like deborah and others who want to come to the united they? we spoke about helping them there and in afghanistan, people were brought to the united states. say there wasuld something in place. -- the soleeborah survivor of a massacre was denied twice by the embassy. timed up spending so much
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fighting the administration on visa, that these -- we cannot devote enough resources to the actual work of saving the people. we got involved with a congressman. victim, it another took international intervention to get them to come to the united they. states. >> the state department has been reluctant to talk about this in terms of religious or seclusion. -- persecution. i'm thinking about a speech in 2012, or a congressman said that this was a problem of poor delivery of government services. that is what was motivating boko haram. poverty. and the response to that was economic at the time. they were trying to develop and
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ignore st. that has been counterproductive and we lost a decade of stop unless the analysis starts changing, it will be a continuing problem. they do not recognize the human rights crisis. maybe this incident will change that. over here. >> deborah, i would like to hear a little more of your story. could you tell us about your family and your mother and what happened to her? you said you did not play with the muslim children. is a very segregated? are you divided into two different communities? >> no.
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,t is -- my dad and my brother he always told me to stay. kid,i am with the muslim they tell me that my goddess they. i try to avoid them. .- my god is fake i try to avoid them. when this happens, my mom travels. , the only person i have. i don't have any other sisters or brothers. >> did you have a question? >> i am with the christian post. for years there have been
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atrocities in northern nigeria stop i am curious, why do you believe that this particular instance has garnered so much attention compared to other messages? should follow from where she left off. it is not so much the question of segregation between christians and muslim communities. her case is interesting because her mom is muslim. her dad was christian. it is one of those strange love stories that does not end well. they got married. it became a problem. south toad to move avoid persecution. that afterd here they killed her brother and her dad, they sat down and made a mental evaluation of stop
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we got it wrong. she is the spawn of an apostate. we should have killed her. they revised the rules of engagement to make an exception for deborah and her mom. that is why she is unsafe. but let me frame it this way. persecution in northern nigeria has been the new normal. it has been that way for decades. years, aple of christian girl will be abducted and converted to islam and married off. her parents do nothing. this is not terrorism. it happens every year. as a child, a friend of mine who was american, they took her off and married her off. there was a newspaper headline celebrating the fact that a top christian's daughter had become a muslim. and she is an american citizen.
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what is happening now is persecution on steroids. northern nigerian christians are used to being killed a couple of times a year. -- i ama lunar eclipse not making this up. you can google it. infidelsa sense of coming from the moon. this is normal in northern nigeria. for terrorists to come out and kids 300 kids -- adopt 300 bduct 300 kids. you cannot kill us all the time. this is gaining international attention. -- timing of this event remember that we are going through the trauma of the loss of flight 370. we did all we
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could and we could not save them. then we had the horrific incident with the ferry in south korea. this is the third traumatic experience in our collective humanity recently. unlike the other two, this is redeemable. they can still be saved. i think that we are trying to say, what can we do to redeem the situation? i do not want to psychoanalyze the globe, but i think there are some elements of hope within all of us that says that something will come out of this. >> i want to add that we abolish slavery about 150 years ago. become the move of a really bold boko haram to say, no, we are going back to the bad old days.
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these are slaves. we will sell for $12 apiece. it shocked the conscience of the world. i know moderate muslims have stood up. they have protested this. i know that the nigerian muslim community in washington has access to full it has caught on around the world. escalation and something that was so shocking that we cannot turn away. >> i'm from the institute on religion and democracy. emanuel, you were talking about the fact that northern nigerian christians have been treated as second-class and false top this kind of behavior makes clear the cognitive dissonance that the state department was under where they have said that it is muslims who are marginalized and
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impoverished and that is why the poor things do it they do. isn't it true that the state department has pressured the nigerian government to share power with people who were not elected? >> yes. the u.s. has put a lot of pressure on the nigerian government. some of the pressure has been misleading. it has misdirected the government of nigeria. nigerian when the government should have had a military risk on to the insurgency, the state department was saying that it was economic. you need to throw more money at the problem. terrorist until the captured significant swaths of territory and some governments that, you have to help us out of our the nigerian government
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realized what was happening and sending troops. yes, we have seen some of that misguided. need to hold the u.s. to properly reevaluate situation me walk through the poverty argument again. has some basic safety net for the poor -- islam has basic safety net for the poor of theslims are some most contented human beings that i have ever met. that if they are not rich, it is god's will. they are not malcontents as the state department is trying to try. i interviewed an american
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survivor of the u.n. bombing in nigeria. she said to me, exactly the same words to me. this is not economic. muslims are not the average material of the western model. i do not operate like that. it does need to be changed. >> there was on unemployment issue. with young men in northern nigeria stop it may have been exacerbated by the boko haram. being againsts education. but there is massive unemployment. i will emphasize that we had the militancy in the south.
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that was clearly economic in nature. what we have in the north is not the same. i should point out that a lot of the unemployment in northern nigeria is self-inflicted. theologicalarped practice that some say is not genuinely islamic. kids andill have 40 essentially they will dump them on the streets. it is a specific system. northern nigeria is intentionally drawing street kids. reducingarm unemployable -- we have farms producing unemployable street kids. it is kind of like southeast d.c. here.
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it is intentional in nigeria. there's a bill in the nigerian congress. they want to send kids to school. muslims are up in arms against it. you cannot force us. it is hampering the ability of nigerian democracy to deal decisively with some of these problems. system is not because of no schools. believe they they should be the kids on the street to get koranic instruction from radical mullahs. they are the ones who are responsible for a lot of violence against christians. >> i think that our time is up.
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i want to thank you all for coming. [applause] >> deborah has one last message she wants to share with you . [applause]
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>> florida senator rubio was asked about earlier statements he made about climate change. senator rubio was at the national press club tuesday, talking about retirement savings. you can watch this entire event