Skip to main content

tv   Hillary Clinton at New America Foundation  CSPAN  May 18, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm EDT

3:00 pm
leadership to the new american foundation. ann focused on big ideas on the intersection of policy and technology is exactly where she has been and where this extraordinary foundation is headed. i think new america is becoming an even more exciting and indispensable fixture in the policy landscape, so i am delighted to be here in the midst of a conference whose program i read and admired, and i think it is a great way to bring together people who are also thinking big, but doing so with their feet firmly planted in the reality of the times in which we are living. speaking of times, this is a particularly special one for me and my husband. we are still reveling in the fact that we are going to become
3:01 pm
grandparents, and i have already learned that when you are about to become a parent for the first time, you can be a little terrified at the prospect and the responsibility, but becoming a grandparent for the first time, nothing but joy and excitement. very little responsibility. so i'm especially looking forward to that. my only regret is my late mother will not be here to meet her great-grandchild. she would have been over the moon and filled with good advice, but only for the parents, but for the grandparents. i've been thinking a lot about her lately because mother's day always prompts those memories. they bring a fresh reminder of how much she gave to me and my brothers and so many others, and her commitment to social justice, which helped to mold and inspire me when i was growing up.
3:02 pm
i think about the obstacles she overcame in what was a very difficult life. by the age of 14 she was off on her own, working as a housekeeper and nanny. thankfully, the woman who hired her about her to take time during the middle of the day to try to complete high school, and she always talked about the kindness that certain people showed to her in the course of what was a very difficult childhood. that gave her the confidence to keep going forward, that really drives from a community that was caring and willing to support the weakest in the most marginalized among them. and of course she and my father gave us a middle-class life, with opportunities she never could have imagined for herself,
3:03 pm
but which she always believed could be possible. for her children. and that was a great gift that i will be forever grateful for, and then bill and i of course worked hard to pass on those values to our daughter. and it has been a great reward to watch her grow into an accomplished, purposeful young woman. i think about what it must have been like though to have very difficult circumstances during my mother's life, but never losing face or hope for her children and grandchildren could go, not just because of their hard work, but the country and society into which they would be born. that is really how america is supposed to work. each generation striving to create opportunity for the next, planting trees that we will not
3:04 pm
he sitting in the shade of, but expecting others who will follow to be able to, not expecting to be handed anything on a silver platter, but believing that all of us would be given a fair shot at success if we were willing to do the work that was required. in one way or another this has been a driving force for me in large measure because of my mother's example, from my earliest years, and it was also a sense of obligation. how does one keep this dream alive, whether it is growing up in a suburb of chicago or going off to a great college and then law school or in arkansas, the white house, or in the senate for the state department? i always believed that, but i must tell you representing our country around the world during
3:05 pm
this very consequential time in history has given me and even the understanding of what is at stake here and why this organization, your emphasis on big ideas, your belief that we have to keep reinventing america is so essential. people everywhere told me that that is what they have always loved and admired about america, our values of opportunity, freedom, equality. it is like so many people still look to us for leadership. it is why so many still risk so much to join our mosaic. even china's new president has picked up on the theme, starting to talk about a chinese dream. we know that america is strongest when prosperity and common purpose are broadly shared. when all our people believe they have the opportunity and in fact due to participate fully in our economy and our democracy. the empirical evidence tells us that our society is healthiest
3:06 pm
and our economy grows fast this when people in the middle are working and thriving and when people at the bottom believe that they can make their way into that broad-based middle. this is not a new insight. it is time tested at the heart of what is the basic bargain of america, no matter who you are or where you come from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you will have the opportunity to build a good life for yourself and your family. now, unfortunately, it is no secret that for too many families in america today that is not the way it works anymore. instead of getting ahead, they are finding it harder than ever to get their footing in our changing economy. the dream of upward mobility that made this country a model for the world feels further and
3:07 pm
further out of reach, and many americans understandably feel frustrated, even angry. the numbers are stark. more than four out of 10 children born into our lowest income families never managed to climb out of relative poverty. forget about getting rich. i am just talking about getting into the middle class and staying there. that should not be as hard as it is now. and what is more, and almost equal percentage of kids who are born into the most affluent families stay there for life no matter what their effort. that is the opposite of the mobility we think of as a hallmark of america. and here is a particularly troubling fact -- a majority of african-american children whose families fought their way into the middle class decades ago to have lower incomes than their parents did and many are falling out of the middle class altogether. to understand what is going on here we have to take a good look at what is happening in both the economy and in society.
3:08 pm
in the economy, since 2000, productivity has increased by more than 25%, yet wages for most americans have stagnated, further depressing demand, and slowing growth, median real hourly wages for americans in the middle have been flat over the past decade. for lower income americans, they have actually fallen. and even for many higher wage earners below the very top, they have barely risen. so what do we draw from this? americans are working harder, contributing more than ever to their companies' bottom lines and our country's total economic
3:09 pm
output, yet many are still barely getting by, holding on, not seeing the reports that their hard work should have merited. and where is it all going? well, economists have document how the share of income and wealth going to those at the very top, not just the top 1%, but the top .1% or the top .01% of the population, has risen sharply over the last generation. some are calling it a throwback to the gilded age of the robber barons. now as secretary of state, i saw all the way extreme inequality has corrupted other societies, hobbled growth, and left entire generations alienated and unmoored. from guatemala to greece to pakistan, i urge them to pay their fair share, to provide services that would be the base on which more of their fellow countrymen and women could climb out of poverty.
3:10 pm
i addressed governments to address their people and include positive visions for the future. in the middle east and north africa, we saw the explosive results when opportunity and potential are denied for too long. but one could ask him what does that mean for us? we are not like them? imagine a young single mother trying to raise a family today. after all, there are some 10 million single moms working hard to make it on their own in america today, up from just 3.4 million in 1970. mothers are now the primary or sole breadwinners in nearly 40% of all families. this single mom lives somewhere in our vast metros sprawl, traveling long distances every day to work a low-wage job she is lucky to have. many other young people in her neighborhood are still looking. she works hard, but she knows
3:11 pm
that her male co-workers tend to make more than she does. it is demeaning, demoralizing, and it sure changes are openly. she lives in dread of her baby getting sick or some other emergency because, like nine out of 10 workers earning the lowest wages, most of them women, she does not have access to paid family leave, and forget sick days or flexibility or predictability, which is just as important for parents and caregivers. so she relies on a network of friends and family to help care for her kids, but that too is hard. the neighborhood is not like the one she and certainly not the one her mother grew up in. religious and community organizations are weaker. the schools are never good
3:12 pm
enough. there are few quality affordable childcare options. but she has dreams. she certainly has dreams for her kids. but she does not just face ceilings on her aspirations and opportunities. sometimes it feels as if the floor has collapsed beneath her. these are the kinds of daily struggles of millions and millions of americans, those fighting to get into the middle class and those fighting to stay there. and it was something of a wakeup call when it was recently reported that canadian middle-class incomes are now higher than in the united states. they are working fewer hours for more pay than americans are, enjoying a stronger safety net, living longer on average, and facing less income inequality. that is not how it is supposed to be. we often think we invented the middle class.
3:13 pm
so what can we do about it? a lot depends on our leadership here in washington and across our country. the 1990's taught us that even in the face of difficult, long-term economic trends, it is possible, through smart policies and sound investments, to enjoy broad-based growth and shared prosperity. my husband gave a lecture at georgetown recently where he walked through the numbers. yes, a rising tide really did lift all those. 23 million new jobs were creating about raising the minimum wage, doubling the earned income tax credit. that helped millions of lower income families climb out of poverty. the children's health insurance program changed millions of young lives, and on and on with a balanced budget that resulted in surpluses as far as the eye could see. i remember being on the budget
3:14 pm
committee in the senate, my very first year with a new administration, making different choices. and the next eight years taught us different lessons about how by policy choices we could turn surpluses into debt. we can return to rising deficits. that is what happens when your only policy prescription is to cut taxes for the wealthy. and then to deal with the aftermath of a terrible terrorist attack and two wars without paying for them. regulators about their oversight of an entire banking system that operated without can ability. government failed to invest adequately in infrastructure from education, basic research,
3:15 pm
and then the housing crash, the financial crisis hit like a flash flood. millions of jobs washed away, along with college savings, mortgages, nest egg for retirement, confidence, intangible, in the future. it has been taking years for president obama to get our economy growing again. but it is growing, and there are reasons to be optimistic about our future. and we know there are tremendous opportunities that we are better positioned to take advantage of than any country in the world, from big data to clean energy to a resurgence of manufacturing, to the dream being realized of energy independence. we are better positioned than
3:16 pm
anyone to take advantage of these advances. we have the best universities, the most innovative companies, the most creative and flexible, talented workers anywhere. but it will not happen just because we have these assets. we will need some big ideas, like evidence-based decision-making, an old idea that i hope can be restored. [laughter] some of these ideas are as old as america itself, rooted in our values, equality and opportunity, and most of all we will need to learn again how to work together, how to compromise, how to make pragmatic decisions. in the upcoming midterm elections, americans will have choices to make about which path they want to go down and whether we will make the investments we need in our people. i will leave that discussion to others. but for a lot of us, in the private and nonprofit sectors, we have work to do, too. government does not have a monopoly on good ideas, obviously. and even if it wanted, it could
3:17 pm
not and should not try to solve all of the problems i itself. we have responsibilities to do what we can. when i left the state department, i joined my husband and daughter at the clinton foundation. i wanted to continue my lifelong work pursuing ways and answers and solutions that could help more people live up to their own god-given the potential. and i wanted to help try to tear down barriers and crack ceilings that have for too long held back women and men from participating fully in the economy and society. so i thought, what can we do to build on this great work that bill had done and that chelsea was leading, drawing on lessons that really came from my entire life, starting with my work at the study center when i was in the law school, making sure that children are not hobbled from
3:18 pm
birth, but given more chances to succeed. and it became clear that i could go back to what i had been doing, but unfortunately, it was going back to where we had been in some respects 30, 40 years ago, rather than picking up the pace of where we had moved toward. i was very struck by how difficult it was for so many children to be successful in school, despite all the education reform that we have done and experimented with over a very long time now. it really did come home to me that part of the problem is that too many of our children are not getting the very early start in those first years that will enable them to take advantage of advances in education. economic pressures on parents translate to less time reading,
3:19 pm
talking, and even singing with their children. all of these stimulate crucial brain development. by age three, children from low income families have learned half as many words as children from middle and upper income families. by the time they enter school, they have substantially smaller vocabularies than many of their classmates. experts call this the word gap. it leads directly to an achievement gap. we launched a public action campaign called too small to fail. to give parents the tools and information they need to do their part in beginning to close that word gap. that will give their children the best possible chance in school and later in life. i also thought we needed to keep
3:20 pm
moving forward on the unfinished business of the 21st century, empowering women and girls here at home and around the world. we started an effort called no ceilings, the full participation project. it has been one to years since the fourth world conference on women in beijing. we spoke with one voice to declare that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights. we still had only a glass half-full. what we're doing is collecting the best data and research available on the progress women and girls have made in the past two decades, both gains and gaps and making that information accessible to a broad audience. we are also building momentum for the 21st century policy
3:21 pm
agenda for the full participation of women and girls, including you're in the united states. there have been big changes in our economy and our society and in our institutions, policies, and attitudes have not caught up. women make up half the u.s. labor force, but they are largely concentrated in lower wage positions. women hold three quarters of all jobs that rely on tips, like waiters, bartenders, hairstylists -- which pay even less than the average minimum wage. across the board, women are paid less than men for the same work. here is part of what is happening below the surface, as a result of this slowdown in progress. american women, with the least education, less than high school education, and the lowest incomes, are actually living shorter lives today than their mothers did. shorter lives than women in any other major industrialized country. the only other place where we have seen such a reversal in
3:22 pm
life expectancy was among russian men after the collapse of the soviet union. there is no single explanation as to why life expectancy is declining. but it correlates with unemployment and economic stress. that is not what we should expect from ourselves. with the best medicine, most advanced technology. it is not something we should be satisfied with. the third area i want to focus on at the clinton foundation is helping young americans struggling to make headway in this tough economy. that is something i have been working on and committed to for decades. we saw similar problems back in the 1980's, when i served on a workforce training commission organized by the wt grant foundation and the national center for the economy.
3:23 pm
the problems have grown more complex as the economy has changed. nearly 6 million young people are out of school and out of work. that is almost one in every six. for young people of color, things are even harder. if you do not have a college degree or did not graduate from high school, most stores are not open, no matter how hard you not. think about what that means. it is not just about missing a paycheck or going without benefits, like health care, when young people cannot find work, they miss out on a crucial period of personal and professional growth that reverberates for decades in lower wages and lost opportunities. those first jobs -- i certainly remember my first job -- that is where you learn skills, even if it is just showing up on time. that is where you build networks and gain confidence and experience the dignity of work and responsibility. if you miss out on all of that, frustration, rejection, and poverty gives you a much less
3:24 pm
positive outcome. and the rest of your family and community and society. economists say our youth unemployment crisis could cost america roughly $20 billion in lost earnings over the next decade alone. there is no doubt that the biggest cause of youth unemployment is an economy that is not generating enough demand despite the recovery. we need to keep growing and investing in the building blocks of the 21st century. this is sometimes overstated. but it is true that to get a good job, you have to in our economy have some form of specific skills and proven work experience. and not just a strong work ethic that was a ticket to the middle class for my parent. many young americans do not have these qualifications and i would argue that it starts at the very
3:25 pm
beginning and goes all the way through their schooling. they do not get the job experiences that they need outside of the classroom. they do not know what is expected of them. when skills training is available, too often it is disorganized, it does not actually exist, or is it for industries that are shrinking. we need to do more to sync up young people workforce training programs and employers looking to hire. as part of the clinton foundation effort, we are reaching out to businesses big and small and really trying to drill down on what their actual needs are and why what they have tried before has not worked. and how we can do a better job in a public, private partnership to resolve these difficulties. apprenticeships, partnerships with community colleges, cross sector collaborations, forward-looking companies that recognize that molding the talent pool for the future is
3:26 pm
good for them. that is an investment worth making. take the gap. it recently raised its bottom wages. it has lots of experience hiring and training young americans, many for the first jobs. they have partnered with many nonprofits to provide job training and paid internships. to underserved youth who might not otherwise make it through their doors. most of the young people who complete the program go on to become full-time gap employees. or consider corning. famous for supplying the gorilla glass for the iphone. to stay on the cutting edge, they need a steady pipeline of high skilled talent. they have invested in internships that help students explore careers and they are providing on-the-job apprenticeships in their factories.
3:27 pm
at the clinton global initiative annual conference in denver next month, we are assembling a network of businesses willing to step up, expanding hiring, training, mentoring, hopefully to create a virtuous ripple throughout the economy. engaging with others in the business community and beyond to encourage more partners to come off the sidelines. for some to use some of that cash that is sitting there waiting to be deployed. to help build training infrastructures that will help entire industries. to help use supply chains as force multipliers. to work with schools, nonprofits, unions, and elected officials. to coordinate everyone who has a legitimate, sincere interest in moving forward together. we will be announcing more details about that in the meeting in denver.
3:28 pm
this is a long-term challenge. we cannot wait for government, which seems so paralyzed and unfortunately at a time when we could be racing ahead. we cannot wait because we have a rising generation of young people. the so-called millennial generation. they are optimistic, tolerant, creative, generous as a cohort. they have so much potential, so much to contribute. they can be the participation generation, the innovation generation -- not a lost generation. because we have not tended to what social supports they need in order to make their mark. now, working with my husband and daughter at our foundation, our motto is that we are all in this together. which we totally believe you read we believe in the american dream. we believe in social mobility. we believe that what worked for my mother or for bill's mother,
3:29 pm
these horatio alger rags to riches stories, these are still possible. this is what has fueled the idea of america. that is what is part of what has always made this country great. the chance that anyone of us could move forward, no matter where we came from. that we can achieve so much. that there is no limit on what can be achieved with big talent and big ideas. but if you look at american history, there is another story to tell about how upward mobility really works. in part, this is the complement to the rugged individualist story that we all know so much about and some of you have lived. it is about communities that are ecosystems of opportunities. as eric schmidt knows, the personal computer revolution needed more than one or two people in a garage. it needed silicon valley.
3:30 pm
networks of public and private universities, investors, competitors, collaborators. it needed state and local governments that invested in the future and human potential. it needed a culture of risk taking and creativity. this story about the link between strong communities and the american dream goes very deep. one of the first great observers and chroniclers of america was alexis de tocqueville. he traveled across the new country of ours in 1830's, learning everything about this radical idea called democracy. and the men and women who made it work. he was amazed by the social and economic equality and mobility he saw here, unheard-of in the aristocratic era. and by what he called, our habits of the heart. the everyday values and customs that set americans apart from the rest of the world you read it found a nation of joiners, clubs, congregations, civic organizations, political parties, groups that bound
3:31 pm
communities together and invested those famous rugged individualist and the welfare of their neighbors. this made the democratic experiment possible. talk about a big idea. those early americans were volunteers and problem solvers. they believed that their own self-interest was advanced by helping their neighbors. like benjamin franklin, they formed volunteer fire departments because if your neighbor's house is on fire, it is your problem too. middle-class women went into the most dangerous 19th-century slums to help children who had no one else standing up for them. americans came together, inspired by religious faith, civic virtue, common decency -- to lend a hand to those in need. and to improve their lives and their communities and that made our democratic experiment possible. it made america an exceptional nation.
3:32 pm
i believe with all my heart that is still true. we see that where the fabric of community is strong even today, places with a vibrant middle class, two-parent families, good schools unions, churches, civic organizations, places integrated across class and racial lines, that is where we still see upward mobility in america. it is not about average income. researchers point to cities with similar affluence that have markedly different rates of economic mobility. it is not about race. like and white residents of a city like atlanta have local port mobility. it is about all of these other factors that add up. it suggests that investing in our neighborhood institutions, strengthening community bonds have to be part of our strategy for reducing inequality, increasing mobility, and
3:33 pm
renewing the american dream. it is not just about money. as important and critical factor that is. it is about how we live with one another, how we treat and look out for one another. it is about how we see one another. how we organize ourselves, what we value. whether in this atomized age we can still come together to solve our problems the way the early americans did, that is the big question we face. we now spend most of our time talking to people who agree with us. big sort has happened. that is a we are comfortable with. we do not really want to hear from the other side, no matter what side we are on. that is what makes compromise a difficult. because we do not put ourselves any longer in anyone else's shoes. why are some people across the political divide believing what they believe? holding their values so strongly against what we believe to be
3:34 pm
right? we do not get back into a conversation that cuts across all those lines that divide us. it will be very difficult to tackle the economic and social problems that stand in the way of moving away from inequality toward greater equality, economically and socially. but i believe that the time has come. the time for us to begin not only a conversation, but a serious effort by which big ideas will renew america for our sake, for our children, and yes, for a future grandchildren. it will not surprise you to hear me say, it i think it really does take a village. thank you very much. [applause]
3:35 pm
3:36 pm
you >> play podcasts of recent shows from our signature programs, like the communicators, and you a day. take c-span with you wherever you go, download your for the app online, for your iphone, android, and blackberry. you >> next, the confirmation hearing for judicial nominees toward courts in georgia and the 11th circuit court, which has jurisdiction in our demo, florida, and georgia. the hearing rent two hours. -- ran two hours. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
3:37 pm
>> [indiscernible] please be seated, and i invite each of you to provide an opening statement. >> thank you, chairman blumenthal, senator durbin, and senator franken. thank you for being here for calling this hearing and from hearing from us today. i would like to thank president obama for this nomination and for the faith he has put in me. now i would like to recognize several people here with me, both family and friends. first, two people who are simply the best thing that has ever happened to me and who have never missed a parent-teacher conference, a recital, or
3:38 pm
anything that has been important for me, my parents were seated right behind me. my parents are both ordained elders in united methodist church. also with me is one of my college roommates from brown university, tiffany thompson, and her mother, mrs. thompson, why refer to as my fairy godmother. fairy i refer to as my godmother -- godmother. two of my best friends and study group members from yale law school are part of a group of friends that don't get together every year. we call ourselves law school ladies. becky and christie. and two of my compatriots for my time in d.c. i also have watching my five brothers and sisters, dr. andrea abrams, the honorable stacy abrams, richard lewis abrams,
3:39 pm
walter abrams, and dr. jeanine abrams, as well as my grandmother. i would like to thank my u.s. attorney's office family, and my family from central united methodist church as well as the judge i clerked for. thank you. >> judge boggs? >> thank you, members of the committee, for the opportunity to be here today. i would like to thank chairman leahy for arranging for this meeting. i'm very proud and appreciative to the president for nominating me. i also want to thank senator chambliss and senator isaacson for the warm introduction and for the support throughout this process. i have with me today my wife of 15 years on thursday, although i'm not sure a trip to d.c. is what she had in mind for a gift. she was the teacher of the year last year for our school district, and i get a quite a it of encouragement from her.
3:40 pm
i am honored to have two special guests from the judiciary from georgia to me. seated from behind me is hugh thompson and the chief judge of the court of appeals, the court on which i serve, and i am honored. these are both mentors of mine and very astute members of the judiciary and well-respected members of the judiciary in our state. i am honored to have two very good friends, richard hyde is here with me today, as well as a friend of now probably 30 years, from when i was first a legislative aide to congressman from georgia, my good friend pete robinson. my parents passed when my -- my father, when i was 21. my mother passed a couple years ago. everything i have ever coverage to his because of things they
3:41 pm
taught me in the time i had with them. i have two wonderful in-laws, my wife's parents, and i know they are proud and very excited for me on this occasion. i am honored to be here, mr. chairman, and i want to thank the many people who have helped me. i know many of them, including my staff, are whopping highway of webcast. i am appreciative of their support, and with that, i appreciate the opportunity to introduce my friends and family and welcome any questions. >> thank you, senator blumenthal, senator grassley, and also thanks to chairman leahy and the rest of the members of committee for making this georgia today at the senate judiciary we really appreciate it. want to thank president obama for giving me the greatest honor that i have ever had in my 34 years of practicing law, this nomination. i want to thank senators chambliss and isaacson for their warm remarks and for their
3:42 pm
support throughout this process. there are several people i would like introduce today. first and foremost, sitting behind me, is my wife, my best friend, and the love of my life, bonnie cohen. she was a legal secretary for over 35 years from and despite working for wyers, she agreed to marry me, and for that i will be forever grateful. i would not be sitting here today without her love and support, and we celebrate her 70th wedding anniversary next week. also here to date are two people who are like family members to bonnie and me, judge stephanie and bob. we worked at the georgia attorney general's office for many years preachy as been a mentor, friend, and a role model. the one whose career has been inspirational to me throughout my career. here today also with me are two young partners from a law firm.
3:43 pm
jamie and kevin have worked with me on every major piece of litigation i've handled at the firm. they are two of the finest young lawyers it is been my privilege to work with during my legal career, and i would not be sitting here without support. also here, also for me, as well as judge boggs, is pete robinson, managing partner of our atlanta office, a former democratic majority leader in the state senate, and a longtime friend. and two former colleagues of mine who worked in washington are also here, and i appreciate your attendance. there are a lot of people watching on the web who are friends and colleagues of mine. i want to particularly mention one very special one. one of the most beloved georgia attorneys, norman underwood. he became my mentor and took me under his wing and he may need a better lawyer, and if i am
3:44 pm
fortunate enough to be confirmed by this august body, i will be privileged to say i got to practice law with norman underwood. finally, i would like to recognize my parents, didion and irving cohenn. they were born in brooklyn, children of immigrants, and children of the great depression, because of their family situation, they were unable to achieve the education that they provided for their only son. my father enlisted in the united states army during world war two. he was a disabled veteran, and he ran a small business. my mom was the secretary and worked in the home. together, because of their support and sacrifice, i was able to go to college and law school and lead a life that led me to this moment before you today. i know if they were here they would be very proud. and with that, i welcome any of your questions. >> thank you, mr. cohen. >> thank you for holding this
3:45 pm
hearing and i'm honored to be here today answer your questions i also want to thank senators chambliss and isaacson for their kind introductions and their support throughout this process. i would like to thank president obama for the great honor that he has given me in this nomination. it is something that i am very proud of and it is the highest honor that i can think of achieving. i have quite a crowd of family here today, and i will try to get through it quickly. my husband is here. he is an architect, the love of my life, and the person that is been there for me every day throughout this process. i also have with me my seven-year-old son. he is the first grader at a school in atlanta and has thoroughly enjoyed his trip to d.c., especially the chance to discover the washington money but yesterday as it reopened. it has been a special trip for him.
3:46 pm
my mother is here. she is in her final year as a first grade teacher indicator, -- teacher in decatur, county georgia. my in-laws are here. they also have both retired from public education, and i'm happy to have them here today. i have my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephews, stephen julie, here from alabama. i also have my law partner and a daughter of one of my other law partners here for me today. i really have appreciated the support of my law firm and the partners and the other staff have given me. i am happy to have troll here today. thank you very much. >> thanks very much, ms. may. >> thank you, chairman, ranking member, i would like to thank the entire committee.
3:47 pm
thank you to senators champus and isaacson for the warm introduction as well as the by partisan efforts for this process. thank you also, president barack obama, for the honor of dissemination. i do have some special people with me. first, my husband of 13 years, fellow attorney brian ross, seated behind me. he is my rock and source of inspiration in all of my professional and personal endeavors. our two daughters, brianna and leighann. they made the sacrifice to miss a day of school to attend. i thank them and their teachers for allowing them to do so with the understanding that they will be making up missed school work. also my siblings are present, my sister valerie and george otis.
3:48 pm
my father george cornwell also was a teacher. he passed away when i was eight. he is with me here in spirit as he had always has been, and today i have with me a person who has served as a father figure for my entire life. that is my uncle jim clark. i also have my two beautiful teenage nieces. i also would like to acknowledge my mother-in-law, shirley covington, who is also a retired public school teacher as well as principal. she could not make the trip to d.c. today, but supports me from her home in columbus. finally, i would like to much my colleague and my exceptional staff at the state court. they're keeping things running through the while i am in washington. thank you. i welcome your questions.
3:49 pm
>> thank you very much to all of you for your opening statements and most important for your records of public service. i want to say again how important these hearings and this process is. i want to welcome chief justice thompson, chief judge -- you honor us by your presence today. we are sorry you had difficulty getting here, but you weren't mentioned in absentia by senators isakson and chambliss. like you, these individuals have performed a great deal of public service over the course of your careers are ready. the decisions we make here really will be to put you in a place where for many people seeking justice you will be the last person making a decision, even though there may be a right of appeal to the court of appeals, you will be the source
3:50 pm
of justice for them. and so this decision for us is immensely important, and we will approach it i think with a close scrutiny that it deserves in every instance. i would like to begin, judge boggs, with some questions. if i look to the responses to the committee's questionnaire, i noted that there were no texts of remarks from a no speech drafts, notes, anything in writing of that kind. over the course of your very long career in public life, and you never deliver a prepared speech? did you never submit for example to the judiciary committee when you served in the state legislature in prepared remarks? >> thank you. it was not the practice of myself while i was serving for the four years in the general simply to speak regularly before committees.
3:51 pm
in fact the only occasions i had to do that were on those that i had authored. i never spoke to any committee of the house or senate on any bill that i did not offer other than a bill that meant i had to testify before the senate on a matter pretty if it is not the practice of the general assembly then and now that witnesses submit any written comments are testimony, and indeed that was not my practice. i typically spoke extraneous lee -- extemporaneously. >> on some of the videos i think that our of your service in the legislature, you seem to be reading from something. did you keep none of those texts? >> i was reading from the text of the bills i was presenting. i was not speaking about support, but asking legislators to support the bill. what i was reading from and what i always took to the well on this occasion was the text of the bill. >> and on the issue for example of women's reproductive rights, i know that you spoke passionately about your views on the topic, on the rights of women to seek reproductive health care. you have stated her opposition to abortion. you repaired no remarks on any
3:52 pm
occasion that you delivered? >> senator, to my knowledge, i never given any public comments on my position on reproductive rights. i cosponsored some bills in the general assembly. to my knowledge i also voted on a couple of amendments on the floor of the house that i did not author. to my knowledge i've never given any speeches concerning reproductive rights. i never authored any of those bills. i had no role in drafting that legislation. >> and i notice also, as you well know, that on april 10, you supplemented your response is to the questionnaire to this committee with additional material. some of them dealing with the controversial issues that may be of interest my colleagues.
3:53 pm
can you assure us there are no additional materials that are relevant to particular questions 12c and 12d of the questionnaire? >> i can assure that. i respectfully suggest that the effort that i went to to supply the information in my original questionnaire was quite exhaustive. i did all of the notable searches on the internet searches that were available. the newspapers that covered the area i served as a legislator are not searchable to the public in any form other than by review of the hard copies. in addition, computer applications and questionnaires of nominees who had prior
3:54 pm
legislative service and attempted to mirror what they had done with respect to their submissions. i did not note that any of those nominations had ever submitted a listing of bills and cosponsored. as a matter of public record, and i could have easily provided it. with respect to question 12c, which asked for my public statements on matters of public policy, i do not view that bills that i did not author, and i had nothing to draft with as be a part of my public status. with respect to question 12c, that the public speeches. i have been a judge on the trial court bench and appellate court for 10 years on advice of the state bar of georgia.
3:55 pm
i destroyed my files for my old law office which would've possibly contained references of when i spoke to certain civic organizations, dates to mind to whom i spoke, but because of information and media coverage of that was not, took five days, i traveled to under 50 miles to my hometown, and i reviewed 515 newspapers, roughly a thousand pages personally, and then hired somebody to review on the internal programming system of our daily newspaper their data in order to provide the additional submissions. i am appreciative for the opportunity to have done that. >> i appreciate that explanation. i do not need to remind you that some of my colleagues, particularly on the side of the aisle, have found the failure to be completely forthcoming and frank with this committee in terms of providing materials as a reason to disqualify, and in fact, put in jeopardy denomination of a judicial nomination.
3:56 pm
i would urge you if there are any materials that are discernible and anyway that you provide them as quickly as possible. >> absolutely. >> let me go to some remarks and actions that you made in the course of your career, if i may. when you were a candidate for the georgia superior court, who spoke at a candidate forum. you told the audience at that time, "i am proud of my record, you do not have to guess where i stand. i oppose same-sex marriage," and you went on, " i have a record that tells you exactly what i stand for." when you're coauthorship be indicative of how you will serve as a judge on the district court georgia, if you're confirmed? >> thank you, senator for the questions. i made the comment you refer to. later in that speech i refer to my respect for the separation of
3:57 pm
powers and the lawmaking authority that is vested in the legislature, and that judges should not be policy makers. i have maintained that position for the entirety of my career. i agree that comments that i made probably gave the wrong impression to the audience to whom i was speaking, particularly additional to the job i was seeking. i should have done a better job of delineating the roles of the different roles and a markedly different roles between a legislator and a judge. i was a legislator at the time, but i was seeking the office of judge. however, i think my record, my 10-year record of disposing of roughly 14,000 cases demonstrate unequivocally that i have never allow personal views i may have on any issue to affect how i analyze issues or how i decide cases. >> have any of those cases doubled reproductive rights or a
3:58 pm
woman's right to choose? >> i think on my time on the georgia court of appeals i've dealt with one case on my panel. it was not the case i offered, but one case that dealt with georgia's current statute on a minor having to receive parental consent in order to receive an abortion. it was on appeal to a petition to a juvenile court. other than that, it is true that i have rarely dealt with issues of those constitutional magnitudes. >> so other than that one case, to know where you stand on the issue of reproductive rights or a woman's rights to choose from a yet to go back to your actions in the georgia state legislature? >> i do not necessarily agree. i think the best evidence of the type of judge i will be is the record of the type of judge i have been. i don't think my legislative record is over a decade old is
3:59 pm
indicative of what type of judge i might be on the federal district court. i would point my record as a trial judge disposing of 14,000 cases dealing with civil cases and criminal cases, rolling for plaintiffs, defendants, running for the state,, ruling against the state. >> where do you stand on reproductive rights or a woman's right to choose? >> my personal opinion would be inappropriate and a violation of the code of judicial conduct of georgia that i currently am bound by the state in a position on this matters. but i can state unequivocally that my personal position on that matter or any other issue is irrelevant to how i have decided cases for the past 10 years, how i have analyzed issues, and i committed to following the rule of law, the doctor and of stare decisis. >> and the constitutional right to privacy, included? >> absolutely. >> you said that you are a
4:00 pm
strict constructionist. is that your general philosophy? >> i think at the time i made those comments, which was upon my transferring from the superior court to the court of appeals, i made those comments to a reporter. what i intended to convey was my fidelity to the rule of law and my fidelity to the limited role of a judge in our democracy and intended to contain my respect for the limited role of a judge. and that is to not decide cases based on public opinion, to not decide cases based on public clamor, but to decide cases based on the faithfulness to the rule of law and the doctor and -- doctrine of stare decisis. >> normally a strict constructionist is one looks very specifically and judges would say faithfully to the text of the constitution and the philosophy is to avoid going beyond what is actually written in the text of the constitution. is that a fair description? >> as my understanding, yes, sir, it is a form of constitutional interpretation and analysis. >> 2us


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on