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tv   Washington Journal Paul Kane Discusses Supreme Court Confirmation Process  CSPAN  April 4, 2017 9:06am-9:39am EDT

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where in the midst down of october 1968, we are going to monkeywrench lyndon johnson's peace initiative. this is something that has always been rumored, and bits and pieces cannot over the years , but nixon denied it at the time to lyndon johnson, and he denied it to his biographers. he always said he never played any role in doing it. >> a longtime journalist and the author of "richard nixon, the life." >> the way that the watergate burglars team was assembled was clumsy. they were the cynical, burned-out fbi agents who were supervised i young men -- by young men on nixon's staff. they wanted to be the "cap who
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brought the dead mouse" to the desident store -- president's oor. >> washington journal continues. paul kanere joined by of the washington post. the headline of this recent ofce is that the nomination new gorsuch is on track to change the rules of the senate. what is going on with this nomination fight? guest: it is kind of unlike anything in history, because you have this working month absence since justice salida died, and you have -- justice antonin scalia died, and you have this for-four split on the court. anthony kennedy is sort of the one swing vote. theyou have the stakes of fate of the court at play. because democrats are going to ,o ahead and filibuster gorsuch
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which we found out yesterday that they have at least 41 or 42 and maybe more coming on board -- the republican retaliation is going to be to go to the "nuclear option" as insiders have called it for the past 10 or 12 years. they are going to sort of blowup the last bit of filibustering you are allowed to do at the super majority level of 60 votes. they will bring that number down to 51 for supreme court nominations to get him onto the court. in one fell swoop, republicans will take control of the court, and they will also set a precedent for decades to come that is going to make the supreme court nomination process -- which used to be a unifying thing where justices would get 97-1, andnimous votes now it is going to head into a direction where almost every
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justice will be confirmed on a simple majority. it will look like any old legislative battle. past, individual senators have come together to try and avoid the sort of fights and blowing up the senate rules. why is that not happening this time? guest: this really has gone on for decades. we have had little piero -- periods here or there were there had been these intense efforts to reform the senate rules. in 2005, john mccain and john warner, some big names in the --ate who were not leaders were not partisan floor leaders, came together and defused one of these fights. now, the senate is different. there has been a wholesale turnover in the people that are there. you do not have the big personalities who were as powerful or more powerful than
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the democratic and republican leaders that you used to have. kennedy ted ted stevens. these larger-than-life figures who, back in 2005, were not really in leadership. along with that, the new personalities, you have a much more polarized country that is looking for -- they are viewing shirtsed versus blue, versus skins. they are looking for an outcome that fits that partisan mold. host: can you take it back to 2013? guest: in 2005, harry reid was trying to protect the filibuster . he was the new minority leader, and republicans were trying to push through george w. bush's appellate court judges. there was this bipartisan group that came together led by john mccain and a few others. they defused the issue.
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harry reid at times told me and other colleagues that it was his greatest moment in the senate -- preserving the filibuster. then, he becomes majority leader and barack obama becomes president. they are tried to get through what becomes this republican lock aid several different fronts for a while. mitch mcconnell and the republicans were not even allowing a quorum to convene at the national labor relations board. the d.c. circuit court of appeals down the street from here, which is considered the second most important court in the land, republicans were not allowing any more nominees to go through. it finally came to a head in november 2013. harry reid went back on what he had said eight years earlier, but he said that the time had come to change. he blew up the senate. at that point, they went from a
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60 vote threshold for all presidential appointments down to 51 votes. they decided to leave one vote -- 60e last 50 vote threshold on nominees and that was the supreme court. they said that was because the supreme court was so important. host: if you have questions or comments for our guest, we are talking about what is going on this week with judge neil gorsuch. republicans can call in on 202-748-8001. democrats on 202-748-8000. independents on 202-748-8002. can you explain the difference between the legislative filibuster and a nomination filibuster, and whether the former is at risk because of what is happening is weak? -- this week? has twohe senate different calendars. one is the executive calendar,
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and the other is the legislative calendar. the executive calendar is how they handle those nominations which goes from the nlrb to the supreme court to the local district courts in the appellate courts. -- there are thousands of these positions that each administration gets to fill. it can take months and months. you usually have a lot of deference given to the president , especially a new president. so, things like deputy secretaries can sort of sale through in normal times. on the legislative calendar, it is about passing bills and laws. more importantly, the issue on the legislative calendar is, whether it is trying to do the affordable care act in 2009 or 2010, or the republican attempts to repeal and replace that with the american health care act which were just talking about the previous congressman, those
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efforts take time. senate majority leadership is saying that the legislative calendar is different. we still believe that the legislative issues of the day need to have that big, old bipartisan imprint from the senate. but supreme court nominations were supposed to be different. and they are not now. why should that be different? aest: senator corker gave speech last week on the floor in which he actually strongly rejected that argument from wrote -- from senator mcconnell and other republican leaders. he said "give me a break." you think that we are going to do this for a supreme court nominee? what happens a couple of years from now when we are trying to pass something very important,
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and we just need to get it through on a simple majority? he thinks, and a lot of others think, this puts you on a path at some point -- harry reid said in 2013 that they would never do this for a supreme court nominee. mitch mcconnell said it was a sad day in the history of the senate. only three half years later, mitch mcconnell is already triggering this for a supreme court nomination. in another three and a half years -- will these things get cut in half? is in st. louis, missouri on the line for republicans. john, good morning. caller: good morning. i did vote today as we have elections going on. host: what election is that? caller: we have an election for mayor and different proclamations and stuff like that in missouri. host: happy election day to you.
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caller: i just want to make a this nominee for the u.s. supreme court. i remember back in 2013 when the and everybody on told them not to do what they are about to do, but harry reid figured they would hold the presidency for the next eight years. and so, he really did not care. now, he is out of the senate. mitch mcconnell has every right to do what he wants to do. if you cannot get a simple majority, and up-and-down vote like that democrats have always well now they want and up-and-down vote and the democrats do not want to go along with it. they want to go back to the 60 when everyone told them not to
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do what they were going to do. i have been watching this for the last 15 years on c-span which is a great program. some days, i get so hot i cannot even take my blood pressure. unfortunately, this is the way the government is working now. i hate to see it. choicere is no other get the republicans have to this agenda through that the american people voted for in november. host: thank you for calling in. paul? guest: one of the things that happened in the fall of 2013 was that the democrats had almost been in the majority for too long. partisan.ay that as a i mean that in the way that they behaved. also, republicans had been in the minority for too long. it was almost a street years at that point. what happened was that
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republicans began to behave in a way that i would call a permanent minority syndrome. they were almost acting as if they were never going to get the majority back. so, they were ratcheting up their actions to try and slow down the democrats from what they were trying to do at every turn. they were taking some pretty unprecedented steps. they were trying to shut down certain agencies through non-confirming enough commissioners for them. so, they were doing these tactical things that, if they thought they were going to get the majority back next year, they would not have been doing them. hand,ats, on the other were behaving as if they were never going to lose the majority. out, theyinted believed in 2013 that they were going to win the presidency in 2016. they had the sort of demographic believe that it was the destiny that they were going to keep winning.
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so, they both kept behaving in a manner that push them into that spot. now that they have sort of hit that trigger from 2013, they have never really recovered from it. host: from your article last week, this sentence struck me. "both parties will have completed their hypocritical march to the other side of this issue over the past decade." we are talking about the nomination of neil gorsuch this morning. inhave a caller waiting conway, south carolina. a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: good morning. i am a retired insurance executive, and i have followed politics for years. conclusioname to the that a majority of the senate house and congressman are not smart enough to realize that the country needs
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elimination of the federal income tax. no one has to account for what they make. what they want to, and they make what they want to. tax reform is a big issue, but in this segment we are focusing on neil gorsuch's nomination. expert here tor talk us through what will happen this week on capitol hill. bob is in the bronx, new york. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. think the way they treated the democratic nominee merrick garland -- they do not even give him the decency of a hearing. having said that, i think these overdile keels -- tears
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the 60 vote is kind of ridiculous. it almost speaks to an old wave the senate had use ago when it was first enacted. it is just too politically divided now. there is no compromise. there is no working together. or is no bipartisan. there is no bipartisan. now, without earmarks and travel, these guys do not talk to one another. guest: the way merrick garland was treated -- let's focus on that point first. that is a very incredible feeling among senate democrats.
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to some degree, they have been trying to find different reasons to oppose gorsuch on policy regions. that reasons -- policy reasons. host: and that it is not just about merrick garland? guest: chuck schumer has been saying that he did not support the little guy enough against big companies, but there have been enough rank-and-file democrats who had been brutally honest that what they did to merrick garland, i cannot forgive. some of the more moderate and easy-going democrats sounds completely radicalized on this issue, because they believe what happened to merrick garland that he did not even meet with some republicans let alone get a hearing or a vote. that has poisoned the well up there so much. he did not meet with them because of a lack of invitation? guest: yes, some of the
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republicans. now, some of the republicans back then were saying, "well, harry reid broke up the senate. if he had not blown up the senate, we might be willing to consider merrick garland." so, you get into this payback for payback for payback. now, each side is just throwing a punch and pulling a trigger that they previously said they would never do. but they just keep doing it. host: going back to 2013 add harry reid's-- and comments on the floor. the rule change will make all nominations, except for the supreme court, the majority threshold vote of yes or no. the senate is a living thing.
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to survive, it must change as it has over the history of this great country. to the average american, adapting the rules to make the senate work again is just common sense. this is not about democrats versus republicans. this is about making washington work despite who is in the white house or who controls the senate. the senate must evolve to meet the challenges of this modern era. doubt that my republican colleagues would argue that the fault is ours, the democrats fault. can say from -- i experience that no one's hands are entirely clean on this issue. today, the important distinction is not between democrats and republicans. it is about those who are willing to help rake the gridlock in washington, and those who would defend the status quo. canthe senate cash --
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anyone say the senate is working now? i do not think so. host: how do those immigrant senators feel now -- democratic senators feel now? to heart is interesting harry reid say that. as robert byrd was pushing for the last major senate rule change on filibusters, his line back then was that we cannot allow the cold, dead hand of the past rule us today. eventually, robert byrd in the last decade completely abandoned his own position from the 1970's and felt that you really needed to keep this place in this bipartisan formation. there are people who are out there saying this will put the senate back to where it once was. in reality, there has only been one filibuster of a supreme in 1968.inee which was
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it was a bipartisan filibuster. they had a majority, so they could have defeated him outright. so this will put the senate back to where it once was where these votes were not being blocked on a filibuster. it would just be like how it was in the past. again, that passed was when it process a more unifying where everyone would meet with the nominee. they would get a lot of time to talk to the nominee. eventually, you would have votes of 97-1. 100-0. best a supreme court justice is very elite, very special. one of nine in the entire country. if from now on every justice is getting confirmed with only 52 or 53 votes, it really begins to bodymore like a partisan
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that is just there to side with whoever picked them. some people say that is a very naive view of things, but we haven't seen people over decades and decades make decisions that historically are at odds with where they were thought to be. john kennedy nominated byron white to the court. by the 70's and 80's, white was part of the conservative, were -- more republican block. in recent years, we have seen several republicans drift towards the center. anthony kennedy was a ronald reagan appointee. john roberts come up who has infuriated -- john roberts, who has infuriated democrats, who was ducking and dodging through -- allfirmation hearings of a sudden, when it came to obamacare rulings, john roberts
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cited with barack obama and the democrats on those rulings. point get to a historically now, where every justice sees their vote process turn into a 59-49 world -- maybe that skews their worldview themselves as to what their role and duty is. host: richard is on the phone on the democrat line. richard, go ahead. caller: i think the democrats should go ahead and do their filibuster. the republicans should go ahead and do their "nuclear option." is --all, the situation if this of -- if they control the supreme court, the house, the senate, the presidency, fascists -- we will have a fascist right-wing dictatorship.
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that is all i have to say. host: richard is expressing views that are consistent with what democrats were expressing a few years ago. guest: there are a handful of senate democrats who swore to me and other reporters back in 2013 that they believed in a simple majority rule. vote toey might not confirm neil gorsuch, it would be a little bit reassuring if some of those senate democrats on the boat to create the nuclear option -- if they adhered to their principal -- principles, we would see a half dozen democrats agree that this should be a simple majority. host: are these institutionalists? guest: yes, the more junior crop 2013,ame in in 2012 and
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who a comment on the classes of 2006,nd 2008 -- 2008 and they have really been pushing harryecision -- pushing reid to make this move in 2013. there are a lot of democrats out there who believe hillary clinton should be president, because she won the popular vote . there are some who believe that a simple majority will make the place function better. host: john is a republican in california. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to make the comment that merck garland, if you were brought to the hearings, would have caused a huge amount of division in america. postpone hiso nomination, and to let it be resolved by the general election. if hillary had one, then mayor
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-- merrick garland would have had a stronger chance of getting them. however, trump won, and he had a list of 20 conservatives. america -- people of it was a campaign issue that the people of america decided whether or not we want to have a progressive or a constitutionalist on the supreme court. host: thank you for the call, john. paul? topt: if this had been a tier issue in the presidential campaign, i think that sentiment would be more understood. the reality is that the democrats -- one of their biggest realities politically was not making this an issue. they let the ball drop on this. they spent a few weeks trying to get people to attend town halls in iowa to make the judiciary
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chairman feel a little pressure. after that, they just sort of let the ball drop. sudden, you go through the whole democratic convention, and the words merrick garland were never even mentioned. host: republicans would say they make this a top-tier issue. is in a waydid that connected to their most conservative, evangelical voters. mention theates did issue. it was not the top issue, but they did talk about it in a way that senate democratic candidates did not. apublican voters just had deeper understanding of what the particularly evangelical, christian voters when it comes to votes on life and marriage. i watched a woman look at john was notfter he said he going to support trump, and she said "i am of voting for the
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supreme court." democrats felt it was a very crass play to hold merrick garland like that, but democrats did not engage in the debate the way republicans did. host: terry on the line for democrats in missouri. caller: good morning. i find that your comments are extremely partisan. if this -- this would never have happened if they had not held up the lower court judges. mitch mcconnell even stated on the floor that he was going to do this. obama was not going to get anything done. the republicans have the majority the last six years. they had it in both the house and the senate. was veryharry reid did appropriate.
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it is evident in the health care bill that they could not even get past, because the republicans have not even the doing anything for the past six years. i understand the point. we have tried to walk through that history here where you had each side sort of doing one action which produced a counter action. that is what democrats believe -- that mcconnell through the first six years of obama's administration, that he was just holding up things which was unprecedented. that that triggered harry reid action, and they reacted to that by holding back merrick garland, and now we are trapped in this situation. reid said that in 2013 that really no one was going to be clean in this whole process. everyone was sort of switching sides. kane, senior
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executive reporter for "the washington post." thank you for joining us. come back anytime. for the last 30 minutes, we returned to the question from the beginning of the session. filibuster thes nomination of neil gorsuch? and should the republicans use the nuclear option if they do? we will get to your calls and just minute. -- in just a minute. ♪ >> in case you missed it, on c-span, quinton watts of the foreign policy research institute at the intelligence hearing. >> at the start of 2016, the pushed influence system measures to influence the outcome of the election. covert operations that saw to sideline opponents on
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both sides of the clinical spectrum with adversarial views on the kremlin. they were in full swing during the democratic and republican binary seasons. -- primary seasons. pilots in thee of military. >> the total force of our active and reserve components were short 155 pilots across the areas. of this amount, we were short about 12,000 fighter pilots. it should be noticed that the cost to train a six generation fighter pilot for their first operational squadron is approximately $11 million. >> nfl wide receiver at a hearing about policing in minority communities. >> there are a lot of police officers who are not involved in the communities they are supposed to be serving, so i have this crazy theory that --
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if i know you, i am not likely to treat you a lot better than if i don't. if i have a relationship with that -- with that relationship i'm not going to be so quick to lock you up. >> security challenges in the middle east. >> while we establish accountability over our actions in this incident, i think it is important to recognize that the enemy does use human shields, has little regard for human life, and does attempt to use civilian has of the allegations as a tool to hinder our operations. american-israel policy affairs conference. >> today, israel is a modern day david, and goliath is the weapons aimed at the jewish state.
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this time, israel has a major upgrade in technology that will help it take down the next giant. amen. [applause] the david sling missile-defense .ystem >> c-span programs are available on on our homepage and by searching the video library. >> washington journal continues. blockshould democrats neil gorsuch's nomination? that is the question we have for you before the senate dabbles in this morning. -- gavels in this morning. we want to hear your thoughts. the lines for republicans, democrats, and independents


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