tv U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell on Kavanaugh CSPAN July 11, 2018 5:39am-5:49am EDT
united states senate. thank you all very much. senators from both parties share their thoughts on judge be thegh's nomination to next supreme court justice yesterday on the senate floor. : madam president. the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: president trump has made a president trump has made a to serve as the associate justice of the supreme court of the united states, judge brett kavanaugh of the d.c. circuit. circuit. judge kavanaugh poe owe sess an -- possesses an impressive resume, an outstanding legal mind, and an exemplary judicial temperament. he served 12 years on the nation's most consequential circuit court. during that tenure he's proven to be one of the most thoughtful jurists in our country.
and importantly, that record demonstrates an understanding of a judge's proper role in our constitutional republic. judge kavanaugh understands that in the united states of america, judges are not -- not -- unelected super legislators whom we select for their personal views or policy preferences. a judge's duty is to interpret the plain meaning of our laws and our constitution according to how they are written. judges need to be unbiased. they need to treat all parties fairly. they need to approach every case with open ears and an open mind. judges' decisions must turn on the facts of each case and be based on the text that it is their job to interpret. by all accounts, judge kavanaugh is precisely that kind of judge. his resume, to put it simply, is topnotch.
a bachelor's degree from yale with honors. a law degree also from yale where he was a member of the law review, a lecturing position at harvard law school to which he was appointed, by the way, by then-dean and now justice elena kagan. after graduating, he quickly built a reputation as a star law clerk, including on the supreme court for justice kennedy. as an energetic and talented public servant and as one of the preeminent legal minds of his generation. in 2006 the senate confirmed him to the d.c. circuit. he's compiled an extensive record on the federal bench. he published more than 300 opinions and earned considerable praise for his clear writing and reasoning. so, madam president, judge kavanaugh has built a long and distinguished record. he paints a clear picture of how he would conduct himself as a member of the nation's highest court.
it reflects a firm understanding that judges must interpret laws as they are written. we do not choose them to make policy, to pick favorites, or craft novel legislation from the bench. now some of our colleagues and others on the left seem to see the role of judges very differently. president obama summed up this alternate view well when he was running for president. he explained that he sought to appoint judges who harbored particular empathy for certain parties in certain cases. well, that's great if you happen to be the party in the case whom the judge likes. not so great if you are the other guy. it doesn't align with our nation's historical understanding of the rule of law or the role that federal courts play in our democracy. so i respectfully submit that then and now some of our
democratic colleagues seem to me, madam president, to be a little confused. a little confused. they seem to be confusing the nature of a political office with the nature of a judicial office. this would explain why some of our colleagues sound eager to try and turn judicial confirmations into something like political elections. the grid -- to grill judge kavanaugh on policy outcomes like voters rightly grill all of us when we run for our seats here in the senate. some democratic senators have telegraphed they'll heed the demands of the far left interest groups and try to force judge kavanaugh to commit under oath to decisions he might make on issues in hypothetical cases. forget that the cases don't even exist yet. forget the total absence of any
facts, legal arguments, or research. forget how inappropriate and undesirable it would be for a judge to predetermine a ruling before either side's lawyers uttered a single word. so, madam president, that's simply not how this process has ever worked or ever could work. i'm not the one saying this. here's what a prior supreme court nominee said on this very subject. quote, a judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecast, no hints for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process. end quote. those are the words of another then-d.c. circuit court judge and current supreme court
justice ruth bader ginsburg. during her senate confirmation to the supreme court in 1993. so look, i think we all should remember that standard. we'll do well to remember we're evaluating a judge, not debating ad candidate for political office. even more regrettably, a number of our democratic colleagues could not even wait until the president's announcement last night before launching attacks on his nominee. this was in some cases quite literally a fill-in-the-blank opposition. they wrote statements of opposition only to fill in the name later. sadly, this is not a new approach for the far-left special interest groups. just like last year, justice
gorsuch met with partisan opposition before the ink was even dry on his nomination. look, i'm sorry to say that judge kavanaugh seems to have already broken that record because senate democrats were on record opposing him before he had even been named. just fill in the name. whoever it is we're against. before the ink was even dry on justice kennedy's resignation. now, madam president, this is a telltale sign that some of our colleagues are throwing thoughtful independent judgment out the window and are outsourcing their thinking on this matter to far-left special interest groups. there's been a lot of talk about outsourcing here. if anybody's outsourcing, it's the democrats outsourcing what they say to these outside groups that are demanding opposition to anyone at all costs, no matter who it is.
look, as i discussed on the floor yesterday, we know exactly what the partisan playbook looks like. it's been hauled out for most everyone a republican president has nominated to the supreme court for the last 40 years. 40 years. it's like clockwork. so i fully anticipate we'll hear all kinds of fantastic stories about the pain and suffering that this perfectly qualified, widely respected judge will somehow unleash on america if we confirm him to the court. that kind of cheap political fearmongering insults the intelligence of the american people. because americans understand the difference between a political office and a judicial office. they understand the difference between the policymakers who throw pitches and the judges who call balls and strikes. so i look forward to the
senate's fair consideration of this most impressive nomination. i look forward to meeting with judge kavanaugh later this morning, to hearing his testimony in committee, and to voting on his confirmation righd with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: thank you, madam president. now, madam president, last night, president trump selected brett kavanaugh as his nominee for the upcoming vacancy on the supreme court. in selecting judge kavanaugh, president trump did exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail -- nominate someone who will overturn women's reproductive rights and strike down health care protections for millions of americans. including those with preexisting conditions. he's put at risk civil rights, labor rights, environmental rights, lgbtq rights. how do we know? because president trump
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