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tv   Washington Journal Jeffrey Peck  CSPAN  July 12, 2018 12:13am-12:42am EDT

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unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. now from washington journal, a look at the senate confirmation process for supreme court nominees. senate leaders plan to vote on the nomination of judge brett kavanaugh by the fall. for details, we spoke to a former general counsel and staff director for the senate judiciary committee. this is half an hour. at the supreme court nomination and confirmation process, joining us is jeff peck. good morning. thank you for being here. you assisted senator joe biden in those days. in several separate confirmation
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processes. tell us what you learn from those experiences on the committee as things progressed and apply that to the current situation. guest: a nominee should be asked answerc questions and those specific questions, with exception of pending cases. everything else is fair game. people look at the bark hearings. justice answer was kennedy. he answered specific questions and was confirmed 97-0. extraordinary. not a single senator voted against him. host: you write about the right questions, asking the right
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questions. what are the right questions these days for this nominee? guest: the right questions are similar to what they were in the nominations i work on. the rightur view on to privacy. that is the core of roe v. wade and justice kennedy's great decision in the over fall -- overfill case. the right to travis see is he at the core of many liberties. today asking about presidential power is an important topic because this nominee comes from a list of the federalist society , very supportive of a broad and expansive view of the president. host: you write the times of , the nominees were not as specific. what happened? host: they are being advised the less they see -- say, the
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better. casesse this defensive across the -- that made come forward. i think that defense is a canard. host: a nominee he refuses to answer these questions, must be projected. one can only assume the nominee is made up his or her mind. they should just say no. should just say no. the senators have a constitutional duty under the advice and consent clause to probe the nominee. the president gets to appoint. the senate has an equal role. you can't fulfill that role without getting a window into the nominee thinking. >> let's get the phone numbers
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on. we have separate lines for democrats. we are trying to get a feel for withrocess of confirmation hearings, preparation for this with our guest to work for a number of years on the senate judiciary. and worked directly in several of these cases. here is one of the photos. washington times. all smiles here. kavanaugh and the vice president. here is sound of brett kavanaugh visiting with chuck grassley. >> i had a pleasant conversation he and ie kavanaugh have not interacted a lot in our lifetime. getting acquainted with him again is important.
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jurist on theted court he said so on. outstanding opinions that i think are going to be torn through by every lawyer on our committee. going to have a thorough process. hopefully we get it done quickly. it is going to be thorough and done right. we have to do what we can to accommodate everybody's interests. , his record itself. this is the most outstanding .hing host: exchanging pleasantries. there are important individual meetings with seven key candidates. how important are these meetings? important. pretty
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they pale to the hearings. these are get to know you sessions. .ome use them to get a feel other senators would use them to say these are the questions and plan to ask and these are the answers i expect to get from you. host: then the real work begins. explain what it is like to prepare. guest: for the committee we have one million pages of documents between all of his opinions, speeches, so the committee and staff will be examining one million or more documents to get a sense of his views and provide the basis for questions. courtesyng these visits. he will be preparing as the hearing gets closer to determine , to practice what his opening statement will be to practice
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answers. host: let's get our first call. caller: good morning. i had a question about your recent op-ed. you gave a short speech at the brookings institute regarding the decisions in citizens united. -- in light of that, such ask the case citizens united and the second amendment holdings are not as salient in time and unanimity are deserving of important questions? hasou think judge kavanaugh what you would call a functioning brain? he has a functioning brain. he has a distinguished record. i do think those cases are worth
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asking about. the three you mentioned. they are significant decisions. the decision in citizens united has led to this incredible inflow of dark money into campaigns which has made a significant impact in terms of what our elections are like today. i do think those are worthy subjects to probe and i think you should indeed answer them. not the tipugh is of this beer. he is the spear for the federalist society and others on the right to have been working since the early 1980's to change the supreme court and move its agenda far to the right. give thes the goal to hard right control of the supreme court. judge kavanaugh is the final speed are in that effort. caller.dependent good morning. caller: good morning.
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i have a question about the nomination process itself. processenate nomination meant to ferret out and make the public aware of a nominee's perspective, and is there any history of the senate not nominating or confirming a nomination? what happens if that were to occur? guest: sure. one of the nominations i worked bork, he was nominated to the supreme court. byer extensive hearings led chairman joe biden, he testified for five days. extensive hearings. ultimately he was voted down by the senate 58-42. the president then goes back to the drawing board and nominates
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someone else. he nominated ginsburg who withdrew and then justice kennedy, more of a moderate. as i mentioned earlier justice kennedy was confirmed 97-0. host: what do you make of the critique of the process so far? guest: it is not rushed at the moment. we have to see what hearings are set and the timing. hearings in the first or second week of august would be rushed when you have a nominee whose record has more than 90 pages to review. enough time for 100 senators to have a careful review of his record. host: a senate deadline for cavanaugh, saying he intends to have a vote in the fall.
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this gives judiciary ample time august.hearings in they go on to say 60-70 days is within the norm between nomination and confirmation. ruth bader ginsburg, or the two days. the average wait for these democratic nominees was 65 days. neil gorsuch took 66. barring some major revelation, this is a fair time for nomination. your reaction? guest: setting a date at this point whether it is october 1 or september 27, that is an artificial just -- deadline. they are the swing vote in key cases involving fundamental rights and protections. , anotherother month
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six weeks for whatever it is, you have to provide the time for an exhaustive review. if he has not issued any speeches, or articles, there is less to review and you can expedite it. today with the critical fit seat, his voluminous record and a far right agenda attempted to be unlimited here, you take the time you need. the court has had eight justices before. the world is not going to come to an end. host: back to calls. we have some pictures of the vice president. >> good morning. -- [inaudible]
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this is why america is the object of indie and hate. because of our government decisions, we want to fill our gas tank. host: we are talking about the supreme court nomination process. you have anything to say about that? caller: this is important. we are a powerful country. we want to get back on topic. explain something that was said by chuck schumer. all has anand obligation to share personal views. do you agree? guest: i do. on coree his views
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constitutional principles. that includes settled law. nominees will be asked whether they believe brown versus board of education, a fundamental case , is that settled law? should it be maintained? most will say of course. there is no difference between asking about board and roe v. wade. when senator schumer talks about probing personal views i think he is exactly right and those are the questions the hearings should allow for. >> we will keep the phone lines on the bottom of the screen. our guest in the studio and washington is jeff peck. in that capacity he helped senator joe biden with preparing
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and going through these confirmation hearings. reminds usk times washington is no stranger to bitter confirmation fights. the coming battle is likely to be intense and expensive. how much does this cost? guest: i think it is going to be inexpensive campaign in terms of outside groups on the right, spending money to pressure senate democrats, and moderate republicans. on the left, trying to highlight key issues. how much total, i don't quite know. i'm guessing this nomination will exceed prior nominations. host: how about the committee itself? when one of these comes along how does the work of the committee change?
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explain how that works. --st: the committee will members and staff will work together and decide in an ideal case who is asking which questions. you don't want to have four senators ask the same questions. there is a divide and conquer strategy both sides will use in terms of preparation. republicans will be prepped to defend judge kavanaugh. democrats will probe the views and ask the questions we have been talking about. host: what is this like for staff? guest: it is a full-time job. on the nominations i work on, you disappear from your family for three or four months. it is an incredible experience .ut it is hard work particularly when you have this sort of record to go through.
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nothingwyer, there is better than working on a supreme court nomination. host: was robert bork the most challenging? guest: the most interesting. mostnce thomas was the challenging in light of the allegations at the time. bork had a bloom in this record. -- voluminous record. there was nothing better than doing that as a staffer. host: let's get to jim. good morning. caller: good morning. is 51-49. with senator mccain not being able to get to the senate, my understanding, he can't vote. that makes it 50-49. what about a situation where -- morelicans
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republicans could become the majority, it just seems that there should be something where votes could be cast even if you can't make it to the senate floor. saying, now i am losing it. let's get an answer to your first question. guest: sure. in the senate, for votes on the --ate floor, you can vote can't vote by proxy. senator mccain, if he is not able to vote, then the republicans are down a number. but mike pence gets to break a tie. under the sonora you were talking about where more than one senator in this case is missing my guesses senator mcconnell would postpone the
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vote until that senator was replaced in a special election were appointed by their state governor and wait for the republicans have a majority again. i know the vice president gets to cast a vote on the legislated issue, i wasn't sure if he gets to cast a vote on a confirmation. you answered that question. host: thank you. george, a republican. good morning. caller: i really disagree. our constitution was written as a contract. the relationship between our government and its citizens. it is a binding contract. there is no conservative, no liberal on the court. if they are people who believe the constitution should be interpreted the way it was written nor it is a living document that we can interpret
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any time, any way we want to. times west multiple have changed the document. we have passed multiple amendments. what has happened in the last 60 years is the liberal or left side have decided we don't need to do that anymore. we will go to the courts and have the courts find something in their. the whole privacy, a right to privacy. that is not in the constitution. if you want it you can pass an amendment. a right to to have abortion you can pass an amendment. that is why we are still having the argument over a lot of these things. we do have an argument over whether alcohol should be legal or not legal. we don't have an argument over who can be a citizen and who can't because we passed it in an amendment.
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we have done that multiple times. the left is the one that has a court,tive of the left in reality it is the conservatives who want to go by that. before thealking senate, when kagan was asked shet the heller decision said that was precedent and she would follow weight. when it came time to vote on chicago, that would bring that to the rest of the nation she voted against doing that. misrepresent their position. we know hillary, she said heller was wrongly decided. no one believes she would appoint anyone to the supreme court who would have upheld heller.
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respectfully sir, i think that you presented a false choice. it is not simply whether the constitution should be , if youted as written the, if you go back to 1770's, there was no question the framers couldn't have thought about unreasonable searches of your cell phone, or a whole host. these are things that didn't exist then and judges have to apply the principles to a new set of facts. in terms of the rights are talking about, let's talk about the right to privacy. the question i would pose, do you want the government telling in your you can do bedroom? do want the government controlling who you can marry and you're right to marry? those are the sorts of things
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protected by the right to privacy under the 14th due process clause. i think it is easy to talk about these fake rights that may exist but in reality these are the rights that protect your privacy, privacy and the privacy of all americans. we will hear from chad. caller: i want to say the guests , that was a fantastic response. the constitution has to evolve based on things that we couldn't see. people needt on and to keep that in mind. to my comment. i don't think it is fair to rush a confirmation vote within 60 days siding that time frame. if there are extensive records we need to take time to learn about that and make an informed
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decision. this will shape so many decades. i also don't think it is fair mcconnell delayed obama's nomination on a moderate justice like kennedy and here we are, putting things through before the thread of the midterm elections, butte and the republicans don't have -- might not have control of the house. i don't think that is fair. it is something that i think everybody should be aware of. i think that is well said by the caller. that we are talking about a swing seat on the court, control of the court with a far right agenda based on the federalist society
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list and their agenda. as i mentioned, setting an artificial deadline is the wrong thing to do. you need to let the process play out. have the hearings take as long hisre necessary to probe views. then you put it to the vote in the said it -- in the senate. setting an deadline is the wrong way to go. host: mark wants to know what is hispurpose of reviewing emails? guest: there's a lot of opinions expressed in emails and what you do in prior jobs. when you put someone life tenure on the supreme court for the next 35 or 40 years, they are entire record is fair game. whether it is a judicial opinion
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or the work they did for ken starr or a law firm. you are trying to get a full and complete picture. all of that work in a professional standpoint is a fair game. >> the former general counsel from 1987 to 92, thank you for your >> brett kavanaugh is president trump's nominee for the supreme court. follow the confirmation process on c-span as brett kavanaugh meets with senators followed by senate confirmation hearings and a vote. watch anytime on or listen with a free c-span radio app. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. thursday morning, steve clemons
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discusses president from's foreign policy agenda and the "new york times's" anna swanson talks about the threat to impose additional tariffs against china. and utah congressman john curtis on president trump's meeting with nato leaders. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern thursday morning. join the discussion. c-span, where history unfolds daily. created as aan was public service by america's cable television companies. today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. nominee brettrt
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kavanaugh has been meeting with senators on capitol hill making the case for his confirmation. several senators have gone on record supporting or opposing the nomination. some of them came to the senate floor. we begin with majority leader mitch mcconnell and minority leader chuck schumer. sen. mcconnell: yesterday i had an opportunity to meet with judge brett kavanaugh as we begin preparations for his confirmation process to the supreme court. it is really impressive all -- impossible not to come away impressed. judge kavanagh is the real deal. he has the legal resume, the academic credentials, extensive judicial record defined by fairness, thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and analytical precision. i was confident the president had made an outstanding choice. now i'ev


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