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tv   Washington Journal 09042018  CSPAN  September 4, 2018 6:59am-9:24am EDT

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in september. we have the farm bill which is a big issue in rural america which will expire at the end of the month. the violence against women act, the federal aviation administration authority and a desire to get something done on opioids. the plate is full for congress in the coming weeks. >> we will continue to follow you on twitter. we will fall yuri putting on and thank you for all your insights. >> a look at our schedule, coming up next, "washington journal." at 9:30 a.m. eastern, senate judiciary committee will start confirmation hearings for judge brett kavanaugh to be the next associate justice on the supreme court. later today at 2:00 p.m., the u.s. house is that it's august recess to consider several bills with a vote set for 6:30 p.m. eastern. on today's "washington journal ,"
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jason dick bove rollcall. they will discuss the week ahead and author david cap looks at his new book. "washington journal about the supreme court. now,." assault on the constitution. now "washington journal." ♪ good morning, it is tuesday, september 4, 2018. the houses in at 2:00 p.m. in the senate will reconvene at 3:00 p.m. today all routes -- eyes will be on route 216 -- gearing up for day one of brett kavanaugh's hearings. they will gavel in at 9:30 and we will take you there live on c-span and we will begin the "washington journal," getting your thoughts on judge kavanaugh and what you are expecting as president trump's nominee goes before senator sprayed
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democrats, 202-748-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002. you can also catch up with us on social media. on twitter it is @cspanwj. on facebook it is a very good tuesday morning. you can start calling in now. we will be talking about judge kavanaugh for most of today's "washington journal." up tol probably take you the confirmation hearing around 9:15. that hearing is expected to gavel in at 9:30 today. here's the front page of usa today, sparks will fly during kavanaugh confirmation hearings. days, kavanaugh will be questioned for 17 hours or more about the conservative espoused overhe 12 years on the u.s. court of of columbia.
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for half that time, republicans, who have fond over kavanaugh since his nomination will call andntion to his credit he character, yale university and yale law school, three ,restigious federal courtships and a reputation for open-mindedness. democrats, whose opposition is all but assured, will highlight the washington native's rulings on controversial issues and seek assurances on how he would rule in future cases. questions kavanaugh will perry without making promises. sparks will fly, that is the quote from richard blumenthal, democrat of connecticut. we want to hear from you this morning. phone lines, democrats, 202-748-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. .ndependents, 202-748-8002 as we go through this morning, we will let you know what some of the senators on that judiciary committee are thinking about in their questions they will be asking judge kavanaugh
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today. some of them putting out twitter videos and making statements about what they intend to ask about. what would you like to know about? north carolina. a democrat. good morning. caller: this is "washington journal?" am i speaking to the moderator? what are you expecting today as confirmation hearings get underway? i am on the political side of the political spectrum. drivek we have a moral off the rails. children is not a good thing. there are 300 children looking for their mother. whoever selected for the next
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leader should be on moral grounds. i think we are on a long, moral course where we ought to be thinking more in this country and be proud that we are moral people. you of heardat about judge kavanaugh, do you think he is a moral man? statements hethe has made, his record is behind him, past practices. we don't have to go very far to drudge up all the things and mishaps of those people. it is past practice. host: the john in west virginia, republican. good morning. caller: good morning. just to give your previous caller a little clarification, family courts across the family theed states adjudicate possession of children every day in their best interest and their
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well-being and that is the policy of i.c.e. is up to. the hearing is going to focus on the usual questions of each individual person's preference, abortion, gun rights, the list goes on. however, i would like to see one of the senators ask judge kavanaugh what he considers the situation when a sitting president collude's with a candidate for the presidency of the united states utilizing the fbi, the doj, etc. will they consider that a coup or do they consider that standard good moral practice of our country? i don't think you will get that question because i am sure certain parties that were involved in that don't want to have any questions of that entering into their hearings
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when it comes to president kavanaugh -- excuse me, candidate kavanaugh. i find it interesting they have tried to look at kavanaugh's record and there is nothing that is so blemishing and they have had to go to the extent of the freedom -- freedom of information act, his wife's papers when she was a's city manager for chevy chase utilizing special keywords to determine she used words like "racial" or sexual preference words like that. it is a terrible day when the senate judiciary committee or other folks start going after the family members of a particular justice. morning.t is john this on the issue of papers, certainly an issue democrats have been concerned about throughout this process in trying to get all of brett
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papers, including from his time as a white house lawyer. there is a story on that out today hours before the start of they's hearing spree to lawyer turned over 42,000 pages of documents from the nominee's service in the bush white house, angering chuck schumer, who issued what is certain to be a futile call to delay the proceedings prayed not a single senator will be able to review the records before tomorrow, schumer tweeted out yesterday evening. andy clover sharp is a member of the judiciary committee and she tweeted out a story of this is a monday night document massacre and that means you bury your inquiring senators the night before the hearing starts. i work late and read fast. not even i could read them before we start. more coffee is what she hashtags.
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as the kavanaugh confirmation hearings get underway. sandra in michigan, democrat, go ahead. caller: yes, hello. the only reason donald trump chose kavanaugh is because he said he does not believe that a seated president should be able to be investigated. however, it is very strange that when he worked for president impeachings 100% for clinton. the man is a bad choice for america because he would hurt a lot of the human rights. he tried to force an 18-year-old immigrant girl to have a baby she did not want to have. he put off her abortion for so long that, finally, another judge stepped in and overruled him and was serious about it. president trump, he is
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appointing everyone who only helps him. didthe things that clinton were wrong. the things that president bush -- president trump has done, 10 times worse. near sexually assaulted 18 women and if you check into his -- agency, that was accused of sex trafficking. he has done a lot of bad things. laundering russian mob money since 1987. i am against kavanaugh 100%. issuesandra, the abortion you brought up is one of the questions the editorial board of usa today brings up in their questions for brett kavanaugh, noting the question they would ask. fromoctober, you dissented a federal appeals court decision allowing an undocumented
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teenager in federal custody to get an abortion. you wrote the government has permissible interest in savoring -- favoring fetal life and refraining from the sale attending abortion. how do these assertions affect your view on roe v. wade? and what is your view of later decisions asserting the government may not place an undue board and -- burden on a woman's right to abortion. there are plenty of other editorials about today's hearings, who is brett kavanaugh? that is the question asked in a piece for the new york times today and the editorial board of the wall street journal, their headline on their lead editorial, calling it the kavanaugh hazing. democrats fear the high court will no longer be a liberal legislature. if you want to read those pieces in those various papers, we want to hear from you this morning. democrats, 202-748-8000.
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republican, 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002 beverly here in. d.c., a democrat. go ahead. caller: i would like to know why is it that 12 judges have been unable and incapable of granting a person judgment for possession of property when the property owner really should have had the -- duey, but 12 judges to the fact of the false information from the lawyers and -- caused the judges to be incapable of granting -- host: which case are you talking about, beverly? caller: i am talking about the superior court of d.c. the way the process method works is very unfair to the -- here i am three years without getting
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rental service money because of the way the process of the district superior court is .nfair to the landlords something really desperately needs to be done about it. any thoughtshave on the supreme court and the confirmation process underway today? caller: i am hoping the best man wins. i am hoping whatever is will be, but the rights of people should not be taken away from them. beth any, oklahoma caller:. the line for democrats. good morning. caller:good morning, thank you for c-span. i do believe kavanaugh will be appointed judge. what i am concerned about is i feel he should recuse himself with anything and everything that has to do with the mueller investigation. in case it goes up to the supreme court on a subpoena
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issue. nobody knows -- mueller has cap a tight ship and i think it .ould go either way i think that he should recuse himself. also, you mentioned that in an are -- a- clover which senator mentioned the monday night massacre where democrats haven't been able to read all the documents of all kavanaugh's history and i am concerned about that. saying -- it is a famous , voting has consequences and you just think you are voting for a president when when you
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could be voting for a supreme court justice. i am sorry, i just woke up. host: do you think there is tothing democrats can do stop this nomination if they disagree with it. are you hopeful they will be able to stop the nomination? happen,i doubt it will what i think the republicans should think about is this might come back to bite them in the if a democrat wins the presidency next time and and the an opening democrats pull the same thing republicans are doing. do you see what i am saying? it is like they have to look into the future. the decision republicans are making now could come back and bite them. host: here are the numbers and
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here is how the breakdown would work in the piece in today's new york times by carl on washington, noting senator schumer and his party can do little to stop the confirmation of judge kavanaugh without the help of republicans since his nomination can be brought to the floor and approved by a simple majority vote. absent some major disqualifying -- republicans seem intent on putting that kavanaugh on the supreme court. daniel is in washington, d.c., an independent. go ahead. caller: thank you. i would like to carbon -- comment on a case that came to it wasavanaugh last year him on a three-judge panel regarding an immigrant miner who had learned she was pregnant and while under the custody of hhs,
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she had gone through all the procedures to obtain a legal beenion in the case had kicked up to his courtroom and his eventual ruling was basically a tactic of delay because under texas law, after 20 weeks, abortion is illegal and he wrote an opinion that would have pushed her to the 19th, maybe 20th week and then kicked it to a lower court. when that lower court basically throughout his decision, he wrote a scathing dissent of the fact that they had done that. people that should show exactly where he stands on that issue. host: the case you are referring to, another caller brought up his garza v harvin. what you think that means for if he becomes a justice of the
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supreme court, roe v. wade and abortion rights in this country. are you worried about the supreme court overturning roe v. wade in the future? caller: i don't think it is the overturn of roe v. wade people should be concerned about. that is a huge focus and i think people are missing the point because that is not what he was doing in this case. roe v. wade clearly specified this jane doe had the legal right to an abortion, but the tactic is not to outright say to cannot have it, but it is make it so difficult, what they call undue burden. where you have to have 12 foot admittingnd privileges and they go on and on. they are not going to overturn it, but they are going to make forunctionally unavailable the states that are willing to allow that and he is more than happy to go along with that
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plan. the new york times, their piece on how the supreme court could restrict access to abortion, that is pretty much the scenario they lay out as the most likely scenario when it comes to abortion rights in this country if kavanaugh does join the supreme court, they will chip away at roe v. wade under case, planned thatthood v casey, states states may not impose a substantial obstacle or undue burden on a woman possibility to get an abortion. the court, under kavanaugh and other conservative justices could interpret that standard more narrowly to allow states to impose increasingly severe limits. states would have more leeway to restrict abortion and abortion rights would stand, but access would most likely become more respected for many women in especially conservative states. that is the most likely scenario the see happening with kavanaugh
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on the supreme court. that hearing for his confirmation before the senate judiciary committee begins at 9:30 today, although we showed you the media getting ready. here is some of those hoping to get into that hearing room lighting up very early this morning ahead of brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. we will walk you down the line a little bit as we hear from eddie in illinois, a democrat. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i enjoyed your show. hoping kavanaugh does get elected to the supreme court and willo hope president trump be able to nominate another appointee to the court before he is out of office. thank you. host: eddie, are you still with us? caller: yeah. host: so you are a democrat who
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supports president trump? caller: yeah. host: why? what is in the democratic party doing for you? caller: i am retired now, but the democrats used to look out after the workers, but they don't do that anymore. after i realized that during the obama administration, that is when i voted for trump. in illinois. eddie a few tweets as we have been having this conversation. john in north carolina right had hillary been able to stuff the court with progressive de facto legislators,s -- the fabric of america would have been destroyed. yes, it would have been that serious. -- trump has no right to suppress anything relative to confirmation,s especially to save his own skin and louis says the average person is not spending money --
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time wearing about kavanaugh. they cannot tell you who he is or even what the supreme court does. in indiana, good morning. caller: god bless "washington journal," c-span. i appreciate you. i am against kavanaugh being confirmed. to the victor go the spoils. however, with the renewed interest i am seeing in people, with even the midterm elections, it is possible we will probably never see another conservative in the white house again and this is how checks and balances work. will take over the executive and legislative branch and you will have a conservative judicial branch. i think it may work out. votee have to know their does count and i am encouraged
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by the people coming out to vote. part of his economic policy, trickle down in this area, u.s. steel -- having contract problems and both companies have had profits for years now with the improved economy. they also got a big tax break and there was supposed to be a tariff on steel. remarkably enough, they are asking for concessions from the workers. they have got the money, they are seeing the best times ever and they are fighting with their workers over concessions. that is how trickle-down works. it does not trickle-down. is in new mexico, independent. good morning. caller: good morning. i would follow the money. when kavanaugh was nominated for this office, what happened?
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had $200,000 worth of credit card debt and that quickly disappeared because he said he bought tickets for it if you were nominated for any other federal office and you had $200,000 credit card debt, you would be a financial risk. financially, his finances do not make sense. he and his wife make a total of $313,000 a year gross income. that gross income pays for his daughter's tuition to private school, $10,000 each supposedly and he also has a home loan he is paying off. my question is, he has been working since 1994 first with starr and he made lucrative money at that time. i would examine his circuit -- when he worked for the circuit court, his finances. i would ask for his tax returns and one of the things i would do
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is i would ask him whether or not he has a gambling problem. host: that is don on the line for independents. we showed you a shot of some of protesters out in line waiting to get into the brett kavanaugh hearing. benjamin,we saw madea a longtime activist and is often seen at hearings here in washington, d.c. we interviewed her for c-span's in depth series back in 2015 if you want to learn more about mad ea benjamin. taking your calls on day one of the brett kavanaugh hearings. some of the members of the judiciary committee are telegraphing their questions and what they want to hear from the nominee. this is from the new york times o,ory, in this era of #meto democrats plan to raise questions about -- a member of the committee plans to ask judge kavanaugh if he has
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ever sexually harassed anyone, a asks allshe says she nominees and will ask about a judge for whom he worked who abruptly retired last year from federal appeals court a mid-harassment allegations. republicans intend to push back by highlighting judge kavanaugh's record on highlighting female clerks. hasaking the case that he taken pains to mentor women among those who will formally introduce her are condoleezza rice and lisa blatz, a self-described liberal democrat and feminist. the story mentioning those who will be introducing brett kavanaugh. another republican who will be introducing him today, who you will see at the hearing, senator rob portman. he tweeted out last night that tomorrow i have the honor of introducing judge kavanaugh at his hearing.
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he is a man of principle and great character. i proud to support his nomination for the supreme court. that is a republican senator from ohio over twitter last night. one other senator on the judiciary committee is chris coons, the democrat from delaware. he put out a twitter video about what he plans to ask judge kavanaugh about. [video clip] >> i am u.s. senator chris coons from delaware and a member of the senate judiciary committee. next week, we are going to be iving ahead, even though don't think we should be at this time, because we haven't gotten all the relevant documents, with hearing from judge kavanaugh, president trump's nominee to serve on the supreme court. one of the things i will be asking judge kavanaugh about is the key case usb nixon. it was decided -- u.s. v. nixon. by as decided back in 1974 court that decided then president nixon had to hand over
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the tapes of recordings of conversations in the oval office. president nixon strongly resisted this and there was a subpoena to him by archibald coxe and rather than hand over the tapes, he fired the special prosecutor. this isn't just a historical question of historical importance, it is a question for today because it is important for us to know what judge kavanaugh's real views are about the scope of constitutional power and whether a president tould be able to refuse comply with a subpoena from a special prosecutor, whether the president should have the power to fire a special prosecutor at will. -- holding in u.s. the nixon nixon has never been questioned. i look forward to asking him next week whether it really is nixon wasthat u.s. v.
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properly decided or whether he might hold the view the president should be incredibly powerful, more powerful than i am comfortable with. host: senator chris coons, one of 10 democrats on the senate judiciary committee. there are 11 republicans on the senate judiciary committee, led by senator chuck grassley. he will be holding the gavel today and gaveling in at 9:30 for judge kavanagh's confirmation hearing and we will take you there live on c-span when chuck grassley does do that. we are hearing from you this morning, your thoughts headed into this first day of confirmation hearings. mike, thanks for waiting in north carolina, republican. go ahead. caller: good morning, how are you, sir? host: doing well. caller: i support judge kavanaugh. i think he is imminently qualified and you don't have to take my word for it because i am nobody, just a guy in north
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carolina, but the american bar association, even c-span ran a program that highlighted all of -- what are they called, the clerks that have worked for judge kavanaugh over the years. races. women, young, all people to talkay that nice about anybody and you could tell it was sincere. his rulings. at this point, the democrats, as usual, are simply fit -- are simply flailing. this is all about the midterms now. the democrats want to show that they are resisting and they are ting becauseobstruc they know they are going to lose and he will get the nomination, so they will throw every piece of spaghetti at the wall they can and see what sticks. it is what it is and let's
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remember where all of this started. all this supreme court nomination partisan theater started. it started with ted kennedy. it started with robert bork, that is where it all began and where the seed was planted for turning supreme court nominations into partisan political theater. even recent nominations, ruth bader ginsburg and david souter, look at the votes on those. look at how many republicans -- although they probably disagreed strongly with the politics and ginsburg -- the two recent female appointees by president obama. host: justice kagan and justice sotomayor. caller: thank you so much. i appreciate that. it's a little early in the morning. host: not a problem. caller: they pretty much sailed right through. that thoughans knew
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they might disagree with the ideology and the personal politics of these women and men -- and they weren't criminals, they weren't mass murderers, they weren't evil, but this is what democrats turn every nomination into and it has become tiresome and tedious. as far as roe v. wade, if i can throw in one more thing, some comments here have been pretty good. kavanaugh is a catholic and just like scalia and i am sure he personally finds abortion reprehensible, if he follows his faith, and he might even disagree with the ruling. his opinions on this so far are that it is established law. i am not sure what kind of justice speak that is. it really is an established law, and establish ruling by the supreme court. even roots bader ginsburg --
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ruth bader ginsburg, she disagreed with roe v. wade. she might agree a woman has the right to have an abortion free of encumbrance by the government or anybody else, but she disagreed strongly with how it was done. she disagreed strongly with nine supreme court justices making such a vast political and social decision when up to that point it was left to the states and she thought -- this is why we are still arguing the point 45 odd years later. host: thank you for the call. to your point about the bipartisan ship on past nominees, stick around for a discussion we will have with author david kaplan, out today with a book "the most dangerous branch: inside the supreme court's assaults on the constitution." one issue he talks about is the bipartisan support previous nominees received, that it was
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rare when there was a close vote for supreme court nominee. stick around for that discussion happening in the last half-hour of our program today. jim is in orlando, independent. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. i was thinking about this last night and i got up early to call you all. i said to myself, this is one of the big reasons why in a november election, people should go for republican. if any independent or democrat or even never trumpers, if they have any doubts why they should not vote republican, watch the hearings today. watch how the democrats are going to try and deceive and be hypocrites. they are going to throw all this stuff like the guy said up on the wall. i think this is a good opportunity for the american voter to see why you should vote republican this november and see
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-- see what democrats are all about. this is a good test for people. if they don't have a reason why cannot vote republican, this is it today. watch c-span and watch how ridiculous their questions are. let me say this before i go. if you need -- they say they don't have enough documents. they have over 400,000 to 450,000 documents. they are not even going to read those and they are asking for more documents. host: you mentioned the november elections. we are a little over 60 days away from the november elections and here is the election 2018 section of the wall street journal, this map showing the closely contested house races. a whole lot of red on that map compared to the blue dots representing democratic closely contested.
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the wall street journal in their wrap up noting that some 25 republican districts that are closely contested voted for hillary clinton in the 2016 election. democrats would need to flip just 23 seats to gain majority. in senate is a much tougher fight for democrats. a littlef the land is bit tougher for democrats. the wall street journal story on the senate terrain noting that fight is unfolding in deep red territory pretty democratic seats that are being closely contested include seats in states like north dakota, indiana, west virginia, missouri . democrats would need a net gain to take the senate. we will be covering the elections right up until november, although today's focus on the washington journal is on brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearings and we are getting your
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thoughts, your comments online's for democrats, republicans, and independents. loretto has been waiting on the line for democrats in cleveland. good morning. caller: good morning. good morning, america. i am kind of disappointed with all of your republican callers this morning. what happened to the confirmation process, huh? what is going on here? republicans have such a hard time with the golden rule? everybody remembers the golden rule out there, right? you guys are member the golden rule? you are supposed to treat people ots to be treated. now we are withholding documents and forcing confirmations. we have a nominee that is not even qualified.
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kavanaugh is not qualified. he is not qualified because he is activist and old. host: in what way is he an activist? caller: he would be an activist because he wrote all those briefs and memos on abortion, he wrote on lgbt. this is not what our system is supposed to be about. republicans need to really wake up and that guy talking about watching it, i am watching it and i want people to see why they should vote democrat. that is what they should be doing. host: in macon, georgia, republican. go ahead. , as far as judge
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kavanaugh, i heard one of your callers say the democrats -- host: democrats are what? caller: i had -- heard one of the callers saying democrats are going to make a mockery out of the confirmation hearings today and i want to disagree with that garland was merrick , at leastination kavanaugh is getting a chance to be confirmed. i am actually independent. want republicans to be the bigger -- senator mcconnell, he did whatever he could do not even
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have a vote on merrick garland. i think it is hypocritical that republicans keep wanting democrats to be the bigger person, they want to be the nice guy and you have got trump acting like a fool and acting crazy and it seems like that is what his voter base is like. we need somebody that is going to stand up and go at them because we are losing right now asause they take kindness weakness and it is a shame. independents an from georgia. mitch mcconnell was part of a video senate republicans put out on that you've -- on the eve of brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. [video clip] >> radical democrats>> attempting to stonewall brett kavanaugh. >> just a delay tactic. we need to do our job in the united states senate.
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he has already been nominated, let's put him through the confirmation process and allow other senators to have an opportunity to directly asked him questions. >> this has devolved into a question of how much paper is being produced. our democratic colleagues have found other other attempts to undermine or criticize this nominee have fallen flat. >> judge kavanaugh is an accomplished, experienced jurist. , senator schumer has asserted the best way to evaluate judicial nominees was to review their judicial record. perhaps he should follow that advice. >> they have been desperate to derail this nomination from the very beginning. so much so that a number of democrats came out opposed to judge kavanaugh before he was even nominated. >> he has shown he understands the judge's role is to apply the law as it is written. >> i suspect judge kavanaugh
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will have to go in with a -- you would have to go in with a closed mind cannot come away impressed. host: that was between yesterday from the official account of senate republicans. we are getting your thoughts this morning on the day of brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. it is the first day of those hearings and we will be talking more about what happens on the first day and the second day so on down the line in our next segment of the "washington journal." we will have a roundtable with two reporters to talk about that issue and some of the other issues this week on capitol hill and at the white house. calls throughout. for democrats, republicans, and independents as we show you a judiciaryfrom the committee hearing room where the confirmation hearing is taking place today. charles is up next in arkansas,
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a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call and thank you for c-span. obviously with the kavanaugh hearings today, one thing that is clearly not being addressed is the release of documents -- requested documents we got for the first time in history that we have executive privilege being used to deny the release of documents to evaluate a supreme court justice. this has never happened in the other thanour nation being nominated by a president who is clearly under fbi and congressional information for eliciting the assistance of a form entity to influence a national election pretty brings a stain upon the bench. it is critical kavanaugh's records be released in order to give him a proper evaluation. this is aside from any qualifications that he may have.
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this clouds the qualification process and, in my view, doesn't really give him any opportunity to have any legitimacy to the bench. host: charles, thanks for the call. carol is in kentucky, go ahead. caller: i am a republican. independent and i voted for bill clinton. certainly not hillary. i don't like the democratic party anymore because it is going toward socialism. they are really pushing socialism in the democratic party. this is something -- just look at -- i can't really say it. you know what i am talking
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about. brett kavanaugh seems like a fine young man. i say young man because i am older. this man.espect he has all the qualifications. i just really -- i think people that he -- notice don'tortion thing, i really know about because even though i am a christian, i leave that up to the individual and i am not going to judge any woman abortion to have an except for the fact that i definitely am against partial-birth abortion, of course. that is just knocking a baby in
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the head and killing them. host: that is carol in kentucky. -- rights today could be the start of the confirmation for a nominee that doesn't believe settled -- roe v. wade is settled lawford. barbara, thank you for waiting in virginia, democrat. caller: it is kind of amusing to talking on the number of pages that have been released of kavanaugh's record. it is the missing pages that matter the most. a is like if someone released tax return, but left out the page that showed the income. whatever is missing is the crucial part and we are entitled to see those pages. the second point is that the trump party seems to forget there are three equal branches
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of government. they are willing to let trump he come a king or dictator and rule over congress and the court and that is just wrong. host: your third and fourth point? caller: there are too many catholics on the church -- court already. the merrick arledge matter, they would not even give him a hearing and yet they are complaining about wanting to see this man's records. that seat was stolen and they will never recover from the scandal around that. host: barbara in virginia, our last caller of this first segment of the "washington journal" we will be joined by rollcall's toon dick and steven nelson discuss the week ahead in washington, including the start of judge brett kavanaugh's supreme court nomination hearings and later, author david kaplan will join us to discuss his book out today "the most dangerous branch." we will be right back. ♪
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watch c-span's live coverage of the senate judiciary hearing -- committee hearings on judge brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. day one includes opening statements by the committee chairman, senator chuck grassley, and all committee members. then, introductions up judge kavanaugh bike condoleezza rice, rob portman, and lisa blatt. judge kavanaugh makes his opening statement. watch day one of the senate confirmation hearings for brett kavanaugh, live today at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span,, or listen on the free c-span radio app. sunday night on q and a, assistant editor of the atlantic, zachary would, talks about his book, uncensored, and growing up in a troubled home. phone started ringing and i go and pick it up and see it
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is my mom and for some reason, i had a sense this is not going to be good. i don't know what it was, but i said it is not going to be good. i answered the phone and she spoke. she was very calm. kurt, but very calm. child protective services is here, please come home as soon as you can. i knew that tone in her voice. child protective services is here. i am asking myself, am i going to live to see the next day. that is what is going through my mind. am i going to live to see the next day because she -- if ever at any point she has a moment alone with me, and i make it through whatever happens when i get home and talk to them -- lord knows what she is going to do. >> zachary would on c-span -- wood on c-span's q&a.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: it is a short week, but a busy one here in washington, d.c. we are joined by steven nelson of the washington examiner, their white house editor. and jason dick. we will start with confirmation hearings for supreme court judge brett kavanaugh. explain what viewers are going to see today when that hearing gets gaveled in by senator grassley. 1: what they are going to see is maybe the political equivalent of the olympic opening ceremonies. today is kind of about ceremony as much as you get and we will hear from the nominee and people testifying -- giving opening remarks to his character and their work experience with him. condoleezza rice will be one of those folks and people on the
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judiciary committee, 11 republicans and 10 democrats. they will have their chance to make opening statements. there will be a lot of fanfare. you might see need for some coffee tour the end of the day when they get to the most junior members. after you have been there for you are nine hours and hearing what might be predictable opening statements, it will drag a little bit. the real fireworks will start later this week. the majority and minority take turns in asking questions and calling witnesses and so forth. maybe one of the biggest blockbuster sort of witnesses we saw called last week -- the democrats are going to call john whiterichard nixon's house counsel, the first to turn publicly against the president in the watergate -- watergate scandal. host: by the time we hear from john dean, kavanaugh will be gone?
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guest 1: by that point he will been through -- have been through at least a day, maybe the second day in overtime being buttonholed as much as he can be pretty supreme court nominees as trained to present positive a picture of they can, but say as little as possible about court cases they may hear. he will be gone at that point and the witnesses will take over toward the end of the week. host: any comparisons to neil gorsuch? what can we say at this point. guest 1: i was struck by one of your previous collars that merrick garland's name came up. , thedorset, the -- gorsuch wounds were still a bit raw. we are seeing lingering resentment about the america garland's nomination. , he was per trade as kind of a monster -- it was tough to portray him as kind of
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a monster because he was such a nice guy and a substance of what he might rule on. i wonder if it will be as raw. the caller is aware of what happened with garland. i would not expect it would be -- i keep coming back to this word raw, but it will be similar because they have not too dissimilar rulings. nelson, take us through expectations for what we expect from the white house in the next couple days. is this something where we might see real-time commentary from the president on twitter as these confirmation hearings happen? guest 2: i think that is a safe bet. i think we will see a lot of partisanship in the hearings. the white house has a rapid response operation in process. what that means for reporters is
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if there is a story they feel is incomplete, they will send additional material. a lot of coverage, they will be looking to make as balanced or favorable as possible. there is nothing really today on the white house public schedule. if that is likely because of the attention this hearing is taking up. host: we always hear stories about the role-playing that goes on to try to guess the questions the other side will ask. is there role-playing the white house conducts to help prep their nominee to go before senators? guest 2: yes. there has been quite extensive role-playing -- republican senators have come in and done mock hearings with kavanaugh. what itly he will know is like. there are things you cannot predict. you cannot predict all the opposition's questions or possibly damaging information they have unearthed. it can be exciting, but he should be prepared.
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host: if the white house is worried about one senator's questions or line of questioning, who are they most concerned about? guest 2: what is most interesting is who they aren't concerned about. senators mike lee and rand paul have made a years long pursuit of robust fourth amendments as reply to technology. both of them had -- have indicated judge kavanaugh's expansive views of executive power are not disqualifying. potentially, they could reconsider. i imagine depending on what his answers are. that is one subject area we would expect to be probed, but not necessarily disqualify. host: who are you most interested in watching in the days ahead? guest 1: some of the undercurrent drama steven referred to, especially with mike lee. mike lee was potentially a supreme court justice nominee
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himself. he was talked about a little bit him on his allies. he would be sort of regarded as very qualified. he is a very serious, constitutional scholar and questioner and his father was solicitor general. though we will get some predictable questions from democrats and republicans, how the republicans question kavanaugh, particularly on issues they may be uneasy, executive power and the fourth amendment, that will be interesting to me. host: reports out judge kavanaugh has left his house and is headed toward capitol hill. guest 1: in a white ford bronco? host: the white house also releasing excerpts of his comments before the judiciary committee. i want to ask you about one of them, how justice kennedy might overhang today's confirmation hearings. judge kavanaugh saying in his
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-- prepared remarks, justice kennedy is a mentor, friend, and hero. he was a model of civility. he fiercely defended the independence of the judiciary and was a champion of liberty. perhaps not surprising considering his mentor and the fact that he clerked for justice kennedy. your thoughts on how justice kennedy plays into today. is smart for him to associate himself with justice kennedy. that kind of rhetoric could appeal to democrats or make it harder for them to criticize him . his record could be called into question whether or not he would be the swing vote. clearly, that is what he is trying to go for. it is the most palatable, right-leaning justice and trying to tie himself to him. host: one more part of the
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prepared remarks, the reference to the baseball umpire. he says -- judge kavanaugh says umpire,udge must be an neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy. guest 1: some of this goes back to chief justice john roberts when he was in his confirmation hearings back in 2005. he repeated something very similar -- he did not repeat, he said this years before judge kavanaugh will say this, that it is the judge's role to be an umpire, the just there to call balls and strikes. the reality is more difficult because if every person brings a certain amount of -- because every person brings a certain amount of political bias to their role. some people have taken issue with roberts, and particularly his role in saying -- has he really been a neutral arbiter, an umpire?
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roberts, there is something interesting about being a swing vote in these situations. roberts was ultimately the person who upheld the affordable care act in 2012. kennedy ruled against it and some of the criticism, the political advertising you have seen about kavanaugh, whether he will uphold things like roe v. wade or health care, it shows we don't really know and sometimes the strikes own, if you will, can shift depending on who is calling the game. let's bring in some collars. phone lines as usual. for democrats, 202-748-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002 a lot to talk about in the week ahead and we are starting with today's confirmation hearings. james in idaho, falls. line for democrats. go ahead. caller: hello, that is a white ford bronco driven by grover norquist.
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i am working my way through -- host: i don't hear you. go ahead, we can hear you. you are working your way through what? democracy inon since the 50's . the0's or the 40's with libertarians. i believe that if president obama was dismantling the government like president trump did, his nominee would have been approved. everyone would have loved him, -- theernment, government, i don't know what to call it, it complicated. it's a deep, historical book. democracy in chains. then't know the buzzwords, free speech, the far white -- far right thing they need free speech. james buchanan's nobel
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prize-winning theory of everyone acting in their own interest, for me, my interest in the government is making the world a better place. -- you get lost. it's complicated. , it seems likech a big conspiracy theory. but this is a shining moment, i believe. host: what would you like to pick up on stephen? >> libertarians and liberty people have a variety of issues from gun rights to corporate money. i think a lot of libertarians ,re uneasy with judge kavanaugh can kitchen alley who is who isy conservative -- socially conservative, but is in
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some ways characterize as a libertarian says that many should be concerned with judge kavanaugh's interpretation of the fourth amendment. that's one clear area where libertarians have not won all the way. there is real-time information that he would argue the fourth amendment is not protect. judge kavanaugh bent over backwards justifying the collection of phone numbers, saying it was constitutional. i was a libertarians are not too thrilled with kavanaugh. host: we have jerry, in new jersey, a democrat. good morning. good morning. i'm looking forward to the hearings today. i have a question for the two men, i have been listening to the democrats and they are extremely concerned about the deleted paperwork.
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what i want to know is could they please answer me directly, would they have the same concerns about hillary clinton's delete of emails? how come all of a sudden deleted paperwork is so important? i appreciate the input. thank you. host: jason we will let you start. guest: the callers referring to the redacted papers of brett kavanaugh from his time in the white house, he worked in the bush administration and being concerned in the -- before being concerned -- before being confirmed the d.c. circuit court. i think any senator who wants to review a nominees entire record has a point that they want to see that they will -- that they want to see the full record. gets complicated because some of the papers are under the purview of the presidential records act. so the president of record, george w. bush and his folks, they want to go through and able throughthe say in going
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and saying this is sensitive and needs to remain redacted. not deleted but redacted. it still part of the bush library. the bush folks have been going through some of the stuff at the national archives, they have been saying this should be released and this should not have been. that can be frustrating. is unusual for documents to show up and i before confirmation hearing? documents tol for show up a day before the confirmation hearing? it is, and there is no way to go through that many emails or documents. one thing that occurred to me, and i think we will see this more, the amount of email -- i don't know how many males you guys have not deleted from your
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accounts, but the them -- how many emails you guys have not delete from your accounts, but the amount of paperwork we've accumulated in the course of the digital age is overwhelming. what we are seeing is people with producingy these documents but almost being unable to. the national archives said we will not be able to comply with the request for senate documents. say they havecans gone through the 40,000 pages that were released at the last minute. with post -- with both issues with hillary's emails and this document production, we'll know what's in the missing documents, so that's clearly what the opposition wants them so they can comb through and find interesting and potentially damaging information. host: if you want to join our conversation it's (202) 748-8000 democrats,ats --for
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(202) 748-8001 for republicans, (202) 748-8002 for independents . if brett kavanaugh becomes just as of the supreme court, he would be the first -- that brings up questions about senator john mccain after a weekend of memorial services. the happens to his seat in senate? do we have information about that process and who will be filling that seat until a special election is held? ducey said last week that he was going to wait until the memorial services had , including the private ceremony at the naval academy on sunday were senator mccain was buried before making his election to fill the seat. the person that governor ducey will select will serve until 2020 at least, the question is whether the governor wilson --
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will select someone who will be an interim senator who will hold the seat until others can run and that special election, and that's only for the onyx -- unexpired amount until mccain's term in 2022. some names we seen our senator mccain's widow, cindy mccain. is fascinating is jon kyl, previously in arizona senator who served with mccain. sherpa guiding the nominee through the shoals and narrows of the supreme court confirmation process. senator kyle is a private citizen now, he works as a lobbyist consultant. he has been guiding the nominee, brett kavanaugh, through the process, introducing him through senators. host: who gets to pick the --rpa out of curiosity ago
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curiosity? >> this is one of those mysteries. it usually goes to someone who digs this stuff and is a very political animal. ultimately it's a white house decision, it could come from the tromp -- the top, donald trump could is that i want jon kyl, or someone in the legal counsel. host: any insight as to how he would pick? being as credited as real kavanaugh backer and presumably he had a significant role in selecting kyl. host: i want to show this picture from the new book, under the dome, it's by jason dick, and it came out earlier this summer. i've seen this picture quite a bit on rollcall's website and other places. talk about this picture of senator mccain you picked for the book. on the tvs taken
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gallery, senator mccain was about to go into a press conference, this is aware -- this is where a lot of press conferences are held. one of our photographer snapped this photo as mccain was making this -- making his way. he was separated by glass wall, and this was a fairly weighty topic, i think it was time of day. mccain made this phase. it's not an uncommon mccain thing to have done. he likes to stick his tongue out at people, especially when he was on the subway or places like that and he was joking around. over and you could almost see his eyes in the photo wandering over because he knows he's having his picture taken. saidhotographer initially i got you. and the senator said i got you
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-- and the -- the photographers that i got you, and mccain said you are not going to take that. it speaks a lot to mccain's personality and character. he was not afraid to weigh in on guantanamoics like bay, defense policy, or immigration. but he knew how to get a rise out of people and joke around. and that captures a lot of what he was all about. the great stories behind money the many great pictures. , jasonk, under the dome and the photographers remember together. back to your calls, j is in maryland, a democrat. >> -- caller: i hope you give me a , there was the young lady who called earlier and gave , list of kavanaugh's opinions
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,he went through roe v. wade and i don't care about the lgb thing, i think that should be on the ballot. but the point i wanted to make that concern me more, and i am not heard it mentioned, is during his confirmation for the appellate court there was a criminal inquiry given to the doj and he lied. perjury charges. no one talked about that. more importantly, his opinion saying that the president should not be indicted or investigated, that he is above the law. there are a lot of people saying .hat trumps concern is that
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-- that trump's cabinet is that. he is taking his judge and jury so he will not be indicted with the molar investigation report coming out. and for the last thing, c-span, once again, we have a five black newspapers and d.c.. i never hear any perspective from any of these newspapers. it's kato, heritage, ap, rollcall. i don't expected to be the majority but sometimes can we have a representative from one of the black newspapers and d.c. to give a perspective -- in d.c. to give a perspective from the black community. host: what newspaper do you read? afro-american the , the capital spotlight, final call, washington informer, democracy now, fox news, i call -- of course c-span, msnbc. so having these different sources, i read rollcall and
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politico. by having these different sources i'm not channeled into one mindset. 10 different, or mindsets from all of these different sources so i can make my own opinion. host: thank you for the call. steven nelson on some of the issues that he brought up concerning kavanaugh's record? care: you said you don't about gay rights issues but they should be on the ballot, and you're calling from maryland which is one of the only states that did have gay marriage on the ballot and it passed before the supreme court decision. regarding indicting the president, that's a point of people have raised quite a bit. it's an unsettled legal matter, and if i understand kavanaugh's opinion it will have to wait until after he is done being president. if he committed a pretty bad crime and its proven, he could be impeached and removed from office and then presumably indicted. from bloomington, indiana,
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on the democrat line. watched the mccain funeral, it just made me cry through the whole thing. it reminds me of how america should be. i don't understand why -- how things are right now. it does not make things that make sense to me. my question is, how is it that our president can pick a judge in ahe is a co-conspirator case. why is this possible? and why don't the democrats fight on this? this is going to be something that is going to change everything. host: jason?
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guest: to the point of the democrats fighting, they are doing what they can. they really don't have a lot of options to block the kavanaugh nomination, or his confirmation at this point. they have a press conference before the confirmation hearing starts this morning, outlining some of their opposition. but right now, because of the andge to send a protocol the confirmation process there where they have the filibuster, or the 60 vote threshold, there's not a lot that democrats can do aside from completely shutting down the senate by objecting to everyday business. we may see some of that. there is not much they can do because of what senate majority leader mitch mcconnell orchestrated during the gorsuch
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confirmation process. host: we are showing a picture of mitch mcconnell giving the thumbs-up, this is also from the under the dome book. explain what's happening. caller: this was up -- photo takenwas a right after the senate changed rules. it's always interesting, i expected to hear from colleagues that there are not a lot of written rules that go along with the senate and how they conduct things. it's all done by precedent and tradition. there has been a tradition up to this point, during the gorsuch confirmation process, of a 60 vote threshold to cut off debate on nomination. back in 2013, democrats under harry reid did away with the filibuster for federal judges ships. they reduced it to a simple majority. and it apply for cabinet and executive nominations but they left the supreme court threshold in place.
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most people were starting to think, how much time do we have left for this? the answer was neil gorsuch. for thehe was nominated confirmation process, and when republicans saw they were not going to get to 60 votes they changed the rules again to make sure that it could be a majority vote to cut off debate. 50, when thehave governor of places senator 51ain they will be back to -49. there are a couple democrats who will likely vote for confirmation, particularly those running for reelection in heavily republican states. i hate to use the terms like done deal but there is not a lot democrats can do other than point out what their authorization -- what their opposition is. unless there is a smoking gun and they learn something from the documents at a been released.
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but there's a lot of suspense about whether he will be confirmed. stephen, indicator decatur, georgia, on the independent line. caller: we know kavanaugh will be appointed to the court. there's no if's, and's, or butts. is about what we are turning into as a country. after the election of donald trump, or selection. we have turned into the wild west. there are no rules, we have a guy in there who does what he wants to do. no one checks them. he makes nixon look like a saint. we all know that. we are really concerned about something, abortion. abortion could been gotten rid of. , until we get into reality and quit living in fantasyland we know we are in the wild rest -- west.
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as we show viewers outside the scene outside of the capital ahead of the confirmation hearing, go ahead. are checks.e kavanaugh is not the only judge in the federal judiciary, and if democrats take over one chamber of commerce -- chamber congress after november that will be a lot of hearings and investigations. wild westink it's a situation, even though it appears that way. host: charles, in michigan, a republican. caller: i've been hearing for the last month that we have a radical and qualified candidate. said, he scholars have is a qualified and thoughtful jurist and is probably no more radical or unqualified than ginsburg was when she was nominated. i wish your panelists would is probably inhe
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the same mode as ginsburg. but definitely on the opposite side of the stage. but definitely qualified who is probably no more radical than ginsburg and she was nominated .ith 97 votes this is a candidate that should be nominated, he is a qualified jurist. it should not be down to 51-49. host: we will take your point, some stats on recent confirmation hearings and votes for the last two justices, antonin scalia a and anthony kennedy-- and anthony greater the current vacancy unanimously. who werefour justices confirmed receipt somewhere
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between 54 and 68 votes over the course of their confirmation hearings. jason on bipartisanship in these votes. caller: -- correct,e caller is ginsburg was confirmed in 1963, something along those lines. one of the fascinating parts of that the documentary about her was hearing orrin hatch speaking so glowingly about her in the judiciary committee confirmation hearings. there is a real lack of bipartisanship in terms of the way we are going through the last two confirmations. and i think this has been building for a while. i do not want to overstate the merrick garland factor. he does hangover these proceedings. it was relatively unprecedented
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for a majority leader not to hold the confirmation hearing for supreme court nominee, when you look at the way the court has waxed and waned between a more liberal or conservative dominated structure, it's usually because presidents get their nominees confirmed. thing threw things at a balance in terms of how these things come down on a partisan basis. withuessing that we are trump because he is so polarizing and we are going to see more polarization, at least until something happens to break the fever. that stephen you mentioned there is nothing on the white house schedule for today? >> there are things, but they are not public things. presumably the schedule is , sarah sanders is giving a press briefing, if possible that that will be added to the schedule depending on what will happen but that might be a distraction from capitol hill
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where the attention is. later in the week president trump is going to montana for a offy, he's hoping to knock the incumbent senator democrat running for reelection. he has a real thing against him in part because he helped peter ronny jackson's nomination to -- helped torpedo junk -- ronny jackson's nomination to head of ea. --va. host: and what else is on tap for capitol hill jason? some policyave oriented things, but we have some potentially blockbuster hearings in the senate and house that will feature the heads of twitter, google, and facebook talking about what they are that say,nsure russian trolls do not influence
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the election. those hearings will have been in the senate intelligence committee on wednesday. the interesting parlor game with the confirmation hearing with kavanaugh is usually where the high-profile senate intelligence committee meetings are happening but kavanaugh bumped them go through the eyes of the world, it's not nearly as tv friendly in there. we are also facing a september 30 deadline to fund the government. the senate stayed in session for parts of august to finish work on appropriations bills, they passed nine, the house passed six. we might see some movement on that though none have been signed into law. and the farm bill expires and -- at the end of september and there will be a meeting of the end of this week to figure how we can get to an agreement. there's a lot to do.
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this can always change, the majority leader's in consultation with each other can change the schedule to have more overlap but we only have 11 more overlap working days between the house and senate before those deadlines plus kavanaugh. we will see. , and welot to follow are picking our battles where we can in order to keep up with it all. host: it's a special edition of the week ahead in washington roundtable taking place on a tuesday. and stephenollcall from the washington examiner. i think the same for opportunity to express myself relative to the nomination of kavanaugh today. justl the fact that that the, labor day,
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democrats received all of these documents. the majority of them relative to ridiculous past, is that they are going to the hearing today. they should either walk out or not show up. opportunity to review them. i happen to be 86 years old. born in a suburb of milwaukee, and across the street was the rehnquist residents. that myant to state mother was a good friend of mrs. tonquist and my sister went school with rehnquist who later became the supreme court. i understand that kavanaugh admired rehnquist and got his
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inspiration from him. i followed rehnquist and i'm very disturbed by this. my mother was a good friend of mrs. rehnquist, but one thing that deeply disturbed her is that in their households they could not talk about a black .erson without the n-word racism was very evident. host: that's what your mother said to you, that she heard from them? from thems, not only but my sister, who went to school and was in the same class when he graduated. and iowed his career found some very disturbing, prior to him becoming a supreme , racist attitudes as far as decisions were concerned. it deeply disturbs me, i don't believe in guilt by association
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but i do find it disturbing that andnaugh greatly admires looks at him as an inspiration. host: stephen nelson, on brett kavanaugh talking about his judicial inspirations if you would like to speak to that. caller: that the surprising story and i -- guest: that the surprising story and i have not heard that, there is no allegation that kavanaugh is racially biased. i think mainstream conservative jurists, what he was looking to say, he was inspired much more so by that than any story like that. host: and what about the man he was replacing on the supreme court? what he said about justice kennedy, is obviously going to be a part of the opening statement. guest: as we mentioned he's well regarded by many democrats.
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he's a person he would like to associate himself with. in palm springs, california, a democrat. good morning. taking myank you for call. one concern that i have, and i hope that reporters will look into it, does anyone know of the vetting process if aipac pro-lobbyists, israel lobbyists, have any influence on vetting the nominee for the supreme court? in the news,his showing the influence israel has on the united states of america, just like russia, will they dig into that and ask the questions has -- aboutanaugh is kavanaugh has to be that it
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by the pro-israeli lobby? host: would you like to talk about lobbying efforts surrounding the kavanaugh confirmation? guest: there's never any shortage of people looking to influence a supreme court confirmation process. of first betting -- vetting the nominee is usually at the white house counsel's office. they will have a thorough process. don mcgann ran a fairly tight process, i assume. -- been vetted through different stages of his career, for security clearance processes and so forth. at that level, that is primarily the vetting of the nominee. and when he gets at this level, which unleashes the hounds, the gate is open for everyone.
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and people have been looking to influence this simply through or othersg senators whom i have insight into the process. every lobbying firm, and even a private citizen can write to their senator about this. it's not so much a one lobby shot or trade association that would have influence, outside profiles in washington in the world. at this point there are no shortages of people and firms trying to lobby the process. host: gym, a republican, from pennsylvania. how vicious shows politics have become in this country. i live in the country and i of any downtown area in any big city.
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i would like to ask jason dicken he has an older brother named bill? guest: gnosis is at all, i'm an only child but i do get whetherly asked about or not folks are related. i covered a documentary who was born in arizona and is only a few years older than i am. -- no siblings at all, i'm an only child but i do frequently get asked about whether or not folks are related. host: how did you work in politics? 1998 tooved here in work at green wire which is now owned by someone else. and the daily national journal before coming to rollcall. 20 years professionally with a side trip to west virginia to work in americorps. before that i had a politically active and interested family. my grandmother was the paper innt editor of a
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arizona, not too far from where john mccain died a little over a week ago. politics was always a topic of discussion regardless of how young i was or how tender my years should have been. host: and how did you come to the white house and the washington examiner? >> i spent five years at u.s. news as the director. it was exciting to cover. host: i wonder your thoughts on uncovering presidential tweets, including two tweets last night about the attorney general. one saying obama era twostigations had congressman charged ahead of the midterms by jeff sessions and the jeff sessions justice department. easy when in doubt because there's not enough time, good job jeff. saythen he went on to democrats, none of whom like jeff sessions, must love him now.
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and after i fired him he became a wonderful -- and up i fired another man he became a saint. for a lot of reporters in a d.c. it means we have to check twitter frequently and we have to write up whatever is tweeted by the president. there is a lot of tweets and news spoken on twitter. it's a real change from the obama years, when you could sense that there were 20 people who got together and decided on what the president was going to tweet. host: and there were responses cover,m sure you have to senator ben sassing in response to the president tweets, the united states is not a banana republic with a two-tier system of justice, one for the majority and one for the minority party. these does comments -- these does komen were charged -- these two men were charged because they committed crimes.
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>> while we are talking about this, there is a republican from michigan who is tweeted about his skepticism of kavanaugh, particularly on surveillance related issues. president trump has changed how the medium is used for politics. it's very direct, to the public, and everyone can see what it is. host: we are taking your calls and questions, david, from springfield, vermont. good morning. caller: a quick comment about senator sassa's comments, if his -- is manafort's comments were so important they would have been prosecuted back in 2000 -- i i want to leave this would leave the spot, if you believe in the constitution you must be some kind of white supremacy because founding fathers owned slaves and i think we need to change this
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perception. you are centrist if you believe in the constitution because the constitution and federalist papers are at the center and they are the centerpieces of the country, they are not all right or all left, they are the center and those things come from those things. and i would suggest that many of the republican congressman, lawrence jones on fox that he's been to a black friend of his and said the constitution is not written for us. weublican senators say believe in the text of the constitution and we have passed laws that have change the perception. we should amend the actual constitution to say that all humankind is equal. couldt the constitution be for everyone and reflect the legislative changes we made in the country. host: we would go to nikki, in baltimore, maryland, a democrat. caller: thank you for the opportunity. republicans have been fearing democrats as far as supreme
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court justices go, and when obama came in and the republicans started holding up all of the federal court appointments, that's really when the whole issue started heating up. we had to do something. we had to do something to get some action on federal court appointments. and then the holdup of merrick garland was serious, gorsuch never should have been appointed to the supreme court. it was merrick garland's term. this holding was kavanaugh, and the fact that he supports "gun rights" is awful enough. my question to your wonderful guests, i have understood that the number of federal court justices is a fluid number. it has not always been nine. thisif the next step in battle, with democrats come in and announced that maybe the
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balance to be tilted back to liberal if we appoint more justices in the wake of all of this? courtjason, unpacking the . -- on packing the court. >> the biggest thing that has been preventing court packing is history. the last time it was seriously considered during the administration of fdr, who was frustrated with the supreme court who felt that he was not being given a fair shake on the new deal program, he was met with a lot of brush back. there was also give-and-take. the court started ruling in a way that roosevelt thought he could live with and that was the last time there was a serious contemplation of expanding the court. caller is correct, there is nothing in the constitution that says there must be nine justices. considering that we're still trying to get the government-funded before the end of this month, i'm skeptical
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that we could ever make an effort to expand the court. have sylvia, in washington, an independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. i've been telling people for years, i will fight to my death before i let anyone take women's rights away. you, if i to tell have the money i would leave this country so fast, it's horrible. watch.aid not to host: do you think roe v. wade will be overturned under supreme court that includes brett kavanaugh? that's all i do, trump wants, that's all these republicans want. , and you would
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not believe what they say about trump and what they said about obama. it's supposed to be christian critters teaching their children how to kill people? host: the president's end goal on roe v. wade, do we know what it is? guest: president trump's personal position has evolved of the year from being pro-choice to pro-life. says that's important for him now, whether the courts or axa going to fundamentally change abortion-rights -- whether the courts are actually going to change the fundamental abortion-rights is doubtful. to the previous caller who said that it was merrick garland's term, there are a variety of matters before the court and on some issues democrats might not be so pleased with him now, one of his rulings was that the white house did not have to release -- which is a
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controversial ruling. i assume democrats would not be --ased with that under this have the right to reduce -- does not have to release visitors logs. which was a controversial ruling. , howr: good morning pedro are you? host: i'm doing well. caller: it terms -- it seems the conversation has turned to if all garland, i wonder -- if the level of hypocrisy we hear about, if he was working with mr. mueller as a lead investigator in the oklahoma city bombing, if those documents had been released on his possible confirmation -- and getting to merrick garland, and he had a close association with mueller. in july of 2016, and this is to your guest, do you think obama knew about the fbi investigation ?oing on into candidate trump
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with calming, as the head of the fbi, it seems like mr. mueller would have been chosen as a special prosecutor in any event. host: i will let the guests take your question as we show just outside, folks are starting to go into the hearing room and the line is starting to move. steven nelson i will let you take the caller's question. guest: there are a lot of things we don't know, history will ultimately observe every detail of the russian investigation and what president obama knew. there is always more to know about the supreme court has aes, judge kavanaugh personal financial basket case which has been attributed to -- football tickets?
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who knows of there will be clarity on that. we will not know everything about the nominees. say one of the things that i have been gathering from callers is that the supreme of the more salient issues that affect people's lives, and the fact that people know merrick garland is almost a household name at this point shows that some of these battles, though they can be years old, they will hang over us for a while until we find a way to move on. stephenon dick and nelson, we appreciate your time. up next we will be joined by david kaplan to discuss his new book out today, the most dangerous branch, inside the supreme court's assault on the constitution. we will be right back.
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>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company. 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's brought to you by your cable and satellite provider. sunday night on q&a, assistant editor of the atlantic, zachary would, talks about his book, uncensored, growing up in a troubled home. the phone rings and i see it's my mom, and i have a sense it's not going to be good. i didn't know what it was but i knew it wasn't going to be good. spoke,r the phone, she
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she was calm, kurt, zachary, child protective services is here. please come home as soon as you can. , knew that tone in her voice child protective services is here. i have asked myself will i live to see the next day. that is what is going through my mind. will i live to see the next day? because if ever at any point she has a moment alone with me, and i make it through whatever happens when i get home and talk to them, lord knows what she will do. at eight eastern on c-span's q&a. -- 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. at 9:30 a.m. eastern, watch c-span's live coverage of the senate judiciary's committing on the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court.
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day one includes opening statements by the committee chairman, senator chuck grassley, and all the committee members. then introductions of judge kavanaugh from former secretary of state condoleezza rice, ohio senator rob portman, and attorney lisa blatt. and judge kavanaugh will make his opening statement following introductions. watch day one of the senate confirmation hearings for brett kavanaugh, live at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span., or listen on c-span radio app. washington journal continues. judge brett kavanaugh supreme court confirmation hearing begins in 45 minutes. we will take you there on c-span when it does, we are joined by author david kaplan. his new book is being released today, his title, the most dangerous branch, inside the supreme court's assault on the constitution.
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that title is a play on alexander hamilton's words. he called the supreme court the least dangerous branch. why did he call it that an why do you call it the most dangerous? argued, twoton centuries ago in the federalist papers that the court, he said that congress had the power of the person. the president had the sword, but the supreme court only had the power of persuasion. and enough of the court would have to convince people to follow it, and therefore it was least dangerous. i argue that while the president can commit troops to faraway lands, and congress can pass foolish laws or no law that all, it is really the court that has become more insidiously dangerous. anduse its aggression assertiveness has weakened the other branches. it has heard the courts own prestige and it has distorted
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presidential elections. as we will see in an hour it has created a circus. host: as you have said, in less than an hour, 45 minutes away from that confirmation hearing. we should note that senate democrats are holding their own press conference i had of the confirmation -- i head -- a head of the confirmation. several are lining up on the stats -- the steps of the supreme court, we will show you in the ranking member, dianne feinstein steps to the mic. continuing with mr. kaplan from , actually we will send you to the senator now she just started her comments. away,are a couple minutes so we will begin. i know it is hot for all of you in the sun. and i see one particular sufferer over here. we would like to begin now. this morning the senate is going to hold hearings on the nomination of brett kavanaugh to
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the united states supreme court. he is being nominated to a seat that is pivotal, that will be the deciding vote on some of the most important issues of our day. so the democratic caucus has gathered here today to essentially state a silent protest. we will attend the meetings, we will question, but we want to express our concerns. i have had nine supreme court hearings, pat leahy has had more than i. i've never had a hearing like this, where documents are so difficult to get. when justice scalia died, republicans refused to even meet with president obama's nominee. they held the seat open for the entire year. thewith a republican in
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white house, they change their position. the majority rushed into this hearing and is refusing to even look at the nominees full record -- the nominee possible record. 93% of the records from kavanaugh's tenure in the white and staffounsel secretary have not been provided to the senate. public.hidden to the for the first time ever, we have been told the white house is withholding over 100,000 pages from kavanaugh's tenure in the white house counsel's office with no explanation of what the topics are and no formal claims of executive privilege. last night, 42,000 documents were sent over. obviously no one has been able to look at them yet. judiciary democrats are sending a letter to white house counsel, demanding these documents be
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immediately turned over to the senate. a copy of that letter is available to you and also a copy -- a six pagetter letter from mr. burke, the pivotal point in the pressing of us to move. as you know, executive privilege has never before been invoked to brock -- blocked the release of presidential records to the senate during a supreme court nomination. in fact, when elena kagan was nominated, president obama announced he would not invoke executive privilege over any of her white house records. when john roberts was nominated president bush announced he would not invoke executive privilege over any of his white house records. when justice rehnquist was nominated the committee refused to go forward with hearings until the white house produced records over which it initially indicated it might claim
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privilege. by contrast, the trump white house is withholding thousands of pages of brett kavanaugh's records from congress, and admits it's doing so without actually asserting a legal privilege. of the taking advantage unprecedented process used by republicans to rush this nomination through the senate with just a fraction of the nominees records. the white house is now asserting it can withhold whatever document it wants without formally invoking executive privilege. this entire process has cast a cloud over judge kavanaugh's nomination. democrats strongly object to moving forward when so much of his record remains secret. we are shocked at the efforts being undertaken to jam this nominee through and hide his record from the american public.
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we go through these hearings under protest. thank you. that will conclude this event and i'm delighted to have all of the members of the judiciary -- of the democratic party of the judiciary committee. thank you very much. host: that was the ranking member of the senate judiciary committee, dianne feinstein on the steps of the supreme court. we are just about half an hour away from the beginning of brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearing are joined by author david kaplan. until we take you to those hearings, david kaplan is out with a new book on the supreme court. you are listening to senator feinstein's concerns over these confirmation hearings, can you talk a little bit about what you heard? guest: i actually did not hear the feed. but i for democrats for most of the summer.
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they are really bad at politics. you could -- you can agree or disagree with whether brett kavanaugh should be on the court, but they don't play the political game as well as republicans. they have tried any number of lines of attack, predictably initially abortion, then they want to talk about documents as they are talking about now and they want to talk about these other rulings. but it's hard to oppose a nominee like kavanaugh. i suspect they will not find much that will stick during the hearings and i think kavanaugh will be as good as, if not a better witness then neil gorsuch was. host: why aren't democrats as good as republicans when it comes to their concerns and trying to block nominees? guest: i don't think they play hardball. you could imagine two years ago when barack obama nominated merrick garland, the positions were reversed.
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the republican president nominated a justice for the court and there was a democratic control senate. i'm not sure the democrats would have thought of or been able to accomplish the stonewalling that was done to garland. maybe that's admirable but in the political game they have never been as good at it as the republicans. ultimately, the breaking of norms is bad for the court. but i argue in the court -- in the book that some of what we see in confirmation hearings in the last decade was brought on by the court itself. the court is involved in so many it raises theues, stakes in nominations and it was always like that. host: david kaplan's book is out today, the most dangerous branch, inside the supreme court's assault inside the constitution. he is with us until we take you to the hearing room on capitol hill. that's where today's events will
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be taking place. we invite you to join into the conversation. democrats can call in at (202) 748-8000, republicans at (202) 748-8001, independents at (202) 748-8002. as we show you some rooms outside of the hearing room. as folks are calling in, why is the court stepping in more during this day and age? isst: the short answer because it canada chooses to. i spoke to a majority of the justices on background from this book and what you will hear from a lot of them is the other ,ranches largely don't work especially congress. and who, but us, can step in? that an arrogant view. it's understandable. said a justice brandeis century ago, sometimes the most important thing a court does is not doing. probably the worst
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case in my view, is bush v gore back in 2000. when congress was designated in the branchution by to solve presidential elections and yet the supreme court got involved. justice scalia, infamously or famously argued in interviews that the court had to do so to prevent the country from being the national laughingstock. is no course there national laughingstock clause in the constitution. host: how much do you blame presidents for this? presidents tend to know what they want when they support a supreme court justice. is the vetting process better now to make sure the presence or getting what they want out of future decisions from a nominee and eventual justice? guest: i agree that it's better and more cynical, but i think it is largely borne of what the court produces. it would not be so important presidents if so many key
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issues, gun control, campaign finance regulations, voting rights, same-sex marriages, if all of these cases were not openly resolved by the supreme court it would not be as , democrats,esidents or republicans standing on the courthouse steps. host: we will chat with colors as wehad in --callers head in. frank has been waiting, in new york, a democrat. caller: i would like to agree with what mr. kaplan said earlier about democrats are just not the politicians. if they were good politicians they would have never let hillary clinton run for president. somebody in the party would have her.ed up and ran against and stepped aside, let her run,
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-- they let her step -- they stepped aside, let her run knowing she was a flawed candidate. the woman failed at every job she ever had including first lady. so he is right when he says they are not good politicians. guest: i think test for the democrats might come if they were to take the senate in 2018 or 2020 if they retake both houses of congress and the presidency. there is some talk of perhaps packing the court to retake place. of the court packing was dead on arrival when fdr proposed 1937 but you could expand the size of to 11preme court justices, simply by an act of congress signed by the president. democrats get their act
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together to try to do that in 2020 yeah i doubt it. and i'm not proposing it would be a good idea. it would be another breaking of the norm and a further polarization of the court. host: what are you proposing to fix the court to make it not the most dangerous branch? guest: fundamental you i think fundamentally unique different senators and president, but fundamentally a court that is more incremental, more gradualist, more humble. is that going to happen? i doubt it. i don't think brett kavanaugh is going to have that view. the best hope for the court is the chief justice. i think john roberts has shown on occasion that he wants to court's power because he understands the court, being out there in the political maelstrom, is really bad for the court. he showed that in that obamacare ruling. he has not shown that in many other cases.
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so i don't have a lot of high hopes. host: paul is in new jersey, republican. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. this kavanaugh herein, the democrats will do anything to stall anything that trump tries to do. republicans and kavanaugh have sent thousands of documents over to them to be looked at. they send more i think last night. this thing is going to be going on for another two weeks or so. they have tons of documents they can look at, and they refuse to even let the process unfold. they lost the election two years ago. elections have consequences. that's the way it works. trump is the president. we should not just block everything. host: david kaplan. guest: i understand the comment. it is just ironic to you that because i would imagine that the
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caller to and i have years ago, when the elected president barack obama nominated merrick garland, was completely fine with republicans blocking that nomination. there's a lot of hypocrisy on both sides. in the book, i argue that the liberals and conservatives on the court are both guilty of it. they all preach judicial restraint most of the time, but they usually mean that when they don't like what the court is being activist. when the court is being activist all too often, they don't hear anything about restraint. there is very little principle on the court, and it used to be more. there certainly was politics, and there were many bad decisions in the history of the court like dred scott, most infamously, right before the civil war, but i think the court's aggressiveness in the last 50 years is unmistakable. host: you bring up merrick garland. garland is waiting in ohio, a
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democrat. caller: yes, thanks. i have a question. is judge kavanaugh considered an originalist? guest: i think he would call himself an originalist and textual list -- and textualist, but i think those terms mean very little. you are an originalist and textualist except when you are not, and kavanaugh has written that he takes into account when judging a range of issues language, history, precedent, and so forth. most justices most of the time take in the whole menu and don't pick out a single item. justice scalia was often said to be the ultimate originalist, but he was in originalist except when he wasn't. gore, heok at bush v. certainly didn't do what the constitution itself commanded. and he would cite, with a
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smile, the national laughingstock issue. of course, there's nothing in the constitution about being a national laughingstock. original is in when it is convenient. host: when did it start to change? when robert bork was nominated in 1987 and ultimately failed, he claimed to be an originalist and it has been invoke ever since, especially among conservative judges. you hear a lot about original is in -- you did not hear a lot about originalism as such in decades before. but i think it is by and large bunk. judging is hard. you got broad clauses in the constitution like equal protection and due process. the supreme court has complete discretion over its docket. they can choose to hear any cases it once. the notion that somehow general command of the constitution
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commands with the court should do is ridiculous. that is not what judging is about. it is a lot more complicated than, for example, calling balls and strikes. we know what the rules are in baseball. it is an even clear what rules apply and many supreme court cases. you have to pick and choose among clauses in the constitution or a statue to determine what governs. host: david kaplan as a long-time writer and legal affairs editor with "newsweek," out with a new book today "the most dangerous branch: inside the supreme court's assault on the constitution." we will take you live to where brett kavanaugh's senate hearing will take place. jonathan has been waiting in leesburg, virginia, a republican. go ahead. caller: hello. i do agree with you that there is massive hypocrisy. i do acknowledge the merrick
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garland incident, and even now the -- so that i completely agree with. since theto ask, growth of democratic socialism has been very popular and i am a firm believer that it is no ,ifferent than normal socialism if we do anything we should be studying the 20th century in terms of what happens when other federal governments have those beliefs. you have fascism, which is 20 million dead. , about 64viets killed million. china was about 72 million. it was on that radical belief that eventually grew over time, but on social change. do you think that the supreme court is some kind of check to make sure the laws that are created are tested so they don't morph into something we then lose control of? host: david kaplan. guest: the supreme court
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certainly is a check on majority harry and best majority -- on majoritarian impulses. if congress was in charge, it would only protect popular views , but it is the unpopular views on the whether they are from white nationalists or the ku klux klan or minority groups were communists, it is those views that need protection. neednal defendants protection because no legislature is going to give them that. that is why we have rules against unreasonable searches and seizures. the question is how often do you want this anti-majoritarian institution to be overruling what congress and state legislatures do. i argue in the book that it does so far too often. yes, you sometimes need to put a brake on democracy, but when
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legislatures pass gun-control measures, when congress passes the voting rights act, and when state legislatures pass abortion laws, the question i raised in the book is should the court be more deferential to those views. the problem is that liberals like myself will attack me when i criticize roe v. wade, but they are altogether happy to your criticize the gun control ruling. conservatives are happy to hear me criticize roe but are furious when i criticize heller. i argue for consistency. when the justices i talked to for the book asked me to repeat the gist of the book, the kind of smiled. i had one say to me, i half agree with you. joke come they unwittingly proved the point of the book. we all believe in restraint when it suits us, and i try to present the case for more
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restraint across the board, even if that means that some outcomes you're are going to have to get in the legislature. you can't go to court and get them there and run around democracy. host: along with the justices you sat down with, you talk to supreme court clerks and other judges as well. can you say whether you got a meeting with brett kavanaugh before you read this book? -- before you wrote this book? if you are going to talk to law clerks and justices, a lot of people in the current administration and past ones, you do it on background. it is done on an anonymous basis or else they are not going to talk to you. unfortunately i cannot tell you, but i have sat next to brett kavanaugh at a lot of dinners, so i'd like to think i have some sense of the fellow. host: out to california. jane, an independent. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i don't know why anybody is not talking about brett kavanaugh 17-year-oldthe immigrant being held hostage by s who needed an abortion constitutionally, and he ruled to find a sponsor, and in texas, 20 weeks is the cutoff time for abortions, and he kept saying let's find a sponsor, let's find a sponsor. case andbrought the eventually they had to take it to an emergency federal court to immigrant 17-year-old who was being held hostage to go to the doctor's office to get her abortion. then he wrote this blistering go to annd they had to
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emergency federal court to get her in time. host: david kaplan, your thoughts on that case and how it plays into today's confirmation hearings. guest: well, there's a lot of discussion, actually, back when kavanaugh issued that dissent and when he was nominated in july. his critics say it is an example of hostility to roe v. wade. i think it is an important tea leaf. thea little surprised democrats haven't pursued that line of questioning far more heavily. of course, we were talking earlier about how good democrats are at politics. the only chance they have to derail kavanaugh is to win over collins,murkowski or both moderate republicans. you are going to do so, if at
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all, on the issue of roe v. wade, which they support. there he sort of, and shooter approach, talked about that early in july, but have moved on to other topics. they would have been well advised to focus on that more because i think you can read that dissent, admittedly just one, as being very hostile to what roe v. wade and subsequent abortion rulings in the court stand for. host: we will show you a live shot again of the hearing room where brett kavanaugh will be testifying. the media gathering for that all-important first shot when brett kavanaugh will raise his oath at thee the committee hearing room. you can see the photographers gathered there are on his seat. we will hear from loretta in north carolina next, a democrat. caller: good morning.
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i just want to say that i absolutely agree with mr. kaplan. the democrats, even though i am a democrat, simply do not know how to fight at all. the republicans, on the other hand, are absolutely machiavellian. they are a party that will break any rule, pull any dirty trick to accomplish their purposes. on the other hand, democrats, i don't know, because they are so like thec, are always skinny kid on the beach getting up with birds circling around their heads. i feel so underrepresented. what i want is a party that is as democratic as the democrats and as machiavelli and and tough -- machiavellian and tough as the republicans. thank you for letting me speak. host: david caplan. guest: well, i think the democrats are fair game for criticism for how they handle
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politics, but that said, i think you could have brett kavanaugh admit that he kidnapped the lindbergh baby and the republicans would still confirm him. that is just the situation. ,he republicans have waited especially movement conservatives, have waited a generation to "get control" of the supreme court, and they think they are on the verge of it with brett kavanaugh. they will certainly have five conservatives on the court, and brett kavanaugh will be to the right of where anthony kennedy was. i think the are going to confirm anybody. but i will say this. if you placed the justices' ideology on a spectrum, i think brett kavanaugh will and him closer to the center where chief justice roberts will veer towards rather than justice alito or thomas or gorsuch.
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robertskavanaugh and will be what passes for a center of this very conservative court. host: what decisions do you point to for that prediction? guest: i don't know -- well, he issued an obamacare ruling ducking the case entirely on statutory grounds, but he has spoken enough and written enough, quite prolifically, that he is more of an institutionalist and less a flamethrower than, for example, neil gorsuch. in large part, it may be the absence of what kavanaugh has written. inl gorsuch got noticed large part by the trump administration because of a range of flame throwing articles , and kavanaugh hasn't done that. by smalle's done that the constitution. that is not his way.
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but again, it is all relative. no one is going to diffuse brett kavanaugh with anthony kennedy, or for that matter with prior republicans on the court david souter or john paul stevens. it is all relative. host: a few minutes left with david kaplan before we take you live to that committee hearing room. we will be taking you there and about five or 10 minutes. that hearing expected to get underway in about 15 minutes. bob has been waiting in new york, an independent. good morning. you've got to turn down your television. i will let you turn down your television to get your questions prepared as we go to betty in illinois, line for democrats. caller: good morning. all of the programs, and i was listening to fox news said i'm notadino
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supposed to tell this, but justice scalia told kennedy not to retire until the republicans had the house and the senate, and that's what happened. is i would bent ashamed to say that i'm a republican the way mccain was treated, and his funeral service was beautiful. those are my two comments. thank you. host: david kaplan. tend: well, conservatives to wait until republicans are in office, and democrats tend to wait for liberals. to the extent that scalia told kennedy that -- and i've never heard that story -- that would not be surprising. host: a tweet from earlier in our program, "the average person
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out there isn't spending time worrying about kavanaugh. they can't tell you who he is or what the supreme court does." i want to get your thoughts on that and on public opinion in general of the supreme court. guest: there's some truth in that, but i was struck in the 2016 presidential election in alling thereafter that showed significant percentage of republican voters said they chose trump because of the and a noturt, insignificant percentage of democrats said they picked hillary clinton. that is what i was referring to earlier when i said that the high-stakes, the supreme court creates with its interventionism distorts presidential elections. it seems to me that -- listen, realpolitik dictates that supreme court vacancies are going to be important in presidential elections, but should the eclipse so many other issues? i'm not sure that is a good idea
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, and he will hear many critics of president trump on both sides of the aisle saying, how did we choose the sky? ofpart because 20% odd republican voters, whatever other distaste they had for candidate trump, said we want to pick him because we know the kind of nominees we are going to get, and i've privately heard senators say exactly that. some have said so publicly. whatever trump or doesn't do in , we will have supreme court control for a generation, and you are seeing that play out now. host: anita in missouri, go ahead. caller: yes, i would like to know what mr. kaplan thinks about when brett kavanaugh was working for the bush administration. there were discussions about torture at guantanamo and other places in the world that we had prisoners >> when he was -- we had prisoners.
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when he was confirmed to the court of appeals, he said he was not part of those discussions, and after he was confirmed it was discovered that yes he was. do you think that the papers from the bush administration and his time at the white house are being withheld because it would prove that he lied to the senate to get confirmed when he went to the court of appeals? host: mr. kaplan? guest: it is a fair question, and i don't know. i think if he misled the judiciary committee when he was confirmed for the federal appeals court he is on now, that's a big problem, and i think that is relevant. but number two, i'm not sure that whatever political or partisan views he expressed when he was staff secretary to president bush are necessarily that relevant in connection with a nominee to the supreme court. i think to some extent -- and it
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was done with elena kagan -- taking memos they wrote while in a political job in the white house or the justice department and inferring from those one's legal or constitutional views is a bridge too far. not comingocuments out, either because of a claim of executive privilege or because time has run out, we want to have these confirmation hearings to get kavanaugh on the supreme court before it opens its session on the first monday in october, i think that is deplorable. host: c-span viewers just saw orrin hatch, member of the senate judiciary committee. members starting to file into the confirmation hearing. is there a particular senator today you're interested in hearing? guest: i think some of the senators are better cross examiners, if you will, then others. sheldon whitehouse, for example,
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on the democratic side. i don't think you are going to get a whole lot of intelligent questioning from the republicans other than about kittens and puppies. but i argue that the democrats really ought to all be banding together and hiring a professional cross examiner. once upon a time, and the watergate hearings, the senators el they hired.s in iran-contra, they hired one of the best in the world. i'm not sure you could get brett kavanaugh or any other nominee to answer questions straightforwardly, but i think a good cross examiner would do better either at getting some answers or exposing the hypocrisy in hiding behind the two-part approach, the two-part approach being, well senator, the question you are asking is too specific, or the question you are asking is to general. i can't comment. under that reasoning, there are
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no questions i can answer, so let's go home and have lunch. i happen to think there are all kind of questions you can answer , and if you express a tentative view on a past ruling of the court, you're not promising how you are going to act in the future. you are simply showing an agile, curious mind. host: the questioning is set to get underway in about seven minutes. david kaplan is the author of "the most dangerous branch: inside the supreme court's assault on the constitution." it is out today. thank you so much for joining us. guest: good to be here. thank you. host: that will do it for "washington journal" today. we will be back here tomorrow at 4:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. we now take you to the supreme court nomination for brett kavanaugh, scheduled to get underway very soon. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]


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