tv President Trump on Judicial Nominations CSPAN November 6, 2019 7:18pm-7:52pm EST
he is joined by mitch mcconnell and chuck grassley who helped confirm 150 judges to the federal bench including two justices on the supreme court. this is half an hour. ♪ [applause] pres. trump: thank you very much. thank you very much. we had another big record stock market day, another record in the stock market and the history of our country, which to me means jobs and a lot of other things.
we are doing really well, and i just wanted to let you know. i think it is the 119th day we have set a record. so that is good stuff. [applause] so, good afternoon and thank you all for being here as we celebrate a profoundly historic milestone, and a truly momentous achievement. have within the next short period of time, like two months, we should have about 182 federal judges. how is that? [applause]
and i say often, percentage-wise you will never beat one man. we know who that is. george washington. 100%. say,n terms of, i like to quantity and quality, we will be just about number one by the time we finish. number one of any president, any administration. so i want to thank all of you for the incredible job you have done. that is really fantastic. thank you very much. it is a big thing. [applause] and they will uphold our constitution as written. these distinguished men and women are some of the most gifted scholars, respected jurists and finest legal minds ever placed on the federal bench. together we are restoring american freedom defending , american justice, preserving the extraordinary vision of our founding fathers.
we are delighted to be joined on this special occasion by vice president mike pence. thank you, mike, very much. [applause] thank you, mike. and attorney general bill barr. thank you, bill. [applause] i want to thank some real friends of mine, too, and warriors. i have to say, warriors. we have a lot of great warriors in our party. and i think it is necessary, frankly, to be a warrior. if you are not, you have a problem. right? but i want to thank chairman lindsey graham. lindsay thank you very much. , great. [applause] a very special man. a man that is so popular in this state i don't think they are going to run anyone against him anymore. they have given that up. chuck grassley, right?
chuck. [applause] and also with us are senator john cornyn -- i looked at your polls, nobody is beating you, john. nobody. and you don't have to worry about beto anymore, that is for sure. from texas. he doesn't like guns, religion, or oil. >> [laughter] out allump: he knocked three categories. somehow in texas that will not work. i don't think that works anywhere. that does not work anywhere. good. john cornyn. mike lee. mike, thank you very much. [applause] senator ted cruz, also of texas. thank you, senator. thanks, ted. senator tom tillis. tom, thank you very much. senator ben sasse. ben, great, great to have you here. and senator marsha blackburn. marsha, thank you.
great job you are doing. and josh hawley, our young star. he is a young star. thank you, josh. thank you. great job, everybody. in addition, the nation owes an immense debt of gratitude to a man whose leadership has been instrumental to our success. it is so important to him. and that is he always mentions , it, number one point. i have always heard actually that when you become president, the single most important thing you can do is federal judges. they say supreme court judges, but we have them too. but federal judges. and you know based on that i , think there is nobody that has done a better job ever than senator mitch mcconnell. [applause] you know mitch. stand up. come on, stand up.
[applause] i always get up and i talk about the economy, the economy, i am always talking. they never write about it, but that is ok. the people get it, but mitch will follow me and talk about judges. it is great when you have done, incredible. the impact is truly amazing. we also have two great supreme court judges. that is in addition to the what will be 182 judges. then we go by what i call normalization after you get to 182. but our supreme court judges are great gentlemen. it was so easy to get them confirmed, right? >> [laughter] pres. trump: one in particular. nobody has ever had to go through that. i have great respect for both of them. so we appreciate it. mitch, great job. generations from now americans
will know that mitch mcconnell helped save the constitutional rule of law in america. it is true. for a long time. i also want to thank pensive baloney and his phenomenal team at the white house counsel's office, along with our office of legal policy. where is pat? where is pat? stand up pat, come on. [applause] he is the strong, silent type. strong, he is very strong and silent. great job you have done. very great. i had always -- i always wanted to be the strong, silent type, but it never worked out for me. never worked out. i want to be, but it doesn't seem to work out that way. but the office of legal policy at the department of justice and the many friends and legal luminaries who have supported all of those nominees and to all of the rest of you in the room, incredible people in this room, great friends. in their wisdom and genius, the framers of the constitution separated government power into
three branches. congress writes the laws. the executive enforces the law. and the judicial branch provides an impartial interpretation of the laws it applies to any case before them. this system was designed to protect citizens against the unjust concentration of governmental power. i do say i think we are going through an interesting time right now if you must know. more interesting than at most other times. when judges assume the role of a legislature, the rights of all citizens are threatened. the great english jurist william blackstone warned that if the judicial power were joined with the legislative, then life, liberty and property would be in the hands of arbitrary judges whose decisions would be then regulated only by their opinion and not by any fundamental
principles of law. in other words, the impartial and objective judge who is a faithful servant of the law is essential to the survival of american liberty. so, it is really something. it is really something that you have all done. this is such a big moment in our history. and i think what i am going to do is, as we go along, i am going to ask a couple of you to say a few words. i think it is appropriate. it was not on the schedule, but i think it is very appropriate to have if you speak. have to promise it will be very quick and short, because the media will not stand for anything else. but i would like to get your views. i think it would be very interesting for all of us. in recent decades our system has been under relentless attack by the left-wing activists who want to take the powers of that elected branches and give that power to unelected federal judges.
they want to impose by judicial decree what they failed to win at the ballot box. does that sound familiar to anyone? that is really familiar. when judges write policy instead of applying the law, they impose sweeping changes on millions of americans without the benefit of legislative debate, public rulemaking, or the consent of the governed. as a result, these highly political rulings inflict painful damage on our security, society, and economy and imposing unworkable edicts on businesses, workers, families, and law enforcement alike. they give many, many bad nights to many people, including presidents, including presidents. but we power through it. we have no choice. i will do everything in my power to halt judicial activism and to ensure the law is upheld equally , fairly and without political prejudice for all of our
citizens. so, i would like to, before going any further, i would like to maybe start off -- i think it would be appropriate if we start off with mitch to just say a couple of words and how he feels about where we are, and what we are doing, and we are going to go through a couple of our friends, if you don't mind. to me, it will be very interesting. mitch. mitch mcconnell. thanks. [applause] sen. mcconnell: well mr. president, i am reminded of election night, when i realized that not only had you won, but we had taken the house, we had held the senate, and this was going to be one of those unusual periods where republicans had all three branches. to show you how unusual that is, you go back 100 years, only about 20 of the last 100 years has our party had all three.
we got a chance to set the agenda, an opportunity to move the ball in the right direction. what is the most important thing? clearly it was the supreme court. you had been helped enormously by a decision that i made and these guys backed me up, not to let president obama fill that scalia vacancy on the way out the door. [applause] and boy, you did not blow it. neil gorsuch is an all-star, isn't he? [applause] and the president alluded to that easy confirmation we had with brett kavanaugh. you made a great choice, mr. president. and it is not just that. the circuit courts, where 99% of
litigation stops, are full of bright young men and women who believe the quaint notion that may be the job of a judge to -- is to follow the law. so mr. president, this is one of the many ways you are making america great again. thank you so much. [applause] pres. trump: thank you very much. mitch, it is true, when i first came to office because of what i said before that i have always heard how important it is, the choice of judges and the number of judges. in my first day i said to one of our assistants, how many judges do i have to pick? how many are there? i figured none or one, maybe two. they said sir, you have 142. , no, no, no, tell me the truth. i want the truth. >> [laughter] pres. trump: that was it. and i say thank you, president obama, very much. but it was 142 empty slots, and
nobody can believe that. and i couldn't believe it and didn't believe it but now i believe it because we have so many approved, and we are going to hit that magic number. and then it is going to be a lot more from there, because through reasons,tion and other leaving retiring. , i never want to mention the d word, the death word, but that happens too. but we will be picking up a lot. a man that i have a lot of respect for, and everybody does in the senate, chuck grassley. come up and say a couple of words, chuck. come up here. [applause] sen. grassley: like i tell my colleagues, if i yell, i am not mad at you. >> [laughter] sen. grassley: if i -- let me say what set the stage for this, before any of us had anything to
do with this. you ran on a platform that no other president has run on, to tell the type of people that you were going to put on the supreme court. and name 20 or 25 people, and that list is still out there, and it is made up of just the kind of people that mitch mcconnell has talked about, you have talked about, people that are constitutionalists. and you kept your word. and 20% of the people voted for you based on a proposition of the kind of people you were going to put on the supreme court. so, a lot of candidates for any office run on a platform, but they do not stand on that platform. and i think what is important about not only the judges that you have appointed along the lines of what you promised the people you are going to appoint, but also a lot of other issues
that you stand for, and the people of this country ought to be complimented that we had a president who said he was going to run a platform, and he stands on that platform. and you have done a particularly good job with the judges. [applause] pres. trump: he is great. thank you. you know, he has this fierce way about him. he is tough even when he is trying to be nice. like now he is -- but i heard that voice -- i should not say this, but he looked, during one of the big events in the united states senate, he looked at a guy named comey. he said, did you leak? and he was being nice. >> [laughter] pres. trump: and comey choked, he did not know what to say. he was so frightened of this guy. he choked. i want him to start looking that stuff up by the way, please
please look that up. , a lot of choke there. another man who has been and credible, and he has been a friend of mine for a long time. we actually competed against each other. he was not at all nice during the campaign. >> [laughter] pres. trump: and who would have thought we would become good friends? right? who would have thought? but we did. and i can say the same for ted. we were good friends and then really bad. they said when will it get bad? the media. it is like the academy awards. look at all the media. before, when it was successful. it died when they went after us, the academy awards. now just a regular program. but i said ted and i get along good. in fact he was having a big event near the white house. and he wanted to get more people, so he invited me. he said, can you come? i said you know we are running against each other. this is true. the press said you guys are campaigning together, you are fighting for the nomination? i said that's right, we like each other and we get along
great. i think he is great. we both have this incredible relationship. i said but don't worry, it will end, and when it ends, it will be really bad, probably worse than normal. and it was vicious for about four months, but then we had a great relationship again. it was a pretty bad one for a little while, right? >> [laughter] pres. trump: they did not even think how bad it would get. but it has been great, ted. lindsey, i would like to have you come up and say a few words. you have been terrific. thank you very much. [applause] sen: graham: thank you. well in theory at 4:00, we are going to vote on two more judges. move this thing forward. >> [laughter] sen: graham: after i got beat like a dog, which he likes hearing, he called me to the white house and said i would like you to help me. i would love to help you be a great president because you are now my president. and he says i don't have your phone number, and i said there is a reason for that. >> [laughter]
sen: graham: so the highlight of my campaign is when you gave out my phone number. if i had done as well as my phone number, it would have been a different story. to the committee, thank you. the judiciary committee is not for the faint of heart. our democratic friends are tough. they believe in their causes, and we have to fight hard for our causes. but one thing i want to say about president trump, the defining moment of your presidency for me was the kavanaugh hearing. this room would be empty if we had failed brett kavanaugh. brett kavanaugh lived a life we should all be proud of. he worked hard. and the way he was treated was the worst experience i have had in politics. a lot of people would have pulled the plug on him. mr. president, thank you for not pulling the plug. [applause]
and let me say why i support it. who would have been after brett had he gone down? what conservative young lawyer would want to go through this if we had failed brett kavanaugh? so chuck was right. when you run, and you get reelected a year from now, one of the main reasons is that people in the conservative world believe that you fight for judges. god bless you. [applause] pres. trump: thank you very much. [applause] thank you very much. very nice. [applause] we can say that for everybody here. we had, i don't think any of them -- look, i know you all very well. i don't think anyone had any thoughts of doing anything different, at least in this group. i will say, and that includes mike -- at that time we did not know bill.
he was not involved. came at a good time, bill. a tough time. but you know what, nobody in this group -- i will say, and you know this and mitch knows this, there was plenty of other people that were saying, let's go to maybe another choice. they did not say it so nicely. they are people that you know very well, the people that you work with every day. but i can tell you i know every one of you very well. there was nobody that i think even thought about it in this group. not anybody. and that starts with mitch. because you never gave me the call and said maybe we can do it an easier way. but i told brett kavanaugh i picked him. he was set -- 10 years ago they were talking about him. i would hear that he would someday be a supreme court justice. that was before i was in this wonderful life of politics. i could enjoy my life and think about all sorts of things. and they would say that brett kavanaugh is going to be a supreme court judge. and anyway, he was on the list. leonard leo, thank you for being here. we had a list that you worked on
very hard and others. [applause] and it did have an impact on the election, if you think about it. because people knew me very well, but they didn't know. was he liberal, conservative? who are the judges i hear so much about? i did come up with an idea to pick 20 and 25 people. ultimately it was 25. we put great people on, and we have great people on their right now. we have 23 left. every one of them is terrific. but i went with this list. and at first i said, i will take this list, gave the names, and i will pick people i will pick , people -- do you remember this, lindsey -- that are like these people. and i got nowhere. nobody believed me. they said, what does that mean, like these people? i said no they will be like , these people. and i was being hammered. they said, say it, say it, president, or potential president.
i said ok, it will only be these , people. and that is what we have, and that is where it is. and they were just so respected as a group and still are. that is an incredible group of people. i can take anyone literally and that had a big impact. but i said to brett kavanaugh, i said so brett, you are the , one. you are the one. he was so honored. he said, sir this is the , greatest day of my life. and i said, i just want to congratulate you. it's an amazing thing that i am doing it and that you are receiving it. he said sir thank you very much. ,i said brett let me tell you , something, this approval process that you are going to go through will be so fast and so easy. you are perfect. perfect life. perfect family. perfect education. top scholar. best schools. brett, this is going to be so easy. little did he know. [laughter] little did he know. but i will tell you what, it really represented something.
it represented unfairness, and some of those people that came forward, to my way of thinking, all of those people that came forward, i thought it was disgraceful what happened. and i want to thank all of my republican colleagues for standing up tall for a man who really did not deserve what he went through. nobody could have believed a thing like that could have happened to a man like that. and you could almost say to anybody. because nobody has ever seen anything -- nobody has ever seen anything like it. but he hung in strong, too. he also hung in strong. you know there are plenty of , people i am sure that said you have got to cut yourself loose. he did not want to do that. a very important day, lindsey, and you were a big part of it. i think your ratings went from 50 to 82. speech.one little he made one speech, bill. one little, few remarks that
lasted for about a minute, and they were historic. they really were. they were historic. the delivery, the words, the whole thing was very important. and what you did was something very special, so thank you very much. so important. from the beginning of my campaign, i promised to appoint judges who will adhere to the true and original meaning of our constitution. this afternoon, that promise was made, and that promise was kept. and i think many times over. later today, the senate will vote on our 158th new judge. and that is why i am going to let you get out of here so quick. of course if you are not there, i guess, mitch, nothing is going to happen. so i will keep you a little longer. but we will have confirmed as i said, 112 judges to the federal district courts, 44 judges to the federal circuit courts, and two outstanding judges to the united states supreme court. and that number is rapidly
rising. now one out of every four circuit judges currently on the bench was appointed by this administration, and that number has now exceeded that by quite a bit. no president in history has confirmed as many circuit court judges, even close. not even close, in such a short period of time. the average age of my newly appointed circuit court judges is less than 50. a young, smart -- that is 10 years younger than president obama's nominees. the pace of appointments is only accelerating. it is going very quickly. and you know at some point, we are going to have to slow it down because we are not going to have any openings. you know that. but we will find them. we will find them. >> [laughter] pres. trump: we will find them. would you like to add a few judges? that would not be a bad idea. how about adding another 100 or so? we will be able to find them. but we are on track to have more judges confirmed this year than in the prior two years combined
for us. and it will be a record in history, a record the number of judges that we are getting in just a short period of time. once all pending nominations are confirmed, i will have appointed about 219 judges. and that number will go up very substantially from that. but the more gains we make, the more aggressive the hard left has become. i probably should not even be making this speech right now. i am just driving them crazy. they will go back, and they will have even more craziness than they have had in the last three years. can you imagine? three years already. three years. who could believe it? almost. in fact in two days' less than a year, we will be fighting an election. and we actually had a very big night last night. we had some tremendous results last night. and i will be leaving for louisiana. i think we are going to have a great result in louisiana. but one of their favorite new tactics is the nationwide
injunction. this very destructive practice enables any one of 673 district judges to single-handedly invalidate critical executive actions and stop the enforcement of duly enacted law. we have had it many times, especially when it comes to our border. and when you see what is going on on the other side of the break, people are starting to say, you know, maybe he is right about the wall. and maybe he is right about having a very strong border. the other side wants open borders, which brings tremendous crime. and now people are starting to see it. a lot of people have told me that over the last couple of days. they are starting to get the border thing. the activist left only needs to find one partisan resistance judge anywhere in the country to agree with them. on perhaps no issue have these district court injunctions been more brazen and damaging than in the area of immigration.
in case after case, judges are prohibiting us from enforcing the plain letter of the law. and you know that better than anybody, the people in this room. for example, federal laws are expedited removal of illegal aliens apprehended within two years of entry. but a district court judge declared the law could only be applied to illegal aliens caught within 14 days. that is a tiny group of people. just a small fraction of what the law expressly allows. in the words of the late great justice antonin scalia, whose son, thank you very much for the approval gene is now our , secretary of labor. a great young guy. a good judge must suppress his personal views and must decide each case as the law dictates, not as he would have resolved the matter if he had drafted the law. we have a lot of them looking at it as if they had drafted the
law. let's create brand-new law. justice scalia was correct. if federal judges want to write the law, they should run for congress. let them run for office. you think this is easy? it is not easy. [applause] not easy. [applause] not easy, fellas, is it? it is nasty. nobody told me it was going to be this nasty. but that is what they have to do, let them run for office and let them do what they are supposed to do. let them do the job the way it is meant to be. in recent years the left-wing assault on our constitution has also become a personal assault on the nominees themselves. it is nasty out there. and you are right, lindsey. one of the reasons it was so important is people watch this, and they do not want us giving up on them. they do not want us -- oh, let's take the next one down the pike. that would have been easier, by the way. what have been much easier.
but they don't want to see that. nominees have been attacked in hearings for their religious beliefs. our entire nation was stunned by the cruel campaign of lies and slander and abuse that was hurled at justice brett kavanaugh. but we refused to cave in. the left-wing mob, we will never, ever allow that to happen, where we give up, where we cave in, even if it is by far the easy decision to make. republicans will not back down. we will never, ever give up. while i am your president, we will continue to nominate highly qualified judges who truly love our constitution. and i know that leader mcconnell and chairman graham are absolutely committed to getting them confirmed quickly. and they have been going quickly. of course i would like to get some other people confirmed too, please. some of the other people -- mitch would say we have to do the judges first, and i agree with him.
and a lot of people waiting out there. he says i want those judges, and i agree with him. every judge we have placed on the bench, who will hear thousands of cases over their careers, they will ensure equal justice for every party before them, regardless of age, race, income, religion, beliefs or background. and they will safeguard the birthright of liberty that belongs to every man, woman, child in our land. but it is not merely their responsibility to protect and defend the constitution. it is our responsibility as well. every american shares that glorious duty we have inherited as citizens of the greatest and most exceptional country the world has ever known. and we have to keep our country as the greatest the world has ever known. because that great title can end if we are foolish and if we make mistakes. you see what is happening? you see what is going on? you see the statements that are
made? and the ideas being put forward? it would no longer be a great country, certainly not for very long. for the sake of our families, our children, and generations of americans yet unborn, we will fight with all of our heart and soul to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states, and the immortal rights given to us by almighty god. thank you. god bless you. and god bless america. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats as the president departs the east room. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]