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tv   Sen. Cotton Speaks at Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner  CSPAN  December 6, 2021 2:07am-2:41am EST

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it is 30 minutes. [applause] sen. cotton: it is great to be back with the federal society. i think half of the room as federal judges. and god willing, the other half
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will be soon. for all you hopeful jurists, have an inside tip about the easiest way to become a federal judge. be sure your law school roommate is a future united states senator. [laughter] welcome back to washington for the first time in two years. [applause] before i go any further, i feel a land acknowledgment is called for. tonight, we are celebrating on ancestral lands stolen from washington redskins.
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maybe just as gorsuch can do something about getting it back for them. unfortunately, the nation's capital is run by a bunch of power-hungry busybodies who still insist on mask mandates. you can remove your mask while you are drinking, which i noticed most of you were doing constantly doing the caulk tell -- constantly doing during the cocktail hour. take that, fauci. i have to say, i am impressed so many of you are still awake at this late hour and blood alcohol
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level. i expected most of you to look like joe biden at a climate change conference. [laughter] but let's be fair, who would not fall asleep at a climate change conference? i know i would, which is probably all i have in common with sleepy joe. that and the fact that both of our sons like to finger paint. before i go any further tonight, i also want you to join me in acknowledging the outstanding waitstaff working the dinner tonight. [applause]
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obviously, working any event of this size is very hard work. i'm very sorry you are still forced to wear those stupid masks. that is what you get when mayor muriel bowser is in charge of washington, which is another reason washington, d.c. will never be a state. [applause] i also want to acknowledge the supreme court justices with us tonight. justice gorsuch and justice alito. [applause] and i want to acknowledge even though she could not be here with us tonight, our newest justice who could not join last year, just as amy coney barrett. -- justice amy coney barrett.
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i was pleased when president trump nominated justice barrett and i was pleased to support her in the senate even though as some of you may recall, i was on the president shortlist for that very job. i still remember when he called me right beforehand to say, tom, they are telling me to put you on this list but you have got a great job. why would you want to go work in that boring court? i said, mr. president, you can only put me on the list if you promise not to nominate me. he said tom, only put you on the list if you promise not to serve. i guess the president thought i should stick to electoral politics given my famously warm and approachable manner. you know, it is ok i was not the president's first court -- first
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choice for the court. for all of our friends at the federalist society, jean, dean, leonard, i'm a little offended i was not your first choice for tonight. i hear that i was the fifth choice for tonight. fifth. john roberts was not available. apparently he had a prior commitment at the american constitution society. strangely to me, but i guess in the spirit of open debate, they invited sheldon whitehouse. but then he started ranting and raving about piercing the inner circle of the illuminati or something. it is all very weird to me.
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they also asked kamala harris but she said sitting in a room with 2000 lawyers would bring back bad memories of the bar exam. both times she took it. this did not surprise me a lot. despite the devotion to a republican form of government, they even considered inviting true loyalty. but joe manchin was not available either. you are stuck with me. i'm sorry. but i'm still grateful to be here. just as i am grateful for what the federalist society has provided to so many people over the years. scholarship, free inquiry, friends and mentors. that is not all.
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nine years ago, after i spoke at another federal society event, a pretty girl came up to me afterwards and he gave me her phone number. she is with us here tonight. my wife, and a cotton. -- my wife, anna cotton. [applause] it must've been one how of -- one hell of a speech. and i is herself a former president of a federalist society student chapter. so i say to all of you single appellate low nerds tonight. there is still hope for you. make sure you don't miss the after party. the federalist society import extends far beyond matchmaking. from of four decades, you have
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defended our constitutional system of representative government with limited and separated powers. these are not mere abstractions. they are the lifeblood of our liberty. as justice scalia, whom we honor tonight, was fond of saying, every banana republic has a bill of rights, but it is nothing more than a -- without things like free and fair elections, without separating powers, and without an independent judiciary to uphold it all. [applause] our rights, the rights of all mankind, derived from the natural equality of man. as abraham lincoln put it, the father of all moral principle that binds us together has flesh
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of the flesh irrespective of our race or our origin or upbringing. the declaration does not proclaim our rights. it also contains lessons about how to preserve and protect them. take a look at the bill of particulars. our founders acute king george of interfering with elections and operational legislatures, representative government could abusing -- representative government. abusing his power. encroaching on the three departments of government, the separation of powers. consider even the declaration speaks of god four times. once as divine providence and as lawgiver, executive and judge the political trinity if you will. this is why lincoln declared the declaration the apple of gold sitting inside the constitution's frame of silver.
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the electric cord is both the chief end of our government and the foundational principle of its many institutions. it is not surprising i suppose at a time when a tiny but vocal and powerful minority disputes these things that the federalist society has come under intense attack. few organizations had been more dedicated and effective champions of our founding principles. something america needs more than ever today. this radical minority would have us believe america was founded on a lie, that america is run to its core and from its start they would have us believe america was founded not in 1776 or even in 1621 the pilgrims wrote the mayflower compact.
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rather, they contend our nation was founded a year earlier in 1619 and not in liberty but in bondage. not in equality but in racism. ironically, the so-called anti-racists sound like no one so much as john calhoun, roger tony and jefferson davis. i could start a game of who said it and i am confident you could not distinguish between quotes from confederates like jefferson davis and today's woke left. but why bother? one of these charlatans, amen named henry -- a man named henry rogers, who calls himself hebrew max candy entitled his book on
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american history stamped from the beginning, verbatim quotes from jefferson davis. after last week's elections, it has dawned on a few sane liberals that making common cause with geoff davis and john calhoun may not be a recipe for success. i have to confess i chuckled at how cnn has covered critical race theory. it reminds me of the old joke about lawyers making weak and contradictory arguments in the alternative could he does not -- in the alternative purity is not my dog. he didn't bite you. you kicked him first. with article race theory, the left says it does not exist. it is not taught in schools. you are racist for trying to take it out of schools. [applause]
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but we still see all around us the left's assault on our institutions, which is an assault on our declaration and our constitution. when they accuse america of systemic racism, what they mean most is our system of government. when they demand structural change, what they most want to change is the structure of our government. this audience is probably familiar with the left's assault on our judiciary. the left still aspires to pack the supreme court with all the reversible damage that would do to the courts legitimacy and the rule of law and our constitution. joe biden may have frowned on court packing but it is ominous he found the need to create it in the first place. democratic politicians openly threaten the justices if they do not reach their preferred outcomes.
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chuck schumer stood on the steps of the court last year and screamed, you have unleashed a whirlwind and you will pay the price. later adding you will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions. before i done rights case, sheldon whitehouse warned the court it should heal itself or be restructured. the latest as something called the shadow docket, which sounds terrible and nefarious but is nothing more than how the court handles emergency appeals and routine orders. perhaps the left should reflect on why so many of its cases are so weak they do not even -- they do not even get full argument. and thank goodness the court issues these rulings.
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on six separate occasions, the court has intervened to stop liberal governors from shutting down worship services while they allowed businesses like strip clubs and look for stores to remain open. thanks to the thomas core, religious liberty was protected. i'm sorry. was that a slip of the tongue? did i say the thomas court? i apologize. i've course meant the roberts court should i have to say it -- the roberts corporate i have to say it was a little strange when i bumped into justice thomas recently and he looked at me at a tensely said, look at me, senator. look at me. i am the captain now. [laughter] the core is far from the only
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institution under assault by the left. the progressive left loads the senate and condemns it as of course racist. how dare wyoming have as many senators as enlightened california? pat lahey and bernie sanders could not be reached for comment on that question. nor for that matter could delaware zone joe biden -- delaware's own jode biden p this is what dz statehood is all about. the left does not care about congressional representation for the city. if they did, they long ago could have tried to return the city to maryland just as happened with virginia in 1846. [applause] although they really want is two new democratic senators in perpetuity. for some on the left, two new democratic senators is a small ball.
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just last year, the harvard law overview published an article calling for democrats to admit each of washington's 127 neighborhoods as its own state. so all you editors and former editors tonight, hang your head in shame. if they can't change the number of senators, they want to alter the character of the senate by on limiting -- by limiting the right of unlimited debate. they were not singing this tune when donald trump and mitch mcconnell were in power. but now the progressive left wants to go for broke using the democrats' very tiny majorities and i promise you, very fleeting majorities. [applause] to destroy our constitutional structures and norms.
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the progressive left also detests that close cousin of the senate, the electoral college. liberals like dick durbin started targeting it 20 years ago just as the democrats started their leftward lurch. now a handful of democratic front states have adopted something called the national popular vote interstate compact. an unconstitutional scheme to undermine the electoral college. the current assistant attorney general for national security has even published an article entitled the electoral college is a national security threat. as orwell said, only an intellectual could believe something so stupid or apparently a senior official at the biden department of justice.
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these assaults on the senate and the electoral college are also attacks on the state and are set -- and our in recent months, the senate has voted three times on legislation to take over all 50 states, all on the ground certain states are suppressing the vote. . the attorney general has sued georgia and texas for the crime of making it easier to vote than it is in delaware on new york. [applause] i will say it again, merrick garland should resign in
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disgrace. thank god he is not on the supreme court. thank mitch mcconnell as well. the baseless lawsuits, perhaps the most fundamental we have, the rule of law points back to natural equality, yet the progressive left is willing to jettison the rule of law when it does not serve as policy goals or achieve its preferred social outcomes. loan forgiveness is given to farmers, so long as they are not white. radical george soros prosecutors simply refuse to enforce a lot all. indefinite detention for those
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charged merely with trespass in the january 6 riots while piland -- violent blm insurrectionists get off scott free. or kamala harris nelson out of jail. [applause] unfortunately, the corporate media and increasingly these days the board room is eating the corporate left. those who criticize or oppose ideas are often silenced or canceled. if you say for instance that the wuhan coronavirus just might, perhaps maybe came from a lab in wuhan where they researched coronaviruses, i know it is crazy. the corporate media will say you were spreading lies and conspiracy theories.
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the list goes on and on and on. college administrators disinvited speakers, amazon removes books. social media companies deplatform conservatives while conspiring to suppress information about hunter biden that is unflattering. although is there any other kind? [laughter] these companies suggested it was foreign disinformation. i guess they would know since it was the very same media that peddled the russia collusion hopes for four years. [applause] or how about coca-cola's woke ceo? denouncing georgia's new election law, even though he is not an american citizen. do you know what that sounds like to me? foreign election interference. [applause]
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these actions can chill and suppress free speech rather than any law. the threat from the woke capitalists, go daddy deplatformed a pro-life group. major wall street banks and investment firms are wasting retirement savings while divesting from gun manufacturers. i know that some libertarian friends might say they are private companies, they have a right to conduct business as they see fit. what will they say when entire industries rd bank? what will we say when americans are deplatformed?
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when credit card companies, banks and airlines as for your voter registration? is that liberty? let's not be capitalists to sell the proverbial rope that will be used to hang us. i confess these are challenging times. you can be fired for using the wrong pronouns. you can get kicked out of school for expressing mainstream political opinions. apparently you can be subjected to struggle sessions at yale for joining the federal risk society. for heaven sakes, these days you can even cheer on some guy named brandon. [laughter] [applause]
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it seems that this tiny but influential woke elite has all of the power. to borrow from their like-minded communist, they do in fact control the commanding heights of our society. the media, big tech, government bureaucracy, increasingly wall street and big business. those who love our country and revere her founding and honor her achievements have an even stronger -- thankfully, the american people are sensible, decent and grounded. ours is a people who stand for the anthem and pledges allegiance to the flag, who reads the declaration on the fourth of july, who wants schools named after our founders , who celebrate the pilgrims, respect the police and still
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believe the content of one's character is more important than the color of one's skin. [applause] the progressive left can mock, unfortunately they often get away with it. sooner or later, the people have a chance to speak. if you doubt their power, just ask the president of the new jersey senate. [laughter] [applause] the most powerful state legislator and all of america lost last week to a truck driver, who spent a grand total of $153 on his campaign.
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[applause] a party that condescends truck drivers will soon lose the truck drivers. lincoln says public sentiment is everything. before laws are passed, before cases argued, look at nina's form. as he put it, consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who and statutes. for four decades, the federalist society has gone deeper helping to restore the principles and politics. the hour is late.
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but i would be remiss if i did not observe we gather on this day dedicated to our brave veterans who serve in defense of those principles. [applause] today is a particularly notable veterans day. today marks the centennial of the tomb of the unknown soldier. 100 years ago today, an unknown american soldier was interred on that sacred ground. a republican congressman, himself a veteran of the great war authored the bill creating the memorial to the american soldier known but to god. he explained that the unknown represents no section, creed or
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race. but rather, typifies the soul of america. this is as it should be. the unknown stand in for all of those who served and sacrificed for our great nation. we do not know their race, or their hometowns, but we do know the cause for which they gave not only their lives but the very identities. that causes noble and true. it is our cause, it is the federalist society's cause. and it remains today as it was for them, a cause worth fighting for. i am proud to join you in that fight and may god bless you, and may god bless the united states of america. [applause]
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