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tv   Washington Journal Sen. Mike Lee  CSPAN  June 10, 2022 7:31pm-8:02pm EDT

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the full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at c-span.org/history. >> book tv, every sunday on c-span two, features leading others discussing their latest nonfiction books. at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the former house leader gives a behind-the-scenes account of his times in congress, and republican legislative successes. and then on afterwords, kellyanne conway talks about the 2016 campaign and her time in the trump administration with her memoir. she is interviewed by donna brazil. watch book tv every sunday on c-span two, and find a full schedule on your program guide
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or watch online anytime at book tv.org. continues the eyes is turn to the supreme court we are joined by senator mike lee a veteran now of four supreme court nominations in the author of the book saving nine. before we get to saving nine, i wanted to get your reaction to the man arrested outside of brett kavanaugh's house yesterday. he had a knife on him, he had a gun on him. your reaction to that incident. guest: there are real problems with showing up at the home of the supreme court justice to protest what you anticipate might be the outcome of a case
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to try to influence the outcome of the case. this particular instance he appears he showed up to influence the outcome of a case in a way that is unthinkably bad. i am grateful that they caught him, but we have to get serious about the fact that this is prohibited. this is a federal criminal offense. host: showing up to protest or having a weapon? guest: showing up to protest at the home of the supreme court justice is in itself a criminal offense. doing so to carry out an execution is unthinkably bad. i hope and expect to hear condemnation from republicans and democrats alike and from the white house and the president himself. condemnation of people showing up at supreme court justices at all. host: is there a similar code to
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members of congress. is it illegal to go to a member's house to stand on the sidewalk outside their house and protest? guest: to my knowledge there is not a federal law that is similar to 1507 with respect to members of congress. when you show up to the home of a public official to try to influence the public official to try to protest, i do think that is inappropriate. i think that should be unlawful. when you show up to protest at the home of a private person because that private person is a public official you are sending one signal regardless of what else you are saying. you are saying we know where you sleep. that is a threat of physical violence. in this day and age, i think there is a time and place and manner of issue in the place for
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protesting should not be where someone sleeps. host: on saving nine, why is nine the magical number for the supreme court. guest: there is nothing magical about the number nine. there is nothing mandated by the constitution about the number nine and yet, that is the number that we arrived at by 1869. it was five for a while, it was six and then back to five it went up to seven. we got to eight and then it got up as high as 10. in 1869 it has been at nine and it was at that point we realized as a country, it is probably better not to over politicize the supreme court is what inevitably happens when we tinker with the number. i would support a constitutional amendment changing the number.
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this is one of these instances where it is not unconstitutional to increase the supreme court but it is fundamentally and severely anti-constitutional. it would be destabilizing to the judiciary. host: several of your colleagues actively colleagues to expand the supreme court. elizabeth warren, republicans rammed through extremist candidates. and that is just the tip of the iceberg. this radical court open floodgates for corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to buy our elections. it started with big businesses
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to bust unions. it gutted one of the most important civil laws of our time. the voting rights act. this is not a court that represents the will of the people. we can't take this lying down. the only real solution is to expand the supreme court. the constitution gives the authority to congress to expand the supreme court. the congress has done this seven times before. it is the only way to rebalance the supreme court after the republican stole to seats and undermine the legitimacy of the court. host: part of a youtube video she put out last year. your response. guest: there is a lot to unpack there. she refers to the republicans haven't stolen power and she
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said the word stole or steel twice. i am not sure what she is referring to there. there is nothing about the manner in which republicans nominated anyone that stole anything by confirming donald trump nominees to the supreme court. she may not like that it happened that way. she may not like that republicans held the majority in 2016 when republicans chose not to confirm merrick garland to the supreme court. she may not like the fact that republicans confirmed amy coney barrett in 2020. those were all legitimate exercises of power. it is significant there that she denigrates and delegitimize is
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and tries to cast aspersions at the supreme court itself. that is particularly dangerous. she is talking about the supreme court as if it were a political institution. this runs like a political attack ad. the supreme court is not a political body. i explained what the supreme court is and importantly what it is not. it is not fair -- it is important that it resolves disputes. i vehemently, respectfully disagree with it. it is dangerous to speak of the supreme court in these terms.
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i have tried to remember that we owe a duty of respect to the independence of the judiciary even when we disagree with them. the supreme court of the united states is the greatest institution of its kind anywhere in the world. i say that as one who strongly disagrees with its rulings. it is not a bad entity that sometimes makes good decisions. it is a remarkable institution being run by mortals that are fallible. it is important to differentiate these two. host: your book comes out soon. to talk about it republicans call (202) 748-8000, democrats (202) 748-8001 independents (202) 748-8001. your opinions on the bipartisan
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talks on gun laws. guest: i will say this, every time there is a mass shooting in this country many laws have been debated, dozens of laws have been violated. it is an unwise thing and potentially fraught with peril if when dozens of laws have been violated we rapidly conclude that what is needed or what will stop at the next time around is yet another law. government exists for the purpose of exerting force. you don't want to punish the law-abiding for the crimes of those who are bent on lawless behavior. i also think it is important to look both short-term and long-term on how to respond to it. in the long term we have to look at the isolation and despair at
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the younger man who reacts with such horrible violent behavior. at why it is that the social isolation and the decay of their social collection whether it is through their families, their neighborhoods, communities. whether it is through facebook groups, how they become isolated. in the near term, i think it is helpful that we look at patterns we see developing with these events. very often these younger men have looked at things on social media signaling what they want to do. very often they are craving attention, notoriety and fame knowing that they may die in the event and tend do so. social media companies can somehow discern what kind of toothbrush they will buy before they are even thinking about
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buying a toothbrush. they post things often outlining their plans, sometimes detailed plans of what they are going to do. sometimes it might be something along the lines of expressing admiration for killers or a desire to engage in a mass killing event. social media companies should be reporting that and they should do it voluntarily and if they won't, we will make them. host: first we have mike out of ohio, you are on with senator mike lee. caller: thank you for c-span. i am all for nine supreme court justices. i would be fine with eight. we had eight for one full year after scalia passed away. why is it that after in september, you didn't nominate one.
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you know what the solution is, july the first, august the first of the presidential year. the one in office gets to make the choice. if it is after that date, wait till after the election. you should never have eight, for one full year, you should make an appointment. guest: i don't agree with your assessment of forcing the assessment that the quick congress should be made to appoint anyone. you have to remember that under our constitutional system the president nominates and the senate confirms. we had a senate and power that chose not to nominate merrick garland who was obama's nominee. that was the prerogative of the
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senate to confirm or not confirm. i don't believe that is something the log can or should compel a senate that doesn't want to confirm a particular nominee that it has no obligation to do so. host: this is kathy, a republican. caller: high senator lee. i hope and pray that y'all take back the house and the senate. we are all upset. the timid crowds are destroying everything. -- the democrats are destroying everything. people need to see it.
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he stole the election. it's too bad they can't go in there and take them out of the white house. host: kathy, thanks for your call. guest: i have great concern with what president biden is doing. he has made so many things worse for the american people. in utah, the average family is spending $751 every month and increase in monthly household expenses. this is a predictable, foreseeable result of failed policy that president biden continues coy staying upon the american -- foisting upon the american people. the fact that american moms and dads can even get baby formula.
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there is no baby formula shortage in canada, mexico. there is no baby formula shortage in asia or in europe. it is only here in the united states. why is that? that is the case because this is not a natural shortage. there is no inability on the part of the u.s. economy to produce baby formula. this is entirely of government creation. i have introduced a bill that would remedy this problem and it would do so by fixing three problems that the government has created. number one, we have put in place protectionist areas -- barriers.
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problem number two, we have label requirements that could be imported lawfully. the labeling requirements prohibit the sale of certain european formulas that would otherwise be lawfully for sale but for minor differences in the way these things are labeled. problem number three is the fact that through the wic program, they issue vouchers and they issue limitations on what those vouchers can be used for. my formula act would fix this problem and suspend all of those limitations for six months and would bring americans very quick
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and very effective relief from the formula crisis. you are right to be concerned about president biden's failed policies. i hope and pray republicans will sweep through and gain healthy majorities in the house and senate. host: would you agree with her assessment that he is an illegitimate president? guest: know the electoral votes were opened and counted. the election that matters is the electoral college. i did not see the movie 2000 mules. that movie does raise significant questions as to what happened in that election. i would love to get the president's response and his
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explanation to why certain things happen. but it is important to point out, there is a difference between the possibility that some cheating may have occurred and whether or not he is the legitimate president. the president of the united states is chosen by the electoral college. the opening an accounting of electoral votes resulted in a clear victory for joe biden. that doesn't mean that bad things didn't happen along the way. host: to alabama, michael, a democrat. caller: i am a longtime listener , a veteran. i have a couple things. first of all, i have lost confidence in the supreme court. i think you are correct in the nine. the fact that anyone sitting on
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the supreme court. i don't care who put on their has gotten their less with 60 votes. putting someone on that court and that is the problem i have. you have to get 60 votes. who looks at things from the far end on the worse side. you didn't give people a chance. but when you don't give them a vote, you didn't even try to move forward on that. guest: thanks for calling in.
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thanks with agreeing with me that nine justices is the appropriate number. as to your point about the 60 vote threshold. being required for presidential nominees. it was in the senate, all presidential nominees were required to have a 60 vote closure standard. to get to simple passage you first have to bring debate to a close. breaking debate to a close take 60 votes. they were all subject to that standard up until november of 2013 when harry reid, i was in the senate when it happened. they removed the filibuster. everyone understood at the time
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that once you knew the filibuster as to presidential nominees there was no principled distinction between supreme court and other nominees. that is the kind of change that does not get undone. it does not get ignored. as for not holding a vote on merrick garland. the senate's job is to review and to decide whether to confirm. we decided not to confirm eric garland. it was a mentor you to me whether we do so by a vote or whether we decided to not schedule a vote. we opted for the latter strategy. we knew we were not going to confirm him. i understand you disagree but i
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do disagree. host: do you think we are going to see confirmation votes where a justice get 60 or more votes again. all the eventual justices received less than 55 votes? guest: the short answer is no, not in the foreseeable future. i described in chapter one of saving nine, we shouldn't view the supreme court as a a political body. it has taken certain political matters as a political debate. regardless of how one feels about abortion, religiously, morally or as a matter of public
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policy there is no grounding in the constitution for roe v. wade. it was a power grab for seven out of nine supreme court justices and 1973. it was dead wrong in that instance. traditional activism doesn't always occur in the form of liberals. in 1905 there was a prominent case called lochner v. new york where five supreme court justices in a five to four ruling sees power by invalidating a minimum wage law. it rooted in the constitution. not coincidentally using the same basic doctrine which was later used in 1973 to bring the
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abortion issue beyond political debate. it took the supreme court 32 years to undo that bad precedent resulting from conservative activism. i talk about this at some length in chapter three of "saving nine." it is wrong when conservatives do it it is wrong when liberals do it. when supreme court justices take political matters and resolve them in the court on basis that are not constitutional we produce things which no nominees are likely not to get 60 votes. host: from kyle in truth or consequences nevada, republican. caller: good morning, 1905
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supreme court justice, senator lee is going to correct me on this, i paid attention to this because of the vaccine mandates. the antitrust movement, you guys are huge forces in this. i was thinking it is for sterilizations under the same premise. i love the spirit of mike lee, i really do. my question is, how much does bureaucracy get in the way,
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number nine, number seven, number 12 what does it matter if we are not acting in good faith? guest: the number of justices on the supreme court, as i explained in "saving nine," when we tinker with the size of the supreme court for political reasons it interferes with the ability of the supreme court to be a neutral arbiter of what the law says. the minute we lose that, the structure of our constitution gives way. the last time this was attempted was a 1937. as i described in chapters four and five, franklin d roosevelt, also a democrat and a hero and idol of our current president,
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got tired of the supreme court disagreeing with him, he tried to threaten them by pushing a bill in congress that would've given him power to expand the court to 15 justices. that proposal failed legislative but i got the court sufficiently scared and convinced one supreme court justice owen roberts, to flip his vote in an important case. you can read about it and chapter five, that case for reasons i explained in the book, ended up influencing the way we do business in the federal government ever since then and not in a good way. it has a lot to do with why we are $31 trillion in debt.
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it is why the american economy struggles under $2 trillion of compliance costs. that is what happened the last time someone tried to pack the court. host:" the book announcer: here is what is ahead on c-span, visited biden speaking about inflation in the u.s. and the conversation on sanctions against russia in whether they're working and later a hearing with the had to humanitarian organizations working in ukraine, including a shift -- chef. announcer: c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including nipsco. ♪
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