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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 25, 2014 10:00am-2:01pm EDT

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we've got to vote. it is powerful. got to do it, and we must do it. if not we're going to go backwards. >> even as we begin that fight them amen in this room and around the country have consistently been engaged in ensuring that we are registered, ensuring that folks are educated and making sure that there's robust -- congresswoman fudge, there is i think an attack on the committee as we look at what happened with the supreme court decision. do we continue to fight for federal voter laws, or do we more focus on state laws that we are losing in many cases all over the country? ..
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we did that because we lost the statehouses. if we had not lost the statehouses we may be in much better position we are today. i thing people need to understand, what is at stake in this election. i mean we know that we need the vote and we all know why we need to vote but let me say these few things if i may.
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if we do not vote, believe it or not they will file articles of impeachment much our president. if we don't vote the street in front of your house will not get fixed. if you we do not vote because we will have hungry children because they will -- [inaudible] this election is about us. not about the people are running. it is about the policies that we need to be supporting. if you don't vote, i say you're selfish and sorry. so go out there and tell the people to vote. [applause] >> congressman becerra, to congresswoman's fudge point we can walk and chew gum at the same time. even those of us inside the political bubble, looking around, i need conversation about every day secure the seats in the house and potentially move some seats forward. i hear about securing the senate and insuring that democrats stay
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on the front end there for those playing party politics but i don't hear the same level of fervor and enthusiasm about down ballot candidates that are drastically going to affect quality of life in states all over the country. as we talk about walking and chewing gum at the same time, how can we insure we're doing the kind of work that leads people to the polls, that push forward the kind of representatives we want in the house and senate but not at the cost of poorly educating folks on those down ballot seats, many of whom still have opportunity to win in certain states? >> jeff, let me begin by first saying thank you for being here and for awe log me to with all these great leaders that are here. to the point i think marcia hit it right on the money there and i think congressman lewis gave us the proper perspective. what we find is that after 2008 and 2012, when the black vote set historic numbers, that republicans went on the offense and they said, we got to stop
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this. and so they have been playing offense for the last four years. and they have been going after that vote, not by trying to persuade you not to vote, but not making it possible for you to vote. and so, what we've got to stop is playing defense. we're fighting the supreme court decision. we're fighting to change law at state and federal levels. what we should do is take the offense. i don't think you will take the offense only if you concentrate at federal or local level. as marcia said, you got to do both and, jeff, i think the response here is, we've got to teach our young folk that voting is a right but not just a right, it is a right rite of passage, if you don't vote, you want to learn how to drive? it's a rite of passage, you have to show me you deserve to drive that car. you want to be a man, a leader, a woman or man leading this country, you have to show me you
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know the importance of voting. and so it has got to be a conviction that is a rite of passage for our young folks to vote. that means we have got to teach them. i don't think it makes any difference if it's a city council seat or congressional seat or for the president of the united states. our young folks have to understand value of voting for that, little town hall city council person or for the president of the united states. when we do that, it makes no difference how these anti-voters want to push us. we will be on the offense and we will win. >> thank you, congressman. barbara i'm concerned because i hear congressman becerra, and i agree, but as someone who worked at naacp, people for the american way, a number of organizations at the national level, even worked on the pop culture side, to engage young voters i hear the language of voting being important. and i hear it specifically during targeted periods.
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but if we're talking about offense, in many cases the enemy that many of us are fighting never take as day off. when do we move beyond this notion that fighting for the vote starts and ends somewhere around the time campaigning starts? and that whether it is our churches, our civic organization, and our leadership begin to have, have messages and movements, that don't turn on and off? that we engage funders, so that funders are not only funding during periods of time? how do we create a movement that is larger, more comprehensive and more 360 than frankly we've seen in several decades? >> thank you for that question. >> i figured you would like that. >> because, listen, everyone, voting has to be 365 days a
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year. it can not only be about showing up for an election, although that's key. because that is how you manifest it. if you don't give a gift on christmas, well you know what happens? so the most important thing for people right now, is for, we know, jeff, that for everyone of us who knows that november 4th is the election day, that four other people have no idea, not a clue. not a clue. our duty is to create the massive microphone, to get the word out to every single person we know. my mother is 83 years old. she will be on the phone calling everybody in our family, saying, honey child, are you registered? because registration is going to
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start cutting off for some states as early as october the 7th. so it is very important that we get that word out, and she is going to be on the phone on early voting and election day, calling all of my family saying, you better get ready. you got to get to those polls. see, we've got to do that. and we don't do that just by talking. i want to make sure that everybody here knows that we come here today to bring you tools to help you do that. the lawyers committee, the leadership conference, the naacp, lbf, all of our organizations work together. national action network, national coalition for black participation. we put out tool kits every community can use. we have a new one just came out on community engagement. another one for faith-based communities.
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another one for youth voters. what i want to make sure of, but what those tool kits do, do they not talk about only reggering, the vote, what is going on in the local communities but they also talk about this issue, about making sure that people stay engaged. because the problem is, the reason why some people don't want to go to the polls, they get disgusted with putting people in office who don't do what they were put in office to do. and, they get angry when they see that they're not at the school board level making sure that children have the best education. they get upset when the mayor isn't holding the police force accountable. >> let me interject here. that is why we have got to make sure people are held accountable and that we're engaged in this process all the time. >> because, i think you make a great point. thank you very much. [applause] and wade, if you can build on that. my concern, we throw out the word accountability all the time. >> yes.
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>> so why aren't we holding mayors accountable? why aren't we holding school members accountable? why aren't we holding state legislators confidented. with cities with 2,000 churches very few members attend city council meetings. where we have activist organizations they lot a times don't show up at the state legislature. my question is how do we begin to better engage folks i think what barbara is talking about on a consistent basis. >> jeff, a great question. i'm honored to be here, honored to be part of this conversation, very important. look, voting really is the language of democracy, guys. if you don't vote, you don't count. that is number one. number two, voting should be a non-partisan issue. it's a national issue. but the truth is, partisanship and particularly a corrosive, toxic kind of partisanship has subverted the right to vote and democracy as we know it. i want to give just a brief history lesson of why this issue
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is important, okay? >> then after you do that, tell me the how. >> i am going to tell you the how. look, when president obama was elected in 2008, he shattered every record about voter turnout and participation. in north carolina, you had a huge turnout of african-americans. in virginia, and indiana. it was mind-blowing. but on the night he won the 2008 election, robert draper, a, an author who create ad book, don't ask us what we do, the u.s. house of representatives, documented a dinner that took place in washington where paul ryan, kevin mccarthy, the current whip of the house of representatives, newt gingrich and others came together to talk about not just how do regain power but how to subvert president obama's legislative agenda. that was on the night of his inaugural ball.
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and in september of 2009, an obscure congressman from south carol lien by the name of joe wilson, who was attending a joint session of the house and senate yelled out during a presidential address, you lie! you lie. it was an attack on the presidency and it was an attack on president obama. he was reward with a nine-point victory and war chest of untold proportions generated by what he did. and in march of 2010, tea party activists came to town and spit on congressman emanuel cleaver, hurled racial epithets at john lewis and other members and argued this was a free exercise of their right to express their views. i mention all of this for the following reason. this is a concerted effort to subvert the president's agenda. it began on the night of his
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first election. the failure on the part of black voters to respond in 2010, as we responded in 2008, cost us everything. we lost control of statehouses. we lost control of our ability to set the state agenda. and we're still paying the price. >> so with all of that, what do we do. thank you. because i, i would love if we could put up the slide that showed some of the black voter turnout and varians between 2010 and 2012. and those will come up. but my concern is still about the how, real quickly, we talk about the electorate, what the electorate didn't do. a lot of times i didn't see resources. i didn't see infrastructure. i didn't see organization, in large part pushing to insure that turnout was going to be at the same level. >> resources for advocacy in the black community and organizing
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the electorate are scarce. they have not been devoted by the national party structure as they should be. guys, come on, be real. we know that your vote is always sought at election time. but there is no infrastructure on the part of the national party to support organizing in the black community. now, hey, i'm not here in a partisan role. i'm not here to extol one party or the other. i'm saying our interests should determine how we should cast our vote. in the event that we don't vote, we are ultimately harmed. so here's the connection. when you look at the states that have failed to provide medicaid assistance under the generous provisions of the obamacare bill, states get three years of federal support. it is inducement to have states join the medicaid debate. most of the people who are affected by medicaid are poor people. black people, white people, latinos. the states that are denying them
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are largely in the south. the truth is, we can't get health care and we desperately need it and our vote will determine whether that is carried out. >> so let me do this because, elaine, i would like you to come in and deal with the how. because i'm curious about how, because i think everything that wade brought up was poignant. but i'm interested in, for those of us who are in cincinnati or those in indianapolis or those in pittsburgh or those in oakland, wherever they may be, how do we begin to see 365 day engagement in a voter process that creates a culture of civic engagement, not just an activity of voting? >> may i say something to that? >> yes, ma'am. >> we need to be half as good as our forefathers and foremothers.
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we just need to be have as good. they didn't have a degree. they didn't have college graduation. they didn't have high school. but i'm telling you, when black men first got the right to vote in 1870, black women didn't get it until 50 years, 1920. but in 1870 those brothers, five years out of slavery, five years out of slavery, with the new holes in the hats and turn overred shoes and little collars, wrapped themselves around the polls for 25 years. they didn't miss a vote. [applause] and they elected 24 black men to the congress. by themselves. because they didn't need to be educated on, that we left in a democracy.
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they didn't need that. >> yes. >> they understood that. elected 24 black people to congress. the powers that have always understood the promise and the strength of the black vote in this exercise. in our hands we have the seeds of our own liberation. >> amen. >> and we do not use it. now, we talk about what is it out there, what is it we can do, what is the organization? we got out there and voted for barack obama in 2008. >> big-time. big-time. >> what did that? we got out there, because what we do, we vote for people. we don't vote for issues. and barack obama we had the issue and the person combined. so we could come out. >> that's right. >> you remove the african-american president,
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state level, federal level, it is all connected. we have myopia, we can't see anything. we don't educate ourselves. so what is going on in our community. ferguson, missouri is abomination. >> right. >> 67% black vote. 67% population and 6% voter turnout? a wonder you have any blacks on the police force. [applause] so, we have been fighting for the right to vote and to hold on to the vote ever since we first got it in 1870. that is nothing new. always has been under attack. when did the supreme court decide they were going to review the voting rights act case? three days after obama elected in 2012. three days. >> okay. >> so i mean, we, the foundation don't fund it.
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all right they don't fund it. the people don't organize. all right, we're not organized. >> that's right. >> is our individual duty to self-educate? [applause] self-educate. it is our duty to organize and educate others and it is local. it begins at home. everybody, the community meetings, jeff is right. the school board, that we, black people, should be known as the most politically active folks in this nation. when they look at us, and they are over 18, they should automatically know we are voters. so it is ours. >> thank you so much. elaine, what i need thousand do next time, i need to hear more
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passion. you're not passionate enough. we need a little more energy. >> oh. oh. oh. [applause] >> i loved it. congresswoman fudge, and i know congresswoman, fudge you have to transition, but i have a sticky question. and i know normally you can deal with sticky questions. and wade brought up something i think is important. and that is, that often times even democrats treat the african-american community like baseball fans who only watch the world series. they just show up in october. >> that's right. >> and so how do we begin? because i think elaine really dealt with the fact that there is some self-internal issues we need to deal with if we're going to mobilize. but there is also is support issues from those who we support. so how do we engage the democratic party in more
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effective way of supporting candidates that we can see have a chance of winning, but don't get broader support. and, this unbelievable infrastructure, some of which people in this room represent, people that work in the political space, and are always brought in to meetings to give free advice, but never hired as consultants within this electoral infrastructure. >> all right. >> jeff, really the answer is really easy. self-preservation is human nature. and so when they have finally realized that 45% of the vote of the democratic is minority, then they pay attention. when they realize they want to hold the senate and realize it in louisiana, they need our vote and it is 30% of the vote in louisiana. 30% of the people in louisiana are black people. in alabama, almost the same. in georgia, almost the same.
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in north carolina, almost the same. i was in arkansas on monday, i mean sunday. arkansas, only 15%, but in a close race, 15% is a lot of votes. >> that's a difference. >> now that they realize not only do they just need us, always need us, come on black folk, come out here and support the democratic party, once they realize we can make a difference, we went to them. they didn't have to come to us. you want us? we're players in this game. so right now the dscc is getting ready to spend $60 million on the ground in seven states. guess who will get many so of that money now? we're going to get some of that money. >> i hope so. >> the dnc, supported our freedom sunday effort. we hit, almost 3,000 churches last sunday. to talk about getting out the vote. i think it is just important that you have to make people do what is right sometimes.
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>> right. >> because we expect them to do what is right. we expected that from other too. we expected them to take care of us, we were worth something, had some vole value. sometime you have to make them do it and now we're making them do it. if they don't, they lose. i will tell you what, my life ain't going to change a whole lot personally, but what will change is my neighbors, when their kids can't eat. when they can't keep a roof over their head. we're saying to the democratic party, all three houses of the democratic party, you better pay attention to us, because if you don't, everybody loses. if we win, everybody wins. if we lose, everybody loses when black folks don't vote. >> thank you. at this time, we're going to shift gears a little bit. and i want to talk about what is on a lot of peoples minds. many of you have seen in the last 24 hours that people were in the streets in ferguson.
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there is conversation right now about protesters blocking the st. louis cardinals game as they go into the playoffs. but there is also right now a video that was released of john crawford shooting in ohio. >> yes. >> in a walmart, where it was said he was, the police stated he was a gun-wielding individual but it was a gun that was sold in walmart that he was getting ready to buy. and i think as many of us said, we heard about the video, that there was no warning, that the police didn't identify themselves. that he was shot from behind the first type. that he was killed, in many cases what they believe was a second shot. and so ferguson is, an example of what is happening in cities all over the country. that either no one catches on video, or it doesn't bubble to the surface. so, i would like to, barbara, if you could chime in first, to deal with, and actually, if i can pause for a second,
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congressman lewis, if you could chime in for a second because clearly there are policy issues as it relate to the militarization of local police. there is policies as it relates to what the rules for accepted force are and more importantly i think what communities are concerned with, how do we create policy that hold police accountable in substantive ways versus superficial ways so we don't continue to see people that shoot someone, and tomorrow they're back on the street or on paid leave? >> well he think it is important, i think it is a must, that we become organized, all across america, with thible and the capacity to to speak up and not wait until there is an incident. during the '60s, we didn't have a website. we didn't know anything about the internet. facebook? we didn't have a fax machine. >> that's right. >> we had old mimi graph
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machines. we brought about a non-violent revolution, a revolution of values and ideas. in our communities we're just too quiet. we need to make some noise. we need to organize and organize much. we have to use the vote, yes. but we have to organize disciplined campaigns. before there was a sit-in, a freedom ride, a march, we studied, we prepared ourselves. that was my next question to you, because i get concerned when i hear elders sometimes talk about the lack of engagement of young people but there isn't a real historical analysis of the fact that your generation got trained and you could be on the front lines if you weren't trained. you couldn't be at a lunch counter if you weren't trained. >> to go on freedom ride, we were trained. we were trained before board ad gray hound bus or trail ways bus
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to travel from new orleans. >> you weren't using some multimillion-dollar funded institute. i'm interested in those working with young people or college students moving them to address the vote or address issues of police brutality. what are some ways we can do the training that helped springboard consistent leadership, not just passionate leadership? >> we need to recruit a cadre of young people, gifted, yes. smart, yes. but the average joes and prepare them to be prepared to stand up and speak up and organize the unorganized and be prepared to mobilize. i want to go back to just one little point. the vote, if we want to change ferguson and other places we have to use the vote. it is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in
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democratic society. if we fail to use it, we're going backwards. >> congressman becerra, then i come back to you, barbara elaine talked about something that was critical, that is in so many cases communities of color vote for people first and policy second. >> yes. >> i don't often see candidate encue baittores that are looking for -- incubatetors. looking for young talent outside of the party system. i'm not sure about the work you're doing but how do we begin to, i don't just mean brilliant college students showing effective matriculation through undergraduate students and young people philosophize and on the block. and they care about something and we have the ability to take care of them and pull them in. how do we create candidate incubatetors and candidate incubators and see changes in state boards and mayors races?
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>> when you look at someone's office or the people that he or she hires i try to find a good person of minority background but they're not out there, or they don't come to me. i'm the chairman of the democratic caucus. the majority of my staff on the democratic caucus are people of color and women, and i had no trouble finding any of them and they're as talented as anybody out there. >> that's right. [applause] so you just got to push the envelope. you can't let people get away with the excuse. but, jeff, agree but not completely the with the notion that we vote based on the person. i think we vote based on our existential ability to survive. when ferguson occurred, i think people said, that's me. when the civil rights movement got strong, people said, that's me. and that's when people came out. but then what happened, you had success, we saw that we got the
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civil rights act passed. we saw we got the voting rights act passed. and we said we got what we were looking for and we got complacent and we sat and didn't teach the next generation the john lewises of the world to be ready for the next time. we knew there would be a next time. it is coming up all the time and ferguson is just one example. i think what we have to do, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. we have to start with them young because it is tough to change bad habits. we have to teach our young folks never to have a bad habit. i would say one other thing. if we don't put some of our own money, our own skin in the game on voter edge, not depending whether the parties will do it for us, but our own money we'll never fully get there, but the parties will only do it every year there is an election. we need to do it every year of that child's life, when they turn 18, new drivers license,
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you can go out and vote as well because it's a rite of passage. >> congresswoman. [applause] >> thank you, jeff. let me build on what javier just said and i will say it a little differently. when i hear mr. lewis and wade and elaine and the passion when we talk about our history, what happens his we get comfortable. let me speak to younger folks in the audience because what mr. lewis said, they were trained, they were trained because they felt the conviction and it affected them. so my message to your resolve is, whether you're on more mature end of this audience, when you get that corner corporate office, you remember there is somebody that needs to be in the file room. when you get there, with all of your credentials, you have to remember that there is someone is your contemporary. what i'm saying is, you get the
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one person in the corporate office or at the highest level and they don't bring people along. and so then we emulate when our young folks come along, they emulate what our leaders in those environments are doing because we like all the attention on us. when mr. lewis and everybody was marching, it was never about him. it was about the cause. when 22 black women, 101 years ago, had the courage to convince a president of the united states to let them be the only women of color to march in the women's sufferage march, it wasn't about them. it was about the cause. so i agree on the people but it is always about the cause. so this moment, you're in here for free. you will attend things late in the evening for free. so everything you have for free, you then write a check back to the cause. >> all right.
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>> whether it is to the naacp, whether it is to the caucus that you prefer. but there are no free rides. mr. lewis and all of his contemporaries they didn't ask anybody for a dime to feed them. they didn't ask anybody to get them a bus ticket to get on the bus. when rosa parks created the modern civil rights movement, for one year black folks didn't get on a bus. if you imagine today if joyce beatty said to you, stay with this group and walk for a week what would happen? we have to go old school. lastly, that is why we're doing this panel with jeff. because we stand on the shoulders of someone. you stand on the shoulders of someone. it is time for us to give a shoulder so our young folks can stand on. thank you. >> barbara if i can -- [applause] i think there that there is, if you have somebody to walk with you for a week, if i remember,
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so much of what made the busboy cot so brilliant it started with one day. what we're seeing in ferguson i'm pleased about, we're seeing young and old people alike on the ground that aren't waiting for anybody to come back, aren't wait for a national leader to come in, aren't waiting for somebody to tell them how to do it and there is continuity we're starting to see. but how, what are the issues, if you will on the policy side as it relates to police brutality that help turn the needle? is it civilian review boards? is it blocking federal funding? what are things people should look for from a policy piece, so when they're going to the polls they know what to look for by way of ways to end this at the local level? >> thank you so much. first of all, i want everyone to know that there is a unified statement that has been put out
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by at least 15 civil rights organizations, on ferguson reforms, on police reforms nationwide. and i wanted it to be very clear, that this is not a letter to talking about we abhor and we're so annoyed and we're so disgusted and we're so angry. this is a letter at that says, federal government, state government, local government, do these 14 things and we won't be burying our children every single three days. do you know that in august alone, police stop and killed over 102 people? i think we need to understand that this is not a moment as reverend yearwood said, it is about a movement that this is the work of our generation. this is the work that we have to get done. so i want you to know that you can become a signatory to this
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statement. you can get copies of the statement. some of them are outside of this hall. they're also at booth number 230 in the exhibit hall. and i want you to sign up. i want you to go to lawyerscommittee.org and become a signatory. but also, what i wanted to say is that to all the questions you've been asking, jeff, the beauty of the moment that we sit in, let's not miss where we are right now in this moment and where we're going in the future. i want to give a shoutout to all of my young brothers and sisters who created hands up, don't shoot.org. let's talk about it. [applause] >> here, here. >> i want to give a shoutout to all of my brothers and sisters from defenders, black youth
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project, black lives matters! i want to give a shoutout because those brothers and sisters have done it with no dimes. they got no buses and figured out how to get from new york to ferguson. they got no buses and figured out how to get from florida to whatever. they done it! and i it to be very clear, we have got a youth, a generation, that is like all the others that are using their talents, darnell moore and charlene carruthers and philip agnew and all the brothers and sisters are standing up because they understand this is not just an issue about black men. it is an issue about black boys. it is an issue about black women and black girls. my gosh, two days after the shooting of mike brown, police shot and killed in phoenix,
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arizona, michelle who was 50 years old, mentally disabled. and had a hammer in her hand and decided to shoot her 22 times. the community was so disgusted and 300 people marched with her casket and took it to the city hall and put it in the middle of the rotunda in the lobby. be very clear everywhere in this country, black people are rising up, we're standing up and saying no more killings of our people. but we need, we need these systemic and institutional reforms. we need to dig deep and fight to make sure that the change that happens that i'm not sitting on panel next year to talk about the latest people they shot and killed. no, my brothers and sisters, we can stop this by getting racial guidance passed. by getting the funding taken
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away from departments that have histories and clearly are engaging in police brutality. we can change it by making all these places where there are cameras -- wear their cameras so the true story gets out. by having dash-cams on police cars. by forcing people to keep statistics on who is being shot and killed. keeping simple changes by knowing who in fact is employed. having community civilian review boards that are real, not just jive. that are powerful, that can subpoena and punish. that have the ability to have community policing instead of broken windows that makes racial profiling legal. these are the things we've got to do. listen, i stand here because you know, that my family was invaded by a s.w.a.t. team. came into my home at 5:00 at night. you think ferguson has military gear? please, they came in with night
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goggles. i kept saying turn on the lights. you're going to kill some of my people. turn on the lights. but they wanted to play with their night goggles, their shields, all the rest of the stuff they did for our family. held us under armed guard for three hours while they quote, executed a search warrant they couldn't produce. these are the realities. we need to be very, very clear about the moment that we're in. i don't want us to ever forget, jeff, that as black lives matter, hands up, don't shoot us, we created those organizations. we can create the organizations you're talking about, that we need to have a 365-day review on what is going on politically and our local state and federal levels. that we can hold people accountable. we have got the technology. we've got the means. we just have to do the work. and i know in this audience,
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elaine, that seed you talked about? they're right here. and they're going to take what they learned today and change it into a new america. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> what i want to do, i want to ask one more question but i hate when we have three minutes left and we open the floor and only two people get to ask questions. so there is a mic in the middle here that will be available for those that want to ask questions. we'll get to as many as we can, which is why i want to open it as quickly as possible. but if you would begin to line up there in the center aisle, following this question. this for both wade and elaine. we wanted to talk about this, what is the socioeconomic impact of voting on african-americans. and so, wade, i'd like for you to talk about some of the small ways that we're impacted because there are so many. but, elaine, could you talk about something that representative becerra talked about, which is how do we
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financially impact the voting process? and what we can do to play a more sophisticated game on fund-raising, on donating to the kind of candidates that we want and on playing a fund-raising role within parties if we so choose to play the role in that space. wade and then elaine. >> guys, i would say look, voting obviously matters. here is good example. eric holder who is now the attorney general of the united states would not be in office were it not for barack obama. without eric holder in office, it is unlikely that we would have gotten something called the fair sentencing act, that reduced disparities between crack and powder cocaine. took off three years of drug sentences for many who use the effort, with drugs. if not for eric holder we wouldn't have an attorney general arguing people convicted of felonies should be entitled to vote. if it were not for eric holder, we would not have a comprehensive effort to reduce sentencing disparities based on
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mandatory minimums that have been generated. so elections matter, guys. when eric holder is challenged by the house of rest and thrown -- representatives and thrown into censureship fight. he is being censured that is something we need to be concerned about. when people talk about the potential to impeach president obama because he is carried out policies in the best interests of the country, understand that is attack on his record and the programs that he is pursuing. so when we don't have a jobs program that responds to the high level of unemployment in the african-american community because of obstruction of the jobs program was seen as being in the interests of his political opponents, that is a consequence we have to deal with. when we are challenged about providing resources, i mentioned medicaid earlier. there are school costs for
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public education. that are affected by elections. so there are a number of both major and micro issues, guys, that are affected by the outcome of elections. so i'm looking to use what we have. you know, ferguson has given us a moment that will help generate a movement and yes, i'm delighted that groups like color of change and others are in the effort but i'm now looking for a hashtag that says, hands up go vote because there is -- hands up, go vote. >> we can do that. >> there is a connection between what you do and the consequences that we are feeling on the ground. so when the president supports providing body cameras for police officers as a way of helping to protect all of us by giving us film of what happened, that's a positive. or what holder, who has responsibility for writing guidance from the
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department of justice, that determines how race can be used in law enforcement purposes, that is something that only he is capable of organizing and doing. so i'm saying, yes, we do have to educate ourselves but, look, i want to go back to something the congresswoman beatty said. there is a judge in this country, damon keith, now a 92-year-old retired judge, out of michigan. he is an incredible guy. he told me once, look, wade, you walk across floors you never scrubbed. you walk through doors you never opened. you have an obligation to do that for those who come behind you. that's why at 92 he is raising hell and encouraging people to do what is necessary. so, yes, you did walk across floors you never scrubbed. yes, you do walk through doors you never opened. the key is using the power that we already have in our hands to determine the outcome of change of the we want to see.
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>> thank you so much. >> was your question, jeff? >> my question was -- please, round of applause is all right. [applause] >> yes. >> how do we begin to play a more sophisticated financial game in electoral politics? you. >> know, i just go back to the principle all politics is local. >> right. >> it is local. it is not national because coming from our organization and our community levels we can go national. that is easy enough to do. and we're already organized to do that but, we used to have and we have to get back to it, in our communities, they used to be called voting crusades, or crusade for voters or the voter league, and what this committee did was, one, for something like your home, what they would do is, in terms of the police department, who hires these
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people? who is the official? or the officials that hire the police? >> yes. >> the department of public safety? you know, you look, what role does the governor play. what role does the mayor play. what role who the public policy people that bring them on the force. so that when the local election comes, we can have a direct connection between the person who is running and the composition of the police department. and what their power is. in other words, it is an ongoing education process about what goes on at home. you get your voter leagues and, keep informed locally. and then you come together and you can, even collect your money locally. well, we like what so-and-so is saying and what so-and-so is saying about this. so we're going to give this
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$500 to that campaign. we're going to -- jeff, you could, and it's, it is where your power lies. and so, so, that is how you do it. and also builds awareness. it builds awareness. we're not, we're not, we are engaged spas mod i cannily. one of my colleagues said, 365 days a year being engaged. >> yes. >> knowing the power. we don't know our power. knowing the power of the vote. when somebody tells you they're registered and you doubt it, get with them. or let's go check your registration to make sure the address is right. it is all in the details. so when they show up they don't have a problem when it is time to vote. that is your power. it starts, you need this organization, locally.
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you need your research group. you need your focus on money. you need your community meetings. >> yes. >> you don't have to have them every week, once a month there ought to be a community meeting what is going on here at home. and you build it. that is how, it is organization and it is structure. >> thank you so much. i want to make sure we get to as many questions as we can. there are three rules. those of you been with me when i moderated before know those rules. the first rule is, ask a question. >> please. >> the second rule, ask a question. >> the third rule, we have confirmation on this? we have a breaking announcement that congresswoman pelosi need to make that is important. >> here, here. [applause] >> thank you. i do, i, this has been spectacular and i want to thank congresswoman joyce beatty, a
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freshman member of congress, for her leadership in putting all of this together. [applause] and sanford bishop, a senior member of congress, champion for veterans, for putting this together. thank you, sanford, again. and i also want to acknowledge that while we're here, this week the president has been at the u.n. and i was proud to appoint and the president made the official appointment of barbara lee house democrat representative at the united nations general assembly. [applause] i find this to be so fabulous and around they all wonderful. and i do associate myself with the comments that wade made about the excellence of our great attorney general eric holder. >> yeah. >> i do want to though say that the congressional black caucus was instrumental in many everyone of the initiatives, whether it was crack cocaine disparity, congresswoman,
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chairwoman marcia fudge knows that the leadership of that caucus made so much what you talked about here possible. i didn't want to let that go missing. when you talk about the medicaid and the rest, charlie wrangle and members of the congressional black caucus insisted it ways strong part of affordable care act. i want to al lieutenant the congressional black caucus and just to say, donald, we talked about your dad and donna edwards who joined us since earlier, the word is now that the attorney general will resign today. and that he has served our country very, very well. >> what? >> wow. >> the message is that the attorney general will be submitting his resignation to the president. so let us salute him once again for all of his great, great work. [applause] >> that is so bad. that is terrible. why? wow. >> that is devastating.
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>> that is so sad. >> thank you so much, speaker pelosi. and that is a shock. >> that is -- >> i did not. >> almost like we need to have another panel about attorney general holder but i do want to make sure we honor those in line. so i said the first two rules which were ask a question. the third rule is, ask a question. you have 30 seconds to ask that question, to set that question up, at which time i will ask you to ask a question. if you can direct it to one member of panel, that would be helpful. if not we'll direct one member of the panel to answer it so we get to as many questions as possible. yes, sir. if we can do one then, allow her to hold the mic, statistically proven you talk 30% longer when the mic is in your hand. >> yes, sir, thank you very much. prior to the march on washington there was a coalition of civil rights and social justice organizations, the naacp, the
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urban league. rainbow/p.u.s.h. how do we inculcate in our young people's mind the value that voting is not just a right, it is a responsibility, it is responsibility to ourselves, a responsibility to the ones who we love, live in community with, it is responsibility to the word. >> thank you so much. >> how do we organize -- >> i got your question, yes, sir. how do we organize coalitions, some of which already exist. so barbara if you wouldn't mind talking about many solve those coalitions that already exist but i think the crux of his question how do we get young people indoctrinated in that? you also know some people doing that as well. >> exactly. the reality is, is that the coalition around ferguson that we put together, i did that from my sick bed. i was at home with a bad
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infection when, it was just, god moving in his own way. i was due to be out of the country with wade and some others to argue before the u.n. about, our voting rights and other rights, criminal justice issues. and, when i saw what happened to mike brown, i started seeing twitter blowing up, and i start getting calls, i knew we wouldn't just do nothing. and as a result, i called tonya clay house who is here in the audience, our brilliant public policy director who was able to help me convene as many civil rights organizations as we could get on the phone. and we talked, we had all the experts. that is how we came up with the statement, the unified statement. we decided not just to go do our own organizational thing. but that we need ad coalition.
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if you're talking about. mo, you can't do it with just one organization. movement requires everybody. that is why i'm here seeking and soliciting your individual and organizational signature on that statement because coalition building. what i love about what darnell, charlene, phil and all of the young people involved in hand up don't shoot, the ferguson battle, the police reform battle, is that they also are coalescing. and i love the that they have been able to figure it out. that this group will take the lead on having a march on this weekend, this saturday. the next group will do it the next one. if they come and support each other, that is what we have to do. so coalition is absolutely in our bones but we got to make it happen. egos are a problem. organizational credit is a problem.
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you know there are some problems, you have to overcome when you deal with coalitions. but i will tell you that they can be overcome. that i fight with it every day and i push people forward. and we get it done. we had a meeting with the white house, a meeting with the department of homeland security. we've done all of this work through coalition. so, jeff, i want to tell you, that we get it. that the young people get it. and the final word, i just want to say, there has never been a successful movement in america, never been a successful movement of african-americans that wasn't intergen rational. that it takes the he willers, the young and the -- elders and young and in between. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> to your question, there are young people who want to be listened to. a lot of people we're trying to get them to do something with a
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methodology they're not interested in. you show me a city, you i will show you a young people that will care. we're so busy how to do it. they know how they want to do it. we need to listen. [applause] secondly we need to support them as advisors, not as directors. they have already got coalitions of their own. >> right. >> sometimes it is about creating a bridge. many know in the last 48 hours td jakes sued kendrick lamar. he used a line of td jake's message in his song. t.d. jakes folks are suing him. i felt it was opportunity, jakes to say, brother, talk about this copyright infringement, let's have a conversation. because kendrick using that line was a honor. it was a positive song. it was a positive message. they heard something in jake's voice and they admired and they used it. there was the opportunity to build a bridge even though jake may have not liked the language
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or approach. too often we got old people that don't want to build the bridge and elders we can't find to help build it. thank you so much. yes, ma'am? [applause] >> hi, my name is brittany clay brooks. was a dream defender at florida a&m university where we stayed in the capitol 31 days and 31 nights trying to get a special hearing for stand your ground. this can go to miss barbara because you guys are touching on it, what are things we can do as young people to get attention from prominent or national figures? we're still going to hearings. we're still he being briefed on policy issues. we're still registering people to vote. what happens, because the cameras are no longer around or cnn is no longer on our tracks, how do we continue to engage and garner the support from prominent figures who showed up? the naacp, who showed up for us
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when be all the cameras were earned us. >> restate the question for me? >> how do we as young people continue to garner the support from you all, no longer a young people's movement at that time and that so cute versus that long-term movement material that we need. >> thank you much. congressman? >> let me just give you one, just one example. most people didn't hear about selma until 1965 but members of the student non-violent coordinating committee, went to selma in 1962. >> that's right. >> and started building. and build a movement. and so when dr. king, martin luther king, jr. came to selma, in january 1965, it brought more press attention. but, young people, the students, look, we created a coalition.
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the march on washington was a coalition. it was randolph, young john lewis, 23 years old was there in the meeting, at the table. so, when people tell you to be quiet, speak up. speak out. and find a way to get in the way and make some noise. >> thank you, congressman. >> i can't do that right now. got to get to the next question. yes, ma'am. >> yes, thank you. my name is anish jenkins. i'm with stand up for democracy and d.c. coalition. i represent 650,000 people who live in the nation's capitol and have no say so over these life and death issues. we have no representation. no vote in the house. no vote in the senate. . .
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>> i would only say this. look, d.c. deserves the vote. we struggle to bring democracy to baghdad. we bring it to afghanistan and we do not right here at home on the potomac. it's really outrageous when you think about that. but it is going to be up to d.c.
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residents itself, ourselves, to raise our voices to make this a national issue. the black caucus has been incredible. they have signed of their own members. they have advanced this agenda. but if are going to make progress in getting other members of congress, support this bill, we're going to have to come as congressman lewis said, make some noise, get in the way, make this an issue that people are forced to address. because it is democracy, plain and simple. we have the power here in d.c. to make it happen. >> we also strengthen the black caucus. when we vote for all of those people that they have to deal with, that congress. if they know they've got a group of black folk out there who are voting, i'm sitting there listening. >> thank you so much. >> i'm going to be the answer right there. i'm going to come back to you on the next one. yes, sir. >> good morning. my name is arnold and i'm from
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prince george's county, maryland. my question is what can we do to get more african-americans to get involved? in other words, what can we do to get our people in the neighborhood get involved? because when i went speed is i appreciate the question. it's really about how do we do this grassroots and get people engaged at the local level and not just in politics but i'm sure across the board. anyone who wants to take that. >> i'll just say, people are moved by stories, by what our folks have done. i mean, birmingham 1966. didn't have to be block. looked white. hattiesburg, mississippi, went on the radio don't like people i
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will pay your poll tax. you just come on and vote. the next night they firebombed his house. he got a kick out the back door and his wife, and he died three days later of smoke inhalation. and on his tombstone right now in hattiesburg, if you don't vote, you don't have -- he is one of many who gave their lives. we have to have our young folk come in and see our martyrs. i'm talking about the 1970s, and 1960s and up into the present. michael brown is laying in his grave now because we didn't get to the polls until we have to do. people know how to medicaid because -- >> okay. >> tell the story. >> thank you so much. thank you for your question. yes, sir. >> i come from central america.
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i wanted to just basically make a statement. thank you all very much. i am honored to be here amongst all of these phenomenal legacy owners of the african-american struggle. in central america we actually imitate you, and we imitate what african-americans have done throughout, actually every african-american, every african descendent around the world actually looks to you and your parents. you are -- when it was said that we don't really know that power that we have in our hands through the vote. it's such a true statement. and i commit, i commit that my influence of influence to get out and vote, get out, not only register but to actually get
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involved in every one of those local areas. >> -->> --her point -- >> no, i gave you, i give you room, brother. i gave you room. you say honduras, i'm like i've got to give him a minute but you can't have it too. but the point was a great one, and i think, i appreciate that because it does say how many people are watching us. and with all of the resources we have at our disposal, we have an unbelievable opportunity to be an example to those who often have less than we do. to show what can happen to thank you very much for the comment. yes, sir. >> congressman lewis, my name is general parker. i'm from peoria, illinois. i'm a well-known activist back there and i have a case strongly for education. three years ago i ran for school board, and my election would've made a black majority on the board. two days before the election states to turn had my name
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removed from the ballot and i found out that was done illegally. i found out that my voting rights were violated, of the people who chose to vote for me and sign all those petitions to get the on about -- >> i need you to ask a question, brother. thank you. >> i found out that you're going to speak at the king day celebration in january, and i know 50 years ago -- >> i need your question, brother, please. just on of the people that are behind as i am honoring you. >> to fight against stuff like that. want to go back and tell my people who support me that you are condoning what the people who violated my rights are doing to them? >> i don't quite understand the question. how am i condoning -- >> you have chosen to speak at the king day celebration this january. >> next year. i'm not so sure that i will be
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speaking in peoria, in other place in january. i get a lot of invitations from all around america, but i'm not sure that i will be speaking there. but you ought to run again. don't give up. don't give them. don't become bitter. don't become hostile. go out and continue to fight. stand up. [applause] >> thank you. yes, sir. >> i'm from the foundation which is an african-american owned and operated community foundation in the pittsburgh area. my question is around the military and overseas voter empowerment act of 2009 which allows uniform military officers to now vote online. and so when you talk about hundred young people engage in the voter process we've got to speak their language. their language is online. so do you see us moving forward into the future, if the pilot
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program is successful to move towards an online voter system? >> yes. >> it's a great question, brother. it is a great question and yes, the new military act you refer to is an important contribution to democracy. but we also have to make sure that we safeguard and protect the integrity of the vote. we have to make sure that the machinery that we use is not used to subvert the very vote that we are trying to lift our. [applause] so eye gouge. there are places like oregon that are experimented that i've got you. but i'm going to say this, brother. i'm on twitter. bottom line, and the bottom line is we're going to have to use those social media tools. but we also have to engage with people. there are people who are not plugged in and the need to cast a basic ballot. there some who are and they can have alternatives. but our job is to organize that community in the broader sense
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and link issues of importance to what they do. you talked about economics, jeff, my last point. payday lending is a scourge, a scourge in our communities. [applause] scourge. there are potential regulations that are going to be issued soon determined by the obama administration and in part created by the consumer financial protection bureau. that's why we're doing this progress. so i'm saying don't disconnect what is happening on the ground with the importance of the vote, you cast, and that is how i think we use it. we use that anger to motivate people to come out and to make a difference in their -- >> and we should point out the people that one of the best voting reforms that's been happening in the country is online voter registration. if your state doesn't have it,
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you've got to push for it. because it has been radically getting people to sign up and to register to vote, especially young people. so that's where we are seeing the promise of online, you know, online technology encoding and don't forget that when sandy happened, all of a sudden new jersey figure out a way to do online voting. so we need to understand that there is potential but we got to make sure that the technology is available to everyone. thank you. >> and immediately following this panel, for those of you from maryland, virginia and d.c., there is a voter registration right outside. >> all right. [applause] >> yes, sir. >> my name is derrick morgan and my question is, how can we really not only take this time to change this movement, i me take this opportunity to turn this movement into a moment but what can we do, why are we
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afraid to speak to the real issue which i feel is racism white supremacy? what would we do if we really realize that we could boycott? i me, we have -- >> so we state your question for me. >> i guess we tip toe and dance around the real issue, the root of the issue which i feel is racism white supremacy which handcuffs us all. >> let me do this because we all know that within a week of being in office, eric holder said that we as a nation, we were a nation of cowards as relates to the issue of race. and so any of you who would like to take that on, but i would love for congressman lewis to lead that off. >> let me just say to the young brother, i don't think any of us, not one of us want to deny that the scar of racism is still
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deeply embedded in every corner of american society. they are not going to run from that. we are going to deal with it. we cannot deal with it alone. you've got to use the vote. you've got to organize and mobilize. just cannot talk about it. we've got to do something about it. that's what another generation did spin let me just add to that speech congresswoman, as you answer, i want to push back because i think a special as we do with younger and younger generations, there's this notion we kept having to fight this notion of postracial america. we kept having to fight fat narrative being pushed out over the public space. >> we are not there yet. >> i agree but the problem is you younger generation that is so happy with where we are, doesn't have a struggle context of where we've been. into his point, so i have a son who and i started having to
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indoctrinate a little harder, anytime we brought up stuff about black people he got nervous because he's in a school where everybody is tiptoed through the tulips and holding hands and singing kumbaya, riding unicorns under a rainbow. but we know that he as a young kid in a school that is dealing with that racism needs to be able to see if or it is, what it is without it weighing him down. how do we begin to do that so when we have rough conversations we don't run from the racism conversation? at the same time we don't want everything for it. >> yes, let me just say that this council meeting and the 70 some workshops are because of your question. so the congressional black caucus is very sensitive to that because diversity has created a new problem for us with the younger folks who don't understand the history of what a mr. lewis or a lane or others went through. so let me say to the young people.
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congresswoman marsha fudge is having a town hall forum tomorrow morning and she's bringing the dreams with philip agee, so young folks can be engaged in that. we have 70 some workshops, and with african-american members, black folks in the congressional black caucus who have planned this because they want you to understand that behind the scenes -- this didn't just happen. getting the contractor making sure we have black folk who are engaged. the hotel that we're in because we understand racism exist. so we move members. we have insisted on things because we no racism prevails and i also think it's other counterparts who want to put the postracial out there so we, too, will get comfortable. so to the young folks in the audience, don't think that you don't have members of congress that belong to our tri-caucus is who aren't fighting for us every
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day that congresswoman marcia fudge walks in that house of representatives, i assure you there is an issue or someone just taking to task and is usually for the least of us. there is a reason they call us the conscience of the congress. it's because we are black and we no racism still prevails. >> thank you and thank you for your question. we are nearing the end. i cannot get everyone in the line, but what i'd like to do is get the last three of you do one right after the other concisely state your question, and will get the panelists to answer that before we go to closing remarks. so the next three to give others of you have questions, tweet them and they've were able to get to we will put the last three if you're concisely state your questions. >> i. i work with cbm national, nonprofit and i'm also a volunteer local government
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committee person. and i'd like to know how we can engage individuals to be part of local government and other areas where your leaders actually do come from. how can we actually engage people who are the most affected who may not have access to technology? >> thank you so much. yes, sir. >> i'm a student from clinton ohio and wanted to know what we could do to possibly gain the proper respect from our country? >> that's all, okay. yes, sir. >> ayanna washington, d.c. native. you talk on a panel about the militarization of the police force. i wanted to know why in june to the congressional black caucus vote 80% against the gray son a minute that would've prevented the pentagon from transferring military arms and couldn't to
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local and state police? >> thank you. we have those three questions. we have the congressional black caucus support bill that the militarized police. we have a question on the simple task of how do we get the country to respect black people. and then we have the first question on -- i think it's a great question. i think there are ministries that are in cages on an everyday basis. but the last was how do he people on the ground who are most affected? i think similar to the candidate incubator process. how do we get post -- people most affected and local policy to be involved in the local electoral process. anyone want to take, called a member of the congressional black caucus can address the question about the militarization of police and the bill that you'll supposedly supported 80%. >> i will just for that reason. >> i figured so.
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>> do you want me to go first is because i don't want to go anywhere else. >> i've heard about the congressional black caucus voting against the grace in a minute because it was a dumb a minute. anytime you say that you cannot get any police department any equipment, goes to the extreme. i represent the city of cleveland, one of the poorest cities in the country. do you think i'm going to say my police department should get bulletproof vests or helmets or guns or radios? but the grace and a minute would not have allowed that to happen. everything is not ferguson. so why would you go for something that is so extreme that you hurt yourself? it just doesn't make any sense of plot back spent and so yes, we were against it and yes, i am glad that we did because it was the right thing to do. [applause] >> thank you so much. how do we get -- representative becerra come how to get those
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folks that are most affected by local policy to be engaged in the local process? anand in a robust way, not just superficial event kind of way. >> you've got institution that every day gives an opportunity to do that, and that's our public schools. because everyday our kids are going to be indoctrinated and what we can do is make sure that they're coming out ready to run for that senior class president, that treasurer, to be part of the school council for that particular school to get the training. we've got to teach our kids every time an election is coming they got to be excited as if it were christmas. they say mommy, daddy, are you take me to the polls because it's time to go vote. we've got to fill the church that always takes people to the polls on election day, you need a new bus? we're going to raise the money to buy you a new bus or another bus. that's would want is to find that are institutions that want us to do this. if we give the incentives to our young folks to be leaders as was
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said earlier, not just to follow but to actually lead with our guidance, then they become the leaders real quick. >> i'm excited about this one, and all of you have the chance to address some of these in your closing remarks but i'm excited, tragic, but you answering a question about how do we get america to respect black people? >> it's a great question but it's a great question because you know, you don't really have to like me las. [laughter] but as long as i know that i live in this constitutional democracy and i have a vote and i have a people and we have common interests and we're working together and we will be counted in this process, you want to respect me. now you don't have to respect me as much because you can just meet the way you do with
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ferguson and different places. you can devalue the life of my black sons and brothers. and you do it, reaganomics. what would get us respect engagement is our local folk who are disengaged and don't have all the education that we have out here and all those who are affected every day, you start talking about criminal justice. they are off acted -- they are all affected. user talk of a criminal home. and what we can do as a teen nearly to change this system, you will go to an issue that speaks to them. and i bet you if we really work on it, and they will, and tell us what their issues are and how they think we can help.
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but we have to show some solidarity and some community with our own. and we will get respect when we give it to each other. >> congresswoman, what would like to do before go to close remarks is ruggedized the other members of the congressional black caucus who are here with us. >> thank you very, very much. donald payne, jr. from new jersey. [applause] >> all right. robin kelly from illinois. [applause] of course you have met our co-chair, joyce beatty from columbus, ohio,. [applause] barbara lee from california. [applause] donna edwards from maryland. [applause] are there any other members here? thank you. of course, and again i guess what you think our leader for being here, nancy pelosi. thank you very much. >> here, here.
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[applause] >> they do so much. and before you all did that, just a point of personal privilege. there are two others in the room that need to be acknowledged for the unbelievable service, and those are my children who are out of school today and are angry with me for pointing all this attention to them. miles and madison, i love you both so much. everything i do -- [applause] >> is for you all. so you all stand up for just for a minute and just about everybody to see what i'm so proud of on a daily basis. [applause] my 15 year-old is taller than me and it's a problem. [laughter] i might have to become a member of the nra. just for the ride, not for the politics. [laughter] >> clean it up. clean it up. >> i need you all to be able to
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give closing remarks in two minutes. i will be respectfully ridiculously interruptive after the two minutes. and so if we could start with weight and in with the congresswoman. >> thank you, jeff. thanks to the audience, a great and important program. let me say, guys. again, this is all about the vote in our power and i think we've underscored that. but i just want to talk to the brother who raised this issue about bias and by closing remark. we have a study out from the department of education, four year old kids, black kids are 16 -- 18% of the be school enrollment. yet they are 46% of those who are expelled from preschool. now, i'm telling you guys, lives is out there. israel. but if you're going to do with it you're going to need a multiracial coalition. you're going to need a coalition because only a coalition is their strength.
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beyond will become produce ourselves. we have it but we've got to be in coalitions. we also have to recognize that every issue has an interest that we serve. the brother here from honduras, immigration is a black american issue. [applause] just as it is an issue for other communities have and we need to be a part of these debates. so i would say we have the power. hands up, go vote. and i'm looking to see us make a difference in november. because if we don't, then this effort would have been for not. and an interesting conversation but if we don't turn it into a real show of power and force, then we are not anywhere. and thank you for the opportunity to be your. [applause] >> thank you so much. >> we have had the right to vote for 144 years, since 1870. women have had it 4904 years,
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since 1920. voter suppression is nothing new, nothing new. we've had the right to vote on paper for that amount of time. there have been three periods that you have had severe voting repression. one started in the 1890s after the brothers elected those 24 blocks. they started missing him and changing the poll tax, state constitution. that was the first period, and they drove us out of congress in 1901 to next black in the south come back in 1972. next, 1982. next, the second period was the voting rights act of 1965. all the folks dying to the '50s and '60s trying to get it is a voting rights act to enforce our constitutional rights. the third voter suppression. is when? right now.
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we in it. so we know our power. we have to know it. we have to protect it, and despite what they do, we've got to find a way to get to these polls and make our vote count. that's all. >> thank you so much. [applause] >> congressman lewis. >> jeff, thank you very much for moderating this group. i don't want to say that much about the boat. i think it's only need to see. i don't want to take two minutes, but i think it's important for us, and especially young people, to understand our history, to understand the distance we've come, the progress we've made as a people and as a nation. we are not there yet. we have not yet created a beloved community but in the process of moving, we must learn to be kind to each other. and respect the dignity and the worth of every human being, and
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this country, on this little piece of real estate. we've got to learn to live together as brothers and sisters. it doesn't matter whether we are black or white, latino, asian american or native american. we are not going anyplace. we are going to be here. that country is changing. and their summit of our brothers and sisters are living in fear. they fear the unknown, but they must not be afraid, and understand that our struggle is not a struggle that last one day, one week or one month or one year or one lifetime. but you must do what you must do and pay your dues, like our forefathers and our ancestors. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, congressman. >> resources. i want to just give a few resources for people to use and
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helping people to become voting rights champions all over this country. i mentioned the toolkit that is on a website at lawyers committee.org. we also just put out a mobile app for your smartphone where you can call anybody in the country and say, are you registered vote? if they said, i don't know, think so, whatever, i don't think so, what ever. you can actually look it up for them and tell them if they are registered. you can tell them where to go register, what the rules are in their state, and you can also use the app to tell doctor register online, to use the national voter registration form. they have all that information. get that at right now by texting 90975. that's 90975. once again if you go to the
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lawyerscommittee.org you will find that information. the other resource we have for you right now is you can call our hotline. we have legal volunteers available to answer your question but if you don't know if it's possible for somebody who is an excellent to in your state, if you don't know what the rules are about voting in your state and you're curious about voter id if it applies, et cetera, call one (866) our vote. 1-866-687-8683. we have people to give you the information because ultimately as somebody said it's about resources. and these are resources that help you to be a great voting rights champions. i hope that you will sign the statement. i hope that you will be there. i am thrilled at the moment.
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i'm not negative at all because speed but you are out of time last night. >> changes coming, jeff. and does marcus garvey said, look for me in the whirlwind. >> yes, ma'am, thank you so much. >> text epa bp 90975. i just want to make sure for those who can't spell. 90975. thank you so much. congressman becerra speed and let me begin by first checking chairwoman fudge and all the members of the black caucus for inviting me to be here as well. we've heard the word of them for a long time. that's always trouble but when they use the word them, we know what comes. but hasn't ever been different? have you ever heard a different word? and today we had a great conversation about all the
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things we need to do. they're still using the word them out of there. about a month ago a lot of us into latino committee place on the great what happened because the present was going to do something congress would not because republicans kept blocking reform of the broken immigration system but it didn't come. there is a deep disappointment. as wade said, this is not an issue just for the latino community. deep disappointment. but there is now a movement to tell people you should not go vote because people did not come through the way you wanted them to. let me to you, it is a dangerous thing. every month for the next 20 years, 50,000 latinos a month will turn 18. if we are smart we see the power that is right there in our hands. and so some of us are beginning to do something a little differently in congress. we no longer talk so much about
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the congressional black caucus, the congressional spanish caucus, the congressional asia-pacific caucus. we talk about the tri-caucus and how we are working together. [applause] and so my message is, we can't be on the defensive. we can't just react when ferguson comes along. it has to be the offense. nancy pelosi who has stayed with us for the entire session, there's not often elitist extract for two hours, can tell you best that we can all the willpower we want but if you don't put skin in the game, if you don't put money on the table, it's going to take a lot longer. so my final message is this. we need to own voter registration but we need to own voter registration. no one else will do it for us. we need to own voter registration and we've got to put money on the table for it and then we decide how it gets done for us. out let them do it. let us do it. we need to own voter registration.
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thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank everyone for coming, especially this panel and jeff. i was losing to transit and i've been thinking on your. 50 years after the civil rights act we are still begging people to vote. i do not understand it. let me just say to you there are two things i want you to think about that one is i hope you will spend this much time with your local elected officials. i guarantee you most people in this room have not done that. with your school board, with your city council. then you won't be callin going k to somebody to pick up your trash. you need to call your city council person for that. i say it that way because i need you to understand we all have a role to play. the congressional black caucus cannot do that all by ourselves but everybody has to do their part. we are a very resilient people. we have come through more than any race of people on this earth. and the uintah county we can't
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me we can't stand up and fight for ourselves x. i don't know what to say to you. but i will say these words to you. the black caucus fights for you every day. even when you won't fight for yourself. we fight for you. whether it's immigration or education, whether it's food stamps, housing, we fight for you every day. so my message to you is to contain your complaining. [applause] contain your complaining. you need to take, we all talk about we christians and all that. you need to take your eyes off of your circumstance and look to the future. because today is not where we are going. today may be a bad day. maybe they don't respect us today, but take your eyes off of your circumstance and look to god if you're a christian. and if you're not a christian, just look for the future but stop complaining about the day and make tomorrow better. >> a man. >> lovely, amen.
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>> thank you. if we could do this very quickly, anybody in the audience who is under the age of 21, will you please stand. it's all right, it's all right. and stay standing. if you're under 20 angel plays stay steady, if you're under 25, please stand. >> all right. [applause] >> if you are 30 or under, please stand. [applause] >> now let's be very clear. it was said earlier that there's never been a movement without young people. and i have to give a caveat. there's never been a movement that has not been led by young people. and so it is essential that all of us in the room who are not standing up, look at these young lives because this is there's. if we fail to support them, if we fai failed to open be trainef we fail to lift up their issues, if we fail to listen to their
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voice, if we fail to allocate their voice, then it is -- we will kill our own legacy. because whether we agree with how these young people do it or not is not the issue. it's that we support them even in the face of that disagreement when they're operating in the call that guy has for them before any of us were here to lead our community to the next level. so for all those standing, i salute you. i salute the work you're doing. isolate the methodology that you're using. i applaud your intellect and your willingness to do it different even in the face of haider's. [applause] bless you all, and we're here for you. god bless you. let's give this panel an unbelievable round of applause. [applause] >> congresswoman marcia fudge, congressman becerra. [applause] barbara arnwine, congressman lewis, elaine, can i get some of
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that energy? and wade henderson. thank you all so much, and have a great conference. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> word coming that attorney general eric holder is planning to resign. npr was the first to report the story today. noting that the attorney general believes that unless he resigns now he will have to remain
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attorney general for the rest of president obama's second term. holder is the first black attorney general, and his tenure is the fourth longest in the history of the office. the attorney general holder plans to stay in office until his successor is confirmed. and word now the president obama will make an announcement at the white house at 4:30 p.m. eastern but we will have that live on c-span. tonight on c-span2, a townhall meeting from the veterans administration medical center in phoenix. that medical center faced allegations of long wait times for veterans seeking medical care and coming up those wait times. phoenix the medical center town hall is tonight on c-span2 at eight eastern. virginia's 10th contest to shoot stretch from just outside washington, d.c. to the west virginia border. it's represented is retiring
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after 34 years in congress. and in that race republican state delegates barbara comstock and fairfax county supervisor john faust, democrat, debated last night in leesburg virginia. is a brief look at that debate. >> you voted against governor mcdonnell's transportation plan. it was hailed by some as once in a generation infusion of money for transportation in a state certainly here in the region were transportation problems are significant in a moment ago your opponent referenced it as he can change. can you find what you voted against the bill? would you do so again today? >> i would note something my opponent hasn't noted, there was bipartisan opposition as well as bipartisan support. i know this was a difficult issue and we did all work together very civilly on it. and you know in the business community that i did meet and discuss this with you but i was
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concerned about the disproportionate attacks on northern virginia. we got a higher tax and anybody else. they were all kinds of additional taxes that were put on different business up here in northern virginia. i know it was a tough call but that was the call on me. now that that has passed what we do in virginia, unlike in washington and what we need to do instead of name-calling and the attack is the immediately came together and said, how are we now going to make that they'll work? an important part of that bill was we had previous legislation on this, was to focus on congestion relief and make sure money goes to congestion relief. not to things like the arlington trolley folly that is getting tens of millions of dollars which those of us are concerned about this said this was going to happen. i was told that will never happen. now you see going forward. we need to now prioritize that. and i will work with all of my state and local colleagues to make sure money doesn't go to things like that. when it comes to places where we're getting shortchanged here in loudoun on the transportation
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money, and i will fight with you everyday and that's what all of these business groups who did support the transportation bill still supported me because they know i'm the person who works to get things done. >> supervisor faust, one minute. >> thank you. transportation bill literally is a game changer. and yet it costs more in northern virginia because we get a whole lot more. my opponent is now apparently taking credit for it after voting against it, and is, you know, once she is somehow making this work. but let me tell you, that bill helps support talus real. my opponent of course showed up to the ribbon-cutting. she did not support the funding for that project. this is the type of thing you have to look for. you know, are you willing to be there and take on the challenge
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and meet the challenge, or i just went to show up after the fact and cut a ribbon and take the credit? that is unacceptable. transportation is too important to play political games with in northern virginia. >> the virginia 10th congressional district debate is one of more than 100 campaign debates c-span is airing this year. tonight live on c-span a debate from nebraska's second district. in 2012 he won reelection by 2%. this year he is being challenged by democratic state senator brad ashworth. you can see the debate tonight live on a companion network c-span at nine eastern. >> this weekend on the c-span networks.
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>> finder toughest schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at (202) 626-3400, e-mail us at comments@c-span.org, or send us a tweet at c-span hashtag comments. join the c-span conversation, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> fbi director james comey gave the keynote speech at a national security and intelligence conference in washington. he outlines of euros priorities and its role combating ices and other extremist groups. the conference of those by group called the armed forces communications and electronics association to the fbi director was introduced to an official with the group.
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>> it is my profound pleasure and great pleasure to introduce our final plenary speaker, james comey, who was sworn in as the seventh director of the fbi on september 4, 2013. what i would say you can read his bio but here's what i would say. his career embodies the public-private partnership in service to the nation that is the core of both afcea and insa but also professionals who have served the nation in many capacities. in the government you are looking at a deputy twice, twice deputy u.s. attorney. what may be less known to you is while in the eastern district of new york, he was the lead prosecutor on the khobar towers bombing. i think that is less known about
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our esteemed speaker. he is coming are also looking at a former deputy attorney general. that was when i have a personal privilege of working with director comey when we were at the early stages of building the intelligence infrastructure for the fbi. director comey is no stranger to industry. he served at lockheed martin for five years as a senior vice president and as general counsel. what is most remarkable and i think less known about you also, sir, is the work you've done in academia. whether you are doing while you're a u.s. attorney, a deputy u.s. attorney, an adjunct at the richmond law school, or whether you at the columbia law school as a senior research fellow are and herzog fellow for national security. this is a profoundly fascinating career, incredibly talented man, and i think that when general
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holder swore you in, the words, i couldn't improve on the words. a proven leader and a faithful advocate for the american people. and with that, welcome, director comey. thank you for being here. [applause] >> thank you so much, mo, and thank you ladies and gentlemen. i don't know if i got the short straw or the longstocking the fight afternoon keynote event. i will try to be brief and then i'd love to have a conversation with you about whatever you'd like to talk about. i've been in washington long enough that i would just avoid anything i don't want to talk about. what i thought i would do is give you a sketch of where i see the fbi, and were i see myself and the things they need to focus on at the close of 12 months in this wonderful job. i have eight years and 52 weeks left on this job, just having finished about 12 months.
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i have been somebody is known the fbi my whole adult life you guys worked with the bureau of census first a baby federal prosecutor in manhattan in 1987. and i know it well, but when i became director i also knew that i did know it well enough to be effective as director. as i spent all that time trying to go and see the fbi, only a portion of which i can see from a office on the seventh floor at fbi headquarters, because my force is deployed in 56 field offices, 400 sub offices often those field offices, and then now approaching 100 officers around the world. and so i've spent the last 12 months doing a lot of traveling. i have visited 44 of my field offices here in the states, 45 when i hit albany next week and i've been to 14 of our legal attaché offices around the country. when i go to visit my folks the most important part of it is the conversation with them. where i introduced myself,
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talked a bit and then i want to hear from them about what do you think you needed to focus on to be effective as your director. after i spent about nine months doing that, i sent an e-mail to my entire workforce, and they discovered that i write my own e-mails. when i want to communicate i just sit down, type out a long enough and i will send out to 35,000 people and get them let me think, zero replies. [laughter] almost nobody replies to the director which we're also working on. but after all that traveling and all the talking, i want to share with you what i told them was my vision for the fbi and what i was going to focus on. the fbi i believe can be captured in a single sentence. we are a national security and law enforcement organization that uses, collects and shares intelligence in everything that we do. that is the fbi. i was one of those who fight against dividing the fbi into an mi5 and a scotland yard after 9/11. i do even though some very thoughtful people on the other side of different views, i thought that would be a mistake.
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i thought there were great strengths that benefited the american people from having those authorities and those responsibilities of the national security side and a criminal enforcement side in the same place. i also thought it was very important that any national security organization that focused here in the states be chock-full of the culture of adherence to the rule of law, which is something that is at the core of the fbi. so i think one of the things that the 9/11 commission, one of the many things the commission got right is the bureau should not be split up. and instead of the bureau should work to transform itself to be better at accomplishing, especially for national star condition, but all of its missions. so that's my picture of the fbi today. i inherited an fbi where bob mueller worked very hard to begin a number of transformations, one which i'm going to talk about with respect to intelligence. i told my folks, i believe we are the best in the world. i've also told them i'm not a fan of either the miami heat or the cleveland cavaliers, but i
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am an admirer of the lebron james. because he is the best ask ballplayer playing in the world today. i don't want to say best basketball player ever because that make it into the old michael jordan thing. i believe lebron james is the best on earth and basketball today. and yet every off-season he finds a part of his game to try to improve. then he works on that. that seems crazy because he's already better than everybody else. what i told all my folks is what i admire about james is coming doesn't because he's not measuring himself against others to his measuring himself against himself. he knows the journey to excellence is one without any end. i said to the fbi believe we are great. i don't think there's anybody as good a i believe were not good enough. so i told my workforce am going to focus on three things as my personal priorities and after this them to you in order. they tie for first each one of them. they are leadership, cyber, and intelligence.
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a few brief words about why you chose those. the fbi has some extraordinary leadership. i believe the fbi should be the leadership of factory of the united states government. and it's not there yet. i have a lot of admiration for the men and women in uniform who produce tremendous leaders for this country, and go on to leadership and private sector. i think we should be better. i think the private sector should wait for the fbi's leaders to lead here and try to hide them to lead private enterprise because they have such amazing training and experience as leaders in a civilian organization in the united states. i learned from two different roles with two different leading companies, one in aerospace and defense and one in finance that the best compass in the world obsessed about leadership. they treat it as money. and ceo of lockheed martin wedlock us, the senior leadership team come in a room for hours and hours at a time to review leaders five levels down.
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where is she, what your potential, how we develop in there, it was mentoring her, how are we testing or? where is that guy? what's next for him? because it is my it have to be watched over, put to good use, someone had to be accountable for the return on that money and growing that money. because leadership is money. so what i think i would focus on that the fbi is trying to drive that kind of culture which pervades the military services and great private enterprise into the fbi so we obsess over leadership talent to we recruit for it, we select can we promote, we evaluate and we tried to focus on leadership into everything. i believe that's of any organization becomes perpetually great. it has been senior leaders look for juniors leader who look for more junior. and it becomes a perpetual motion machine. lots more to come from the on that but we have already, i've inherited from bob mueller a typist leadership of the program and i intend to give that breadth and depth and lots of life. second, cyber.
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should be obvious i think to this audience as to why that is one of my three priorities. i've tried to explain to people who know the world of cyber less than you that cyber touches everything i'm responsible for. counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and all of our criminal responsibilities manifest in cyber. because it's not a thing. it's just a way. it's a vector. it's a way that bad people do things, because we as a people have connected our entire lives to the unit. it's where my children play, it's were a bank, it's where my health care is, it's where my nation's critical infrastructure is, it's where our nation's secrets are. it's where everything is in this country and around the world. that vector change touches everything i'm responsible for. i was recently in indiana, and they gave me, a local sheriff gave me a bullet fired from john
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dillinger's submachinegun. as i stared at the dillinger bullet it occurred to me that a great vector change of the 20 center ice to give to the modern fbi. it has in the 1920s into the 1930s the confluence of asphalt and the automobile was a vector change that the world had never seen before. suddenly criminals who would commit crimes across unheard of at distances, two states, three states in the same day, moving at speeds that were unimaginable, 40 miles an hour, downhill 50 miles an hour. county line suddenly were not relevant. state lines were not relevant. and a national force was needed to respond to the effect of change, and there was the first, on the seventh, it was the first director of the fbi, j. edgar hoover, and modern fbi was born to respond to the new vector, that new way. so as i stood there staring at the dillinger bullet it occurred to me that dillinger could not
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do 1000 robberies in all 50 states in the same day in his pajamas from halfway around the world. that's what today's vector change represents. the unheard of distances of dillinger and his ilk, the speed of dillinger and his ilk are infinitely smaller and more narrow than the speed at which and the distances over which the threat moves today, right? the internet was a 186,000 miles per second, which is the speed of light. the notion of county lines, state lines, international lines, normal concepts of venue and space and time are blown up i this threat. i was in indianapolis, shanghai is next indianapolis on the internet. there is space and time movement of the threat on the internet has shrunk the world to the size of a pen. so sure you're going to be effective at the fbi at respond and meeting our counterterrorism
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threats, counterintelligence threats and overt criminal threats, we have to be able to operate effectively in cyberspace. so i have to be able to recruit, retain, train, equip and deploy against that threat. i was asked at a hearing earlier this week where i was sitting with jeh johnson how i was going to recruit. cybercom an because i don't wano say because i don't want jeh to know what my trips are but my primary trick is the fbi is a cool place to work so you should come work for us. but an enormous challenge. and just as the threat was a normal concepts in space and time, i think it has to stretch the way we think about recruiting, training, deploying. one of things we're going to do in the fbi is we're going to try and assign threats to particular field offices. because the notion of space and time and then you doesn't make any sense. in the context of a sophisticated cyberthreat. so we will figure out where the
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expertise lies and assign it around the country without regard to where the threat may be manifesting in the united states so that we develop expertise and then coordinate from headquarters among other field offices. .. who right after 9/11.
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to me, intelligence is information relevant to the decision-making. i believe the fbi has always, always been in the intelligence business. what are we great f.? we are grateful if interacting with other human beings especially and getting stuff from them. 106 years that's been the core competence of the fbi the ability to connect with other people and get information from them and bring it back. we didn't know at the time come immediately 50 years ago that his intelligence we were collecting. the transformation is simply about hitting better at that, getting whiter at that, getting deeper at that. let me say a few words of what i mean about that.
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the fbi has often been accused over its history of working its inbox that fairly or unfairly what we would do his work things where we had a relationship or existing source or someone in the police department who brought us something of a part greater part of the transformation that began is getting much more thoughtful about what we do. bob took to describing the organization in a way that i like very much which is pressed based and intelligence driven. but i have inherited as an organization that tries not to work its inbox to step back first from washington and ask this question, what are all the bad things that could happen to the united states and its citizens and interest that the fbi might by virtue of our authorities and capabilities conceivably do something about? what are all the bad things that could happen? who's doing things -- what should be our priorities priority is across all of our possibilities not just in the
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terrorism or intelligence or criminal but given the way that we assess them and who is doing what against them what should be our priority list, so we spent a lot of time thinking about that from the headquarters perspective. and then we ask each of the field offices to engage in the same exercise and ask themselves the same questions about omaha or miami, what are all the bad things that could happen here that we might do something about? who else is looking to mitigate those threats, how would we in omaha or san antonio rank those threats and then we take the national threat picture and feel of this picture and mash them together in a messy argumentative debate about lots of smart people and at the end of that process each year every single field office has a list of threats agreed upon with headquarters and measures that we are going to see whether they
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are making progress in reducing those threats and mitigating those threats. that is a process we call the reorganization process. you can see that it is an intelligence driven process. what do we know, what don't we know, what are the gaps given that picture how do we assign these threats? that's the first thing we do. and constantly throughout the year we are looking to gather information to understand the threats better and share information throughout the fbi to understand threats and mitigate them better and measure throughout the years how we are doing the collected information and reducing those threats. one of my worry is communicating in my workforce is that sometimes workforces that sometimes especially with people who've been around a while when they hear words like domain requirements, gaps, the term of art and the intelligence profession, sometimes people who are not familiar with them it sounds a little bit foreign.
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i described the entire thing to you without using those words. what i said in the fbi, the transformation over simplified is the core of the fbi committed it to the core of the fbi to the special agents to interact with other human beings but we are trying to do is get more thoughtful, so what do we need to know, how are we going to find out and do stuff we need to find out how does it connect to the other stuff that we need to know lex to get that done i need to wrap that gift and a donut of equally talented people to think about that all day long. what stuff do we need to know, how are we going to find about? how does that connect to other stuff we know and stuff we just learned? that is my intelligence cadre to surround that gift which is my special agent. but that is how i conceive of it. the transformation that began and that i am going to continue is simply trying to make sure that the doughnut of smart thinking and creative thinking
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and focused thinking surrounds everything the fbi does so whether it works in the criminal case or cyber or counterintelligence or counterterrorism or training recruiting, thinking up security, thinking about the budget, everything the fbi does, all of those activities are such used with the same kind of thinking so what do we need to know, etc., etc.? one of the reasons that i believe this makes sense is that it makes us better at what we've always done. i told the special agents this is about using the gift for the broad benefit of the country so that you find things out, you are interviewing a doctor in a foreign country and a medicare fraud case i know you're going to get amazing stuff about the billing and the partnership structure that will help us understand the fraud. i want to find out other stuff. who's been traveling to this country, who do you know went
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back there, who is studying the sciences in that country lacks getting stuff and bring it back and smart people will figure out what we are going to do believe could do and who needs to know that and because it is going to be part of what the fbi does, i'm taking the intelligence directorate and taking it out from under the national security branch. at the moment i walked in the door and looked at the organization i said that doesn't make sense to me because i'm trying to drive this way of thoughtfulness into everything we do, what is that doing sitting under the national security branch? i want is to be part of cyber and everything we do here and so i took it and created with the congress permission the intelligence branch. it may be fair to say that the bureau wasn't ready for it to them but it's ready for it now. the work that a lot of other people did has matured our approach to this entire doughnut hole in a way that i think we are ready for and so i've asked eric to be the first of the
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modern era, executive assistant director for intelligence, and i told our workforce there is another practical reason i want to do that. i want to stare at eric every single morning morning and my people and say how is it going to ask how is it going? how is the transformation going? i think sometimes the combination of operations and intelligence is a bit like an arranged marriage. in the fbi and told us on arranged marriages resulting in children and less long love and others don't. and so i want to know how is the marriage? how is it in omaha and san antonio and ime, how are we driving to make it better? and in the meantime this metaphor doesn't really work that i'm going to have the kids date at quantico. [laughter] because i was lucky enough to have started chasing my wife when i was 19 so one of those dating marriages that has lasted and works. so what i'm doing this with our
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new classes of intelligence analysts and special agents, we've designed a core curriculum that is integrated. majoring in very different things i don't need the intelligence analysts to know how to shoot well. but i need them to sit in the same classroom when they are studying for the amendment, writing, bureau policy, the basics of intelligence tradecraft. all those things that are the common core curriculum that you had in college, i want him sitting next to each other in the same classroom. and then before they leave i want them to run practical exercises. i want them to replicate the counterintelligence squad, the criminal squad, the sabre squadron of the counterterrorism squad just as we run all kind of scenarios of the famous holding valley for the waves and takedowns and undercover moves. i want that practiced so that when those kids hit the field, they've done it and totally appropriate ways and the marriage is much easier. we have made tremendous progress in transforming the way that we think about this and our
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thoughtfulness. like any huge cultural change it is a generational change and this is something we are going to work on and continue to work on i'm going to push. leadership, cyber and intelligence. those are my three priorities tied for first. i believe the fbi is a remarkable organization. doing all kinds of things all over the country and 13 years on, i believe even more strongly now that it would have been a mistake to split it into an m.i. five in the scotland yard. there is tremendous benefit from us coming to the county to go challenge of the counterterrorism and criminal of all sorts with all of those authorities in the same place for a bunch of reasons. so, i believe i have the greatest job in the world. ideally though that for the fbi to do everything that it accomplishes, he must be believed by the american people. whether we are in a congress or cookout when my folks speak it must be believed despite what my beloved mother told me, i care
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what other people think of us. you have to because the trust of the american people is the bedrock of the fbi. i especially focus on that today that one of my worries in the post snowed world is that it can bleed over into skepticism. i think people should be deeply suspicious of government under the -- government power. you can't trust people in power. you just can't. i say to folks what i think i'm a good person. i think i'm trying to do the right thing. i think i will honor my obligations. but don't trust me. i'm a human being and i'm in a powerful position. instead, ask how is the genius design of the founders laying on top of the sky where? how is he restrained, how is he
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checked there is an angel in those details. the fbi's life is chalked full of the design of the founders. one of my frustrations today is people ask lots of questions but it's hard to find the space in time to get the answers. i find good people nodding at cookouts were other places when someone says isn't it terrible the government wants to break encryption on the internet? though it's not. with willful authority, overseeing by the third branch of government i need to be able to do that. if i show a probable cause and go to a federal judge and get a warrant i will save children that way, i will fight organized crime that way and terrorism in a way that makes sense. it took me 60 seconds just to say that. find that 60 seconds in american life today is very difficult but i think we in government have the burden to fight for that
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space and have that conversation i reject the notion that the framework of trade-off, of balance, security and liberty, i reject that trade-off because i think the most effective security is that which enhances liberty. if i imagine in my mind's eye a city park where they are hanging out in a way that allows them to dominate the park but not too about children or grandparents to use use that that power cannabis at the response by putting a police officer in that park, liberty and security have both been enhanced. that is when we are at our best. people talk all the time about the internet and i believe it is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods imaginable. i must be able to offer security in that environment. in a way that enhances liberty. but it requires that dialogue.
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john adams said in a letter to thomas jefferson that power always believes it has a purer soul but the best antidote to that falling in love with the sound of your own voice is a conversation. it's a back-and-forth and finding the space in american life to say here's what i do and why i do that and the authority i use. i think that is extraordinarily healthy. it's also good for the fbi because it enhances peoples vision of us and with that vision becomes trust. maybe i am the luckiest person in the world to have the job that i have. i don't want to do anything else or be anything else, i want to help the fbi to be what it is which is a truly great national security organization that uses intelligence in everything that we do and constantly looks to improve that. so, i look forward to our
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conversation and thank you for your support and your advice for your push back and debate and i hope you'll continue this conversation in the years to come. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. i have a number of questions and i try to lump them into broad categories. the first actually is really focused on what the intelligence reform and has arisen prevention act mandated of the fbi. so, a very broad question. as we approached the tenth anniversary, how would the fbi not just -- its progress not just integrating intelligence and operations internally, but integrating into the larger intelligence community so that
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there are doughnuts on the dni table. it's bear there on the table. >> i think the answer is great, not good enough. left in 2005 and came back a year ago it is striking the transformation and the people who went and sat at the corner table in a corner table in the high school cafeteria and no one talked to us maybe we are not quite at the cool kids table but i guess it is a long table we are sitting at the same table. because people have come to know us as well. the bureau was a bit of a strange. folks have come to see the talent and see what we produce. to think me and tell me they are worried that the people of the fbi don't realize, of what we
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collect is the stuff that we find out that benefits the poor fighter. so i think that we have become part of it. there's always room for there is always room for improvement but still i would say that it's much better. i think that we have room to grow. >> in that respect, which would you say is stronger now? the fbi integration of intelligence community product into its operations or the fbi's service to the larger providing information or the larger national security community and providing information to them that furthers their mission? or are they both good? >> i think that they are both pretty darn good. and again, as with the familiarity with our work product grows, that acceptance grows with it great i guess i would say they are about the
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same. both pretty good. >> okay. and in a series of questions about people, you put a big focus on people especially on your intelligence professional cadre. so again, we are coming up to ten years of the reform bill coming into the fbi had a very long section devoted to it as you know in the title ii. one is that fbi create an intelligence career service and that you talked about the quantico training as an integration between the agency and intelligence analysts but i think that was the agents and analysts i think there were surveillance specialists in there as well so there is a hunger to find out what is your assessment of progress over the last decade and building but cadre and is very pleased that you think work remains?
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>> great progress has been made. i'm eager to have outside eyes give me a sense of how much it is. i think it's actually pretty darn good. it's taking a look particularly at that's so how are we doing enough because we have reached an inflection point and hired a tremendous number of talented people over the last ten years and now the question is so where are they going? are they going into the intelligence program leadership role in my field offices? and why isn't eric vales in the intelligence professional? success with the when the intelligence and all of the leaders down for the intelligence program of people that came up with a career service came up through the analytical type if you will and to me in a way that confession of immaturity and in a little bit of a way that eric -- i love him -- that he's a special agent
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coming into the reason that he's in the that job is that i don't have the talent, scheuer and senior enough to put in that role but before i leave, i need to be in that place where my leaders all the way up the intelligence career service are not special agents. they are people who trained and grew and developed as our intelligence cadre. >> so, in that spirit i will ask a couple of questions all pretty much written in the same way via the same element of that career service to manage our intelligence analysts. so, is that a particular area that needs more work, less work backs? do you have a vision for the rule of the intelligence analyst in the fbi doughnuts that you described? it's at the top level at but a critical partner in the donut with the special agent because it only works with both being robust, and as i said, i think
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that we are in a very good place, but inflection point because i meet with the intelligence staff in each of my office is so i've now done 44 visits and they are excited that hungry to see what the future looks like. will i will i be able to advance the cause of those that know the bureau in the fbi field office of a then grow up to be an assistant director in the fbi and maybe someday to be the executive assistant director. they are hungry to see us deliver there and i don't blame them. am i going to have some sort of a glass ceiling in some way and i told them until my last breath you will not hear the glass ceiling. my view is to lead you up to the entire enterprise, but again we have to deliver on that as a leadership team. >> thank you. i think that answers it. there is an adjunct to this and i'm presenting the question. is, there is a culture. if you could comment -- and i experienced some of this
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personally, so i will say that it comes from me. but there is a culture agents in the fbi and everyone else. that isn't good or bad. it just is. and sometimes it is difficult if you are everyone else. so, one of the questions here is how do you feel -- i mean, how do you describe the people that run the it systems? that is in your doughnuts. is there a cultural reason for me to start talking about it in differently? do the integration you want other than calling them support staff? >> the labels matter. the terms i use i tend to think of the folks in three buckets. special agents, intelligence staff and professional staff. some people combined the staff. when i visit field offices i break them out into those three
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groups because i find that the issues they want to ask me about break down into those three buckets. and there is no doubt an organization that is 106-years-old but the special agent is a central role in the fbi. what i've told people is part of this transformation which is making sure that the center holds more than one kind of person because to be truly great, we need a symbiotic relationship between the gifted special agents and was gifted intelligence analysts, from and where it marriage is best in the fbi is where leadership is made and the conscious effort to meet sure that those of each other because in the front seats of cars on the way to meetings or interviews, special agents discover how smart intelligence analysts are and they discover the gift and the ability and then a partnership was born and it seems so low tech but that is how the human culture changes. the best definition i have ever heard is the way that things are really done around here no matter what they tell you in
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training. and so, you can't definition change oriented the changing culture. it requires that the change, literally one person at a time. i describe it to my folks at the zipper. i need to blend together those teams. i need both sides to have an effective zipper. i need them blended together. and i see tremendous progress. to me it isn't good enough. that is to be understood after only ten years of the cultural transformation. >> i agree with that. and you are only the seventh director. that is very powerful. we can move to questions and into some cyber questions. and i think that this one is an important informational want for this audience, and it's a very simple question. when should a company approached the fbi if they suspect a cyber attack that they've been a
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victim of a cyber attack and that is a great question. >> that would wait six or eight weeks. [laughter] with your pillow over your head and hope that it goes away. effective strategy. >> and the field office? spinnaker that's where they should start and any significant private enterprise should know the folks at my field office. the strength of the fbi is every community in the country can't say you should make sure that your security people are there to start with and you heard me say before this only to kind of companies you need that relationship with us even if you don't know you needed you will need it soon. i also understand the impediments. i was the general counsel of two companies and so i fully understand. i can render yelling at my people why doesn't the government tell us more and what are they going to do with the stuff that we give them and how do we know it isn't going to be used in the competition or we will get sued over this.
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that's why we do need help from congress and getting clear rules of the road to those general counsels. >> it is an enormous mistake to handle it yourself in some way it's going to get you there. we need to talk quickly. we are working very hard to try to change the value a patient for the private enterprise that we have long had something in the fbi that is a malware database like the fingerprint database. we have an enormous database into which we put every piece of malware that we encounter and then when an agent in san diego opens the case, the database says yeah that was seen in boston or columbia south carolina and connects to this and that. we are going to make the database available to the private enterprise that is participating in the program so that they can sit down from a trusted partner can sit down and
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type in their own information and get the report in seconds or maybe minutes as to what that connects to. there is value in that for me because it fosters cooperation and there is value for the private sector. these are the kind of things that are going to get us out of responding at the dillinger speed right now against the threat that is moving at the speed of light. machine two machine is where we are slowly crawling towards. >> the fbi in addition to the important cyber mission has a very important counterintelligence mission and has forever had a very important counterintelligence mission on the territory of the united states. can you give us your top counterintelligence threats within the confines of the gun classified symposium that you think we are facing? spinnaker i can't really. it's the usual suspects. nationstates there is a tendency for people to think that the
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espionage is an old-fashioned deal. it's very much alive and well. a very aggressive players in the realm. made more aggressive and difficult to deal with my bad vector change because you need to need somebody after drawing a chalk mark on a mailbox to get something is probably less important if you can move at the speed of light from halfway around the world to get the same information. and, responding to this -- to these cia threats in a cyber vector is simply nonnegotiable. we have to be able to do that effectively. >> have you also launched a reinvigorated or strengthening of an insider threat program in the post snowden era tax >> yes, very much so. the bureau through the hard lessons learned has long had a pretty aggressive insider threat detection and prevention program. given the nature of the threat and especially again, given the
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vector change again, people don't need to stuff documents in their pants because they have so many abilities through that vector change that i think that we can't ever be confident that we have it so we've done a number of things to change the way that we are approaching it. we've set up an insider threat to bring together every single responsibility and a bureau that just the insider threat and have it report to the single accountable executive who reports up to the deputy director and the director. i think that keeps the focus on it. you can't come as i said the department of leadership i can call him up with the sound of my own voice and the institution can fall in love with its own virtue and ability. the antidote to that is constant pushing and conflict. and so, we are trying to foster that by having an interdisciplinary threat center. >> that sounds great. okay switching gears. the question, it is an interesting thing that is on the topic says fbi versus the dhs which i know is not the case any
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longer. but it's a great question. and we had a homeland intelligence panel that was very powerful. so, the dhs has vast amounts of information. the question is if you can characterize the relationship with the intelligence and how you interact with them to ensure that they can perform as both its departmental and its national intelligence mission. >> thanks to the relationships built by people like john cohen. all of you that work was into the structures matter. they are with someone else on the intelligence front. they have a lot of response abilities. the bump into each other in a lot of different areas that are
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primarily law-enforcement related. i've told my troops i have no patience for the battles. i don't think the american people have patience for the turf battles and i sometimes hear folks say it's this agency or that agency encroaching on our traditional turf and my reaction is that reminds me of a wide receiver. the quarterback isn't throwing to be enough. my response to that is run their routes, get open and every time you touch the ball score a touchdown and you will get ball. just be excellent. that is my message to the folks, be excellent. but we are in a great place. we are already at a good price on the cyber intelligence and criminal responsibilities. >> do you feel that we have a good picture but a good
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consultative threats picture of the threats to the homeland that the dhs can look at and people can know like that as a community i guess i should say? >> i think so >> i'm constantly worried about what don't i know and the threat vectors that we identify our by the nature let's take homegrown violent extremists by their nature they are opaque. it's a threat that is in the basement in pajamas being radicalized into getting all of the training that it needs to emerge with a window for us to identify that particular part of the threat vector and mitigate so i think we have a good picture of the threats that we face and we have seen a lot of those and it's very hard to see.
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>> okay. great. on the cyber threat, both of the dhs and the fbi have in the past haven't been thought of as branded technical organizations. the change that you were talking about. are their core capabilities and skills that you need to grow to make the shift on the technical side will you buy it or will you make it? >> i will try whenever possible to make the custom bureau product. software and hardware. people like to make them across those dimensions i feel pretty
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good about us on the software perspective. as you know from having worked there we fail to invest. ivan harrick a lot of that. we still have progress to make. one of the reasons i told the congress we needed sequestration to get the budget is i've got to invest in the equipment. the bureau only has three things. i have no aircraft carriers for satellites. i have people doing great stuff, so i need people, training and technology. and as i said, a big part of that is investing in things like the pipes that i need to move in the enormous amounts of data that we need to move to the victims of the reason is we make good progress and it's not good enough in my view and we are going to continue to work on it. >> okay well, back to the larger may be more global questions
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about intelligence in general, this is a thoughtful question about the nature of the term domestic intelligence. it is something that we in fact made a conscious decision not to write into the law. there still is just foreign and counter. it's the operations at least, so we don't have such a thing but it does make people uncomfortable. the use of the term. so, how -- can you describe the role of the bureau in bridging the divide? and then you interact with the state, local and tribal where the term frankly it does make people uncomfortable. and how would you assess the progress and what are your views about the term domestic intelligence? is there another word or should we not care?
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>> i think we have to care. words can't eliminate or obscure and i think that especially is in the context where we often speak in the united states. the information that is useful to the war fighter into the counter terrorism mission and policymakers is stuff that is learned by deputy sheriffs and police officers encounter someone at the border and what i want from them is -- >> i need facts and information. so what did you see and hear and find. if i talk domestic intelligence, it freaks people out for good reason. it has dark overtones to it a
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little bit of what we are in is the information business. people have said is the director creating some new aggressive effort on the criminal efforts on the criminal side by taking and creating the intelligence measure? no. we are being pretty aggressive in trying to find crime and stop it and what i'm trying to make sure we do is be more thoughtful about what are we learning in our criminal matters that could be useful to the other things that we do and can be useful to our partners? that is what i want and why i want that intelligence professional looking across the entire enterprise, to make sure that we are getting better at figuring out what stuff do we know. another cosmic intel related, you have spoken out quickly about your desire to the
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recreation of the position probably not a fair question but can you tell us when you talk about integration at the intel, the dod credibility come and we get that. i mean i grew up with that in my blood the combat support agency, we get it. so, can you help us understand if you're successful, with what success looks like to you from the fbi world and how well you know? >> that is a great question and one i'm working on right now. what measurements will i well i use and what is my bitching? the way to describe it may sound odd and backwards but it's when no one talks about integration anymore.
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i say to the new intelligence analysts by success is that you would forget that you ever raised this. it was part of your dna. of course just on the intent defense as part of the same team. that is what success will feel like and the challenge i have is what are the metrics i'm going to use a longer journey to that and that is still a work in progress for me. it's one of my charges. >> on the cyber cited as a member of questions and i'm going to try to do five in one question that there are a lot of questions surrounding public-private partnership in general but it might be more interesting if you can describe it to the cyber domain. and do you have a view of what that would look like? >> that is a good one.
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let me start with why it matters. without effective public-private partnership on the cyber side, i -- the metaphor that i use is that i'm left patrolling a street with 50-foot high solid walls along the side. i can tell you the street looks safe. that 85% of the world where people are is on the other side of those walls and so we have to devise a way for me as a cop on the beat to be able to in some fashion see through those walls and pass information through and receive information through those walls otherwise i cannot protect the neighborhood. because 85% of the internet is in private hands. so we have to figure out a way to do this consistent with civil liberties, addressing people's concerns about the effectiveness and liability and whatnot. success will look like sharing information from the government,
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all parts of the government from indicators that we see a warning signs and danger and machine speed information from the private sector of the same data. somehow we have to find a way to achieve that that is consistent with our values and the disparate interest on both sides. and the government we have made great progress. it's one of those things that i have left nine years ago and then came back and when i left, i used to call it for year-old soccer i had five children so i watched a lot watched it live for year-old soccer and they follow the ball. in 2005 it was the cool thing so everyone is following the law. where we are now is kind of a second-grade soccer. we understand the need to spread out on the field and pass to each other and we are doing that at the bad guys are playing at a world world cup level so we have to continue to improve the speed of our game and effectiveness of the past. some of the things that are
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aiding back to the national cyber task force, genius idea. over 15 federal agencies who would otherwise be chasing the ball sitting together visualizing what is coming in, where the threat is and dividing it up and passing to each other in a way so we are not following each other in a clump. that is a great start maybe it is high school level soccer that there are lots of ways that people smarter than i can find a way to get us to a world cup level with ourselves into the private sector. >> do you think that -- do you have lanes in the road is squared away from squared away from the dhs in terms of critical infrastructure clicks we have the role of protecting the fbi and critical infrastructure. is that something that is evil thing or do you pretty much have a sense of how your team will cooperate?
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>> it has been the tool to hammering out that relationship and a pretty good place. even if we describe the dhs as prevention recovery assuring they're easily and see and we are investigating intrusion, those two things sound like different words but they overlap and then you have an agency agency of the secret service that is investigating the intrusions that relates to the financial crimes especially credit cards. so it feels to me like it is in a pretty good place but again it actually depends. we think we have it mapped out in a good way. but as i said, the structures only work if the people are in them so it depends upon the people literally talking to each other. i think we have come a long way. we both think that we can make it better. he and i need to privately on a regular basis to talk about how is it going. we have a chart that divides up the three responsibilities that
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we find a great benefit to sitting together saying what problems are you hearing that help us solve problems and it sends a message to our folks that we want this worked out. all three of us or heads will explode if there is a turf battle. there is plenty of work to go around. >> we have time for one more question and the one that is on the mind of our audience if you could just tell us how do you see the ice this threat and the fbi role in protecting the united states from the threat? >> the best way to describe it is on a see the isil thread as an element i've been talking about since the day that i got this job which is the terrorist threat that is manifesting in the safe haven supplied by the region.
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its most prominent among them so it is a subject of a great focus of ours but there are other groups in that same area and others throughout the spaces of north africa and the gulf and the mediterranean that we also worry about. the threat has metastasized since i left government. the primary tumor has shrunk in the afghanistan pakistan region but the progeny of al qaeda even though it is no longer a progeny of al qaeda by its own declaration, that must have assisted debate could -- metastasized with the others is that we can do everything we can to understand what if any present or connection do they have in the united states and who is traveling. i'm very concerned about the travelers. they are going there. it's far more concerning as inevitably they will come back. as you've seen in the news, australia acting against a
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threat that is isil connected. i also learned about the homegrown threat that i mentioned and the vector change of cyber has made it possible for isil and other groups to train and inspire people to do their work without ever having met the people. the troubled souls seeking meaning in some way in their basement could become the soldiers of the groups like that. so the bureau is about trying to understand who is going and who's coming and who's connected to those groups in the united states to get us to make this has been an absolutely phenomenal session. we want want to say thank you and on behalf of the audience. [applause] >> we are expecting an announcement today that eric holder is resigning as attorney general. president obama is speaking from
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the white house this afternoon at 4:30 eastern and we plan to have his remarks live on the companion network c-span. white house officials told the associated press that the attorney general will remain at the justice department until his successor is in place. the first attorney general eric holder served since the beginning of president obama's first term and was previously affordable prosecutor and a judge in district of columbia. we want your reaction to the attorney general's resignation. join the conversation facebook.com/c-span or hash tag c-span chat.
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here is a brief look at the town hall meeting. >> it took me two years after i got up to get an appointment. the reason that ea is in trouble is because we had these secret waiting lists. am i correct? and that's because we were putting people on the waiting list because there were too many people and not enough providers. so i finally came in here in june of this year and i was seeing for three minutes by a doctor that didn't ask me a question about any disability i was put out for and i got a letter in the mail saying my disability is in half, didn't ask about my mental health issues. they asked me what's up and it was disrespectful and then send me on my way. since i got out of the army my wife left me, i moved back in with my parents and i couldn't
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get a job. but telling them that made them think that my issues were all better. so they scheduled me for a primary care provider appointment or whatever you want to call it in late august. i get a phone call saying that it's been canceled and they scheduled me in september and i have another postcard it's been canceled and early october saying it's been canceled so i start calling and surprisingly i can't get a single human on the phone. i can get an operator who i'm sure has been cursed out more than anybody on the planet because she's the only point of contact that is a human so i finally decided screw it i'm going to go to the clinic. i told them i've i'd had for canceled appointments and i want to talk to someone. after walking in the tummy go ahead and talk to this guy over here who spent an hour answering phones. don't you think it's a little ironic the reason i had to go to the clinic to talk to someone is because i couldn't get anyone on the phone and then i had to wait
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an hour for a guy to stop answering the phone. i couldn't get his number they wouldn't give it to me. so i get an appointment, sit down to talk to one of these advocate people and they tell me that i canceled all of my appointments to read so i canceled five appointments and here i am? so i'm curious as you got in trouble because you're canceling or not making appointments or putting people on these lists but now you're just being open about it and doing the same thing. making the patient canceled the appointments themselves. i went down there and raised hell. >> you can see all of the meeting of the phoenix va medical center tonight on c-span2 at the eastern. live tomorrow on c-span2 family research council's 2014 values voter summit. the event kicks off at a:45 eastern. keynote speakers ohio republican congressman jim jordan and south carolina republican senator tim scott.
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in its upcoming term the supreme court is hearing cases on the role of race in drawing congressional districts, protection for whistleblowers and the religious rights of
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prisoners. the woodrow wilson center recently hosted a discussion previewing the upcoming cases area we will hear from law professors and a former acting solicitor general during president obama's first term. >> good afternoon and welcome to the division for public education on the docket supreme court program hosted in partnership with the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. i am the chairman of the aba preview advisory board. preview is board. preview is a flag ship publication of the aba division for public education and for decades has been the only resource to provide a detailed analysis of each case before the supreme court prior to all arguments. each preview issue highlights the main issues before the court in a way that's nonlawyers and lawyers alike can understand. the pv board is divided to welcome you to on the docket in the division for education and
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human supreme court panel. we are excited to be hosting this program once again and partnership with the woodrow wilson center. today we've assembled a great panel to help us better understand this at the kentucky october 2014 term and give an inkling of how some of the headline cases for the upcoming term will play out. the moderator will introduce each of the panelists and i would like to say something about the moderator myself. john milewski is a great friend of the program for many years as a veteran broadcast journalist and communications professional with extensive experience as a moderator, interviewer, inc. or, producer and reporter read he is currently the director of digital programming of them at the woodrow wilson center for scholars. john, thank you for your support for the programs in having us here at the woodrow wilson center. >> thank you very and everyone for joining us as well. let me also welcome you to the
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woodrow wilson international center for scholars. curious how many of you have been here before? grade a lot returning. and those of you for the first time special welcome and hope you will come back. this is the official living memorial through the 28th president woodrow wilson who had something unique about him that no other president can claim. no not that he was a lawyer. a lot of presidents or lawyers. does anyone know what it is? phd, yes ma'am. the only u.s. president to be a phd. so, welcome to the wilson center for the annual on the docket program. it's a pleasure to work with division for public education who as you will see in a moment always does a terrific job in bringing the guest list to the event. you will know a lot more about the supreme court in the coming term when you leave this room than you do currently. i can guarantee that. very few other things i can guarantee. so you have all picked up one of these when you came and created
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a terrific resource and it has detailed biographies of the panel that i'm going to give you the short version particularly for those of us, those people not in the room and join in on the webcast and c-span2 who are unable to pick up a copy of the "big and find it online. let me introduce you from left to right joining us is neal katyal. that is actually your right to left but the reverse. neal katyal is a partner and has argued 21 cases before the subpoena court, 21 and counting because more this year on the way. previously served as acting solicitor general in the united states and a law professor for 15 years at georgetown university center and that was all before the age of 21 is that correct? also with us leslie kenrick professor of professor of law at the university of virginia school of law where her primary research focus is freedom of expression. she will be talking about first amendment cases and prior to joining she clerked for the
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supreme court justice david souter. also joining, janai wilson for the naacp legal defense and education funding and previously she was the associate dean for faculty scholarship and associate director of the ronald brown center for civil rights and economic development at st. john's university school of law. finally, stephen wermiel with the american university washington college of law. co-author of a biography of justice brennan and columnist for the blog and previously served as the supreme supreme court correspondent for "the wall street journal." please welcome the panel for today's discussion. [applause] but me tell you a bit about the format and those of you that have been here before we've asked each of the panelists to provide something they are very good at on a variety of upcoming cases. in some cases by category and others a little more free fall. when each panelist does the presentation, then we will engage him or her in the discussion of the cases and then
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eventually we will turn it to you and ask for your questions and comments but first let me begin with a general question about the state of the course. as the court could be either more political than it's ever been or less political than it's ever been or somewhere around the average? let's begin in the order of introduction. >> i have some pretty strong views on this and wrote about them in an op-ed for "the new york times." if you look at the last term of the roberts court, we see something very striking. it's never happened in most of our lives that hasn't happened that the court agreed unanimously the roughly two thirds of the case. indeed there were only 25 decisions that it decided last year that were not unanimous. so you would have to go back to 1940 to find another supreme court term like that. when you read the newspapers and the supreme court divided and partisan there is some of that and the elections have consequences but i think one
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thing we are seeing with the roberts court is a striking emphasis on the unanimously. and i think that it is fitting that we are talking about it here at the wilson center which is of course devoted to the kind of nonpartisan true engagement of ideas. i think the court is looking over the congress and seeing something a little bit dysfunctional. and so if you can't get anything done or agree on anything and they are fighting about the small things i think that roberts court is saying we are going to have our disagreements on the cases, but can we find common ground and they did in two thirds of the cases including those that affect you and me every day like cell phone privacy. >> said in a way the court is looking to congress for inspiration of a sort. leslie. >> these comparisons are hard to do. and to the point about the amount of unanimity i think it doesn't take that many hot button cases where people see a
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really divided court. for that to be the impression people take away i remember when i was clerking there was a case one of the parties involved in what is called the john r. sand and gravel and i am thinking a surprising amount is a sickly sand and gravel. it's not very interesting to most people come and not very hot button cases, but really needs an answer and they provide one and they can do that extremely well. but it doesn't take that many cases that our fireworks for that to be what people pay attention to. and i think it's in that context where there are few cases that are hot button it easy to say this is more political than in the past when we don't have a sense of just how much fireworks is happening in the past because those are subtle questions for us it is hard to make a comparison. >> i would agree it is very difficult to contextualize and i apologize in advance for my voice. we are set to put in context of the number of cases in the supreme court taken in recent
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years and significantly every time the court opens for the new term we see a shrinking docket so therefore, the number of unanimous decisions chief justice roberts has been able to coalesce of the justices is impressive, but there is a much smaller number of cases that we are working with in this docket. ..
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the cell phone case i think the court did a very good job of narrowing the issue to something that all nine of them could agree on. but it's not the last cell phone case we're going to see and the next time it comes back it will be unanimous because they masked some of the disagreement and i think they did that in some of the cases. to their credit for trying to find common ground, but don't make a mistake in thinking that it's necessarily that all issues are being result in that way. the other thing i would say is, i agree with neal i think the court is cognizant of congress being dysfunctional but interestingly one of the offshoots of congress being dysfunctional is when the court strikes down federal statutes,
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we presume that congress can correct the mistakes in the statutes if they want to. and a dysfunctional congress can't do that. >> you're not painting a picture of a highly partisan undertaking. there's a lot of nuance and shades of gray. but if you're some critics of the court, particularly around citizens united or mccutcheon, you get a very different picture. >> to our certain hot button cases, citizens united, gun rights is another example. and perhaps some of the cases that may come to the court this term, same-sex marriage and abortion. may be other ones in which you're going to have that amount of disagreement. but having said that striking agreement on things like cell phone privacy which is a sweeping holding. this is not narrow. this is a holding that affect you and me as broad as i think it could have possibly done saying that what the government was doing, it is one of the most
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significant rulings of the supreme court in our lifetime. that's true about other things as well, things like human genome and so when. things that have a political balance like the recess appointments president obama did. certainly there are political decisions, or things that have political consequences that the courts engaged in but if you think this court has said something really interesting in trying to find common ground. >> any other thoughts on this before we move on to another topic? let's look back at the last term once before we turn our attention forward to the coming term. is there anything that you would list as the most surprising thing about this courts performance during the last term? predictability on these hot button issues that have broken 5-4. neal describes a specific strategy of unanimous votes on now a record-setting amount of cases in seven years at least in
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the last seven years. is there anything that surprise you or are we talking about a highly predictable court? >> i don't want to speak for neal. i think the cell phone message was probably a surprise, especially the unanimity of the. and recess appointments unanimity was also surprising. we know that chief justice roberts says he wants to try to find as much common ground on which all nine can agree, but that doesn't mean they're always going to be able to fund. sometimes when they do it does kind of catch you offguard. >> janai, what surprised you, if anything? >> i tend to be the unanimity on those decisions was surprising and that chief justice roberts seems to be getting better and better at creating that coalition, or eithe even the mes of the court are getting to know each other in a different way. the newest members seem to be, justice kagan and sotomayor seem
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to be really jibing with the group, and that does seem to be a greater cohesion. but i don't know if there's any surprises, maybe this is part of my cynicism about there being some politics on the court. mccutcheon in these cases are rather predictable. i think there are certain areas where you can find more predictability and so it wasn't terribly surprised. i do think those two outliers of the unanimous decisions. >> leslie, what about -- >> i try not have any expectations about the supreme court. they are going to do what they're going to do, and often you can predict where the battle lines are going to be drawn but how exactly they're going to come down, trying to gauge that can be kind of a fool's errand. so there were some cases that i think wha would be cases, hobby lobby is a big, big case. it could have gone one way or
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the other based on what a couple of justices felt about privately held corporations. and is the result surprising? know, but it's momentous and i think that's probably more important. >> for me the most surprising thing by the court is not something that happened at the court, but the lawyers who are argued before the court. it's not surprising that the last 10 to 15 years we've seen a kind of emergence of a court far, 75% of arguments were done by people at already done five or more arduous. here's the striking thing in the sad fact. last year, 15% of the people who argued at the supreme court where women. 15% in the year 2014. bacthat to me is a strikingly dismal figure. i would've thought by this point in time we would see different numbers, and it's something that i think we all need to think about. and certainly those of us in the
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appellate world need to think about it in our hiring and in our mentoring. >> now we'll turn our attention to the coming term and this is what we get into some of the briefings we previewed. this would be high-priced briefings, these are billable hours. janai, begin with you on the clock will be running. not really. we have about 10 minutes for this segment. janai is going to talk to us about voting rights cases. >> i'm glad you said voting rights cases, plural. i'm talking about a consolidated case, one is alabama democratic conference versus alabama and the alabama lack likes it pockets versus alabama. those cases were consolidated and this will be the first time that the court has dealt with a voting rights act case since shelby county versus holder, which was the term before last where the court dealt what i would say is a devastating blow to the voting rights act of 1965. this could be momentous for a
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number of different reasons. so far it would be, the court has granted, this is going to be the case of the term and less one of the voting id cases, certain wisconsin is fine for that honor so we will see what happens there. otherwise i think this will be i think the election law case of this term. has you can hear from the parties, there are partisan dimensions to this case and there's also the main issue on the tape which is the racial concern. so the alabama democratic conference is, in fact, an african-american political action committee. on the one hand. the other case, alabama black legislative caucus consists of african-american legislators, representatives in the state of alabama, and both parties are suing based on a republican-led state redistricting map that
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came after the 2010 census. so every 10 years as you probably know, are states go through this phenomenal process called redistricting where they redraw the legislative districts for state legislators, for local commissions, and even congressional redistricting. this is challenge of the state legislative map. this is a republican-led legislature, and the concern in this case is the way in which they configured the district, particularly how they included minorities in the district violated the equal protection clause, no matter what level of scrutiny applied to, but especially if you apply strict scrutiny which you would whenever there's an allegation that race played a predominant role in the redistricting. so in a nutshell, in 2000, 10 years before the 2010 census, in
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2000 this plan was drawn up creating majority-minority districts. it was litigated. it was preserved in the voter rights act a and a certain numbr of majority black districts were created. when the legislature attempted to update that plan following the 2010 census, a continued to keep the same percentages of black persons in these majority-minority districts as they head into thousand. on its face that doesn't sound like a preposterous idea or anything that's problematic. but if you know about the standard by which we judge the legality of majority-minority districts, you will realize that just rubberstamping or creating a cookie-cutter image of the previous plan doesn't necessarily yield a plan that is constitutional or one that's consistent with the voting rights act. so the voting rights act requires, i'm talking of
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section five in particular, requires any voting changed including the legislative map must not put minority voters in a worse position. it must not have the intent to do that and they can't have the effect of doing that. we call the process or that measure for determining whether minorities are put in a worse position, we called it retrogression. the plan cannot retrogression minority rights. so in this particular case by including the same percentage of black population in the newer districts, the legislature did not take account of the fact that minority voting rights have actually evolved in 10 years and at the same 77% black district that may have existed in 2000 did need to exist with such high concentrations of black voters in 2010. that's really the crux of the concern of there. there are a few interesting points about this case.
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first as i mentioned this is going to be the first time that the court opines on the voting rights act since shelby county v. holder. in that case the court did not strike down section five of the act which i just explain but instead struck down section four of the voting rights act which created a trigger for which jurisdiction would be covered by section five. so basically it was the formula for deciding which jurisdiction would be subject to this retrogression standard. in striking down section four of the act of the court led section five impact but we don't know whether if we are able in fact to create a new section five or section four, but the court would do with it. how well it would protect it. i think everyone is going to be looking at this case to read the tea leaves on that important question. it's also the first time the court will be taken with a racially, race-based gerrymand
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gerrymander, since the texas redistricting case and hunt versus cromartie. it's been quite sometime since the court has dug into these thorny issues or into the political issues on the issues of racial gerrymandering. the second reason this case is particularly important is because we are going to understand where the court places the value of compliance with section five. the republican-led legislature, as i mentioned, created the majority-minority districts and said section five made me do. the only reason we passed black voters into these districts at such high rates is because, at the rates roughly 65-77% in certain districts, the only reason why we did this is because we had to comply with section five of the voting rights act. certainly the legal defense fund is saying, the amicus brief we
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filed, section five required a much more nuanced analysis. it requires a district by district analysis of minority voting power. of determining how much traditional redistricting criteria place into the legislative redistricting process, how much did race played a predominant factor. all of those particular questions need to be dealt with on a district by district basis. so we are really looking at the contours of the anti-retrogression standard, and effectively what we're saying is that majority-minority districts can come in all shapes and sizes. it depends on the voters in that community, the communities of interest, general standards like continuity, general redistrictingeneralredistrictinf that must play a part in determining what is a constitutionally viable majority-minority district.
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and one that would be protected under the act. another interesting tidbit about this case is that the majority-minority districts that were created in the 2000 plan that mentioned were challenged by republicans in 2000 windows to six came to pass. and now i can fast forward 10, 12 years later, and those industries are being protected by the republican-led legislature and claimed as part of their effort to comply with section five. the naacp legal defense and where i work we are a nonpartisan group. we are focused on on the inability of minority voters to elect candidates of choice, and we submit that certainly by having a high concentration of black voters in these districts, minority voters aren't fact losing their ability -- are, in fact, losing their ability to
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elect candidates of choice in a way that could have years ago. spiff how we do not time to speak with we are a little tight but go ahead. >> let me cut to what i think would be the most problematic decision the court can make. one, the court has a few different options but it could remand and say yes, the lower court's three-judge panel that dealt with the case in alabama could now revisit this issue and apply the appropriate constitutional standards but it doesn't need to decide this issue on its face. there's a standing issue that was raised as well. i the court will actually decide this on standing grounds but that's also an avenue. what the court should not do is create a bright line rule as to what is the appropriate percentage for any majority-minority district. this is a fact intensive inquiry that requires a great deal of subtle analysis, and that's what we think the court should order and remand to the district court or deal with the
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constitutionality of these districts outright and not meet any racial quota. >> your comment about the republicans feelings about this event and now, i think it's at least politically it seems like the problem with gerrymandering isn't gerrymandering. but it's who's doing the gerrymandering is what becomes contentious. two minutes left for the segments i want to give your colleagues a chance to make a quick comment or ask a quick question about this, if anyone has anything to like to add to this segment before we move on. we are good? terrific, thank you. when we come to your questions if you think you'd like to pick up on that w we're going to move very quickly, please, we will invite you to death or any cases we don't flag for you. is there something else would like to discuss. next up we have asked neal katyal to talk to us about same-sex marriages, something that is bound to be another contentious issue in this court and the court seems eager to weigh in. >> so i do think that this set
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of issues is basically the greatest civil rights issue of our time. the court has pending before it seven repetitions raising these questions about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage restrictions. they cases, there's three of them from virginia, one from utah, one from oklahoma, one from wisconsin and one from indiana. the court is going to consider them, whether to any of these cases at all on september 29t september 29th, at their first conference as. that justices have a nice long summer break, kind of like school children. they get a long break. they are actually working quite hard during the break but they don't actually announce any new cases that they will hear. september 29 is the first day when they will take up this really enormously interesting set of questions. the first case that was filed was filed by the state of utah at the u.s. supreme court, just by word of disclosure on one of the lawyers along with an
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amazing team of folks across the country on the utah case. so i'm going to stick to really the public filings in this case and tell you what it's about. basically utah has an amended brief to its constitution which has a few things. it restricts marriage to that between a man and a woman and it also says if you had a same-sex marriage in some other state, and then you move to utah, they won't recognize that and, indeed, it bands not just all benefits and things like that for folks who have either same-sex marriages or who have civil unions. they say that also, we're not going to give any such benefits. so the plaintiffs, but three different couples, challenge that as a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and the due process clause saying essentially this is unconstitutional. it's a denial of equality. and anyone in the district court. and, indeed, i think there've
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been 31 or so cases across the country in the last two years, and the challengers have won 30 of those 31. those numbers might be slightly wrong but the laws, the restrictions have only been upheld once by one district court a couple weeks ago in louisiana. about 30 different courts have said no, that violates the goals of equality. went a long gets struck down, any law, that's a big deal for a court. chief justice marshall, our greatest chief justice and that's most solemn duty of the supreme court to strike down a law as unconstitutional. what it means is even if the american public really wants that law, they can't have a. it's off the table. even if it's 99.99% of the people in virginia or utah, whatever that what the same-sex restrictions, it's off the table. it's something that's done really we really, it should be done rarely because it's an awesome power given to an unelected federal court. the plaintiffs are able to
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convince the district court judge that is unconstitutional, the utah restrictions. it then went up to the 10th circuit court of appeals which also found it unconstitutional. and now the state of utah represented by its attorney general and governor have asked the u.s. supreme court to come in and say we have the right to pass the laws we want. it's our political process. marriage is traditionally a state responsibility. it should not be up to unelected federal courts to decide who should get married and how. they have some fairly strong arguments. they point out, for example, that the equal protection clause was passed in 1868, and nobody in 1868 would have thought that it would be something that would prohibit states from banning gay marriage. of course, those challengers say well, that's not the right way to look at it because those folks in 1868 also didn't
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believe in desegregated schools. they didn't believe in striking down interracial marriage but, of course, the supreme court unanimously did that in 1967. so the equal protection clause has some evolving focus. the challengers also say, what's the reason for the long? states have prerogatives in general to regulate marriage as you see fit, but you've got to articulate some reason for doing so. and estates reasons, they find lacking, and this is one in which the states in general have had some difficulty coming up with reasons. some of the old reasons like procreation and stuff has been pretty discredited by social science literature. so that's one of the interesting facets about these cases. nonetheless, when the 10th circuit ruled and struck down the utah then, they put their decision on hold, on ice and said supreme court, we are going to wait for you. that's where the law stands in
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utah right now. we as the challengers did something rather unusual. as i say, the governor came in and said we want the supreme court to hear this case. even though we had won the case in the court of appeals, we told the supreme court the same thing. we said, supreme court, we want and we're confident we can win it in before you. gave us a hearing, grant this case. but does have are shot in court and win a nationwide ruling. because right now it's an intolerable situation. if folks are in utah they can't have their marriages recognized even if they live in another state, had to move to utah for work or something like that. and so you had a patchwork regime state to state and nobody has certainly. so the ideas behind acquiescing indie tertiary right and the documents that utah government decides is to say let's just resolve this once and for all. second is from -- comes from oklahoma. that's also coming from the 10th circuit.
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here the issue is only one thing instead of to pick up to you whether or not oklahoma can prohibit same-sex marriage. it doesn't have the recognition issue, the issue of someone being married in california and moving to oklahoma. for that reason the challengers have suggested their cases even better than the utah case because it's a little cleaner, only one issue instead of two, and they are represented by a gentleman and 11 that cell phone case that i was mentioning before, jeffrey fisher of stanford law school, an enormously talented advocate. the third, fourth and fifth cases of the trio of virginia cases. these are cases brought by the clerks in the state of virginia that said, look, virginia law restricts marriage to that between a man and a woman, and we don't want to give these licenses to same-sex couples. the virginia attorney general, because of an election flip has
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refused to defend virginia's law saying it's unconstitutional. so it's the clerks better defending the law and they are before the court also sang take are cases, the fourth circuit court of appeals which is virginia, maryland, north and south carolina and west virginia, that fourth circuit decision struck down the virginia law. they are sing the fourth circuit decision is wrong and the court should hear that set of cases. they are you also have to remarkable lawyers first in ted olson who was president bush's solicitor general and over the last several years has taken up his cause and said marriage equality is his battle and the battle of the country. you also have paul smith who is a private, lawyer in private practice who argued the lawrence v. texas case a few years ago which struck down bans on sodomy as unconstitutional. again enormously talented legal team. then finally to cases from
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indiana and wisconsin. these are cases very similar to those before him which of both marriage restrictions as well as the recognition of people moving into states and whether those are recognized to the interesting thing about the virginia -- wisconsin and indiana case is that the opinion author for the court of appeals to strike down these prohibitions in wisconsin and indiana was judge richard posner, appointed by president reagan, considered a quite conservative jurists, a libertarian but conservative jurist. he just made mince meat of the arguments that the state was putting forth, both in the oral arguments and then in his written opinion. a very powerful, short opinion and one suspects will get some ammunition to the challenges of these bands. i'm not biased at all on any of this. so we should know pretty soon what the courts going to do. the court as justice ginsburg making public statements last
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week saying, suggesting maybe that the court might want to wait for another court of appeals, the sixth circuit which has a case for michigan before it, before the u.s. supreme court gets involved. they don't have to take anything. one of the greatest powers of the supreme court is the power not to decide. you come in and you are before, the point about how the court has a diminishing doctor. last year they decided 67 cases. 20 years ago they decided 150 cases. they get 10,000 cases a year. so it's hard to get your case heard by the supreme court and they're always looking for reasons not to hear it. they might say look, let's wait, let's wait a longer period is a pretty good argument at this point in time a patchwork is such that people are living in an intolerable state of legal limbo. so i think that's why you have this remarkable agreement by the two warring camps, all the states and governors are against
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same-sex marriage, and all of the folks in the same-sex marriage equality saying here's one point of unanimity. here's one point, supreme court, hear the case. >> neal, about 31 states are so advance, right? >> i don't think it's that i. i think it's less than that. >> what are the chances a ruling is made in any of these cases the whites that away, begins a discussion that decides speak i think if the court gets involved in the case and grants the case they're going to grant any of these seven, they're taking it to resolve the issue. the issues 100% that the issue, if the cases granted, if one of the case is granted it will be resolved. i don't think there's any wiggle room left. i think this point in time the moment they take one of these, it's game over for one side or the other. >> any quick thoughts or
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questions? >> a day that the supreme court decided windsor defense of marriage act, you might've read the windsor opinion and said this is really just about the federal government having to respect the choices of the states. but now you have judge after judge after judge saying windsor made me do it. and striking down a state law. isn't that sort of surprising? >> it's an unprecedented number of states laws that have been struck down in the last two years. i can't think of anything in our lifetime, perhaps ever in the history of this country in which you that state law after a state law struck down so quickly. you're right. it's one thing if the brown v. board of education supreme court said these state laws are unconstitutional and clear language. but windsor didn't quite do that. you have to interpret windsor and you're right.
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judges of all political parties from across the country are interpreting it in one way which is to strike it down with one exception in louisiana. >> another terrific briefing. leslie kendrick is up next. last he will talk about the first amendment cases. >> thank you, john. i want to thank everyone at the aba and the wilson center for put on this event and all of you all for coming. thank you for being here. i'm going to toggle bit about the first amendment and i think the take away so far with the term looks like is the supreme court is continuing its trend for fatal attraction. we talk about the diminishing docket and actually i think on the first amendment side the supreme court sometimes grants cases where it's not very clear why they're taking it. apparently not taking it in or to overturn the judgment from a lower court to there's no clear split. sometimes all of the lower courts have been agreed in the
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proposition that the supreme court ultimately endorses. it seems as though the roberts court had never met the first amendment case it didn't like. it's really not a first amendment played a didn't like her a couple notable exceptions are law professors and child pornographers which i don't know what that says about their opinion about law professors. [laughter] but this kind of taken a couple of cases where a clear answer is need. they're doing hard work i've been cleaning out some cluttered closets for the first amendment. places where lower courts are in disagreement and everyone is little bit at ease. the first is elonis versus the united states pictures is case involving so-called true threats doctrine. so a little primer on first amendment law. there's a lot of law that is protected -- sorry, a lot of speech protected by the first amendment. there's a lot of speech is not protected by the first amendment. this is a question of when is threatening language protected and when is it unprotected?
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here's the question. in order to be unprotected, in order for the speech not to be protected by the first amendment, does the speaker have to of intended to threaten someone? or is enough if a reasonable person would think that this is threatening language? so you have a subjective intent standard would ask about the state of mind of the speaker, or do you ask about whether an objective listener will take away? this is not the one you intend to carry out the threat or not. but if it is agreed that's not necessary. do you have to have intended to make someone feel threatened. so this case involves a man, mr. alone is, and i should say that the university of virginia or i were, the supreme court clinic is representing mr. elonis in this litigation and i am not involved. i'm not here on behalf of mr. elonis today. he was convicted under federal strip the schmidt threats
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statute for some very choice on which on facebook but his ex-wife another individuals. i will not quote that language for you. i think in the colloquial sense many of us would say it was possibly threatening, released we could say was very disturbing. and the question legally whether counts as a threat. he was convicted under the standard that says all we need to know is whether an objective person would find this to be threatening language. so he thought -- he sought review by the supreme court, disagreed among the circuits but which is the standards is necessary. and i've had to say if you know anything about this a blog you might have sought this question seems to take you might've thought the supreme court actually has decided this question before any 2003 case called virginia versus black in which it dealt with the true threats stand and said things like threats are the statements with the speaker means the committee a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence, or what said
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the statements must be made with the intent of placing the victim in fear of him harm or death rate talked about intent or many pages. you might've taken with impression that this was a subjective intent test, but i'm not clear that's what you're focused on in that case. that case involved a state statute that required content as a matter of criminal call, not as a matter of first amendment protection but maybe that's what they were talking about. if they did need to make intent requirement, a constitutional requirement rather than something the statute just happened to include, they didn't tell us why intent would be a requirement. you might ask from a first amendment stem but why do we need subjective intent on the part of the speaker? you might think otherwise is going to chill speech that we want to protect. you go read and see something you don't mean for it to be threatening. someone takes it as a threat. maybe that shows your speech because next time you going to
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be as likely to speak out. you might wonder whether intent is a standard that's necessary to avoid chilling effect problems. maybe knowledge is enough. maybe recklessness is enough. maybe just negligence but you should not people would think this was threatening. so what's not clean it from a chilling effect perspective. if it's from some of the perspective the court hasn't made clear why our what that is. so arguably they've decided this question before but arguably they were totally focused on it when they decided it. and, hey, they are the supreme court. if they want to decide it twice they can certainly do that. the other case is read versus town of gilbert. account in arizona that has decided law. lots of towns have laws about prominent signs content precise, what kind of signs can be up and where they can be up and how long they can be up in this sort of thing. it's all those are the beauty of local government. the town of gilbert has a law
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that treats different temporary signs like campaign signs, campaign posters different kind of temporary signs carefully. it has one set of rules for political science, one set of rules or ideological signs and then of the rules for other essentially. there's a church, the good news committee church has signed that they qualify as directional under the town of gilbert. that is, they show people where to go to come to the services. pull in here to go to the service. those signs are treated differently from the political signs of from the ideological signs that a different cash advance b be different sizes but g20 out for a certain amount of time. this implicates an area first in law called content discrimination the supreme court said famously, above all else the first amendment means that the government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its
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subject matter or content. the question is, is that what's going on with this sort of sign law? in previous cases, any type of classification based on subject matter, anything that restricts states on subject matter like different treatment for political things or ideological things are other things, the supreme court has frowned upon the by frowned upon i mean ridiculed and invalidated. when it comes to signage laws bears this issue because it seems like probably towns are not trying to discriminate against certain types of messages. probably what they wanted to be able to regulate the aesthetic quality of their indictment while also giving room for campaign posters and other things in which this would bring court has said it's important the question here is what matters is the fact on its face this law treats different things different based on their content, or is what matters kind
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of the motive behind that and the risk that this action is some sort of discriminatory motive involved. that is a very messy case which might be trying to clean up. >> you were very polite in not quoting directly any of the facebook post from mr. elonis. are any of you, your? what you know this is the language is not ambiguous or unclear, in a certain context. they can come to be perceived to be threats. and what makes this propublica guppies claimed to be an artist. he's claiming these are rapt lyrics speak he claims is a rap lyrics, which i would think of them were as kind of free verse may be. but whatever artistic medium he claims to be a part of, i respect that. there is this question floating around where one way in which this type of problem could arise is when people are involved in artistic expression, where they
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don't intend to convey a serious threat, what they're doing is something that's created. so this is a particular application of this larger question of what type of intent is necessary in order for the speech to be unprotected. and although the statements themselves are pretty disturbing, the fact that it does remind the court, well, any will you make is going to implicate artistic media, that's an important aspect of this case. >> janai, please. >> and also his implication in terms of an evidentiary standard when we're dealing with criminal defense cases your business, already in a number of cases. most jurisdictions have actually held that it is admissible to bring into the record violent rap lyrics, artistic expression that seems threatening. so this is not just a sign that issue but i think it is broader
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ramifications if this is protected speech and there is a stronger argument to say that that information is not or should not be admissible in a criminal defense trial. however, if it isn't, then i can see going the other way and allowing more jurisdiction. >> that's a very, very interesting issue. this is by far the closest the supreme court closest the supreme court is closest the supreme court has ever gotten to that evidentiary question. >> the court seems to be playing a can you top this game. the funeral protest case would've been a law professor's worst nightmare or hypothetical. you don't want the supreme court to be deciding free speech law on the horrible facts of this case. now this one, i mean what's next? >> next up and delicately in my notes and thank you for a terrific briefing by the way. welcome to the club. you our newest panelist your on
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the docket series. i have listed here, steve, other cases because we decided we couldn't put these into any type of category whether of the cases we are highlighting and steve graciously volunteered to be the go to guy for the grab bag. steve, you're up. >> thank you, john. the first one want to talk about neal talked about how same-sex marriage is the civil rights issue of this era for this generation. sadly, one of the cases i want to talk to is the civil rights era of about 40 years ago. it's a case involving pregnancy discrimination. in 1976, the supreme court ruled that discrimination in the workplace against pregnant women was not sex determination and, therefore, was not covered by title vii of the 1964 civil rights act. congress amended title vii in
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1978 passing something called the pregnancy discrimination act to say, to try to change that. and basically say that discrimination involving pregnancy should be seen as gender discrimination under title vii. fast-forward not quite 40 years, peggy young works as a driver at a ups facility in maryland. her job requires her to lift packages up to 70 pounds in weight. she takes a leave in order to undergo in vitro fertilization to try to become pregnant. she succeeds and becomes pregnant. and when she tried to go back to work, her doctors tell her that she cannot lift packages more than 20 pounds without risking her pregnancy. so she asks ups, which is covered by its own collective bargaining agreement, she asks
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ups for an accommodation that's called a light duty assignment. she would continue to work but she would be in a job where she was doing a lighter job that didn't require her to put her pregnancy in jeopardy. under the collective bargaining agreement ups said no, you're not eligible for light duty assignment, and since you can't perform your regular job requiring 70 pounds, you basically can go back to work until your pregnancy is over. she eventually lost her salary and medical benefits under the circumstances. so what you bss is our policy is that we are complying with the pregnancy discrimination act. we treat everybody the same under particular work conditions. we are not discriminating against people on the basis of
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pregnancy. they say, we will accommodate people with light duty work under three circumstances. one is if they been in should on the job. to is if they lost their department of transportation eligibility for a trucker's license. and three is if they are required or entitled to accommodations under the americans with disabilities act, meaning they have a disability. well, ups says pregnancy is not a disability under the ada. she hasn't lost her trucker's eligibility and she's not injured on the job. so we're not discriminating against or. we are treating the same as we treat anybody else. she doesn't meet those qualifications. so they refused to hire her. she loses benefits. she gets permission to sue from the equal employment opportunity commission. the case goes up on appeal to
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the fourt fourth circuit and the fourth circuit upholds ups's policy that this is non-discriminatory. and so she's taken her case to the supreme court your the justice department, the solicitor general was asked by the court a year ago to weigh in on this issue before the court decided whether to the case or not. and it's a very interesting briefed by the solicitor general's office that basically says virtually all of the federal appeals court that have considered cases like this have gotten it wrong, including this one. but you come the supreme court could probably wait for another set of facts or another set of circumstances before you decide this case. you don't really necessarily have to take this case. and furthermore congress was to me the americans with disabilities act to make it clear that pregnancy could be considered a disability in some
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circumstances, and the eeoc might adopt regulations that would make this case moot and resolve the problem. congress did demand the americans with disabilities act law but the regulations didn't seem to solve the problem so the supreme court has agreed to hear the case. want additional note about it. there are always a couple of cases every term that make wonderfully strange bedfellows, and this is one of them. there are all kinds of coalitions of civil rights groups weighing in saying that she should be entitled to be treated as if she were discriminate against on the basis of gender that her treatment violated title vii. there's also a coalition of pro-life antiabortion groups that have weighed in in her favor on the premise that discriminating against people who are pregnant provides economic incentives for them to
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get abortions, and, therefore, that's not what congress intended when it passed the pregnancy discrimination act. it intended to facilitate childbirth and pregnancy, and so they avoid in on her side as well. makes it kind of a fascinating friend of the court breeze. mayagüez, that one was called young versus united parcel service the other cases called holt versus hobbes. also a civil rights case of sorts. gregory holt is a prison inmate in arkansas who as an inmate is known as abdul mulvey mohammad, and says that his muslim beliefs require him to grow a beard at least a half inch in length. the arkansas department of correction says no, thank you. may allow mustaches under the corrections roles and they have
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a narrow exception for a quarter inch beards for people who have dermatological problems. they have accommodated him in many other ways. he is allowed to have a prayer rug. is allowed to have a copy of the koran. he is allowed to have a special diet. he is allowed to observe muslim holidays. but they say that half inch or longer beard is a security risk. you can hide drugs in the beard. you can hide contraband, weapons, razors in the beard. and they make what seems like a fairly compelling security argument. the problem with the argument is that, according to the justice department and other briefs, more than 40 states have figured out how to accommodate this kind of request, as has the federal bureau of prisons. so it's a little hard for arkansas to maintain, you know, we don't know how they do but we
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can't do it. it's too great a security risk year. they say that one of the extenuating factors is that the prison in question is a prison farm where the inmates are not in individual cells. they are in barracks like setting and that creates a greater security risk, and also that go off the grounds to work on the prison farm, meaning it might be easier for them to bring things back into the prison. again, one of the counter arguments raised in the briefs is they don't seem worried about the inmates smuggling things in the close. agency worried about their inability to keep them from smuggling things in their beard as a security risk. so it seems like a kind of strange argument to be able to maintain. but, and this is all brought under a federal statute, which i had to say the name of just for the sake of saying the name of
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it. its acronym is rluipa. the supreme court has on at least one occasion said we need to defer to the expertise of prison officials when they say they are trying to maintain security. that could be a counterweight here in the way the court looks at the case. the legal standard, and i'll stop, is, under this statute the state has to have compelling reasons for adopting a policy that burdens the somebody's religious freedom. the need to maintain prison security might be considered to be compelling reasons, but the second part of the test is that the state has to do it in the midwest possible way, the least restrictive means. and the argument here is that the state can't possibly meet that burden, that it can't be
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the least restrictive means. so the case is going to be argued early in the term in october. >> when it comes to protect ability of what the court might do, how does this case compared to the hobby lobby, the last religious freedom case that the court decided on? >> i think the hobby lobby raised -- >> in terms of predictability. >> i don't like to make predictions, but if i had to predict, i would say it's going to be hard for arkansas to overcome the fact that 40 plus other states have figured out, and d.c., have all figured this out. >> one more thing about -- sometimes whiffing of the justices as nine cloistered people who are removed from daily life. prisons as one might think they're getting it. they understand that prisons right now operating with so much discretion and getting away with so much. they can do something, they would do. whatever it is.
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and if you haven't been to prison i encourage you to go and visit it and save what it's like. and justice kennedy served on the california prison commission. he cares deeply about this set of issues. i think this one is, you know, i feel comfortable are going on almost anything but this one i would not want to argue on behalf of arkansas. >> you would encourage people to visit the easily, not the hardware, right? >> absolutely. >> with an open door. >> janai? >> we think about a couple of cases the we talk about, gilbert and hold and look at the degree of discretion of the court is either to afford the prison officials or the local officials about the signage that will go up any town or the safety concerns but it would be interesting to see if there's any inconsistency in how much deference is given to any state official debate on the current text. prisons to present something of a thornier context and i agree the court is an artifact our
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prison system is a highly dysfunctional. we may see what i would think is the right decision. >> the inmate in this case is going to have the solicitor general's office arguing on his site, you know, the government didn't maintain -- the agency that maintains the bigger of prisons. and that's pretty powerful. >> any other thoughts on the cases state presented? we will soon come to your questions and comments. comments on the brief site please. even questions on the brief site. will have a couple of four directors with microphones on either side who will help you get a microphone and ask your question. that's one thing would ask is please don't start speaking to have a microphone from an hand and pulled up close to your mouth, and don't fiddle with turning it on or off. it will be on, trust us. or not. but before we come to that, a little more discussion. i would offer the opportunity for any to bring up something that he that popped into your mind during this segment that you didn't get a chance to say,
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this might be the chance to stay. if there's a case you'd like to briefly highlight. janai, back to voting rights cases. if you look at the political landscape, it seems like maybe we're into a period where we're going to be seeing a lot more cases make their way to the court. could you comment on that? is that your expectations to? i think we're going to see a voter id case go to the court coming out of either wisconsin or perhaps texas where we're litigating a case we just finished closing arguments in challenging the voter id laws. so we will see. i think that was probably could be the next frontier. i don't know how much new ground there really is to track their, it's change because section five is, for all purposes, defunct at the moment. we may start to see different challenges come to the court that are now on more from the
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buddy rice act which could also be quite troublesome. >> i want to see a word about, janai mentioned the case called shelby county from a couple years ago. i think it's a good case that the counterweight to what i opened up my remarks with the about the court acting with unanimity. that was a bitterly divided fight for case that struck down a kind of landmark provision of the buddy rice act as there is is 1965. i argued the predecessor case for years before wish the supreme court had let that provisions 10. and 2013 they struck it down. they struck it down on this notion that something they called the equal footing doctrine that certain states are discriminate against more than others. it's basically made up. you can't find it in the constitution. you can find in the president. it's an interesting example of how, when i went to law school it was the conservatives who preached judicial restraint.
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over the last 15 years we are releasing a role reversal and it's the conservatives are flexing their muscles and using the courts to strike down a lot of legislation, shelby county is example a to a landmark statute passed 98-zero and something by 421-3 and house, reauthorize in 2006 by those numbers and yet the supreme court struck it down. >> judicial activism is like gerrymandering. it depends on who's doing it. >> neal made a brief reference early. there's a good likelihood the shipping court would get some abortion cases, one or more this term. they have not agreed to any abortion cases yet. there are several variations of statutes that have been ruled on or being rolled on in the federal appeals court. i don't know whether i would say it's a certainty but i think there's a least a good
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possibility the court will have to decide one of these abortion cases, maybe this term, maybe next term. >> in the spirit of looking ahead, we have is a partial supreme court docket, there be more things added before the term is up. just a couple things. i think they will continue with the first amendment and the attraction but we might see more cases being granted that our first amendment related. one is united states which will be looked at by the court in september 20 conference. this is about a person who was convicted for providing material support to a terrorist organization largely on the basis of ideological writings that he posted online which gets to a different aspect of the same questions about how much can a mere words constitute a crime, since it's a different type of crime. it's not clear they will take it but it's a very unusual and interesting case that brings up some classic first amendment
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accidents. there's been a lot of stuff happening in the lower courts involving commercial speech or speech by commercial entities i think would be the better way to put. particularly rattling around in the d.c. circuit. claims by commercial entities that various types of disclosure requirements that they're subject to such as country of origin labeling, that these violate the first amendment. the d.c. circuit went on bought this summer to decide a case of this kind for the american meat institute. it's not clear what will happen in that specific case on the supreme court level or if the supreme court want you to look into this but there's a lot happening in cases that resemble a little bit on the speech site kind of what the lobby was like on the free exercise site. it's possible we could get a very, very important type of first amendment case showing up within the next couple of years on the supreme court's docket. >> if you want to get the microphones in play. i will give you a moment to do
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that. go ahead. brazier and if you have a question. give our four directors some help so they might see who has a question. somewhat undecided. let me quickly ask a question before we come to you about the court relevance. think of the technology cases like cell phone case and now have a facebook case of these were given the technology is not the focus of the elonis case. generally state how is the court doing in keeping up with changes that changed the way we live and perhaps the way we decide cases? >> i had a case last year which was about the company that allows you to intercept over the air television signals and watch them on internet and so on. that justices did get a fair amount of criticism at the argument, after the argument for people saying they didn't understand the technology and so the i just find that frankly wrong. i think the justices spent a lot of time trying to get the technology right. ..
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