tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 10, 2016 11:25pm-12:01am EDT
>> supreme court justice anthony kennedy talks about how the internet has impacted civil discourse. his former colleague justice antonin scalia and some of the court's recent decisions. this was part of last summer's ninth circuit court of appeals judicial conference in big sky, montana. >> thank you. so, i would like to follow up on the civics theme and i know that the understanding is very important for americans and especially the younger generation. i understand that recently you had an opportunity to go see hamilton. and i wonder what was your reaction to that and do you think there is a way that we can reach younger americans and get them interested? >> the answer to the question is yes. is this on, can you hear?
it doesn't sound to me like it's on. are we on now, okay. hamilton was fascinating. we were able to get tickets and some of my grandchildren in new york were going to be with us and we were there the night before and they said this is mrap and headache look of horror and said wait a minute, the whole idea is that it's designed for an argument and this is an argument between primarily hamilton and jefferson and also wrap has a tremendous amount of words so you can tell a story. the first act is one hour and 40 minutes to index dynamic.
washington is a distinguished stately, elegant and impressive man. others are hispanic people and actors and portray just show the constitution is for we the people and they are young people and active and having fun. i have to be careful talking about old guys, but they were not a lot of old guys. they were young and dynamic in the first one hour and 40 minutes, i was concerned about the actors not getting boisterous and i also needed time to absorb this. and afterwards a couple of times i met louise miranda who was the script and wrote the music and played the sensibl unsupportabl. and i said thank you for bridging to generation gaps. one between ou our tiny time ane
founding and the other between myself and my granddaughter. [laughter] and we later talked about that. but we have the civics meeting earlier today and a couple of years ago a young high school year that lives across the street came over and said i've almost finished all my credit. all i have left is civics and driver's ed. it isn't something where you learn it for a couple of weeks in high school. it's who we are. americans define themselves by the constitution. that's what creates us and this is our heritage. and i won't go on too long but
we are living in a bypass universe. you don't go to amazon or macy's or wal-mart anymore you go to amazon. you don't buy a car coming go to -- in politics, governor, politicians now go right to the people, not the press or the political party. but institutions, some of my children like music very much and love to listen to classical music. they are listening by themselves when we are at home. i like to listen to beethoven's movement very quietly. i call this the bypass generation.
we can't bypass our heritage or the knowledge of who we are. you don't take a dna test to see if you believe in freedom. freedom is taught as a constitutional act and i won't go on much more of civics but thank you for having the civics program and informing our students that they have to learn about civics because that's who we are. we define ourselves by the concept of freedom and the contributions the founders made. ..
>> i would like to know and you played it critical rolled in many of those decisions, my question is, does that ever way on you when you wrestle with having to make a decision like that? >> any judge in this room knows that the decision is wearing him. the fascination of being a judge is the same as the duty of being a judge. that is to ask yourself why am i about to rule the way i am about to roll. you must always ask yourself that question. you can't get through life, you can't get through the day without making certain assumptions without having certain ideas. but in the law, particularly in judging, you must find and the
reason that is compelling your proposed decision and you must put that in the form of words. you must then ask is it logical, is it fair, doesn't it cord with precedent, does it cord with the constitution. does it accord with common sense? does it accord it accord with my own ethics and sense of values that i have is a judge, not not my personal values, but those values that all of us must follow if we are to do our duty. you must always ask yourself this question. to keep an open mind and to always ask yourself what it is that is driving you to make a decision is not in decision, it's fidelity to your oath. and this is both responsibility and the privilege of being a judge. >> so does these things way and you, of course. and you know, you mention social
issues, we have to ask ourselves why is it that nine judges, justices, five of the nine can make decisions of such great importance with respect to the issues of social justice. sometimes it is said that the court is an anti-majority area and institution. we defend rights with minorities. well, minorities. well, that's true, but over time, over history it is important that the majority except those decisions is correct. how does that happen? it happens because we give reasons for what we do when we write an opinion. we try to compel allegiance, agreement with what we have done. and over time, it seems to me
that most of the decisions of the supreme court have found acceptance in the bench and in the bar and most important in the american people. this was not a position i sought. some some of you know the story. i talked with mary and we told the president we do not want to go to washington. but he he was a rather insistent man and he said that if i he asked me it was necessary for me to accept. so we did. did. we are pleased to fulfill the role the constitution gives us. >> justice kennedy, you spoke of the process in which judges should contemplate what the ruling in the gravity of it contrasted with what we're talking about before and the instantaneous and kind of
shallow even aspects of the internet that pervaded society to a great degree. at last year's conference you spoke of having read nicholas' book called the shallow, what the internet a stranger or brain. i went ahead and read the book and i thought it was fascinating. what kind of impact you see from the internet on our lives and civil discourse and that sort of thing? >> oh, thanks for simple question. [laughter] i'm not bemoaning the cyber age, it's invention is important such a just as important as the printing press and gunpowder. we're just beginning to understand it. if my interest and give me time to read about the internet, it's necessary for me to have a
glossary or lexicon of terms. you know the phrase it's all greek to me, that is misleading because if there is a greek word you can look it up and you can understand what it means. but when he read about the cyber age and they tell you what it means it's hard for people of my generation to understand it. >> there's a very good book that i recommend, there's an article in the new york review of books just a few weeks ago by edward -- who is a historian and humanities professor at columbia university. he reviews five books about the internet. it is an article itself worth reading it is so scholarly. he talks about two books, one is by professor harcourt who teaches law. he talks about, and the book is
called exposed, desire and disobedience in the internet. many in the modern age tend to confuses selfie and yourself. the self is an idea, a projection, a promise that you have formed over your past and you identify ear for self with having a certain role so you can attain certain things. but the internet with the selfie focuses just on the present on what you are at the instant. many many people have a digitized personality. 1984. one of the most important works ever written and helped us understand the cold war.
in 1984 the nation, the dictatorship was all always surveilling you. now you people want to be surveilled they want people to know where they are at all times. if you have cases for parole hearing or probation hearing or an ankle or wrist bracelet attached to gps, as a punishment, people want that now. they want to know where you are. it's completely reversed. again in 1984 essay was very interested in what you thought. but with the internet, we have this tremendous number of ideas coming in at all times. this whole idea of privacy which we think of is a person who has his or her own identity is being
changed very much by the internet. the the law will ultimately have to deal with this. the concept of privacy has changed. is google liable because they put up a picture that looks like someone else in then they say that he committed the crime. the whole idea of defamation and the recovery for your reputation those rules may have to change. we don't how this will work. we have no framework, no analytical framework to understand what's happening to the internet. harcourt's book is generally based in the internet is quite problematic and so far in the society recognizes, but on a more positive note is a book by
virginia heffernan. it is called magic magic and loss. so she weighs two aspects of the internet. the magic is that you can push a button and and get any music you want in two seconds. the losses the music industry is on the rocks. as a result. now she explains first, she thinks the internet is a treasure trove for aesthetics. it means that within everyone's reach, within their fingertips there is a magnificent world of beauty and art, and contemplation, and poetry. when texting first came when that was the principal part of the internet more more people were reading more and more often in the internet has its own language and no poetry there is
some device where it had to be 25 year words, is almost like a haiku. so there's a tremendous aesthetic possibilities. she points that out. suppose that the principal television networks, abc, nbc, cbs, and fox told their film crews they had to work seven days per week, 24 hours per day for 60 years to produce footage. and they produced all that footage. that is what is added to youtube every two weeks. every two weeks. how do you police that content? well, in? well, in part it is self policing. they have a system so something is offensive from a sexual
standpoint is eliminated, it's it's moral or less self policing. but their comments, again with tremendous possibility. on the other hand, and again this whole concept of privacy, the concept of government regulation and speech, one of the things that communist did not understand and the cold war was that the best kind of economic organization is lateral not vertical. the internet has lateral speech. the corporations, the government large groups are pretty messages on the internet. how do you sort all of this out. this is going to prevent a whole new realm of questions and theoretical problems for the
law. we are just beginning it. this book by virginia heffernan, although there's a lot of technical parts in it that's difficult for me to understand it she said so there is this magic but also a loss. there is a profound sense that we are more lonely somehow that we are not as close as we are to those who do know on. [inaudible] this nascent lacks a rational discourse. to see if democracy works, and they look at the governor to see the level of its discourse. is it rational, is it fair, and we have to hope that the
internet will lead to that dialogue which will be respected first by us and them by the rest of the world. those were two books. >> this new york review of books on june 23 -- [laughter] >> it's close enough for government. >> i want to pick up a little bit on the theme of loss that you just mentioned but it's a loss of a different type. that is loss of a close personal friend and colleague of yours, justice scalia. i guess i would like to know if you are sure this your thoughts on what his passing has meant to you and the court. >> baron white once told me that
anytime justice leaves the court avenue justice comes it is a completely different court. we have experienced experience that. as a senior next senior judge we've seen judges coming in our old colleagues leaving and it was important. we have never never experienced the loss of a colleague during session while he was an active judge. we sit, and never set next to nino on the bench because i was next to junior of him so we are on either side of the bench. but at the conference table reset together. i sat next to him for 28 years in the same room. there were were certain things that i knew that he would research out very well and i more or less relied on him for that. it wasn't clear to me that we would agree.
he had a magnificent mind and spoken wrote with great clarity. he came by to see me just before he left for singapore and and hong kong and was going on the hunting trip and i said you know you really have to take care of yourself. eat we have a lot of work here and he said tony this is my last long trip. that was our last conversation. but when you're in the same room for someone for 28 years, that's, that's an important part of the institution and that's what the court tries to use in order to ensure that we are
probing the issues that are with us. and we rely on each other very much and we miss him greatly. >> thank you. he parked next to me. >> a couple of weeks after i lost in. >> why have some questions from the audience. let me ask you the first one. >> i don't know about margaret. [laughter] >> i'm not sure either. >> do you think that supreme court justices should serve for a set term? >> their articles on this and how do you do it, there has been some proposals where every four years a president can appoint one or two judges are justices
and then with the provision that if one of those judges leaves the bench another could replace him just for that term. that makes sense. you have to amend the constitution to do it. one reason to justify long tenure is that you have a voice that is over time. our generation did not have a president. we came -- we do have in addition to myself and justice ginsburg and justice breyer and justice scalia, although we disagreed our beginning points were the same because it was a generational thing. it it is important that the court speak over time and life tenure does
serve that. you you can argue it back and forth. >> if being that supreme court justice was that your goal, if not did you have some of the job you wanted to -- [laughter] you didn't do too bad in this career path but is there something else he would have liked to have done? >> the practice of law to me i still miss my practice. we were called attorneys and counsel sole practitioner for five years and i used to tell my clients they had to make the decision and we were not far from the capital park and he would say will one of my supposed to do and i said you make up your mind and go around the park. people still talk to me about the capital park walk. i thought you could do so much with
counseling. i miss that. >> so the question -- i love my practice. i miss my practice. >> what what you know now that you miss as a practicing lawyer? >> my practice was such that it was about only 3% litigation but for litigation it would've been helpful for me to know that the judge needs help on the hard parts of your case that these a part. and it seems to me a may have been more effective tomorrow i had some success most of my appearances were before the supreme court in the state of california did not go to federal court very often.
but i think i should have done a better job of pointing out the really hard part is to help the judge up. here's the answer, one of the questions we have is is it the duty of a citizen to vote? this is following up on the civics theme and should they be taking advantage of their constitutional right to vote? >> my grammar granddaughter just became 18 and we went to her high school graduation couple months ago. she sent us a picture of her registering to vote. she had a pair cut off levi's or something. i told her that when she goes to europe and sees those crosses from world war i and world war ii that those were young men and
there is one today who is in the vietnam war, those young men and young women sacrifice themselves so you could vote. and i told myself she must always vote or you cannot complain. it's interesting, and the european union the more power the european parliament hand, the fewer people turned out to vote. should be the other way around. it's very odd. of course you have to vote. one way to teach civics is to have a tea with the brights and responsibility. so every right has a responsibility. that's voting is the same you have a right to vote and voting is the same. >> you must have a civic consensus and a civic dialogue to make that boat meaningful. >> i know you taught in europe a lot, have you been following the
brexit vote? >> it seems to me that this is a good time to ask what is the meaning of political, democracy assumes there is a political will. voting is a way way to formulate and express, to document political will. there is concern in england and there is in some parts of europe that the government was too remote. whether whether they were right or wrong about that that is for them to decide. president reagan was asked by margaret thatcher if there is somebody she can talk to about the history of federalism. she asked me if i would meet with prime minister. they're very nice and we went down the street a couple of different times. part of my advice was that the
history shows that one of the things in many things that unite us, your pass to have a political dialogue in multiple languages, 14 different languages. can you have have a political dialogue and that many languages? the language that is most common in the e.u. is english but only 12% speak english. but one of the things that was my suggestion of the prime minister was that the united states was about it because it had a single currency. my device was that if you joined the euro to be very difficult for you to maintain your independence. i think other people may have told him that too. so he would say obviously some pluses and minuses. i hope that it is a wake-up call to every one for those who are
for it and against it. you you need to have a working democracy where the citizens are concerned, where they take an interest in governance. >> i understand you worked in montana's young man. how did that prepare you for your work on the court? >> i used to work in the oil field, i think i was 14 years old. my first job they did know what to do. i have have my new gloves, my hat, my overalls and the longest in my life. i was a been there since 8:00 a.m. and it was ten in the morning and i was ready to go home. [laughter] and in the oil field toolshed it's called the dog house. i was to nail up the siding of the doghouse, they always had the stud up by the two by four
and about 10:00 a.m. i hammer the nail in and i held my glove to the wall. i cannot get the glove out. so i said things are going fine here on the job. and finally i told them i'll give the glove and he said no you leave that glove there. of course every salesman, came up to look at the glove. and i think -- and glenn died was when the burlington northern came throughout 5:24 a.m. and we would go down to see the people in the dining car that was it for the day. [laughter] i got a great job. i wish i still had the job. there is a lot of -- in the oil wealth and it gets stuck and then the oil can't come up. so the technology then was that
you had a tanker truck with gasoline burners in it and you pump the oil up and heated it and then you pumped it back down so -- would melt. when you did the hookup you had to wait for about three days but you got paid the whole time. it was a great. i was reading, my father love to read the think it was read in a dickens book. so what are you reading that i said a tale of two cities in is that i would read the first part from the best of times and the worst of times, on then the guy would say so we know is the best of times in the works of times and that was my contribution. but people don't how big the ninth circus circuit is. you
should remind people it has significantly reduced our jurisdiction. we used to have a jurisdiction over article on courts in china. for the first 50 years of the last century this court had jurisdiction over legislative court in shanghai, and i think singin and the remind me ends in shanghai probably almost 2000, probably just under 2000 miles from gone quan. so so congress has trimmed our jurisdiction back. [laughter] >> i see margaret approaching the podium. >> i want to thank all of you for a wonderful conversation, doctor kennedy, please join me in a round of applause. [applause]
>> with the supreme court back in session we have a special webpage to help you follow the court. go to c-span.org and celexa print court near the right hand top of the page. once there you'll see the calendar for this term. a list of all current justices, and with supreme court video on demand watch oral arguments we have aired and recent appearances by supreme court justices at c-span.org. >> a group of health policy officials will talk about how the existing healthcare policies are affecting costs. live coverage begins tomorrow at 9:0f
senate sessions. later, four and a gypsy prime minister talks about u.s. arab relations in the ongoing conflicts in the middle east. that is for the center for strategic and international studies at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> in a conference call with house republican members,'s or paul ryan said the following. you will need to do what is best for you and your district. joining us on the phone a scott who is following the development for the hill newspaper the hill.com. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> those on the phone said that the speaker of the house will not defend, will not campaign with donald trump, yet he is not rescinding his endorsement. so explain what this hi