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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  June 16, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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facebook.com/cspan. send us a tweet. jerry is in pacific palisades, california. you're on the line for independents and others. what do you think about donald trump? >> caller: i think it is refreshing that donald trump and carly fiorina are both running. whether they get the nomination or not at least we hear some truth. >> do you think nonpoliticians will tell truths? >> caller: well, they have a record. for crying out loud -- seriously, can you answer one simple question? what has hillary clinton accomplished outside of getting the name clinton? >> and for you the business people carly fiorina donald trump they have business records but will be able to be more truthful? >> caller: of course do you not know we are $18 trillion in
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debt? washington doesn't want you to know that. this is common sense. we have gotten away from common sense. >> out of the two who are you most interested in? >> caller: i would have to say trump only because our most avid enemies do not respect women. and we already know that. so i think those two would be a perfect ticket, though. >> thanks for the call. kay, you have the floor now. >> caller: i think that donald trump may be on drugs. he veered off in his speech. he went into his bank account how much money he had and sought
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to -- i really i was just interested in a lot of things that he had to say. he pretty much was -- i think he was trying to insult him more or less about -- going into a plan as to how he would create more jobs as to how he would change things that are going on right now. he didn't tell me anything as far as a good solid plan that he had for the nation. as far as him as a presidential candidate -- >> let's go on to barbara on the line new hampshire, republican. >> caller: thank you for donald trump. i am so excited i can hardly speak. this man understands capitalism and business. we need him.
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thank you dear lord for donald trump and thank you for allowing me to speak. thank you, thank you, thank you. >> thanks for your call there. philip is on the line. >> caller: maybe i missed something. he just said he is running for president just said he is seeking republican nomination. >> you are right. >> caller: i'm wondering if he is holding out like keeping options open to being independent if things don't go the way they might with the republican banner. he didn't say and no one has asked. >> good point. if he does decide whether republican or independent are you interested in his candidacy? >> caller: very much. he is refreshing. i think our enemies would fear him. >> okay. thanks. >> bronx, new york. opal on the line for democrats.
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what do you think about what you heard from donald trump? >> i honestly think that the nation needs donald. you would never understand why we need donald but everything he is saying is exactly what we need the fact that he does show off and has his own money is what we need. we need him to show off and show active. everybody is obama, obama, obama because obama is african-american but i don't know if everybody has noticed the nation has gone down since obama mostly effecting the african-american community so i'm not sure how they can still be. i am all for dialogue. i love every single thing he is saying down to the t. i love it. everything. everything so whether republican or democrat -- i'm democrat but i'm going to vote for donald
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trump. i like what he is saying and i need it. as a democrat his actions will effect me more than anything. if you haven't been keeping up you shouldn't have an opinion because you don't realize that you are doing and saying could4i possibly add more ruin to the country. i am team donald. i love his demeanor, his boss mentality. i love it. >> bronx, new york%l3hz there. got another call river side california, republican? >> i am positive donald trump will run he will make agreat president. we don't need those liars. we need businessman to make this country great again. >> thanks for the call. are you still there? let's take a look at an article from the national journal talking about here is why donald
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trump will actually matter in 2016 and a few reasons why he won't. saying that trump could pull high enough to kick a more typical candidate off the fox and cnn debate stages. trump candidacy great for the news, always good for a sound byte and able to throw off the news cycle by vacuuming up air time and making other candidates answer for him. a couple more calls before we take a look at the announcement from yesterday from jeb bush. >> caller: i like the candidates not listening to the big lobbiests or the big financers to their campaign but i actually like donald trump's ideas on infrastructure spending the nonsense that businesses are getting away with now, protecting jobs in this country and charging other countries for our protection services at the
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expense of our young men in the military. and although i usually vote democratic i like a lot of his common sense business ideas to bring money into this country that we deserve for all the things that we do around the world. >> thanks for the call. peggy is waiting on the line, virginia. >> caller: hello. thanks for taking my call. i am very excited. i am tired of both parties and i think we need something different. i disagree with the people who say they didn't want him becauseg8yú÷ he is rich. that is one of the reasons i do like him. i am tired of politicians getting in office just to become rich and making decisions based on how it is going to effect them financially. donald trump is a great negotiator, the only one i think who really understands the global economy. i like it when he said he is going to be a cheerleader for america.
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we need an american cheerleader in office. >> one more call here and will wrap up with randy in new york. >> caller: that's it. i just want to say i'm already hearing rhetoric about how donald is being brash and egotistical. he is not. he is successful and will get things done. he's got my vote. he has my whole family's vote. i'm very happy about this. >> and democrat, too. you are interested in trump as a candidate. >> caller: absolutely. no doubt about it. >> th) thanks for all your calls today. if you missed donald trump's announcement we will have it on our companion network c-span 2 in about 20 minutes, 12:30 eastern time right here. the conversation continues online if you want to check out facebook.com/c span leave your reaction about donald trump joining the presidential race. in the meantime let's take a
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look back to yesterday. the 12th candidate to get into the race on the republican side. jeb bush made his announcement from miami dade college in florida. >> ladies and gentlemen, may i present to you the next president of the united states of america, jeb bush! [ cheers and applause ]
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>> thank you all. thank you all. wow. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you so much. thank you. mom, can you ask them to sit down, please? thank you all very much. you know, i always feel welcome at miami-dade college. this is a place that welcomes everyone with their heart set on the future. a place where hope leads to achievement and striving leads
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to success. [ applause ] for all of us, it is just the place to be in the campaign that begins today. [ cheers ] >> thank you. thank you. we're 17 months from the time for choosing. the stakes for america's future are as great as they come. our prosperity and our security are in the balance. so is opportunity in this nation where every life matters and everyone has the right to rise.
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[ cheers and applause ] already the choice is taking shape. the party now in the white house is planning a no-suspense primary for a no-change election. to hold on to power, to slog on with the same agenda under another name. that's our opponent's call to action this time around. that's all they've got left. and you and i know that america deserves better. they've offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress. they're responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever. the biggest debt increases ever. a massive tax increase on the middle class.
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the relentless buildup of the regulatory state. and the swift, mindless drawdown of the military that was generation information the making. i for one are not eager to see what another four years would look like under that kind of leadership. the presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next. so, here's what it comes down to -- our country's on a very bad course. and the question is, what are we going to do about it? the question for me -- the question for me is what am i going to do about it? and i've decided i'm a candidate for president of the united states of america.[g'p÷4dzdõ
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>> we will take command of our future once again in this country. we will lift our sights again.!uliqd make opportunity common again. get events in the world moving our way again. we will take washington, the static capital of this dynamic
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country and then turn it out of the business of causing problems, and we'll get it back on the right side of free enterprise and freedom for all americans. i know we can fix this. because i've done it.iddmfóí here in this great and diverse state that looks so much like america, so many challenges could be overcome if we could just get this economy growing at full strength. there's not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of 4% a year. and that will be my goal as president. 4% growth and the 19 million new jobs that comes with it.
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economic growth that makes a difference for hard working men and women who don't need a reminding that the economy's more than the stock market. growth that lifts up the middle class. all the families who haven't had a raise in 15 years. growth that makes a difference for everyone. it's possible. it can be done. we made florida number one in job creation, and number one in small business creation. 1.3 million new jobs. 4.4% growth. higher family income. eight balanced budgets and tax cuts eight years in a row that saved our people and businesses $19 billion.
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all this, plus a bond upgrade to aaa. compared to the sorry downgrade of america's credit in these years. that was the commitment and that is the record that turned this state around. i also used my veto power to protect our taxpayers from needless spending. and if i'm elected president, i'll show congress how that's done. [ chanting ]
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>> thank you. thank you. leaders have to think big, and we've got a tax code filled with small-time thinking and self-interested politics. what swarms of lobbyists have done, we can undo with a vastly simpler system. clearing out special favors for the few, reducing rates for all. what the irs, epa and the entire bureaucracy have done with overregulation, we can undo, by act of congress and order of the president. federal regulation has gone far past the consent of the governed.
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it is time to start making rules for the rule makers. when we get serious about limited government, we can pursue the great and worthy goals that america has gone too long without. we can build our future on solvency, instead of borrowed money. we can strength our resources with north american resources and energy, we can strengthen this and with presidential leadership, we can make it happen within five years. [ chanting ]
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>> if we do all of this, if we do it relentlessly, and if we do it right, we will make the united states of america an economic superpower like no other. we will also challenge the culture that has made lobbying the premier growth industry in our nation's capital. look, the rest of the country struggles under big government, while comfortable complacent interest groups in washington have been thriving on it. a solve serving attitude can take hold in any capital, just like it once did in tallahassee. i was a governor who refused to accept that as the normal or right way of conducting people's business. i will not accept it as the standard in washington either.
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we don't need another president who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of washington. we need a president willing to challenge and disrupt the whole culture in our nation's capital. and i will be that president. because i was a reforming governor, not just another member of the club, there's no passing off responsibility when you're a governor. no blending into the legislative crowd or filing an amendment and calling that success. as our whole nation has learned
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since 2008, executive experience is another term for preparation, and there is no substitute for that. we're not going to clean up the mess in washington by electing the people who either helped create it or have proven incapable of fixing it. in government, if we get a few big things right, we can make life better for millions of people, especially for kids in public schools. think of what we all watched not long ago in baltimore. where so many young adults are walking around with no vision of the life beyond the life they know. it's a tragedy, played out over and over and over again.3$) after we reformed education in florida, low-income student achievement approved here more
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than any other state. we stopped processing kids along as if we didn't care, because we do care. and you don't show that by counting out anyone's child. you give them all a chance. here's what i believe. when a school is just another dead end, every parent should have the right to send their child to a better school, public, private or charter. every school should have high standards. and the federal government should have nothing to do with setting them.
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nationwide, if i'm president, we will take the power of choice away from the unions and bureaucrats and give it back to parents. we made sure of something else in florida. that children with developmental challenges got schooling and caring attention, just like every other girl and boy. we didn't leave them last in line. we put them first in line. because they're not a problem. they're a priority.
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that is always our first and best instinct, a nation filled with charitable hearts. yet, these have been rough years for religious charities and their rite of conscience. and the leading democratic candidate recently handed more trouble to come. secretary clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary, those believes, quote, have to be changed. that's what she said.uc+uñ that's what she said. and i guess we should at least thank her for the warning. the most gulling example is the shabby treatment of the little sisters of the poor. a christian charity that dared to voice objections of conscience to obamacare. the next president needs to make it clear that great charities like the little sisters of the poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing.
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it comes down to a choice between the little sisters and big brother. and i'm going with the sisters.)÷ [ cheers and applause ] it's still a mystery to me, why in these violent times the p÷ president a few months ago felt it relevant in a prayer breakfast to bring up the crusades. americans don't need lectures in
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the middle ages when we're dealing abroad with modern horrors committed by fanatics. from the beginning, our president and his foreign policy team have been so eager to be the historymakers, that they failed to be the peacemakers. with their phone-in foreign nñglw policy, the obama/clinton/kerry team is leading a legacy of crisis uncontained. violence unopposed. enemies unnamed, friends undefended and alliances unraveling. this supposedly risky adverse administration is also running of the greatest risk of all. military inferiority.
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it will go on automatically, until the president steps in to rebuild our armed forces and take care of our troops and our veterans. and they have my word, i will do it. [ chanting ] we keep dependable friends in this world by being dependable ourselves. i will rebuild our vital friendships. and that starts by standing with the brave democratic state of israel.
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american-led alliances need rebuilding, too. and better judgment is called for in relations far and near. 90 miles to ourselves, there's a talk of the state visit by our outgoing president. but we -- but we don't need a glorified tourist to go to havana and support the failed cuba. we need -- we need an american president to go to havana in solidarity with a free cuban people. and i'm ready to be that president.
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great things like that can really happen.z$ z and in this country of our, the most improbable things can happen as well. take that from a guy who met his first president on the day he ñ was born and his second on the day he was brought home from the hospital.úkf the person who handled both introductions is here today. she's watching what i say, and, frankly, with all of these reporters around, i'm watching what she says, too. please say hello to mom, barbara bush. [ cheers and applause ]
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by the way -- [ chanting ]
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by the way, just so that our friends know, the next president of the united states will pass meaningful immigration reform so that will be solved, not by executive order. so, back to my family for just a second -- [ chanting ]
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look, i think i was talking about my mom. i kind of lost my train of thought here. long before the world knew my parents' names, i knew i was blessed to be their son. and they didn't mind it at all when i found my own path. it led from texas to miami by way of mexico. in 1971, eight years before then ronald -- candidate ronald reagan said that we should stop thinking of our neighbors as foreigners, i was ahead of my time in cross-border outreach. across the plaza, i saw a girl. she spoke only a little english. my spanish was okay, but really not that good. with some intensive study, we got that barrier out of the way in a hurry.
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in the short version, it's been a gracious walk through the years with the former -- whatever else -- whatever else i might or might not have going for me, i've got the quiet joy of a man who can say the most wonderful friend he has in the whole world is his own wife. columba, i love you. and together, we've had the not so quiet joy of raising three children who have brought us nothing but happiness and pride. george, noelle and jeb.
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the boys, they've also brought us more bushes. their wives, mandi and sandra. and our grandchildren, the near perfect, georgia, prescott, vivian and jack. campaigns aren't easy, and they're not supposed to be. and i know that there are a lot of good people running for president. quite a few, in fact. and not one of us deserves the job by rite of resume. party. seniority, family or family narrative. it's nobody's turn. it's everybody's test. and it's wide open. exactly as the contest for president should be..m"
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the outcome is entirely up to you. the voters. it's entirely up to me to earn the nomination of my party. and then to take our case all across this great and diverse nation. as a candidate, i intend to let everyone hear my message, including the many who can express their love of country in a different language. [ speaking in a foreign language ] [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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in any language, in any language, my message would be an optimistic one, because i am certain that we can make the decades just ahead the greatest time ever to be alive in this world. that chance, that hope, requires the best that is in us. and i will give it my all. i will campaign as i would serve. going everywhere. speaking to everyone. keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching.
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it begins here and now and i'm ask for your vote. thank you and god bless you all. ♪"xto on wednesday defense secretary ashton carter will be on capitol hill to testify on u.s. military strategy in the middle east. before the house armed services committee. live coverage tomorrow morning at 10:00 eastern here on c-span 3.
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this weekend the c-span cities tour partnered with comcast to learn about the history and literary life of key west, florida. >> found this house for sale, bought it for $8,000 in 1931 and pauline actually converted this hay loft into his first formal writing studio. here he fell in love with fishing. he fell in love with the clarity of hisn7'eñwriting. he knocked out the first rough draft of çr:ç"a farewell to arms" in just two weeks. he once had a line that said if you really want to write start with one true sentence. >> a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond the painting. he should always try for something that has never been done or the others have tried and failed.
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>> key west is also where president harry truman sought refuge from washington. >> president truman regarded the big white house as the great white jail and felt he was constantly under everybody's eye and so by coming to key west he could come with.ijñ closest staff and let down hair. sometimes staff would let beards grow for a couple of days. they certainly at times used off colored stories and could have a glass of bourbon and visit back and forth without any scrutiny from the press. y.iú a sports wear company sent a case of hawaiien shorts for the president with the thought that if the president is wearing our shirt we will sell a lot of shirts. so president truman wore those free shirts that first year and then organized what they called the loud shirt contest. that was the official uniform of
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key west. >> watch all of our events from key west saturday at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span 3. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg will be the topic of a new movie. justice ginsburg and former law clerk took part in a discussion about justice gins burg's life and her nickname the notorious rbg. this is about an hour. [ applause ]
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good afternoon. my name is kelsey brown. i'm a partner in the supreme court and appellate practice. a long time member of acs dating back over a decade when i was a student at the university of chicago law school. i first became involved in acs because i believe in its mission that law should be a force to improve the lives of all people. it is a privilege to support acs in efforts to make that happen. i have also developed a deeper appreciation for everything my membership has given me including countless development opportunities. at this particular moment i am grateful to acs for the opportunity to introduce our final featured speakers of the convention, two extraordinary jurists, justice ruth bader ginsburg's biography is well
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known. i'm going to give a little bit of it anyway. before her appointment to u.s. supreme court she served on u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit and prior to becoming a judge she was a law professor at rutgers and columbia university. over decades of service justice ginsburg has been advocate for women on the bench as one of the founders of the women's right project for aclu where she served as women council for nearly a decade. i have the extraordinary honor of clerking for justice ginsburg which was as amazing and life changing an experience as you would expect. among my fondest memories were champagne and cupcake birthday parties for clerks and secretaries. so fully aware of just how crazy it is to have a birthday party with ruth bader ginsburg my co-clerks and i would plan for days in advance trying to come up with the perfect list of
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questions to ask her. we did pretty well. we heard amazing stories about her summers in sweden where she was learning and writing about swedish civil procedure. we heard about her first supreme court argument, her confirmation hearings and her beloved husband, marty, a distinguished tax attorney and chef supreme whose love and support for the justice is legendary. he would have started the notorious rbg blog himself. [ applause ] but when the clerkship ended i had a deep sense of remorse when i thought about questions we didn't get to ask and stories we didn't get to hear. this next hour is a dream come true for me. one more chance to hear about the incredible life and career
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of ruth bader ginsburg. like justice ginsburg justice lou was a law professor before joining the bench. he is an expert in institutional law. he was a popular and acclaimed teacher winning the uc berkeley law's distinguished teaching award and became the associate dean and was also on the board of directors for acs for a number of years. [ applause ] but long before all of that justice lew was a law clerk first for judge david on the d.c. circuit, a long time friend for acs and then for justice ginsburg. he is perfect for this job because i know he has a long list of questions left over from the chamber's birthday parties. i am excited to listen.
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please join me in welcoming. [ applause ] welcome everybody. thank you all for being here on a saturday afternoon. and most especially thank you to justice ginsburg. it is obviously a busy time at the court as june often is. thank you for spending a few minutes with us here. you are finishing your 22nd term on the supreme court. a lot of people have noticed in recent years you have had quite a substantial public presence. you have a huge fan base everywhere you go. [ applause ] people call you a rock star an
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icon. there is an opera about you and justice scalia. there is an emoticon that looks like you. there are the t shirts with the notorious rbg meme. some of them also say i love rbg. my personal favorite is you can't spell truth without ruth. [ applause ] and then there are even the young women who have tattoos of your likeness. now, that's love. all of this i think is unusual
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for a chief justice. justice scalia gets out, too, but i don't think anyone has a justice scalia tattoo. i want to start by asking you how did this happen? >> it's amazing. to think of me an icon at 82. i attribute it all to an nyu law student who started the notorious rbg. at first i didn't know what to make of this because i didn't know who notorious big was. and then my law clerks explained you two have something in common. you were both born in brooklyn,
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new york. i should explain right away criticism. a member of my family's frenz have raised. ginsberg comes before scalia alphabetically so why is it scalia-ginsberg. and to answer you know how important seniority is in our work place. so -- >> i'm getting a sense of that. >> so scalia was appointed some years before ginsberg so the opera is scalia ginsberg. >> there is also going to be a biography of you in the near future called the notorious rbg, life and times of ruth bader ginsberg.
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and then there is also a bio pick scheduled called on the basis of sex with nathalie portman starring as you. are you in on these projects? do you know much about them? are you cooperative conspirator? >> i can't claim credit for but i like it, and so do my grandchildren. on the basis of sex is that what the biopic is called? this is how it began. i have a nephew, the son of my husband's sister who is a script writer. and he asked if he could write a script about a case in which marty and i were involved in 1971. and i said yes, if you would like to spend your time doing that. the case is interesting because it was the case i hoped would be paired with wrigley reed as the turning point case in the supreme court. the case was charles e. marks,
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commissioner of internal revenue. he was a man who took good care of his mother, though she was 93 at the time we argued the case in the 10th circuit. it was historic. there was a babysitter seduction available to any woman, widowed or divorced man. the babysitter deduction covered elder care as well. charles e. marks didn't get the deduction because he was a never married man and he was left out. so, he appeared pro se in the tax court. and his brief was the soul of simplicity. it was simply,fy were a dutiful daughter, i would get this deduction. i'm a dutiful sunday.y fliful son.
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it makes no sense. so one day marty came into a room where i was working away on something i was writing. and said, ruth read this. and i turned to him and said marty, that's a tax advance sheet. you know i don't read tax cases. and he said, read this one. and told the story of charles e. morris and we said let's take it. marty would write the tax part and i would write the constitutional law part. so, a part of this is about the case and about our argument in the 10th circuit in denver. and then it includes the aclu and some women who were saying the same things that i was saying in the '70s that at a time when no one was prepared to listen so dorothy kenyan has a role in this. i think it will go into production in the beginning of 2016.
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maybe by the end of the year it will be out. natalie portman came to talk to me about this. and we had a very good conversation. and one thing interesting that she insisted on and held up the project for a while, she said, i want the dwikter erdirector to be a woman. there are not enough women in this industry. there are many talented out there. and they do have a woman director. [ applause ] >> well, we look forward to it. you mentioned matter y he's been mentioned many times. let me take you back a little bit. for many years i think, you've been described as shy and reserved especially compared to your gree gar yous and very loving husband as kelsi said, was an outstanding chef and very
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quick with a joke. some people called him a serial wise cracker. but first of all do you think marty would be surprised at your celebrity today? >> i think he would be delighted. he was always my biggest booster. [ applause ] >> i saw a picture for and you marty, which was not long after you were married. you met marty during your first year of college at cornel, is that right? and you said in the past that he was the first boy you ever dated who cared that you had a brain. >> yes. >> i like that. and the two of you had two kids jane and james. and you also had a two-career marriage. two lawyers, in fact, which was unusual. at the time. can you describe a little bit about that period and what kind of social pressures you faced
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with respect to your marriage your family life and your career? >> there was a big change in the climate from my first child jane, born in 1965 and the second one, james, in 1965. when jane was small there were very few women who worked outside the home. by the time james was born, it wasn't unusual to have a two-earner family. it's hard for today's students to imagine what the world was like for women not all that long ago. i think when i started law teaching in 1963, maybe 3% of the lawyers in america were women. there was no title vii when i
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graduated from law school, so men up front didn't want any lady lawyers. they had a woman once and it was dreadful. how many men did they have? i'll tell you sandra day o'connor's story she graduated top of her class in stanford. she was a few years ahead of me. she couldn't get any job, so she volunteered to work for a county attorney and said, if you think i'm good enough after four months you can put me on the payroll. that's how she got her job. my first job was as a district court -- federal district court law clerk. how did i get that job? well, jerry langford who later went off to stanford who was at columbia law school at the time, was in charge of clerkships. he called every judge on the 2nd circuit, every judge in the eastern district and southern
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district of new york. the answer was well, we might take a chance on a woman, but we can't risk a mother. her daughter is 4 years old. so jerry called judge edmond palmieri, who always took his clerks from columbia law school. and the judge explained, well her record is good but sometimes we work on saturdays, even on a sunday. how would i count on her? and jerry said, give her a chance. and if she doesn't work out, then there's a young man in her class who will leave his wall street law firm and finish up the clerkship. so that's the carrot. then there was a stick. the stick is, if you don't give her a chance i will never recommend another columbia law student to you.
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well, armed with that, i got the job. and women of our generation you got a job, you did it as well, probably better than anyone else, so the second job wasn't hard, but opening that first door was powerfully difficult. >> now you have had many clerks yourself who were parents at the time, is that right? is that unusual at the court today, do you think? >> not today. i've had a number of clerks with two children. the first law clerk i hired who was the primary custodian of his children was a man. this was david post who's now teaching at temple law school. he -- in his application he explained that he was going to georgetown at night because his
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wife was autonomus for the international fund, i think. she had a full-time day job. he took care of the children during the day. so, that -- i mean, that's my dream for the world. fathers take care of our children as much as mothers. there was something else about david post that made him irresistible. his writing sample was not his draft of law review nor his moot court brief. it was his first year writing -- writing section essay. and it was on the theory of contract as played out in ring cycle.
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>> so, that's actually a good segue to the next question. you've seen feminism change and go through many transformations from the time you were -- since the time you co-founded the aclu women's right movements four decades to today. and because of the work you did there, we now have the elimination of most overt forms of gender discrimination. from your vantage point, what do you think are the most pressing challenges left now for gender equality? >> first i will actually say i don't think the meaning of feminism has changed. it has always been that girls should have the same opportunity to dream, to aspire, and achieve to do whatever their god-given
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talents enable them to do, as boys. and that there should be no place where there isn't a welcome matt for women. people misunderstand what feminism is. i know in some quarters it's called the "f" word, but that's what it's all about. women and men working together should help make the society a better place than it is now. [ applause ] >> current challenges? >> well as you said goodwin, all of the overt gender classifications, almost all, there's a couple the supreme court have left standing, and that's unfortunate, but for the most part the statute books
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that were once riddled with overt sex-based classification, in the decade of the '70s almost all of them were gone. it was a combination of legislative change plus litigation, to push that -- that change along. what's left and is harder to get at is what i call -- bias. sometimes it's a device that works to overcome unconscious bias. my example of that is the similarsimp phone orchestra. when i was growing up you never saw a woman dropping anything other than a harp. someone had the idea to drop the curtain so people auditions didn't know if it was a woman or a man. with that simple change, the
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dropped curtain, almost overnight women started to show up in simp any orchestras overnight. i was talking about this last year scalia/ginsburg, they said you left something out. not only do we audition behind a curtain, we audition shoeless. well, that device can't be duplicated in every area. but it's -- it's hard to get at. my favorite case in that line was a title vii case from the '70s. the lawyer was harriet grad. it was against at&t for not promoting women to middle management jobs. there were several criteria.
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the women did at least as well as the men up to the last test. that was called the total person test. it consisted of an interviewer meeting the candidate, and then doing an evaluation. women flunked disproportionately at that stage. why? because the women conducting the interview was generally a white male. and anyone who was different made the interviewer feel slightly uncomfortable. looked at a person who looked like him, he was comfortable. but with a member of a minority group group, a woman, they were strangers. it wasn't a case of i'm deliberately setting out to avoid promoting women. it wasn't that at all.
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it was this unconscious bias that -- operating. >> you know, you now sit on a court that has three women on it. i actually sit on a court that has a majority of women on it, including a woman as chief justice. do you think that the law would be much different if there were, say, four or five women on the u.s. supreme court? >> i think it's pretty good that we have three now. three makes a big difference because we're all over the bench. i sit toward the middle because i've been around so long. and justice kagan is at my left, and justice societytomayor is at my right. if you come to watch the court, you know my new follies are not shrinking violets. very active in their questioning. i've also questioned what gene
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quoted from the minnesota supreme court said, and at the end of the day a wise old man and a wise old woman will reach the same judgment. and yet there are some cases that, at least i think, would have come out the other way if there were five women. or more. and one of them is lilly ledbetter's case. every woman understands lily's problem. another is the carhart case the birth/abortion case. another two cases involving children with parents who were not married and become -- they become citizens if their mother was a u.s. citizen, not the father. the supreme court was wrong about that twice. so, there are -- there are cases where i think it's fair to
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predict that the result would have been different. but for the most part in the years that david souter and i served on the court together, we voted more alike than any two other justices, even more than justice thomas and justice scalia. [ applause ] >> i look forward to the souter/ginsburg opera. well, a couple months ago you appeared on "time" magazine's 100 most influential people on the world list which is quite an honor. we have some pictures of that. these are the -- >> she's looking for you. >> oh yes. you should see this lovely picture they have of you from your first year at cornel which is just a beautiful picture. the inscription that accompanied your listing was written by your
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colleague, justice scalia who said this, i quote, ruth bader ginsburg has had two distinguished legal careers either one of which alone entitle her to be one of "time's" 100. one, of course, is your career as a judge, first on the d.c. circuit, and now of course on the supreme court. the other is your earlier career as a professor and a lawyer. and so i guess i'll ask you, what did you learn from your experience as a lawyer that best prepared you for your role as a judge? >> the importance of having a sense of humor. and then some advice i told many audiences was the advice that my mother-in-law gave to me on our wedding day. marty and i were married in the home in which he had grown up. and his mother said, dear i'd like to tell you the secret of a happy marriage. and that is, it helps sometimes
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to be a little hard of hearing. [ applause ] and i found that such good advice especially dealing with marty, who was a very funny fellow. but in dealing with my colleagues even. >> so president clinton nominated you for the supreme court in june of 1993 to fill the seat that was vacated by justice byron white. some pictures of that. and you were confirmed by the senate exactly 57 days later on august 10, 1993 by a vote of 96-3.
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must have been nice. i'm just saying. [ applause ] anyway other than the happy outcome, what do you consider the most memorable part of your confirmation process? >> the bipartisan spirit that existed in that congress. probably my biggest supporter was orrin hatch. my biggest problem the white house preparing me for the confirmation process, they would put questions like, you were on the aclu board in the year so and so. and that year they passed resolution "x." how do you -- how did you vote
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and would you defend that position today? and my answer was, stop. there is nothing that you can do to persuade me -- the aclu. i think they are a vital institution to our society. [ applause ] >> and then not a single question was raised about my aclu connection. justice breyer was similarly fortunate the next year. now, how do we get back to that? i don't know what -- what the magic will be. i was the beneficiary of what had happened in the clarence thomas nomination so the committee was embarrassed. they had no women for the thomas nomination, so they added two
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for mine. and they had a meeting with the committee before the public hearing. it was supposed to be that if there's anything bad in my record, they could bring it and i would have a chance to answer before we went public. in all of my record, nothing in the fbi file, there wasn't one thing questionable. so they said, now tell us what you think we should do to improve the confirmation process? well at that point i hadn't yet been confirmed, so i was somewhat hesitant. i still have to this day a supply of strong berry teachings he gave me. he voted against me when i was nominated for the d.c. circuit but he was in my choir for the supreme court nomination.
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>> so, since being on the bench on the u.s. supreme court, you've been a very vigorous voice on a whole range of equal protection cases. not only sex discrimination, but in the racial discrimination area, in disability cases. most recently in the shelby county case you defend a very lively dissent about the voting rights act. i want to stop and ask you, you at times compared the interesting progress that's been made so rapidly on questions of discrimination based on sexual orientation, contrasting that with our more enduring difficulties with racial inequality. what do you think explains the
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difference in how sticky the issue of racial inequality has been? >> i think that when gay people began to stand up and say this is who i am, when that happened people looked around. one was my next door neighbor of whom i was very fond. my child's best friend, even my child. they were people who belonged to our community. it wasn't and still today there is a high degree of segregation in living patterns in the united states, in schools schools, so i think it's a difference there's this we/they picture when it comes to race, that for gay people once we found out they are people we
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know and we love and we respect, and they are part of us i think that's what accounts for the difference. as during the year when gay people hatedid who they were, there was a kind of discrimination that began to break down very rapidly once they no longer hid in the corner or in a closet. >> can you tell us a little about what went into your thinking process on the voting rights case? that was a much quote the dissent dissent. your famous line about throwing in an umbrella away in a rain storm because you're not getting wet. tell us about your thinking process in that case. >> it was very much the view
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that i had of a school segregation case some years before. i think it was jenkins -- it was about jefferson county, kentucky. for years and years had been under a federal court decree to de desegregate. now the court said now the county is up to speed, they don't have to be under the thumb of the federal judge anymore, so i'm going to disarm the injunction injunction. the people in that county said, we liked the plan that was contempt in place by the injunction. we would like to keep it. and the supreme court said, no, you can't because that's deliberate discrimination on the basis of race.
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in the shelby county case, it was one of the most successful pieces of legislation congress ever passed. it passed by overwhelming majorities on both sides of the aisle. the voting rights act i think most of you know, worked this way. if you had a bad record or keeping people from voting then any change you made in the system had to be precleared either by a three-judge district court in district of columbia or by the attorney general. there was a mechanism to get out. if you showed you had a clean record for "x" number of years you could bail out and the court had held you could bail out on a county-by-county basis. you didn't have to wait until the whole state was up to speed. so, they had a built-in mechanism for getting out. the supreme court held that the coverage formula was outdated. that from '65 tell 2000, things
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had changed. so congress had to redo the formula. but practical will what senator and what representative is going to stand up and say, my state or my county still discriminates. it was impossible. it was impossible to come up with a new formula for that reason. yet there was the bailout mechanism that would work when there had been a genuine change. and politically it wasn't impossible to do the kind of revision that was needed. and so the most successful piece of legislation is largely inoperative. >> you've written quite a neb, memorable in recent years, i'll name a few of them. you wrote a separate opinion in
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the affordable care act case the first one oshgts commerce clause. you wrote a very vigorous dissent in the hobby lobby case as well as ledbetter which congress listened to and responded to. we talked about congress versus carhart, the partial birth abortion case and title vii cases about who's a supervisor under title vii. so, i think you may know that "saturday night live" recently did a couple skits about you on their weekend update. there's a slide. slide nine, if you could show them. and the comedian, kate mckinnon, plays you as a hip sassy judge who's dishing out these feisty one-liners and then dancing after every one. i'm not going to ask you to dance for us, but feel free to bring it if you -- if you -- if
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you've got it today. but what i really want to ask is, how do you go about writing your dissents in terms of tone and style? your tone is actually not sassy. it's respectful. but it also makes a point. how do you think about the right balance? we have a lot of colorful writing from the supreme court, which spans a broad range of styles. how do you think about yours? >> as you know when i'm on the dissent side, i try to have the dissent drafted before i get the majority opinion. that way i don't get trapped into writing -- i tell the story affirmatively. the biggest putdown i have for the court's opinion is to deal with the footnotes.
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you remember from your term of working, for me it was quite a term that was the year of gore and all this t-shirt business began that year. the t-shirts that said i dissent. people were struck that i didn't say, i respectfully dissent. but what they didn't notice is i never say, respectfully dissent. i think my colleagues who just criticized the court's opinion as being profoundly misguided one from john paul stevens, or from scalia this opinion is not to be taken seriously. and then after saying what you've shown no respect at all, so i never use respectfully. i will say that i dissent, or more often for the reason stated i would affirm the decision of the court of appeals or the reverse the decision.
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>> so now because of your seniority on the court, you have the assignment power both in majority opinions when you happen to be senior and then in dissenting opinions when you happen to be senior. what goes into your thought process with respect to assignments? >> they're not majorities yet. when we split 5-4, i generally make the assignment. so i succeeded to the role john paul stevens had when you were clerking for me. i think there's kind of a consensus that -- in the case of the health care the commerce clause portion hobby lobby shelby county, that as the most senior person on the dissent side, i should write the dissent. and for the rest, i try to be as fair as i can to distribute them
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evenly in. >> when you think about your two decades now on the supreme court, do you think there are things you feel more sure-footed about today than you did when you first began? >> when i was a new judge i had been on the d.c. circuit for 13 years. and so i wasn't too quiet. the very first sitting in october, i asked a lot of questions of my then-chief to whom i held great affection, decided i had been a little smart alec, so at the end of sitting, instead of giving me what is traditional for the junior justice that is an easy one issue, unanimous decision he gave me a most miserable
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arisa case where the court divided 6-3. i went to justice to complain. he's not supposed to do this is he? he said ruth, you just do it. just do it. and get your opinion in circulation before he makes the next set of assignments otherwise you're likely to get another dull case. that was her attitude toward life. whatever was put on her plate, she just did it. so that was the beginning of my relationship with the old chief. in that first year, it's interesting you mentioned the supervisor case. my first case on the bench, the question was were nurses supervisors and, tlvr, unable to organize under the -- unable to
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unionize under the lari. i said, of course they are. and, please not supervisors that was for forepeople. and then coming around the other way now, it's very hard to be a supervisor under the decision. >> so, you mentioned justice o'connor. you arrived -- when you arrived at the court in 1993, you were only the second woman of course, ever to serve on the highest court. your colleague, we can show slide ten, justice o'connor appointed by president reagan. so, when you think back to that time and your experience now for 22 years working with a very wide range of colleagues what do you think you've learned about the art of persuasion? is it possible to persuade one's
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colleagues? and if so, how? i'm really interested. >> it's possible, yes. is it something that happens often? no. i can remember one dissent john paul stevens assigned to me. the dissent came around. the vote in conference was 7-2. the opinion came out 6-3. but the two had swelled to six. now, that was something heady experience turning a dissent into a comfortable majority opinion. we're trying to persuade each other all the time. so, if the conference vote is one way, you try to write the opposition as persuasively as you can and hope you'll be able to peel off one or another vote. but most of the time, that
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doesn't happen. do we try? yes, we do. i can say with assurance up to this very term, when people -- when we're closely divided and the author of the majority or of the dissent is trying to pick up one more vote. >> in your experience, how does that persuasion happen? is it on paper or in person or how do the justices -- apart from sitting around the conference table, which happens after argument. >> it is largely on paper. it is, read my dissent. read it carefully. you should be persuaded by it. as you know there's no vote-trading. if you side with me on this case, i'll side with you. that never -- that never happens.
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>>, so we've mentioned chief justice rehnquist a couple times. it's well known you have a very warm relationship with justice scalia as kind of an interesting polar opposite. but it's perhaps less well known that you also had a very warm relationship with chief justice rehnquist, who among other things, took the meaningful step of assigning you the vmi decision and eventually himself wrote the majority decision in the hibbs case upholding the family leave provision of the fmla. can you describe a little of your relationship with chief justice rehnquist? how did the two of you have such good chemistry? >> i would say it's cooler at first, but it began to improve when we were talking about what to do about the ladies' dining room.
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the court is a very traditional institution, so it was the ladies' dining room. and we came to him with a proposal. he we said we'd like to rename it the cornel rehnquist dining room. he had a very happy marriage. his wife suddenly died. well he couldn't resist. he had seen her suffering from cancer. the year that i had my first bout with cancer he could not have been more supportive. and the -- after the surgery, he called me into his chambers. he said, ruth, i'll give you something light for this assignment. i said, no, chief, not this one. i'm okay now. wait until the chemotherapy and radiation start, then i'd like to be kept light. so, he said which case do you want? i had my pick from -- so i told him which one. and then he said that's the one
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i was going to assign to myself. but he assigned it to me. then i watched his relationship with his granddaughters when his daughter who had been divorced, and he was kind of a substitute father to those girls. he wanted them to keep in tune with their swedish heritage, so he would take them to the cfs at the swedish ambassador's residence. and they loved him dearly. that was a side of him a lot of people didn't see. so, i consider vmi as the chief in midpassage. then he gets to the family medical leave act. i brought home that decision and marty said, ruth, did you write this? it was -- it was the chief. as one lives, one can learn.
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>> so, when you think back across these couple decades what do you think have been the biggest changes you've seen in the court whether it's public perceptions of the court the lawyers who appear before you or the nature of the docket what do you think are the biggest transformations? >> right now the public is down on anything that has anything to do with government, so the supreme court has slipped, but not really as much as congress -- as congress has. >> that's a safe statement. the big change in the court's composition came not when we had a new chief, but when justice o'connor left us. and i have said many times that the year that she left every
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time i was in -- among four rather than five, i would have been five instead of four if she had remained with us. so, she was a big loss in many ways. >> let me ask you another sort of big-picture question about your approach to judging. i think many observers, and now we're seeing some books being written about your corpus of work many people have described your approach to judging as incrementalist. indeed, at your confirmation hearing, here's what you said. isn't it terrible, people quote your confirmation hearing back to you? in your case it's very very -- it's very good. you said, my approach, this is you, is neither liberal nor conservative. rather, it is rooted in the place of the judiciary of judges, in our democratic society. so, in other occasions you've
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spoken out against judicial activism, noting the current court is one of the most activist in history if you just measure it in terms of willingness to overturn legislation. you've written long, long ago that roe versus wade perhaps went too far too fast in contrast to the step-by-step approach that characterized much of your litigation approach as a lawyer. i just want to ask, have your views about gradualism changed at all in the course of your two decades on the supreme court? or has it reinforced your sense that gradualism is the right approach? >> i don't know if i would use the word gradualism. i do think it's healthy for our system if the court and the congress can be in dialogue. i think of some great examples of that.
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when the court in the '70s said, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is not discrimination on the basis of sex, there was a coalition formed to pass the pregt pregnancy discrimination act. people from all parts of the political spectrum were on board for that. and that was repeated again with lilly ledbetter. so if it's a question of statutory interpretation there's -- there can be a healthy back and forth between the supreme court and the political branches. let me put it this way. the court is not in a popularity contest, and it should never be influenced by today's headlines by the weather of today, but as
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paul frank said, it would be affected by the climate of the era. i think that's part of the explanation of why the gay rights movement has advanced to where it is (7ntoday. the climate of the era. the court is[ugcç really in front. i mean even in brown v. board, which everyone thinks of the big social change. well it was a brief by the u.s., on behalf of the united states in that case, that said essentially, we were fighting a war against odious racism. and in that war, until the very end, our troops were rigidly segregated by race. a huge embarrassment.
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and now the soviet union is playing to the united states this apartheid racist society. it's a constant embarrassment. it's time for -- for segregation of the races in schools to end. that was the position that the united states government was taking. made it easier for the justices. and yet it took them 13 years from brown v. board until virginia to announce segregation laws unconstitutional. they had lots of opportunities, but they waited until the climate of the era had -- had largely changed. so, the court can be important in reinforcing the social change, and it can hold it back as well. but it doesn't initiate change. >> do you think that's in some tension with the conventional
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understanding of the court as a countermajoritarian institution? that the role of the court is supposed to be countermajoritarian? and yet some people would argue it's unrealistic to expect the court to be at the forefront, even when individual rights are at stake. >> it should be countermajoratarism but our constitution has a biffle rights that says, these are the rules that congress has to abide by. so, the court should be vigorous in enforcing the rights in the bill of rights and in the 14th amendment. the court is the guardian. the constitution makings the court the guardian of those rights. so, yes, the court must be vigilant. but we can't do what, say, a
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political party can do. here's our platform. this year we're going to try to get through this and that. we have to wait until -- it has to start with the people. when it doesn't start with the people, it's not going to get to the court. so, you have to have a concerned citizenry to press for these rights. >> let me take us out of the law for a second. and ask you, as our time runs out here who are your most important mentors in your life? >> people ask me what women are my role models. i say, in my growing up years, one was real, one was fictional. one was real, amelia earhart, and the fictional one was nancy drew. [ applause ]
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but i never had in my law school, essential my college years, never had a woman teacher. people ask me, did you always want to be a supreme court justice? i wanted to get hr by the law. that was my goal. women weren't on the bench in numbers, on the federal bench, until jimmy carter became president. he deserves tremendous credit for that. he was in office only four years. he took a look at the federal judiciary and said, you know, they all kind of look like me. but that's not how the great united states looks. so, he was determined to appoint members of minority groups and women in numbers. not as one at a time curiosities. see,' he appointed at least 25 to
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the district courts and i was one of the lucky 11 appointed to the court of appeals during his time. as he said in october of 1980, when he had a reception for the women he had appointed to the federal bench, even though he had no supreme court vacancy to fill, he hoped he would be remembered for how he changed the complexion of the u.s. judiciary. and no president went back to old ways. president reagan had to be outdone, was determined to put the first woman on the supreme court. >> what -- as you reflect on the entirety of your life and career what do you think -- what aspects or events have given you the greatest personal satisfaction? >> well i was tremendously fortunate to9ppu be born when i was
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to be a lawyer with the skill in the '70s to help move that progress in society along. if i had been born even ten years earlier, it would have been impossible. in the turning point brief, in the reed case we put on the cover of that brief two women, mary was one -- who was the other one? i already mentioned her. the one who was concerned with putting women on juries. all over the country. we put their names on0;f> the brief to say they kept the message alive, even when people were not prepared to listen. and we owe them a tremendous debt.
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how lucky we are. just think of the, quote, conservative case, comes out unanimous judgment. most of the others came out the right way in the '70s. so i count myself enormously fortunate to be around when it was possible. to move society to the place where it should be for the benefit of all of us. everyone is the beneficiary of ending gender discrimination. women, men like charles e.moritz, and children. that's how the old chief was persuaded, justice rehnquist a man whose wife died in childbirth. he was left the sole caretaker
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of the child. social security benefits would help him be able to only work part time while his child was young. those benefits were for mothers not fathers. so, the court decided that case. i think it was in 1975. it was a unanimous judgment. all discrimination against the women as wage earner. her social security taxes don't get for her family the same protection. a few of them felt it was really discrimination against the male as parentør%< he would not have the opportunity to render personal care to his child. and then rehnquist all alone said, taught me arbitrary from the point of the baby. why should the baby have the chance to be cared for by a parent only if the parent is female and not male?
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but it's is that realizesation, we will all be better off if we end the discrimination, if we end the era of women are for the home and children and men are for the outside world. both should be in both worlds. >> well, i -- [ applause ] >> before we go, let me say on behalf of everyone here i think we are all enormously fortunate that you've lived the life that you have and been such a tremendous inspiration to so many generations and we look forward to what's still to come. thank you so much. [ applause ]
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business man donald trump announced he is running for the republican presidential nomination. he made the announcement this morning at trump to youer in new york city. as you can see here on this instagram picture, his family was there with him. here's a look at the actual announcement. >> i love my life. i have a wonderful family. they're saying dad you're going to do something that's going to be so tough. you know all of my life i've heard that a truly successful person, a really@%$1 really successful person, and even modestly successful, cannot run for public office. just can't happen. and yet that's the kind of mind
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set that you need to make this country great again. so ladies and gentlemen i am officially running for president of the united states. and we are going to make our country great again! ♪ >> it can happen. our country has tremendous potential. we have tremendous people. we have people that aren't working. we have people that have no incentive to work. but they're going to have incentive to work. because the greatest social program is a job.b=
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love it and they'll make much more money than they would have ever made. and they'll be -- they'll beúó# doing so well. and we're going to be thriving as a country. thriving! it can happen. i will be the greatest jobs president that god ever created. i tell you that. >> politico reports donald trump is likely to make the cut for the first republican presidential debate coming up on august 6th. the number of candidates is limited and based on how they rank in the polls. politico says according to the most recent national polls donald trump would bump former governor rick perry. ashton carter and joint chiefs of staff chair general martin dempsey will be on capitol hill to testify on u.s. military strategy in the middle east before the house armed services committee. live coverage tomorrow morning
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at 10:00 eastern here on c-span3. like many of us, first families take vacation time. and like presidents and first ladies, a good read can be the perfect companion for your summer journeys. what better book than one that peers inside the personal life of every first lady in american history.#p
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system. this came american constitution society for law and policy held here in d.c. after his speech, local political officials law enforcement and attorneys continued the discussion about how race plays a role in policing around the country. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. if you could please sit down and take your seats. quiet down just a little bit. good morning. my name is mark califano. i'm one of the newest acs board members. i'm head of global litigation investigations at american express. very proud to be here this morning. you know i became involved in acs because when i was a law student in the 1980s, we called it the legal dark ages. there were very few student organizations. in fact, really the only one that existed in the law schools that helped develop law students was the federalist society. we did not have an acs for those
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and wanted to grow and develop our careers in a direction that could support communities in the society in that way. so, this is really been a beacon of light for a lot of people. and the thing i've watched this morning, especially with next generation of leaders is people who carry this out. there are associations, the network, the people that they work with here out into their careers, out into their communities, across all forms of work from public defenders organizations to public service and community organizations to prosecutors to people who work in law firms and corporations. and that is incredibly valuable. you can see it now. but wait until you see what happens in the next 5, 10 and 20 years. an important organization for this country and the lawyers of this country. and today, i have the pleasure of introducing our feature speaker this morning. congressman hakim jeffries. a fellow new yorker, a very
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proud graduate of nyu law school. he's worked as have many of the young lawyers here in-house. he's also worked in firms but his passion carried him to public service. he served in the new york state assembly for six years before being elected as the united states congressional representative of the eighth district of new york. his history with acs extends back to the time when he was an assemblyman. he's been a speaker at the new york chapter. she's been active in events that acs has had on immigration reform redistricting, straight legislature reform. and he's been one of congress' most outspoken voices on the subject of police brutality. in april, in memory of eric garner congressman jeffries introduced the excessive use of force prevention act of 2015 which would make the deployment of a choke hold unlawful under federal civil rights law. so what i'd like to do now
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without any further adieu is have congressman jeffries come up and speak to us. and then we will start the convention's first panel on beyond ferguson a nation struggled with race and criminal justice. congressman jeffries. >> well, good morning everyone. and first, let me thank mark for his leadership, for his tremendous involvement with acs, and for the very generous introduction. it's an honor and a privilege to be here at this wonderful conference, this gathering of such brilliant and thoughtful and caring jurists and attorneys and law students and professors trying to make america the best that it can be. it's my understanding that i'm here to give opening remarks in
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advance of what will be a phenomenal panel moderated by chris. so my job really is just to set the table, i think, and then get out of the way. and so i say to you what the iconic elizabeth taylor said to each of her eight husbands. i won't keep you long. but i did just want to share a few thoughts on phenomenon of overly aggressive policing and our criminal justice system and how we might move forward. i've had the honor as mark mentioned of serving in the united states congress for the last few years after spending six years in the new york state assembly. justice brandeis, of course, described state governments as laboratories of democracy.
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and i've been able to transition now from a laboratory of democracy to the house of representatives, which i think is the lion's den of democracy. notwithstanding the lineup in terms of who's in the majority. i was struck when i first got congress sworn in in january of 2013. and of course, this was the same moment when barack obama was being sworn in that same month for the second time as president of the united states of america. and so as a new member of congress, all of us, we had a robust freshman class. we were invited on the capitol steps to participate.
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we were seated way up top. and i quickly realized that the wonderful thing about sitting on top is that you can see everything that was happening. the president of the united states the first family was right there with them out in front of us. more than a million americans from different regions, different religions, different races. all there to participate in this democratic moment. but what struck me the most was that in close proximity to barack obama, you had arch conservative supreme court justice scalia. and right next to scalia, you had house speaker john boehner. and right next to boehner you
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had former republican presidential, vice presidential nominee and current ways and means chairman paul ryan. and right next to those three jay-z and beyonce. what a great country. only in america. we've got this gorgeous mosaic all across this country of diverse people come together as part of this grand american experiment. abraham lincoln once publicly pondered the question a little more than 150 years ago. how do we create a more perfect union? he asked that question, of course, in the context of the civil war that was raging at the time threatening to tear this
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country apart. we know since that moment, we've made tremendous progress in america. and yet the death of eric garner, tamir rice in cleveland, walter scott in north charleston. the death of freddie gray in baltimore. should make clear for everyone we've still got a long way to go. the principle that was unleashed on this country by the supreme court in plessy versus ferguson of separate and functionally unequal has been abandoned as a
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result of the brown v. board of education decision. yet, we know that from the department of justice's report, ironically in ferguson we have a criminal justice system for in many communities is separate is separate and unequal. and i think, there's no more of a area where this is the case than in the context of how american communities are policed. and i would just suggest there are three things we've got to think about if we are going to strike the appropriate balance between effective law enforcement on the one hand and a healthy respect for the constitution for civil rights.
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and for civil liberties on the other. the first is that we've got a problem with overly aggressive policing tactics like stop and frisk and broken windows. that are unleashed in a disproportionately higher fashion on communities of color. for more than a decade in new york city we were saddled with a stop and frisk program that was out of control. at its height more than 650,000 stop, question and frisk encounters in a given year. the overwhelming majority of folks, of course who were stopped, questioned, frisked embarrassed, humiliated, in some cases, physically roughed up were people of color. what should be equally troubling is the fact that according to
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the new york police department's own statistics during that stop and frisk era approximately 90% of the people who were stopped, questioned and frisked did nothing wrong. no gun, no drugs no weapon no contraband, no offense. nothing at all. clearly notwithstanding, what terry v. ohio said there was no reasonable suspicion. but the overwhelming majority of these individuals had engaged in a criminal act or about to do so. yet, somehow, in the great cosmopolitan city of new york there were many who thought this was justified.

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