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tv   Justice Thomas Swearing- In Ceremony  CSPAN  October 23, 2016 6:35pm-7:01pm EDT

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campaign stops with hillary clinton, donald trump, and their surrogates, and follow key house debateste races, with and speeches. c-span, where history unfolds daily. clarence thomas was nominated to the u.s. supreme court by president george h.w. bush in 1991. he was confirmed by the senate in a 52-48 vote. next, the night -- white house swearing in ceremony, held 20 years ago this month,. . this is 20 minutes. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by justice byron white, and justice and mrs. clarence thomas. [applause] ♪
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[applause] the indication will be given by senator john c danforth. -- invocation will be given by senator john c danforth. senator danforth: i ask you to observe a moment of silence in
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memory of mrs. natalie rehnquist. holy and loving god, who has given us this great nation, and has called it good men and women to bear the burdens and assume the duties of public service, we give you thanks and praise for raising from humble origins, clarence thomas, to the highest court in our land. we thank you for his strength, his courage, and for the kindness and devotion of his .eart
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especially we thank you that he has persevered through adversity , that he has fought the good fight, and that with your guidance, he has grown in love .f you and in charity to others we ask your special blessing on him, as he takes this high office. make him always mindful that he is walking in your site -- sight, that he may apply himself faithfully to the work you have given him, and that in the years to come, he may do justice, and love mercy, and walk humbly with his god, amen. ♪
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[applause] president h.w. bush: please be seated. well, welcome all to the white house. mr. vice president and mrs. quayle, a warm welcome. and, of course, to the members of the supreme court. and may i simply say that barbara and i join with you and with all the nation in mourning the loss of nan rehnquist, the wife of the chief justice. let me also welcome the many members of the united states congress that are with us today. single out but a few -- minority leader dole and chairman biden, and ranking member thurmond of the committee, and so many others. and members of our cabinet over here, and so many friends of
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clarence thomas who have worked , with him here in washington. and, of course, i should especially single out senator jack danforth, a man every american would be proud to call friend. [applause] and, of course, those special guests, the many members of clarence thomas's family here today. his wife ginni, his son jamal here in the front row. and clarence's mother, mrs. leola williams, his sister, emma maye martin, his brother, myers, his cousins -- this reminds me of pinafores -- cousins, sisters, aunts. [laughter] but that's the way it ought to be. and all of you, some of whom drove all the way up. i see a little advertisement over here from pin point, georgia to be here this afternoon. and -- [applause]
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president h w bush: -- and that's 600 long miles, but i've got a feeling they might have driven 6,000 miles to be here today. well, people from far and wide, from all walks of life, all levels of education and income , have come here today in testament to the character of clarence thomas. but what brought you here is also something more, the power of the american ideal, the values of faith and family, of hard work, and opportunity. and these are the values that unite us all, that give america meaning. america is the first nation in history founded on an idea, on the unshakeable certainty that all men are created equal. and when we ask our justices to uphold the constitution, we entrust to them the laws that give life to our principles.
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clarence thomas now joins the distinguished ranks of jurists to whom we entrust this sacred task, who, in the stark and simple phrase of chief justice marshall, tells us what the law is. i said when i nominated clarence thomas that this man is a fiercely independent thinker with an excellent legal mind who believes passionately in equal opportunity for all americans. and since then, the whole nation has learned that the passion and the intellect and the independence of mind all spring from a single source, an inner strength stamped on his character long ago when he walked the dirt roads of pin point. clarence thomas comes to the supreme court having worked in the private sector, having served in state government, and
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in every branch of federal government. each position will serve him well on the court, sharpening his vantage point on the many questions that come before him. these are the man's qualifications. they are not the same as his experience. clarence thomas knows firsthand the searing hate and sting of segregation. he knows the cold face of indifference, the unthinking cruelty that tells some men and women that society expects little of them and offers even less. but clarence thomas would not be here today if there were not more to this story. he's known his share of the joys of life -- the love of family, the devotion of friends, the kind gestures from people
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committed to decency and fairness, to justice and to the american dream. clarence thomas has endured america at its worst, and he's answered with america at its best. he brings that hard-won experience to the high court and america will be the better for it. so let me say to everyone here , don't be overawed by the solemnity of this moment. celebrate this day. see what this son of pin point has made of himself. see how he makes us proud of america, proud of all that is best in us. and in just a few moments, we will bear witness as the oath of office is administered to our nation's newest supreme court justice. and before we do, let me simply say on a personal level america
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, is blessed to have a man of this character serve on its highest court. clarence thomas, mr. justice thomas, congratulations and now i'd like to ask justice byron white to administer the oath. [applause] justice white: mr. president, judge thomas, ladies and gentlemen, the swearing-in of a supreme court justice is undoubtedly a very serious affair. but it's also a very exciting one, and i'm quite glad to be here to stand in for the chief justice, who, unfortunately, could not be here because of the death of his wife, natalie
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cornell rehnquist. we called her "nan." we dearly -- we dearly loved her and we shall miss her very much. judge thomas, this will not be the first time you've taken an oath that is ordinarily given to federal officers. and when at 10:00 on november 1st, you take the judicial oath that is required by statute, you will become the 106th justice to sit on the supreme court, and we look forward to that day. and now, if you'll do the honors there, i will administer this oath. repeat after me repeat after me i, clarence thomas -- clarence thomas: i clarence thomas -- byron r. white: -- do solemnly swear -- clarence thomas: -- do solemnly swear -- byron r. white: -- that i will support and defend -- clarence thomas: -- that i will support and defend -- byron r. white: -- the constitution of the united states -- clarence thomas: -- the
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-- against all enemies -- byron r. white: -- foreign and domestic -- clarence thomas: -- foreign and domestic -- byron r. white: -- that i will bear -- clarence thomas: -- that i will bear -- byron r. white: -- true faith and allegiance to the same -- clarence thomas: -- true faith and allegiance to the same -- byron r. white: -- that i take this obligation freely -- clarence thomas: -- that i take this obligation freely -- byron r. white: -- without any mental reservation -- clarence thomas: -- without any mental reservation -- byron r. white: -- or purpose of evasion. that i will well and faithfully perform -- clarence thomas: -- that i will well and faithfully perform -- byron r. white: -- the duties of the office on which i am about to enter -- clarence thomas: -- the duties of the office upon which i am about to enter -- byron r. white: -- so help you, god. clarence thomas: -- so help me, god. [applause]
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[applause] clarence thomas: wow. [applause] clarence thomas: thank you all so much. this is wonderful. mr. president, mrs. bush, mr. vice president and mrs. quayle, senator dole, and all my friends and all the members of congress, justice white and my future
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colleagues, and all my wonderful family members, friends, supporters, and those who helped . even as i am joyful at this event, i am deeply saddened by the death of mrs. rehnquist, and i join in the heartfelt condolences to the chief justice and his family. since that bright sunny day in kennebunkport, july 1, there have been many difficult days as we all went through the confirmation battle, and i mean we all. but on this sunny day in october, at the white house, there is joy. joy in the morning. [applause]
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clarence thomas: i thank almighty god, i thank those who stood along the road of 43 years of my life from pin point to the supreme court, from 1948 to 1991. i thank my mother and my father, my wonderful, wonderful grandparents, the nuns, my relatives, my neighbors, my friends, all who insisted that i make something of myself and all who stood ready to help me do just that. i thank america for the ideal, the opportunity and the reaffirmation of so much that is good about our great country. i thank my wonderful wife and my
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funny son. [laughter] wife is my best friend, and over the past 110 days we have been brought closer together, our love has been strengthened , and we have become better people. today, now, it is a time to move forward, a time to look for what is good in others, what is good in our country. it's a time to see what we have in common, what we share as human beings and as citizens. it is a time to look for solutions rather than exploit problems. in the words of sir winston churchill, "let us go forward together." i close this process, this long and enduring process, as i began in kennebunkport. only in america could this day
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have been possible. i thank you all and may god bless you. [applause] [applause] [applause] ♪ that concludes the ceremony.
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thank you all very much for coming. thank you. ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> visit us online at, to learn more about the clarence town fits -- clarence thomas confirmation. you can search our video library conferences,ng, and full senate debates. this is american history tb on c-span3 -- tv jan c-span3.
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americaweek, reel brings you archival films that bring context to today's public affairs issues. ♪ >> the ballot is right at the boaters eye level, easily read. at the samees are eye level. no candidate suffers by being placed in an unfavorable position. overommissioner won service clubs all over the county when he addressed them, by reminding them of the large number of voters who are disenfranchised every year at the paper ballot type polls by making mistakes. busy people often, by habit, make checkmarks on the ballot in spaces where ex marks are
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required. they my has -- might as well have stayed home. that vote is a no vote, doesn't count, illegal. other voters find at the last minute they have accidentally voted for the wrong man, or they have changed their mind. it doesn't count. or, you know election pencils. good try, sir. but this ballot will be thrown out. or, in the multiple-choice offices, errors are frequent. he is entitled to choose five state representatives. , this is aarked six no vote.
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simple mistake, yes. but out of every thousand people, some hurried, some nervous, some uninformed, how many do you think do it perfectly? the commissioner figured there is some excuse for being disenfranchised by tyranny, or war, or fear. yes, it can happen here. but not for well-intentioned mistakes. not in this age of the voting machine. which cannot make a checkmark x, whichf in -- an does let you change your mind by pointing it back up, which has no pencil to break or paper to tear, which will not let you vote for more than you are allowed. and when you are satisfied with your vote, a new privilege awaits you.
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you will register and count your own vote by returning this handle. walk away, knowing your ballot cannot be disqualified, thrown out, nor miscounted. it is already counted, the moment you leave. as the commissioner likes to say, we have really become one counties.edom curtain ♪ >> each week, american history tv brings you archival films that provide context for today's public affairs issues. >> on november 8, the nation decides the next president and one party controls the house and senate. stay with us for coverage of the presidential race, including campaign stops with of candidates, and follow key house and senate rates with -- races
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with our coverage. c-span, where history unfolds daily. >> each week until the election, wrote to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of presidential races. the second1960, debate between john f kennedy and richard nixon. the candidates answered questions on cuba, the social -- the soviet union, civil rights in america. senator kennedy defeated vice president nixon in the election, with less than 1% of the popular vote separating them. -- tookate took piece place in washington dc. frank mcgee: this is frank mcgee, nbc news in washington. this is the second in a series of programs unmatched in history. never have so many people seen the major candidates for id


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