tv Washington This Week CSPAN October 9, 2011 10:30am-1:59pm EDT
series "the contenders." >> it is what we claim we want in a presidential candidate and president. >> a man named charles evans hughes. woodrow wilson thought he was beaten. >> american history goes on in several different directions. what is he doing for foreign policy? he is the one you could write novels about. >> he was on the supreme court.
he left the supreme court. he ran for president. then he went back to the supreme court. one of the finest minds on the court. >> why hughes? >> andrew jackson said that hughes "looks like god and talks like god." >> charles evans hughes -- the republican presidential nominee soon after the national convention. tonight, we look at the life and legacy of charles evans hughes who was a two-term governor, secretary of state, and twice a supreme court justice. he was perhaps best known as one of the co-authors of the new deal. we're broadcasting live across from the capitol. he inaugurated this building when it first opened in 1935. let me introduce you to our guests this evening were joining us to talk about the life and legacy of charles evans
hughes. my first guest is an historian, david pietrusza, and bernadette meyler is a professor at cornell law school. i want you to set the stage for us. 1916, woodrow wilson wants to be reelected. frame what was going on in the country and the presidential campaign. >> president wilson said it would be a tragedy if his administration was defined by foriegn policy. it turned out to be just that. america starts his term focusing on the progressive era, the income tax, lowering the tariffs, the federal reserve system. changes that after 1914. we have the war in europe. america is fighting to stay out.
but there is a question of preparedness for the war. are we prepared? are we being tough? are we weak? the secretary of state resigns from wilson's cabinet because he thinks we're being too tough. is really a question of war and peace in europe, war and peace in mexico. aside from all the domestic issues. war overshadows everything. >> how does he get from the supreme court to the nominating process? >> he gets there somewhat reluctantly because he enjoyed his position as associate justice of the court. but then he felt called by duty after several candidates did not pan out for the republicans. he felt called to accept the nomination for president. in a sense, he was not a
particularly gung-ho candidate. >> what was the republican party like? >> it fractured in 1912. there was the great teddy roosevelt/william howard taft split. teddy ran as the bull moose party candidate. there is a real question. are they going to be able to put the republican party back together again? do you take roosevelt? roosevelt is still radioactive with the old-guard. if you take someone to progressive, then they will not come back. you have got to pick someone who is respected by both sides. someone who is not some wild man from the prairies or from the west like johnson, someone who was not a conservative like roots, and the man to do it, also the man who has been out
of politics since 1910, he was on the supreme court. he was not part of the 1912 battle. that is mr. hughes. and he is respected by just about everyone in the party. >> what were his politics at the time? >> his politics were mildly progressive. he is not a wild man from the west. but what he is, he had moved from the practice of law. he was never interested really in being part of politics. when he first comes to new york and establishes his law practice is -- "would you like to run for judge?" "no." "would you like a judicial appointment?" "no." but he is asked to investigate the gas monopoly in new york city. they come to him and they say, do you want to take over this investigation?
"no, i really do not." but he does. he asks how much time he has to prepare testimony for the hearings. they say "a week." but with the brilliance this man had, he was able to pull it all together, to go through all the papers, grill the executives on the stand, bring the whole thing down. ultimately what this leads to is of public service commission in new york state, and to have the gas bill and electricity rates cut by a third, and then he moves on to fixing the insurance agency in new york state and really becomes a national figure. this is 1906 until -- just before 1906. he is a progressive-type candidate who is opposed to the machine of the democrats in tammany, because they are protecting these monopolies, but also the massive new york state's political machine.
and teddy roosevelt would defer to the bosses to some extent. hughes with through the hole puncher reforms. then he moves on to the core for the first time. >> this would be unimaginable for someone to resign from this position and run for a national elected office. what was the reaction of the time? was a surprise? >> i think some were surprised, but i think the office of the supreme court justice was not quite what it has become now. i think part of the reason people would be shocked if a justice resigned as the process is so much more difficult to get through and some much more difficult to confirm any justice. justices are appointed young and expected to stay for the rest of their working career. his first appointment as
justice was actually quite contentious. his second one was almost too beginning of the contentions within the appointment process. in occurred early soon after there were new rules on the senate debate for nominees and garnered a lot of criticism from progressives, actually. >> we are on the plaza of the supreme court. beautiful early october night here. we will be here for two hours tonight. 14 men who ran for the presidency and lost but changed political history. charles evans hughes made his mark through many positions, but particularly in his role as chief justice. in the second half of our program, we will focus on that and the new deal. he was at the helm during that. we will open up our phone lines for each of these programs that
allow you to offer your questions and observations as part of our discussion. where was the republican convention that year? >> i think it was philadelphia. there were two conventions going on within a block of each other. that is the real interest in geography that year. the republicans went through a series of ballots. i think hughes's third on the first ballot. he moved up until he is on the first ballot. meanwhile, the progressives are meeting just a short ways away, and what they are doing is debating who they can accept. t.r. is basically saying "i am not going to do it." he throws out a couple names. leonard wood, a big army general. or henry cabot lodge.
neither one is acceptable to the progressives. in the end, the only one they can agree on, a progressive, to any extent, is hughes. but they still are in a great tiff, and they kind of dissolve the party. the party of that operates. they go way. this is one of the great things of the legacy of hughes' race. we take the republican for granted as a continuing thing since 1916, since lincoln. maybe the progressives go back and we do not know what happened. maybe the republicans do not go the way of the whigs. maybe the progressives replace it. who can say? the thing is, hughes takes the position. he did not want to do it.
he is uncertain what to do. he walks away from the supreme court. what he had said when he had taken it and they were talking in 1912, he would be the compromise candidate. he said no, no, no, i will not do it. the democrats fully criticize nominating a judge for the presidency. and there is a reason for that. in 1904, they take alton b. parker and run him for the presidency. >> does he get the nomination on the first ballot? >> parker? no, hughes. the elected candidates would not go to the convention.
there was a nominating process. a week later, they have a speech and, surprise, you are our nominee. the fellow doing it that year was warren harding. the chair of the convention. he was really undecided. his family members, his closest associates are not sure what he is going to do. they had people in the early days of the republican party. there was a david davis bid to a judicial senate nomination back in illinois. but not since then, and that not since hughes. >> can you tell us -- how was he as a national campaigner? >> that campaign is probably the worst thing he ever does. in his life really.
not just his public career. he excelled at everything. that campaign, he got off the mark slowly. he is doing a dance. it is the dance that jack kennedy and richard nixon do in 1960. we have the black vote in the north, the southern white vote. kennedy carries both. the same thing occurs with the peace votes and the pro-war people in 1916. wilson runs a campaign "he kept us out of war." and it's hughes doing this dance. and he ends up losing both sides really. he loses the pro-war people and the people who want to stay neutral. he is branded as being pro- german. you see these editorial
cartoons. with the irish nationalists and all those. and the other day, the german- americans vote goes to wilson. he does not elucidate the campaign themes well. he is opposed to the tariff. there are labor issues. there are labor issues that are very important. there are two things that prop him up. even though as governor of new york, he has an admirable record. he establishes cases, that entire system. there's also labor regulations put in place for the first time. he is really a champion of labor. but then the infamous california trip, which we will get into later, there are two things that happen. the one thing that is never talked about, he blunders into san francisco, and the chamber of commerce tried to do this in the restaurants and wanted to be open shop.
in other words, you do not have to join the union. where did they schedule in his appearance? in a restaurant. not only in california, but around the country. union members around the country. also, in september, there is a national rail strike threatened. the administration and congress passes the adams map which establishes the eight-hour day, first time nationwide. the constitutionality is threatened later. hughes opposes it. again, this cuts into his labor vote. so he has got problems and he really does not -- he is not able to come out and say what he would do better than wilson. >> here are the phone numbers.
we will get calls in a few moments. in addition to labor issues, there were also women's suffrage issues. women did not have the right to vote at the national level. can you tell us about that aspect of the campaign? >> wilson had already changed his position to some extent on women's suffrage. initially he was opposed to the notion women would have the vote. both of his wives were actually of this view. one of his daughters though became quite active in the suffrage movements, and his views were gradually shifting. at the time of the election campaign in 1916 he still believe women's suffrage should be decided on a state-by-state level. and use went far beyond that. and far beyond all the republicans.
he claimed that there should be a women's suffrage amendment. and this is puzzling because the states where women could vote actually went for wilson rather then hughes, which is somewhat paradoxical. there could be many reasons for that. >> 12 states have given women the right to vote at that time. for his support of women's suffrage, a group of supporters of the charles evans hughes it formed a club, campaigned for him, and they went by the hughesettes. kind of modern if you think about it. one of his nieces had put together a hughesettes website. we are showing new some history of her aunt in the 1916 election.
and his law firm where he practiced in private practice to exist today. we went there and spoke to one of the senior partners to talk a little bit about charles evans hughes and his support for women voting. >> also very proud and the original edition of the independent weekly magazine that came out the week after justice hughes got the republican nomination for the presidency. mrs. hughes, she is on here in support of women's suffrage, which she supported as well.
one of the things we were not aware of -- the republican party platform in 1916 was that each state would have the right to determine whether or not women would have the right to vote. does this hughes -- justice hughes said he would go beyond the republican party platform and support the susan b. anthony and in the to the constitution that would give women the right to vote. >> and from not we will move to the election. i read that woodrow wilson went to bed on election night thinking he had lost. >> i would not say he was resigned to it. he was about ready to either give up the presidency nobly or in a huff.
it is your call. he has a plan where it is like, ok, i have lost. i am getting out. they had to wait until march before they left office. you had a big interregnum. you had a situation or the country was moving towards war. what do you do? his plan was he would appoint hughes as secretary of state because secretary of state was second in line to the presidency. once hughes -- or secretary of state lansing was shuffled aside for hughes, then the vice president would resign and then wilson -- it was sort of a three-point plan -- and hughes would become president until he formally took his term. >> what happened was it was incredibly close election. >> oh, yes. >> tells about the electoral vote.
>> it was about a quarter of a million popular vote. what it is, it is so close in california. that is the key. it is divided by 13 electoral votes, and that is what the situation was in california. the second incident that occurs in california, and really the nature of the incident is overplayed, because again, back to that progressive party convention that kind of dissolved and left the field open to hughes. they're in a bad mood. they are not resolved. one of the people with a bad temper was the senator hiram johnson from california. he is a very ornery guy.
hughes has to get to the east coast. he swings through california before the primary. johnson is the governor. they cannot make decisions of who will escort who. it is worse than the palestinians and israelis. the feelings are so bad. finally what happened is, there is an incident in long beach, california where hughes who heads the not met johnson goes in to rest in the hotel, does not know johnson is there. johnson knows hughes is there. they leave the hotel. they never meet. it is claimed that hughes had alienated johnson in this.
really johnson could have made the move. right after that, hughes through an intermediary invites johnson to chair a meeting in sacramento. johnson refuses. and hughes loses the state by about 3000 votes. they do not know until next friday he lost the state. they do not know he lost the election until that friday. meanwhile, hiram johnson wins the primary and the state of california by something like 300,000 votes. so, a lot of people blame hiram johnson, the pacific incident, but in fact in the first meeting of the progressives when johnson goes back to california, they endorsed him, but then they split up. they split up and hold separate meetings. he could not have swung all the progressives if he wanted to, but he might have swung more
than 1600. >> wilson won nine of the 12 states. what does it say about charles evans hughes, that he was not as much of a political tactician? >> i think he was much more of a principled person and a principled lawyer than a politician in certain respects. i think part of what i mentioned before -- some of the women did not vote for him. wilson had promised -- pledged to remain at peace. but one of the things about the hiram johnson incident that it shows about hughes's character is he was not interested in currying favor with other politicians or the party machine. it shows in a very demonstrative way through the
gubernatorial career, he tries to oust some people within the administration, and that is met disfavorably because people think they deserve loyalty from the republican party. i think that cost him the election. >> we have our first call of the evening from duncan. hello. >> hello. i was curious about any bad things and charles evans hughes might upset about woodrow wilson. >> any bad things he might have said about woodrow wilson? >> he criticized wilson for preparedness, not having an army and navy up to speed. he was also very critical of
the wilson policy in mexico. or you have the revolutions overthrowing the diaz administration and the country devolves into chaos. you see the movies, "viva via" or "viva zapata." one revolution replacing another. hughes is very concerned that general guerta not impose another dictatorship in mexico. he sends marines. there is -- there are these crazy incidents over will they come in? a flag here or not there. but the troops go. mexico gets worse and worse. and then you get the columbus,
new mexico incident where pancho villa killed some american nationals. that is another disaster. there is a lot of controversy about mexico. there's a lot of criticism about preparedness and the wilson administration. these are things that hughes played on. >> welcome to the conversation. this is curtis. >> thank you. i just wanted to talk about a very important assertion that hughes wrote about. i will get through this quickly. the national recovery act was ruled unconstitutional in 1935 and a year later the national labor relations act was passed and they thought that was going to be ruled unconstitutional,
but then it came to the high court in 1937. i think the high court was under pressure to change their position from ruling new deal laws unconstitutional, and hughes wrote that decision. i think the moral to that story is even the high court can be put under political pressure to change their position. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> it is a crucial point and a crucial point of contention among historians, the question of what's defeated the court packing scheme that franklin roosevelt had proposed. was this consistent with an evolution of some of the justices, including chief justice hughes. i think we will get into that later. >> louisville, ky, what is your question?
>> i am just wondering what did -- what were hughes's views on the new deal? what were his views? and thank you for "the contenders." >> at the beginning of the new deal, there were striking down a lot of new deal legislation. others of the justices, like brandeis, were quite far to the left. others were swing votes. they might strike down various new deal legislations. then there was a fairly radical switch where the new deal
programs began to be up held. >> we will talk a little bit more about charles evans hughes the man. he was described as looking and sounding like god. >> he was 5'11". interestingly enough, he was very slight as a young man. he weighed 127 pounds. they would not write an insurance policy for him. that would give him the physical and say, we cannot find anything wrong with him, but he is just too thin. so they would not give him up a life-insurance policy. so, he was very vigorous, very active. he reaches an adult weight of about 173 pounds. it was measured very carefully. at breakfast he would have a pile of toast in front of him.
if he was putting too much weight, he would remove a slice of toast. if he did not win enough, he would put another slice on. but this fellow was so slight and not vigorous, but he was a good mountain climber. when he was selected to the legislature in new york, after the gas inquiry, he goes and says "i need a vacation." he is climbing the alps. he loved it public service so much. this is a point that is very important. this guy keeps coming back to public service again and again and again. and after he was knocked out of the presidency, he might have said the hell with you people. i have done my time. i have fixed this and that and it has cost me money again and again and again.
when he was governor, he poured his own expenses on so many of the trips. when he was on the supreme court, that did not pay a lot. even before he became the great crusader, he did not take the big cases. one of his great rivals worked for hearst and said at the time he became chief justice, public service had cost hughes $6 million. he gave up so much in time and money to serve the public in job after job, which he did so well. now, his intellect, his brains. he had this first-class brain. robert penn warren said that. it was the same with hughes. 6 years old, goes off to school. he comes on, he says "i am not
learning that much there, dad. i can learn more here." "yes, son?" and he lays out his plan of study hour by hour how he is going to do it and he does it. home schooled. a couple years later, he moves around again, maybe he is going to go back to school. same thing. he is basically home school for home schooling was cool. it completes high-school studies on his own. he is too young to get into college. he has to run around new york city for a year before he can go in. there are stories where -- i think when he was secretary of state or governor, what ever. it does not matter. he was handed a three-page memo before going into a meeting. the stenographer transcribes
what he says. it is off by one word. you see stories like that over and over again. >> at the age of 19, he graduated from cornell law school. >> actually, he taught at cornell law school for two years and he gave up a very lucrative practice in new york which was supervised by his father-in-law in order to take by health break and also to become an academic. he ended up leaving cornell law school, partly because his father-in-law thoughts his grandchildren should not be raised in such a remote location. he often said amongst his happiest times were the times at the cornell law school. >> it was the president of columbia. i apologize.
we have a clip of him we want to show so you can get a sense of him. he was considered quite a great orator. let's listen to what he sounded like. >> bigotry and racial animosities and intolerance are the deadly enemies of true democracy. there can be no friendly cooperation if they exist. they are enemies more dangerous than any external force. they undermine the very foundation of our democratic effort. >> and we're going to go back to telephone calls. you are on the air, frederick. >> i would like to ask a question about where charles evans hughes was born. and did he come from a family of money? where was his family reported
his family get the money? >> born in 1862 in new york. >> his father was a baptist. they were not particularly affluent. they grew up in humble circumstances. he was quite influenced by the baptist background he enjoyed from going up. in fact, his father hoped to become a religious man himself. he was disappointed that he decided to go into law instead of religion. his background did influence his jurisprudence later on. we can argue that. he was quite favorable to religious liberty claims and several opinions where he upheld a very strong view of religion under the second amendment. >> this is daniel. welcome. >> thank you for taking the time to let us get in on the conversation. i have a question about if the
federal reserve would have been created under his administration, and if it had not have been, where might we be today? >> with the federal reserve cut been created under charles evans hughes? but it would not, because it already existed. >> there you go. frank? >> wilson ran on a platform against the war, and there was a tremendous explosion in new york harbor, and after the war, the court ruled that german agents had in fact caused the explosion. in the 1970's the german government finally paid the government and indemnity. a wonder if you can comment on the role of the wilson
administration in covering up the explosion and its effect on the election. i will hang up and listen on the tv. >> that was a massive explosion of a ship that actually damaged part of the statue of liberty, shattered windows as far north as 42nd street. wilson administration did downplay this, because they were trying to keep us out of the war at this point. now it was very difficult for hughes that year. he is fighting two things. the country is very prosperous. there was a slight downturn, but with the war, neutral parties tend to do very well in wartime. there is great prosperity. he is fighting back. he is fighting the fact that we really are at peace. the trouble that had occurred
after the sinking of the lusitania, the german government comes to its senses momentarily and ends its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. is not until after the election that it presumes that. there is tremendous sabotage going on. there is funding of german groups. one of the problems wilson has is they bring up a meeting he had with four pro-german people. one of them was named jeremiah o'leary, an irish nationalist. this is one of the issues of the 1916 campaign. why would there be sentiment along the irish population. they were still under the british flag. they wanted independence. he was basing all of these problems.
the question is, what is he going to do about it? the trouble arises after that election, particularly in regard to zimmerman though, where germany was plotting to get mexico to attack us and get their lost provinces back. >> can you tell us a little bit more about -- do you know the story? >> i do not. >> she was the daughter of a senior partner -- >> yes. >> another thing we want to highlight was the importance of mrs. hughes in his life. she was the daughter of walter carter, the senior partner in
the hughes law firm. he met her at an office holiday party. issue was a very educated woman, influential in his life. he also had three daughters who together with mrs. hughes, i think they have a great effect on his views, including women's suffrage among other things. >> the partners were not partners in politics. there were out campaigning all the time. >> getting back to their marriage, their courtship is very slow. they need a few times. like every few months or something. and because she is the boss's daughter, he will not go near her. people say, "you married the boss's daughter?" it is really a distortion.
it is only when he is a full partner that the courtship really begins. they are really deeply in love. they go around the country on a train, almost like a proto- eleanor roosevelt. stuff that was not done then. >> you are on the air, jack. >> my question is about charles evans hughes's perspective on racism at the time. >> he was actually pretty progressive on race. his first term as associate
justice, he actually wrote an opinion that suggested it was not valid for railroads to fail to create first-class accommodations for african american passengers coming even if they did not have enough passengers to fill those accommodations. he is actually more egalitarian than a lot of his contemporaries. later on he would be a supporter of the separate, but equal doctrine and pave the way for brown vs. the board of education. >> i have a question that may be a little bit off the beaten path. this is about the institution of the personal income tax. which party was against it, and which party was for it, may i ask? >> income tax comes about as
part of the revenue act of 1913, i think, and that is important because that is part of the underwood tariff. the democrats lower the tariff. they have to make up the revenue. they passed the 16th amendment. that all folds into the income tax. i would say because the republicans are the tariff party, that the democrats -- hughes is opposed to the income tax. he reads it and he is a lawyer. he is always reading every word, no matter where those words go. and he says "all revenue."
and he says that means they're going to be able to tax the tax refunds of municipalities and states and destroy the balance of federalism. he opposes the 16th amendment. i believe that new york state rejects the amendment. >> you're on the air, joseph. >> good evening. >> in light of the other television programs this week on prohibition, did he have any attitudes or feelings about that ugly affair? >> great question. he is talking about the pbs series about prohibition. >> neither he nor wilson would be regarded as drys. he started to take a step during the insurance investigation. he said it was his nurse. this humanizes him.
he was very high strung. he started taking a drink then. he was never a big drinker. there is a story told at the havana conference of latin american nations around 1924 or so. he asked the secretary of state whether he will serve booze or not. he walks over there and takes the first one. he is not a prohibitionist. >> it is time for us to dive into more of his supreme court years. we are going to say good bye for now to david. we will see him later on. to begin our discussion, we will show you president franklin roosevelt in 1937, his take on what was commonly called the court packing plant. after that, you will see chief justice john roberts.
first, a newsreel from that time introducing us to each of the members of the supreme court in 1937. >> associate justice sutherland. he became a senator from utah. the only supreme court catholic. a democrat who supported president harding. from wyoming -- 78. 56 years on the bench. james reynolds of tennessee, 75. confirmed bachelor. has voted against every new deal measure. benjamin nathan cardozo, 67, appointed by president hoover.
harlan stone of new york, a former dean of the columbia university law school. justice brandeis of kentucky. wilson dared not appoint him attorney general, but did appoint him to the court. and justice owen roberts. at 61, the youngest justice. long a conservative. and charles evans hughes, 75. chief justice since 1930. sometimes conservative, sometimes liberal.
>> president roosevelt goes on the air in an appeal for popular support for his plan to reorganize the federal judiciary. it is his second such appeal within six days. he tells the people that his plan would protect them. >> those opposing the plan have sought to sow prejudice and fear by saying i am seeking to pack the supreme court. what did they mean by "packing the supreme court"? let me answer this question with a bluntness that will end all honest misunderstanding of my purpose. if by that phrase is charged i wish to place on the bench spineless puppets to disregard
the law and decide specific cases as i wish them to be decided, i make this answer. that no president fit for his office would appoint and no senate of honorable men fit for their office would confirm that kind of appointee to the supreme court of the united states. we want a supreme court that will do justice under the constitution and not over it. in our courts, we want a government of laws and not of men. >> the court lacking -- the court packing plan was a very serious threat. it was proposed by an immensely popular president. as fdr put it, "the people are with me." hughes proceeded cautiously,
but with determination. he demolished fdr's efficiency argument. he showed that the court was keeping up with this work. hughes explain that adding more justices would make the court far less efficient. "there would be more judges to hear, more judges to confer, more judges to discuss, more judges to be convinced and to decide." hughes chose not to directly criticize fdr, but to expose the effort for what it was by refuting the efficiency window dressing. and it worked. >> that was a prospectus for anytime and also contemporary perspectives from the fdr era and the court packing history we have learned so much about as
we grow up in this country. we are going to learn more about the biography of charles evans hughes, 1916 republican nominee for president. he failed in that big a very narrowly against woodrow wilson. we're learning more about his contributions to society. we're joined by two guests on this beautiful october night in front of the supreme court building. my first guest served as the u.s. solicitor general, and bernadette is with us throughout this program. i am going to start because he had two terms on the court. in 1930, president hoover appointed him. what is the difference between staying as a justice on the
court within a 20-year period? >> he had some incredible experiences in the interim. obviously the presidential run, but also serving as secretary of state, serving on the so- called world court in the hague. he comes back to that job as chief justice, as a man who certainly had many more difference experiences. >> can you tell us a bit about the court of 1930? >> sure. the core was much less conservative than it became -- the court was much less conservative than it became in 1935 and 1936. the court did not really a strike down that much economic legislation. it up held economic legislation in particular.
towards the middle of that decade, it shifted a bit. >> what was he like as a leader in those early days? >> i think he is someone who took to the administrative parts of the chief justice job right away, and that makes sense. you have someone in the modern era becoming chief justice to have mostly served in judicial capacities, but here is someone who has run the state of new york. he is a great administrator. he took to that aspect of the job immediately. he also took to the other aspects of the job. after all, he had already been an associate justice. this is only the second time in the nation's history up to this point or someone who has been an associate justice goes on to serve as chief justice. in that respect, he was the ideal to justice and he hits the ground running. >> was he a great broker of opinion?
>> i think from the beginning, he was someone harder to typecast than the other justices on the court. he was coming into a court that was not as bitterly divided as it became, but still a divided court. he was essentially near the center of the core. >> this also brings up another point. he loathes to dissent. he wants to create harmony. he wanted to encourage harmony on the court like marshall, chief justice marshall. >> let's take a couple calls and then we will delve more deeply into this. welcome to the discussion. >> thank you for taking my call. great program. was he not considered god-like,
too, because he would try to find a medium ground? was roberts pushed by hughes or did hughes follow along? >> thank you for watching. >> i think hughes was much more of the swing vote than roberts was. roberts tended to vote with the conservative bloc. hughes tended to be a little bit more on both sides. at least he signed himself on to more opinions. some people think that was a disingenuous move designed to portray himself as being a more liberal orientation than he was. it was called a jovian presents on the court, and that was about his administrative capability we have been
discussing. he held a judicial conference in a pretty authoritarian manner. he would go around and discuss the case after saying his views first. he kept a pretty tight leash on the discussion. >> what we know about his style? >> i think there are a lot of similarities, and not necessarily the point of the way the conferences were conducted on a day-to-day basis. but the chief justice hughes wrote a book on the supreme court. that was a unique thing to get a window into the supreme court for someone who was already served as an associate justice. we know he is going to be the chief justice. he talks about the role of the chief justice in that book and
the limits of what the chief justice can do, because at the end of the day, you are the chief justice of the united states, but you only get one vote and you have to lead in a way that is more subtle than the leadership you have when you're a governor or even secretary of state. he did manage to do a remarkable job of leading the court. leading by example. >> let's take a minute and talk about this building. up until this time, the court met across the street at the united states capitol building. have the court come to have the run building? >> they decided they wanted to have their own building. that is symbolic and interesting. if you think about the court, they are in constant contact with the bread centers, and they are passing each other in the halls of congress.
there is something important symbolically of having a separate judicial building with a separate presence. there were, of course, criticisms. as you can see, this is an ornate and beautiful building. my recollection is it came in under budget, which is remarkable. >> william howard taft who had been president and became chief justice argued that the court needed its own building. he did live to see it. i read that this was very controversial at the time. >> i think that was partially because you're talking about justices who are traditionalists. and the depression. it was expensive.
the optics of moving in to this beautiful temple. i do think part of it is it was a break with tradition. from a broader perspective, it seemed like a terrific break and a break that was overdue. >> the architect included a picture of charles evan hughes. i think over the next call we might get a shot of that so you can see how the architects depicted him. this is harry. >> i used to study the supreme court. i think three major laws were struck down by unanimous supreme court decision. that included the liberals. from what i understood, when roosevelt made his court packing speech, he was one of the most elderly members of the
court. he was over 80 years old. i used to do some work on roberts. the folks on the case in 1937 were taken before in the secret chambers of the court. thank you for letting me be on the show. >> set the stage for us. >> what happened in the -- i want to get back to this caller's questions. fdr became frustrated with the fact that a lot of measures were being struck down by the supreme court. >> on what ground?
>> on the ground, first of all, exceeding congress' power under the commerce clause. the commerce clause is relevant today. it is also the source of a lot of legislation that is passed right now. under the new deal, the court basically was not as expansive in its interpretation of what the commerce power could do for congress and thought often the states autonomy was being infringed upon by congressional enactments. another ground for invalidation was liberty of contract which was read into the 14th amendment or the fifth amendment. hughes court had been striking down a lot of legislation. after his reelection, fdr basically proposed this plan whereby the court's membership would be increased if justices did not retire in a timely fashion. under his plan, there would have been up to six new justices placed upon the court. this gets into the question that was asked by the caller whether justice roberts had changed his vote before this court packing scheme was promoted. one argument is that once roosevelt won the election, the
court felt there would be a lot of pressure to uphold and obstain legislation and they could no longer be striking down as many laws. the court packing scheme itself was almost irrelevant or was not the real catalyst that roberts felt he needed to change his vote because of roosevelts reelection. >> give us a sense of how
engaged the country was. was this a hugely controversial, or was this a washington story? >> this was not a washington story. it helps to understand the stage completely which is, think about fdr at this point. he has just been reelected for a second term. he has been dealing with the great depression. this is the great depression. he is trying to deal with it innovatively, passing this legislation and it is getting struck down by the court. by the time he is done with his fourth term, he will have appointed more supreme court justices that than anyone but george washington. at this point, he is like jimmy carter. he has been a full-time president and has not put anybody on the court. he is very frustrated with the
fact they are sort -- there are striking down legislation. he is with the view that they are out of touch with the country. that is the reason the country focuses on this. i think a lot of the frustration goes with what the court is doing, what the age of some of the justices is. all of that boils over into the court packing plant. i think it is fair to say it is a bit of a black eye to fdr's historical legacy that he let his frustrations boil over and made this proposal. >> good afternoon. it is still afternoon here. i appreciate you taking my call. i presume this is a question for professor bernadette meyler. i am curious as to what she might know regarding the tie- ins between the justice hughes
and the sword family. also, part of the reason i am calling is because i have been puzzling for some time. back in that era there is a speech by justice hughes that was indicating the anti-racists of the community were the republicans. that seems to have switched around the time of woodrow wilson's presidency. i am curious what you may know about that. >> i am not as familiar with the relationship. there is a very interesting story. he invited booker t. washington to an event and it was a somewhat controversial invitation. he escorted him to a table.
hughes pretty much retained a uniform position on race throughout his career where he was in favor of greater equality, and i am not sure what extent to full equality. it is a backdrop to the change were previously republicans had been much more in favor of racial equality and the democrats also sort of took on that mantle. >> returning to the court packing plant, charles evan hughes was how involved in lobbying or setting the stage for it being debated? >> there was as i understand the story, it was something that justice brandeis that was very much in favor of and suggested. the chief justice was direct in
the same skillset he brought to bear in investigating gas companies back in the day. he looked at the court's docket. as chief justice roberts indicated, he took a part a neutral case for what fdr was proposing and really laid bare a more obvious motivation. >> how common in today's relationship between the court and the legislature -- >> it does happen. i don't know if this was the practice back in the day. it has become the practice that basically every year there is essentially a state of the judiciary letter that the chief justice sent over to congress. sometimes it can be pointed. for a number of years, they both made a point of explaining that they were less than happy with the current state of judicial pay. there continues to be these kinds of issues between and
among the branches. i also think the way the chief justice handled the court packing scheme probably took it off the table as a realistic option going forward. >> i just wanted to also add two things. some people may criticize hughes at the time. one part of his letter which was also consulted, what part of the letter said hearing the panel system would not be constitutional. it seems like an advisory opinion. hughes had condemned other justices for trying to produce advisory opinions.
>> next call from missouri. >> thank you for taking my call. this is kind of a follow up to the cornell professor comment that roberts aligned himself more with the four horsemen who were the conservative wing of the court. and after the court packing plan,roberts was part of the 9. from what i read,roberts would never admit that. do either one of you know if he did changes voting patterns? >> the only person who knows for sure is justice roberts.
i think this is one of the reasons from an academic standpoint why court packing is so interesting. there are a lot of competing theories that are supported at a detailed level. we don't really know for sure. i think it is fair that if you look at justice roberts' voting record, there does seem to be a fork in the road that go in a different direction. >> he did definitely protest that he was not influenced by politics at all, but it is hard to believe that. >> we talked about the fact that this court opened in 1935 -- it is a beautiful building. he spent a lot of time in that courtroom. is the court room he operated in as chief justice the same today? >> there are some minor differences.
there are changes to the size and shape of the bench from time to time over the time. >> we also have a historic photograph from the supreme court historical society. it was somewhat illicitly taken. it is a photograph from inside the quarter while the court is in session with chief justice hughes presiding. as we are looking at that, you do not see that very often. while we are talking about that, we did not mention it in his biography, and between his first and second service on the court, he was a private practice lawyer much sought after. he argued 50 cases before the court. having had that experience, what were his arguments like in court? >> i think it is a really good point.
it is something very similar to the situation we have now with chief justice roberts. we have somebody in him who argued nearly 40 cases when he was -- before he came onto the bench. chief justice hughes had him beat. i think that was part of the point that was made about the sacrifices he made for public service. he comes to the court as somebody who bought only has appreciation for the job of the court because he has previously served, but he has some sympathy and understanding as the role of counsel as well. i think he is somebody who was willing to ask questions of counsel and also had a real appreciation that kelso had prepared for the argument. they have points that wanted to make. he was ready and willing to listen to council.
>> this is tim from pittsburgh. >> i have a question about the circumstances of justice hughes ascending to the court as chief justice in 1930. i don't know if this story is true so i hope your guests can confirm it. the conventional wisdom after taft had died is that hughes would not agree to serve as chief justice because doing so would mean that his son would have to resign as solicitor general. to everybody's surprise, charles evan hughes sr. decided to take his job and the sun had to be solicitor general. >> i have heard the story. i do not know whether it is true. i heard different versions of the story. he may have a perspective as to the truth of that. i will say this. i think if somebody -- if the president really thought that
charles evan hughes would not take the job and was not interested in being a chief justice, that seems like a naive assumption. hughes had an interest in the job going way back. when he was first put on record as an associate justice, he was appointed with an understanding that he may be elevated very early when there was an opening at that point. he was passed over for chief justice white. president taft was the one who passed him over. i definitely heard the story. it certainly had to be a difficult moment around the family at dinner table since there is no question that chief justice hughes accepting the job meant his son would have to give up the solicitor general job. i do think it is a little naive to think he was going to turn it down. >> i think some people did think so at the time, but they
were probably misled. just one more addendum about the fact that he may have had at versions to the job earlier, there was some possibility that he would be appointed rather than associate justice when he was first appointed to the court. and being passed over i have been one of the reasons he was more willing to take the presidential nomination and not. he ultimately aspire to the chief justiceship. >> one thing i wanted to talk about is, i have a problem with the justice is staying on until
they are 80, 90 years old. they don't have a lot in common with the people. they still have the same beliefs than what everybody else has in this country. we ought to be able to vote them in. it might be a little more fair than the way they are in now. they would be more a part of this country. it is like they are gods or something now. >> thank you for your question. he talks about supreme court justice is not knowing much about the rest of us in society. >> i think this is part of what
motivated fdr's court packing plan. part of what he was saying is the older justices had antiquated notions about society that needed to be superseded and that they were two out of touch. i think that is why all of the justices took offense at his plan. >> i think that is right. there have been ideas that maybe we should need term limits, a retirement age, some way of making the justices more responsive were you there limiting the length of which they serve. these are topics that hughes addresses in his book of the supreme court. he is certainly confident that there can be a difficulty. sometimes just to stay on longer than they should. the current system we have is the best system we can have. that is especially when it comes to indicating individual
rights, it is a virtue and not a device that justices are removed from everyday politics. >> there are two very large conference rooms used often for public events. there are portraits of each of the chief justices who have served. we are going to show you the portrait of charles evan hughes that is here inside the court. as we look at that, i would like you, bernadette meyler, to talk about the opinions he offered. >> he did author a number of opinions. one opinion he is significant and i think this not discuss this bailey vs. alabama. this is an opinion he issued early on when he was associate justice. it involved in striking down a peonage lot. even though slavery had been abolished, under the 37 that it
was not clear whether there could be labor in compensation to debt. he struck down a lot that had allowed for peonage and said it was not relevant that the party involved was african american but nobody should be subjected to the requirement of labor for debt. he had an output -- he had a lot of important decisions he offered -- he authored during his time of chief justice. among them were decisions on both sides of the spectrum in terms of striking down economic legislation. one case that was crucial because it signaled his willingness to understand the flexibility that was required by economic legislation early on in his term was the case of
home building and loan association. this was a case involving a minnesota mortgage moratorium act. basically, the claim was this violated the state's wisconsin military not to impair the liability of the contract. chief justice hughes said in this case that basically contracts had to be understood within the context of the public interest. one of the things he kept coming back to was the way in which individual rights had to be maintained. that had to be in the context of the protection of the public interest. >> do you have anything you would like to add? >> i think those are great opinions to highlight. the great thing is, he was the chief justice for a number of years. he wrote more than his fair share of the opinions. they are a opinions we can point to.
those are the ones that are pivot points for the switch in time. those are very important opinions. i also think there are some of what i would describe a civil liberty opinions he wrote. it is now hard to imagine the supreme court of the united states without the first amendment. it is an important a part of their daughter can't. --of their dockett. there is another case that recognizes the freedom of assembly and problems with laws that try to target people for being members of unpopular groups. the court has waxed and waned. in many respects, the decision he wrote was the head of its time. >> hi.
i would like to ask your panel, with both charles evan hughes and fdr being a part of the aristocratic elite, both were progressive governors, one with the judicial route and one what the highest elected office, what kind of report was there between them? i was also wondering if there is any evidence of any cordiality or was fdr regarded by hughes as a traitor to his class? also, i was thinking of this while i was listening to your discussion, was there a point in which hughes realize that even though he was an elected governor, he realized his aristocratic background that he could not aspire to running for president even though he wanted to be president.
i am thinking of the last viceroy of india who had the ability, but because he was from the aristocratic class he had no point -- he had no chance. >> certainly, hughes swore in fdr on several occasions. i think the court packing scheme and the various tensions over the relations between the court and president at that point in time did not really lead to a very amicable friendship between the two men. also, hughes was somewhat reserved in terms of social life in washington, d.c. he and his wife would only attend a dinner party on saturday night because he felt it would contravene his austere mode of preparing for judicial practice if he actually went out any other time.
he was not as much of a figure in the washington social scene as one might imagine. >> the only thing i would add, he really was not from quite the same aristocratic roots as roosevelt's. his up -- was exceptional from an education standpoint. his parents were a remarkable individuals. i don't think it was a use of great luxury or wealth. i think most of the wealthy accomplished over his career accumulated through his own law practice and endeavors. i do think there were differences personality wise and background wise as well. >> the next call is from stockton, california. >> my question was, he said that supreme court justice hughes -- was he still the chief justice in 1948 or did he retire before his death which would have made him around 85 years old at the time?
>> thank you very much. when did he retire from the court? >> 1941. >> exactly. he stepped down when he still had a few years left. i think that was probably something that was not unintentional. he had done his time on the court. he had seen some justices get to the end of their time and have difficulty issues on where they should leave. when he came back to the court even though he had been away for 20 years, justice holmes was still on the bench. one of the things he had to do was deliver the news to justice holmes that his colleagues on the court had decided that it might be time for him to move on. i think that was one of the most difficult things he
probably had to do as chief justice, especially because of the closeness between the two men. i am sure it was one of the most difficult both -- difficult things justice holmes had to do. >> i think that brandeis rejected a lot of hughes' philosophy and was much more liberal. he respected him as an intellect. >> i need to ask you, you have described his formidable intellect. if you could time travel, would you want to argue a case in front of his court?
>> i think it would be fascinating. some of the other justices on the court were kind of difficult personalities from the bench. i am not sure it would be all roses. i think it would be a remarkable experience. obviously, you are talking about not just the opportunity to argue in front of chief justice hughes, but also justice brandeis, some rail lines of intellect. >> today there are about 8000 petitions to be heard. they hear about one out of 100. what was the workload of the court back then? >> it was not that many more cases they were hearing, but the petitions were much lower. when roosevelt proposed the court packing scheme, there were only 100 something that had been granted.
i think that was one of his grounds for complaint against the course they did not have enough energy to hear cases. we have a much greater proportion between cases where there are petitions and granted. >> arguments are generally one hour today. what were they at the time? >> i think there were typically more constrained. in the early days, arguments would go on for days. i also think just to follow up on the very good point that was made, i think one of the stories is that more of their documents have become -- more of their dockets have become discretionary. one of the things chief justice hughes did was move the court into the direction of having greater discretion. that was a potential controversy that they were expressing discretion to not hear some cases. these days it seems quite. >> we have half an hour left to go in our two our look of "the
contenders." it was a close election against woodrow wilson who was vying for his second term. then charles evan hughes went on to serve as chief justice in his second term on the supreme court. he was very much the center of restoring fdr policy court packing scheme. >> i hope you have a happy and healthy baby. i try to catch the show every friday night. my question is -- justice hughes sounds like a man that was for progression. i hear you talking about how he wanted the blacks to step
forward. but what you think about women stepping forward and them being on the court now? what he would think about the wrongdoings that are going on the court today. >> i think that it's a really interesting question about his attitude toward women. we heard earlier he was in question -- we heard earlier he was in favor of women's suffrage. i think he was somewhat ambiguous. he was an advocate for a lot more progressive legislation that he was later. some have argued he had a turn more toward the right leader in his career. among legislation he was interested in -- interested in at the time was to protect women and children laborers. even in his later time on the court and as chief justice, in a sense he used some logic about protecting women against unfair labor practices. not just protecting any labor, but women might need special protection. on the one hand, he was in
favor of allowing women more autonomy. on the other hand, he also had a paternalistic view point. >> columbia, tennessee. >> thank you for a wonderful program. i'd like to know the opinion from your panel as to what you believe charles evans hughes might make politically and judicially of what is going on and wall street right now? >> can you project? >> everybody has their own a
perspective on what is going on at wall street. i do think charles evan hughes was in some respects one of the great early reformers. if you think about the trajectory of his career, he did not seek out public service for sort of his own sake or something he really wanted elective office. he came to public service through his law practice and through an opportunity to investigate industries where there was a lot of corruption. i think this is something that was a hallmark of his career. even in his presidential run, it is consistent with the idea that he was not necessarily the world was the best backslapper or do how to build alliances with people. i think he was very focused on getting rid of corruption. he did not care if a few sacred cows get slaughtered in the process. >> you mention his was one of the first controversial appointments of chief justice. i read as far as the two sides were concerned he would be too
pro-business. >> this is a somewhat paradoxical concern. given his earlier term on the court and also his time as governor, he was very reform minded. i think of him sometimes as combining teddy roosevelt's reform-minded this as woodrow wilson's internationalism. people were very concerned that his time as a private attorney and time in private practice have led him into pro-business alliances that would make him exposed to regulate companies anymore. i think the main issue was the time he had spent in private practice. i think that concern was not really warranted given his earlier career. >> we will take a call from toledo and that we have a clip about charles evan hughes and race.
>> thank you for taking my call. this particular question is probably directed toward paul clement. sir, how you feel mr. hughes would have responded to unelected officials on an international scale, being able to dictate international law as opposed to an elected official who would use the congress to pass particular laws? >> thank you. >> that is a great question. i think chief justice use would have had the ones to use and not something where he would say, you know, he would be hostile to the international organizations. this is somebody who came to the
chief justiceship after serving on the international court. he has been sort of an internationalist. in his writings, he has been less critical of the idea that international law is our law. in this book, he specifically says international law is our law. on the other hand, i think he would ultimately save our own elected officials have the ultimate say over what the scope of our law is. i think he would have a view that congress had a wide scope to embrace international law principles but congress wanted to say that principles of international law did not apply to the united states and that would be the last word. >> i think that is exactly right. he says congress has the last word. international law can fill in gaps in certain respects. i also think he was a head of his time in promoting u.s. involvement in the court of international justice. he was not only a judge on that court, but also he advocated the u.s. adopting jurisdiction of the permanent court. >> we have had a few callers who
have asked about charles evan hughes and race. we are going to return to his law firm still existing in new york city for a story from his autobiography. >> in the charles evan hughes conference center, we try to select things that would reflect important stages of his life. we have collected a number of things including original books that charles evan hughes author. most notably is the autobiography that we find interesting. my favorite story in here is one that justice hughes tells. a visit when he was the president of the baptists society in new york city. he asked to booker t. washington to come and speak to the assembly. when booker t. washington and his wife arrived, justice hughes escorted him to his own table and sat in there. at that time, that was a controversial thing to do.
justice hughes took advantage of that to speak about the importance of diversity and tolerance. he was very disappointed that a group of religious people themselves would be intolerant to having booker t. washington at their table. >> we have about 22 minutes left talking about charles evan hughes. we have brought back one of our first guest who is joining us on the plaza of the supreme court. david pietrusza, one aspect we have not spent much time on his his chair as secretary of state in his pivotal one post world war i years. would you tell us about what contributions he made in that role? >> he is regarded as not only one of the great chief justices, he is regarded as one of the great secretary of state. he is regarded as one of the top three. what he does is he inherits a great mess because of the
failure of the league of nations, he was for the league of it -- he was for the league of nations, for the united states of america that entered the league, but he was not about to hand sovereignty to the league of nations. article 10 said the united states would go to war if we were going to defend boundaries of the messes in europe. he thought that the league could be fixed. he planned to submit a clean bill treaty which could get through the senate when he became secretary of state. that was impossible. warren harding saw this a little quicker than he did. hughes recognized the truth that it was really a fool's errand to go back there.
he moved on from there. he stayed. he talked about resigning. he pioneers an international disarmament in a groundbreaking navy treaty which casts the ratio of 10-10-6 with u.s., u.k., and japan. he scrapped and lot of heavy battleships. this is a good deal for the united states because with our congress, we were not about to spend the money on the military. we would have lost ground to japan in that decade. he also moves on to other treaties in the far east. he gets japan to give back to china which was a major accomplishment. going into that decade, the united kingdom, britain, was united in treaty -- if they were attacked or the other party was attacked, they would go to war. the other party was japan.
it was a fear that if we got embroiled in a controversy with japan, we might have to go to war with britain on that. he broke that treaty very smoothly. one thing he was not successful at was the emigration treaty with japan which was in the 1924 and was the japanese exclusion act. he tried quite hard. he was not able to do that. the senate was a great problem to him. it would be a tossup between that and france. >> this is charlie. >> what a wonderful series and thank goodness for c-span. who was the person in the 1916 election on the republican side that ran against hughes?
i had heard that if the other person had been the nominee, they would have beaten. >> the contenders that year were senator fairbanks who had been a vice president under roosevelt, senator burton of ohio, the conservative candidate -- i would hesitate to say that any number -- any one of those would have run a better race than hughes. i think the deck was stacked -- it was close. if you change any one thing, maybe you do not have a railroad strike that impacted the voting in ohio. you just don't know. i don't know if you could say that anyone stronger candidate. if he had been so strong, he would have won the nomination. >> for all three of our guests,
we will go one at a time. it is time to wrap this conversation up and think about charles evan hughes' legacy. how the world might have been different if he had not been here. i am going to take a call, and then i will start with you so i will give you a chance to think about that. >> good evening. i would like to ask the panelists to please explain why the hughes decided to disregard the judicial precedents, particularly the ruling in schechter and carter in order to recognize a fundamental right to organize unions and labor relations. could you please harmonize justice hughes'judicial
reasoning? >> i will give it a try. there is a way to reconcile those feelings. another caller pointed out earlier. it is easy to think about decisions as the same as being 5-4 one way and then 4-5 the other. it is much more complicated than that. every member of the court said there was something wrong with the statue of there. and it leaves lawyers scratching their head. it is the first call the non delegation doctrine. from time to time, lawyers for to fit cases into the not delegation doctrine. that was really eight different doctrine that was at issue when the wagner act comes before the court. i think what is precedent setting and does break from the prior decisions in that decision is really the court in
the previous decisions had distinguished commerce from production or other forms of economic -- economic activity. it is something that really bedeviled the court. these are really difficult distinctions to drop. if you look at 1957 commerce clause, it is this categorical approach that required some very thin and difficult distinctions. i do think in that sense, those decisions were not so satisfying that they were decisions that were not that easy. i think the court essentially and ultimately became persuaded that looking at the commerce clause would not work. >> i think the most important part of hughes'legacy is that basically the hughes courts created the modern commerce power allowing for the commerce power to be construed broadly.
so much of the regulatory system that we are under right now or that we can enjoy really derived from congress's power under the commerce clause. i think that is one of the things that hughes shepherded into court during a difficult time and allow for this outcome to the marriage -- >> hello, charles. >> i want to thank you for your record of public service. the question i wanted to ask was about chief justice hughes attitude about oral argument. he believed it should be how it is today where they are largely focused on questions or did he have another attitude toward that? >> he had a more balanced use
of oral argument, i think. he understood both the virtues of asking questions and also the virtues of having lawyers have been of -- ample opportunity to explain positions. in a sense we have moved to a different place hysterically or supreme court arguments is dominated by the questions. at that time, justices and in his book, it is almost like they felt the need to explain why it was appropriate for them to ask questions at all. some lawyers had the idea that oral argument was their time. i think he was of the view that it was important for the justices to have an opportunity to ask questions and it was good for the lawyer to have an understanding of what was bothering the justices about their side of the case. >> friend from washington, d.c. welcome to our discussion.
>> my question is -- i would like to know if any of the members of the panel can make a comment about the justice's view of that time between church and state court at that time any of their colleagues, what was their view? >> this was a moment in time when the notion of a wall of separation was coming much more prevalent. the hughes courts look at religion more generally. the establishment clause of the first amendment was inc. against the state to the due process called the 14th amendment. there were held to apply it from state to state action. that allowed for a lot more suits based on violation of religious liberty than
previously heard it. >> how about if you take the question about it hughes' legacy? >> i think it is important of how he stopped the court packing scheme, how the regulatory nature of decisions changed. how the but the republican party back together again. i think his legacy is one of service. if he is a man at one time after and after a gain he leaves his normal state of life to serve the country and it does it with remarkable intelligence and integrity. at a time with so much fractured his and our nation, i think it is good to look back on positive examples and to take hope from them. but i read from one biographer who said he has a constant tug between the legal and political spheres. did you have the same sense with him?
>> yes. i think after he left the secretary of stateship, i think someone said he was our first citizens. i think that is a wonderful thing to say and something true to say about him. again, he made some amazing sacrifices. when he left the state department, he was able to make a peak of $400,000 a year. jobs he had prior to that were in the range of $12,000. part of him leaving was that he knew he had to take care of his family. in between all of those times and even when he was off the court, if you take a look at all the organizations he was involved in including the foundation of the national conference of christians and
jews to advocate tolerance in the mid 1920's, a time when it was often in short supply, the man was a powerhouse, tireless whether he was in public service officially or not. he was always doing the public's work. >> we have 10 minutes left and our program. we have time for a couple more calls. the me ask this in question of you. >> i would say there are two aspects of it. i am approaching get more from the legal perspective. what has already been touched on is the commerce clause jurisprudence. i think what makes that legacy so interesting is we are still dealing with this issue. chief justice rejected hughes the categorical approach which even he was very quick to add that the commerce clause was not unlimited. it was a limited power, the framers had enumerated the various powers in the constitution and none of them gave the government's absolute
power. he played out the basic framework we are wrestling with and we still have this idea that the commerce clause is broad but it is not unlimited. where the limits are is something we continue to struggle with. the other thing i would really emphasize is the legacy of judicial independence. i do think that the court packing idea was probably the single greatest challenge to judicial independence, at least in the 20th century. i think the way he fought that off is something -- i don't think we will ever see another court packing effort. i think that is a great legacy. i would add in her book about the supreme court, he addressed what were the three worst supreme court decisions that the court had made up to that point. one of was a decision called the legal tender -- the legal tender decision. it was for the court first
struck down a statue and after changing its membership and it up upholding the statute. he said it was the core's fault for the way they handled it. he pointed out it was not president's grants faults. he uses the word court packing. he said nobody could accuse grant of packing the court. this was something that was in the back of his mind before he was a chief justice. he sees the threat to the courts and defense it off. i think that is a very worthy legacy. >> hi greg, you are on. >> when this chief justice hughes get done been on the court? >> 1941. >> was he the chief justice when komatsu vs come asa was written? >> no, he was not.
"i was just curious. >> he was off the court at that point. >> how do you explain about his final years? he resigned from the court as we just said in 1941 and lives the next five or six years and it dies at the age of 86. what were his final years like? >> he is very old when he goes on to the court and very old when he gets off. two years before he gets off the court he gets a real scare. it is almost like a stroke. he recovers. when he leaves the court he is fairly vigorous. what does happen, he returns to new york. his children are up there. he remains in washington, d.c. his marriage was really a close one and very wonderful. at this point, he decided he
would make up for lost time. she takes still fairly quickly. i think by the end of the war she has passed away. it is a very tragic time for him. it is one of the very few times it is recorded that he has lost control of his emotions. it is so painful for him. his health continues fairly strongly until 1948. he goes up to, i believe, cape cod. there he takes a sudden turn for the worse. he passes away. he had a fear to not be like justice cardoso had been helpless toward the end of his life. his wish was granted. he passed away with all the dignity which he had lived. >> we have about four minutes left.
we have a clip of him swearing in franklin delano roosevelt. >> do you solemnly swear to faithfully execute the office of president of the united states to the best of your ability to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states so help you god? >> i franklin delano roosevelt do solemnly swear that i will faithfully execute the office of president of the united states. i will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states and so help me god. >> charles evan hughes swearing in franklin delano roosevelt.
his legacy, especially during the court packing era, is something we have discussed. i want to go back and talk about the 1916 election. if he had one that and woodrow wilson had not won a second term, how would the world have been different? >> that is a very consequential question. it is hard to reconstruct how it would have been so different in some critical factor had not taken place. wilson was a president to lead us into the entry into world war i and move us forward. i think he is somebody that history regards very well. understanding the character of the person that charles evan hughes was, it is hard for me to think we would be poorly
served during that critical time by somebody who had done some exceptionally well in such a tight. i think he would be very comfortable in leading us in our foreign affairs. >> what are your thoughts regarding entry into world war i? >> i think the exit from world war i is were the change would have been made. we are talking about the peace process. woodrow wilson boxes that tremendously. what i neglected to mention in his post justiceship years is he is called in to consult on the structure for the do you -- the new united nations. he put some things and and makes it far more workable. he is a very practical guide. he has been interested in world justice and rule of law internationally from an early
point. if he had proposed a league of nations, there is a good chance it would have been approved by the united states of america. >> other than your own book, what is one of the best books on this era that you can recommend it? >> certainly on hughes, the ii volume biography is a terrific book. that is the book if you want to know an awful lot about mr. hughes. >> he brought a book of his letters i understand it? >> it is actually a collection of six different lectures that he gave at columbia university. it is really a unique insight. here is ruminations about the supreme court of the united states from somebody who had been an associate justice and
soon would be the chief justice of the united states but is a candid look of what a lawyer thinks about the supreme court. >> highly readable? >> a very highly readable. it is fascinating how contemporary a lot of the discussion is. >> last question for you. when first-year law students come can, what is the one thing you want them to know about it? >> i want them to know about the time and if he had been political or may not have been and what the consequences are. >> i want to say thank you to our three guests who have been here tonight on our program. from outside the united states supreme court, we appreciate your time with us as we learned about this. of american history. we are going to close now has restarted with some archival footage from the 1916 campaign.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] cox, i'm not surprised when the primary repeal of the 18th amendment. they would readily see that it had no place in our constitution. >> he served as governor of new york four times the never attended high school or college. in 1928, al smith became the first catholic nominated to run for president.
although he lost, he is still remembered by the alfred e. smith memorial dinner, an annual fund-raising dinner for catholic charities and a stop every election year. he is one of the 14 men featured in the new weekly series, "the contenders." light from the state assembly room in albany friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> today, wrote to the white house coverage continues with michele bachmann at a town hall meeting in new hampshire, part of her three-day tour in this state. live at 3:30 p.m. eastern on c- span. on monday, live coverage of jon huntsman at the world affairs council of new hampshire where he will talk about foreign policy. that will be live starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, c- span radio, and c-span.org.
>> if you think that a bill of rights is what sets us apart, you're crazy. every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights. every president for life has a bill of rights. the bill of rights of the former evil empire, at the u.s.s.r., was much better than ours. literally. it was much better. we guarantee freedom of the speech and press. they guaranteed the demonstrations, protests, and anyone who was caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. that is wonderful stuff. of course, just words on paper. >> tuesday, the justices antonin scalia and justice briar testifying on a wide ranging series of questions including the role of judges under the constitution. watch the discussion on line in the c-span video library.
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project or in teams. for example, if you are a good writer but not handy with a camera, get a grant to help out. you'll increase your chances of winning. >> you do not need to be an expert at video production or interviewing. you can use your parents, other students, teachers come and c- span as a resource. this process is both fun and extremely rewarding. with a little bit of effort, anyone can do this. >> remarks from treasury secretary timothy geithner on all homeownership and refinancing mortgages. this house financial-services committee hearing is one hour, 45 minutes.
>> without objection, all members written statement will be made a part of the record. the chair recognizes himself for an opening statement. mr. secretary, this morning you're quoted as saying that the biggest risk we face is financial institutions not taking enough risk. and secretary geithner, with all due respect, i am not sure you have a clear picture of reality as it relates to not only the thousands of pages of restricting regulations that have been imposed on financial institutions but also the daily
drumbeat of the fdic and other agencies directing the banks not to take risks. if you want a dopes of reality sit in myse of reality, office and listen to the stories related to us by main street bankers. they talk about the restrictive regulations imposed. who do you think has a responsibility to encourage the banks to make more loans? is it not the regulators who are part of fsot? if they want to consider who is creating a systemic risk, they need to look in the mirror. if, in fact, your correct and banks are taking enough risks, i
would submit to you that the problem does not lie with the community and regional banks but the regulatory approach of the very members of fsot. we have all been saddened by the news and steve jobs' death, . it is entrepreneurship and the private sector that creates jobs. he worked to make his company the most profitable that it could be and by doing so enriched the lives of people around the world with his company's products. without those products, steve jobs would not have made pixar, ad,roved the cellphone, iphone or ipod. that is why we were concerned about whether business at their right to earn a profit, which
the president said. there is a concern about the increasing size of government in the expansion of their regulatory state making it harder and harder for the next steve jobs to come around and that more and more regulations stifle productivity. many of us have expressed that same concern to you. mr. secretary, more regulations from washington and higher taxes do not encourage risk-taking and growth. another successful entrepreneur, charles schwab, said recently, "we cannot spend our way out of it, we cannot tax our way out of that, we cannot artificially stimulate our way out of it, we cannot regulate our way out of it. what we can and must do is knock down the hurdles that create disincentives for business."
mr. secretary, i agree with this statement and i hope you do, too. i look forward to the discussion we will be having today. at this time, i recognize the ranking member, mr. frank, for an opening statement. >> i wait for someone to show me anything like that. we do have a problem with loan officers being shellshocked about being too restrictive, but there's nothing in the legislation that does this but rather they are empowered and raises the the causal -- the deposit level. vis-a-s them a break
vis the big banks. are we not regulating swaps and derivatives? they would like to go back to the aig times where they could run over roughshod. that was a grave mistake 11 years ago. people who are advising on investments should have a shared responsibility. the chairman comes from a community that has had a huge problem because they were advised to get into a financial investment that was a disaster. we put into the legislation and regulation. people in the future who are advising jefferson county or any place elsewhere would have a fiduciary responsibility. i'm very proud of that. again, i would like someone to say it what regulation keeps
banks from lending? the chairman said the regulators are there to serve the banks. we did have a situation where the bank regulators were the arbiters of consumer issues. that will long derby the case. a fundamental difference here. there were not new regulations over banks. it is another thing we do for the community banks. we still give them some protection of our regulations and put pressure on things to do things that are irresponsible. the chairman was not able to get his party leadership to agree with him, but we put severe restrictions on the mortgage lending that got us into trouble.
we regulate mortgages. there are mortgages that should not be granted. we also regulated the notion of securitization. it used to be that you could make bad loans without any real restriction. you could sell them cannot count on the credit rating agencies to the interview to the problem. now there has to be risk retention. we cannot make loans that money that you have, sell them to other people based on an appropriate credit ratings, and then have those cascade in a negative way. we say you cannot make those loans without repayment and i am very proud of those. if the members think that is choking off activity, they ought to be explicit about it. >> i thank the ranking member. mr. secretary, you are
recognized and your written statement will be made a part of the record without objection. your recognize that this time to summarize your testimony. >> thank you mr. chairman, ranking member frank, and members of the committee. in setting up discounts on come u.s. gust to provide a comprehensive review of financial developments and potential threats to our financial system. let me give you a broad overview of our conclusions and recommendations. in early 2011, the world economy, still healing from crisis, was hit by a series of severe additional challenges, higher oil prices, the disaster in japan, the ongoing crisis in europe, and on top of that a damaging debate in the summer about whether we as a country
should meet our obligations. that debate caused a lot of damage to the basic fabric of confidence among businesses and consumers around the country. if you talk to businesses during that time, they would ask me why did make an investment in hire someone newark they do not know of congress will allow the administration and congress to pay our bills. some of these factors have eased as oil is falling, japan is coming back a bit, but the cumulative pressure of as resulted in slower pressure -- slow growth in the u.s. and cigna begat a slower growth expectations of the next 18-24 months. the crisis in europe imposes a very severe threat and we have been working closely along with the imf to encourage leaders to do more to put in place a comprehensive strategy to stabilize that crisis.
the critical imperative for them is to make sure that governments and the financial systems that are under pressure have access to a more powerful financial backstop and it is conditioned on the policy reforms, policy actions that can address the underlying cause of this problem. in the face of the situation in europe and the slowdown of growth, the most important thing we can do, congress can do, is to take strong steps to shrink in the economy at home and we think the most effective strategy for during that is to enact steps now that would accelerate economic growth tied to long-term reforms to restore fiscal stability. the american jobs act provides a very substantial package of tax cuts and investments that, according to the investment would raise growth by 2% and helped create one or two million new jobs. but in the president's proposal to the joint committee, we
outlined a comprehensive package of reforms for spending programs and our tax system that if enacted would bring deficits down to a level where the overall-all debt burden would begin to fall as a share of our economy. this council was established of each of the agency's response will for the oversight of the financial system in the firms and markets that comprise the system. it is the judgment of this council that they are in a significantly stronger position today to withstand the new risks we face in the global economy. because of the actions we took in the early stages of the crisis to repair and performer system, the weakest parts are the ones that took the most leverage and no longer exist today and have been restructured. the largest 19 banks have increased their common equity which is the most important by and to cushion we have for financial stability to increase their common equity by over $300
billion since early 2009. these institutions as a whole are finding themselves much more conservatively and maintaining much larger cushions of safe and liquid financial assets. these are very significant improvements and together they represent more progress on the path to a more resilient financial system than has been achieved in other major economies are caught up in this crisis. u.s. financial institutions including our major banks and money-market funds have reduced their exposure to the economies of europe are under the most pressure. our direct financial exposure to those governments is quite small. europe, as a whole, is large, so large and so closely integrated with the u.s. and world economy that the severe crisis in europe would cause significant damage to growth here and around the world. the largest parts of europe are strong enough to manage their
problems spaced out across the continent. these pressures we're facing from europe make even more important that congress act to strengthen growth now and put our fiscal position on a more sustainable path. the economic and financial developments we have seen, i think reinforces the report of the recommendations we presented to congress. first, the council emphasizes the importance of making sure that core parts of the u.s. financial system are moving to strengthen their resilience. we want the largest institutions to manage their businesses so they have the ability to withstand an environment that are much more challenging without government assistance from crisis. it will gradually phase this in over several years. much tougher standards will be
negotiated with other systems around the world. the council recommends reforms to shrink and a number of the key funding markets in the u.s. that were critical source of vulnerability in the crisis. the most important of these target the tripe market -- the try-market funds and to make the try-market funding was a bowling ball to the classic dynamic you see in which there's a rush for the exits for ca damaging spiral of a broader contagion. we have made substantial progress towards this objective but we have some more work ahead of us. the council recommends comprehensive set of reforms to the housing finance system, which i would be happy to talk about. finally, we recommend emphasizing cooperation and implementation of financial reform both here and in the united states, but also run the world.
this is important because if we allow large gaps to emerge as we did in the years before the crisis, we will migrate to those gaps leaving us all more vulnerable to another crisis. the most important challenge we face in a level playing field is the design and enforcement of these new capital standards in the near reforms to the derivatives market. although our system is much stronger than it was before, we have more work to do on reform. we will do this in a balanced way, when the benefits of regulation to the cost of excess restraint. we need to move at a pace that fully recognizes the fragility of the recovery phasing in these reforms over time so that we limit the risks to economic growth. i want to thank you in building this institution for cooperation and for producing this report and i want to emphasize as i
always do that continue to look forward to this committee to build on a substantial progress of already made in creating a stronger financial system here in the united states. thank you, mr. kercher. -- mr. chair. >> secretary geithner, mr. obama said earlier this week that banks do not have an inherent right to get a certain amount of profit if your customers are being mistreated. it appears that he is equating profits with mistreating people. does it bother you that he connects the idea of profits with mistreating people? >> i do not think he did that. the president believes it, and i
believe, that it is not the rule of government to determine how profitable firms are. we have learned with tragic consequences that if you do not put in place basic protections for consumers and apply them across the market, did not prevent them from taking the kind of risk that could imperil the economy as a whole, then you leave all of us much more vulnerable. what we're trying to do is to build a system with better protections and a better choice, more transparency in the basic protections against fraud and abuse and risk that were so damaging to us. >> can you give us some practices you think the financial institutions have in how they're mistreating people today? something that you do not have the power presently to stop? >> that is an excellent example and i was to give you one. the reforms congress enacted lay out a much more comprehensive
system of a protection for consumers or of rules that apply not just to banks but to all the other institutions in the business of consumer finance from payday lenders to basic loan companies across the country. although the authority is there in of the law, until there is a direct confirmation, we do not have the authority to apply those protections to non-bank financial institutions which makes no sense. >> i would agree with that, but we are talking about are regulated institutions. are there practices going on, any widespread practices which are mistreating customers? >> i think the most compelling example today of behavior are the largest banks in the country that we worry about and we are all living with is the mortgage servicing business.
just look at what is happening in the foreclosure process with it across the country. you have people who still cannot get somebody on the phone, they can talk to to figure and how they can stay in their house, transition to better standards and because the basic and other structures still so inadequate relative to the scale, we are still seeing problems. >> we found that there were legal requirements that were not complied with on many occasions. >> i think the problem is much bigger than that. >> let me ask about the charges for debit cards. that is the one the president
picked out as an example in his terminology and he called a almost a greedy reach. do you think dodd-frank or the durbin amendment had anything to do with the banks charging for their services? >> i will not comment on any bank practice in the area of bees. >> do you think it was wise of the president to do that? >> i will not speak to that. but what is important is what the law does is try to make sure that we move this system to replace where there is much more transparency and clarity about the fees that americans have to pay or to borrow. >> the $5 disclosure was a pretty honest, upfront
disclosure. >> we are seeing some improvement sallie transparency and clarity. you all do banking, banking services. look at your disclosure statements and think about how those still look today. >> we are talking about a $5 disclosed fee on debit cards/ youou'll be forthright, will sit as a result of the durbin amendment. >> i did not say that and i do not think you can justify that. >> you do not think there is a connection between the charges banks are now making and the reduction in their revenues? >> i will tell you what i think is happening. we need to and we are trying to fundamentally improve the quality of consumer protection, clarity, transparency,
disclosure, by doing things that change fundamentally by controls on institutions about how they manage risk which is changing practices across the system, changing how they charge and work with services which is necessary for us to do. we are still living with the stars of the damage caused. >> i agree with that, but i just do not agree that there is anything misleading about a $5 charge. it appeared to be very transparent. the ranking member. >> to begin, mr. chairman, i think he misrepresented the president's quote. he said there was an "if" there is no right to make a profit "if" they are mistreating the customer. he did not say there is no right
to make a profit, but it comes from mistreating the customer that there is no right. i'm not commenting on this particular controversy here, because as we remember this was never in our building do if the -- was never in our bill. i do not bank -- think consumers think the slushies will be cheaper at 7-11. he said "if" and that there was no right to mistreat. one of the issues people were concerned about with financial reform is the possibility that we would put our financial institution that a competitive disadvantage. we do not want to do that. money moves for quickly.
what has been the experience so far with serious negotiations in the european union, england, japan, canada? what does it look like so far in terms of not having any competitive disadvantage as a result of the implementation? >> we are reasonably encouraged so far after having set the standards for our system here that the world to move to those standards. based on what we have seen so far in terms of capital and liquidity, even derivatives, in the most complicated area, we are very anchorage but what the europeans are saying and doing. i would say that we are modestly encouraged so far. but this is going to be a real challenge and we have a lot of work to do. >> as you know, we consulted a mandate to you and the federal
reserve. countries that are taking care of a cap. particularly if they are under- protecting the public interest. they are to be excluded from the financial system. i know that sometimes the administration is reluctant to take action against anyone around the china currency bill. there are some small countries that have to do that. we would expect you to use that authority. the other areas involving regulation, i wait for you to tell me which regulations that want to do it without. i do agree with the chairman. we see production activity. i think that a good deal of the financial activity that we have received, that people get tired of regulating, contributed to the real economy.
the role of financial institutions, they are intermediaries. the connector between people with money to invest in people that will use it for goods and services in a productive way. i think that the bill did nothing to impinge on that. aig, they were playing credit default swaps games with other financial institutions. i think some of those things and enough relationship to the real economy as fantasy football on sunday afternoon. in that regard, i am pleased to hear you say -- without just looking at the past problems, the idea of which was to give the regulatory authority for new things, but we had people worried. first of all, we voted.
second of all, the there was a technological production for rapid trading. where are we on those? there were legitimate concerns over dangers from those. i am pleased to say that we did give the regulators the appropriate authority to look at those. what is the status of looking at what the impact could be on the rapid trading? >> mary schapiro is taking the lead in the council in examining developments in the areas that you referred to. she has a process underway with rapid growth funds to examine the risks and looking at the market structure issues and high-frequency trading. i do not precise the recall when she expects to talk about it, but she is all over it. you are right to emphasize again that one of the jobs of the council is to look at areas of
rapid growth without testing to make sure that we can move a little more quickly than the system moved in the past. can i briefly respond to something that you said in your comments? >> the chairman allows it on your own time. i assume i meant the chairman that was culturally me. >> this morning i said that one of the big challenges for the economy as a whole now is the risk that the period of appeal took too much risk. i think it is true. the natural thing beyond a crisis is people pulling back with to much excess caution. we have to be worried about that as we go through this. the general observation -- do we want to have people taking these risks that will be helpful as we recover?
we have been very careful to make sure that as we design tougher rules for the system, that we are designing them sensibly. >> mr. secretary, what you are saying is that the ", if you look at the u.s. economy today, the biggest risk that we face is institutions not taking enough risk. >> think about it this way. consumers still have too much debt. savings rates are more cautious. supervisors, you said it. supervisors that have been burned are tough now. banks are being cautious as well. you want to make sure that people are not overdoing it.
you do not want to much tightness following too much of looseness. >> mainly with the regulators to restrain the banks and actually question many of their loans -- >> i tend to agree with that. the problem is a lot with the people in the field. i also ask you to report anything that has to do with the statute. i do agree that there is a mindset among some of the people in the field that is problematic. >> we are all three agreed. >> thank-you. you and i agree about the need for higher capital standards. we have talked about in the past. we agree on regulating
transparency and being a component of the equation. i think that my concern, as i have expressed it to you before, we are taking our eye off of the ball and instead pursuing this course of micromanaging the financial sector without the international community really biting into the approach that we have laid out. you are right to say that the regulatory committee in europe says they will buy the approach, but that is not what is happening in country. i think that the concerning comments by the ceo of a large foreign bank, who called the u.s. approach to derivatives a terrific opportunity, he said it was one of the biggest bone goals in financial market history. he said the agents did not need to do anything to gain an advantage. this is the type of press,
advertisements, basically, being made. when you think about the fed chairman's own comments on this point, he says that portions of the proposed derivatives rules could create a significant competitive disadvantage for u.s.-based institutions. so, the farther we get from passage, the less likely it seems that europe is going to finally follow us. asia has already flat out rejected many of the reforms we have instituted. will treasury commit to ensuring that, if we cannot get that concurrence, we will hit the pause button on some of this micro-management until we bring them online so everyone is on the same playing field and we do
not have to worry about the competitiveness issue? >> the fed chairman is right to point out that there are provisions of the law, where because of how they treat the foreign operations of u.s. affiliate's, that could cause those problems that we are worried about. i would say that in general, based on what our counterparts around the world are saying, i am more encouraged than i thought i would be at this point. i will just give you one example. we have had three decades of experience with global capital standards. not excellent experience, frankly, but we did start 30 years ago. no such a regime existed under those derivatives. but what we propose that legislation was passed was a global regime on margin for initiatives. we found very strong support.
not just from european system, but from the asians as well. we will keep working on it and making sure that we tried to sequence and design the rules of the united states so that we are not in the position of landing before we are confident that the others will land. we are not going to do this on trust. we will verify and make sure that we are all over it. >> i have another argument here that will give you endive pause. we agree on this as well. it is no surprise that the international community, really, is pushing back on this. they look at us and say that the u.s. cannot even get their international coordination right. these are wildly divergent views here. >> i do not see it quite that way. i will reinforce your point.
we left in place a very complicated set of agencies with overlapping responsibilities. making the coordination challenge much harder, but much more important. i do not know that it was a mistake, but you said that he would do it. if there was no alignment among them, you are right to say is there a look at 50 different items at the moment? we want them. we are a congress where the statute permits it. we want them to be borderline. until we get there, it will be hard to figure out how to get the europeans there. we have to be very cautious. to quote a former fed chairman, the capital market for march to london.
>> i am reasonably encouraged at this point that we can prevent that, but we will be working hard at it. if we are sort of off and a little bit here, it is hard to get the world to come to a common center. but you are right to emphasize this. the sec and the fed are working to the same objective. >> thank you. >> miss water? >> thank you very much. i would like to draw your attention to something that is going on in this country that i think is extremely important and needs to be addressed and recognized. there is an occupation on wall street in new york that is taking place.
protesters are going -- growing every day. today, in washington, d.c., we have an organized protest. in many other cities across the country, they are basically reciting their concerns. concerned that 1% of americans do not pay their fair share taxes. they're worried about the banks to be bailed out. and in this economy, with small business services, they are not modifying loans on these mortgages. in addition, they talk about the $1 trillion that the fed used on
other well-connected businesses and institutions. bank of america announced that they would charge a $5 monthly fee. for these deficit cards. charging up to $20 per month for checking account. they said no one is going to jail as a result of cause and the financial crisis. of what do you think? have you said anything about these protesters? do you support them? do you recognize them? do they have a real beef here? you are the treasurer. they are angry at all of us. i do not want to imply that they are angry simply at you. but you run the money side of the government. what do you say about these protests? do you support them? >> i was in new york on tuesday.
i will tell you what i said then, of which was i think you see reflected their, as across the country, a deep sense of concern about the fact that 9 million americans are out of work. we have seen a huge increase in inequality and a rise in poverty. i think that 40% of americans born in the united states today are born to families eligible for medicaid. many americans are -- one out of eight americans are eligible for food stamps. you have seen a dramatic change in this generation in terms of doing a better job for meeting the needs of middle class families. that is what i say to them. i think that is why it is so important that we are working to
improve confidence. not just in the quality of public institutions, but also that we can find a way to get congress to do things for the economy now. if congress does not act this fall to do things to help get more americans back to work, then you are going to be causing much more damage to an economy. >> some of us have been wondering for a long time -- what are you saying about personal writedowns? what is the the issue in this debate? what can you do to get the banks and financial institutions that caused this meltdown to do something about keeping people in their homes? that is a big issue. where you stand on that, mr. kellner -- mr. dieter -- mr.
geithner. >> about 4 million americans get their payments restructured and reduced significantly. as part of the program, we have a targeted program for principal reduction that has frank we had very little pickup. partially because we do not have the power to compel the biggest parts of the mortgage market. fha is provided by law. fannie and freddie, we have been unwilling to move in that direction. but we have been supportive of it. we put a fair amount of care and resources into it. >> my time is up. would you like to give the message to the protesters as lies you have that national attention? >> i would say what i said. >> yes?
>> we all need to do a better job of demonstrating the responsible body in congress. without that, you will be living with more pain, poverty, fear of the future. >> i do agree that the demonstrating in front of congress and the white house. i think that they misdirected their protest at the wrong city. >> well, i did not imply that. [laughter] >> i was talking about everything they said about job killing regulations. >> good morning, mr. secretary. i notice that in your testimony
you worked in a reference to the president's latest economic plan, where you speak about job relief. it is important, from one perspective, according to the job here is that i speak to in texas, when you combine temporary tax relief with permanent tax increases on the other hand, you are not likely to create too many jobs. at the same time, we would point out that the payroll tax relief and the president's plan, although they could be meritorious in a certain context, we have a simultaneous plan to deal with the and solvency of medicare and social security by paula -- barring from the payroll tax in this program. the question that have is you assert in your testimony that in
the president's plan it would raise economic growth by 1% to 2% percentage points. are these the same outside economists who said that the highest -- the president's original plan would make sure that unemployment never went past 8%? >> always a pleasure to debate these key questions. >> i knew that you were looking forward to it. i will make this argument that many on your side have been making for some time. if congress does not act on this. go up by roughly $1,000 at the
end of this year. we propose to extend and expand those tax cuts. tying them to long-term reforms that give people confidence. >> mr. secretary, i am merely curious. >> if you look at the broad range, the broad consensus is in that contention. >> unfortunately, time is running out. i was this a very trying to figure out what economists were saying. when i speak to a number of people that are smart business people, and you mentioned this in your testimony, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty and lack of confidence.
part of this has to do with the regulatory uncertainty in aid this during a writ -- dizzying array of rules that have to take place. we have had 62 new rules finalized. believe it or not, i am not trying to ascribe blame. and the question that i have is there still appears to be so much lack of specificity and uncertainty within community financial institutions that i speak to. what can be due to move this process forward?
>> if you talk to a community bank as much as i do but they were concerned, some of them, that they were under too much pressure from examiner's. hard to know and they were very successful in convincing of their privileged in many ways. and examiner's television of of what is necessary. -- examiner's go beyond what is necessary. >> ibm running out of time.
i appreciate that. i yield back. >> first of all, i would like to say thank you, mr. secretary, for your service. more than anyone, you probably understand how close we came to a total collapse in 2008. your leadership has been a great part of helping us to dig out of that challenge. from the ranking member who said that this was a gift from the other body, but on this side of the dial it was the credit card application bill of rights bill. they had many of the principles of level playing field. really, of making life better for the working men and women in our country and i would like to
take note that many issuers were not following these practices said that this bill alone last year and that want to say thank you for that. yesterday i was in new york. i met with some of the protesters. they were very angry. i could understand. they were angry about what had happened to them financially and their prospects for the future. what would you say to the
protesters if you were camped out in this room today about what had happened to them as opposed to what we had done to change their prospects for the future? as the report said to the possibility of the future, certainly, stabilizing our markets, bringing and balancing fair regulations to protect their pockets and their work in the future. something that is really important. i want to share with my colleagues, many of whom treat frank like this horrible. i call that the justification of the crisis never happening. one day after the senate vote, they said you might want to read this. they said that it passed out of
the senate yesterday. many leaders in the financial industry were aghast. they thought it would be the final opinion on the capitalist system. he went on and on and said that this came out in 1929, 1930, after creating the fdic, which have performed so brilliantly. i would like to hear what the report says about what americans can hope for and plan for in terms of a more stable future financially. thank you for your service. >> what the financial reform what does this established the basic protections we did not have to prevent americans from being victimized by fraud, abuse, but to limit station, and everything that brought down the american financial system.
it will be to the benefit of not just the average working family, but the kids in college that need to buy a house. we have all seen what happens when you get that basic challenge wrong. you should be demanding better results from washington to help the economy now. even with strength and reforms in the financial system, we have an economy that is not growing fast enough. we have got to ask to protect ourselves from those things and do things to make the economy better. i think that this argument you have heard about what is hurting the economy now being in excess of regulation is without
foundation. bruce bartlett held senior policy places in the staff representing ron paul and jack kemp. these are his words. in my opinion -- this is a thoughtful article. he says that by in his opinion, regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by republicans that allows them to use current economic problems supported by the business community each year -- a simple case of opportunism and not an effort to deal with unemployment, he cites this in context. he looks at the level of unemployment and the rate of growth and profitability in the sectors of the economy where we are trying to put in place health care, energy, and
financial-services. they say that there is no evidence that confined to support the proposition for better protections in those areas. damaging grove is growth that is slower than we would like. we are still healing from a general financial crisis. that is why we have more work to do. >> the gentlewoman from west virginia it is recognized for five minutes. >> welcome, mr. secretary. fsoc, one of its principal creations was to look at the systemic connectedness of our institutions. a big problem with what happened in 2008. would you say that our institutions are more or less of
systemically connected? >> obviously, they are closely tied. most importantly, they have more capital against risk and are funded more conservatively. in addition, there has been dramatic progress in making sure that there is much more conservatism in derivatives markets. for those reasons, it is much less likely that a particular shot would damage the strong as much as the week. >> would you say that the effects that we are seeing in your statements, the effects being seen from the european situation, which is building over and affecting our markets and institutions, does that not kind of play into this systemic issue? my thinking with some of these institutions is that they are
saying that one of the problems was that they were to systemically connected. why are they not unwinding both systemic relationships? maybe that would alleviate any kind of possible collapse, such as we sought. >> i think that we are moving in the same direction. to be realistic, banks and markets are always want to be terribly close the connected. there is no way to separate them. you need to make sure that there are much bigger cushions against risk that are less vulnerable to funding pressure. and that the markets will come together with a much stronger financial cushion. that done, much less of a risk of contagion. in a competitive market, you can
of this and handle these things. >> how close are you to designating mississippi? >> tuesday, next week, the council meets to consider approving new guidance that we give to the market on the criteria that we are going to use to determine -- >> when will that occur? with just another year? >> i do not think so. but we are doing what people ask. give us a chance to look at the criteria, and then when we have comments on them, people can plan. cuff >> once those are designated, whenever that is, these living wills, when are they do lie and?
>> i cannot speak to that. and moving more slowly than some of the deadlines required. but where we are slower, it is because we are trying to be sensible and correct, avenue and moving to gather. is a very complicated thing to do. in some ways, we recognize that being slow as bad. but slow is better when it comes to us more rules. >> the regulatory burden is coming up, obviously. i wrote you a letter. he responded. i appreciated that. asking you to weed out old regulations and streamlined.
basically, your final point is that i will seek ideas from council members on concrete ways that agencies can use this as a vehicle to improve coordination. so, really you are saying you have not done anything? >> not quite. but you are right in that we have about made much progress. when i first went and the bulk of things that had been built up what we generally do not do is go back and look of those men on top of us, not just more of the current system. >> f think my time is up.
is in and equality. this devilish so the issue could rebuild the principal amount of the bottom, which you in your assistance secretary agreed, would be helpful the cuban people in their homes. >> as i said in response to your colleague, we established that authority in the beginning. through the state and programs in directly to target principal reduction.
>> yes. >> so, why has more money now being used? >> because our programs directly only reach -- >> forgive me if i fail to grasp this. i am not secretary of the treasury. i did not work at the reserve by a new york. seems to me that if people are out there on washington and -- wall street and i see the conversation we're having here, saying that you think it is natural to get hundreds of billions of dollars and a sense of urgency for you and others to come here to the conference of the united states today. if the financial system is in gridlock, it will fail. then we need to give them the money. basically, the homeowners did not get very much.
i want to state for the record, that i voted for it primarily because i thought -- at least there will be some money so that people can stay in their homes. when you say something like -- there are a lot of people in poverty -- look, mr. secretary, people pick up the newspaper and a read stories that you talked to jpmorgan chase, morgan stanley, all the boys and girls on wall street, but you cannot comment when they put up a $5,000 charge at bank of america? " when they want you to speak. they will not return their phone calls so that they can get their mortgage mediated. what a response? >> congressman, i tried to say this at the beginning, but you would not let me. this administration put hundreds
of billions of dollars into the housing market. not directly, but related to the mortgages. there was a dramatic affect, helping people to refinance. it made a huge difference in easing the pain. we dramatically under-performed. why? we've will try to reach as many that as he can. we are frustrated by it, but that authorization does not capture the full scale of resources than we did for the banking system as a whole. >> thank you for that response.
at this time i will recognize mr. gary. then, mr. nuggenbauer. if members wish to go and vote, then come back, we can keep the question going. the secretary has agreed to be here until 3:45. and so as long as the question goes we will extend to the point that it is interrupted. most people do not want to. >> i have to say, i am taken aback by the comments from our witness. uncertainty being a canard on the pressures of the market? >> and not my words.
>> i know that you were favorably quoting someone, but if there was any more uncertainty, it would be the uncertainty that this administration would take this view, with a statute of 400, not as a burden of uncertainty and not on this marketplace. i would appreciate if you could provide me with half of a list of those community banks that do not come under dodds frank. i am not that i want. if you are saying that they appreciate not being under it, i would like the individual names of those bankers. for the ranking member to say that he has seen nothing that would raise the intermediation costs, obviously the ranking member has not been listening to
the testimony that we had before and after it went into effect. the other uncertainty in this, of course, has been a couple of other areas. you remember that we had a meeting back in april where we said we wanted to work with you? you said -- let's not have some time -- that was back in april. this was may, june, july, august, october. you may have told someone else the to our now coming up with it still. in a nutshell, when can we have a response to our april request? >> as you know, we have been a
little busy. we had a little crisis in europe. i am glad to hear that the debate is moving in a constructive direction. we are not stopping. if you want to come up with ideas, that is fine. >> the president came on television today to say that we are not working with him. we are all about working with him. >> i also said today again publicly that the burden is on us to propose a detailed plan. >> we also sent to a letter that just went to you, so i am not asking for immediate response, but with regards to the regulations out there, can we not have a road map in place
directed by and put it in the register? >> i had the same basic instinct. is a complicated path on timing. >> if you put it in the register as a time frame as something to go by. >> over in europe, you have urged the europeans to leverage their facility to issue eurobonds? >> not quite right, but go ahead. i will let you finish. >> if they were to do that,
these would be bonds issued by you end backed up by member states that cannot print their own money. some of them would connote that as a sovereign cbo to try to infuse capital into those marketplaces. my question on that is, if they were to do that, the fed would not be looking to purchase those? >> i do not think and now, as you know, there are members that have the right to borrow. >> the next request input and those banks over there, with the sovereign debt of those countries, essentially put on by
the swamp lines, connected, if you will, bia swap. is that something where it is good for us to be in that position? >> absolutely. these are presented to the ecb. there is no risk in them. we used to them once at a normal scale. we run a dollar-based dow international finance system. we are trying to meet that need. >> thank you. >> mr. b j i yield to mr. frank. -- i yield to mr. frank. >> the wizard of oz must be his favorite movie. the fact is, i never said that there was nothing in the bill that would constrain.
i am proud that we constrained credit default swaps from aig. restraining people from mortgages they should not making and selling them. but no one has pointed to is anything that would increase the lending standards for banks. secondly, i have to say, the administration, we have not done anything about gse's. when he blames the administration for the fact that this committee has not gone beyond, he makes paunches pilot looked like a stand-up guy. the fact is that the greatest inability to focus, and i know that they cannot do it without the administration, it is the most incredible story i have
ever heard, instead of a dog eating my homework, it is a unicorn that a by homework. people critical of the industry that never asked the administration. there is this huge court -- a huge break between reality and imagery. i thank the gentleman for yielding. >> mr. secretary, last month the treasury made its final round of investments in the small business lending fund. a grand total was just 13% of what had been set aside. only 332 banks across the country had access to the funds. mr. secretary, i truly, personally believe that the small business lending funds
era was that it wasted today's resources on yesterday's programs. it was the 2008, 2009, when small businesses were not able to secure access to capital. but, we did not do anything after we had passed be administered -- legislation. businesses had struggled to find credit. today they struggle more. so, you put the solution to a problem that did not exist. basically, you brought a solution to the banks. with interest rates effectively as zero and that the all-time high, banks have ample capacity to lend.
so, still, small businesses are struggling. when people try to explain why that is in the 1990's, we created 3.6 million jobs, why are we not doing that today? >> of this president and this congress did dramatic leadership with a huge number of things through the sba in the beginning. in addition, there were very substantial tax cuts at the early stage of that crisis. this bill was also very well targeted to make sure that there were no credit. you were right to say that the biggest problem for small businesses across the country was weak growth in sales.
the best thing that we can do about that in terms of credit is making the economy stronger. if congress were to enact those things, there would be more demand for product businesses across the country. the reason why you saw relative participation in this program was, partly, as you said, some banks have plenty of capital. the only applications were for one-third of the authorization. but only at half of those banks met the standard. it is less than we thought. you are right to point out that the most important thing that we do is to get the growth stronger to make sure that the demand is greater. >> thank you, mr. secretary. mr. dole? >> thank you for taking the time to be with us, mr. secretary.
one of the advantages of waiting for votes is that we get to ask the questions. the china currency bill that was currently -- that was just passed, representing a district that exports over $1 billion to china, obviously i am concerned over the ramifications. we have had the word from the administration about their plans. if this were to pass through, would your recommendation to the white house be to veto the bill or find it? >> repeating their language, to be careful, if the bill was a dance, congress would be sure to dress to raise the concerns over consistency for international commitments. >> typically with world trade? >> yes. i think that we all need to allow china doing the but what
is subsidized companies and a transfer for technology. we were very concerned about that. >> if the bill were to go, and sometimes you have the opportunity to say i want to address those things -- if the bill were to go in its current form to the president's desk, what would your recommendation be? >> in advance? we would want congress to address concerns over its existence and international commitments. >> i will let go down that, for reasons that you can appreciate. >> it has been made clear that they will not follow the united states on the provisions featured within regulatory reform.
more specifically, with sections 17. should this make you skeptical that they will not harmonize their rules with those of the united states? >> i am a little worried about that. but we could never expect the world to match us specifically. i think that we have a very good chance. the fundamental points of finance here and around the world with capital liquidity derivatives in the margin, we are going to work very hard to come to a common position so that we do not see that material shipped at a disadvantage of u.s. firms. >> regarding specific derivatives, the council went over them, so i will jump to something else. you are in the process of looking at those now. how many u.s. companies would
fall into that designation? >> rough estimate, i do not know yet. i will tell you what we are trying to do. we are trying to define the mixture of size and risk that we think gives us a closer look at those institutions and if they should be subject to the types of constraints we put on capital leverage. an important thing to do. we have a huge chance for risk outside of what banks are doing. it was devastating. we are trying to make sure that the scope of that authority will extend to institutions that fallout of those safeguards but need to be under them. >> we do not like to deal in hypothetical, but i know that there are specific companies that have filed chapter 11 and gone through bankruptcy organization. by definition, would this not
make them outside the designation? >> we have had decades of experience with banking and financial. >> i did not mean to say they do not. >> i meant we as a country. what we learned it as a country is that banks, institutions like banks, they borrow short, lend long, assets are liquid. those institutions require modifications to deal with them because of the risk that you sucked the oxygen out and they come crashing down. the way the bankruptcy works in a corporate context, someone has to build a lens into a financing will and you need to adapt that model, as we did, to give the special way to make sure that that same principle can be adopted with