tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 3, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
internet, it is increasingly easy to do that. it is a matter of having a balance. a person with a degree in engineering should not just spend four years studying engineering. in europe, college is much more specialized, because they do a better job inlike critical thint the high-school level. right now, enormous amounts of resources are going into the schools to reduce the dropout rate. the sources of the high dropout rate are not in the schools, but the communities and homes the children come from. at the same time, by putting emphasis on that, we are forgetting to do what we really need to do and has been lacking in american high schools. the first death in a good liberal arts education used to be reading james then a more cooper -- james fennermore cooper and learning how to
write in and say. in 1966, that was after the discovery of fire. i had to be able to write two essays that were grammatically correct and it was one point off for any misspelled word. we do not do that if we did, we would not be doing that in the first two years of college. >> -- host: what do you think of these free online class is that stanford and mit are giving? guest: well, there is no cost and you can do it online but you do not get the same education. i am somewhat skeptical. i think that universities have failed to adequately use their revolution to communication that has been provided by the
computer. there is an enormous resources faculty because it is like a production line. automation. it reduces the need for faculty. if you want to see resistance from npr did a piece just yesterday or the day before. they were explaining the benefits of liberal arts colleges. these are selective, well in doubt, expensive, where you go and discuss a book in a class with 12 people. they said there was no way to increase productivity. that is nonsense. you might not be able to have the senior seminar on the 18th- century french novel over the internet, but there are a lot of things you can do with the internet and what you can do with computers that, you know, have not been done. in other part of it is that universities can be quite exploitive. you get situations where a professor will be asked to do a course in front of a camera and
university will give him $2,000 to do the course. he would have to be out of your mind to go along with the contract like that. that occurs. universities will decide that because you teach at their institution, you cannot use your image in online education, even though that is not different than consulting for a corporation, which is permitted. you are required their permission. they are blocking competition. this would benefit students and parents. universities are in couple as the employers that require too much education. talking about those kinds of reforms is very difficult. --st: a comment to -- jenny is on the phone from
mesa, arizona. good morning. caller: the professor might just be talking himself out of a job. he is making so many good points. guest: may i? seeing today before this camera is why we should have tenure because i would not be possible without it. caller: absolutely. people need to start thinking more critically about their education choices. for instance, in high school, you can take college credit courses for free. i encouraged my niece and nephew to do that. what we are seeing in arizona is so many children are home schooled. i am concerned that their parents are doing that so they can get around immunizations and things like that. i do not know how those people can afford to go to college. i think the student loan crisis
is almost like the housing -- the mortgage crisis. you are giving loans to people who are not employed and taking a degree that does not necessarily translate into a profession. then, they are unable to pay them back and then when they are unemployed, they get a deferment on their loan and it is almost like -- if i have to go to work, i pay back my lunch and if i do not, there is a deferment. there is a built in the firm and so you do not have to pay your debt right away. guest: you raise some important points. the basic idea behind student loans in the beginning was we did not have a lot of graduates. when i went to school, they were available. they started giving them out of around 1960. at that time, less than half of the labor force in the u.s. had
even a high-school diploma. there were fewer college graduates. if you got a diploma, you were guaranteed a good job unless you were a difficult person to live with. the idea was you loan somebody money with a business -- loan somebody money and grant value. they would be able to pay it off if they got a better job. that evaporated because it created so many college graduates. a lot of people do not have a business plan for their student loans. ibarra more than the potential earning power of the diploma they are receiving -- they borrow more than the potential earning power of the diplomat they are receiving. where you get a diploma from makes a difference. while it is possible to the indigent after receiving a degree in french literature, a history, you are much more likely to be indigent if you get one from a small one
that is not well known. people borrow more money to go there. asked them why and -- ask them why. i blame high schools and the culture in american education. when i grew up, i read about child labor abuses in new york state. that was a good thing. i also read about and wrote essays about carnegie, thomas edison, the wright brothers. we developed an interest in business, commerce, engineering coul. today, they read my angelou. they want to study social history instead of the very interesting and lucrative disciplines. host: our c-span bus is in north
carolina. we continue programming over the next few days in our travels through the state. you can get information at c- span.org. we have a question. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask a question. in your article of why johnny can pay his student loans, it seemed like high school students are not properly prepared to enter college. speaking as an early college student and, i am completing my associate's degree while in school, what do you think -- what advice would you give administrators and legislators as they are looking to improve the quality of education while still having to work with budget
cuts into salaries and education as a whole? guest: one of the things we have experienced is education is the stepchild to health care. budget cycles -- they a higher education including community college -- higher education aid has been cut. but it will not be increased. colleges and universities have cut the technical programs. they have not be limited them completely but the number of seats. for example, students cannot get into nursing programs. they are rushing into some kind of liberal arts because it is better than no education at all in the eye of the student. one of the reason this has been going on is because medicaid has taken a growing share of state budgets, even as states have
looked in ways to increase their tax base. they take more income from taxpayers. as i said, a great deal of education reform has been focused on basic skills. adding more resources for basic skills. i challenge america's administrators -- why were we able to adequately educate people in reading, writing, and arithmetic in 1950 in 100 school days of six hours per day but that no longer seems to be possible? what has changed? it is not a matter of resources, it is the process as we undertake. one thing we need to do in case 12 is bring back things like this to be to the education and start to look at -- the state employment office, do they need to have a college graduate to
place people? there are a lot of jobs at the state level that do not require a college education. in my university, these metal level administrative jobs -- you find somebody with a master's degree and they are scheduling and things of that nature. with some training, someone with much less education can do that. i will hear about that. if the high schools did their job and there was a good test, then we could do that. we are not only paying too much for education, we are paying for too much education in america. host: how do you respond to this? guest: what you have to do is
figure out what you do well and then find something where there is a job at the end of the pipeline. there are a lot of -- you want to get a good liberal education. going through life without a decent liberal education is not as satisfying. i have gotten more pleasure and satisfaction out of my liberal education than my technical knowledge of economics. however, you want to pick a field that will be a payoff. having gone to a community college, it is not likely you are going to be ideally. he will not get an english smith and end up as an analyst on wall street. if you go to a state college, you want to pick something where it is practical and there is a need in your area because most schools place within their area. host: kimberly is next. one of the student on the bus in
north carolina. caller: good morning. thank you for having us. they students -- many students entering college are older or non-traditional and have had careers and are having to retrain and compete for jobs because of their recession -- the recession. many of us have children and we have adults aging who need our care and borrowing money from them is not a reality for us. what is a real financial solution that you would foresee or recommend it for non- traditional students like me? >> -- host: tell us your story and why you decided to go back to community college. caller: i started school, i went to a small christian school and i loved it. i got really sick. i to get student loans and i
worked five jobs. i came home and i nearly died. in the process of being out of school and having to go back, i did not requalify because they thought that i was not qualified because i had been out of school for being sick so i did not get financial aid or scholarships that i had previously qualified for. i had to go into the workforce. without having a degree, i became a waitress. i wound up with a family. i had a son with special needs that kept me out of work. the employers do not want to put up with that. now, i have a stable home life and my son is doing better. i want to go back to school. i want to be able to provide for my family and said a good example that you are never too old -- no matter what life throws at you, you are able to do this and get a career.
you can compete in this economy regardless of what economics or environment throw at you. guest: you might not like my answer. you might aspire to have a bachelor's degree and most people do and that is a good thing. in terms of an economical route for someone in your circumstances, a lot of community colleges offer short programs in things that are practical. that might give you a quicker route to something that offers a better job and more hope and promise for your family. with that in hand, you might go to school at night at a state- sponsored institution where the tuition is not as high and get a bachelor's degree for your own satisfaction. the important thing is to interview the school rigorously. about their placement record and to get good examples of people that they have placed. host: let us go to fort
lauderdale, florida. good morning. caller: this has been an educational part of the program. you know, the issue is, let us get to the meat and potatoes. dollars and since. it is money. i am 64. i am relatively well-educated. i think that the higher educational facilities are bleeding our students. if someone wants to become a nuclear physicist why are we dealing with things like taking ridiculous courses such as art appreciation or british literature? i was a credit short and i ended up taking archery. it cost me a pretty penny. i could get a job as william tell on a broadway production.
i spent well over 10 years with a very well educated elite and got her ph.d. from harvard. it was entertaining. we have gross differences in opinion. i think that the process fine- tuned itself -- they could chopped thousands of dollars off the tuition expense. host: thank you for the call. guest: in the initial position that many people have, it is often their ability to do a specific job. if you have a technical deployment, you will get a better specific job because of the scarcity of people and he will do better. many people are happy and so it goes. they remain engineers at the boeing plant forever. if you move up into more supervisory capacities and into the company, you know, then having a broader view of the world is very helpful. i need to lot of senior executives who never become president and ceos because they
do not know much about other than refining and running a supply chain. producing a nice column in a newspaper as opposed to setting up an entire newspaper and making a marketable. that is where a good group of large education comes in. we are taking too long to get it. we are wasting the second two years of high school. we are not really giving students the kind of general education they need so they can become more specialized, more rapidly, when they get to college. it used to be you could go to law school your senior year of college. instead of seven years of tuition, it was six. it is hard to do that. medical schools will not do it at all. we really should begin pressing education more by demanding more students -- decompressing education more by demanding more students to do less things.
they require everyone to do committee service but they end up moving potts around old folks homes and we call it a service project. there is a lot of wasted energy in this system and also, you try to cut down the curriculum or compress it and it is a political process. it has to be approved by the senate and the under subscribe department are very good at lobbying for requirements. host: this week -- this tweet -- guest: universities have americans where they want to. the higher they are, the morris likely the child would get a decent job. you have to go to college to get a decent job because -- they are using market power to their
advantage. a culture has developed in american universities which is similar to the culture that existed in the detroit 3. it is impossible to cut costs. also, the university is a special place and produces a special product that they should not be subjected to the ordinary restraint of the marketplace. frankly, universities are run for the faculty. they like to spend time doing research and not teaching. that is filtered down to basic colleges where it used to be professors were teachers. professors do not spend enough time in the classroom. universities are overly administered. they have too many meetings. i cannot tell you how many people -- how many times we we designed a first-year curriculum. when the reality is, we did not need to. we were filling up time. host: an economics professor at the university of maryland, author of 18 books.
a frequent guest on c-span and other networks. thank you. guest: a pleasure. >> we are live in portsmouth, virginia with the crofton industries business. we are hearing from mitt romney and virginia governor bob mcdonnell. also expected is michele bachmann. she is expected to endorse governor romney. she has endorsed -- released an endorsement. we expect this to get under way. it is running a little bit behind. we will have that live on c- span once it starts. this is portsmouth, virginia. we will show you part of this morning's "washington journal." host: we go to the phone hacking scandal. we welcome the executive director of the citizens for responsibility ethics in washington. good morning.
and, the washington correspondent for the daily telegraph. thank you. it has been an investigation we have been covering curette c- span but it has been under their radar in most of the mainstream media. what has been happening? host: guest: -- guest: they're looking into two many areas. wrongdoing and tabloids. phone hacking. the bribery of public officials. secondly, a wider inquiry into the ethics and standards of the british media. it has culminated with james murdoch, the son of 4 per murdoch. >> indeed. they were summoned across the
media. host: here is a headline -- we want to talk about the impact in the u.s.. rupert murdoch is getting question as part of the involvement in the phone hacking scandal and also its impact on the news of the world. let us watch. [video clip] >> we appointed a special offer to look into this and to aid our cooperation with the police. when the police, after the charging of him, they said that was it and they were closing the files. i cannot believe they would have done that if they were unhappy with our corporation.
>> that is not the evidence we have had. we conclude that the law firm you mentioned produced one document, which we know not to represent the position at all. one way or another, the international being obstructed -- does that not shocked you? >> that shocks me deeply. i was not aware of it until you said that. host: that was from rupert murdoch. let us talk about this inquiry. this is with the support and guidance of the house of commons but it is a separate and independent inquiry. guest: there are several into the whole saga. the inquiry included in this week was a commons committee, which has been looking into this for two or three years. they concluded that rupert murdoch is not the same person
around the global media company. there is inquiry into whether murdoch should be able to run a satellite television company in britain that includes taking into account the findings of the commons committee. host: let us turn to the u.s. this is a headline from "the guardian." you have sent a letter to the fcc commissioner saying that fox's licenses should be revoked. why? guest: under american law, the fcc has a standard that only people of good character can hold broadcast licenses. when you are found to have poor character, you can have your license revoked. included within that definition is the fcc has found that when people have lacked candor, that has been a reason to revoke licenses.
mr. murdoch and his son, james murdoch, both lacked candor. the culture committee found that the testimony of rupert murdoch was barely credible. that is certainly something that the u.s. authorities ought to take into consideration when considering the murdoch licenses. host: you said the illegal actions of news corporation are not limited only to great britain. can i get your response? guest: -- host: in terms of how far this has spread? guest: the actions of news corporation have legal impacts in america because of all laws. news corporation is controlled by u.s. law. says, ite's group reflects on the parent company in new york and that reflects on
their ability to hold u.s. bonds. guest: there is a potential that the news corporation officials have violated the foreign practices act. there has been evidence that individuals have bribed officials in great britain and that would be an american company paying bribes to foreign officials, violating the foreign act. that is one clear set of violations. the inquiry in great britain received a statement from rupert murdoch's admitting this -- that he was cooperating with the department of justice on such an inquiry. there was a second into whether there was found hanging in the u.s. there was an allegation made last summer that a u.s. police officer had been offered money to obtain phone records of victims of 9/11. there has been an inquiry into whether there was hacking of
9/11 victims and some of their families have come forward and say they believe their phones were hacked. that is another inquiry going on. i think if that were true, that would be a huge scandal in america. host: let us talk about the fox operations. we are talking about the television broadcast operations, not the news channel. is there any evidence that robert murdoch or his operation did anything illegal in the u.s. in terms of these 27 fox broadcast outlets? guest: and all. -- no. mr. murdoch owns the license is and by doing that, the moral character standard applies to him. all the evidence that has been piling up for the past several years suggest he does not have the ability to retain the licenses. host: how big of a story has this been in great britain? guest: huge. one of the biggest of the last
50 years because it started seven years ago as a narrow incident, we thought, of a phone being hacked. it has come to the door of the prime minister. his spokesman was a former editor and had to resign. he has been arrested and is facing criminal charges. one of david cameron's top ministers has been embarrassed by the inquiry in the last few weeks and it does not get much bigger than that. host: in terms of the overall investigation, it is an economic issue because this came at the same time that the murdoch empire was looking to take the sky be -- bskyb under full ownership. guest: the newspaper engel was an embarrassment. the satellite television side was commercially damaging.
that is what they care about. they have had to drop their bid to take over the entirety of bskyb, the biggest satellite provider in great britain. they had been damaged by this. host: how unusual is it that david cameron would appear on monday at the request of his labor party leader? guest: very unusual. he was furious. his performance reflected the fact that he was glowing bright red. he was being dragged in front and have to answer. he was open to campaign in britain, but instead, he is being dragged into this ongoing mess which refuses to go away. host: let us go to the floor of the british house of commons. we carried this. prime minister, david cameron. [video clip] >> i am a defender of the
premium of the press in this country. it is one of the central pillars of robert democracy. the relationship between politicians and the media has been too close for decades. the inquiry, which this government has set up, gives parliament and politicians of all parties the opportunity to get this right for the future. already, we have introduced transparency about what happens with the media. everyone can see which proprietors i meet with publicly or privately. like other party leaders in or country, for decades, i have tried to convince media outlets to support the policies of my party and now my government. let me be clear that there was not and there never has been any grand bargain between the conservative party and rupert or james murdoch. indeed, look for one moment at the number of meetings that tony blair and gordon brown had with rupert murdoch when they were
prime minister. tony blair 7, brown, 13 me, for. -- 13, me, 4. the idea that there was an agreement and we work allowing this merger to go through is not true. >> mr. speaker, the reason why it is essential for the prime minister to come to the house today is that the culture secretary is in clear breach of the ministerial -- and the prime minister stands by and does nothing. he asks why this matters. it matters because we need a government that stands up for families, not their rich and powerful. he is failing that test. host: let us go back to this story and how it has touched the royal family. >> follow this online at c- span.org. we go live to portsmouth, virginia. we are with mitt romney and congressman -- congresswoman
this is what victory looks like. take a look around. we're all here together to have a welcome party here for the next president of the united states, president mitt romney. [applause] i am honored to be able to be here to introduce not only governor bob mcdonnell, the dow average was governor of virginia, but also -- the fabulous governor of virginia, but also to lend my endorsement to mitt romney and/or president to take the country back. >> thank you. >> i think, for all of america, this is a very simple proposition. president barack obama,
president mitt romney. you decide. very easy. [applause] barack obama, in 2008, decided he was going to be the one to turn the economy around and create jobs and prosperity in the u.s. he made a remarkable statement, if you remember. he said, if i do not deliver and turn the economy around in 3.5 years, i think we are looking at a one term proposition. i think we are looking at a one term proposition. [applause] because, this is not personal. this is about having a performance review after 3.5 years. when you look at 38 plus months
of unemployment above 8%, and a doubling of american energy prices at the pump, when you look at debt accumulation in excess of five trillion dollars under his watch, there is no question and that americans would go to the polls and they will be saying, mr. president, you are fired. instead -- [applause] and instead, we will sell only stand for someone who believes in america. who believes in our children. who believes in the hope of opportunities for this next generation. i want you to know that you are looking at three people who are parents of five children each. when you have parents of five children, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future. here in the state of virginia,
this is a state that has a wealth of resources right offshore. it is called energy. energy resources that are our future. i return from afghanistan visiting our brave men and women, who are fighting on our behalf. [applause] when i returned, i went to the city of dubai and doha. doha has the largest gasification city in the world -- facility in the world. you think that streets are lined with gold. there are more skyscrapers that are being built. i thought to myself, this could be the united states if we would only legalize american energy. we know -- [applause] we know what barack obama's formula is for american energy.
it is to bottle it up. it is to get checks or billions of -- gift checks for billions of dollars to other countries. not so of president mitt romney. his future for america would be a legalization of american energy. the legalization of millions of high-paying jobs. that is our future. that is why we must elect mitt romney as the next president of the united states. [applause] and, your wonderful governor, bob mcdonnell, is doing everything within his power in the state of virginia to make sure that virginia becomes an energy producing state, a state that stand strong on national defense, and governor bob
mcdonnell deserves every amount of applause and appreciation that we can give him today. please welcome your governor, bob mcdonnell. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you, congresswoman bachmann. thank you. good afternoon. [applause] for those of you not from here, welcome to the most friendly state in america, the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] welcome to the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the south. [applause] as good as it is, imagine how much better we will be off with president mitt romney. [applause] let me just say thank you for all the leadership and energy you brought on the campaign trail and for your endorsement of mitt romney today.
it means amount -- it means a lot for his campaign. thank you. [applause] it, thank you to our great hosts today. [applause] they are creating lots of jobs. we are so glad to be here. so good to see our center wagner -- senator wagner and others. thank you for coming. [applause] i want to say to those of you wearing the patriotic hats having served in the navy or the army or the air force the coast guard, virginia has more veterans than any state in america. 830,000. thank you for your service and for supporting mitt romney. [applause]
i can tell you that the reason they are supporting you is because of the sign. you believe in america. they do. they understand freedom is not free. it has been purchased at a price for 200 years by the blood, sweat, and years. we understand that in hampton roads. we understand that this president has not always taken care of veterans. he has not made the best decisions for the u.s. he has cut our investments in defense. you will see a change in our support for the military and veterans with president mitt romney. i can assure you of that. [applause] remember three and a half years ago, we heard about hope and change? what we have? [laughter] we have recession and division and malaise. it is time for a change. do you think so? [applause]
this really is a historical election. everybody believes it. everybody is here today because you want to fight for it. we have a different invasion of mitt romney versus the record of barack obama. that is a record of broken promises and not doing what he promised three and a half years ago. we were promised that we would see a reduction in job losses and new energy resources. all of the above. all these things. we have not got it. we have unemployment now at 8.2% for 38 consecutive months. governor romney has said that maybe the best barack obama can do, but that is not the best that america can do. do you think so? [applause] i hate to say, but the president
does not understand free enterprise. i do not think there is anything more that this administration can do. they think to regulate your way to success and that is the key to american free enterprise. that is not. mitt romney understands the american dream because he has lived the american dream. he wants to restore this great opportunity for society that ronald reagan has talked about. if you work hard and dream big, you play by the rules, you can be anything you want to be in the united states of america. [applause] that is the vision we will have with mitt romney. he understands the basic concept of math that this president does not. if you spend more than you take in, you go broke. that is where the u.s. -- we have an unsustainable and immoral debt. 15 trillion dollars. this president has raised it 5 trillion dollars. his budget takes it to 25
trillion dollars by 2020 when. yet to be honest and say when the bills are due, we cannot afford it. we have to do what businesses and families are doing, live within your means and set priorities. republicans have done it across the country. mitt romney did in massachusetts. he did not raise taxes. he turned around the olympics. he will do it in 2013 for the u.s. [applause] the congresswoman talked about the critical issue for our area of the state and for america in general. that is the whole issue of energy. and being able to use all of our god-given natural resources to be able to reduce our reliance on foreign countries. we have them all. we are an energy rich nation but we act like we are energy poor.
we need a change. we talk about -- we heard him say in his rhetoric and all of the above approach. what i'm seeing as governor of virginia is we are a leading coal-producing state and we cannot get the permits we have to open new coal mines. we are in natural gas state with natural gas being one of lowest prices in over 10 years. we get constant obstruct and here we are trying to build and drill new wells because of the opposition to hydrocracking. and we are an energy capital when it comes to that -- energy capitol when it comes to the nuclear industry. we said that industry back because of the president. we estimate us the first state to drill for oil and natural gas and he said nel. not until after 2017. or until the next president. that is the kind of response we are getting from this administration.
mitt romney understands and all of the above approach to industry. he will make sure that our resources above and below the ground are all used for the benefit of america. he will make sure we have the ability to have clean and safe environmentally acceptable drilling for oil and natural gas right here off the virginia coast. [applause] and, that will mean an explosion in our ports and our shipping industry and a whole lot more jobs. i can assure you of that. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, i am thrilled to be standing next to the next president because he is somebody who gets it. when the top issues facing america are jobs and the economy, and getting debt and deficit under control, and leading, this is the man you want. we have a surplus in washington. that is true. a surplus of rhetoric and a deficit of results. that is what we have in washington, d.c. right now.
mitt romney will take responsibility. he has a plant here he will be a tremendous leader. -- he has a plan. he will be a tremendous leader. please welcome a man of great faith and perseverance that will make america great again, the next president of the united states, mitt romney. [applause] >> thank you. wow, thank you. what a welcome. what they said this is. this is america. this is how it works. this is democracy in action and free speech. a great flag of the commonwealth of virginia. a great flood behind us of the greatest nation on earth. what an honor to be here with you today. thank you for opening up. to have this facility opened up and i do not know how you got to fly up there but i appreciate it. these guys are taking care of
you and letting us talk. i appreciate their support. i am delighted to be flanked by your governor, one of the greatest in the history of this commonwealth. what a phenomenal year he is. -- leader kias. what a powerful leader michele bachmann is. what a pleasure to have their endorsement. [applause] politics is under way. it is under way again. he will hear it all right here in virginia. this may well be the state that step -- the state that decides who the next president is. the president will be here on saturday. >> boo. >> he is kicking off his campaign. you can expect a lot of blame. he will be pointing around because he does not want to talk about his own record and his own failures. he will try to find other people
to blame. he will be talking about his presidents and congress. he will not mention the democrats controlling both the house and the senate with a super majority for the first two years. he will not mention that. he will blame congress and atm machines and a tsunami. he will talk about things that resulted in the fact that a guy who promised he would keep unemployment below 8% has out -- has not been under that sense. he promised he would make things better and now we have 23 million americans out of work. or stopped looking. or people who have jobs beneath their skill level. it is unacceptable. it is unacceptable this president has failed us. this is a president who, at the democratic convention, stood in front of great columns. he will not be doing that. he will not want to remind us of greece. [laughter] he will not want to talk about the five trillion dollars in public debt he put in place, which is almost as much as all
of the prior presidents of america combined. this is the record of his presidency. when he spoke in colorado at his nominating convention, he said that they measure democrats different -- the measure success differently than republicans. he said he measures progress by whether we are creating jobs and allowing people to pay mortgages. he has seven creating jobs and by a record number, people have not been able to pay mortgages. he also said that he measures progress by whether incomes are going up or down. they have been going down. the last quarter years, the median income in america has dropped by 10%. three draws in dollars per family. -- $3,000 per family. he measures progress by whether people who have an idea are willing to take a risk and starting a business. guess what? that number of businesses being started up have dropped by tens of thousands. this is not a record of success. his failures are wrong.
one of his serious a failure was -- one of his failures was to make energy more expensive. that is because of his policy. he has cut back on the number of licenses by 50% given to drillers. his policies have made it harder for us to take advantage of our energy resources. right here in virginia, the idea that you have a powerful energy right off the coast that you could be creating good jobs right here in virginia and providing resources and reasonable costs to people of america, that has been lost by a president who said no. the department of interior says they are studying it. it does not take -- it did not take them very long to get the money to solyndra. they have not been doing what they need to do to create jobs. the president was speaking about another matter that affects the people. he spoke against right to work
legislation. right to work was. the right of people to choose whether they want to be in the union or not. i believe that unions provide a source of value to our nation and have a real role in our nation. i also believe that people should have the right to decide if they want to join a union or not and should not be forced by government to do so. [applause] >> we have heard disturbing things from across the world. they suggest a potentially some very troubling developments. where an individual has saw freedom in a bastion of freedom, an embassy of the u.s. are we brought the people seeking freedom come to our embassy? [applause] -- are we proud that people
seeking freedom come to our embassy? our administration communicated a threat to his family. they published or sped up the process of his decision to leave the embassy. because it wanted to move on to a series of discussions that mr. geithner and our secretary of state are planning on having with china. it is apparent that our embassy failed to put in place the verifiable measures that would assure the safety of mr. chan and his family. this is a dark day for freedom. it is a day of shame for the obama administration. we are a place of freedom. here and around the world. we should stand up and defend freedom were ever is under attack. [applause] -- wherever it is under attack. [applause]
congresswoman bachmann said that you have a choice. america does. between reelecting barack obama or me. there is a dramatic difference between how we would leave the country. this president wants to lead it forward, so he says. if the last three and a half years are his definition of forward, i would hate to see what backboards looks like. [laughter] [applause] that contrast is clear. when it comes to energy, he says he is for all of the above. i tried to square that with the record that the governor described. the governor indicated he has made it harder to get natural gas, for coal, drill for oil. how could he be for all of the above? he is for all the sources of energy that come from above the ground. the energy sources that come from below, he does not like. if i am president, i will put virginia to work and getting
energy above and below the ground. [applause] there is another difference. he seems comfortable with trillion dollar deficit. i believe those deficits we've been nation to greece. -- lead the nation to graze. if he is reelected, we will be on the road for which we may not be able to recover and we will pass on burton's to our children that are not just unfair, but immoral. i will get america finally on the road to have a balanced budget. [applause] i will eliminate programs, cut programs, send programs back to states where they can be run more effectively, efficiently, and at a lower cost. [applause] it, the first and easiest program i will eliminate is obamacare. [applause]
[chanting] >> there is another place where we have a big difference. that is in our commitment to the military. this president has supported from a military strategy that has -- has departed from our military strategy that has been a part of our nation for decades. this was the capacity to be able to fight two wars at once. not because we want to but because we want to have the capacity to do so so we can dissuade people from doing things that are in america. we have had the strongest military in the world, thank heavens. this president, however, has cut
our military spending. do you know how old or new ideas? the navy is now -- our needy is? the navy is now smaller it then since 1917. our air force is older and smaller than any time since its founding in 1947. our troops are stretched to the limit. in the last two conflicts, the number of rotations were just breaking them. this president wants to reduce our number of active-duty personnel. reduce our shipbuilding. reduce our purchase of aircraft. my view is that reagan was right. a strong america is the best ally peace has ever known. [applause] my priority is very different than his. i will add ships to our navy. i will build 15 ships a year.
instead of cutting the air force, i add new aircraft is. instead of cutting the personnel, i will add 100,000 to our active duty personnel and make sure that our veterans get the care they deserve. [applause] virginians will not be fooled. the president becomes a friend of the veterans and military every four years you have seen the results of the last three and a half years and you do not want more of that. this is time for people in the military and people care about strength to stand up and vote for a change that put someone in office that will keep america strong to. i will. [applause] the president says he wants to transform america. i do not want to do that.
i want to restore the principles that made america the nation that is. [applause] the founders, when they wrote those words, were brilliant. they were inspired, in my view. they said that the creator had given us our rights, not the state or the king. [applause] among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. in america, we are free to pursue happiness as we choose. this love of freedom, political freedom, personal freedom, economic freedom, has led to the entrepreneurs of all time to build enterprises and improved products for our benefit. it has made america the most wealthy nation in the world. this president is crushing that with higher taxes and regulation. in obamacare. in paying for some of the things he wants to do with obamacare -- and paying for some of the things he wants to do with
obamacare by cutting military spending and medicare. the cuts we will take to bring back the size of government are right. we will get america back on track. [applause] get america back on track. there is one thing, one more thing that is really inexcusable in my view. that is as of president cast about trying to find someone else to blame for his record, he is trying to divide america. he is pitting one american against another. he is letting one type of person, blaming success. this is not a nation where we apologize for success or american greatness abroad. [applause] this is a nation when called upon in times of crisis, the american people rise to the front and do what ever is
necessary. we are united people. we come together in ways that are remarkable. and i have images that come to mind when i think about this country. one was an amazing experience from my experience in the olympics in 2002. as you may recall, i have the opportunity to go to utah to organize the olympic winter games after the worst scandal associated with them, charges of bribery and was in real trouble. i got the chance to go out there, and one were really had is whether we would be able to get the volunteers we needed. for a volunteer, you got no tickets, no pay, no vacation, and 17 straight days of work. by and large outdoors. we get 25,000 people to do that -- we needed 25,000 people to do that. can you imagine whether we would get anywhere near that kind of
number. we put on the website a place where people could register as volunteers. we put up the advertisement. it said something like this. no pay, no tickets, no glory. hurry up and sign some of the positions are going fast. after a few days, 47,000 people have signed up to be volunteers. what a country this is. [applause] nothing in my mind at stands out like the willingness of americans to sacrifice for freedom in one another like the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. i see this young man with a hat on the says world war ii on it. what all the members of and veterans of the armed services please raise your hand. i want to recognize you. thank you. [applause] look at this group. thank you.
i love this country. i love the spirit of america that draws people together in times of need. this is one of those times we need to come together. our party has and i think others will as well. one thing you can be sure of, i will mixture and everything i do group perspective principle of made is what we are, one nation under god. and i love america. thank you so much. thank you for your helping us win this. [applause] ♪ ♪ i was born free. ♪ ♪ free flights are river raging strong ♪
♪ >> mitt romney today getting the endorsement of congress woman michelle bachmann. mitt romney in democratic president obama have both raised about $1 million from virginia donor in the past couple of months. president obama collecting 992,000. that is according to data from the non-profit virginia public access program.
he now heads to illinois where he will host a fund-raiser in wheeling. the other republican presidential candidate remaining in the race, ron paul is on the campaign trail in california hosting a fund-raiser in rancho cordova and the town hall meeting in the town of davis. upcoming come alive programming looks like this. dan rather will recount his broadcasting career, including his dismissal from cbs after 44 years. this evening, he also talks about his thoughts on the future broadcasts news. that begins at 7:00 eastern. the libertarian policy selects its and national -- it's candidates shall person this year. this includes former new mexico governor and former republican
presidential candidates, gary johnson. >> sunday on q&a, -- >> i do not regard this as just a biography of lyndon johnson. i am saying this is the kind of political power. seeing what a president can do in a time of great crisis, how he gathers around, what does he do to get legislation going? that is a way of examining power at a time of crisis. i said i want to do this. i suppose it takes 300 pages. that is why i just said let's examine this. >> on the passage of power from a volume for and the years of lyndon johnson. this sunday at 8:00 on c-span q&a. look for the second hour sunday,
may 20. >> many of the questions at today's white house briefing dealt with the chinese activist, as this is being reported, the diplomatic predicament deepened when the activist now indicates he wants to go abroad, rejecting the deal that would keep him safely in china. a number of questions at today's briefing that just wrapped up at the white house this afternoon. >> good afternoon, everyone. i have a water and high decaffeinated beverage, because not only did i come back from a quick visit to a afghanistan
with the president, but last night i took my son to the capitals game and last longer than i expected. he had school this morning. and it was an epic game, throwing. i want to give a shout out to all of the fellow fans in section 103. awesome. there were great. there were really nice. and we will beat them next time. i have an announcement to make that i almost forgot about. as i think you have probably seen, president obama well visit washington high school tomorrow. arlington. there he will sit down with a small group of graduating seniors in their parents for a discussion about the importance of preventing interest rates from doubling on student loans. he will also deliver remarks to members of the general -- junior
and senior class is, as well as parents. there is an important votes coming up on tuesday, and we intend to keep up the pressure to vote. we hope it will realize now is not the time to fight political battles and get serious about working with us to assure more than 7 million students do not see their interest rates double on july 1st. that is my top of the briefing announcement. i will go to the associated press. >> a couple of questions on china. did he get out of china, which is now says is something he wants in the u.s. is willing to work on now? >> i appreciate the question. the state department is continuing to talk to mr. chan and his wife. the state department stated this morning it appears the view of what is best for him and them may be changing. obviously the situation is
evolving, so i do not have any comments on the details of discussions that are ongoing, both with his wife and chinese officials. we have state department officials in beijing involved in this matter as we speak. >> [inaudible] is he willing to risk perhaps damaging the broader relationship with china to take on this case or possibly face questions about whether he has geopolitical concerns, economic concerns? >> i will say two things to that. first of all, you are correct. this government and a frustration has meeting with chinese officials as part of their discussions. economic issues come security issues and issues of human rights are always raised.
you may remember president obama talked extensively about the issue of human rights in shanghai on chinese soil when he gave as beached there. that is always part of our multifaceted agenda when we speak with the chinese. all aspects of the agenda that we have and the relationship we have up with china will continue to move forward as we deal with the specific issue. i would note on the matter of human rights, not just -- we do not to speak broadly about human rights, but we have raised specific cases of human rights issues on occasion. >> is the president concerned at all that this case could [inaudible] some republican saying the president has responsibility for his safety. >> i can assure you the president is not concerned about political back and forth on this
issue. he is focused on the need to advance u.s. interests in our broadbased relationship with china. very important economic summit diplomatic relationships with china. he has and will continue to make it a priority in that relationship. an open and frank discussion about concerns of human rights. that is his focus. it is absolutely in our national interest for us to pursue that kind of broad based agenda with the chinese. to>> why release but unclassifid documents now? to cope the westport combating terrorism center release 17 al qaeda originated documents in the original era with translations and with associated commentary and analysis. the documents were covered --
recovered from the compound where osama bin laden resided prior to his death. they have been in the process of reviewing them. the government provided them to west point for analysis and public release. it is appropriate to do this, ctc has a strong reputation for scholarly work on our terrorism issues. the process of identifying and reclassifying them in reviewing and analyzing them required considerable time. it is also the case because of the renewed interest on this anniversary in the mission that led to osama bin laden's demise that this was deemed inappropriate time to release them. >-- if deemed inappropriate time appropriate time to release
them. it appears they have shaped views about what is best for him and his family. i think the state department has made clear in the discussions that he had with officials, state department officials at the embassy, he reiterated his firm desire to stay in china, to be relocated, and our efforts on his behalf were in accordance with those wishes to try to achieve those goals for him in our consultations with chinese officials. his views have changed, but i cannot comment on ongoing discussions by he and his wife are having with state department officials or those officials are having with chinese officials. to g >> the united states is speaking with he and his family right now? >> i cannot comment on them. this is a state department
issue. the nature of it. they might have more issues -- details for you. it would be inappropriate to give a play-by-play of those conversations and consultations. >> what were the nature of insurance is worth from the chinese government was before he was released to go i can tell you that mr. chen repeatedly made clear his desire was to stay in china and relocate. as part of that, we had discussions with beijing officials to receive assurances and did receive assurances that he would not be harassed upon release. we make clear we would continue to monitor his case and be in touch with him as time moves on so that we could raise concerns
if there were concerns that needed to be raised. beyond that, i would refer you to the state department. >> is the president concerned that this particular issue could have a wider impact on overall u.s./china relations? to g >> we have a broad base relationship with china that is multi faceted and has an economic trade component, security component, a regional component, as well as a human rights aspect. it goes beyond that even. we are pursuing that relationship across the board, and we will continue to do so. this is obviously a case that has done a lot of attention. fairly high-profile and exceptional, and we're working on that issue, but even as we do, we have a broad relationship with the chinese that we are continuing to pursue. >> he has made it clear in many
interviews with reporters that he wants to leave china with the secretary of state hillary clinton. is the united states willing to take him? >> as a said previously, there are ongoing conversations happening with mr. chen and his wife and chinese officials. those conversations are conducted by chinese officials in beijing. i cannot give you updates on the nature of those conversations. >> for questions about hypothetically seeking a political asylum, you would have to go to the state department. at the white house that is not an issue we handle. that is a state department issue. the questions about political asylum and how it can be requested would be appropriately addressed at the state
department. we are in conversations now. i simply cannot give you a moment by moment update on that, but as we have more information, they will make it available. >> what response does the white house have to human rights activists? those who say it appears the u.s. has left him behind, abandoned him? >> it is simply not the case. he made clear in his conversations with officials in beijing he wanted to stay in china. he was very clear about that, that he wanted to reunite with his family in china and relocate in china, and acting on that expression of his wishes, state
department officials negotiated with, consulted with chinese officials and reached the agreement that was reached. to go is it true that before he had a change of heart, the u.s. thought there was some sort of meeting of the minds to ensure the u.s. that he would be able to relocate, that he would be safe? and then domestically within china, there was a statement that suggested no such thing come out that the united states was acting in a way that was inappropriate? so that even before the change of heart, there was reason to question whether there had been a meeting of the mines? to go what i can tell you is the nature of the conversations come out more details of which can be provided at the state department, the desires he expressed, the attempt by state department officials to act on those wishes, to work with chinese officials, to have them
implemented in a way that provided mr. chen with what he was hoping for, and simply say that those assurances were received in the context of his stated desires. for more details come i think the state stated desires. >> when the chinese government says to the united states government, a trust us, he is going to be fine. does the u.s. government believe the chinese government? >> a few things. first, mr. chen said he wanted to stay in china. i will get to the second part. but late -- but let's make clear that that is what's mr. chen said he wanted, and throughout the conversations, as i understand it, that were held in the embassy.
acting on those wishes, u.s. officials, state department officials received the assurances and conveyed those assurances to mr. chen, and there was an agreement. we also made clear that we would continue to monitor his case in be in contact with mr. chen and would raise concerns about the case if there were concerns to be raised. again, all within the context of what mr. chen's stated desires were. >> that does not answer my question. the chinese government says trust us and he's going to be fine -- >> again, as part of the agreement we reached, we need clear we would continue to monitor this and we would raise concerns if concerns were needed to be raised. >> mr. chen also said, reportedly, that he felt pressured to leave the u.s. embassy because he was informed that his family might be in a some kind of danger or under some kind of pressure.
but the pressure he was feeling a parallel came from u.s. officials. >> i point you to the statements of several state department officials, including the ambassador. that is simply not the case. and no time did any u.s. official talk to mr. chen about threats to his wife for children, nor did chinese officials made such threats to u.s. officials. it was made clear that if c electedhen to stay in the embassy, -- if he decided to stay in the embassy, his family would be returned to their town. at no point during his time in the embassy did mr. chen ever request political asylum in the u.s. he has expressed his desire to stay in china to unify with his family and continue to work to reform his country. all of our diplomacy was directed at putting him in the best possible position to achieve his objectives. >> you are suggesting that at
best, he misunderstood. >> i am saying that there was no pressure of any kind placed on him by u.s. officials. >> because you said there were concerns to be raised, he said that his wife tells him he was tight -- she was tied to a chair, beaten by chinese guards after he turned up at the u.s. embassy. how can you believe the chinese government would be trusted to reunify the family of his wife was beaten? >> first of all, i will refer you to the state department. this is an issue they handle. >> this is about human rights. you cannot keep saying the state department. >> i can tell you very clearly that mr. chen made clear his desires. when a state department officials spoke with him in the embassy, he repeatedly made clear from the beginning that he wanted to remain in china and
that he wanted his stay in the u.s. embassy to be temporary. he indicated that he placed priority on reunification with his family, and he wanted relocation to a safe environment elsewhere in china. acting on his desires, state department officials had conversations with chinese officials to try to achieve them. and as part of that, as i said before, u.s. officials, state department officials, made clear that in the implementation of this agreement, we would continue to monitor mr. chen's case and made clear that we would raise concerns if there were concerns that needed to be raised. >> while we were on ensuring it, his wife says she was beaten -- -- while we were monitoring it, his wife says she was beaten. and they were calling hospital officials last night to get him food. after a few hours, they got some food. he said he was reaching out to
u.s. officials for help, and they were not giving it back to him. >> u.s. officials, state department officials, are in beijing handling this case, speaking to mr. chen, speaking to his wife, speaking to chinese officials. york reporters there are in a better place to speak with state department officials about this. i can tell you what our broad position was, how it was handled and why, and the fact that it was handled in a manner totally consistent with the desires expressed by mr. chen. >> a question about the president this weekend going to swing states. i hope it -- ohio and virginia. he has done a lot of officials events in these same states. what will be different this saturday when he holds these campaign rallies? >> he has taken a variety of trips to those states and others to talk about policy issues and to call on congress to act, for example, to prevent interest rates on student loans from
dublin on july 1, which will happen to 7 million -- to prevent interest rates on student loans from dublin -- willinhg on july 1, which happen to 7 million students. he has talked about others map -- and other matters related to his responsibilities as president. i will refer you to the campaign for more details about saturday's events. they are campaign even its, and they are -- they are campaign events, and their campaign rallies. >> in ohio, zero the and implement rate is actually better than the rest of the country. -- the unemployment rate has actually gotten better than the rest of the country. voters in ohio -- some of voters in ohio believe it romney would
do a better job in handling the economy. how does the president convince the american people that the economy is getting better when some of them are saying mitt romney would do a better job, even though the employment rate has gone better in that state? >> for specific end questions about -- >> he goes to ohio himself -- >> the president has and will make a case about the direction we need to move in economically in this country. we are still emerging from the worst recession since the great depression, the worst economic condition that i believe anybody in this room has ever experienced. and we have more work to do. there is no question that, even as things have improved from the situation that the president
confronted when he took office, a time when the american economy was shedding jobs at a rate of 750,000 a month, it is still the case that a lot of americans remain concerned about the economy, concerned about their own economic situation, and understandably so. what the president has made clear and will continue to make clear is we need to enact policies that will move us forward, that will continue as in the direction that we have been going, which is the direction that has led to 25 straight months of private sector job creation, 11 straight quarters of economic growth, as opposed to severe economic contraction and severe catastrophic job loss which is what confronted him when he took office. and he will, i am sure, i refer you to the campaign, but i can tell you that he will make clear continually that it is his strong conviction that it is the
wrong thing to do for our economy to adopt the very policies that got us into this mess in the first place. let me move around a little bit. >> after the student loan vote is coming up, what is left on the president's legislative agenda, and can he accomplish anything in an election year? >> elwell, there is still much to be -- well, there is still much to be done. we need to do something about he infrastructure buiill continues to meander its way through congress. one of the things we talk about repeatedly, the president has talked about repeatedly, is we need to keep those construction workers on the job. we need to ensure that we're funding infrastructure projects that are rebuilding our economic foundation. jobsresident's american
act had within it an element to fast track some of this infrastructure spending to help the employment picture, as well as create some of the necessary foundation for further economic growth. we need to act on the student loan provision that we talked about. there are a number of things we need to continue to do, and i think you'll hear the president talked about the things that congress needs to do in that he will do as president. even as we move forward. remember, in january i got the same question, how can we get anything done in this election year when there is so much partisanship and gridlock? the fact is, we did when congress was forced into a corner -- rather, house republicans were first -- were forced into a corner. and they acted.
house republicans acted finally, with the rest of congress, to ensure that unemployment insurance was extended. they acted on the jobs act and the stock act, and we expect them to put the ideology aside and to act appropriately to ensure that interest rates on student loans do not double on july 1. there are more things that congress must do to assist our growth and job creation to the fact that there is an election this year does not mean that people sent to washington by their constituents across the country can take the year off. they need to do their job. the president is eager to work with them and get things done to help the economy grow at helping to create jobs. >> was the white house not surprised about what happened with mr. chen? >> the white house, the
president, has been updated on developments in this matter and kept abreast of them. i would not characterize anyone's reaction to it. >> these discussions you're talking about, the ongoing discussions -- are they complicated at all because the fragile relationship the u.s. currently has with china? >> we had a very broad and deep relationship with china that encompasses a number of areas. i do not think i would agree with the characterization you just gave it. we have a relationship with china that ensures we can act on in areas where we can agree and we can be frank and clear in areas where we disagree, where we have differences. and that kind of dynamic, normal relationship is essential when you're talking about the united states of america and its
engagement with a country like china. as i said earlier, this is obviously a case that has garnered a great deal of attention and is getting to the attention from state department officials, but it is also the case that we are continuing to pursue our broad agenda with china on a whole range of issues. >> on the bin laden documents. when were they declassified? was that several months ago and week eventually found them to be released this week? >> i believe i gave a description of the process. i can take the question, and perhaps the ctc can give you more details about their process of analyzing them and comments in -- commenting on them and the release. the fact that there is renewed interest in bin laden because of
this anniversary was an element of the timing in releasing them. as the president said the other day, this is a highly significant moment in our recent history, the mission is to take out osama bin laden, the mastermind behind an attack that took 3000 american lives on a september 11, 2001. and it is a reflection -- that mission is -- was a reflection of the extraordinary capabilities, as well as the sacrifice and service, of our men and women in uniform, our men and women in the intelligence community. and the president is extremely appreciative for the professionalism that the success of that mission represents. it is also the case that al qaeda remains a threat to the united states. the defeat of al qaeda remains the principal objective of our mission in afghanistan, and it
is a continuing story. and the documents that were able to be declassified and released helping provide information to americans and people around the globe of our the state of al qaeda, when bin laden was taken out, the fact that that organization was under a great deal of stress, had been diminished but remained a threat and it remains a threat. >> [inaudible] republican member of the national labor relations board with allegations. does president obama have the power to remove that person? >> he is in contact with my office on this. i do not have an answer for you right now. >> i have another question about
chen. the state department is handling the question of chen. will you address whether the president has weighed in yet on what he thinks should happen or whether he is just getting updates from the state and is waiting for a full recommendation from the state before he makes his decision? >> the state department handles issues of political asylum if that is an issue here. second, i will not give the play-by-play of the president's internal deliberations within the administration or the white house specifically. so i do not have anything beyond the fact that the president has been briefed on this and kept updated about developments. >> the procedure for asylum in such a high-profile case -- >> i am saying questions about political asylum are not appropriately addressed from the white house. they are handled at the state
department. i would ask that question. i would address that to the state department. >> as you have said, mr. chen told state department officials that he wanted to stay in china. >> i said that i have seen it reports. >> given the dramatic several days he had leading up to that, is there concern that this was rushed, that perhaps state department officials should have given him more time? >> i refer you to the state department for the details on the conversations. the ambassador has spoken at length about this. the state department spokeswoman spoke about this but as secretary clinton has put out a statement about its. i think they have provided a pretty clear picture of the conversations, the circumstances, the agreement that was reached, and the assurances around that agreement. >> [inaudible] perhaps this should have been
given more time. >> we have been kept updated about this. we are obviously aware of the fact that mr. chen and his wife have expressed a change of view in terms of what they believe is best for him and his family. and we're working with them, discussing with them in beijing. officials there are discussing it with him and his wife on what next steps might be taken. conversations are taking place with the chinese. but i do not have details about any new developments. >> to syria. on thursday, there was another sign of the ongoing violence. the u.n. monitors are there. is there concern that that is not working? >> we do condemn the raid overnight of a peaceful student protest in allepo that was met
with gunfire, beatings, and the arrests of scores of people. this shows the regime's the legitimacy, and it underscores the need for political transition. we continue to hope that the kofi annan plan succeeds, and we're working to support it in every way possible. however, it is clear, and we will not deny that the plan has not been succeeding thus far, and the regime has made no effort to take any of the steps required under the kofi annan plan, including moving forward to the implementation of a full ceasefire. if this continues, the international community will have to admit defeat and work to address the serious threat to peace and stability being perpetrated by assad regime. if that takes place, we will work with the security council and our counterparts on the security council, as well as those outside the council
including the friends of syria. political transition is urgently needed in syria. it is certainly our hope that the kofi annan plan succeeds. we remain, based on the evidence, highly skeptical of shahzad -- assad's willingness to meet the conditions of that plan, because he has so clearly failed to meet them so far. >> another question on chen. you said you wanted him in the best possible position to realize his objectives. now that his objectives are different, does that still hold true? do you want to do everything you can? >> i appreciate the question. i will simply say that we're having discussions with mr. chen and his wife, as well as chinese official.
clearly, we're looking to take next steps based on the apparent change of view that mr. chen has about what is in his best interest moving forward. our diplomatic efforts in this case has always been focused, as i said before, on putting him in the best possible position to achieve his adult, the goal he stated repeatedly. we are -- to achieve his goals, the goals he stated repeatedly. i cannot predict the conclusion. >> i do not know what you want to dispel the impression that you might be trying to convince him about what might be best for his. >> first of all, you're characterizing something that i think you are guessing at. we have made clear, the ambassador has made clear, and others have made clear about
what those conversations contained. and i refer you to the state department's. the state department team is actively engaged in this process, and it would have the most detail on it. i would simply say that all of our actions have been aimed at putting mr. chen in the best possible position to achieve his goals. now that he has expressed a change of view, we will continue to have conversations with him about it and move forward. >> will you tell us if the president has spoken directly to secretary clinton about this? >> i do not know that he has, whether he has or not. he has certainly been briefed and updated by staff here. >> as he spoke to many chinese officials here or there? >> not that i am aware of. >> has he considered making any
public remarks on this? >> he was asked about its, but i have -- he was asked about it, but i had a scheduling announcements. >> what about his expectations and what he expects from the chinese government? >> he will allow these ongoing consultations and discussions to take place. >> if i can focus on the early part of the chen episode for a moment, the decision to actually go out and get him and bring him out to the embassy involved a high-speed chase with chinese security. one senior u.s. official has characterized it as sort of a " mission impossible" kind of operation. i am concerned about so aggressively acting on behalf of someone, going out into the city and allowing cars to be chased by security officials, set some
kind of presidents about how the u.s. feels about the dissidents? -- set some kind of precedent about how the u.s. feels about the dissidents? the u.s. very aggressively went out. >> i think that is an interesting question. i would note at the outset that cases with dissidents and requests for political asylum, there are processes in place at the state department to handle those. i refer you to them for those policies and how they take shape and how they are implemented. as to the details of this rather extraordinary case with the exceptional circumstances, i think the ambassador has disgusted -- disgus -- discussed it. it is a high-profile dissident who was seeking medical attention, and he was provided
that attention at the embassy. >> in light of the extraordinary nature of this case, will there be a review of the procedures? >> the procedures were developed and implemented by the state department. i would refer you to them. >> [inaudible] >> i do not have a list of all of the the conversations. i am not aware that he has. but i do not routinely give a list of his daily conversations. but i can simply tell you that he has been regularly and adequately updated on the situation. there have been briefings and consultations on it. >> what do you think it says about the chinese government in general? >> i think we have a broad and multi-faceted level of engagement with china. where we have differences, we
make clear those differences. we discuss them openly with chinese officials, and that will continue to be the case. >> [inaudible] in moscow on tuesday, talking about the defeat. [inaudible] >> he is there to have discussion on a broad range of issues. i do not have a specific list of them, but he is going to be having discussions on the broad range of issues that we engage on with the russians. >> does the white house have a sense yet of how the new putin administration will treat the idea of a reset? >> i would say two things. one, the president addressed this when he met with president medvedev recently in seoul.
i think he addressed that issue also when they met at a bilateral meeting in hawaii as part of his asia trip. as an observer of russia, i know you know that our policy towards russia, our engagement with russia, the recent policy, if you will, is proceeded with medvedev and putin in power. we continue our relationship with russia in accordance to our interest. where we have disagreements, we talk about them openly and clearly. and we continue to pursue, as we have for the past three years, areas where we can enhance and deepen our relationship and work together internationally on issues, whether it is iran or afghanistan, and i think that will continue.
>> [inaudible] differences on syria between the u.s. and russia at the g-8? >> as i mentioned before when answering a question about syria, so far implementation of the kofi annan plan has not succeeded and is not succeeding. if it fails, there will be a need for consultation with our security council counterparts. i believe secretary clinton has discussed this. obviously, that would include the russians. what has tragically been made clear by assad's continued brutality, since the russian and chinese a veto of the resolution, is that the bad actor here is clearly the assad regime. that is evident to anyone watching this situation. i think that would be a point of discussion if the kofi annan
plan fails. >> i am curious about the logistics as the president moves into campaign mode. every incumbent has at the obvious white house support. speechwriting, will that transferred to the campaign for these political trips? advancing these sorts of things, how is that going to be -- >> it will be done in accordance with rules that have been in place for this administration and previous administrations. we will do it completely by the book. it is the case, as he pointed out in your question, that the president is president 24 hours a day, seven days a week. he requires staff to support him, and there are other requirements that come with the office. regardless of the type of travel he is on, including communication requirements and
security requirements. that will be the case as his engagement in the canteen increases. the fact that i made clear -- that will be the case as his engagement in the campaign increases. i have made that fact clear. >> >> -- extraordinary faith and processes and procedures in place, can mr. chen change his mind and ask for asylum at this point? >> we are having ongoing conversations with him. i think those conversations with state department officials are about his view now of what he believes will be best for the and his family.
i think you are asking me if he would be granted political asylum if he asks, and i am not in a position to decide who would be able to ask for political asylum. >> last question. -- as it relates to the death of osama bin laden? >> the way i would answer that question is within the narrow context of the constant vigilance that we have as we monitor the threats against the united states. i think we talked about that in the run-up to the anniversary of the osama bin laden mission. i think we continue to engage --
that is the narrower aspect. the mission did not increase any threat or risks to the united states. as part of their regular meetings on homeland security that we are taking for potential actions by al qaeda or other groups in a form of vengeance for the osama bin laden mission. i think we have -- this administration has engaged in a way that with countries around the world including other nations have made clear on what u.s. national interests are and the fact that we work with allies around the world in an effort to combat al qaeda and
other terrorists. >> it is clear the administration wanted to mark the anniversary but at the very end of the president and secretary clinton were strategic in their words. they were strategic in how they chose their words to talk about the momentous occasion of the fact that he is no longer a threat to this country. >> as president obama's predecessor made clear, our friend here is with al qaeda. it is not with muslims or a particular country. it is with the terrorists who attacked us and threaten us all around the world. i think the comment that you
cite reflects the fact that we have made clear repeatedly both in comments by the president and statements by officials and those involved in our national security policies that al qaeda remains a threat. while the removal of osama bin laden from the battlefield as well as other al qaeda members were very important accomplishments in the gold of completely defeating -- goal of completely defeating al qaeda, that goal has not been reached yet. we have to keep the pressure on and we have to remain vigilant. >> on the beginning of the chen episode. this "mission and possible" operation that it took to bring
him into the and this. did the president approved that? >> i do not have a blow by blow of the conversations that the president had. i would refer you to the comments made by the ambassador who is very engaged in this issue but i do not have any answers for you on that. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> many of the questions at today's briefing dealt with the status of the chinese activist and eight came up also during today's appearance of mitt romney at a rally in virginia. he criticized the obama administration for allowing the chinese activist to leave the u.s. embassy. you can see mitt romney's entire comments in the c-span video library at c-span.org.
also, a hearing is under way of the congressional executive on c-span2 with a are talking more broadly about human rights abuses in china. another live programming coming up to date. dan rather recounts his broadcasting career including his dismissal from cbs. he will be speaking this evening at 7:00 p.m. eastern. the libertarian party is meeting this weekend at their 40th anniversary convention in las vegas. our coverage begins tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern with a two-hour debate between libertarian candidate. >> spend the weekend in oklahoma city. saturday at noon eastern, literary life on c-span2 including a governor's must read
political book. former senator on his "letter to america." from the history of stein's collection at 0-university. sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span3, tour the oklahoma city bombing memorial, plus a look into african american life in the 1920's. also, native american artifacts. once a month, c-span's local content vehicle explores the life of cities across america. this weekend on c-span2 and c- span3. >> now, a discussion on the role of courts in democracy. a panel examines whether it is possible for courts to be fair and impartial. this is from the wilson center. it is an hour and 40 minutes.
>> good evening. my name is bill robinson and it is my privilege to serve as president of the american bar association. welcome to today's program, the courts and constitutional democracy and america. it is a pleasure to be here at the woodrow wilson center for scholars in the heart of our nation's capitol. please look around this spectacular building and facilities. this is our 11th annual program to commemorate lot day and our third year conducting it here at the wilson center. we are very pleased to have the wilson center as our host and program partner. at this time i have the
pleasure of introducing my good friend who is serving as national law they share. mark? -- law day chair. mark? >> thank you for joining us for this annual celebration. the tradition we observe today began in 1958 when the american bar association president charles ryan persuaded dwight eisenhower to start date. since then every u.s. president including president obama has issued a proclamation recognizing the may 1 as law day. i would like to recognize the support of our partner organizations, our host, the woodrow wilson center for scholars, the humanities councils represented by
president mcintosh, the league of women voters represented by nancy tate. please join me in thanking all of them for their support. [applause] i also would like to acknowledge the american bar association's staff which has worked hard to organize this and our other activities, particularly those in the public education division that organized this annual event and the communications division. each year they select a theme i can inform and inspire the hundreds of programs and activities that take place in state capitols and city halls across america. it is your's team, no courts, no justice, no freedom. it was chosen to call attention
to a problem many of our fellow americans are aware, the serious underfunding of our state courts and the effect of an adequate resources on the quality of justice and our nation. i would like to share a brief excerpt signed today by president barack obama. this year's theme, no courts, not just as, no freedom, recalls the historical role our courts have played in defending the rights and liberties of all americans. our courts are the guarantors of social order and public safety and we must do everything we can to enable their critical work. courthouse doors must be open and the necessary services must be in place to allow all zero litigants to operate efficiently. likewise we must ensure that access to justice is not an abstract theory but a concrete delivery that promises council and assistance to all who seek it.
we all join the president in the hope that this law they has provided an opportunity for all americans to reflect on the vital role of the courts in safeguarding our rights and liberties and bringing us closer to the day where the dream of equal justice under law will be a reality. we now conclude our observances with this discussion of the courts and constitutional democracy in america. thank you for being with us. i hope you enjoy the program. [applause] >> thank you very much. at this time it is my privilege to introduce an call to the microphone the director, president, and ceo of the center for scholars, jane harman. [applause]
>> it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the wilson center for this important the event. this is the second time, at least on my watch, i have welcomed it as a group. many of them are dear friends. many people on this podium are good friends. it will be exciting for all of you to hear this panel discussion. i just want to make a few brief points. on this stage yesterday, john brennan who is a deputy national security adviser and special assistant to the president told the world for the first time that, yes, in fact, the u.s. operates a drone program that targets certain individuals under certain circumstances. it was very important to him and the administration that this program be as transparent as
possible and it operate fully under the rule of law. it was a very important speech. the lawyer in me was pleased to hear him say how important it was that our programs operate fully under the rule of law. there has been a lot of conversation about some actions in this era of terror that some including me feel has exceeded or been outside of the rule of law. it was very comforting to me to hear yesterday this point. one of the reasons this matters is, as we all know, our constitutional at -- our constitution is the center in which our country operates. secondly, as lawyers, we believe this is important. in this battle against bad guys
around the world, one of the values that we have that is rock-solid most important is our obligation to operate fully under the rule of law. i was very comforted by what he said. it sets up a lot day to me this year in a way that is particularly special. let me finally say i actually knew leon. he was not a close friend of mine but many people who worked for him on that watergate commission i guess you -- i guess it was called were people we worked with on the hill and new as peers. that was a difficult and stressful time in our history. many in this room may not have lived through it, but the fact our country survived things like the saturday night massacre what i thought this city might erupt into gunfire is another
testament to the rule of law. let me just say the wilson center loves hosting this event. i think it signifies something very important to all of us as lawyers, but also in these stressful times when there are a lot of issues about some of the operations of our government. it is comforting to know they do come to the wilson center like john brennan and pledged to uphold the rule of law. thank you for being here. i hope you enjoy the panel. [applause] >> thank you very much. our lot day theme this year as all of you here know is "no courts, no justice, no freedom." we selected this thing to emphasize why courts are so important. we also want to underscore that
without our courts we simply could not sustain the rule of law in the united states. indeed, open and accessible courts are the cornerstone of a free and democratic society. the framers of our constitution recognized the framers of the courts when they made the judiciaries one of three coequal branches of our federal government. our courts are where we go to have our rights protected, our disputes resolved. our courts, however, need adequate funding to ensure that americans have access to justice. without the access to justice, the fundamental freedoms that we all enjoy and treasurer are profoundly threatened. unfortunately, there has been a troubling trend in our state courts as a result of declining budgets and increasing workload.
many of our state courts are seriously underfunded. this is especially disturbing because state judiciary's handle over 95% of all cases processed in this country. courts simply must be open, available, and properly funded and supported. courts are the very guardians of our fundamental freedoms. we must all do our part to sustain them so that they can do their work to sustain constitutional democracy in america. constitutional democracy is the key to freedom. freedom is what we are talking about today. i am pleased to introduce our program moderator, john milewski. he is the host of the television and radio program "dialogue." john is a veteran broadcast journalist and a communications
professional with extensive experience as a moderator, interviewer, anger, reporter, and producer. he is a frequent moderator for programs and panel discussions of the american bar association division for public education for which john we are very grateful. i am pleased to turn the program over to john and look forward to this panel discussion. [applause] >> thank you. you were kind enough to not add that i was born the same year as lot day. and the spirit of transparency. welcome to the wilson center. some of you are familiar faces from these past programs you referenced. i want to say hello to you
joining us via c-span. we are happy america's favorite network is here to cover the event because we have interesting things to talk about. my job is to introduce you to our panel. all of you pick up a program on your way answer you can get extensive bios within the program. i will get to the abbreviated program. i will do it from your left to right. next to me is christine durham. also with us is mickey eswards he was in the u.s. house of representatives for oklahoma until 1992. he is vice president of the aspen institute. linda greenhouse is a senior research scholar and a lot and
is a night distinguished journalists at yale law school. sherrily ifill joins us from the university of maryland france's key carry school of law. and finally, jeffrey rosen. please welcome our panel. [applause] i want to begin with the concept -- everybody knows the concept of the elevator speech. did any of you have to tolerate one on your way in? this idea that if you have only captured a person's attention from the time it takes a person to reach their destination in an elevator, the question is,
what is the elevator speech if you are responding to the question about the role of our courts and our constitutional democracy? what is the brief version of that? would you tell aewcomer to the country or an alien invasion force to the planet, somebody you are trying to educate on that. let's do it in reverse order. >> we are on the sixth floor of an aid for building. >> 30 seconds. the role of the court is to enforce constitutional limitations when they are clear and to defer to the legislature when the constitution does not speak. basic rights like freedom of speech, expression, privacy, all of these have been enforced by courts. they are guarded not only by judges but engaged citizens of
the united states of america. >> it is -- i would say no rights that you hold in a democracy has any meaning without the presence of a fair and impartial courts. it is the one branch of government we all have equal interests, should have equal interests. it is the one branch of government that actually cannot -- the it is absent means the absence of democracy. there can be problems in the legislature. there can be problems with the president. some of you mentioned watergate for example. when the courts become corrupted, you cannot have a democracy. >> a very good. >> just to build on that.
you are talking to someone once before i was like for an interview with the mayor of baltimore and i consumed an entire sandwich in the elevator on the way to his office and his office was on the second floor, that is not a pretty sight. [laughter] independence i think is really the key to making work the principles that they just enunciated. i will quote -- there are a lot of good essays in this booklet. my favorite before i saw it here, this is from justice brier who talks about judicial independence on page 12. he said, ultimately independence is a custom, institutional expectation. to build those requires time and support not only from the bench but the communities where they serve. we are talking about a culture
that respects the courts, trust the courts, and that is part of what law is about and why we are here. >> terrific. >> democracy is not an end, it is a means. is about process. the barometers of what is a healthy democracy like the kind we try to get established in other places and to reserve our own country are two things. what is the ability to choose for ourselves who will make the laws we live under and second is to establish justice at the very beginning of why we treated the constitutional system we have, to establish justice. it is also to make sure every citizen has a day in court in front of a fair and impartial bench.
>> we have kicked this to you. >> i think i would offer an answer to the question that suggests that the mission of court is the fulfillment of the state oppose a constitutional obligation to its citizens to provide a fair and impartial forum and for the vindication of the individual rights. >> thank you. that concludes our discussion. [laughter] now what i will ask you to do is a free-for-all. put your heads together. you have already begun to do it. what are the essentials of this system? what are the non-negotiable is? what are the primary things that without it would not be able to function.
we's see what kind of list can put together for the next few minutes. who would like to begin? >> i was going to say i will take the pragmatic approach again and suggest resources are essentials. one of the things i learned in my experience was leaving a state court system and working with state court systems a round the country is that, courts are no longer a small private affairs. they were once local courts existing in small communities. they are now large complex organizations and the share of volume than 95% of the judicial business that president robinson elated to translates and close to 50 million filing'' exclusive of traffic in state throughout the year. without adequate resources, those cases cannot lead to just resolutions of dispute.
>> speaking of numbers, you shared a number with me in an earlier discussion of the difference between the amount of federal cases versus the amount of states. >> when you translate the 95% -- in a single year the federal court saw about 385,000 cases filed per year. in the state courts nationally for the same period of time, that is for the whole country. in the state courts the aggregate number was over 47 million cases. it is truly staggering in proportion. i do not mean to be disrespectful to the federal courts, but they do not do as much work as we do. >> how about the power of judicial review? we have a great exit from alexander hamilton that says without the ability of justice to strike down unconstitutional laws the people cannot be supreme.
it is crucial -- here it is. no legislative -- camby ballot. the servant is above his master, the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves. this does not suppose the judges are superior to anyone else, the power of the people is superior. when it stands in opposition declared to the constitution, the judges should be for the latter rather than the former. they represent the fundamental values of representing the constitution. >> resources, judicial review, you had tried to get in there earlier. >> i was going to mention the concept of transparency. i think people have to feel that the courts are doing their
work in the public space. you can debate the finer points of this. i think one area of concern is the privatization of justice to the extent that dispute resolutions move outside the courts into the hands of private arbitrators or whatever, that is fine for efficiency and probably works pretty well much of the times for the parties. it cuts out the public. i think that is something we have to keep in mind. >> i was going to vote for transparency as well. i would say it is transparency of not only the process of judicial decision making but selection. i think the public has to be able to feel and see justice. justice is not something you can hear about by rumor. you have to encounter it to believe in it. the public has to feel not that
they necessarily have a direct role in the selection of everyone who sits on the court, but they can see the mechanics at work that show how judges gets elected, how they -- know behind the curtain selection of judicial officers. because we want to have this level of respect for them and to put them in this position. that really requires this be transparent to the public. the transparency issue is important. the open court, the idea of being able to walk in and sit down and watch any proceeding and watch a justice on the bench engage in oral argument or preside over a trial is critically important to our sense of the courts as being real, as being real democratic institutions. and to the legitimacy of the bench.
anything that happens behind closed doors leads to rumor and innuendo. i think clinton is being charitable. i think the move towards the privatization of litigation is a danger to our democracy and a danger to the legitimacy of our justice system. the more the public does not see the board mischief can happen and more the appearance is we do not operate in a system of transparent justice. >> appearance matters because it erodes trust if they don't -- >> trust is essential. it is the lifeblood of the people. >> i would pick up on the transparency. i think that is very important. i think one of the ways that you judge what is most valuable is when you look at what is under threat. it is important that the people
have confidence that the system of our courts is fair and impartial. when you come before the court, you are going to get a fair hearing. it is not predetermined. to the extent that at the state level there are people who run for office -- the court system is within a democratic system, the fact we have people going before a court knowing that the judge got supported by some person, some lawyers or other people that might come before the court or on the other side really undermines the ability to have trust in the outcome. >> just to build on that, it is
a seamless web. >> in the absence of trust, the public will not be willing to give the courts the resources that the courts need. it is a death spiral if you go down that route. the public will only support that which they value. >> i would add a third dimension on transparency. i have spent the last 10 years of my life engaged in a judicial administration. the courts have also got to be accountable to the public for their use of public resources and for their performance. it implicates judicial performance evaluation, which is very much accepted within the state court systems. not so much on the federal side.
and the notions of performance measures for the court as institutions has gained a lot of traction in this notion that we are about the public's business and the public is entitled to know how we are doing. >> can i ask a question about transparency? i discussed the latest approval ratings for the u.s. supreme -- i just got the latest approval ratings for the u.s. supreme court. they are at an all-time low, at 52%. is it obvious -- and this is after health care, before immigration. >> a public opinion poll? >> is it obvious that transparency -- >> maintain the mystique. people have less respect. >> this program is being shared
with viewers across america on c-span. who has been knocking at the door of the supreme court. what do you think? is this good for trust and respect for the institution? or does it pull back the curtain and expose the wizard? >> i do not want to suggest that people watching congress feel very good about it. i do not think the cameras have that a fact. they have a very negative effect at first and that members of congress are aware of the
cameras. they were playing to the cameras, but after time, you forget they are there. i do not think it affects what members of the court do. i think it does make the citizens realize that the people on the bench are human beings. they are not infallible. their grammar may not always be right, or they may seem mean in a question they ask. there is probably some of value to maintaining the mystique. it requires you to have a lot of trust. there are some things that to having everything being open to public view is not always best. i have argued in terms of
congress, one reason you cannot compromise now is because every meeting, at every meeting between house and senate, it is open to public view. you cannot do the kinds of things -- >> because you appear weak if you compromise publicly. >> i would like to take issue with that comment. i think the supreme court is not a good model for assessing the way courts late with the public and the way the public relates records. for example, in state courts, we have cameras full-time in all of our appellant on trial courts. the business of the public gets done. public approval ratings of the judge's is much higher. i think it functions in an entirely different context.
>> what would the difference be? >> id seems to me that what jeff is talking about is not just the presence of the argument, right? we did not have cameras in the courtroom. he is describing the approval ratings having dropped after the arguments have been interpreted by the media. he is not talking about seeing the the argument on c-span and being able to make up your own mind. the various sides have spun whatever they are going to spin. when we are very young, we think our parents are perfect. we can infantilize the public and say, let's keep it all mysterious. but in a functioning democracy, it is important that we not infantilize the public. i do not think any harm would come to the supreme court by having cameras. most of the cases are not that interesting and scintillating.
they are all you really hearing about the once the media thinks art interesting and important. their only hearing about the sexy cases. that is only a one aspect of transparency. we have to be very careful. transparency and how they are selected, transparency in the process. that could be cameras in the courtroom or having an open court that people can come into. but it is also judicial decision making appearing in writing, showing us what you have done. summary of opinions where we do not know what the opinion is, we do not know the basis of it, that is a transparency issue. there are multiple levels of the court revealing itself, showing how it works, showing how it thinks. it would not be corrosive of public confidence. it would support public confidence.
our tendency is to think that it is just the cameras. there are a myriad ways in which december imports -- the supreme court hides behind a veil. >> the various dimensions, the layers of the onion. this is a very complex topic. we will not do justice to it in two hours. it is impossible. we could spend all day, but we will talk about some of the things that you are interested and. eventually, we will come to your questions as well. you may start wanting to think about which of the various aspects of would like to focus in nine. that will be your opportunity to do it -- focus in on. that will be your opportunity to do that. all of that other stuff sounds great, but you have to pay for it. that seems to be a basic theme
in the world and in america right now. i want to ask you about that. i want to think in terms of how do we characterize the challenge the courts face. is this a crisis? is this uneven? when you look across the country and you look at the justice system and you get back to this fundamental component necessary resources to fulfil the constitutional mandate, to provide the checks and balances, where do we sit? is crisis hyperbole, or is it accurate? >> it depends on what you mean by it a crisis. despite crisis you mean that we are at a juncture -- if by crisis you mean we are at a juncture in which we have to reexamine the way to and which we have been doing business,
then we very much have a crisis. >> when i think of crisis, the british are coming. is this an emergency? are bad things going to happen if we do not pay attention? or is this more of a technicality? >> in some places in this country, bad things are happening. the aba -- made a stab at collecting the empirical data about the impact of the loss of funding in state courts around the country. it is not universal. north dakota at has so much oil money, their courts have not been suffering at all. but other places are suffering. they are reducing salaries for judges.
state judges in new york, until recently, -- >> what does that mean? >> what it means in the state of florida, for example, they attempted to assess the impact of the inability to get foreclosure and other types of commercial cases to the court in a timely fashion am. the damage to the economy is close to $10 billion. not to mention the human costs associated with people who cannot get to court promptly. there are people suffering in very real ways. >> the operation, the administration of the courts, but there are problems with the ability to afford getting good competent counsel for the indigent, access to justice is compromised because you do not have the access -- and i know in the private law firms, some of the pro bono operations are
being cut back. that is an important place, too, or lack of funding compromise is the ability of some people to get a fair hearing. >> are dead in the state court system suggests that in domestic -- are dead in the state court system suggest that in domestic cases, 75% of the cases filed, one more parties is not represented in that litigation. they can get a hearing, but whether they can get a fair hearing is a big question. >> there is also the question of the conviction of the innocent. dna exoneration, 250 people exonerating because of dna evidence. studies have found a persistent pattern of the failures of badly organized lineups, poor genetic and forensic data, a
failure to record interrogation, unreliable testimony from jailhouse snitches. all of these things could be alleviated with money. >> are you talking about buying better science? >> buying better witnesses. you have access to the best brand of science that exists. >> i do not want to get caught up on the semantics, but the crisis word is in play. this is a public presentation, people who are new to this subject matter, this is an opportunity to engage them. how big of a problem are we describing to them? >> my colleagues have listed
many examples, but can deny that it is a fundamental miscarriage of justice. the real criminal goes free. this is something that people of all persuasions can unite around. because it can be fixed, i think it is fair to talk about a crisis. >> in the budget question is a question of priorities. -- any budget question is a question of priorities. it will come incarcerating millions of people, so many state budgets, the prison budgets are eating up everything else. there is a great lobbying effort on the part of the prison industry, both the
private companies, at the guard's comment -- the guards, lobbying against a more rational incarceration policy. >> prisons are profitable. >> that is right. >> a source of livelihood. another thing that occurs to me is that on the federal level, the immigration act adjudication crisis, which is a crisis by any measure, is eating the federal courts all live. -- alive. there are many deportation cases. in the second circuit and ninth circuits, the immigration cases are now something like 40% of the entire caseload of those courts. that system is so badly broken that i know a number of federal
judges that are in despair. i have heard judges say he has trouble sleeping at night, realizing that there is no way to administer a fair and impartial and informed justice to immigrants because the lower courts do not even have to give a reason. there is nothing for the federal judges to go on. it is a horrible problem. millions of dollars could better be spent on a more rational immigration policy. that is not our mandate. >> you teach, you give grades. what if you were grading the system on fairness and impartiality? the state court, the justice system.
>> i am glad that linda raise what she has raised. i think it is not very helpful to simply talk about the funding of the courts. once you start discounting our justice system, you are in trouble. if you start trying to mark down around your justice system, you get what you pay for. there is a bigger question about the allocation of resources within the system. linda has pointed out some of the problem. but they go all the way to the very beginning. all the ways in which we have all -- in which we have overloaded the system with criminalizing certain types of content that do not require the kind of attention and resources that a full-time judge has to bring to bear in a case. if we look at the practices of prosecutors, there is a wonderful article about
misdemeanor cases. and the kind of pressure of people, innocent people, to plead guilty. we get to look at the conduct of prosecutors. we have had a number of supreme court cases and the last three years in which prosecutors have become notorious for not handing over evidence, resulting in the incarceration of individuals, including those on death row. those are just the cases we hear about. how we are using our resources in the system, the way in which we are responding to an emotional need and the public. we are not running our criminal justice system in a way that we should require of any system. that functions on fact, what works, logic, the best trained people. i do not think we are doing that. violent crime strikes an emotional chord in all of us.
it does require a second look at how we are allocating resources. if we want to allocate them towards violent crime, that makes sense. there are a lot of ways we are allocating our resources toward non-violent crime that is taking of the time and space of judges. we have an imbalance in allocation throughout the system. if we want to talk about resources to the courts, we have to begin to take that hard look -- we cannot operate business as usual. we have to say, what do we need today in this century, in 2012, to run a competent, independent judicial system? how do we do it in a way that honors the money of the taxpayer?
>> i think that is an important point. she is absolutely right that our system is focusing great resources on low-level non- violent crimes rather than a violent crimes. this makes us an allied air when it comes to western democracy. in europe, there is -- the intrusiveness of eight government invasion should be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime. that is to be enforced in the american system by juries at the time of the founding. you cannot search someone's desk to identify the author of the pamphlets criticizing king george. increasingly, we have seen the courts second there should be no proportionality principle. the supreme court said that you could arrest someone for an erroneous speeding offense, and take them to jail, and strip
search them. unless we can get back that sense of proportionality -- >> how did we lose it? >> some of it comes in ways in our reaction to what we see as spikes in crime. >> fear? >> absolutely. all the data demonstrates that crime levels in the united states have dropped. they are at the same level that we had in 1966. why is our incarceration rate so out of whack? we have to a million people in prison. we have a justice system that is overwhelmed by non-violent criminal offenses. if we no longer have the spikes and crime, when are we going to read calibrate so that we are
using our resources appropriately? we should be learning from the past. >> one thing we are illustrating in this discussion is how it is impossible to segregate these issues. the overlap in rates that are very complex. -- in ways that are very complex. >> from my perspective, it is a frustrating discussion. the judges in the state courts in this country find it almost impossible to have any impact on the public policy discussions that you have identified. we make contributions. there is a new move towards evidence based sentencing that originated in the state courts. we do not get to tell legislature to read calibrate its emphasis -- re calibrate its emphasis on harsh punishment.
we do not get to have an impact on the executive branch agencies, who are constantly seeking to aggrandize the industry. >> when you were chief justice, did not feel you had a call on a bully pulpit to talk about policy? was that inappropriate in your situation? >> you have to be very careful. there is such a line between policy. we did do it with evidence- based sentencing. the executive branches are dragging their feet like molasses. there is only so much you can do. >> we start talking about overburdening the courts with minor crimes. there is also the question about prosecutorial discretion. we do have a problem, in my view, with prosecutors who are overzealous, who are too quick
to take things into court that do not rise to that level of concern. that puts the burden, they said we will bring this to court, that just adds to the workload. >> whatever issue we focus on, i want to get back on this bigger picture about understanding these issues. and why they are understood or misunderstood. just brought up the supreme court, and joining the rest of the branches of government. the survey showed a lack of positive reaction to the notion of judicial independence. is that correct? is that a correct characterization? what i am wondering, those of you who'd teach about law, practice law, are you doing
enough to communicate these issues to the public in a way where they get it? they do all the things that we need the citizenry to do to create an effective justice system? >> i think you are asking a great question. >> i think you are asking a great question. i do think there is a lack of understanding of precisely what the judicial function and role was supposed to be. i think we have become so overwhelmed with politics and by the horse race of politics, the encounter that most citizens have with the justice system is usually traffic court. the personal encounter, frankly, it is with the judge at the lowest end of the totem pole. it's not because they have encountered john roberts.
the reality is, that is the justice the people encounter. most of us do not sue someone and most of us are not sued. even the civil system is not the spot. if you judge did based on people's actual encounter with the system, the reality is, that is not what is shaping people's views about the court. they are having bad encounter, they are coming out of that encounter, and they have their story. sometimes it goes well, sometimes it does not go well. but what is happening is that there is a story that is being told about who judges are and to the courts are. that story does come from the supreme court and the media's attention and focus on the court. confirmation hearings and the process of confirmation hearings has penetrated our thinking. that is how people begin to get this idea of whether we want them to be independent, whether we don't, whether they believe in abortion, those are the things we associate with judges.
in reality, the 47 million cases do not have to do with those issues. we are totally skewed. it is completely at odds with what the reality is for most judicial decision making. >> the federal government's performance and the mainstream media is giving justice a bad name. >> it is. i will hold us responsible, too. most of the cases we are focusing on, if you are in maryland, -- for the most part, we are teaching cases in federal court. we are teaching the supreme court cases. students tend to know what a lot is and the highest law of the land is important. that emphasis actually skuas of
the view of the public -- skews the view of the public. and even of lawyers, of the role judges play, and the ways they interact with litigants. >> ok, linda is next. >> i do not think the problem is what we teach in moscow. -- in law schools. i do not think the problem is top-down media. i think the problem is the problem which sandra o'connor has developed -- has devoted her life to, the lack of education. there is for a good research that shows that the more people they know about the court, the more they are willing to support the court. to the extent -- i mean, you cannot blame the whole thing on no child left behind. to the extent that the only thing that matters is math and science and you have people coming out of high school that cannot name the branches of
government -- >> i am too depressed to go on. >> what do we think that what looked at? i have three kids. i looked at their textbooks. for the most part, they did learn, they learned about the justices. in eighth grade, they had reports about -- a course that was devoted to american government. i am wondering, what are the components that are missing? >> specific things that need to be taught better not being taught. >> your kids are lucky. i think that is rare, to be honest. exit my doctor had a -- > > my
caughter -- daughter had nsl. " they were in public school in baltimore. >> part of the problem is the government is treated like a necessary evil, at best. you do not have a -- >> it is underfunded. >> i have been but justice o'connor on several occasions when she talked about this. there really is a problem. there may be exceptions, but there is another problem. when people are judging what they think of the courts. i will tell you now that if, for whatever reason, president obama, has the opportunity to appoint somebody else as his nominee for the supreme court, before the appointment is made, before we know who is going to be, all the democrats will be for it and all the republicans against. if mitt romney wins, and you
have a republican president, and he is able to name someone to the supreme court, all the democrats will be against that nominee and all the republicans before the nominee. that is not the way he used to be. he used to be a very different system. some of the most important justices in our history were overwhelmingly approved. that time is gone. people are looking at the court, looking injustices, through a political prism. that is helping to undermine confidence in them as arbiters. >> it is a serious problem. to what degree are the courts themselves responsible? >> it is wrong just to focus on the high-profile cases. but the truth is that when you have a supreme court striking down by 5-4 votes with the
liberals appointed by democrats and the conservatives by democrats, with affirmative- action and health care, it is hard to get the bipartisan ideal back. the chief justice said his ambition was to transcend that partisanship and to promote unanimous decisions, where people on both sides could converge. he thought that would be good for the court and good for the country. so far, his success has been mixed, you could say. this is why it is such a moment of truth for the supreme court. but is very hard to have that. >> would be critical of the court for deciding to hear the health care case and the immigration case, hotly- contested political issues, it essentially on the eve of a presidential election? >> i had to take the health-care
case. the lower courts disagreed. they did not have to give three days or arguments to every legal challenge. >> but did they have to take it before the election? >> yes. it was right. >> dodging cases before elections -- the efforts to decide when roe came down -- >> this problem is exacerbated in the state court setting, where 37 states still engaged in contested election of their judges. it is ironic, because the election of judges was regarded in the mid 19th century as a reform effort against the elitist, corrupt appointing authorities, who had been appointing judges under an appointive system. what turned out to be the 19th century reform has become the 21st century disaster, in that judges are forced to be
politicians. they are forced to seek contributions. that undermined public trust and confidence, which the state has been helpful in documenting. another thing sandra day o'connor has focused on, because she sees those things to beat so closely connected to confidence in traditional selection -- a startling thing to me, being in a state that has merit selection and non-partisan retention elections, last year, for the first time, there were no fewer than five challenges to justices on high court's in state retention elections. you have to go all the way back to the mid 80's in california to see that kind of challenge. you had iowa and others. >> maybe this is my imagination,
but it seemed there was a time when criticizing judges was something people were careful about, because they did not want to undermine the system. >> i am not sure about that. [laughter] >> it has changed. >> newt gingrich said this goes back to jefferson. >> what has changed at the state court level is the except massive amounts of money in judicial elections. citizens united made it worse, but it has always been bad. the reality is as much as i laud justice o'connor's efforts in talking about merit selection, she is actually part of the
problem, in republican party of minnesota versus white. then she has come back, and it is wonderful. i want to point out that it is not just the elections themselves. there are ways to conduct elections that can deal with some of the problems you talk about -- non-partisan elections, public funding in north carolina. there are ways to deal with it. the promise of reform the jackson audience -- jacksonians wanted was you have to have justices that are not appointed by the wealthy classes. the problem is we have allowed a free-for-all in judicial elections. citizens united will ratchet it up. we only saw a window in pinkerton versus massey, the case out of west virginia. a judge had to recuse himself after he had received -- his election had been supported by
$3 million from an individual who had a case that appeared before the west virginia supreme court. we learned about that because west virginia has an unusual disclosure law for independent contributions, which most states do not have. we learned about that case, but we do not know about other instances in which this kind of thing has been happening. that was a 5-4 decision. four justices on the court, including the chief justice, but it was ok for that justice to sit and hear the case of that individual who had donated $3 million to see to it the justice would be elected. we have a real problem at the state level with judicial elections. it is how elections are conducted. it is money, money, money. >> we will come to your question soon as well. howard, if you could help direct the microphone handlers. position yourself in a place where you can be seen.
those of you who have a question, those are the people whose attention you need to get. we will come to your question soon. >> just to underscore what happened in iowa and the other states last election, the retention election was the gold standard for the state courts. it was the best of the good government ideas. now it is gone because of this. >> it is under attack even in places trying to hold onto it, like missouri. >> there is hope this montana case might be an opportunity for the court to reconsider citizens united. the evidence of corruption was so great, and it was a state judicial election, which the supreme court has been more sympathetic to regulating than the political system in general. the hope is justice kennedy
might see a way of saying that the judicial corruption is a big problem. >> if they want to do it, they will find a way to do it. but those five people are not the five of us. >> we started this conversation by listing the things we thought were essential. i would not be myself if i did not say that diversity is something i think it's critically important. obviously, racial diversity, and gender diversity on the court. we have an eighth circuit court of appeals that has only ever had one woman on it. we have racial diversity, gender diversity. we also have diversity of background and experience. there was a recent study by benjamin barton about the profile of our current supreme court justices, and the very narrow profile of supreme court justices. we have a latina. we have three women. we have an african-american. they have all gone to harvard or yale. we do not have justices in
private practice. thurgood marshall was the last judge that engaged in solo practice and represented a criminal defendant at trial, let alone in a capital case. we are talking about a narrow background. with the exception of elena kagan, they have been federal appellate judges. justice stevens was the last to serve in the military. sandra o'connor was the last elected -- >> to state government. >> we are talking about a narrow range of individuals on the highest court. we have ongoing racial and gender problems throughout the federal appellate system and district courts. that is critically important, because that goes to the public sense of confidence in the judiciary, the sense that it is not closed off, it is not a select group. it is the quality of judicial decision making. we should want all kinds of people to serve, so those
experiences can interact and we can get the most informed judicial decision making. >> before we take your questions, something i would ask you to comment on, which came up earlier. we moved so quickly. there was an essay about the court not being a democratic institution. >> i think they are. >> i am with you. >> i have a book called "the most democratic branch." [laughter] the courts to play an important role in checking the minority in some cases -- the majority in some cases. over the course of history, courts have tended to follow public opinion rather than challenge it. on the rare occasions they do something the majority of the country intensely contests, there is a backlash and judicial retreat. we think the brown versus the board of education, the justices striking down segregation. 64% of the country was against
the decision. >> what about those who say the courts are the defense of rule of law against modern -- against mob rule? democracy would represent moble -- mob rule. >> lawyers are aristocrats, very conservative in their temperament, and prevent unchecked democracy from ruling. there was some aspect of that in republican thinking. i refer to hamilton, who stressed it is not following polls but enforcing fundamental values the country has come to accept overtime. interventions are important, free-speech decisions, but the have to be used sparingly. when justices unilaterally believe they can impose a contested vision of justice on the country, they get into a lot of trouble. that is why our debates now are
poignant and important. these are things about which the country is divided on a razor's edge. if you put your thumb on one side of the scale, you provoke popular sentiment. >> justices are supposed to be able to get in trouble. that is the point of having lifetime tenure and salary that cannot be reduced. they are supposed to be able to take the heat. they are not supposed to try to calibrate between the sides and say, "i do not know if the country is ready." they decide based on the law. >> are you saying that our democratic? >> i think the institution is a critical part of a democracy. >> you are describing something that operates outside democracy. >> remember that the apparatus that creates the court and that keeps the court there is democratic. it does not mean that every function of the court has to be
by majority rule. democracy is more than that. >> i take it even a step beyond, in the sense that in my view, the values of the people are enshrined in the constitution. to the extent that judges perform the function of vindicating those values, they are vindicating the values of the people. what is more democratic than that? that is the sense in which i agree. >> i do think there are some standards that can be upheld. i had the opportunity to do a book review of a book by mr. sunstein. i did not know if he even knew what the constitution was. [laughter] but there is some fundamental here.
the court, regardless of the makeup, divorce or not the reverse, is to apply with a lot is, because it is not the law- making branch. trying to make it representative of the community at large, and what the community now things would be good policy, goes contrary, in my view, to the purpose of the court. >> just a word on behalf of sunstein. this is an important debate. his notion is part of an older bipartisan tradition of judicial minimalism. the judges should go one step at a time, and only second-guessed the decrepit decisions when the arguments were clear. without saying who is right, it is interesting, the tradition he embraces, which is that what was bipartisan in the past century
does not have a lot of constituents today. you have people advocating for robust judicial power on both sides. >> one would almost say activism. >> i would say activism. >> do you want to say anything about this notion of a democratic institution or not? >> i will make two points. i think you have to define democracy systemwide. even now life-tenured federal judge is not held accountable for this decision or that decision. there is an ultimate political accountability that resides in the president who appoints people. you can look at the evolution of the court from the mid 20th century upon as a series of actions and reactions that helped -- president nixon ran against the warren court's successfully. politicians demonized the court. there is a political dialogue
within a democratic framework about the court. that is one thing i will say. i often got the question -- the supreme court is secretive about this transparency. it is a mysterious institution. somebody mentioned this earlier. one thing the court has going for it is they do give reasons. the health-care case is going to be very interesting, because anybody who is going to vote to strike down the affordable care act is going to have to give a reason that is not simply political rhetoric. that would be pretty interesting. whereas in congress, in tire agendas can disappear without a figure print -- entire agendas can disappear without a fingerprint on the record. it does not get lost. it gets processed. >> i want to add a footnote to
something the congressman said. that is to accentuate a difference between federal and state courts in these records. state courts are law-making institutions. at least one scholar wrote an interesting article in which he suggested that because of their more democratic and broader -- state courts have more latitude. state judges deserve more latitude than federal-court judges, both with respect to their common-law function, and with respect to their constitutional function. it is an intriguing notion. i do not know what it means. but the enjoyed it. -- but enjoy it. >> there was a conversation about local courts. it seems to me that this panel is uniquely qualified to begin a movement that would be
professional edition of what we do in the judicial system. most of the state courts are involved in applying the law to the facts. it is fact-finding that takes time. it is evidence, witnesses, experts, all these things. i remember arthur t. vanderbilt jr., the dean of new york city law school and of the supreme court of the state of new jersey. he had a court that was in disarray, disrepute. it was judicially inefficient. it seems to me that if we look at it now, and about your ability to secure independence for judges, and respect for the courts, and to solve the financial problems, we might look to try to perfect what we do and better what we do more efficiently and more
effectively, to apply the law to the facts. the fact is the law. find ways in justice courts, in municipal courts, to actually give the judge what the facts are, as they have been listened to by somebody else, so you can handle far more cases than you could before. it would be reviewable. it would be transparent. it would be at the lowest possible level. it would be where most of the people in the country interact with the judicial system. you could in life and that discussion on judicial efficiency and apply law to the facts. >> judge vendor built was also known as the dean of judicial administration, one of the founders of the field. it is what i am so passionate about judicial administration. it is absolutely the case that
the abstract questions and the work of judging have to be done well. the work of managing the court also has to be done well. particularly with respect to the need for resources. we have no business asking for more resources if we are not well-organized and managing the resources we have now. >> first, i want to thank the aba for having all of you guys out here. you have had an interesting conversation this afternoon. my question goes to dna testing, and how that has cleared a lot of inmates. there are states that have passed laws were you cannot get dna testing, even though evidence makes it, because of how the law is in those states. i would like to know your thoughts. i think if you can do it across the board through all states, which you cannot right now, you
would not be imprisoned someone who is potentially innocent, and you would reduce the overcrowding and the costs, because nobody wants a jail in their backyard. >> is anyone familiar with why states that do not allow it do not allow it? >> i guess resources. >> remarkably, the u.s. supreme court held there is no constitutional right to have access to dna evidence. alaska did not want to provide the sample. the supreme court said even though most states to provide it, the constitution does not give a right to it. your question raises the possibility of a federal solution. can you imagine congress creating that national right? even in this dysfunctional congress, where almost nothing can be passed, this is something which is not essentially expensive.
everyone agrees this is a basic matter of justice. if there is interest in the room, there are a partisan movements that work along these lines. if you go to the evidence project, you might find ways to lobby congress to pass the kind of law you are describing. >> perhaps it is a little naive to suggest there is not prosecutorial politics. i do not think it is a cost issue. the interest in finality and maximizing prosecutorial discretion cannot be ignored. this is going back to the court found the issue, and the relationship between funding and transparency. it seems we are constantly caught in this dilemma about how we can be honest about how efficient we are. we are not perfect institutions in terms of our efficiency,
partially because of the non efficient values. i appreciate the thoughts on how we can convince the public and fund it. there are ways relatively small investments can increase access and efficiency, and how we can be transparent about our problems without the decrease in funding as punishment. >> one of the things i think speaks to the point -- both point to have raised, is there is a bizarre strained right now in american discourse that somehow we have too much justice. people have too many chances. i think this is some of the dna stuff. you have another trial. the law needs to be harsh. i think it is a sense that -- i do not think people truly understand what the elements,
the essential elements of a justice system are. the ways in which we have cut corners that create the kinds of problems, i think, that result. that is what i meant when i said we have to look at the system, rather than pull out one piece of it. the dna is one piece of it. the question of prosecutorial discretion and the impulse to try and achieve high levels of prosecutions -- you get credit for how many people -- prosecutors are supposed to do justice. instead, the incentives are all toward how many people you can convict. in three years, we have had a supreme court case in which the supreme court has had to order a state to release prisoners, because overcrowding violates the eighth amendment. that is out of california. you have a case, the florence case, decided a month or so ago,
in which the supreme court has said we have 14 million people arrested in the u.s. each year, and jail officials have the right to strip search anyone may arrest, regardless whether that person constitutes a threat. prosecutors have withheld evidence and help people in jail. there is something wrong with the narrative we are telling about justice in this country. i think it is obviously harming citizens and individuals and harming the innocent. it is harming the respect we have for the justice system. all of that is harming the effort of justices who do need the resources, who are trying to make improvements, who are trying to make the court system work better. people are reacting and responding. you asked earlier if we were in a crisis. we are in a crisis in our criminal justice system. when the things i have just described can happen, just in the last three years, we are in a crisis. we have to stop and recalibrate,
and figure out how we get ourselves into a narrative in which our ideals, which we should be prepared to spend as much as we need to spend on, can go first, and our fears can go second. >> it is not just at the state level. we found out from the justice department that exculpatory evidence is being withheld from defense attorneys and defendants. i mentioned earlier about prosecutorial discretion, prosecutorial abuse. that is a real problem with the number of prosecutors who believe it is their job. to go directly to what you said, there are people in this country, and i hope this very few, that take the attitude that they would not have been arrested if they were not guilty. it really takes some push against this argument that there is too much justice already.
i think that is a significant problem in our system. >> do you have a sense of where we would start? you have described something that is very fundamentally flawed and problematic. it is almost hopeless, too big to tackle. is there a root cause or a place to start the would have the most impact? >> proportionality in criminal sentencing. that has to be advanced through the legislative process. you have to figure out a way to generate a commitment on the part of lawmakers to address those issues. >> you are right, but i do not want to skip over missed opportunities. the supreme court had a case last year out of louisiana, a case in which a prosecutor withheld information and a man sat on death row 14 years. after being released, he is retried. the jury deliberates 35 minutes
and says he is innocent, after he has spent 14 years on death row. he sued civilly. here is an opportunity to create a disincentive to withhold evidence. the jury awards and $14 million, $1 million for each year on death row. the supreme court said you cannot win and verdict, because you say the prosecutors knew -- the low-level prosecutors did not understand they were supposed to supply exculpatory evidence. not good enough. even though a jury of your peers said you deserve it. it is not just about the life of a man that was destroyed by a prosecutor. it is about the supreme court failing to take the opportunity to provide a disincentive for prosecutors to do what some prosecutors are doing, which is withholding exculpatory evidence, failing to train new prosecutors in their obligation to provide that evidence. it can happen with the
legislature. but the court could play a critical role in creating the proper incentive that would recalibrate the system. >> sometimes it does that. to give the court credit, we had a wonderful decision where the court 9-0 reject the proposition of the obama administration that we have no expectation of privacy in public, and says you do need a warrant if you are going to crack someone's movement 24-74 a month, and put a gps on the bottom of a car without warning. the justices disagreed about the reason, but all nine said there was a degree of privacy in public. in the next course, a justice of a mile or-- sotomayor said there is no reason to assume that you abandon an expectation of privacy if you give a third party at some access. one thing courts can do is
interpret the constitution. sometimes when they do it, they can protect privacy in a meaningful way. >> a justice said a simple truth early that every first-year law student knows. in being judges, judges make a lot in common-law tradition. the system is set up to do that. if a supreme court nominee were to say that in the confirmation hearings, they would be pilloried for arrogance and a misunderstanding of how the justice system works. my point in saying that is we do not -- we seem not only to have a partisan conversation about the role of the courts. we seem to be having a rational conversation in which you cannot say -- an irrational conversation in which you cannot say simple truth. every confirmation hearing,
everyone knows we have a common- law system, knows the role of judges is to make laws. i am not just venting. is there a way, apart from partisanship, and whose job is it? i understand the press feels the press has responsibility to be even-handed. but whose job is it to say regardless of what side you are sitting on we need to have a rational, fact-based conversation about the court? how do we get back to having a conversation in which we say this is what the courts do, this is what we want them to do, and this is how they actually function? >> 8 "we cannot handle the truth "to a promise. >> i am not sure people can handle the truth. >> listening to your question, i was filling in the blanks with other issues. you could ask the same question about a lot of things, not just
the courts. the reason i make that point is that perhaps we are talking about something that is more fundamental, and not just for the courts. i do not know. >> i remember the comment that the time is gone. i guess i am a bit pessimistic about our capacity in the wider polity to have those discussions. i am on c-span. >> normally -- >> one more thing. there is an old joke about it is always safe to write to congress because congress does not right back. that is even more true of the judiciary, because its own egos is we make our decisions and we do not speak outside of that. that leaves it very vulnerable to this kind of irrational attack. my real question is do you see anybody in society whose
responsibility it is to promote the truth and a rational discussion about this, if the judiciary cannot? a lot of people in politics will not. >> i have someone. steven colbert has more influence in to what people think about the supreme court than even the admired linda greenhouse did, who did a wonderful job. people are getting their news about the courts from colbert. he goes after citizens united and starts his own pac. he interviews the more than 90- year-old justice stevens and kind of beat him up in a playful way. he asks if he regrets the decision. stevens says, "only the decision to give this interview." he is shaping public perception. if you want to promote rational discourse, that is part of it.
>> i fully understand your question, and i actually think we may be at a point where it may be headed in the other direction. >> i hope you are right. >> the last confirmation, elena kagan, people did not watch. the ratings are starting to go down. the networks stopped covering it. you had to look around. they did not do gavel-to-gavel. you used to watch it all day and night. to the extent it has become a kind of performance, people are getting turned off. we may have reached the tipping point. i think it would take one senator on the judiciary committee, perhaps from each party, who was doing their job. the confirmation hearing is a job interview. if i were going to interview somebody for a job and said things like, "did you eat peanut butter," nobody would allow me to get away with it.
but we do allow this with a confirmation hearing. and i think the public has tune out. i think a courageous congress could ask the questions that are responsible to the position the person is speaking. it is interesting to me that some of these questions are critically important to me. i have a set of civil procedure questions i want to ask, not only because i teach civil procedure, but because it is a place where the court has tremendous influence and the roberts court has shape how litigation gets managed through the civil procedure decisions. the questions are never asked. they do not seem sexy, but i could tell you all the cases. they are all cases that are kind of interesting on their facts. but people do not focus. congress should be helping people understand what is the real power that this individual
will have in their hands. would the justice do? what is the power over the body that helps create rules for how litigation is conducted? they are not doing their job. one or two courageous congress people, particularly as the public turns off, could begin to recalibrate us. i should not say recalibrate. it has always been crappy since we started having public confirmation hearings. it could help us have a better sense of what this job is about. >> time for one more question. >> how are judges cut corners? is it a matter of more summary, summary dispositions? is it a matter of your oral arguments? is it a matter of relying more and more on law courts -- law clerks? and do i sound bitter?
[laughter] >> how are you cutting corners? >> at the trial level in the state court, there are enormous pressures on judges. there is the famous adage "justice delayed is justice denied." it is true. it is better to get facts now and go ahead and appeal than eight better-reasoned decision that comes down in a year and a half. i'd think there probably is a diminution in care in trial courts that are overwhelmed with filings, understaffed with clerical support, and do not have enough judges to do their work. at the appellate level, i do not think there is a crisis in the state court system. i stand to be corrected by people with more experience
around the country. we are such a tiny little portion of it, functionally and financially, but i do not think it is an issue. the comment about the immigration courts, that is a real issue, whether these cases are getting any attention at all. one study suggested that, given the volumes at the administrative level, you multiplied the number of minutes in a week and divide it by the number of cases. it is like to 0.5 numbers the case -- minutes -- it is like 2.5 minutes a case. >> what about the fees that are charged? when you plead or do -- the judge will assign some kind of feat. even in traffic court. you are happy they are not going to add any courts -- any points, and i say $170,000, and you pay
the money. there are people who cannot pay the money. the and of not being able to pay the money, and it results in a warrant. people get arrested. is that part of it? i wonder where the scale for the fee comes from. >> , much as in your pocket right now? >> it is a matter of law. in many systems, the money is from fees and fines. it goes directly into the general fund. or that are allocated to things like border security or other court functions. it varies enormously from state to state. there are issues to help people who cannot pay. but i am sure million slip through the cracks right now. the fee question is interesting in one respect. when the crisis hit and state court but it started being hit, a lot of states around the
country looked at increases in filing fees to fund court function. sometimes, you hold your nose and do what you do not believe in. but the notion that the justice system in the united states should be funded by the people who have to come to court and use it is as anti-democratic a principle as i can think of. courts have done it out of desperation. i know of no state judge who believes in it as immoral proposition. >> -- as a moral propositions. >> i should have to pay tuition to sit with you. you are a terrific panel. to close things out, i want to bring back the president of the american bar association. [applause] >> what a program.
this has been a very special occasion. lots to think about. this brings to a conclusion our program, "courts and constitutional democracy in america." join me again in expressing our appreciation to these distinguished panelists. [applause] on behalf of the american bar association, i would like to leave you with the thought, after thanking you for joining us and making this a wonderful lot day -- wonderful conclusion to our celebration, and an expression of our concerns. if we did not realize it before, we realize after this discussion that an independent, fair, impartial, adequately-funded court system is the key to constitutional democracy. and constitutional democracy is the key to freedom, because no courts, no justice, no freedom.
thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> reaction today to the u.s. embassy handling of the blind chinese activist who left the embassy yesterday. there is a congressional hearing on the u.s. response that human rights abuses in china -- the hearing hard from the activist. that is at 8:00 eastern. with the senate and the house out this week, we get to look at madison's white house, starting with a discussion of a former
slave and the first writer of the white house memoirs. there is american history tv programming at 8:00, a hearing on civil-rights and black power movements. >> sunday on "q&a." >> i do not regard this as just a biography of lyndon johnson. i want each book to examine the coin of political power in america. this is a kind of political power, seeing what a president can do in a time of great crisis. what does he do to get legislation moving, to take care of washington? that is a way of examining power in a time of crisis. i want to do this in full. that is why i just said let us examine this. >> "the passage of power," a volume for in the years of lyndon johnson. this sunday at 8:00, on "q&a."
and look for our second hour of conversation sunday, may 20. >> on wednesday, the center for strategic and international studies hosted a day-long conference on cyber security, specifically the transatlantic cooperation efforts between the u.s. and european union. this portion of the event includes a panel discussion on coordinating comprehensive policies among nations. this is about 50 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. we will start our final conversation today, if you could take your seats, please.
i know it is always hard when a minister leaves the room. thank you very much. we have what i would call it power panel. three experts on cyber security. what we are going to try to accomplish in our discussion this afternoon is coordinating comprehensive cyber policy. i think if there has been one theme that has been woven throughout the entire day of discussion from all of the panels -- it is coordination at all levels. and the difficulty of the coordination. to help us understand how this works in a comprehensive or whole of government approach to cyber policy, we have with us the deputy assistant secretary in the department of homeland security and the office of cyber security and communications.
bobby has had such an extensive experience, a distinguished career in government. in her position today, she is that intersection between the department of public security and the private sector, another theme that has run through this conversation of how important it is to be so closely connected to what is going on in the private sector. she has been responsible for deploying a cyber risk management program at dhs, as well as coordinating the national response system. primary to this, she was chief information officer for the defense information systems agency, and has a lot of experience in policy planning and how the department of defense communication and information technology system has worked together. because we had a little flip flop in our schedule, she will have to leave at 2:40, so we will give her the floor first to give her remarks.
if we could front-load the questions in the beginning before she has to leave, that would be terrific. moving down our panel, which are delighted to have with us jon atan vseviov, the acting undersecretary for defense policy at the estonian ministry of defence. the estonian government has been pushing policy innovation at the european level and with nato. we have asked the undersecretary to give us some remarks not only in an eu capacity, but also on the nato front. he has long experience in the defense ministry as well as the foreign ministry. great roles in policy planning. we are delighted to welcome him back to washington. he served at the estonian embassy in washington from 2005- 2008.
thank you so much for being with us. last, but certainly not least, we are absolutely delighted to have ivailo kalfin, a member of the european parliament and vice chair of the committee on budgets. if that is equivalent to our appropriations committee, you have enormous power. we are glad you are with us and head the bulgarian social delegation in the european parliament. perhaps one of the most interesting jobs of many in the european parliament. you are the recon tour for the digital agenda flagship and on critical information infrastructure protection and cyber security protection. one of the leading, if not the leading, leader on these issues in the european parliament. prior to service in parliament, he was the deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs
of bulgaria from 2005-2009. he played a critical role in bulgaria's eu succession. from 2002-2005, he was secretary of economic affairs for the president of bulgaria. we are honored by having such distinguished leaders here. with that, i will be quiet and turn it over to bobby. thank you so much. >> thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today. you obviously heard from our deputy secretary this morning. she is a powerhouse in that regard. one of the things i am sure she expressed is that homeland security and cyber security are not something one person does by themselves, any one organization, any one nation, anyone. that is the underlying theme of everything we do in the office of cyber security and communications. we have two principal
responsibilities. one is protection and defense of the .gov the second is working with our private sector partners for protection in the critical infrastructure. in both of those cases, it is no one single organization 's responsibility. it is a very international mechanism. i wanted to take a moment to frame a number of our program activities around the structure that we use in the eu-u.s. working groups. that has been a powerful mechanism. cyber security can easily become a very technical conversation. there are very technical parts of that conversation. but there is very much the need for the activities at the
strategic policy operational levels in order for us to be successful. in the way we have shaped this work with the working groups, we focus on things like management. i had an opportunity to hear about the network of contacts. how do we do incident management when something is occurring? and how do we work with that so we are not making connections as we need them, but we have made them and butchered them over time? the cyber planning-- and matured them over time? the cyber planning is making those connections before we need them. in that incident management role, as a department, we have a range of capabilities that we passed out every day. the national cyber security and communications integration center is a public-private interaction around the clock.
we have the ability to leverage and put the contacts on a cert- to-cert relationship with private industry and foreign partners. we execute that through handling of real-live events, and through exercises in advance of those types of events. the partnership, i cannot speak strongly enough. it has been a privilege to work with our private-sector partners. they worked internationally. although it certainly is not something we can do ourselves, how do we ship everything from information sharing agreements in a way that enables us to be open and engaged with our private-sector counterparts, and enable them to function in all of the places they do as a company? how do we work to ensure that what we know about whatever the event might be, or the
vulnerability might be, or the technical data is shared not only with our international partners, but with our private sector partners, it equally and in a way that is keeping within both roles and those responsibilities? the public-private partnership working group has been working on things like bot nets, taking advantage of international innovation in those areas. in addition to the cyber crime working group, but secret service and customs and border patrol and other law enforcement agencies, awareness-raising is the fourth working group over there, one where we have substantial program activities in the department as well. october is national cyber security awareness month in the united states. over the course of the last year, we have worked in partnership not only with the
european union, but with other nations, to make it or some similar activity an international activity. common media where possible, common messaging, so that awareness-raising is such an important part. individuals have to understand their responsibilities as well. those working groups under this u.s.-eu activity provide a good framework for describing how we work. and how our programs align with the mission responsibilities of our department, and how that aligns with our international activities, and really lay a good foundation for that understanding, at a cert-to- cert management level, and how we function and the kinds of
norms that might be necessary in that engagement. i welcome the opportunity to be joined on this panel. >> thanks so much. >> thank you, heather. thank you all for your interest in cyber security. i want to talk by saying that i agree with everything the german minister just said. he started his presentation by highlighting the technological development in the last 10 and 20 years, and mentioning the health care systems. we talk about governance and education. coming from a country called estonia, the internet is a lifestyle. we are internet-dependent. we all must consider internet access to be a human right. when we do not get wifi access, we get agitated.