tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 14, 2016 9:00pm-12:01am EDT
are the fundamental principles that that body of law is dictating? what are the values it is setting forth? what are the approaches to the rights and remedies people are seeking that the law has created? that is how i arrived at my arrive-- that is how i at my answer. connie: thank you. host: the next question, and i'm afraid it will be the last one, i apologize to the students that we could not get to. michael guggenheim is a senior in the school of arts and sciences. undergraduateton minoring in modern hebrew. michael: hello. that was not my question. justice sotomayor: i doubt that. i don't think she would let you out there.
michael: obviously there is a lot of political intrigue in the supreme court. a lot of powerful people are interested in the decisions that you come to any effects that they have on public policy and commerce. my question is, what if any effect is that political interests have on the court decision-making process, and what steps do you take to maybe isolate yourself from that political interest? is it just something that you and the other justices get used to overtime? justice sotomayor: you do not get on the court unless you are a concerned citizen. every single justice has had a career in which they have devoted their lives, in some form or a the other -- or the other to the public view. even any private practice they have been involved in activities that do public service.
we are, by nature, citizen lawyers. you do not work as hard as we work, reach where we have reached, unless we have shown that to the powers that be. we get selected because we are the very best at some aspect of the work that we have done. that work often includes public service. it means that there is not one of us who was unaware -- is unaware of political rights. we are aware. we read the newspapers. we listen to the news. some of us are political junkies. others are not. being an informed citizen does not get translated into, now i am going to vote the way the public wants me to. the gift the founding fathers gave us is they gave us a lifetime job so that we would not feel pressure to do a
decision based on public opinion from fear that somehow we would be driven from our work. so we're not thinking about public opinion in terms of reaching the answer that we believe the law compels. every year if you read the most sensitive decisions, you will see us recognizing the impact those decisions might have on people. in every sensitive opinion the court is very aware when one of its decisions is going to be particularly difficult for some people in society. it is recognized in our writing. fact take pride on the that we are voting according to what we think he constitution or the laws require. awareeans that we can be
of what the effect will be, we can even acknowledge it, but that is a different thing from letting it determine the outcome of a decision. [applause] now, with the students please not leave. i am coming down now. i would like to take a picture with the students who are here. they took the time to come up with a creative question. they deserve a picture. [applause] maybe as i am walking down, the next student can ask a question so i get three more. through more.-- my security detail will talk to me later about being late. host: i know that all of you will join me in a rousing thank you of appreciation. [applause]
and -- [applause] as you can imagine, and i am sure some of you are feeling, we have a few more students, a few more colleagues and friends that have questions. we are going to have to get her back. we hope that you will do that. ofthe meantime, many years strength and health as you serve all of us from that incredibly important position. we are very grateful to have you there. [applause]
thank you. [applause] justice sotomayor: after i broke my ankle during the confirmation hearings, i am very cautious about moving. that is why you see them helping me. i am trying to avoid a second accident. bye-bye. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> tomorrow president obama gives the commencement speech to the graduating class of rutgers
university. our live coverage begins it 12:50 eastern on c-span -- at 12:50 eastern on c-span. >> this sunday night on "q and a." child andck his new book. power inried to seize 1936 and it sent a shockwave of alarm throughout the world. here was a major country in europe. quicklyt wing military backed by hitler and mussolini who sent airplanes, pilots, tanks, and miscellany eventually sent 80,000 ground troops, here was the spanish right making a grab for power. people all over the world felt
it ought to be resisted, if not here, where? otherwise we are next. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span "q&a." >> now a discussion on how the new media is covering the 2016 presidential campaign. this is from today's "washington journal." >> joining us now is amy goodman, she is host and executive producer of "democracy now." she is also the co-author now." w book "democracy thank you for joining us. amy: it is great to be here. host: what is democracy now and what is the mission? amy: we started 20 years ago. we were the only election show on public broadcasting. in 1996, president clinton was running for reelection against
bob dole and ross perot. we thought we would pack her bags nine months later and move onto another project. instead, there was more demand for, at the time a radio broadcast, than there was before the election. the demand kept growing. why? i think because we go to the grassroots, i got the call to host the show when i was in haiti, i was covering what was happening in haiti. andidates would announce some would be guns down -- gunned down. of overwhelming number people in haiti would vote. in the u.s., that was not the case, not even half of the people voted. i was interested why? i never thought people were apathetic and the country -- in this country. we could use the primary system to go state to state and see how people were engaged.
it is those authentic voices, rather than what you get on the networks, those pundits who know so little about so much exciting the world to us and giving it so wrong. it just kept growing. by chance, the week of september 11, 2001, by chance, that we, we were going on our first tv stand -- station, it was outlook access in new york. it became emergency broadcasting. we were the closest national broadcast to ground zero at the time of the september 11 attacks . tv stations around the country, public access stations asked if they could run our show. fedex guys were coming to our studios filling their bags with videocassettes. they would go around the country. more college and community radio stations who would watch it on tv would say, can we run that? npr, pbs, we went from nine community radio stations in
1996, to over 1400 public television and radio stations today in the united states and around the world, and the headlines are translated to spanish. they are available for you stations -- radio stations. it is just the testament for this hunger for independent voices, especially in a time of war and election. .e need independent media when we cover war in peace, we need a media not brought to us by the weapons manufacturers. what we cover climate change, not brought to us by oil companies. when we are covering health care, not brought to us by the insurance industry or big pharma, the drug companies. we need a media that is independent, supported by the listeners and viewers. host: you said you went to the grassroots to tell your story, it makes your journalism different from what we see in the mainstream media?
how do you do that? amy: because we are not going to your typical pundit, we are going to the people at the heart of the story. i am looking at the new york times today, the top story, pfizer prohibits use of its drugs for execution. in democracy now the book, but also the news hour, we deal with the death penalty extensively. we talked to people behind bars. just on friday, we were talking to a prisoner in solitary confinement in alabama. he had been in solitary for more than two years because he led a protest in 2014, and now there was another work suffrage protest now. the prisoners were protesting free labor, a sickly slavery --
basically slavery if you are forced to work for nothing. pfizer prohibits drugs for executions. one of the big stories we focus on in the book and broadcast, is the death penalty. the -- now it is increasingly difficult for states to get the execution drugs pfizer prohibiting its use is a morris -- is in or miss. -- enormous. when california borrowed a similar drug from arizona, it is under secretary of corrections and rehabilitation, scott kernan wrote in an e-mail, you guys in arizona are lifesavers. we focus on independent media like an expose in the colorado independent which reported an assistant attorney general joking in an e-mail with a texas colleague from 2011 that he might be able to help texas get , indrugs -- the death drugs
exchange for 50 yard line tickets for a top college football game between the university of oklahoma and the university of texas. when troy anthony davis, a young man who was on death row are half of his life, he was put on death from -- row in georgia, savannah, georgia when he was 20 years old. death warrants against him. he was executed, september 21, 2011. we went to jackson, georgia, where the death row prisoners -- prison is. we broadcast for hours, more than five hours. we did not know what would happen, if his life would be spared, a former u.s. president, the pope, prosecutors, prison wardens were all calling for his life to be spared. 1000 people were outside of the prison. his family and protest. who is a remarkable
woman fighting for his life and her own. she was fighting breast cancer. hailed as a leading light in washington along with nancy pelosi. martina and so many others, calling for troy davis's life to be spared. he did notnsisted commit the crime he was convicted of 20 years before. we simply broadcast throughout the night, not knowing what would happen. should be inel we the death chamber projecting an execution. i know this is controversial. i think if people saw the images that they would say no. we are so insulated in this country. even though we live in a globalized world. when it comes to understanding where we stand in the world, like around the death penalty. we are so alone in the industrialized world, endorsing
state killing. state after state is now saying no. we are up to something like 19 states that have said no to the death penalty. others, because they are finding it so hard to get the drugs and now it will be harder because pfizer is prohibiting the use of their drugs for execution are turning to other means, like the gas chamber and firing squad. we, asked her, must show the images. then people can make up their own minds. amy: we are talking to goodman, the host of "democracy now" and the co-author of the book, "democracy now." call and join in the conversation. you can also find us on twitter.
we are also on facebook. let's go ahead and turn to the phone lines. our first color is from eureka springs, arkansas. john is calling on the independent line. john: good morning. i will not be voting for hillary clinton. said itom georgia right, you cannot believe a word she says. she will get out in front of any new wave of -- that the public is resonating with. bernie sanders is one of the most honest politicians we have seen in at least a couple of generations. there are so many problems facing this country. hillary said, i heard her this morning say that she wants to do away with citizens united. there is more to that issue than what she is saying. you have to listen carefully to her comments, the dark money, sure, but we should have public
finances and term limits, and it needs to be in the constitution because these politicians, these professional liars, they will seek any weakness out and corrupt it. int: amy, we were talking the previous segment about unity and the democratic party. how do you think the mainstream media has done in covering this cycle? amy: i think the media has done a terrible job. from 2015, they looked at the coverage. they compared the coverage of all of the candidate. -- candidates. they found that donald trump got 23 times the coverage of bernie sanders. i think it was abc world news tonight that gave 81 minutes to donald trump and 20 seconds to bernie sanders. i wonder what was so newsworthy about what bernie sanders did they got him the 22nd. -- 22nd.
march 15 was five primaries. ohio, north carolina, florida, missouri, and illinois. , fox,look at the networks msnbc, cnn. wall-to-wall coverage, good. that was the night that sen. rubio: because he lost his homes eight a florida -- home state of florida. the night the governor kasich gave the victory speech, he won his first primary, his home state of ohio. ted cruz spoke. they were playing all of these victory and concessions beaches. hillary clinton had one florida, ohio, and north carolina. she spoke within -- then. , illinois and missouri were too close to call. it was senators clinton, sanders. she spoke before the outcomes. the networks waited for donald trump. they put that square in the right-hand corner showing an empty podium in one of his florida mansions.
they were filling the air time. after about half an hour he does speak. he speaks for half an hour and a play the whole thing. that pretty much did it. john kasich, hillary, ted cruz, donald trump, and marco rubio. that pretty much did it for the night. there was somebody missing. bernie sanders. had he fallen asleep? did he take the night off? where was he? they were deeper and speculating -- they were not even speculating. we are in a tour as we celebrate the democracy news hour. to portland,g maine, and then we will be in chicago. we were also just in arizona. we were in flagstaff, tucson, and phoenix. i met many people that night who rallyd at bernie sanders where thousands and thousands,
you know his historically large rallies were. he was speaking. the networks did not show it. they did not show a minute of it. on democracy now we broadcast live at 8:00 each morning and people can catch it at democracy now.org or on any of the tv or radio broadcasts in their community. we decided late that night, we are going to run next are -- an excerpt of bernie sanders's speech. who would've thought it was a revolutionary act to run that speech the morning after. that is what it has become. the networks are simply donald trump land. -- they type donald trump into everyone's homes as the other candidates trudge from state to state. this is unacceptable. you ask how democracy now is
different, i call for a season without holes. -- polls. you to do into a network and you hear she is coming up with 20%, he is moving up on the left, he has 20%, it sounds like a horse race. what have you learned by the end of the day? what has democracy gained? the networks should pour those same resources, investigation and energy into the records of these candidates and business people. they should compare those to their promises. what is the value of these polls that are so often wrong? you come to a primary, even like indiana recently, you have a victory. it is not consistent with the polls. the candidates then the pundits spend the next amount of time talking about how the polls were wrong. the fact is there are polls that
are very legitimate happening every week. they are the primaries and caucuses. these are fact-based polls. these are interesting. at the end of the day, after a primary and caucus you find out who voted, who did not. under who voted, this is important, mainly who did not. in many cases we are talking about more than 80% of the people are not voting. also the racial breakdown, economic breakdown, age done, gender. fascinating and important because this is not speculation, this is real. there are the polls. where doesve to ask, the money come from to do all of this work? the networks. we have to go back to the candidates. they are raising up seen amounts of money -- up seen amounts of money. money.ene amounts of this is true of all candidates.
you have candidates raising on and off the campaign trail. raising millions of dollars. i think people across the political spectrum are very frustrated by this. bernie sanders for example, on for money.he ask the average is $27. in march he got $44 million. he got more than hillary clinton. he was interesting, in that case he is raising it from people who give and give, they give so little they do not max out. hillary clinton has a smaller number of donors, well over a million now, a number of them max out. she was just at a party in laurel canyon, at george clooney's. the going rate at the head table with something like $350,000. that was for a couple. host: affordable.
amy: even clooney said, i think this is up seen -- obscene. where is the money going? it is going to the networks. the networks are not going to raise this in any consistent way , 1200 people in washington got arrested protesting the money and politics. -- in politics. this is critical. we need to have people whose pockets that are not lined by the candidates raising the money. host: what's your from viewers -- let us hear from viewers. clifton is calling. clifton: hello. mrs. goodman, i have been watching your show for 20 years. it is a thrill to me that i am talking to you right now. you are right.
we need a change. america is changing. bernie is talking about a revolution. there are a lot of people that complain about what he is saying and where was he and how come he is just now talking. 1960's, when the people talk like bernie sanders, what happened to them? they ended up being assassinated. look at robert kennedy. look at john kennedy. look at martin luther king. i think bernie is a brave man, i think he is a brilliant man. care. does not he has seen his family, his kids. he is telling the truth about america. we need a change. we need a revolution. it is going to happen. these people who are following hillary saying that she is good for black people or whatever, i am telling you, the clintons have done nothing for black folks except for locking them up. look at the history. hillary called our kids super predators. let's be real.
it is time for a change. it is time for everybody. look what we got, donald trump? let's be real. host: that is clifton from oakland, california. let's hear from dan. go ahead. about the calling primary. they are tax funded and i would like to know as far as all of these independence being shut out of the process before the general election. iowa -- dan from iowa. amy: these are great questions and comments. the issue a close primaries where independents cannot vote. for example, new york, that is where democracy now is based. now"at is where "democracy is based. you had to switch in early october. this was before any debate.
people did not realize at that point it would be a contest. it is a very real issue. independence fit into this -- independents fit into this process. on the issue of clinton's incarceration, this goes to the way that democracy now is different. we, the movement. -- we cover the movement. the movements are what make history. you have young people who are part of the black lives matter movement who are interrupting hillary clinton's private campaign funding -- fundraising events -- a young african-american woman unfurls a banner that says, i am not a super predator. she was referring to hillary clinton in 1996, after president clinton had signed the so-called anticrime bill that led to incarcerationss
of people that were -- we are seeing today. we have 5% of the world population, 25% of the world prisoners. two years later she would refer to some black youth as super predators. that is what these young protesters have been raising. it is very important. it has forced the candidates -- they are often challenged in the beginning. they challenged bernie sanders as well. . the issue of donald trump. the fact that you have the presumptive nominee of a major party. you have donald trump, republican party, who when asked by jake kafir on cnn if he would disavow the support of an avowed white supremacist, david duke, i cannot renumber if he was the grand dragon, i often confused titles.
he waffled. he said he would have to look deeply into an chapter was supporting him? he didn't want to generalize? he goes further than that. at his rallies, you have one of his supporters sucker punches a black lives matter activist. and afterward says next time he would kill him. and then you have donald trump saying he will pay the legal fees of supporters like these. this is just astounding. i don't hold presidential candidate who has a huge rally of thousands responsible for everything that happens in the rally. they set the tone and say i do not condone violence. that is something the bernie if you said trade
instead, not only do you say that, but you say you will pay the legal fees of supporters who are violence, this is very frightening. thes ripping open underbelly of hate in america. host: do you think more attention to independent media would change the outcome of this election? guest: absolutely. i think independent media is not beholden to the very interest that are pouring money into these campaigns. earlier, theout vast majority of the money that these candidates are raising are going to the networks to pay for campaign advertising. are they going to bite the hand that feeds them? host: here's a chart we are showing our viewers right now, the value of candidates earned media coverage. there's free media that they received by simply being mentioned on the air. donald trump has earned media about $2.8 billion. hillary clinton, $1.2 billion.
berniez, $771 million, sanders is estimated at $658 million. next up in kingston, rhode island, bert on the independent line. caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. you it's wonderful to see and the unbiased journalism you do. i appreciate that very much. thatf the issues for me is how modern governments, repressive governments are being described by the media. when i hear claire mccaskill saying we are going to throw the theyr and sickle at him -- would say that most oppressive governments are democratic socialist with a capitalistic economy. i think this is one of the major things that has been perpetuated on the american people, as the
ideas regarding political systems. i hope you can comment on this. i am a strong bernie sanders supporter, ernie has been saying it for a long time. i remember when he confronted a man when he was in the congress -- a republican who was saying the word homo in congress. bernie got up and said it's a long time before anyone stood up. i will leave that alone and let somebody else talk. have a good day. guest: thank you. you know, i think that bernie movement writing a that is coalescing. that is finding its voice. you asked how democracy now! is different, and i said we cover the movements. so often, these movements have been emerging and coalescing for long time. we just don't hit the corporate
media radar screen. take, for example, the occupy movement of 2011. 2011 was a critical year, from the arab spring, egypt, tunisia, to wisconsin, the uprising of ,50,000 people, to the protests 1200 people got arrested here in washington protesting the keystone xl, concerned about climate change. september of 2011 occupy, thousands streamed into the county park and occupied wall street. i think a number of the pundits on television said that movement died. the police eviscerated the encampments, it was over. but hardly. when people streamed into the county park, and they challenged ,all street over many issues first the corporate media didn't even cover them. in that the media moguls and limousines going by, we are the media metropolis of the world. you had the elite journalists, they're just not covering them.
when they did, aaron burnett was just starting to show on cnn, and her first lease on occupy was called seriously? then went from not covering it to mocking it. the overall idea of the networks was what are these people representative? against death penalty, against war, they're concerned about climate change, against racism, inequality. and i was digging oh my gosh, the media's listing. that's exactly right, it's all those issues. but they saw as their weakness. can't they just choose one? but in fact, it was their strength. this goes back to dr. king. he spoke out against the war in vietnam, the day before he was assassinated, april 4, 1967, in new york. even his inner circle said don't do it. resident you have lyndon johnson wrapped around your finger, the most powerful person on earth or in uganda signed the civil rights act and the voting rights act. this is your war, don't do this.
he's on these issues is interconnected, the war at home and the war abroad. he talked about the triple threat of militarism, materialism, and racism. he said in the speech that he gave a riverside church at his country, the country he loved, the united states was the greatest purveyor of violence on earth eerie he was excoriated by the corporate press. i have the life magazine issue, time magazine, washington post, they said his speech's out of legos script out of radio hanoi, that he had done a disservice to his cause, his country, and his people, and he double down and spoke more frequently and louder against the war. until he would be assassinated april 4, nations 68. all of these issues coalesce. if people think that the movement died, look today at 2016 at the people who are coming out for rallies for bernie sanders. it hardly died.
they changed the language. they occupy the language. you say the word 1% and 99%, and everyone knows what you mean. you change the language, and you change the world. host: lisa from shreveport, louisiana on the democratic line is up next. good morning. caller: good morning. hi, ms. goodman. i talked to bernie sanders last year on c-span, and he was so honest. republican, i've changed a democrat because i like him so much. tell people where to go get their research, because in the 60's, bernie sanders handcuffed himself to a black man for the civil rights movement. also, ms. goodman, tell them about when hillary clinton was in arkansas, how she defended a rapist against a woman and laughed about it. she is not for anyone but herself trade please tell them
that, ms. goodman, and please tell them where to go get their research to learn about bernie. i certainly do appreciate your time. thank you. guest: thank you, very much. i don't go about the particular case she is referring to around hillary clinton, but it is very important to look at the records of these candidates. them, to find out what it is they actually represent. nothing less is than democracy at stake in this country. host: mark from eureka, california is up next on the independent line read good morning. caller: hi, amy. i have been a supporter of democracy now! and free speech enjoy -- tell him happy retirement. seeuestion is, i can't trump inhis not -- nut
office, i'm a bernie sanders supporter, and he probably will not win. liar and beat this nut the republicans have put up. ? host: mark, we hear you. i wanted to share before here from amy goodman from democracy now!, this comment on doldrums media coverage. he wrote that trump has seized much of the free airtime by doing many, many more interviews than his rivals and my driving the campaign dialogue as all candidates right to do but are usually too cautious or dull to pull off. hardreporters have dug into his businesses and rhetoric and promises and contradictions. the stories and segments have done little to dent his lead. he is seemingly impervious to most media criticism, in part because his supporters don't trust the press, but it's not
for lack of trying. guest: there is something worse than negative coverage, and it's the vanishing. you just showed free airtime and you saw how much more free airtime he got than others. i think it's important the candidates open themselves up to interviews. that's very important for all of them. i do think there is no question that the media chooses its favorites. when you have the example that i gave, one night, showing all of the concession and victory speeches except for one, this is acceptable. they weren't being interviewed, they were giving their speeches. so you play all of the speeches. i also want to comment on something that the caller just said. -- juan. to one he's talking about juan gonzalez, who just retired as a
columnist for the new york daily news after 29 years o. i can't talk about democracy now! without talking about juan. he was inducted into the deadline clubs new york journalism hall of fame, along with leslie stole, charlie rose, and others. when he got up to give his speech, he put everyone to shame. he was the first latino journalists elected. he said i figured my modest contribution would be not writing about neighborhoods, but from them. not after the fact, but before it, when coverage can still make a difference. i think that very much sums up our philosophy. also it democracy now!, his approach to journalism is to go to where the silences. often, it's not really silence.
when the protesters here in washington, recently, from democracy spring and democracy awakening, were protesting the corrupting influence of money in politics, they were saying where is cnn? where is msnbc? where's the coverage? they were well over 1000 people arrested. if there were 1200 people being arrested in havana, cuba, you would have all the network anchors flying down greatly cannot take a direct flight to say look at this repressive country. here in this country, and the nations capital, it hardly got the coverage that it deserved. these are critical issues. host: mark from henderson, north carolina: on the republican line. go ahead with your question or comment for amy goodman. caller: i have a couple of questions to ask her. first she started talking about mr. trump disavowing david duke. where was the coverage on hillary when she got endorsed during this election season in
california? she was actually endorsed by the kkk in california. there was no coverage on that at all. i've hardly heard anything, i had to begin up on my facebook. also have another question. on the protesters you were talking about how great they are , how come you're not saying anything about george soros putting out ads on craigslist, paying these protesters to come out and protest? contributed,has because these protesters now are getting a paycheck, and they are not on unemployment, they're getting a paycheck i george soros. none of this gets mentioned were said -- or said. how you feel about that? guest: i don't know about any of what you're saying, i don't know that any of those issues, whether in fact they are true. caller is cameron
from louisville, kentucky on the democratic line. go ahead. caller: how are you? host: good morning, you are on the air. caller: thank you. i just want to say about donald trump and his family's affiliation with the kkk. and how far back it goes. arrested back in 1927, you have the police record , as far as being arrested with the clan -- klan. why is it of that stuff ever brought up? guest: that's an interesting question, fred trump, that was a piece in the "new york times." talking about him being arrested, that should be looked into. host: can you talk a little bit about how democracy now! is funded? you mentioned you don't receive any advertising or any revenue from corporate america.
how do you pay the bills? caller: the majority of our money comes from listeners and viewers. we also have some work from foundations and network fees for broadcasting democracy now!. host: do you think there is a role for corporate-funded or commercial media in the country? you think the media in this country should be a nonprofit enterprise? guest: i think it's very important to have nonprofit news, and that should be the vast majority of the news. we have documentary makers from around the world come to democracy now! to see what democracy now! is as a model for news in the rest of the world. other countries, people are familiar with state news. when the state runs the newscast. they are familiar with private corporations, like we have in this country that run the news read but they don't know about that whole model of listener and
fewer support. important one. we have public media all over the united states. this public broadcasting, there's npr, there is pacifica radio. democracy now! originally comes out of pacifica radio. that was founded in 1949 by a war resistor, who was a conscientious objector in california. when he came out of the detention camps, he said there's got to be a media outlet that is run not by corporations, that profit from war, but run by journalists and artists. the five stations of the berkeley station, los angeles, houston, and here in washington, just to the fundraiser for the pacifica station here last night, wtf w -- wpfw.
within a few weeks, it was the only radio station in the country whose transmitter was blown up here at it was blown up by the kkk. the strap dynamite to the base of the transmitter. right in the middle of arlo guthrie singing houses restaurants. i thought that was a good song. weeks, they got back on their feet, they rebuilt the transmitter and went back on the air. in the kkk blew it back up again with 15 times the dynamite dropped to the base of the transmitter. it took a while for them to get back on the air. pbf came inf 1971, to show the phoenix rising from the ashes. arlo guthrie came back into houston, texas to finish alice restaurant live on the air. if it was theer exalted cyclops or the grand dragon, because i confuse their titles, but he said it was his proudest act. i think that's because he understood how dangerous independent media is.
dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. when you hear someone speaking from their own experience, whether it's a palestinian child born israeli grandmother, and often afghanistan, and uncle in iraq, a kid from the south honks or from albuquerque, where we were just speaking at the high school, where the overwhelming majority of the kids are undocumented immigrant student, when you hear someone speaking from their own experience, it breaks down bigotry, it challenges the stereotypes and caricatures that fuel the kkk and other hate groups. it's that understanding, when someone describes their own experience -- you have to agree with it. but it's that understanding that is the beginning of peace. i think the media can be the greatest force for peace on earth. instead, it all too often is wielded as a weapon of war. host: we have just a few more minutes left in the segments, we
will try and hear from some or viewers. our next one comes from south jordan, utah. stephen is on the independent line. go ahead. caller: if you want to become a nation with democracy, we have to get back to the principles under god, we have to become a nation under god. the principles that god has given will increase the social, spiritual, and economic value of individual communities in this nation. at the principle of our shot not covet, we turned that into thou shalt covet. , theyear false witness kill, they lie, they steal, people commit adultery. we don't keep the sabbath day holy. the sabbath day is a rest day for man, it's also god's environmental rest day for the earth. if you look in the bible, you'll notice that satan's favorite tool was covetness.
host: we are on most of time. go ahead, amy goodman. guest: i think it's very important to maintain the separation between church and state. i have great respect for people of all religions. but speaking of religion, i just wanted to acknowledge two losses in the last few weeks of great people who have passed. one is the jesuit priest who died just shy of his 95th earth day, 1000 people packed into savior church -- xavier church in new york. and he along with his brother were the founders of the powershares movement, believing in beating swords into plowshares. not far from here in 1968, they burned draft cards, hundreds of a1 draft cards with homemade napalm.
and he wrote in his rationale for doing this -- our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of your order, the burning of paper instead of children, he said. profit invoice of a this country, taking on war, taking on nuclear weapons. it's one that should have gotten much more coverage in the media. another is someone who passed just this week. the great human rights attorney, michael ratner in new york city. michael ratner was the head of the center for constitutional rights, he was a pioneering aman rights lawyer, who was person and part of a movement. yes, he used law, but equally believed in people taking to the streets around the issue of war, of torture. and ultimately brought the case of the guantánamo prisoners to the supreme court. not believing he would win, but
purely on principle, that they should have habeas corpus rights. they should have their day in court. and ultimately, actually, he did prevail. the center for constitutional rights did prevail. these that need to be heard, the need to populate the media. because i really do think that those who care about war and peace. those who care about inequality. those who care about climate change, the state of the planet, are not a fringe minority. not even a silent majority. but the silenced majority. silenced by the corporate media, which is why we have to take the media back. last caller is anthony from north las vegas, nevada, calling on the democratic line. go ahead. amy, i'm a follower of democracy now!, i really thank
you for your news organization. media isndependent very important, because you will find out stories they normally won't find out, that the corporate media won't tell you. -- i'm a washer of cnn, but not as much of a washer now. cnn, i found out that cnn is the parent company of hillary clinton -- and did not know that. i thought i got to pay attention to my new sources. this is huge. you would think that news outlets would really vet the candidates that are running for office. never showed the civil rights story of bernie sanders. they waited until the election had been underway several months have passed trade i thought this is really corrupt. host: anthony, we have to leave
you there, we're just about out of time. amy goodman from democracy now!, your final thoughts. guest: just that people should turn to independent media. people should turn to a media that doesn't profit from war, from climate change. should turn to a media that is honest and is going to the grassroots. tune intoe people to democracy now!, you can find out your station all over the country, public radio and television stations, community media -- this is the place to go to find the voices of people who are forming movements that are shaping america. i look forward to seeing folks in portland, maine later today and bangor tonight, bar harbor tomorrow, chicago next week. check our website this 100 city tour. democracy now!.org is the source of our daily news headlines, our in-depth stories, we transcribe
everything. a very content rich news website. really focusing on these elections in united hates, and on movements all over the world. , executiveoodman producer of democracy now!. her new book is democracy now!, this is from today's washington journal. our guest is tom fitton, a group who has filed multiple lawsuits in the hillary e-mail case. thank you so much for being here this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: tell us more about judicial watch and what it does. the nonpartisan educational foundation. we are conservative, but we are anticorruption and we try to
figure what the government is up to. we use the freedom of information act, which is a federal law allowing access to government records, it also allows access to the courts if the government doesn't give you those records. we have many, many lawsuits against the obama administration, which is a terribly secretive and in violation of the law. in our investigations and requests for documents about benghazi and hillary clinton's conflict of interest, we ran into -- really, uncovered in many ways the clinton e-mail scandal. that's why we are so involved with that. host: reminder viewers how you initially became involved and what documents you initially found. guest: we were asking for documents about benghazi. in 2014, your viewers may recall that we recovered this document out of the white house, it was the white house that was pushing out the false talking points
-- the attack on benghazi facility was the results of a spontaneous demonstration caused by an internet video. the administration have been saying our briefings on that were based on our intelligence, she was relying on intelligence. those with the talking points on this. were the talking points for politicos ben rose, it was a completely political doctrine. we noticed in that litigation, even before the release of that document, which really shook washington, because congress had not been able to get it. in response, speaker boehner reported the select committee on benghazi. we noticed that hillary clinton e-mail, where was the hillary clinton e-mails? i was thinking shouldn't do e-mail. be usual for someone in the position not to use e-mails.
in the request. we got the documents in response to the lawsuit that we already gotten in the satellite/about. the lawyers pushed back and said where did you look? we start getting answers saying other documents into review, the told the court that in february 2015, we give judicial watch everything, we haven't reviewed yet. leaks ineks later it the new york times, there was clinton e-mails and all bets were off. host: what is the status of your request for information now? guest: the requests are ongoing. now the argument is, we think we were gamed, the courts were gamed, some of our lawsuits, we are being told they did a reasonable search of her offices, didn't find anything. they never told us about the e-mails in which of the cases down. two of them have been reopened, including the one where we're asking about a special government job obtained by a top
clinton aide during her time of the state department, now with the campaign, she was able to work at the state department and at the clinton foundation and another clinton entity. we asked for documents about that, and they said we looked, here's only found. which of the case down. turned out, all the clinton e-mails were there. it was reopened, the court in that case was upset by the evident lack of good faith and handling our requests. he granted us discovery, which means that we're going to be able to gather evidence in testimony from officials in the like department and people cheryl mills, chief of staff who brought a state department political appointee in the i.t. department, who was helping hillary clinton run her illicit e-mail system. that testimony is going to take place by june 30. host: viewers can call in and
join the conversation as well. we have traditional phone lines for the segments, democrats, call (202) 748-8000. republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. tweet, also send us a @cspanwj, and we are on facebook at facebook.com/c-span. here's beverly on the democrat equine. -- democratic line. caller: this is nothing more than a witch hunt. it's a witch hunt. host: all right. is this a witch hunt? guest: this is the justice department run by democrats that's investigating mrs. clinton's handling of classified -- these are fbi two federal court judges who judicial watch
discovery. the first judge i reference as an appointee of resident clinton. -- president clinton. witchhunts,lleged it's one involving a vast conspiracy, including an agency led by political appointees of president obama. it doesn't bear scrutiny. the problem judicial watch has been facing -- if there's a democrat we're going after, the democrats rally around the person of interest. when it's a republican we're going after, publicans rally around. haveew is, if you corruption in your political party and you have politicians associated with your ideology that are corrupt, you need to make it clear you want no part of that, and you want the truth to come out. because that is so harmful to have crooks being your
standardbearer. george w. bush, nothing he was personally corrupt, for his lack of transparency, something we ran into in a significant way was serious. the american people to not like it. that's why obama ran as the most transparent, all that was a scam. he would be the most transparent of administration history. we see time and time again, the perception of corruption is a major issue for voters. it will get the politicians here to admit it, we should recognize it. if you are a smart party activists in either party, you should see that as a key issue for you to handle directly, rather than screaming it's a witchhunts every time someone you like in your party gets criticized and put under investigation, with good reason, like hillary clinton. you aboutnt to ask
this article that was in the national review recently that criticized your group involvement in the investigation of hillary clinton, here's a little bit from that article. it's ever vomiting committee spokesperson are hailing the conservative watch grow -- watchdog group of drafting and the committees it best to get awake while claiming credit for some of its most important discoveries. the finalelease of report nearing, gop lawmakers, led by committee chairman trey gowdy are worried that the group will over politicized and much and just a group or -- much anticipated report. they've opened fire, keeping judicial watch of mischievous behavior. the two key instigator's are now at each other's throats, suggested deepening divide between congressional republican than conservative activist. the latter still hopes to wheel benghazi is a stake through the heart of clinton's president will build. -- presidential bid. guest: we just seek the truth.
this just shows you how effective judicial watch is. we are being attacked by the republican leadership of congress are doing our job and embarrassing them, and showing them up. the benghazi select committee would not be there but for judicial watch's disclosures. -- we have had disclosures that we've all made's all that the committee has either not been able to get, or may have had but didn't disclose that weren't being forthright with the american people and sitting on material. we have been critical when asked about what the benghazi committee has been up to comments is the payback. this to me as an extraordinary abuse of taxpayer resources to have paid staff of congress going around attacking a transparency group for doing its job. it, i don't believe even think the obama administration spends their time
proactively calling reporters and attacking our work. it's just incredible. let's hear now from someone on the republican line. larry from washington, d.c. is our next caller. go ahead. caller: good morning. my support judicial watch, you are correct in your statement that because of the interactions with a lack of the spine of congress to do the job, the separation of power of the legislative branch to check made the executive branch -- hillary clinton is going back 36 years -- now that she's campaigning for president, her statement before the house for intelligence committee -- what difference does it make? it shows she doesn't care about a pressure forces man. she just has contempt. to the pathological liar, a mass murderer, and i think your day is coming. that's my statement i wanted to
make to the people want to apologize for her. she's a forked tongue crook. host: that's larry from washington, d.c.. bill, northbrook, illinois on the independent line. go ahead, bill. caller: thanks for taking my call. going beyond the benghazi situation, the entire e-mail controversy -- i would like you to answer what is wrong with my statement -- how can it be that it takes virtually a year, with , andi agents investigating yet, there is no conclusion? as if our me government must be inept if we cannot conclude this investigation, regardless of what it shows.
to me, it's appalling that this has taken so long to come to some answer more to get the information that is needed to make a decision. host: that is bill from illinois. we are speaking with tom fitton of judicial watch. called, in the "washington post," the benghazi scandal of conducting a secretive and bungled investigation. why is that? guest: because it's been going on for two years, the american people don't know when it's up to. there have been few public hearings to educate the american people about the benghazi outrage. i believe the benghazi was a serious, serious abuse. we had lies by the president and mrs. clinton, designed to keep them in office that placed human lives in jeopardy. i think because of the lack of accountability, the lies continued -- lives continue to be placed in jeopardy, and the
benghazi committee has not done enough to vindicate those who have been killed in those who seek reassurance from the government. they don't know what they're doing. they refuse to disclose to the american people key information they have had for years, it democrats you complain about republicans, that they are politicizing investigations. they are right. policy -- the politics isn't the way the democrats think it is. the view one investigations is we don't like them, we don't think they politically work, so therefore, we won't do them. if we do them, we'll just do --ugh to keep the gull lake people like tom fitton and judicial watch and concerned american voters who are into this, happy. but not so much as to roil the waters.
the benghazi investigation of perfect example of that. host: let's hear from hillary clinton, defending herself in terms of the status of her e-mails investigation. she was on face the nation last week. [video clip] no one has reached out to me yet. last august i made it clear i am more than ready to talk to anybody, anytime a. i encouraged all of my assistants to be very forthcoming, and i hope that this is close to being wrapped up. >> no one said hillary clinton, we'd like to sit down and talk to you. it would clinton: not at this point. >> if there is this point where voters are thinking of you versus donald trump, some voters may be spaying attention now a different kind of way. what is your answer to the people who think fbi inquiry, that's a big deal. what do you say to them? hillary clinton: what have said for many lives. it's a security inquiry, i
always took classified material seriously. there was never any material march classified that was sent or received by me. i look forward to this being wrapped up. >> people ask what she has been learned -- what she has learned. hillary clinton: that was a mistake. it seems like a convenient idea the time, that certainly wasn't. i always take classified material seriously. there is no argument about that i'm aware of her in i will continue to do so. parameterswhatever are required for the president, which i know little bit about, having served with is an obama. -- with president obama. host: we are talking with tom fitton from judicial watch. william from quincy, massachusetts is on the democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i was just watching, and tom said at the beginning that is
watch group discovered the scandal. i would just like to say i don't he discovered it. the word that would be appropriate would be created. we have a chairman of the benghazi committee come out on national television and state that this committee was put together for the sole purpose of destroying her reputation. he didn't get the speaker ship of the house like he was supposed to the next day because of that. because he destroyed this entire benghazi committee. i personally think that the taxpayer should be repaid by the republican party for the cost of the benghazi committee. host: william, we hear you. tom fitton from judicial watch. didn't say we discovered it, we highlighted a key piece of information that the obamaryone knew
clinton team was lying about benghazi. that was admitted to in many ways. but we had a documented proof. it wasn't trey gowdy who made that political comment about the committee, i think he was kevin mccarthy. republicans, that's the mess they made, and that's what we do our own investigations, because folks like your caller responded republicanto quote investigations, and he gets bound up in politics. judicial watch is nonpartisan, we just try to get the documents of the them out there for people to judge for themselves or if you don't think benghazi is a big deal, that's fine. but at least review the documents that we been able to uncover and look at the documents. the committee hasn't been able -- has kept free much all documents they have. they have released a few. we release everything we can we get them. after we look at them.
and then put them out for the american people to look at. judicialwatch.org , look at the documents and judge for yourselves. don't take partisan words for, for yourselves. host: a comment from twitter -- nonpartisan at your conservative judicial watch doesn't know what that person is. guest: nonpartisan means not associated with the party. we can have a conservative outlook and not be republican or democrat, or associated with a particular candidate. nonpartisan means that we ask russians of both republicans and democrats, and the consequences negatively were positively for either party are inconsequential to us read we are principled. more information from a story in the "washington post," this year that says judicial watch criticism is not surprising given its history that the group is mostly aligned with conservative causes, a push for less government secrecy has made an uneasy ally for republicans to its founding in
1994. dick02, the group sued cheney and halliburton for a legit fraud, thing the company overstated its revenue under cheney's leadership. around the same time, he teamed up with the sierra club to sue for records related to energy task force run by cheney. the group has included republicans on his annual list of 10 most wanted corrupt politicians and cheered their legal defeats. peter is calling on the republican line. go ahead. caller: hi, tom. i saw you early on this morning i said i had to call in. you are a real patriot. the public doesn't really understand how important your organization is and the wonderful work that you are doing. if it wasn't for you guys, we wouldn't even know about hillary clinton. the thing that disturbs me the most about the media is that there are so many spinmeisters who are not interested in the
truth and justice, they are interested in getting this one way or the other. they have got a special place in the constitution that they are supposed to inform the public about wrongdoing, they don't do it. at least during the watergate investigations, there were some republicans on board who wanted to know the truth about what happened. i can't seem to see any democrats who are condemning mrs. clinton. gender, mrs. clinton is guilty of gross negligence. as just a fact. they just keep spinning this thing. i think trey gowdy and his organization is totally inept. they can't seem to get any information, and i think they are only interested in embarrassing mrs. clinton, and not bringing her to justice. i talked right all the time, because you on television. i said i would to meet tom and
shake his hand. because they got he is there. -- thank god he is there. guest: small world. -- i can tell you how my folks for media organizations, including well-known media outlets admire judicial watch. envious in a positive way of boy, i wish we could get the documents you are able to get. i wish we could commit our investigative resources to force the administration to be more forthcoming and follow the law and release documents as they are supposed to. from congress's perspective, members on both sides of the ande admire judicial watch their ability to get things congress can't. speaker boehner is no longer speaker because members were tired of being shown up by judicial watch. obama'se going to stop lawless radical agenda, the
least they could do was investigated, they weren't even doing that. that's why speaker boehner is no longer speaker, in some parts. host: how is judicial watch funded? guest: by voluntary contributions. we have over 400,000 supporters who write us checks every day. a widely supported organization, that an indication to me at least, and frankly, should be to politicians and the establishment class in washington that the american people are terribly concerned about government corruption, and figuring out what the government is up to. they host: mary lou from california is up next on the independent line. good morning to you. scamr: this man is another about hillary. he needs to do a witchhunt on
donald trump. he is least qualified to be president of the united states. there is a lot to be said about donald trump. hillary is the most qualified person to be president of the united states. republicans are very jealous. they do all of these witchhunts. he is a republican. he needs to be honest, and forget about these judicial is talkingatever he about. he is all about making money online. -- on lies. guest: i'm not sure how to respond about that. donald trump will come under judicial watch scrutiny the way that any other politician would. the thing with donald trump is he has not been an elected official, so he does not have as many records to get a hold of, as hillary clinton does. host: sherry from oklahoma is up
next. caller: yes. c-span, i cannot tell you how disappointed i am that you would keefe -- ar james o hack job. he is nothing but a republican hack job. talk about the investigation of one woman. he has more than enough issues that he could be investigating donald trump, which he will not need. host: we hear you this morning as well. we are speaking with tom fitton of judicial watch. there are several investigations into hillary clinton's e-mail. what is the justice department looking into? guest: all we can guess is what the reports are. the fbi, one of the cases said they are looking into her use of
the system, in the least. that is an issue for mrs. clinton. it is not a security investigation. the fbi director said he had never heard of a security investigation. .hat is a made-up term it is a criminal investigation into her conduct in the conduct of her colleagues and the handling of classified information. the fbi is also looking into the clinton foundation and basically the clinton cash machine while she was in office as secretary of state. one of the other foil litigation cases that pressured the release of this information is our request of conflict of interest, and when all of this the fan, or at least the state department began getting nervous about
this, we were getting and publicizing key documents showing that the clintons at the process was not all that ethical. president clinton sought approval for 250 speeches, and got approval for all of them and was able to earn money personally from the chinese government, other foreign entities. the state department did not care. mrs. clinton was benefiting from that too. the reports of goldman sachs after her six figures theyas secretary state, were giving her husband six figures while she was secretary of state.
her use of the foundation and the use of her position to take supporters,rs and she promised there would be a line between her and the would -- they would be careful ethical requirements to make sure there was no mixing of the two. what do the e-mails show? she was regularly getting advice from a clinton foundation employee. advisingumenthal was mrs. clinton on libya while she was secretary of state. she was actually banned reportedly from the white house. mrs. clinton did not want many people knowing that she was getting advice from sidney blumenthal.
was thehe top officials key cabinet advisor for mrs. clinton. sue: on the phone lines is from kentucky. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: go ahead with your question. caller: i would just love to know if anyone is looking at donald trump and looking into his background. be -- not seem to me to host: go ahead, you are on the air. seem tohe just does not me to be present much euro. host: all right. let's hear from one more caller, and then we will go back to our guest, tom fitton. line, davendependent
. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just want to highlight, if you could -- i am left of center, but not a huge hillary clinton fan. i want to comment on something from "the washington post." there was a piece of imagery korea.rth here is something i know. someone moved data from a classified network to an unclassified network. when you look at the freedom of information releases on the , mye department website question, if you know the information, the two ladies who sent e-mails to mrs. clinton have security releases? does anyone know who in the
state department's release this information for to get moved to mrs. clinton's server? guest: i think the last question, that is one thing that the fbi and justice department are now trying to answer. i believe they have security clearances. mrs. clinton sending the .nformation is gobbledygook initially she said it was not classified, then she said it was never marked classified. -- was requesting documents materials that were classified. the markings recognized its
classification. whether it is marked or not is irrelevant. she should be able to discern whether it is classified or not. saying it was not marked at the time has nothing to do with what the law is and what the requirements of the law are. the fact that she continues to lie about what the laws are and her obligations are is disturbing. that the obama administration continues the lies is even more disturbing. host: larry from tucson, arizona is on the line next. go ahead.
caller: hello? air. you are on the go ahead. caller: i want to know, does washington journal in c-span have any responsibilities in who s?ey choose for guest his comments and thought process is based on his knowledge. many benghazi investigations have there been? guest: not enough. caller: you say. guest: you have a strong opinion too. caller: you are a conservative. guest: this is the typical response, unfortunately. if you don't like what someone is saying, they should not be on air talking. folks like that
are not able to trample on the first amendment the way they would like to. .ost: the next color is jeans good morning. caller: good morning. this is an honor. thingh the first and god -- i watched the first benghazi hearing. big,ught, this is something is going to happen. i have come to the conclusion, if you are going to be chair of the committee in congress, they on you.have some dirt thank god for you guys. if i ever get any money, i will send you a check. guest: i think committee en are there at the benevolence of the leadership.
speaker ryan is responsible for how these things operate. accountability for the failure to make this a more public issue and to vindicate the public interest in .iguring out what went on we mentioned earlier the benghazi committee attacking judicial watch. faith in thehave fbi director? guest: i think the interest is the establishment once mrs. clinton indicted. the fbi will probably be interested in doing that. frombi is too often in you
criticism. i do not believe it is immune from criticism in the irs case. they were involved in getting irs material they were not supposed to get under law. disinterestedt a party. they are doing the investigation, and surprise, surprise, there are no investigations coming of it. the fbi should we subject to the same scrutiny that every other agency is. host: we have time for a few more callers rebuts get and sue from maryland. good morning. .aller: good morning, tom i just wanted to make a couple of quick comments. number one, i don't know if people understand the importance of foia.
you cannot foia a private individual. can is why hillary clinton be because she was part of the executive branch. i do not think people get the and how important it is. i also want to make the point that government transparency is not a partisan issue. if it was not for judicial watch, there is an amazing amount of information that the not have.blic would if you are thinking of writing a judicialde it to the watch. you are doing great work. keep it up. guest: that is an essential point. the freedom of information act is somewhat limited.
i cannot get president obama's phone messages, at least not yet. the freedom of information act is not apply to congress. it does not apply to the federal judiciary. it is somewhat limited. it is remarkable, given the limitations, what we are able to do. a little bit of work can go a long way. not rocket it is science. it is persistence and the willingness to ask questions and get accountability. host: the last caller will be donna. go ahead. caller: hello. host: you are on the air. upler: i am just like fed with everything. i watched the whole thing. they should have had someone
other than hillary clinton to be accounted for. enough is enough. alone.er host: we have to leave it there. your final thoughts? guest: this is not going away. people are concerned about and ghazi, mrs. clinton, everything else that the obama and mr. is doing. mrs. clinton is going to have to account for her e-mail scandal .nd key officials this issue is not going away. host: ♪
announcer: c-span's washington journal. up, the health care reporter for politico will be on addressing the opioid crisis. to combine a group of health hills with the recovery act in march. directorjames person, of the policy center for the wilson center will be on to talk about the seventh congress to the korean workers party which is being used as a key moment establishingun and his leadership. and a discussion about donald trump's visit this week and how it is being interpreted by republican parties. and a discussion on a book about historic sites across the united states. be sure to watch washington
journal beginning live at them and :00 a.m. sunday. announcer: president obama and obama hostedchelle a dinner with nordic leaders on friday. president obama into the presidents of iceland and denmark spoke. this is about 25 minutes. pres. obama: please join me in welcoming the president and first lady of finland. [applause] the leaders of norway. [applause] prime minister and mrs. lohman of sweden.
a little rough. they did not always have the best manners at the dinner table. [laughter] pres. obama: their outfits were not always appropriate. the times have changed. tonight our nordic friends are much better behaved. [laughter] president obama: we are honored to have you here as you can see from our decor, winter is coming. [laughter] this evening we have three speakers, so i will be brief. i do not want things to get out of hand. one of the great old norse poems from iceland offered advice on how to welcome a desk. -- guest. begin by drinking ale.
the more they drink, the less they can think and keep a watch over their wits. good advice. [laughter] president obama: perhaps easier said than done. it is true that our nordic friends have a repeat today, unlike the past, for modesty and for propriety. don't let them fool you, in these nordic countries, things can get a little while. i understand that in norway, one of the big on tv is national firewood night. [laughter] president obama: this is true. it is a video of logs burning for hours, and hours, and hours. that is crazy. [laughter] pres. obama: another show involves a view camera being strapped to the front of a train, so viewers could watch the rails. for seven hours. this sounds like riveting
entertainment. we will not do anything that crazy tonight. [laughter] pres. obama: but we are grateful for our friendship with the nordic peoples. even if we do sometimes get a little jealous about how perfect they seem to be. if you have visited any of these nordic countries, everything is orderly, everything is clean, everybody is well behaved. and even prompted a best-selling book called the almost nearly perfect people. but there were some shockers. nordic countries can get into heated arguments about which country is happiest. [laughter] do getbama: they also into arguments about who has the better hockey players.
until america steals them away. and they also have arguments about who has the honor of being the true hometown of santa claus. these are fierce debates that take place. among our nordic friends. but our work today actually does remind us of why we so value our nordic partners so much. in each other we find those who we work with and pursue common values. those we cherish the most. we stand together so the citizens can live in security and peace. we labor so our economy can create opportunity and prosperity. it goes not just to the top, but to the many. together we are on the forefront of the right to get climate change. to protect indigenous people of
the arctic. and in our own countries around the world, we stand for the dignity and equality of all people. many of our nordic friends are familiar with the great danish philosopher. among other causes he championed the idea of the school. the folks school. education that was not just made available to the elite, but to the many. training that prepared a person for active citizenship, and improving society. schoolme, and the folk thosent spread and one of in the united states was in tennessee. highlander f the olk school.
and especially during the 1960's, people came together to advancing justice. some of those who were trained or participated in the highlander schools, john lewis, dr. martin luther king, junior, they world shaped in part by highlander and the teachings of a great nordic loss of her -- philosopher. and they had a ripple effect on the civil rights movement and ultimately on making america a better place. we would not have been here had that stone that was thrown in a lake and created ripples of hope that ultimately spread across an ocean to the
united states of america and i might not be standing here were it not for the efforts of people like a lot baker and others to participated in the school. so that is just one small positivef the enormous influence that our nordic friends have had on our country and it is part of the reason we so value their friendship. repeat,efore in i will they punch above their weight and their values, their contributions, not just to make their own countries function well but to make the whole world a better place makes them one of our most valuable partners everywhere in the world and we are grateful for the outstanding work they do so i propose a -- to the friendship
between us and values that we share. may our nations continue to stand together and then for the moral preaching just the presidential axis. cheers. with that, i want to welcome the prime minister from iceland, followed by prime minister rasmussen of denmark. [applause] prime minister: mr. president, mrs. obama. let me begin by expressing my
pleasure at being here tonight and for your gracious hosting. for the welcome you have extended to iceland. we are honored to be here. most importantly as friends of the united states. greetings andus good wishes of our people. relations between iceland and the united states have always been strong. our initial and ongoing partnership and our broad friendship includes commercial, academic, and other ties. and it sometimes includes artists in cute dresses.
our friendship is based on solidarity and cooperation on some of today's most complex problems. our 2030 -- 2013 summit, i am pleased we have unitedzed the excellent states-nordic cooperation. i am also pleased that we have committed in our joint statement to further deepen and broaden of international issues. and interests align. we share the same values. respect for freedom and democracy and an unsinkable commitment to justice, human rights, and the role of law. the equalityted to and women's empowerment and we
work together for peace and equality. the end of your time in the office, mr. president, i would like to use this opportunity to commend your leadership. the conclusion of the paris climate agreement and the arctic. is population of iceland 1000 times smaller the in at of the united states. vikingmight expect from tocendents, we do not tied hind our apparent lack of superpower structures. -- we do not hide behind our apparent lack of super power structures. out how tol figuring aim them.
>> mr. president, first lady, dear colleagues from my neighboring countries, ladies and gentlemen, once i was seven-years-old, my mother told me, go make yourself some friends or you will be lovely. -- lovely. those lyrics are from a danish singer's hit song in the united states and i am a lonely guy because my predecessors did not wait for the song to be released for they follow the advice and therefore i am so privileged and happy to be here tonight surrounded by friends from the nordic countries but first and foremost, you, mr. president and your fantastic and dedicated wave michelle and all of your fellow americans.
the united states is truly one of our closest friends. invited meime you into the overall office, mr. president, you said that denmark was -- you make me proud. iw some sick shows later stand was not only denmark, but all the other nordic countries. [laughter and applause] minister: but nevertheless, i am still proud will stop -- i am still proud. and i believe these same goes for my colleagues so you can count on us and you know that. in that is probably why we are all invited here tonight because we punch above the our wait and we will continue to do so and after two nights splendid
dinner, we will definitely step up into a whole new weight class. [laughter] prime minister: the ties are strong and go way back. as you said, nordic viking's cross many years ago. and ever since, billions have looking windy countries for a new start in america, many of them settled. [applause] prime minister: i guess the weather made them feel at home. danisht johansson, of descent is living proof of that. and the swedes and the fans and the icelanders did their part two. the gene pulled that gave you julia roberts, matt damon, and
-- thurman, and that you norwegians, well, they gave you karl rove. [laughter and applause] prime minister: among many other things. so i guess it is fair to say we have had a certain impact on america in many different ways. so the question is, can we nordic's till contributed to america in the answer is a sent -- is a simple yes we can. [applause] prime minister: nordic are transforming
american cities with projects the the redesign of smithsonian here in washington based on a vision of making urban areas more livable, smart, and sustainable. the united states and nordic the lead ine taking the world of america and speaking of taking the lead, speaking of leadership, it is easy to see the importance and value of your leadership, mr. president. so without interfering in american politics i can truly and without a doubt say that you have been the best president you have ever had. [applause]
prime minister: now your presidency is coming to an end and i have something to admit. proud of donald, too. he is smart, he shows leadership skills, a true visionary, and of course, i am talking about donald the president of the european council which in your absence is the best president and europe could have. while being a role model is not always easy, so i've heard, you, mr. president, have become to represent the influence of america and people across the world. we share a common goal of giving affordable health-care -- providing affordable health care -- to all and i appreciate this. you also contributed to the agreement on climate change last -- well,we continue
both are disappointed in copenhagen but we worked hard workinally we continue our together on the issue. recently, mr. presidency, you swept the white house in rainbow colors. being the first country to allow same-sex partnership, denmark admires and supports your stance toward diversity and human rights. nevertheless, your presidency as coming to an end so congress will probably try to block most of your initiatives in the time to come. i guess that can be frustrating. being leader of a very small minority government, i know that from personal experience and if i may, allow me to give you a piece of personal advice.
when i get too frustrated, i let off steam by cooking. and i can recommend that. advice, i do take my think you could be inspired by the new nordic cuisine. edible foodsvolves such as moss, burke, and living ants. but maybe you could be helpful in our research into a recipe for lame-duck. [laughter] a greatnister: you are man and we will be happy to welcome you to copenhagen. denmark, as all the nordic countries can be honored to receive one of the most inspirational and charming figures in america, along with her husband, of course. [laughter] prime minister: so michelle, mr. president, ladies and gentlemen
let me propose a toast for the strong relations between our nations. the special friendship we have. to friendship. cheers. [applause] >> dinner is now served, but i think we're just identified the next comic for the white house correspondents dinner. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: enjoy, everybody. thank you. ♪
announcer: tomorrow, president obama gives the commencement beach to the graduating class of rutgers university. live coverage begins at 12: the eastern on c-span. >> congratulations to the class of 2016. today is your day of celebration and you have earned it. for peaceces crying and light because your choices will make all the difference to you and all of us. >> do not be afraid to take on cases where new jobs or new issues that really stretches your boundaries. >> expect a summer abroad for resident internships and the specter of liberty after this graduation day is not likely to
be your greatest concern. drop this month, watch commencement speeches to the classes of 2016 in there and tie her to buy business leaders, and white house officials on c-span. courtcer: next, supreme aboute sotomayor talks her career to an audience at rutgers university. then, a discussion on how the media is covering the 2016 presidential campaign. after that, the latest on the investigation concerning e-mails of former secretary of state hillary clinton. >> supreme court justice sonia sotomayor recently addressed an audience at rutgers university to talk about her life as a justice. she also talked about how much harder it is to be on the supreme court than lower courts
and why the supreme court needs diversity. the president of rutgers university introduced the justice. this is just over one hour. >> well that is a long way from that our side. in this arena you should be running it with a basketball or something. but i want to welcome you all here. i must say the line coming in here was remarkable. orderly, smiling, longer the end anything i have seen that wreckers did not in all free food. you were all able to get in. i must say, i have never seen the seats in the back filled either. so, yeah. good. as they say, good on you guys. just don't fall. i can just see that the tunnel effect could be brutal coming down here. i do want to welcome you here. as you know, this is rutgers
250th anniversary. we are delighted to be able to celebrate that. [applause] mr. barach: it is also the 60th anniversary of the eagles institute for policy. [applause] mr. barach: it is nice to have a 60th ended to 50th on the same year. this event is a discussion on civic engagement that is part of a series that is done in honor of lous gamicinia. he was a senior fellow and commissioner of transportation and was responsible for setting up the new jersey transit system. he sets an example for this. what we are doing today is trying to continue that tradition of civic engagement. we also have several governors
with us today. chief justice of the supreme court and a number of senators and assembly persons. thank you all for joining us today. i hope you guys have a good time. [applause] but my job today really is to introduce our guest and it really is an honor for me to do this. to welcome our guest or two records. she is as you know supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. it took a large menu to hold this crown. was scheduled for only 750 people. i'm a little embarrassed that we do not have columns and white marble here. but considering the number of people who have an opportunity to see and hear what she has to say, we could not be in a better place.
is the ideals bigger for a discussion like this for civic engagement because that is what she has done for her entire life. she is also the perfect speaker for our students here at rutgers. i will just take a moment to tell you a little about her. she was born in the bronx to parents who came from puerto rico. [applause] pres. robert barchi: she lost her dad as a grad student. her mother worked six days a week to provide for her and her mother. she was the first in her family to attend college. of the 8000 new students who joined us last year, a full quarter of them were the first in their family to attend college. [applause] pres. robert barchi: as near as i can tell, that was the only questionable decision in her
otherwise stellar career. she did make the choice to go south for her college experience to princeton. but we won't hold that against her, i assure you. she graduated summa cum laude from that institution down the road there. then she went to law school at yale where she was the editor of the journal at yale. she began her career as an assistant da in new york. she was an associate and then a trial lawyer where she litigated international commercial matters. her judicial experience began with her nomination by president to the court in new york and 1992. president bill clinton promote her to the u.s. court of appeals for the second circuit.
as most of you know, when barack obama was elected, his first nomination to the supreme court was our speaker today. she took our office in may of 2009. and when president obama nominated justice sotomayor or he said this, and i quote, her career has given her not only a sweeping the overview of the american judicial system but a practical understanding of how the law works in the everyday lives of the american people. i think that says it all. she took her seat as associate justice in august of 2009, the first hispanic and the third woman on the supreme court. [applause] pres. robert barchi: now, that does not do justice to her biography but she has a book
justice sotomayor: i was asked earlier today by a student if i still got nervous. i would like that student to come up here and look at this crowding and the answer that question for me. thank you so much. [applause] host: i do not think i have to do this introduction. a very warm welcome. i am already getting a sense of youmuch we appreciate coming here. it is such an honor. is this not on?
they told me it would be on. [applause] >> hello? [applause] justice sotomayor: experience makes perfect. host: can you hear me now? [laughter] >> let's switch that out. how about this? >> better. host: thank you. i just want to say a warm welcome. we are filled with joy and appreciation that you had said yes to come to rutgers university to help us celebrate some important anniversaries. the 250th anniversary of the university and the the 60th of the eagle institute of politics. what a pleasure. [applause]
host: the president mentioned the background of today's event. speaking personally, i will underscore that this is what you dream about when you write a fan letter. or more the hand that you dream about. that fan letter from me was on behalf of our remarkable student body that we are privileged to teach at rutgers, educating students about civic engagement and the importance of political participation, about taking responsibility for our representative democracy which is that the heart of the eagle institute of politics. that is at the core of today's special event. the response to this event has been tremendous to say the least and therefore our move to this rather large venue that normally invites guests to visit with us.
that has made a casual question and answer session in possible. -- impossible. instead, students from all of our campuses have submitted questions in advance. and some of them have been invited to join us on the court. but before we hear from the students, i have the privilege of asking several questions. i am going to begin with a fan letter that was written about the book i read a couple of years ago which had such a tremendous impact on me. it was so inspiring. i would like you to talk about the title for that book,"my beloved world." will you tell us what was behind the title? sotomayor: as those of
you who have read my book know, dustmes from a alum by a -- it comes -- puerto ricany a author who has been displaced for a long time. froms talking about a poet puerto rico. my editor called me up because we have been going back and forth for about three years. he said, sonja, have you ever read this? he said go back to it.
oem,as a much longer p but i finished it. when i thought about it, i actually found people who do not like the title. i realized that when i wrote the book, i had in me the objectivity and impartiality that is a part of my profession. it is a craft and my profession. look at thingsto as objectively as you humanly can. and so as i wrote about my book, i hope you are aware that i was painfully object of in terms of talking about both the challenges of my life and the good times of my life. because for many of us, don't those go hand-in-hand? they are really two sides of the same coin. and when i wanted to do was to let people understand that i
know that both the positive and negative of my life had crafted me. they made me. and they made all of the good that is in me. and my mother would say, all the bad, too. amalgam ofm is an those experiences. and for me, each one was necessary for creating who i am. and so when i finished the book, i realized that i loved my life. the kinds ofin position i have been thrown in, people always ask me, what would you redo? anti-tell people, not a thing. first of all, it would be disingenuous. how many people get to the supreme court, ok? [laughter]
justice sotomayor: even though i wouldn't want to change that, there are parts that i could have done without but i do appreciate that with it, it made a better person. and so hence the title, my beloved world. host: as everyone knows who has read the book and full in your career, you came from humble beginnings to one of the nations most prestigious and visible positions. what if you have you held on to from your earliest days. sotomayor: well, my goodness, read my book. just about everything. i tell people that i am the proudest american you can ever imagine. from new york city. but when i talk to people, i also tell them, i have a puerto rican heart.
because my culture is deeply ingrained in me. who i am is all of the experiences i have had but also the values. it is not just because i am puerto rican, a lot of cultures have those common values. all of us have the love of family, love of community, love of country. but there is something in the music that i heard and the poetry that i read and the food i ate and the dances that my family had that stays in the very core of you. into that corner is so vibrant and important to me that i do it willk it will -- extinguish the day i do -- how's that? it is part of everything i do.
i bring it with me to just about everything i do. [applause] justice sotomayor: i will tell a story, i think it will interest the audience. the day the president called me to tell me he had selected me to be his nominee for the court, he had me make two promises. one of the tube was to stay tied to my community and myra response to him was, mr. president, i do not know how to do anything else. that responseat not only was genuine, it was to im and i do not know that he understood, however, that to my familyty was not just my or even my puerto rican culture, it is much wider and that. i care very deeply about. it is a country i'm very devoted to.
it is issues that are very important to me. critically important to me, education being foremost. [applause] justice sotomayor: and so all of that is my sense of community. host: going back to the family, how that relationship has evolved from the book. it is the parents and from what you're saying, of course, the key theme and a priority in your life. being a supreme court justice is so high profile, being in the presence of a justice can be so intimidating. although you make it easy, i must say. has being on the court really affected you? has the same affected your family and the relationship with your family? justice sotomayor: the day i got
the call from my brother telling me he was in a gym in california and guess what? the president walked in and he went up to the secret service agent and told him that he was justice sotomayor your: -- brother, hemayor,'s got to shake the president's hand. and he said, ok, this is worth something. [applause] sotomayor: like the person who bears my last name who told the police she was my cousin. i had no idea this person was. and, there are moments when it affects family and very dear friends. i told stories of moments with friends where we really had to talk through the relationship and the situation. more of the situation.
people will torture my family and friends to get to me. so i will say yes to doing something. and at the beginning it was very hard because they felt some loyalty. loyalty to whomever was asking them to do the thing but at the same time, they understood my life i've gotten very, located. but i found, just like i talk about in the book, that really talking it out makes a huge, huge difference. and each of us have found a protocol for dealing with this that takes the pressure away from them and from me. and so, yes that does affect you. earlier i told students at lunch that the first christmas that i went to, my own is with my brother in syracuse. we do and around new year's because everybody has nuclear families elsewhere. my brother in
syracuse so i come back to the city in new year's and we have an outing at my cousin miriam's home. is will know who she is, she "mimi" in the book. i came in and i sat down with them on the couch and there was silence. deafening silence. in a puerto rican party, nobody shuts up. all you hear is people talking above each other and i looked around and i said what's wrong with you guys? i'm still sonia. and the room burst out in laughter. and everybody started talking over each other and asking me as questions- asking me and we started going through and catching up.
there are events i miss because i cannot leave the court. events that the family knows i would have been at. including my 90-year-old aunt's birthdays. that is something i would have never missed except they decided to have it on a day that i was away. my point is that sure, it changes things, but we work hard on keeping it the same. but it is a work in progress, none of this happens on its own. but it is them working with me. if the event is really critical to them, they have learned to call early so we can get it on my schedule. and they have even accommodated funerals i can come in from washington and put it off the day so that i could travel. it is a give-and-take that we are doing here to maintain the relationship as close the same as possible.
host: in the memoir, you touched on the role of politics and the judicial appointment process. and the need to make your self and your skills, oneself and one's skills known to yourself to be considered for a judgeship. what was the experience of making your skills known and particularly for some of our students here, what advice would you give to young people about how and when to be your own cheerleader? justice sotomayor: i believe in letting your actions speak for you. the one thing i did was to ensure in every stage of my career that i was doing the very best job i humanly could. studied and and
studied both in high school and at present and at -- and at princeton and at yale. talks to you about how i learned how to re-right in college because i thought that my writing was inadequate. audio] please.und, hello? sotomayor: so i went back and reread grammar books. to reteach myself and learn english grammar. two how to apply it to actually writing. i've done that in my professional pursuits. my first year at every job i have really not been distracted by anything else.
i studied as hard as i could. once i felt i was in control of the process i was in, then i would go out and do other things and try to become a leader in those things that interested me. one of the hardest things to do today, i look at the resumes of students and you are often so involved in so many different things i worry that you are missing the point. you should get involved in a couple of things that are really important to you and excel at them. become a leader. do something noteworthy, that people will talk about in their letters of recommendation about you. it can't just be, she's a member of xyz and abc. she does this and that. it is really important for a letter to talk about what your passions are and to show how
good you've been. that is how i dealt with my professional career. it was putting my head down and being the best i could. the best lawyer i could be in be da's office. getting a reputation for being tough but fair. that was important for me. but most important to me was being passionate about the work i do. don't do any work that you're not passionate about. first of all, you won't be good at it. if the work doesn't interest you, if it does not satisfy something in you, then you're not going to be the best at it. but if you going to any work situation recognizing that you can learn things from any situation that you're in and work to milk that learning experience to its utmost, then you will grow passionate about
your work. because except for illegal activity, all other work has value. you know, i tell law students, especially those who are so passionate about public interest , it is not a sin to make money. all right? it is not. [applause] justice sotomayor lara: and commensurate with that, it is not a sin to work for a corporation or to work for a big law firm or to make money. it is a sin if you do those things without giving back to your community. if you do those things without volunteering. [applause] justice sotomayor or: without using some of those resources. in helping public interest activity. then there's something wrong. but all of it has inherent
value. all working can be intellectually stimulating. in all work you do, you can help people. on april 15, all of you are very happy with your tax account. x a. do, don't they get bored with those numbers? this is fascinating to them. really good accountants that are working closely with you are really trying to help you, not but to be honest and upstanding of how you report your income, you know that you value them. value the taxicab driver that -- needu where you to to go. you can value the person who
brought you food in a hotel. you can value anybody that provides a service for you. afraid of thinking of public interest more broadly. think of it as an opportunity to what job satisfies and intellectual interests makes use of your natural talent and where you can use those sometimesbenefit yourself and others. you end up with a passionate life. that is an important thing you should be thinking about. don't eliminate choices simply because others think it is horrible.
there is nothing horrible about it. be putare honest, it can to good use. >> we're having trouble. >> hello? i got it now. i will give it back. host: now that you are on the supreme court, do you view your role as a judge differently from one -- when you served on a lower court? in what ways? how did that very? -- vary? you see a lotyor: of men and women in suits. marshalshem are u.s. and campus police, and some of the local police.
their job is to protect me, not from you, but from me. i like doing something they do not like. they think it with me and danger, i don't. i do it. i do it because you will make me a promise. which is, you will not get up when i walk around. i don't like sitting still. [applause] if you read my book you will a hothat i was called pepper when i was a child by my mother because i never set still. i was always up and down. i have not stopped that sent. since. i also think if i move closer you will feel like we're having a real conversation. do not get up. if you do, they jump into action. [laughter] a gets a little messy. -- it gets a little messy. i will try to make it up there.
[applause] but i am not that young anymore. we will try. all right. is there a difference? it is harder. much harder to be a supreme court justice. when i was on the lower courts, the district in trial courts, i when ithought to myself got to the supreme court, how much different could it be? a lot. it starts with, that i had not realized or appreciated, when i was on the district and circuit courts, how much comfort i took in making decisions from the fact that there was a record above me -- a court above me that could fix my mistakes. that really gives you an out.
you struggle with a question, you do the best you can, it is much easier to let go when you know you're not a final word. i am part of the final word. although congress can fix some of the things that the supreme court does wrong, cannot fix others. questionstional question -- on statutory questions it is not easy for congress to act and change laws or things that many of them -- many congress people may think is wrong. making a decision is much harder. ways i feel it more a burden. in everyr one thing single case that comes before the supreme court. we are announcing the winner.
we are telling one side they were right. the nuances,past sometimes it is wrong and one thing and right on another. generally one side is going to come away feeling vindicated by the decision. the flip is someone lost. feels like something important has been taken away from them. either a right they thought they lossor a recognition of a that was deeply felt by them. and that makes this job that much harder. so that part of the judging is very difficult -- different. howeverical difference
is, so the layperson can understand it, we are the court of last resort. when do we take cases? we take cases when the lower courts have disagreed about the answer to a legal question. it is what we typically call a circuit split. there are 13 circuits in the u.s. that cover the 50 states plus territories. the circuits are not of equal size. some of them are bigger. , but bigger inr the terms of the people. if you start from the proposition that we have to have either a circuit split or a split among the circuits in a state court, the highest state court, or a split among courts generally, before we take a
case, what does that tell you? we take only the hard cases. we take the cases where reasonable people have disagreed. because you have to start from the assumption that if courts made ofhat are always judges trying their hardest. they cannot find the answer. the answer for us is not easy. complaint att of times, i hear because we do not agree more. i look at people and say, why do a unanimity of opinion when the reason the case came to us is because other people could not agree? is on a fundamental
difference from the other job, the other courts. the other courts get a certain number of cases that are right on the margin, but the numbers much smaller than the everyday work. as one of my colleagues once said about a case, the minute it comes to the supreme court, it is a supreme court case. as soon as we say, yes, we will hear a case, everyone revs up to tell us every side of the case. it is harder. every case is on the market -- margin. ruth? hi, is this working? great. i'm going to ask one last question. new jersey is a very, do not let her go to high up. [laughter]
not to nosebleed territory. raciallyy is a very and ethnically -- justice sotomayor: go ahead. start again. roof: as i was saying -- uth: new jersey is one of the most diverse states. we know that that makes a difference here in new jersey. it certainly defines that shapes the culture. does diversity on the court makes it is -- court make a difference? how and why? this is my last question. justice sotomayor: that is your last question. then i get students. we represent the country. we make decisions that affect every single person in the country.
sometimes, and some of our decisions, the world. we also supervise, generally, the practice of law in the country. we are influencing the work of lawyers in every single profession there is. in the country. so to be able to represent all of those people, it is helpful when the justices have presence among themselves, as much and as varied and experience base as the country has. it is not because the sitting justices cannot learn about how other people are feeling or what they are experiencing. because we do. ability topersonal
explain an argument that you know if your colleagues have not had it, that your view -- voice and let them see it in a different way. i give a very simple, simple example. --ber of years ago the case in a case, there was a 13-year-old girl who is at a no drug school. three reported through layers of hearsay to her principal that she had taken an aspirin. she was called into the principal or vice principal's strip-searched to see she had aspirin. she then came to the court and sued because it was a state school for an unreasonable search and seizure. -- the court was hearing the
argument and i was not there when it happened. i'm talking about something i read about. some of my colleagues, now colleagues, where than asking the lawyers, her lawyers, questions. wastenor of which basically what is the difference between this and strip searching to go to the gym and workout? justice ginsburg was reported to have said, after the argument, that she feared that some of her company colleagues -- her male colleagues did not understand how it felt to be a 13-year-old important the sense of body privacy and sensitive that is at that time. [applause] now --
did it make a difference in the decision-making? i am probably going to say no. not any. my colleagues are lawyers and judges, and they based it on what their view of the constitution required and not. -- and did not. i know one thing, there was not a majority dissenting or concurring opinion that insulted a little girl by telling her that this was no different than changing in a locker room. that itself is worthwhile. that you have people on the court who can tell each other what you are seeing, how you are seeing it, is going to be hurtful. how or what you believe about others may not have a foundation. those conversations exist. will they influence the outcome? not likely. they do influence the manner in which we approach the issue.
that has, to me, important. -- importance. that is why i think diversify -- of all kinds, professional backgrounds and how people grow up, what they have done with their lives is critically important, and valuable to the experience of the judge. [applause] host: it was nice to see you. justice sotomayor: you still can. hello. some of our students are now more than ready for their turn to ask some questions. we are going to begin with angelo. angelo is a sophomore in the school of arts and sciences,
majoring in math. if my noseomayor: starts to bleed i will tell you you are right. [applause] you plan. here.angelo is down justice sotomayor: go ahead. we have heard the phrase that words cannot describe certain feelings, but i hope you do not mind me asking, in what words can you describe your feelings during the moments of being sworn in as a supreme court justice, and how do you feel -- did you feel when you became one of the most powerful and influential latinos here in the country? [applause] it remainsomayor:
for me an absolutely surreal expense -- experience. what does itask feel like to be a part of history? i look at them quizzically. it is not just that words cannot explain it. it is that it does not feel real . if i thought and lived that way every day, i would stop doing the things that i thought were right to do. there is a piece of me that sort ,f pushes it out of my mind because it is not important to my everyday living. other than i do not walk around in shorts anymore. because i am afraid of the pictures people will take. [laughter] when i am in a restaurant and i see people with their phones coming up from under the table to take a picture as i have to going in my mouth i stop.
that sort of thing does affect you. lived large you cannot thinking about that. you have to live doing what you think is the right thing to do at the time. so i don't think about it too often. what was it like when i first went to be sworn in. first of all, you have to understand that i was sitting in john marshall's chair. glassbehind a protective enclosure at the supreme court. they only bring it out for swearing-in. signeddays before, i had the john marshall -- john harlan, first john harlan bible. every justice since has signed.
when they gave me the book and i was reading the names, it really was like an outer body experience. how do you describe feeling that? me, inam, across from what would be either the guest, in a for regular courtroom might be the jury box. -- was box were sitting sitting the president of the united states. , all i couldn in think about was my god, thank you for this gift. that is all -- [applause] when i turned around to look at my family and friends and there were tears in everyone's eyes, i
knew that a moment had passed. i never imagined. i never dreamed of. because from a kid from the south bronx, who had no lawyers and her family, i did not know a in her court existed -- family, i did not know a supreme court existed. you cannot dream about what you do not know about. [applause] lived and reached something far, far beyond any dreams i ever had. last --se of being blessed with very real to me that day. angelo: thank you. [applause] host: thank you, our next question comes from -- justice sotomayor:wow, you guys are dedicated. thank you. [applause]
thank you. i'm sorry.omayor: host: are you ready? our next questions come from to students who have complementary questions. i ask them to come forward. one is a sophomore in the school of arts and sciences, majoring in political science. major -- aa junior junior majoring in psychology at the canton college. -- camden college. it -- asstion is, as the first latina on the supreme court, do you feel pressured to set a standard? -- ice sotomayor: >> what advice can you give to young latinas interested in
pursuing leadership? thinke sotomayor: i don't that i have ever lived my life feeling pressure from others. pressure is always inside of me. way, anything that i have ever wanted to achieve or do i have done because it was a sight i set for myself. [applause] you cannot live your life for your parents. my mother wanted me to be a journalist. because she always wanted to write and travel the world. so if i had lived her all oftions, i can tell the journalists down there, i would have disappointed her. no, what i do is i set a standard for myself.
i do what i think is important to do. that, which i think makes a contribution. i said something earlier today that ruth told me she liked, so i will repeat it. every night before i go to sleep questions, the first one is, what did i learn new today? help ornd is, how did i extend an act of kindness to someone? if i cannot answer each question, i do not follow slate. i go on the internet -- if i cannot answer each question, i do not fall asleep, i go on the internet. i read an article, or a think about a friend i have been out of touch with or a friend in need. i get into context with them by e-mail -- contact them by e-mail
so they know am thinking about them. with respect to the second part of that question, it is in keeping with the first, which is, to be a leader, you have to lead a life by example. wayhave to show people the to be better people. kindmeans, not just being to the people in your life, even when they are not kind to you. it means by doing things that help others. you define the agenda. you look at what needs to be done in the world and what you think your talents can help you bring to the world. that will create a leader. i have found that if you do good things, people will come and help you do them.
good luck to you. >> thank you. [applause] justice sotomayor: it is hot at here. -- up here. i see all of the fans and i understand why. it is really hot. sorry. i am going to go that way. [applause] to drive mying security really crazy. go ahead, sarah, take the lead. this is much easier. host: this is my first experience with the goddess. i hear you, but i do not see you. justice sotomayor: thank you. who is next?
host: our next para students with koppelman three questions -- care of students with -- wouldtary questions you come to the microphone? politicalsophomore science major in the school of arts and sciences and connie is a junior in a school of arts and sciences. her major is political science and journalism and media studies. she is minoring in french. would you begin? >> good afternoon. my question is, how does one balance their own personal opinions on a case, but at the same time try to remain object of -- objective with the law? is there a balance? or are they different? justice sotomayor: let me start
with the realization that you have to have as a judge, what our laws? -- are laws? laws are society's definition of how it will balance the competing interests of people. the first example that i give everyone is a law that affects every signal person in this room -- single person in this room, when they go outside. you go to the corner, you stop at the red light, why? there is a law that tells you if you do not, you will get a ticket. have that law? what is it doing? it is taking a bit of every person's time, putting it into a
pool and saying, you cannot get to where you want to go as fast as you would like. you cannot push people out of the way. you cannot danger them to reach your goal. everybody stops at the red light, gives us time so society, and most of its people can reach their goal safely. , that think of most laws is what laws are doing. they are trying to balance the competing needs of people in society. choice,e a different -- as ase it is a judge judge, i am rebalancing something that is much, much more complicated than my individual understanding.
i am doing a greater injustice to the society that depends on the rule of law to help us believe, rightly, that it is a fair society. it is a society not governed by the whim of one individual judge , but by a system of justice respects its judges to that their view of what might be fair could be very unfair. belief in a process of law, the way i do, and that i believe that over time if laws are not good laws, you will change them. -- people will change them. i know laws have changed in response to court opinions. look at what happened to
desegregation. a court segregated society, and a court and segregated society. took too long. took way too long. but we can, and bad laws can be changed. they can be changed by you. not thethe tension is one that you sent forward. i don't feel that the same way. >> thank you. [applause] host: connie. connie: good afternoon, my question is, how does your decision-making process work? do you rely on your own ethics? do you consider the views of the american public? is it something in between? justice sotomayor: you will be disappointed, i don't do any of that. [laughter] i read the briefs the parties give me.
i read the prior supreme court cases that informed the issue. i read the decisions that the lower court have issued, addressing the question. as i already told you, they are generally split. i'm getting two sides of the story there. we have friends of the court, i read those. , ier i've read all of that look at the issue and they deconstruct it. try to to break down -- break down its elements as a legal question. i put it together in the framework that i see the law as having created. , in some ways academic process. , am not relying on my ethics or my own personal views. i am trying to decipher from the body of law that informs the
question i am addressing, what are the fundamental principles that that body of law is dictating? what are the values it is setting forth? what are the approaches to the rights and remedies people are seeking that the law has created? that is how i arrived at my arrive-- that is how i at my answer. connie: thank you. host: the next question, and i'm afraid it will be the last one, i apologize to the students that we could not get to. michael guggenheim is a senior in the school of arts and sciences. undergraduateton minoring in modern hebrew. michael: hello. that was not my question. justice sotomayor: i doubt that.
i don't think she would let you out there. michael: obviously there is a lot of political intrigue in the supreme court. a lot of powerful people are interested in the decisions that you come to any effects that they have on public policy and commerce. my question is, what if any effect is that political interests have on the court decision-making process, and what steps do you take to maybe isolate yourself from that political interest? is it just something that you and the other justices get used to overtime? justice sotomayor: you do not get on the court unless you are a concerned citizen. every single justice has had a career in which they have devoted their lives, in some form or a the other -- or the other to the public view. even any private practice