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tv   Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Hold Forum on Judge Merrick Garland  CSPAN  May 21, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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feinstein, one of the most valuable members of this committee. please go ahead. >> thank you. it's my honor and privilege to be here today to talk to you about someone i know very, very well, who we worked very closely with at the department of justice, judge merrick garland. merrick and i have known one another. we were at the d.o.j. in 1993 to 1997. but i think probably the time we really bonded were the days of the oklahoma city bombing. he and i were out there, we were probably the first people out there br -- from the department of justice, excluding the team from the western district of oklahoma, the oklahoma city prosecutors. i got an opportunity at that time to see merrick firsthand utmost h ut mote -- chaos and tragedy, and the entire time just focusing on what needed to be done, that a
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prosecution had to occur, that the investigation needed to be done in the right way and to make sure that the rule of law was going to be filed -- followed and that emotions would not take any part've what we were doing. and it was an interesting time. it was choose. -- chaos. everybody probably wanted to stop what we -- they were doing because it was the most horrific crime on american soil at the time but we had to go forward, we had to bring the perpetrators to justice. we had to find out what was going on, what actually happened. we also had like i've never seen before in my entire professional life as a prrks more tools, more agents, more cops, more first responders all in one spot and all anybody wanted to do was to help and we needed somebody to be the conductor and to orchestrate all that energy, all that smartness, all that brains, all that power, to go ahead and investigate the case.
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and i can answer you plenty of questions with you, but merrick and i literally, when he got there, we walked the building. we walked through the murrah building, around the building. at the time we walked past the day care center. neither of us said anything. we just kept walking and there -- cars that literally were still smowled -- smoldering between the murrah building and the daily register. there were cadaver dogs and first rescue dogs trying to find remains of people that perished in that going -- building that day and walking through there, it was more not being talked about. actually we didn't talk about it until the 20-year reunion in oklahoma city -- we finally just talked about it and both of us have -- had tears in our eyes the whole time. tears in our eyes did not
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happen in oklahoma city. oo much adrenaline and we made sure we were doing our job for the american people. but watching merrick literally navigate his way to mike sure everybody had a role and had their voices heard was just something remarkable. merrick is daum under pressure. you never really know what's going on in his head and he's always 25 steps ahead of everybody else and there were some decisions made early on in that investigation that but for merrick we could have made a mistake. we could have made lots of mace -- mistakes because at the time everybody just wanted to throw the evidence at us, without making sure that our papers were documented and we had done exactly what needed to be done in following the rule be law. but i'm going to allow the rest of my colleagues here to speak about merrick and i'll be more
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than happy to answer any questions about judge garland and his qualifications. senator leahy: thank you. and judge lewis, we've heard that we can't move forward because it's an election year. you were nom inayed to the third sict september 1992, so it was an election yeah, also a presidential election year. you were nominated by a republican president, the senate democrats were in the majority and we got you through in confirmation in october of the election year. am i correct on those dates? you are correct. yes, you are correct. senator leahy: so would it be safe to say that if the democrats had said there's an election year exception, you would not have been confirmed?
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>> i think it is fair to say that and i think it's also fair to say that especially when it comes to nominations for the united states supreme court, i have never ban ware of an election year exception until this happened. yes, i was nominated by president george h.w. bush for a vacancy on the third circuit court of appeals on i believe september 18, 1992. this of course was on the eve of a presidential election. it was a hotly contested one, of course, as they all are and i was unanimously confirmed on october 8. the elect -- election was november 3. i am living proof that that can happen. and i am also living proof that
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the republic still survives and goes on and does fairly well, i hope. ou know, it's also true that not only did the party who then was a majority party in the senate and obviously on the committee proceed with my nomination and confirmation as well as others, on the eve of party tion, but that also took the house. so there was, as i wrote in my statement, really no harm, no foul, and i think that at that time, and this was now 24 years go, there was a culture of bipartisanship that is seve errly lacking today, and that's
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most unfortunate. you know, i come from a wonderful commonwealth that has produced the likes of hugh arlen ick squiker, specter, my current senator this is, this is so unfortunate to those of us who have whiched -- witnessed over the years, my home state senators reached out across the aisles to get things done in so many ways. john heinz. and today we are mired in a very unfortunate and dysfunctional place that is resulting in what is going on now with respect to a wonderful judge, a highly qualified nominee, and incidentally a
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terrific human being, merrick garland. so you ask why i am here, i am here because i refuse to accept that and i think the country should refuse to accept it, too. i believe that it is the responsibility of the united it is enate, just as the responsibility of citizens of this country, to rise above these petty self interests and to act with honor and with decency and i think that that is compelled by the very oath that members of this body have taken. i think that we respect the values and traditions that are time-honored such as the confirmation process. just a hearing, whether or not a hear -- confirmation even happens remains to be seen, but a hearing. the decency to provide a hearing and let the american
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public view judge garland under questioning, vetted fully. at a minimum it's the decent thing to do, whether it is compelled by law or not, it is certainly compelled by tradition and decency. i am also here because i believe that the united states supreme court should never be viewed as a political arm, not party. cal arm of any i detest as a former federal judge seeing that occur today. is ieve the supreme court a simwol of our greatest aspirations as a society and i believe we have to do whatever we can and that's why i'm here today to help ensure that that continues. thank you. senator leahy: thank you very
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much. i had the privilege of serving with both senators hugh scott and john heinz and i agree with what you said. of course we have former secretary rodney slater, who i mentioned before and we talked this his and the -- and nomination so i will turn to you, secretary slater. please go ahead. >> thank you. thank you, senators. i'd actually like to begin with reference to the comments just made by judge lewis because it's interesting that i was making my way to washington hopefully, because we were in the midst of a very rigorous campaign during that period, october 1992, and i was working for a young governor from a small state, arkansas, and for
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of ust the anticipation what that journey could be out, it never became clear until now the interesting thread that actually ties us all together as we move across the political process through our system that can take us from one administration to the next that allows our country to continue to move forward as a beacon of light and hope for democracies around the world. it's clear from judge lewis' comments that we gather not for y partisan purpose, but as believers in the constitution. a constitution that has caused us all to take a solemn oath to defend and support the constitution and has given some
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of us the opportunity to be nominated by a president and then confirmed by the senate. that is a very sacred and special process. and it is something to be treasured and guarded. it is also something to be defended, and so in that spirit of just seeing how one administration can move to the next and a process can go forward to bring one appropriately to a seat on the bench and another into an administration, frankly that would have the opportunity to bucella, thank you and thank judge garland for the work that you did and responding to the oklahoma city bombing.
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i was the federal highway administrator during my first stint in the federal government , and we lost 11 individuals, members of our team who were part of the 168 killed that day. and it was in that breach of a hollowed-out federal building of shattered lives and of grave bucella ty that miss and judge garland stepped forward to protect and defend. and so i'm here to say thanks for that effort. i'm also here to say to judge garland and to say to all of had at he and i actually this special relationship with an individual i would also like to lift up at this moment. his name is mr. william t.
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coleman. he was the first african-american secretary of transportation. he was appointed, nominated, and confirmed during theford administration. and so he, too, came to the fore at a special time and he gave me counsel when i was going through the process. but he's also a very dear friend to judge garland. interestingly, they both are honored and distinguished graduates of the harvard school of law, they both clerked at the supreme court, and they both have a fond and committed respect for the law and for the rule of law. and so i lift up his connection as well. and then finally i'd just like to say this. when my wife and i came to washed -- washington, we didn't nope a lot of people.
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we had a young daughter, her name was bridget, and we met the garlands, who had two daughters, merrick and lynn and their daughters, rebecca and jesse, gave us a sense of the place and helped us become comfortable in the place. and so over the years we've gone to a host of parent-teacher meetings. we've gone to parents' nights, we've gone to sporting events, we have talked about the hopes and dreams and aspirations for our daughters. and so i come also to say that this is a good man. he's a devoted husband, he's a doting father. and he's an engaged and committed parent. and so i'm just very, very pleased to be here in this connected group of individuals to lift my voice in support of judge garland's nomination to the united states supreme court.
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senator leahy: thank you very much. of course, secretary driver, as i said is a professor at the university of chicago law school. he has inside knowledge in that he clerked for judge garland. also clerked for two supreme court justices, one sandra day o'connor, who was nominated by ronald reagan, and the other, justice brier, who was -- breyer, who was nominated by president bill clinton. so please go ahead. >> members of the senate, i am honored to have this opportunity to appear before you today in order to comment on the nomination of chief judge garland to be an associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. as the senator just mentioned i had the privilege of serving as a law clerk to judge garland on the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit from 2005 to
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2006. clayton kershawing for judge garland was an invaluable experience. it was without question the most formative single year of my entire career. as has been well documented by now, judge garland possesses an unbelieveably sharp analytical mind. he works very long hours in order to make sure that his cases come out in the right way. is, many people have aid -- said, a judge's judge. he's a judicial crafertsman of the highest order and in order to do that takes long hours immersing himself in the cases and the briefs, talking about the cases with the clerks in order to make sure that he's researching the right conclusion. and his approach to the law, he deliberately avoids offering some sort of grand and sweeping pronouncements and instead keeps the opinions narrow sco
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as to dispose of the cased that are before him and -- cases that are before him and to honor the existing precedents. he also makes sure that he never loses sight of the fact that these legal opinions that he and his colleagues produce influence the lives of ordinary citizens. he's very aware of that. so as i say he's meticulous in his approach and nothing better exemplifies that idea than before he would circulate the opinions to his colleagues on the d.c. circuit he would have two law clerks, one standing on either side of him and he would read each word of the draft opinion allowed -- aloud in order to make sure everything was exactly right and be open to last-minute modifycations. so that's emblematic of his approach fought law. he's also, as i say, measured in his approach to the law. he had an uncommon ability to
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identify common ground among his fellow judges. he brought people, you know, from different backgrounds, from different viewpoints together as a way of fostering consensus. -- dissented very few times in his years on the d.c. circuit and he has absolutely first rate demeanor. one of the first questions he would ask when he returned to our chambers -- chambers offer oral argument was "how was my demeanor on the bench?" he wanted to be sure he was asking tough questions but also being fair to the attorneys before him and demonstrating represent to these people who were working with him in order to shape our legal enterprise. it's that attitude and that willingness to see people and try to see things from their perspective that has won him a host of admirers on, who are
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republicans but who are also lawyers and identify judge gharmand -- garland as being someone who is open-minded and fair-mind and demonstrates all the qualities of being an open-minded, fair justice. biff close, i want to mention some of judge garland's personal characteristics that inspire such deep loyalty among the law clerks. you know, you clerk for judge garland for unbeaten year and then he stands by you for the rest of your life. there are two instances of relatively recent vintage in my own life that demonstrate that he stands by his law clerks through times difficult and joyous alike. whether my mother died a little more than two years ago, judge garland wrote an incredibly warm note offering me condolences for my loss. when i received an endowed chair at the university of chicago a few months ago, judge garland was one of the very
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first people to reach oit and congratulate me on that honor. so through times difficult and joyous, he's there by your side. the other thing is that, you know, one of the really vivid, indelible images from my time during the clerkship is that right around 6:00 p.m. judge garland would be, i would see him sort of furiously, feverishly packing cases and binders into his briefcase and then rushing out of the office with a quick "good night" to make sure he made it home to have dinner with his wife, lynn, and their two daughters. there was nothing more important than that. he definitely wanted to have the materials later in the evening for review, but nothing was more important than that. the other thing, i remember a very early conversation i had with him. judge garland had incisive views about adam levine's vocal stylings and maroon 5. he's incredibly sort of insightful commentary about the
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relative merits of their ouvre and i was confused. he's a seemingly sta. dimplet -- staid guy, in his early 50's but nevertheless he knows this pop band. the reason of course is periodically he would drive his daughters to school and allow them to commandeer the car's audio system. the lessons this father learned was you need to engage your children at least sometimes on their own terms, and when you do, to do it with vigor. so by dincht his dell sbsh intellect, experience, experience and character i am confident judge garland would make an excellent associate justice of the supreme court. conversely, the failure to confirm justice garland to the supreme court would represent not only a grave injustice for
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this particular nominee but may also, i fear, portend catastrophic consequences for our constitutional order. thank you. senator leahy: thank you very much. as senator finance has spoken strongly on this, and i'm going to yield first to her and then be joined by senator casey of pennsylvania and i don't know if you heard the nice comments that judge lewis made earlier but and your predecessors. senator finance? senator finance: well thank you, thank you very much, mr. chairman and to those who have testified today i just want to sigh thank you, specifically to rod slater, i can say i knew you before you had gray hair in your head and i hope it wasn't the federal government that put it there, but it probably was. welcome back. >> thank you. senator finance: it's good to
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see you. -- feinstein: it's good to see you. one question that's really bothered me, that has to do with leaving for a substantial period of time the united states supreme court in a tied position, 4-4 position when we know that the court is died -- divided and what impact that's going to have. i think there are many of us that estimate that the time is likely to be a year and a half by the sometime -- time you get through the vetting process and all this, that you can process another nominee. so i wanted to ask the question as to what happens when the court accepts, when the lower -- what happens when the court is tied and the lower courts are split and unable to resolve a case? we've seen that already in four tied votes. a public sector labor case from my home state, a death penalty
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case, a state sovereignty case and a gender discrimination case. and this week the court essentially deferred on an important issue involving whether religiously affiliated nonprofits with -- can withhold contraceptive coverage from their employees. that's an issue vitally important to women nationwide. so i would like to have your views on what happens when you have a 4-4 split? could we begin with you, professor driver? >> sure. so the technical answer is that when a, the court is 4-4, that it's affirmed by an equally divide court without setting any precedential value. exactly as the senator suggests, the result is that a conflict that exists in the federal court remains a
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conflict, and it's an issue that the court has identified as needing a uniform federal law. that's the major reason that the supreme court exists and that function cannot happen when the justices are equally divided. senator feinstein: could you explain what does happen when the appellate court has made a decision and then the court is tied? >> yeah. so the resulted is a lock -- lack of uniformity where the courts of appeals have reached differing answers and it creates oftentimes uncertainty into the law. and that's difficult for all courts -- sorts of citizens. i so also say that given the potentially lengthy timeline of an absence that it could shape the cases that the court ends
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up hearing. so the cases that are currently not being decided, in effect, were already in the pipeline before justice scalia's death, but during the cert stage when the court is contemplating whether to agree to resolve a question, one could quite easily imagine a scenario where say, there's a deadlock and in order to avoid that deadlock there is still lack of uniformity with respect to the federal law. and the justices have gone to great lengths in order to avoid reaching a deadlock, but sometimes that will introduce more certainty into the law for the reasons you identified earlier, where one attempts to just send something back down without deciding, as we saw on the important reproductive rights decision, the court views itself as articulating generally applicable principles, not merely resolving a dispute between a
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few parties. and so it seems like a very un desirable consequence. senator feinstein: thank you. senator leahy: >> thank you, a -- and i want to thank the witnesses. what you are doing is allowing the public to see what we senators who have had the chance to meet merrick garland to see what a fine judge he is, what a fine jurist and fine individual he is. and the fact that now the public can scare -- share some of that is supremey important. each of you are testimonies was powerful in regard to that. it's a shame that some of my republican clearks -- colleagues, especially those that did not sit down with judge garland, didn't benefit from that. only bun -- one benefit, i get o go immediately after judge
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feinstein. but i would trade that away in a minute for them being here and having a real hearing. one of the things i would like to focus on is what i have learned of judge garland, his ability to bring different sides together and unify an opinion. he has the republic utility -- reputation at least, you all would no beater -- better than me, of being a great listener. he doesn't make up his own mind and then try to push people in that direction. this is particularly important this week to think of being a une fire because we're celebrating the historic anniversary of the brown v board decision, obviously a very contentious case but due to the efforts of one of our greatest justices, earl warren, the decision was handed down unanimously and that helped move the nation forward and
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heal the nation the so first let me ask you, judge lewis and by the way, you were a, to show you the breadth of this, as to show you the breath of this you testified on behalf of judge alito when he had his hearing even though i believe he was nominated by george bush. you were there as a witness for him. is that right? >> that's right. >> what i'd really like you to talk about as a fellow judge, give us a sense of how judge garland brings people together and to professor driver, the same as his clerk, how his story, unique ability to do that. >> i thank you for reminding us
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. this is a period of time when we celebrate the supreme court's decision in brown v. board of education, which was handed down in the year of my birth, 1954, and has thus played a very significant role throughout my entire life. and i say that for more than just the fact that we are observing it this week. i first met judge garland at the home of one of the key advisers to the legal team.
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they are hosting a dinner to honor the integration of the federal judiciary. event, aochairing an biannual gathering of the federal judges of color, called just the beginning. he was hosting a dinner with some people. merrick garland sat next to me. we had a wonderful conversation. got to know him then. and later years i obviously followed his work on the court and the number of unanimous decisions he authored, which as you pointed out is as an indication of a consensus builder. that was at the core of the meaning and importance of brown versus board of education. a unanimous decision.
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the chief justice demanded it be unanimous and everything to ensure that would happen because he knew the import of that case and what it would mean for the country. why is that significant to why we are here today? on monday the supreme court issued the zubik opinion. which we have talked about. forgive me for calling that a compromised decision, but that's how i view it. just imagine for a moment if during this period of a 4-4 split on the court, brown v. board of education had come up. think about the implications for the nation if that case on monday was brown versus board of education. , asn african-american someone who is and has always
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been committed to issues of social justice and civil rights, i can't help but think about that. i can't help but think about it in the context of other cases that are bound to, to the court during this period. senator leahy, i'm glad you pointed out that we have some civics students seated behind us here today. i hope they are learning something. that wheree lesson we are in this moment in connection with this nomination is teaching them. these are matters that should be of critical importance to all of us on both sides of the aisle u. -- the aisle. the future really is at stake. these kinds of decisions issued on monday have real consequences. in brown v. board of education, you had
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decisions in one part of the that went one way, and in colleague, aformer chancellor of delaware at that time, the only judge who was affirmed by the united states supreme court in that case. imagine if the court said we are going to punt on this and hope that you will work together and figure it out. we one part of the country have people continuing to pursue one set of policies and another we have another. these matter. elections matter. the duly elected president of the united states has nominated a highly qualified person to a position of great importance. that matters.
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to this position. elections matter, decisions matter and the supreme court is a wonderful these in this morning's "new york times" about the marginization of the supreme court as a result of this effort. and i just hope, and i join you in wishing some of your colleagues were here to understand this and to hear this , there are real consequences affecting real people. some are matters of life-and-death. i don't know if you are familiar with the case of duane buck. he is an inmate in texas on death row who was sentenced based on testimony can be taken -- on testimony.
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you have to establish future dangerousness. be a determining eligibility for the death penalty is now before the united state supreme court. this is the fifth consecutive week the core has not acted in conference. declining with the petition or accepting of the case. he is sitting on death row wondering what is going to happen. and there are others. it matters a great deal. thank you for the question. >> one of the members of our is -- several of us are members of the bar that the supreme court results have been the attorney general of his state and u.s. attorney, senator blumenthal. please go ahead. >> thank you very much.
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for having this hearing. there is a lot of history and wisdom and insight on this panel . i am deeply respectful of each of you for your public service to our nation. you are no substitute for the real thing. this hearing is no substitute for the real thing. we should be talking not about the damage to our justice system , the results from the refusal to have a hearing and a vote, but without the qualifications of judge merrick garland in the place where you are sitting now, that is with the american people deserve. i think judge lewis made a telling point.
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the politicization, dragging the court into the mire of partisan bickering which has infected this place, much to the consternation of the american people. justice to harry blackmun. theve argued cases before supreme court. they should be above politics. by theeply saddened of theation politically confirmation process. instead to obstruct this process.
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onlynk the effect is not for-four deadlocks but to use the very apt freezing that you cited from the new york times article, it is not so much diminished, but it will duck issues as they did in the ruling in zoo back. cases andl to take resolve them. i spoke yesterday on the anniversary of brown v board of education on that anniversary and the effect of the court. i have no doubt it would have never been decided unanimously but given the history, and we know more about the history now,
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the dynamics would have been totally different. the dynamics now are totally different. the effect is to marginalize the court and diminish it in terms of our democracy. think we go it to the american people to move forward with a hearing and a vote on a man who has superb, impeccable credentials. i would like to ask you, mr. known judgei have garland for many years. i met him when i was u.s. attorney decades ago. when he had a hearing in a case, you mentioned in the u another did you make a
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decision based on a predetermined point of view or -- did his mind change? >> i would describe his approach as being bottom-up rather than top down. there was no overarching judicial -- he is committed to reading the binding precedents ,nd the brief and the record and immersing in those materials in order to reach an appropriate outcome. that is part of the reason he has been so successful fostering consensus in addition to his temperament of not demonizing people.
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him utter ad disparaging word of any of his colleagues. it's not that he had those thoughts, there is a generosity of spirit one sees with judge garland. immersing himself in the materials allows identify points of commonality for himself and two other people who were on the panel. people should not think that the relative lack of defense are indicative of someone he is trying to cut a deal or sacrifice his core judicial and symbols. -- principles. he is able to overlap to have the court speak as a court three individuals offering their own views.
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>> and someone who believed most deeply in the rule of law. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. we have talked about .ennsylvania you have brought back great memories. i'm proud to serve with senator casey. told them before that my father is on the irish side of the family. fanather was a huge, huge of senator casey said father. >> i want to thank you for that introduction. is an unusual forum. it is a public meeting, not a hearing. member ofusual that a
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the senate who is not a member of the judiciary committee was able to parachute in and take a seat for the name card -- >> he did not ask unanimous consent for that. >> why want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. if you didn't show up i would not have this opportunity that would give my mother and my wife pride and cause concern to my three brothers who are lawyers. long question. just a brief statement. i will direct my question to judge lewis. i want to thank you for not just being here today and your testimony but also for your great service as a member of the third circuit. i was not here when you were confirmed but i am struck by how different the process that led to your confirmation was with
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regard to judge garland. the obvious attributes you would hope every judge or justice --ld have, at the epidemic academic credentials, the character and experience you would want any justice. a combination of being a lawyer and a prosecutor, and a judge. all of that was impressive obviously in his demeanor and his character. what was interesting to me, meeting him for the first time and sitting in my office talking to him were two things. judgeht be unusual for a and a public official. humility and gratitude. ie kind of humility that
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think is consistent with what you said, judge lewis. to thewith regard confirmation of judge alito. that same that you struck there. that kind of humility, even with is, he experience doesn't have all the answers. i rarely have met someone who was more grateful for the opportunity to serve as a prosecutor and a judge. through how those attributes are critically important to have on the supreme court, even that would lead you to believe there is no need of
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humility. >> thank you very much senator casey. it is certainly good to see you today. upon the twohed qualities that for me are the most important, for anyone holding any public office. in particular for a judge and perhaps even more so for a justice. i will explain this by telling about why i testified on behalf of justice alito and judge alito's nomination to the supreme court. i had worked with him for a number of years on the third circuit. intellectuallybe
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honest. and all of the other qualities that go into making a good judge , and a good justice. we disagreed on a lot. times in keymany areas. enjoy -- joines one another in votes, sometimes matters that might surprise people. employment discrimination matters. very significant ones. it may appear to be inconsistent was one approach which
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steeped in aim -- in a more conservative one than my. was nominated by the president of the united states and had all of the qualifications necessary to serve on the united states supreme court. and educational background, terrific record, service to his country, the solicitor general's office, and as a judge. believe, and i do not believe that the mere fact that i disagreed with him ideologically should stand in the way of my sanding up and thank of course he is qualified to be on the united states supreme court. i don't think that a monolithic court that reflects everything i believe then is appropriate for the country. i am very much in favor, and i think it is one of the best
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features of democratic government, we have a multitude of views that go into the process. it is very important. the capacity to reach across the aisle or the bench in order to do that and do it well is critical. so, i believe judge garland reflects that in volumes. the fact that he has been a part of so many cases that have resulted in unanimous decisions is an indication of his capacity to do exactly what im describing. it is so important, corporate decision-making at that level requires a capacity to be selfless and to look out for the
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interests of the parties before you and also the united states of america. have with that we respect to judge garland is exemplary when it comes to the qualities you mention. these are not just personal traits. these are traits we have to bring with us to the important work we do on behalf of the nation. thank you. >> i want to thank you and the panel. we appreciate your public service and this work you are doing today is public service. i want to thank senator leahy for leading us in this effort to focus on the qualities and attributes judge garland and not just being the chairman of the committee but being committed to what is hungering and thirsting
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for justice, one of the reasons he does such good work as her chairman. >> thank you. i thank you very much. judge lewis have known each other for a long time. i want to thank all four members of the panel. what we wanted to do on this, obviously not a hearing. not a substitute for a hearing with judge garland. those of us who have known him for a long time, and i have, we know of his qualities. i get frustrated when i hear withlobbying groups attacks against him. he can't respond to those. hearing, he could be asked questions.
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so what you have done is spoken to the quality of a good person, a very good jurist. one that any of us who are in the court, plaintiff or defendant, no matter which side we are on, we would feel comfortable having him as the jurist. you know he would have a fair hearing. haveuld be easy to say we not person -- not guilty person accused here. didead, what judge garland was to cross every t and. every i is a prosecutor should. i remember well your testimony. you were honest and forthright
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you were here today. and secretary slater, when you secretary, iformer think of the times he has been in my office speaking on behalf of others and what we should do, never asking for anything for himself. talking about both people who should be considered. , professor driver, i was fascinated by how you talked , the way judge garland would handle cases. it must've been a pretty exciting time to work with him. great way toas a prepare for the chair you now have.
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i thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> how are you? >> i am well. conversation]
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quite as congratulations to the
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class of 2016. today is your day of celebration. >> the voices crying for peace and light. your choices will make all the difference to you and to all of us. >> don't be afraid to take on cases or new jobs, or a new issue that stretches your boundaries. abroad onour summer real ships rather than internships. and the specter of living in your parents basement is not likely to be your greatest concern.
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watch commencements speeches from around the country by business leaders, politicians and white house officials. next we show you this year's commencement speakers. we begin with justice clarence thomas at hillsdale college. then spike lee at johns hopkins. after that vice president biden and john boehner are honored at the university of notre dame. supreme court justice clarence thomas gave the commencement address at hillsdale college in michigan. he prays antonin scalia for his view of the law and talked about the impact it had on him. this is 30 minutes.

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