tv 2017 National Lawyers Convention Jeff Sessions CSPAN November 17, 2017 6:01pm-6:38pm EST
>> sunday on american history tv, here about revolutionary war hero and vermont founding father ethan now in. the first colonel commandant of the original green mountain boys. mountain boys were, at one time, the largest paramilitary force in north america. if not for the actions of the , itr green mountain boys may well have looks different. >> and a visit to the lake champlain maritime museum. >> lake champlain is a 120 mile long water superhighway that cuts between the green mountains of vermont. and the adirondack of new york. >> saturday at 6:30 p.m. eastern. two p.m. ont american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable
affiliates as we explore america. >> next on c-span, a speech from attorney general jeff sessions. today, he was one of the featured acres at the national lawyers convention and washington, d.c. sessions: goodl afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. it's a great pleasure to be with you and look at the overflow audience here. and it is an honor for me to be able to introduce a gentleman i've known for a long time. he's a good friend, and a person i have great admiration for. as lawyers, we appreciate the many responsibilities of the attorney general. he is the chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. he is the legal adviser to the executive branch. and he has a special responsibility to the people of the country to be sure that the constitution is preserved and
protected. the past career of jeff sessions could not have been better to make him such an ideally qualified person for this responsibility. jeff started his career after private law practice. his public service was as an assistant u.s. attorney. and he was appointed by ronald reagan in his first chair of the u.s. attorney for the southern district of alabama. he later on was elected as the attorney general of alabama. and had a distinguished body of service in the united states than it. a person we can always depend on to put the constitution first as he was considering the legislation. during the time that he has been attorney general of the united he is already, in this
relatively short time, done a great deal and achieve remarkable results and accomplishments in the department of justice. time, he has restored integrity to the department of justice. he has reasserted fidelity to the constitution. he has adopted or changed numerous regulations and practices in the department. based upon sound principles, common sense, fairness, and reaching a just result and illegal activities in this department. one of the things that has been most impressive is the way in which he has reestablished iveperative and elaborate relationships with the law enforcement community across the country. i don't know how many different groups he has addressed, but it seems like almost one-a-day among the police organizations and other law-enforcement
agencies. he's done this with dignity and professional skill that has been characteristic of his entire career. despite partisan opposition, jeff has persevered with courage, calmness, and grace under fire. and with an attitude of goodwill , and a sense of humor. when the attorney general is introduced, it is appropriate to say the honorable jeff sessions. it's not merely a protocol courtesy. it is an accurate depiction of the man himself. and so, ladies and gentlemen, join me in welcoming the truly honorable jeff sessions. [applause]
sessions: thank you. what a fabulous group you are. thank you. thank you so much. you have warmed my heart. the cockles of my heart. it is really great to you. thank you for those special words. is ambassador kingsley in the room? before i get started here. [laughter] any russians? [laughter] [applause] anybody been to russia?
got a cousin in russia or something? anyway. i was so honored to work for general mason. i was given an opportunity to hang certain pictures in my conference room. you can be sure his went up in that room. and worked for him. i know the leadership he did. they still remember the law enforcement community. we are part of a law enforcement community, if anyone wonders. it to protect america and have the back of our police officers. they want the solution to the problem of crimes, they are not the problem. we need to know that. [applause] i told the general more than once, in this sense, at this time in history, it's a lot like when he took over after the 60's and 70's.
and we had a serious problem of morale and lack of respect for police. you let the nations fight against crime, reducing murder rates for 35 years. about half when we started in the department of justice. you have had a fabulous run. wherever you are. make no mistake. being able to celebrate with justice gorsuch last night was certainly a remarkable thing. was a near run thing, but i'm proud that trump delivered on his election and on his commitment to the kind of judge that we all believe is the kind of judge we need in this country.
i have admired and appreciated the federalist society from the beginning. i remember back when i was a young united's eighth attorney in my early 30's. two you got started, your faculty advisors being a pair of doj veterans. what a good thing that was. i remember joining and following your work. i never had a group around me to go and attend meetings. i have written materials, you should be sure. we felt like a voice in the wilderness. i remember cheering as an assistant united states attorney when there was an opinion eight to one and he stood firm for some important law-enforcement principle. do we everondering, change? is this the world we are on? and -- original
ism is about as fashionable as disco but we had a deep belief and the constitutional order and the understanding of the role of a judge in the american system. you, there thanks to are 70,000 members. and once again, in the white house. and in the department of justice , you can be sure of that. there is no doubt, really. we have no doubt the federalist society has made an enormous and positive difference for the legal system. name one entity over the last 35 years, to my
recollection, that has gone close to the influence of the federalist society on a single important subject facing america. it's unbelievable how much progress has been made. your work has been the core of our relentless efforts to restore the rule of law. it is a fundamental moral order of the created universe. it is greatly advanced by our constitutional system. elections really do have consequences. trump is appointing extremely well qualified, highly respected, judges. neutral umpires calling balls and strikes, not taking sides in the game. he's not looking to advance an agenda. serve, not above
them. it's one of the reasons the american people voted for president trump. like ronald reagan, he ran on a lawn order of -- on a law and order platform. hasinting restrained judges always been popular with the american people. it is deeply ingrained in the vision of what the role of a judge should be. american people well know that activist judges effectively invalidate votes. that which they cannot win at the ballot boxes. this is not a partisan question. and it here to the
that istional role assigned to the judicial branch or the other branch. the prejudice and politics of the judge above the law and makes him into a continuing constitutional convention. it sits in judgment not of the case, but of the law itself, deciding which laws to apply and which ones not to apply. whatever it is that activists dispense, it's not law. judicial activism is especially disturbing in our country. because we have inherited and advanced the most magnificent legal system in the history of the world. it is one of the greatest achievements in civilization. we have the oldest existing constitution in the world.
it is an achievement we have been blessed to inherit. so many of you have helped advance it. it's one of the main reasons america is exceptional. it is precious and rare. i have traveled the world. if we accept a small violation of the rule of law, then these violations will only become more frequent and more serious. and if that happens, it will instill in the people and temper law, and eventually for the republic itself. preservingmitted to
respect for the law by carrying out the law fairly and impartially. including on the topic of this youerence, they can't tell how much i want to express my appreciation for the staff we have assembled to help us accomplish these things. i could not be prouder of them. the associate attorney general on the front row, a longtime member of this group. the department finally settled 22 civil cases with 90 plaintiffs regarding the
previous administrations improper imposition of the contraception mandate. they were unjust and they had been improperly constricted in their right to freely exercise their religious beliefs. we were pleased to bring an end to that matter. [applause] we have also agreed to settlement terms with nearly 500 plaintiffs in cases brought right groups that are targeted by the internal revenue service when they applied for tax exempt status based on an appropriate criteria. if you used tea party, patriot, spending,overnment tax education of the public to "make america a better place to
live." apparently.picious, our statement criticizing how the country is being run. it is also clear that these disproportionately impacted conservative groups. should absolutely never be used as a tool against political opponents. [applause] the department uses legal to end subsidies to insurance companies that congress had not appropriated
for the affordable care act. i am proud to say president trump put an end to this unlawful practice. it is absolutely no power to spend money not appropriated by congress. [applause] and similarly, no cabinet secretary has the power through anything to wipe out entire sections of the immigration law. previoushat the administration did with deferred action for childhood arrivals, the daca policy. individuals here illegally, they met certain criteria. and the authorization right to participate in social security. what, when you
think about immigration issues and policy, and cannot be defended, in my opinion, lawfully. once again, the department advised and the administration put an end to it. it is also restoring the rule of law through litigation. our solicitor general noaa francisco.- noah he's a member of this group. the department is also restoring the rule of law through litigation. the solicitor general filed an amicus brief of the current -- the colorado baker that was sued for refusing to bake a cake for same-sex weddings. although public accommodation loss serve important purposes. they, like other laws, cannot be interpreted to undermine
individual freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment. that includes the freedom not to provide creative expression for ceremonies that violates one -- violate one's religious beliefs. the mission of doing justice by executing the law. we are no longer allowing so-called sanctuary city jurisdictions to nullify federal immigration law. if they want to proceed -- receive discretionary grants. we have placed conditions on these grants to encourage elected leaders of these states and cities to comply with minimal cooperative requirements to assist in removing criminal aliens from the country. in june, i ended the practice of third-party settlement. under the last administration, the justice department often settling parties to face settlement funds through
third-party organizations that were not directly involved in the litigation or harmed by the defendant's conduct. we believe when the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement fund should go first to the victims, then to the united states treasury. not to bankroll -- [applause] it's not to bankroll third-party special-interest groups on the political fringe of whoever is in power. nowhere does the constitution grant unelected attorneys, even , or political appointees, the power to effectively appropriate and distribute united states treasury funds based on political alliances and friendships.
neither does it give them the power to issue regulations outside the process of congress's regulatory authority. going to, rather than the long, slow, regulatory process in the statute, agencies make new rules through guidance documents. simply sending out a letter. this cuts off the public from the regulatory process by skipping the required public hearings and comment periods. it's simply not what these documents are for. these documents should be used reasonably to explain existing law, not to change it or rewrite the law. for now, at the department of justice, this is what we are going to do. i'm announcing today, this process is over.
[applause] all department of justice opponents will issue guidances to impose new obligation on any party outside the executive branch. we will review and repeal existing guidance documents that violate this commonsense principle. we will also now honor a directive that has been on the books at the department of justice since it was ordained by the man sitting to my right when he was attorney general. i am ending regulation by litigation. when special interests could sue an agency and get the agency to agree to a settlement to impose, in effect, a new regulation on to advance an agenda is over. [applause]
the department of justice is duty bound to defend laws as they are written. regardless of whether or not the government likes the result. our agencies must follow the law. judges and our courts must apply. as we know, some judges fail to respect congress and the executive branch. one particularly striking was a federal judge in brooklyn that heard arguments on a challenge to the federal government wind down of the daca. outside the legal question, the court said to our government counsel, you can't come into court to espouse a position that is so heartless. not unlawful. heartless. respect, it is the duty of the .ourt to say what the law is
i knew you would get that. [applause] they already apply and follow the law, not advance an ideology or x rest political beliefs. -- or express political beliefs. we can't allow elected judges said policy. -- set policy. comments by these -- like these by a judge our offensive. criticizing an attorney that is effectively doing his job. judges have a solemn responsibility. he is going to resist this tendency. a coequalal branch is branch. it is not a superior or a policy . it needs to know its role.
those that ignore this duty and seek to advance t their own policy views -- it is a bad precedent. it undermines public respect that is necessary for the courts to function properly. an increasing number of district courts are taking the dramatic step of issuing nationwide injunctions. ordered to block the united states government from enforcing a statute or an executive branch nationwide. dollars have not found a single example of any judge issuing this kind of extreme remedy before the 1960's. never contemplated, apparently, by our founders. single judges are making themselves super legislatures for the entire united states. we have nearly 600 federal
judges and district judges in america. each one with the ability to issue an overreaching, nationwide executive order power of the president of the united states, for example. the supreme court is consistently and repeatedly made clear that courts should limit relief to the parties before them. if lower courts continue to ignore that precedent, the supreme court should send them that message again. joining the entire federal government is an extreme, dramatic step. to take that step because of a political agreement would be absolutely unacceptable. judges notution gives right to veto a president's actions because they disagree with them on policy grounds. by the way, let me know. the focus, it seems, goes
against the department of justice. we also have some important wins. the supreme court has vacated both of the appellate court rulings against the president's travel applause. they have vacated the injunction. they have obtained before the second circuit, a rare order saying a premature and abusive , a case to stop the wind down of the daca program. it is an overreach. i don't know how long you've seen it be granted, but this one was. and we appreciate the appellate court pursuing this. and although some district courts have initially ruled against us, i'm confident our
positions will be vindicated president trump has the statutory authority to suspend immigration in the law of any individual or group of individuals he thinks -- deems contrary to the national interest. his rational, narrow proclamation of countries that are dysfunctional and provide risk is justified within his power as the chief executive who has the responsibility to protect the public interest. we are proud to vigorously defend. before i conclude, let me say this. there are those in this room and maybe more than a few in this room who get frustrated about when they turn on the tv at night and had to take rolaids -- [laughter]
everybody has an opinion of what the attorney general should do, i get frustrated also. there were -- are things i would like to say and explain that the rule of law is not always about getting the outcome. it is using the same, fair process, pursuing the truth wherever it leads. we can never allow any part of our legal system and least of all the department of justice to be reduced to a tool for political agenda. this department will not make decisions based on politics, ideology, bias as long as i am attorney general. i believe this is what the american people expect. [applause] i think this is what the american people expect and deserve from the department of justice. we will not confirm investigations or leaks into the
law enforcement information to get a few cheap headlines. i am determined -- we are determined as a team in the department of justice to reestablish proper discipline in these matters that has been eroded. i got my page out of line. in the long run, a failure to fulfill this responsibility and only -- can only result in a perpetuation and for the decline in respect for -- and further decline for respect for justice in america. when we are asked to investigate a crime, we will take it seriously as part of our duty. we consult with appropriate law enforcement agencies and evaluate the evidence, use our
best judgment to make an appropriate decision and refusals -- well -- refusals, they happen all the time throughout the department of justice and in private practice. just because we follow the rules. that further confidence in justice does not you wrote it. when history is written about this department, it will reflect that president trump appointed one of the finest teams ever assembled in the department of justice. [laughter] [applause] -- we remaine top faithful to his charge. i am so proud to have worked with you and to work with people counsel -- whose counsel and judgment i have always valued. i am proud to work every day with great people we have
>> monday night on c-span, former secretaries of state madalyn albright and condoleezza rice, and u.n. ambassador nikki haley talking about freedom and national security during an event hosted by the george w. bush institute in new york. there, wefirst got had issues. the one defining was when the president made the decision to get syria. after the chemical weapons. when he made that decision the number of calls and emails i received from country saying it is so good to see america lead again and enlightening because they felt like we had been dormant and they feel weaker when the u.s. does not lead.
they want to csb doubt and lead -- cs speak out and lead, when confident. feel more seeing that with japan and south korea and in the north korea issue with our arab partners, iran. all of those things, venezuela or cuba, it will be important for us to know the power of our voice and what leadership means to the world. >> you can watch the rest of the panel discussion monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at noon eastern, the 70th anniversary of the hollywood 10 hearings before the house asamerican committees families of blacklisted artist read transcripts from house hearings. >> when was your last employment? >> i just finished a picture called "the tall target."
>i have been in theater for 25 years. all ofll enough known them from the roles i have played. >> were you a member of the communist party in 1942? >> i stand on the grounds of the fifth amendment. it might incriminate or degrade -- the word communist is an emotional hysterical word of the day, like the word rich in salem. >> at 6:00, civil war monuments. >> it was about victory. waysictory in many celebrated in so many confederate monuments was the victory over reconstruction. >> sunday at 4:00 p.m. on real america, the 1944 world war ii propaganda film on the north africa campaign. >> the president of the united states and the president of great britain, the gravity of
the moment had brought them together. >> at 8:00, alexander talks about her book 26 seconds, a personal history of these router film. late 1960's,any versions of the film began to leak. people began to see it. the they saw it, because of way the film looked, it did not look like what the warren commission concluded. >> american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3 only. today's white house briefing featured remarks from white house chief economist kevin hassett. he talked about the republican tax reform plan. press secretary sarah sanders also took questions on alabama senate candidate roy moore. federal funding for hurricane relief and tax