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tv   2017 National Lawyers Convention - White House Counsel Mc Gahn  CSPAN  November 20, 2017 10:36am-11:27am EST

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thank you, so much. [applause]
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>> welcome to the 15th annual -- is this on? i am president of the society and this started as many of you know, shortly after 9/11. how are legal tradition is part of our identity as americans.
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both ted and barbara understood this connection. , and then judge now justice neil gorsuch. senators kotten and been sask. sasses. council office he served as chairman of the fcc and was a partner at jones day. all that prior to joining the trump campaign.
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he heard his da -- spirit hen common a has brought everything he does and like barbara he has made his own way, often raising and approaching questions in a nonconventional way, advocating things because he thought they were right. one of his major interests has been judges. another, the administrative state, without which as this conference shows, as we heard last night there is increasing discussion and debate. as typical with don like barbara he takes the lead in battles. it is typical he does it with energy, zest, and good humor. work is committed to the constitution and structure,
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committed through his public service to advancing the form of government that makes america great. i am delighted to welcome don mcgann. mr. mcgann: thank you very much. i think i'm just going to quit while i am ahead. the reception will be across all. to be here, to be invited to the barbara olson lecture. a new barbara. conventionuring a like this one. when leonard asked if i could do
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this lecture i think i said i think you have the wrong number. he said he up and listed the folks were given this lecture over the years. scalia and randolph and gorsuch, and then me. one of those names is different than the rest. problem withany truck drivers. people in the media are wondering what that was about. the federal society is an amazing organization. i have been privileged to be a part of it for many years and watch it grow. i remember the first time that i
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attended one of these conferences. it was 1995. i had recently moved to washington, d.c., and i didn't really know anyone and very few people would talk to me. now i know a lot of people and very few people still actually want to talk to me. [laughter] i met another of people over the years. i remember meeting someone else who had just moved to d.c., and the conversationwent like this. so you just moved to d.c. yes. what were you doing before? i was a law clerk. who did you clerk for? >> alito. third circuit, where did you go to school, harvard. undergrad or law. and now he's secretary of labor. so for the young lawyers out , there you never know who you're going to meet. keep in touch. [laughter] someday the person you're talking to might be white house counsel and the president may be looking for a secretary oflabor. -- of labor. you just never know.
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[applause] i haven't even gotten to the fun any parts yet. so, the other thing i remember, and this is the first conference, again, sort of you never know who you're going to meet and i managed to stumble into the banquet dinner, predecessor of what we had last night and i recall, it was across the hall in one of the ballrooms and there was plenty of room in between the tables to navigate. it was not as large as it is now and i was lookingaround and i finally heard someone say, there is an empty chair with us and someone grabbed me by the coat and i sat down andi looked and this person said hi, i'm tim -- the guy from the reagan administration? this wasn't, you know, too long after that. he said yes yes, this is gray. we go around and introduce. the federalist society i will illuminati. he said he said, hi, i'm ed
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meese. you look just like ed meese. i was so excited. i was in d.c. for maybe only two weeks and i called my mom. she was afraid i was in jail. but then she realized i wouldn't be able to make the call. i told her all about it. i thought that every weekend in washington, d.c. was going to be just like that. [laughter] it was not. not even close. so, you know, but here we are. the past several years for me has been a very interesting journey. it's been a privilege to be part of a presidential campaign that was successful and to have the honor of being named counselto -- counsel to the president of the united states. it all began in iowa, as most things do in presidential campaigns, and the memory i have of iowa was standing in my hotel
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room at the des moines skyline. and if you do enough campaigns, it's iconic. [laughter] and i remember, i traded voice messages with someone from the federalist society who will remain nameless, so i don't embarrass jonathan bunch, and we finally connected on the phone and i heard they were attempting to figure out how to get in touch with the trump campaign. they had managed to get in touch with the other campaigns but the trump campaign was kind of lean and mean, and, you know, it caught on with the voters quickly but did not catch on with the political class. frankly, still hasn't. [laughter] we're very proud of that. it's funny now, but were you laughing then? [laughter] i was. so, i have substance coming up. just keep going. so, i get on the phone with the
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unnamed federalist society person person with the initials jb, and he said, hey, you know, i want to talk to you. we're trying to get in touch with the trump campaign. we're reaching out, want to talk about judicial selection. obviously we aren't going to take a position. i said i understand that i dabble in nonprofit tax law. from time to time. side note, lois was head of the fcc enforcement years ago, just saying. so i said, oh, i'm glad you called. we were just talking about judicial selection, and the voice on the other end said, you are, yeah, we actually have somebody in the campaignthat's going to help us. oh, who, very excited, who is it? former chief-of-staff to president bush, johnson nunnen.
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there is just this deafening pause. i thought maybe the phones went down. thisr on the other side of aty it's good that you have someone helping. we had him come up with different lists. we want a mainstream folk. not a big paper trail. and, you know, the kind of folks that, you know, will get through the senate and, you know, will make us feel good that we put some pragmatic folks on the bench. so the voice said, on the other end, i could hearthis sort of -- hear this sort of gas. we are white have a second list, to put together some folks that are too hot for prime time. people who have written a lot.
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we want to get a sense that -- you understand, will that make people nervous. he said ok. what you going to do with each list? the first list we're going to throw in the trash. mcconnell is going to get it done. i am just going to forget my remarks. there was this pause. i did not know jonathan bunch then like i know him now. stammered and wasn't particularly sure. he said what did you just say? i said you have nothing to worry about.
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i have been of the federalist society. we are already thinking about it. i rattled off some names. he said ok. imagine when he called later afterward -- that we get a journey that led to mr. trump, now president trump putting out a list of potential supreme court folks. never had really been done before in typical fashion. it was not done in the primary think heo make people was more conservative than he was. consultantint every said it is over. can't do that. you have to move to the middle. areit tells you where we with that.
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-- i am fortunate to survey president who is very committed to what we are committed to, dominating and appointing judges that are committed and textual lists. -- textualists. [applause] can safely say it is not just talk. if you look at who has been nominated, he has made good on what he said. for all the chattering class who thought it was a head fake or this amongthink other things we have proven time to time, proven them wrong time and time again. part, turn to the boring regulation and rule of law.
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i will end with more jokes in the end. twoemarks rest on independent but related ideas. the ever-expanding regulatory state and most effective work against that threat is a strong judiciary. the state department treasury , the idea that there are agencies within the executive branch that has been around a long time, it was understood they would have these departments. it is led by principal officers by whom the president may have may require an opinion in writing on relevant matters. but the modern administrative
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state was not constructed to the 20th century on the misguided notion that experts rather than our elected representatives are best suited to govern the nation's affairs. woodrow wilson was the most noted avatar where he argued for a separation of politics from the work of governing leading to the big decisions supposedly above the freight nonpartisan experts, taken to its logical conclusion one wonders why we should continue to have elections at all under that way of thinking. since then, the administrative state has expanded beyond anyone's loudest imagination, to give you just one example, in 1960 the code of federal regulations was just over 20,000 pages, total it's over 200,000 pages. the pervasiveness of federal regulation is unavoidable. there are scores of agencies and armies of bureaucrats who claim to be so-calledindependent of presidential control. they claim to be monday partisan but a review of voter registration and the like says
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otherwise. they call presidential appointees politicals and call themselves careers, too often cloistered in the confines of their own regulatory structure. it's virtually impossible for any individual or business to know let alone ensure compliancewith each of the regulatory commands that these agencies and beer kratz produce. where does the authority for this come from? let's start where we should always start, the constitution. the constitution very clearly invests power in three branches of government. it provides legislative power should be in the united states. article two states the executive power shall be invested in a president of the united states. that one.arly like the judicial power shall be invested in one supreme court.
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how does the modern administrator that in this system? many fail debt -- many say it does not. administrativeg state is a direct threat to individual liberty. the previous a administration had one of the worst records before the supreme court in american history. several losses were before at a unanimous court. in doing so they were intruding on individual races. those rose out of administrative action but the department of health and human services through regulation. the court rejected the agricultural department requirement at breezes former set-aside aside crops for
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government use without just compensation. the government's attorney just standardwas regulation. the supreme court fortunately disagreed. now we can all have reasons. the court invalidated a regulation that opposed $10 billion in cost per year. it was on the table versus eeoc. the supreme court unanimously disagreed. they demonstrate how severe the threat is and the courts on essential check on them in a straight of power. none of this is news to people in this room except maybe the media. there is a reason why president trump [inaudible] society hasst
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emphasized the importance of separation of powers, of individual liberty, and that the role of the courts is to say what the law is, not what the law should be. federal society members span a wide spectrum of political philosophies and policy preferences. we share a commitment to the rule of law. to the same enduring truths that infused the brilliant designer of our founding charter that due process matters, that the structure of our government matters and the meaningof words means something. and that an erosion of those principles is a direct threat to individual liberty. that's why regulatory reform and judicial selection are so deeply connected. in my view they are the two legal issues that this administration will address. the president is makingfundamental changes to how the regulatory state interacts with people and he's selecting judges that will enforce the law as written and separate division of powers. it can be summed up in due process, fair in the and individual liberty. the trump vision of the judiciary can be summed up in two words. originalism and texturallism.
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and helped unpack these ideas and provide insight into how the administration is working to advance these principles. a few years ago the supreme calledecided in a case sackett versus epa, manyof you, i'm sure, are familiar with it. you're familiar with the case and the regulatory process that the epa inflicted on the sackett family. for those not sure, let me recap the facts. this case, before i do that captures a disturbing clarity of the many problems of the modern administrative state. they purchased land and planned to build a hole on it but as they werepreparing the land for construction the epa sent them a compliance order claiming that the sackett construction was prohibited because their land was covered by the clean water act. even though it was several lots away from any body of water they asserted the land qualified as
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navigable waters and they could not fill the land as necessary to build their home. they ordered the sacketts to restore the land to an epa approved condition or face up to $75,000 per day in fines. here's the kicker. the epa denied the sackett's an administrative hearing and then argued that they lacked any right to challenge the epa's actions in court. it seemed woodrow wilson's dream of the so-called experts being free of any judicial review had come true. the case made its way to the supreme court, on whether the sacketts had any right to challenge the epa's actions in court and the supreme court unanimously held that they d. -- they did. to a group of lawyers this should seem like a straightforward proposition. a government agency sought to enjoin private individuals from using their personal property and imposed a crushing fine. as noted, in a nation that values due process notto mention private property such treatment is unthinkable. but to the agency this was just standard regulation. the epa's authority could not be questioned. so they said.
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but the issue isnot isolated to the epa. it affects all the agencies big and small. i had my own encounter during my tenure at the federal election commission. it was clear that due process was a foreign concept concept and i was quite vocal about that. businesses were being cutted in secret, and the agency really liked publicly available procedures that govern both the commission and its staff. the idea of ensuring that those accused of wrongdoing had a meaningful opportunity to be heard by the commission was an to many. to make matters worse some staffers viewed them as independent of the president. according to these folks they had authority to make decisions devoid of any statutory let alone constitutional authority. think about that. the status as an independent agency, as part of what some call the fourth branch is already under article 2 in the constitution and the supreme court had he will that the original structure was unconstitutional in in a case.
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somehow it was insulated and was under no obligation and the commission itself went to far. in their mind they were a fifth branch of the government independent from the independent agency and accountable to no one who had been elected by the citizens they sought to regulate. this is not isolated but seems to be business as usual in theed may have state. take, for example, case of free enterprise versus public accounting oversight board. there the supreme court held that the pca, original
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agencies must be accountable to the elected head of the executive branch. the court should view claims of sweeping authority with skepticism, not nonchalance. the first step in preserving freedom, the government has an obligation to inform parties of the rule that apply to them. anyone who is engaged with the regulatory state in the last decade know agencies have taken the opposite approach. far too often, agencies offer vague regulations or in some cases no regulations at all. then they interpret those vague regulations through dear colleague letters. to administrative law experts, these are known by the orwellian term sub regulatory actions. but whatever you call them, they are illegitimate. typically, they receive no public comment and come with no advance warning before the agency springs them on unwitting parties to enforce actions or ominous warning letters. agencies have managed to deduct reviews of regulatory actions
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claiming they are not final binding rules. but they are inconsistent with the rule of law. [applause] mr. mcgahn: there is no way for regular people and small businesses to keep up with the constant flood of regulatory and sub regulatory actions that pour out of the ever-expanding regulatory state. this nonstop spigot is a fair notice problem and its own right. even when agencies announce what the rules are, those rules are buried in pages of the federal register. moreover, the sub regulatory underbelly is indicative of the massive nondelegation problem lurking in the modern state. rather than exercise the legislative power the constitution vests in congress, congress often punts the difficulty of lawmaking to the executive branch. then the judiciary concedes away the judicial power that the constitution vests in it by deferring.
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the result is all policymaking authority is shifted to the administrative state and factions are left unreviewed. in the 10th circuit, neil gorsuch said it more eloquently than anyone else ever could. in his lynch concurrence, he wrote "the fact is chevron and brand x permit executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of legislative power and compensate federal power in a -- concentrate federal power in a way that's that seems a little more difficult to square with the constitution of the framers' design. maybe the time has come to face the behemoth." [applause] mr. mcgahn: i knew quoting gorsuch would make me sound -- [laughter] mr. mcgahn: on behalf of him, thank you for applauding his words. layer on top of that, the supreme court's decision which held that congress can limit the president's authority and many of the most significant policy
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decisions and legal rules lie entirely in the hands of unaccountable agencies. bureaucrats who claim being nonpartisan are belied by quick reference to nonconstitution history. partisan are -- the modern regulatory system makes a mockery of the finely wrought system of checks and balances the founders baked into our constitutional design. the framers separate government power, both between the branches and between the state and federal governments, to preserve liberty. when we tinker with the resign betinker with our freedom. when we abandon the design altogether, we invite the regulatory despotism that judge gorsuch now so eloquently criticized. the threats posed by the modern administrative state are unprecedented, but are rooted in the international struggle that has existed for a long time. whether one looks at the various competing schools of thought in greek philosophy, the differences between the american
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and french revolutions, the heme is clear. more and more, you see two ways of viewing how we govern ourselves. one is where folks employ experts to make the decisions. others is more of a constitution system where the people actually govern. our founders knew this. they knew the correct ability of man. their skepticism of centralized power resulted in a constitutional system consciously designeded to restrain not enforge federal government's authority. in federalist 501, madison explain the separation of powers safeguards liberty by setting ambition against ambition. if men were angels, he famously said, no government would be necessary. but because ours is men over men, you must first enable the government to control the governed and next place oblige it to control itself. these founding principles were inverted during the expansion of the administrative state, and have been mocked and abandoned
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by the progressive movement. rather than seek protect sit accident from government. we have been told the people can thrive only through government. well named agencies so-called experts have become the panacea for all social ills. that is the principle underlying the supreme court's decision, which held contrary to controlling the actions of the executive branch must yield to ndependent agencies. it is the principle underlying that notion that has had courts deferring to agencies' interpretations of the statutes and regulations they administer. as a basis for the supreme court's troubling decision from 1947, it in powered agencies to issue retroactive regulations to adjudication. a doctrine that has empowered agencies like the nlrb announce rules throughout fair notice to the parties being regulated. justice jackson saw the problem
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instantly, speaking in dissent. he said, it makes judicial review a hopeless formality by the lit began. it reduces the judicial process in such cases to a mere feint. he said the thinking of it would in practice put most administrative orders over and above the law. compared that to one where the court said, before transactions other wise legal can be outlawed or denied, their usual business consequences, they must call under the ban of some standards of conduct prescribed by an agency of government authorized to subscribe such members. vote for one not two. [applause] mr. mcgahn: these fundamental shifts in our governmental structure are justified to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people. no doubt we all want to be ealthy, happy, and safe, but i
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submit we can be those things without abandoning the founding principles which make us free. so, what can be done to change the regulatory culture? for starters, burdensome rules can be eliminated and regulatory costs can be reduced. one of the president's first executive orders was entitled enforcing the regulatory form agenda. section one of the order very plainly declares it is the policy of the united states to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the american people. the order goes on to require each agency to designate a egulatory reform officer, as some call them r.o.o.'s because in washington, d.c. we always some call them r.o.o.'s because in washington, d.c. we always need to speak in acronyms, these folks are charged with carrying out the president's regulatory initiatives. so there is a line of accountability between the agencies and the white house consistent with the article 2 declaration that the executive power shall be vested in the president. one of the president's other early executive orders was entitled reducing regulation and controlling regulatory costs. it is two critical elements. first, for every significant regulation it must identify two existing regulations for elimination.
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not only does this discourage new regulation, but it forces agencies to clean out the regulatory sediment that's built up over decades. second, agencies must control the regulatory cost that rules impose on the country by conducting economic analysis of their actions and offsetting any new costs with at least as much cost saving deregulatory actions. the goal is not to maintain the status quo but to drive down the costs imposed by previous administrationsâ excesses. and what about the judiciary? these efforts to reform the regulatory state begin with congress and the executive branch, but they ultimately depend on courts that are willing to enforce the laws enacted by congress and the structural limits imposed by our constitution. this administration's mandate is crystal clear. choose justices in the mold of justice scalia, justice thomas, and now gorsuch. [applause] mr. mcgahn: justice scaliaâs
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impact cannot be overstated. he reminded us the law consists solely of the words enacted by the people's representatives. whether in statutes, constitution, or lawful regulation. those words must be interpreted as they would have been understood by the public at the time of their enactment. there can be no secret meetings, no hidden agendas harbored in the minds of the lawmaker. in many ways, justice thomas'opinions are the driving intellectual force behind so many of trump's legal and regulatory principles. in 2015, justice thomas issued an impressive set of concurrences and dissents setting forth his view of the modern administrative state. it should be required reading for all law students. his concurring opinions in perez versus mortgage bankers and as gan versus e.p.a., inconsistent with the separation of powers. even justice stevens, author of the chevron decision, subsequently had critiqued it, so this is not an issue that's particularly aligned with one party or the other.
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or one school of thought or the other, rather. justice thomas's concurrence in the amtrak case called for the non delegation doctrine to be meaningful enforced. then, the judicial acquiescence of congress's unconstitutional transfer of legislative transfer of legislative authority to the administrative state. and his lesser-known dissent, industries rejected the notion that decisions issued by administrative law tribunals could have an effect on lawsuits filed in federal court. even in this arcane area, justice thomas's vision was clear. the constitution vests the judicial power in the judiciary not executive branch agencies. regarding both justice scalia and thomas, the interpretive processes are the very bedrock of due process, fair notice, and the rule of law. and thomasâs opinion demonstrates those principles are missing in our current administrative state. in my view, the two issues are one and the same. just as regulatory agencies should constrain their actions to the forecorners of their
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statutory authority, judges must enforce those statutory limits. just as agencies must provide due process to parties like the sacketts, judges must faithfully enforce the constitutionâs structural proprotections which exests to preserve individual liberty and personal property rights. and justice agencies owe the public fair notice of the rules, courts must interpret statutes and the constitution as the public would understand them according to the plain meaning of the text. due process, fair notice, originalism, and texturallism. that's what this is all about. [applause] mr. mcgahn: justice scaliaâs tragic death put these issues front and center in the 2016 election. in my lifetime, i can't remember a presidential election that turned so critically on the role of judges. the president knew this which is why he issued his list of candidates for the supreme court. he wanted the american people to know exactly the type of justice he would select. you may have missed it but it came out recently the president
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announced today that he's refreshing his list of potential supreme court nominees, so it's public, and if i could just beg your indulgence for a second, we added five names to the list. amy barrett, she was recently confirmed. [applause] mr. mcgahn: -- to the seventh circuit. and the dogma moves loudly in her. [applause] mr. mcgahn: to the folks over there, in her confirmation hearing, the ranking member [applause] senator feinstein actually commented about now judge barrett saying the dogma was strong in her. so judge dogma is on the list. laughter]
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mr. mcgahn: grant, who is a supreme court justice in georgia. [applause] mr. mcgahn: greg kavanaugh. [applause] mr. mcgahn: he's winning on the applause meter. kevin newsome, recently confirmed to the eleventh circuit. [applause] mr. mcgahn: and patrick wyrick. [cheers] [applause] mr. mcgahn: i think i'm just going to throw out my notes and go back to my opening, but i'm almost done with the boring art. so, what do the judges on the list have in common? they have a demonstrated commitment to originalism and texturallism. they all have paper trails, they all are sitting judges, there is nothing unknown about them. what you see is what you get. it's not enough to say the right things in public speeches. judges must apply those principles in concrete cases. good judges follow the law, even when their decisions are unpopular. [applause] mr. mcgahn: judicial courage,
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it's as important as judicial independence. [applause] mr. mcgahn: the president is looking for the same traits in lower court jums, especially with the court of appeals. every pick matters. the president wants smart judges that will apply the law as written. the interview process is like the famed scalia clerkship interview except with folks in the white house counsel's office. we never ask candidates commitments about substantive issues but they are pushed and prodded from every angle to get a sense as to what method they would employ as a judge and how intellectually capable they re andwhether they possess the fortitude to enforce the rule of law without fear of public pressure. of course, the president's power to nominate is only half the battle. so we've been actively engaging with the senate since day one. i've spoken to or requested to speak to every single sitting senator. fortitude to enforce the rule of law without fear of public
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pressure. of course, the president's power to nominate is only half the battle. not all want to speak to me. in many cases, more than once, about judicial appointments in their states. one thing that's missed from time to time by folks who just read the text of the constitution is that the president gets to make nominations. they forget the part about the advice consent clause. the senate over many, many decades has developed various customs that empower home state senators to have a big say particularly in district courts. for those of you wondering why we just don't nominate you, the home state senators matter. we take very seriously the obligation to consult with the senate, and we painstakingly ensure that every senator has an opportunity to provide input on judicial nominees. the first thing i tell each senator is we're happy to interview them and strongly consider anyone they recommend. some never take us up on this offer and many tell a different story to the press. but we're moving quickly to fill all existing judicial vacancies. [applause] mr. mcgahn: chairman grassley and his team have done an
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job moving the president's nominees to the senate judiciary committee. [applause] mr. mcgahn: candidly, chairman grassley does not get enough credit for his work on this. but the majority leader is really the one that's created this opportunity. a number of vacancies that were on the table when the president was sworn in was unprecedented. and the courage that mitch mcconnell showed to make that happen was tremendous and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. [applause] mr. mcgahn: not to be outdone, he has made this his number one priority and he is delivering. the number of nominees that are being confirmed is tremendous. he is willing to burn the floor times, speak in the senate vernacular to get people confirmed.
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as most of us know, the senate are insisting on the full debate on each nominee, even nominees who pass 98-0. district court nominees where both home state senators are in favor of the nominee are insist full debate on each nominee, even and the like. our opponents of judicial nominees frequently claim the president has outsourced his selection of judges. that is completely false. i have been a member of the federalist society since law school. still am. so frankly, it seems like it has been in sourced. [applause] mr. mcgahn: but seeking advice from leonard and many members of the federalist society, not outsourcing the judicial selection process. the fact is we all share the same vision of the judicial role
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and we welcome input from many sources. many of us in this room became lawyers in the post bjork era. i certainly did. we understand the importance of judicial selection and we've seen first hand the lengths to which others will go to tarnish the reputation of good men and women. i've already mentioned earlier this year the situation that confronted now judge barrett, a prominent democrat suggest that she couldn't be trusted because she's a practicing catholic. thankfully, she's now a judge on the second circuit. [applause] mr. mcgahn: greg's hearing had the tone of a spanish inquisition because he had chosen to serve his country as an attorney during two republican administrations. but he's been voted out of the committee and i'm confident he'll soon be confirmed to the d.c. circuit. [applause] mr. mcgahn: i have to clap for that one. [applause]
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mr. mcgahn: i want to thank greg for his service. he's been invaluable to my work in the white house, and it's really an honor to have been able to work with him and be a part of seeing him, senate willing, go to the next level. [applause] mr. mcgahn: speaking of outsourcing, there is a different sort of outsourcing that's very real and should be troubling to all of us. during our efforts to consult with senators on potential nominees, we are often told that the senators have so-called commissions back in their home state that recommend judicial candidates to them. and these senators sometimes insist that they cannot support anyone on their commissions -- sorry, can't support anyone their commissions do not interview and ultimately recommend. but i have never heard the judicial commission's clause in the constitution. [applause] interview and ultimately
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recommend. my constitution says the president appoints judges with the advice and consent of the senate. not a commission composed of plaintiffs' lawyers and others who have business before the very people they'll hear from. the problems with this practice are similar to the ones we face with the administrative state. no one elected the member to the commissions, they have no accountability to congress or the president. yet some senators want to delegate to them the power to select or reject candidates for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. who are the typical members of these commission, the very lawyers who will be practicing before the judges. that's the outsourcing problem and it's real. then there is the american bar association. i told you i was coming back to
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he good stuff. the a.b.a. has no role in the president's select. [applause] the a.b.a. mr. mcgann: enough said. despite these obstacles we're pleased with the quality and pace of the nominations. when the president took office there were over 100 judicial vacancies, including the supreme court. in 10 months the president has nominated over 70 judges. 14 have been confirmed. nearly 50 are currently pending in the senate. dozens more are in the process shortly.be nominated early next year we expect a significant number of additional nations. we know how important these appointments are to you and how important they are to the rule of law. we thank you for your support in this effort. in closing, this convention has rightly been a celebration of the shortly. early next year we expect a significant number federalist s success. not only did we celebrate the appointment of the committed originalist to the supreme court, but in the tradition of
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the federalist society we have debated the most important legal questions facing our nation. how do we restore the rule of law, separation of powers, and individual liberty in the face of administrative behemoth? i want to thank the federalist society for the topic this year. the idea of a rigorous debate over the role of administrative state could not be more timely. it's been beneficial to us in a -- i guess any personal moment i feel like many of my hair brained ideas on administrative law are being debated here this week by very serious people. it's an honor to be a part of this and it's an honor to have been a member of the federalist society for many, many years. thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight. and thank you to everyone at the federalist society for making so much of this possible. thank you. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> thank you so much. i suspect among other things barbara would be very proud of that. and i see ted nodding. thank you, thank you for your service. that will conclude the lecture. we have the reception across the hall. the reception for those who have signed up for that is across the hall. appreciate you-all coming. thank you. [applause]
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>> tonight on c-span, former secretaries of state madeleine albright and condoleezza rice talk about freedom and security. program starts at 8:00 eastern and features these remarks by madeleine albright who served during the clinton administration. >> i think we have to recognize that we're dealing with a president of a country of russia who is a k.g.b. agent and they know how to do propaganda. what they are doing is using information in a way to undermine the system, democracy, what they want to do is
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undermine the democracies in europe and separate us from europe. and i do believe that they have figured out how to make our life more complicated in every single way through various new methods, tweets, and various aspects. and we are an open society. and they are using our openness. how do we deal with it without closing down? it is a challenge for all of us to think through but it has changed because we're being attacked in a new way through a new system. >> the former secretaries of state are joined by u.n. ambassador nikki haley at an event hosted by the george w. bush institute in new york city and opening remarks by former first lady laura bush. you can watch it tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. >> the 51st attorney general of texas

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