tv Secretaries Pompeo Mattis with Canadian Foreign Affairs and Defense... CSPAN December 15, 2018 12:01am-12:34am EST
human beings as well. constant attacks, constant attacks at the electoral level, in the state courts, constant belittling of judges at the federal level cannot help but have a wearying effect at best, and much worse consequences for some judges when this goes on responded to. finally, let me go home for a moment. there is that famous dissent by brandeis from olmstead, who talks about the government as lawbreaker and it seems like somewhat of a platitude. coming from baltimore, that is real, that is very real. given all the structural poverty we have in baltimore now, earnest efforts to bring about reform of our institutions including the police department,
and given the need to address serious criminality, the fact of the matter is there are people, not just in baltimore, but all over this country, who draw their lessons from high-ranking officials. when people observe those who are privileged to serve disobey the law, criticize the courts, diminish the importance of the rule of law, that effect is felt all the way down the socioeconomic ladder. we cannot restore the trust in this country that is so desperately needed in our communities, particularly communities of color, when it comes to the law. when day after day, the members of those communities are seen high-ranking officials, including the president of the united states do what is being done to the rule of law, we all
know this presidency is brought to us by barnum & bailey. [laughter] the fact of the matter is, the consequences are far more serious than we should allow to go unchecked. thank you for this opportunity. [applause] alicia: thank you. i would like to turn now to judge robart. if you could tell us about your experience being subject to an attack by president trump. i am sure you get criticized all the time but perhaps this was different. maybe you could reflect on the consequences you have seen. judge robart: i have certainly had my share of criticism. i will take you back to late january 2017.
the president is sworn in the 20th of january. he unveils an executive order -- and i am from seattle and we have a lot of software companies so in my chambers it is referred to as travel 1.0. the state of washington had been seeing this coming, getting ready for a while, and they file that week, following monday, on a complaint on a complete random draw that i will note occurred when i was out of town. [laughter] it was assigned to me. i did what i think any of the judges here would do. i had a conference with the parties. i set a briefing schedule and i
said, we will have a temporary restraining order hearing on friday, one week from the issuance. the decision was not hard to make on the law because the position taken by the administration was that any action, any action in immigration our national defense is unreviewable by the courts. they were very proud of it. interestingly, the very talented career justice department lawyer they sent to defend the lawsuit, when i read her that statement, looked up with me with a slightly pained look and said, "i have been instructed to say" -- that is the position of the administration.
i went back to the job i do, deciding jury instructions for a copyright case involving real estate photos. we went off the bench at 5:00. i walked into chambers and there were a number of things that seemed out of order, one of which the phone was not being answered and everyone looked in shell shock. we had telephone calls. we have voicemail. we had email. we had telephone messages left on my home answering machine. within about 40 minutes of the temporary restraining order being posted, a hopeful person through a series of dead-end bots posted my name, address,
birth date, our home address, my wife's name, and we started getting communications. what i want to stress with you now is what happens in the next 36 hours. go back to that january. president trump has been elected, he has got millions of votes, and made immigration a major issue during the election. that is obviously significant. you can judge because the marshals service keeps track of all of these. they are in existence in a database. the most common theme of them was -- who elected you president? that is criticism of the decision, i can understand that. i think all of us get criticized. the second one was -- how
possibly can you defy the president? that one starts to be more troublesome to me because it reflects the topic that we mentioned several times, the lack of civics being taught. that is what my job is, making sure the constitution is followed, and if that means telling the president he is wrong, that is what i'm supposed to do. my personal favorite comes out in 12% of every communication we got -- when you run for reelection, i'm not going to vote for you. [laughter] you could not make this stuff up. it is now dark in seattle. we all go to bed. the president sends out his so-called judge message -- the opinion of the so-called judge
which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned. he could have said will have to be withdrawn, which is ultimately what happened, that not what he said. disagreement with my rulings, that is a constitutional right. there is no issue with that. i know some people say, you just need to get a thicker skin. this has gone on ever since thomas jefferson disliked john marshall's rulings. it is different when you say "so-called judge" is because the so-called judge is interpreted in the now next generation of communications i get, you are not a judge. you have no authority to do this. you must be stopped. i am not going to suggest that the president had some kind of personal animus against me, but
when you call someone a so-called judge, you attack the judiciary. he may not even have wanted to convey that message, but that is the message 40 million twitter users took down, you were never authorized to issue this decision. that undermines the integrity and authority of the judiciary. i will speak in my own defense, which periodically when people want to engage on this topic, they will say the president got 38 million votes. how many did you get? my answer is 99. when something concerning the president passes 99-0, we will be equal. [laughter] i do not think that will happen in the near future. the character of the message, and the number of messages spikes at that point.
saturday, i have a police car part in front of my house with its blue light flashing. your neighbors never quite know what to do. are they arresting you? should we protect you? what they did is brought out coffee and cookies and served it to the officers in the police car. the president did not stop at that point. he sent out another tweet the next night which basically says -- terrorists are flowing into our country and they intend to do you wrong. if something happens, blame it on the judge. he is responsible. it is a great insurance policy. it causes another change in the tone of the communications that come in. and it gets worse.
the tone is now, you must be stopped. i have a personal risk in this. the president has told me my wife and children are in jeopardy. my safety is hanging in the balance and you are responsible. the unfortunate thing that involves the marshals, we must eliminate people like you to protect us. the president says this is a priority. that is attacking the integrity of the judiciary. terrorists were not flooding into the country. we all know that. secondly, to then say, i've got no responsibility, even if i'm the president, blame it on the judiciary. we don't have that authority and ability. secondly, it suggests we are
going to do something that is creating national policy contrary to what should be done. i'm about done here. after those, we ended up with any number of death threats. over 100 of them are considered serious enough that the marshals went out and investigated the -- investigated. the marshals idea of a low-profile operation is a black suv, a second black suv, a third black suv. they come in their swat gear. god bless everyone of them because they would have done anything they could to protect me and my family. they're not protecting us from terrorists, from the drug cartels, which most of us think is really the problem. they are protecting us from mentally ill people who are seized on these things. people who are extraordinarily
partisan and have been led to believe the judiciary is the problem and has to be eliminated. that is my experience. i will say the president has a right to criticize my decision. we are not immune to that. the manner of that criticism when it crosses the line and , becomes a personal attack on the integrity of the judge, i'm from the ninth circuit. i'm the western disctrict of washington. we now have a so-called judge in the southern district of california, a mexican judge, and in the northern district of california, an obama judge. giving people labels like that really undermines what we do. that is my view. [applause]
allison: i want to turn to you next. you have been a federal judge since the 1980's. do you see what we are seeing now under president trump as something different or as a continuation? justice lamberth: his story is different in kind and it is very unfortunate. i've had every president since i took office in 1987 has criticized something i have done except president trump because i have not had a case yet to its i've had to rule against him. my time will come. i am sure. what he just described is different in kind than the criticism i've had. i will give you an example. when president clinton first
came in, i was the first judge to strike down his health care task force. he had made hillary clinton head of his health care task force. under the advisory committee act, he had appointed her to head it. the statute said that if she was the head of it, the meetings had to be opened the public. they did not open them to the public. i said they had to make the minutes of the meetings public under the statute. there was a lot dispute about it at the time and a lot of publicity about it at the time because, they were trying to change all the health care laws in the country. the result of all that litigation, by march, when i
struck down the whole mechanism the president had set up, the health care task force collapsed and had to be disbanded by may. i was at the white house at a reception in may and going through the receiving line, introduced myself to the president and he said, i know very well who you are. i thought that was fairly amusing. hillary actually doesn't speak to me. that was fairly interesting. at the same time, that was all very civil. at the same time i had this case, they had gathered at the white house. the question was whether there was bureaucratic bumbling or something more. they had gathered the raw fbi files of about 75 republican leaders like jim baker and people like that. they had brought them over to the white house, requested by the chief of personnel of security at the white house. the fbi had turned them over and there was a huge lawsuit by all
of these republican officials whose raw fbi files they had brought over to the white house. i ended up allowing discovery into how this occurred and why it occurred. everything going on about that, i was being pillared and the press everyday. judges can't respond to that kind of criticism. i ended up, the only way judges can respond, is each discovery order, i ended up writing an opinion so that i explained why i was allowing certain depositions and certain discovery to go forward. when it all ended, i ended doing a memorandum granting judgment for the clintons saying it was all just a bumbling bureaucratic snafu that there was no evil intent ever, they were just a bunch of idiots that assembled these things. [laughter] and they didn't even know what
was going on, but there had to be. or a to figure out what was going on. was, because that i was under such attack, i ended up writing almost 100 discovery opinions, which district judges almost never do read all of the discovery opinions are written by magistrate judges. judges around the country use these discovery opinions for every subject still today. everybody sites alexander versus is the mostuse it famous discovery opinion, even today, but that is how judges ispond one the president criticizing you. you responded writing that way, because the president will take that and use that as a response. you just heard what bob said, the president of the aba, the federal bar, and organized bar,
are very good about defending the federal judiciary. we canrd what bob said, depend on the organized bar to defend us, and they speak up in our defense and defend our decisions. presidents frequently criticize judges. we understand that. we are appointed for life. here long after ,his next president is gone too so he can say whatever he wants to say. president clinton had plenty to say, president bush had plenty to say about me. they can say whatever they want, and i'm still going to be here because i am here for life. that is an arrogant way to say it, but they can say what they want and i'm going to do what i want. what bothers me more is the idea about,dre was talking
about whether there is an effect on some of these personal attacks now of disrespect on the judiciary and the judicial function. and that is something different. and that is something that i think, traditionally what bar leadership has done, that the attorney general would have something to say about. unfortunately we have been in a posture the last two years where the attorney general either ,ouldn't or wouldn't or hasn't or had no effect on anything with the president. a new attorney general who has more effect remains to be seen, or whether that would have any actual effect remains to be seen. even whenionally, president obama made his smart remark at the state of the union that the supreme court whistled at, i think the attorney general can have a conversation with the
president, that i think occurred after president obama confronted the supreme court to their face in an uncomfortable way. and i think that can have an effect when the attorney general does it, more than the president of the aba or something like that. i don't think those kinds of things have happened recently, and i think they should, and i hope the new attorney general may have an impact on those conversations that need to happen. hear from these justices from the state supreme problemsou'll see my and the two judges you heard from our minor in the scheme of things. real problem with independence and the judiciary is where judges have to run for office. i'm alarmed about what can ,appen in the state courts because in the federal courts
i'm appointed for life, i'm going to outlast all these guys. i have been a judge 31 years, i have seen presidents comment go, and i'm still going to rule on what i think is right. there's a great luxury in life coming to work everyday loving my job, deciding what is right, and i just rule what i think is right. sometimes the court of appeals reverses me. that doesn't mean i was wrong, it just means they get the last word. [laughter] i wanted to pick up on appoint judge lamberth raised about how judges are constrained about how they respond to criticism. i would love to hear your reflections on constraints judges face, and what that means for the rest of us. >> i am the last of the four federal judges to speak and then
we will hear from the state judges. i will try to not repeat too much of a we already heard, but give my perspective. howperspective is, ?onstrained are we really the code of judicial conduct says a judge cannot comment on a pending matter, but i don't think that means the judge cannot speak out when the question somebody asks them has nothing to do with a pending or impending matter. and when judges do say something on general questions, people learn, it is a way to educate everyone. toe judges should feel free speak on some of the general questions of law, civil and , not that come up
before them, but before all society. i try very hard to walk that line. the press is always trying to get a comment and you have to say, i can't speak about that case at all. but if you ask me a general question about how it -- how a court operates, a la judges appointed, whatever the issue might be, i will give you a comment. i think it does further education. when you can't comment on your own case, all you can do is speak through your opinions, but sometimes that is not enough. story, i guessk we are all here partly because we have been attacked. i was a judge in new york who handled the big stop-and-frisk case that ended that practice as it was practiced then by the new department,lice
which i found was unconstitutional. it was a very, very big case in new york. president trump is not the first executive to attack a judge, because when my opinion came out, the mayor said, this city will now blow up, crime will rise and it will be on that judges had -- on that judge's head. he was absolutely wrong. crime stayed low and lower even after stop-and-frisk ended. i went through the same thing you did, the personal home address was out there, the press was in front of the house, which was very disturbing, and the threat that go with so much publicity. back to the current environment, i was one of the early judges by then-candidate drop in the first presidential debate. he was asked about
stop-and-frisk, and he said, there he bad judge, very bad judge, she hates bullies, -- she hates police, which had nothing to do with the issue. judge look at the facts and decide the case and don't have these biases that are attributed to them. so way back with candidate trump we got the early attacks on judges that have continued. if the the question is, judge can't comment on that matter because it is pending, who should speak out? this is a theme we have had throughout this conference. andin kalb spoke about it, three people who lived through events in their countries spoke about this by saying, can we sit idly by and let these things happen? and the answer is, of course not.
there is an obligation on everyone, articulately the media, to step up immediately and defend what judges do. we have talked about the politicization of the courts, but it is a distorted view based on the supreme court. alluded to that. the supreme court is seen as super politicized because of the confirmation process, which is so public. and those are only nine justices, but there are 1000 federal judges and thousands of state judges who are not so politicized, by any means. caseswe get all kinds of and we decide them on the facts and the law and frankly, paul frankly,as little -- politics has little or nothing to do with 99% of the cases that come before judges. we are here today to talk about
the interaction of the media and the courts. the media has not been great in one sense, constantly saying this obama judge or this judge appointed by obama, or this judge appointed by reagan, or this judge appointed by clinton, or a democrat appointed this judge, or a republican, labeling us in this partisan way. about these nine justices, everybody knows, but for the 1000 federal judges, most of them are not thinking about the president to appointed them, not at all, not at all. we have thousands of cases every day and we don't think about the president that appointed us, but the media will immediately label us and put us in a box that affects people's expectations about how that judge will handle an issue. and that expectation is often quite wrong, but it does set it
up in people's minds that because you were a clinton judge, you will rule in a particular way. and that does denigrate the because over the 27 years i was in the federal most of my colleagues were true to the facts and the padsand these political they may have had, or the thoughts of the president to appointed them, are the furthest things from their mind in deciding a case. i think the media and courts need to discuss the appropriate way to describe what a judge does, which leads to the question of education. how much does the public understand about this? does the public know why we are not speaking out, to circle back to the original question, does isn't she wonder, why
explaining why she granted bail to this guy who killed somebody? a judge's biggest nightmare, you give bail and somebody then commits a crime. and it is not your fault. you follow the law, you followed criteria for granting bail, but things happen. so the public needs to understand what judges do, and how they do it, and why they do it and why they can't speak out. people often say, why did you give up your life tenure, why did you leave the bench? was to be able to speak and write on these issues in a way i could never do before. of years i have been off the bench, i have tried to write on many issues involving the judiciary, judiciary independence, to speak frequently to lay audiences to educate them as to what judges
do. [applause] ms. bannon: there is so much to discuss. we are going to shift gears to speak to some of the state court judges we have in the roundtable. set of videos of in someelevision ads state supreme court elections over the past few years. [video presentation] supreme court was have the -- judges on iowa's supreme court are liberal, ignoring our traditional values and legislating from the bench,
imposing their values on iowa. what will they do to long-established iowa traditions? three of these judges are on the november ballot. but no on retention of supreme court justices. >> we want justice is to protect us. when child molesters sued to stop electronic monitoring, a law that allowed us to track child molesters near schools, supreme court justice robin hudson sided with the predators. hudson cited a child molester's right to privacy. toughe robin hudson, not on child molesters, not fair to victims. >> the most liberal place in tennessee is not a college theus not a big city, it is state supreme court. liberal democrats control lower court and