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tv   Senate Republicans Threaten Nuclear Option If Democrats Filibuster...  CSPAN  March 31, 2017 12:31pm-12:55pm EDT

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shack behind the house. they were searching for a parolee and the man was holding a be begun used to shoot rats. the couple $14 million. listen to it tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> this weekend, cspan city tour with the help of our comcast cable partners will explore the literary scene and history of chico california. saturday at noon eastern on book tv. author tells us about the founder of chico in his book john bidwell and california. the life and writings of a pioneer. 81841, 1900. >> most important were long-lasting relationships with the federal government, starting with his days in congress were his days with the department of agriculture. he was constantly corresponding with officials in the usda and
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was constantly receiving from them different crops that they wanted tested out in california's cell soil and climate. they used him as one of their early experimental forms before they owned and iran their own. >> on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv we visit the california university state farm. >> it's the number one industry yet and we are the number one state in terms of agriculture. chico represents the northern part of the state, but we draw students from all over california to get experience in agriculture. >> we will also go inside the chico museum to see the historic chinese altar from the 1880 chico chinese temple. watch cspan city tours saturday at noon eastern on c-span to book tv.
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sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span three. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> live sunday at noon eastern, investigative journalist and author annie jacobsen is our guest on book tv in depth. >> from these pentagon documents, what is clear is it is moving humans in the military environment toward being comfortable with this idea of merging man and machine. reporter: she is known for her writings on war, weapons, security and government secrets. we will discuss her recent books, area 51, operation paperclip, and her most recent phenomenon. join our live three hour live conversation with our calls, e-mails, tweets and facebook questions live on noon eastern
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sunday. >> the nomination of neil gorsuch to replace anthony scalia will continue next week. the judiciary committee will vote on the nomination monday and the full senate will consider it. the majority leader mitch mcconnell has announced he plans to hold the final confirmation vote on friday april 7. we will have live coverage. this week senators began stating their positions. here are republicans earlier this week, god.
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>> we want to thank you very much for being here. before i start my remarks, i want to say thank you to all the former clerks of the judge who are here to express their views of why he should be on the united states. court, and i just got done telling them this is a news conference or they are more important than our senators are from the standpoint that they have, day in and day out, know the qualifications of this person to be on the supreme court. last week, the judiciary committee saw a brilliant display from the supreme court nominee, the judge neil gorsuch. most importantly, he showed a command of the law and in independence from outside influence.
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my judiciary committee colleagues, those of us here and others saw what the judge clerks are ready know. the judge has an incredible legal mind, and a humility that keeps him well grounded. he is easily cleared every hurdle in place of him coming in front of him for this position. it leaves me then very stunned why there is this talk about a filibuster. it's quite clear that if he isn't qualified, then nobody is. if you would be filibustering a judge like this, it's obviously that you would filibuster anyone. so, the actions by those who want to filibuster is quite purely politics. if you are voting on his
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qualifications, it's a very easy yes vote. we are joined today, as i previously said, by a number of judges clerks. i've not seen anything like that in all the years that i have been involved and it's a wonderful display of what these people have been doing, not only here with us today, but other places and in different venues around the country to support the judge. they are accomplished lawyers in their own right. they are fears loyalty to the judge says a lot about the type of person we are going to have on the supreme court. they know him better than most. they know the fair-minded approach that he will bring to the court. i think they would agree with one of the judges colleagues who wrote this, i'm not sure that we could expect better, or that
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better presently exists. we are glad to have so many here today and with that, i turned to my colleague starting with senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for the way you run the committee. i represent all the lawyers who could not become supreme court clerks because were not smart enough, but there are more of us than there are of you so i practiced law most of my adult life, and i enjoy the law. i like politics, but i have a particular passion for the law. i want to congratulate president trump for nominating neil gorsuch. there was no better qualified person that he could've chosen to represent and fill justice scalia's seat. he is a conservative jurist for ten and a half years. is exercised the demeanor that's appropriate with being on the supreme court and the intellect appropriate for being on the supreme court, the character
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appropriate to be on the supreme court. 2700 cases decided as a circuit court judge with one reversal. i'm here to tell you, he is going to be on the supreme court because he's earned the right to be there. the only question is how. it's not even when. to my democratic colleagues, if he can't yet 60 votes, neil gorsuch, that tells me you don't care about qualifications any longer. i would not have chosen kagan or sarah meyer under the obama administration but i voted for both of them. i can tell you neil gorsuch is one of most qualified people to be on the supreme court. if you don't believe me just look at the law clerks, lawyers, judges, all the interviews of those who have served with him for a long time and they came to the conclusion he was well-qualified at the highest rating.
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as to judge garland, credibly qualified man. he was a victim of nothing other than the biden rule. in 1992 joe biden told bush 41 if someone retires in your last year, don't send a name up. we will at the next president decide because the political season is already afoot. that was in june 1992. justice scalia passed away in february of 2016. they had already had three primaries in the books. a week after his death, a south carolina primary in the political season was afoot. we haven't had a replacement like this in 100 years. we had a president of one party to replace somebody in the last year of a term of a presidency where there are different parties involved. judge garland is a fine man. he was a victim of nothing more than the presence of the senate and the biden rule.
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that has nothing to do with judge gorsuch. i really did not think the next president would be donald trump. at the time i bought into the idea the next president should pick because the political season has started, i assume, like most people it would probably be a democrat and i might be more liberal than garland. president trump won, he defied my expectations, he won the white house and he deserves, i believe, the same respect and treatment that was given to president obama for his two nominees that reported out of committee. i am asking the democrats to do morno more for president trump n i did for president obama. i hope the country understands that if this fine man cannot make it to this building because of what goes on over there, then the problem lies over there. judge gorsuch has done everything you can expect a person to do to prepare himself
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to serve in this building. the only reason he may not get there with 60 votes is because of the political fear that dominates that building. thank you very much. >> my name is mike lee. i'm a senator from the state of utah and i am proud to stand in support of the nomination of judge neil gorsuch. i would add he is the first supreme court nominee in history to have his own choir from which we heard just a moment ago. judge gorsuch is someone who is uniquely well-qualified for the supreme court of the united states. as a lawyer who has argued in front of him, the u.s. court of appeals and attempt circuit, i can tell you he is prepared for his argument. he's read every brief and opinion, he's read every statute, every case involving the dispute in front of him. he has one objective and one objective alone as his clerks
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who were assembled here today can attest, and that is to find the right answer in the law. he starts from the standpoint that there is a right answer under the law and it's his job as a judge to find out what that answer is. those who have criticized him have criticized him on a couple of grounds. one of them is they say he's out of the mainstream. well, this simply isn't supportable. at least if you utilize any conventional metric for what it means to be in the mainstream. a judge in his decades of service has decided about 2700 cases. in 97% of those cases where he set, the decision had been unanimous. in 99% of the cases, at least he
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has been in the majority. you have to remember that appellate judges in our federal judiciary don't ever sit alone when hearing appeals. they always serve in panels. normally a panel of three judges, sometimes what we call in bank panel which is a dozen or so judges. but never does this judge said alone. the fact that 99% of the time he is in the majority and 97%, his rulings are unanimous, it really dismisses that he is out of the mainstream. another one of the criticisms that has come his way has come from those who have said he somehow doesn't rule for the little guy. he rules for the big guy instead of the little guy. this to is not supported by the evidence. it contradicts the evidence. the evidence shows he has ruled for the little guy over and over again. there's one consistent theme. whether it's the big guy or the little guy who's got the law on his side, judge gorsuch is with that party. those who criticize him for doing this, those who say he should go out of his way and he should issue a different ruling than what the law requires, if
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there are emotionally compelling circumstances in the case, are ignoring the purpose of a judge. within our constitutional republic, a judge has a solemn duty to give meaning and effect and do recognition to what the political branches of government have done. it gives due regard for the fact that across the street we have the u.s. capital which is charged with making law within our federal system. it is the judges job to interpret the law, not to make the law, so what they are saying when they criticize him for not fighting the way they want him to side in an emotionally charged case is that they don't want him to be a judge, they want him to be a policymaker or a lawmaker, and that is both to the constitution will never support. because he is this kind of judge, i support him wholeheartedly and i look forward in the coming days to making sure he gets confirmed. it's my privilege to hand the podium over to my friend and colleague, the senator from
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texas, senator ted cruz. >> thank you mike. thank you, mr. chairman. welcome. judge gorsuch should be confirmed to the supreme court and he will be confirmed to the supreme court. on any objective measure, judge gorsuch is impeccably well-qualified for the court. a graduate of columbia and harvard law school and oxford, a former law clerk to justi justie byron white, he has spent a lifetime in the law, building a record demonstrating that he would make an exemplary justice. the justice for whom he clerked, byron white was the only supreme court justice appointed by president john f. kennedy. and, anyone who watched the confirmation hearing last week would see a judge who's demonstrated a fidelity to law
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for a lifetime. despite personal attacks, unfair slights, despite political efforts to appease some of the activists, some of whom are gathered here today, there were no meaningful substantive concerns raised about judge gorsuch. indeed, if this were being decided on the record, judge gorsuch would be confirmed 100 o hypothesize about that because judge gorsuch has been confirmed 100 - 0 a decade ago when he was nominated to the federal court of appeals for the senate confirmed tim by voice vote. not a single senator spoke out against them. not diane feinstein, not patrick leahy, not barack obama, not joe biden, not hillary clinton. every one of them went along with confirming him to the court
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of appeals, a question anyone should ask is if they supported him being on the court of appeals a decade ago, what's changed. the only thing that has changed is our energized activist friends that have democratic senators terrified they will get primary from the left in a democratic primary. that's the only thing that's changed. on substance, we now have, in addition to his impeccable qualifications to the court of appeal judge, we have over a decade of proven record on the court of appeals and the universal assessment of his tenure. as a judge he is a judge who follows the law without partiality to any litigant, without partiality to any policy outcome. that's what we want and deserve in judges. a final point, this judicial nomination, i believe, was the most transparent judicial nomination in history.
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indeed it is without precedent. last year candidate donald trump released a list of 21 names from whom he would choose to replace justice scalia. the voters have that list in front of them. they knew exactly the 21 names. neil gorsuch was one of those names. donald trump promised he would nominate a judge in the mold of justice scalia. hillary clinton, on the other hand, promised a very different kind of justice. she promised a liberal judicial activist who would vote to undermine free speech, to undermine religious liberty and to undermine the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. this election was, a referendum on the supreme court. that has no precedent. the degree to which the voters knew precisely what they were getting, and what i would suggest to you as the overwhelming election results in november as the american people
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chose the direction, it gives this nomination a super legitimacy. it's not simply the president's choice but it is the president's choice that has been ratified by the american people voting in a national election where they were choosing, do they want a liberal judicial activists or do they want a principled, originalist on the court who will protect free speech, protect religious liberty and protect the second amendment? that nomination was ratified by the american people, and next week it will be confirmed by the united states senate. thank you. [applause] >> my name is leah. i'm a former clerk to judge gorsuch and i'm speaking on behalf of all the judges former clerks including the clerk standing behind me. the recent hearing before the senate judiciary committee confirms several things that we, judge gorsuch former clerks know
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first hand. there's no question of his intelligence. throughout the hearing he displayed profound command of the law in response to the committee's questions on a breath of legal topics but there's no question of his temperament. while answering questions into the evening hours over several days, the judges deep respect for the members of the committee never waned in his commitment to carefully listen to the points raised before him never faltered. this is the man of integrity and decency that we all know. third there is no question that the judges great respect and empathy for the litigants that appear before him. colleagues on the bench, log professors, former clerks and friends with lyrical views that span the spectrum all testify to this before the hearing. the american bar association, which gave judge gorsuch the strongest endorsement, praised him as respectful, unbiased and sensitive to the position of litigants and their counsel. there's no question about his independence and impartiality.
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in hearings he has shown he will not prejudge any issue that may appear before him. he is guaranteed no result and he is ca committed to favor no side. the only promise he has made is to keep an open mind and give all arguments full and fair consideration. he is a markable man and a remarkable judge. he will be a man of all americans will be proud. we hope the senate acts with action on his nomination. thank you. >> questions of any of my colleagues or the clerks? [inaudible conversation]
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>> they are asking about the threshold. the threshold required to close debate to achieve closure on a nominee. rule 22 of the senate rules requires that to close the debate you have three fifths of the senators sworn and serving. in order to close debate, what you have to do, normally in order to get to a final vote. senate rules can be changed by precedent and sometimes they are. in november 2013, the then democratic majority in the senate chose to take the nuclear option on the executive calendar. they invoked the nuclear option on the executive calendar in order to appeal the ruling of a chair to say that as we were considering some judges to the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit that 51 votes, rather than 60 should be sufficient. once precedent has changed, precedent controls. precedent in effect trumps the rule when the president is
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inconsistent with the role. all of the analysis undertaken at the time for justifying the decision to nuclear eyes, to go nuclear on the executive calendar applies with equal force throughout the executive calendar. although there were some democratic senators who took to the floor at the time and try to say well we don't intend this to apply in other circumstances, it has applied in every other circumstance since then. it is applied with respect to those nominated through cabinet position, to those nominated through subcabinet positions, people nominated through independent boards and commissions that require senate confirmation, and it's also applied in the context of article three judges. there is not one argument in justification for the senate decision to go nuclear in november 2013. it doesn't also apply with equal force

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