tv RNLA Policy Conference - PM Session CSPAN May 6, 2017 7:13am-8:02am EDT
to recover debts, debt legislation versus favor legislation. but to your point, if you're just trying to get a bill passed, it would fall into that category that the courts have scrutinized and have p rendered those contracts unenforceable.cn >> any other questions? all right. well, we're done a little bit early, but early's good for this one. so thank our panelists here. [applause] >> we'll take a 15 minute break before the next set of panelists starts. thanks. >> now, a discussion on how the judicial confirmation process changed with president trump's nomination of neil gorsuch to the supreme court. after the discussion white house counsel donald mcgann receives
an award in honor of former attorney edwin meese. this is about 45 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> about the election law panel we just had. but i want to move on to one of our big victories with the confirmation of justice gorsuch and the panel we've got now on the senate's role. so i'm going to go ahead and introduce eric liken, rnla's vice president for judicial affairs. he's from lexington, kentucky, and has long labored in the field in kentucky both for our senate majority leader and also for the republican party in kentucky. everything? >> thank you, david. you're looking at one of the
very few unfortunate cayennes not to be in the commonwealth on this derby eve. i do want to thank the national press be chub for giving the kentucky flag pride of place. hopefully, everybody at home understands i will be back this evening and please save me a mint julep. so i'd like to introduce our panel for the senate role on the judicial confirmation process. first, we have martin gold. mr. gold is a partner with capital counsel llc. he brings over 40 years of experience on senate staff and in private practice. he is a recognized authority on matters of congressional rules and parliamentary strategies. mr. gold is the author of "senate procedure and practice," a widely-consulted primer on senate floor procedure now in its third edition. he frequently advises in offices of senators and serves on the
adjunct faculty at george washington university. he often speaks about congress as well as political and public policy developments. mr. gold is a graduate of the washington college of law at american university and serves on the board of the friends of the law library of the library of congress. next we have kurt levy who is president of the committee for justice and a veteran of supreme court confirmation be battles. for those of you who don't know, cfj was founded boyden gray and others in 2002 in response to democrat obstruction of president bush's nominee bees. it is devoted to promoting the rule of law and putting constitutionalist judges on the federal courts. after graduating harvard law school with honors and checkering for the u.s. court of appeals -- clerking for the u.s. court of appeals, he served at the center for individual rights. there he worked on landmark supreme court case including the university of michigan affirmative action cases and the successful constitutional to the
violence against -- challenge to the violation against women act. he moved to the office for civil rights where he headed the title ix policy group until joining cfj. he serves on the executive committee of the federalist society's practice group. he has an ms and ba in commuter sciences from brown university. he worked in the field of artificial be intelligence before attending law school and invented a new type of a.i. technology for which he wrote a successful patent. mr. levy, please. >> thank you. and, everything, i should find -- and, eric, i should point out that we have a pretty good horse race this virginia, the gold cup, which draws 20,000, so you'll be okay if you need a horse race. let's see. i could not possibly compete with marty on knowing the rules of the senate, so i'm going to
focus on the confirmation process from sort of a larger political viewpoint. i will touch on the lower courts if time permits, but let me focus on the supreme court because, as many of you know, there's a good chance that there'll be another vacancy this summer. those closest to justice kennedy think he's likely to e are tire -- to retire at the end of this term, and certainly if not this term, then the next. i mean, there could be as much as three more vacancies in addition to gore suv in trump's first term given the ages of ginsburg and breyer. so really trump has, you know, an opportunity to do something which we haven't seen in our lifetimes, which is have a genuinely conservative majority on the supreme court. i know people, liberals like to refer to the current court as being conservative, but i don't
think any of us in this room think that kennedy is a general win conservative -- genuine conservative. and, basically, not since the 1930s have we had a genuine conservative majority. the gorsuch battle was a little bit, a little bit contentious, but the next one will be a lot bloodier because we won't be replacing scalia, we won't be replacing a conservative, we'll be replacing either a liberal or, again, hard to know how to categorize kennedy. and the dems know that. i mean, you can't blame them for, you know, fighting hard on the next one because so many of their sacred issues are -- will be at stake. i mean, think about what a court with a truly conservative majority would be able to do. i don't know that they would overrule roe v. wade with, but they would certainly allow a lot more restrictions on abortion under the undue burden test. i guess abortion is their most
sacred, probably second most is gay rights. again, i don't think there's much chance that obergefell would be overruled but, you know, probably the hottest issue right now, you know, in any area is the battle between gay rights and religious liberty. and i think the conservative court would certainly rule for religious liberty, you know, way more often than sort of unfetter ored protection of -- unfettered protection of gay rights. gun control, that's another of their sacred issues. almost ten years ago now, there was the big victories this heller and mcdonald where the court established the individual right to own a gun. but they've been very leery to take cases where they could put more meat on those bones. again, i don't know exactly why that is. kennedy may be part of the problem there. but i think with a truly conservative supreme court, they would be taking those cases, and
they would be putting meat on the bones. you know, the death penalty, that's certainly eliminating that is a goal of the left and they've been making a lot of progress. you know, replace kennedy, and that's over. i think the conservative court would rein in the cher you should add morive -- cherish add morive state, i should say cherished by the left. that's an issue that i've out a lot of work into. i think we finally would make a department if we had a truly conservative court. so i guess i should temper that all by saying republican presidents haven't had the greatest record of appointing conservatives. so, you know, this all depends on him actually doing that. we've been disappointed going all the way back to eisenhower. my own personal view, by the way, is that, you know, it's not enough to appoint someone who has a conservative record. you really need to appoint somebody who has shown that they're not afraid to be
politically incorrect. that they don't value the opinion of "the new york times" and the cocktail party sir -- circuit. one of the people wants pryor early on in the search for scalia was that he had that quality. gorsuch, we'll see. he was a fantastic nominee. whether he has that edge, we'll see. but, you know, i think the good news is that with the filibuster gone, trump can appoint someone very conservative if he wants to. he doesn't have to worry about winning over moderate democrats. the bad news is that, you know, we really have to keep the republican party united. the days when either party could count on getting votes from the other side if it was a, you know, really qualified nominee, i think, are gone.
you know, our side has probably never waged a better campaign for supreme court confirmation than this time both in terms of just messaging and the millions of dollars that were spent to target vulnerable democrats, and yet you only got four democrats to vote against the filibuster. you would have needed eight to prevent use of the nuclear option. so we don't have much room to play with. i guess it was six republicans voted against bork, even half of that would be enough to torpedo a republican nominee in the current senate. and you can, you know, you can be in trouble either way. ifs president were to nominate someone -- if the president were to nominate something that wasn't conservative enough be, you could have the harriet meyers situation. mike lee and ted cruz would not vote for harriet iers, and you
could have somebody who's too much of an outspoken conservative. probably you'd have to worry most, you know, if the nominee has say like someone like pryor who said roe was wrongly decided. but a good, i think a good reason for optimism is that mcconnell did such a great job with -- i think he shocked us all the way he held the caucus together on garland. and then he probably doesn't get as much credit as he should for the nuclear option because there were several republicans who were wavering, and, you know, behind the scenes and in some cases with advertising, you know, they all came around. so i think mcdonald -- sorry, mcconnell has showed himself to be a master here. now, you know, i think if the democrats were smart, they probably wouldn't try so much to
defeat the next nominee, they would try to influence the pick. they would be smart if they, of the 20 people left on trump's list, if they made it clear to the president that be the you pick, you know, in this perp or these two people -- this person or these two people, there won't be a lot of resistant. that would be the smart move given their weak hand, but they didn't exactly, you know -- given their weak hand, they overplayed it this time, so maybe they'll do it again. if we lose the senate, any vacancies that occur after 2018, that's going to be a different story. the democrats will want revenge for garland. that doesn't mean that republicans did anything wrong with garland. you know, i'm sure most people many this room don't have to be convinced that the republicans were under no obligation to have a vote on garland. if there was such an obligation, then the filibuster would be unconstitutional.
that said though, it's been 26 years since thomas that a supreme court nominee was approved with a opposite -- with the opposite party in control of the senate. so all bets are off. again, they wouldn't necessarily block any nominee be, but i think if they control the senate, they could certainly force trump to pick a moderate. you know, and that's probably how it would play out. i don't expect things to be any prettier in the confirmation ballots over lower court nominees. again, there's a lot at stake. there's 120 vacancies right now. you know, the average is certainly less than 90. there's another 20 announced retirements, so take that figure of 140. that's more than 15 %, and it comes out to 15% of the federal
judiciary. and just to give you a perspective of how much that is, a president generally in four years maybe replaces, you know, 18% of the i judiciary. so, you know, trump could do a lot more the way things are going. the other reason i don't expect a lot of civility is just the history. i mean, since early in george w. bush's presidency, civility on lower court nominations has been gone. as eric pointed out, that that's why my organization was founded. and the last two congresses certainly have been no exception. reid got rid of the judicial filibuster or except for the supreme court, and then under an earlier compromise in which district court nominees only got two hours of post-closure debate, they then rammed through a record number of district court confirmations. that angered republicans, and then republicans in the last
congress got back at them by, you know, not confirming too many judges. now, the democrats can get away with probably more obstruction on lower court nominees than on the supreme court just because people aren't watching as closely. so anyway, all that, i think, spells, you know, rough times even for lower court nominees. now, a lot of people -- i guess let me just end by saying a lot of people have been canning me, well, given that the dems don't have a lot of leverage here, are they going to abuse the blue slip? for those of you who don't know, it says that the two senators from the nominee's home state have to approve, have to hand in their blue slip for a hearing. it's almost adhered to all the time. occasionally, with very few exceptions, the chairman of the judiciary committee did not honor it. and there's also not that many
instances where senators abused it by using it for more than just forcing consultation with them, where they really used it the way you might use a filibuster to absolutely block a nominee that they didn't ideologically agree with. both parties gain a lot from it. again, regardless of who controls the senate and the presidency, senators benefit from being consulted. so i don't think they're going to abuse it. they just like it too much. you know, it dates back a hundred years to 1917. i would, i think they'd be quicker to abuse the legislative filibuster and wind up losing that than they would to, you know, abuse the blue slip and lose that. so the answer is, no, i don't think they're going to abuse it. and let me stop there. >> ah, the microphone. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i was working on the staff of senate majority be leader bill
frist when the filibusters broke out on the bush judicial appointments. and it was a singular moment this senate history -- in senate history, actually. because in the entire history of the united states prior to 2003 there was one judicial appointment ever blocked on a filibuster. and that was a bipartisan filibuster against abe forties to be chief justice of the supreme court in 968 for a variety of reasons near the end of the johnson administration. but the filibuster did not, in fact, set a precedent for anything for 35 years after fortis. there were no filibusters. there were nominees who were defeated in those years afterwards. for example, haynesworth, carswell, bork all went up -- down on up or down votes, but
nobody lost on a filibuster until 2003. we held seven cloture votes on miguel estrada and couldn't ever get above 55 votes. and then in the course of that congress ten bush appointees were not confirmed by reason of filibuster, never could get an up or down vote. now, when the democrats did that, they did not change a single comma in the senate rules. the senate rules are exactly as they were before this happened. what they changed was a norm. the greatest rule of the senate is the rule of self-restraint. that is to say that the minority does not necessarily do all that it could do the same way that dirksen didn't block kennedy and johnson appoint dees and byrd didn't block reagan appointees and so forth. but senator daschle, senator reid and the democratic caucus did block those bush appointees. and then, basically, senator reid in the next congress after
daschle had been defeated to to some major degree on in this issue said, well, president bush, don't send those people back up here again. they've already been defeated. if you like, we'll give you a list of people we won't filibuster, and you can pick from it. i would honestly say that the filibusters of the judicial appointments in 2003-2004 was a major contributory factor to the decline of the senate and the polarization of the senate which has characterized this body. i started working there in 1972. it was a very different place than this highly partisan, highly polarized body you have now. and one of the reasons for it, one of those load star moments was the filibuster of judicial appointments in the 108th congress. in the 109th congress, bill frist decided it was time to exercise the nuclear option because every other step had failed.
we tried crow your votes, we tried unanimous concept agreements, we raised the thish in the '04 election, got no where with any of it. reid said this '05 the problem in the previous congress was not that too many people had been filibustered, pardon me, but too few. and he was unyielding. so frist began to amass the boats for the nuclear option in 2005. did he have the votes? very hard to know, but he was going to push that button and see in may of 2005, and it was fore stalled by the gang of 14 agreement which was seven republicans saying they wouldn't vote for the nuclear option and seven democrats saying they would no longer filibuster as an instrument of party policy. instead, they would take things on a case by case basis. they green lighted three of those bush appointments through and said others would be judged according to a standard of whether or not there were extraordinary circumstances to justify the filibuster. and after that happened,
senators like byrd and lieberman and inouye began voting for cloture which they had not done a single time in the previous congress. the agreement of the gang of 14 bound the senate only for that congress. but, in fact, it carried or forward fur -- for a few years thereafter. by 2013 senator reid decided to threaten the senate with the nuclear option unless something was done to ease the confirmation process. and this is what kurt just talked about, that agreement to go down to post-cloture time on district court judges of two hours. the republicans gave reid that in an effort to fore stall the nuke which it did early in 2013, but by november reid nuked. he nuked for everything other than the supreme court. it was the first time in senate history that you ever had majority cloture.
the cloture rule had always required some sort of supermajority. the rule was never amended, it was simply overridden and overridden, again, for the first time with majority cloture. and that set up the circumstance for the finishing of the job by senator mcconnell in 2017. kurt mentioned how much credit mcconnell should get for that. he doesn't get enough credit. there are two things that essentially allowed this to happen. the first is that reid did it first. finish without that, i'm not sure that mcconnell could have kept the votes together. but you weren't going to have one set of rules for democrats and one set of rules for republicans. the democrats loved, you know, the 60-vote threshold when they used it against bush appointments until they hated it when republicans were going to use it against obama appointments until they loved it again to use it against gorsuch. so the double standard meant
that republicans would stay in line for the nuclear option. second reason that it worked was because of gorsuch. because if you had a nominee that was more questionable, then someone could have said, well, we wouldn't mind voting for this nominee or that nominee, but, you know, we're not sure about the existing nominee. but we were able to make an argument that if governor such would be filibustered and stopped on a filibuster, anybody would be stopped on a if pily buster. so, therefore, it was indiscriminate use of a filibuster, and that was the second main condition. reid did it first, gorsuch is the nominee, you have the ingredients for the exercise of the nuclear option which brings us to this position. the senate rules remain 60 votes. but they're an exercise of the constitutional rulemaking power. so is the exercise of the nuclear option, establishing a precedent that contradicts the rule. and the later exercise in time prevails because these things
stand on equal footing with one another. so you have a precedent and you have a rule that are contradictory to each other. the rule gives way to the precedent, and we now have a circumstance where the trump cabinet went in under the reid precedent, and we can confirm another justice to the supreme court without worry about a filibuster. in a sense, this this very much remakes the senate but in another sense it's actually restorative. it's restorative to the fact that although the power of advice and consent has been powerfully used to stop nominees sometimes on up or down votes on the floor, other times to brock them in committee -- block them in committee, it never had been used until 2003 on a partisan basis to block confirmation votes of people who came out of committee and were brought to floor. and it cannot be used think longer for that purpose. and so in that sense while the
legislative filibuster has a long history in the senate, judicial filibusters do not, and judicial filibusters are now dead and will remain dead unless and until this nuclear option is reversed. i can stop there. [applause] >> mr. levy, mr. gold, thank you very much. we have just a little bit of time for maybe one question. right down here this front, sir, if you'd wait for the microphone, please. >> so all of the banning of the democrats is out now, and we'll expect that all of our judicial nominees have smooth sailing, or are we going to see real obstructionism in and what kind of forms would you walk through if a person is nominated to be a magistrate or entry-level judge? >> well, i think, you know, the
biggest way democrats can obstruct -- can i mean, again, they could obstruct with the blue slip, but i think that'll be limited -- we're back to the compromise for only two hours of post-cloture debate on district court nominees is gone. so now it's back to 30. and, you know, any of you who have worked in the senate know how precious floor time is. so the fact that the democrats get those 30 hours and bargain with it gives them some ability to obstruct. so can they slow things down? yes. will they sometimes be able to paint a nominee as so extreme that, you know, they'll pry away some republican votes? yes. but i think you'll see, again, a lot of really bitter confirmation fight but only a few nominees blocked. >> all you want to do keep four words this mind: out of the mainstream. [laughter] because that is what you will
hear about every one of these appointments, that the person is out of the mainstream, and they will to what they can to discredit people and peel away votes. but beyond that, if you see how long it tock to confirm the -- it took to confirm the trump cabinet. democrats stretched out many, many of the nominees. in other words, they required a cloture process on everybody, and they will require a cloture process even on people that are not controversial because if the senate is busy with the cloture process, they're not busy voting in favor of a nominee. so i would anticipate that cloture will become quite a routine matter, and the full use of the cloture process -- in other words, a full use of the time in an effort to stretch things out as much as they possibly can on the theory that the senate will only have so much time to confirm so many people. to those kind of delays -- so those kind of delays, plus the
discrediting of specific nominees if they can do it. >> thank you, gentlemen, very much. [applause] >> for these guys as well, we have got a small token of our appreciation. >> thank you. >> because i'm sure you need something to hold the papers down on your desk. [laughter] and now we're ready for our final panel of the day, and we'll let folks come up here. i'll go ahead and start, start mentioning manny iglesias, i believe, is going to do honors here. manny and general meese and don mcgann are on their way up. manny's the president and ceo of a diverse tied health care holding company -- diversified health care holding company, and manny has the honor and the privilege of introducing general meese.
>> good afternoon. it's my privilege to be the last moderator and have the privilege to talk briefly about two great conservatives, two great republicans, two great americans. it is a great honor for me to welcome general ed meese to the stage for whom we have named the highest award. general meese needs no introduction, he has been an inspiration to all.
the rnla's honored to recognize other leaders in his name who have upheld the rule of law in the face of very adverse political challenges. before general meese presents the award, i just want to say a few words why the rnla board selected donald mcgann as this year's awar dee. don has been a longtime friend. he first spoke mere 2002 as -- here in 2002 as then-counsel of the nrcc. more importantly, he has long been a leader in election law. he has again addressed us on multiple occasions as the fec commissioner and chair. in that context, he drew the ire -- which makes him a hero -- of the new york time ands a lot of liberals. but throughout, he has had the respect of lawyers such as bob bower.
but all that pales in what he hahas recently accomplished. -- in being donald trump's counsel both for the election and currently as white house counsel, as you all know, president trump changed many members of the campaign taffe throughout the election -- staff throughout the election. made it very exciting for the media and for us. but don was there from tart to finish, and i think it's telling that the campaign never had a significant legal problem. and for that, we thank you. [applause] general meese? the podium yours. >> thank you very much. and thanks for the privilege of being here with you this evening. i have great respect for this organization particularly and enjoy hi membership along with all of you. but it is important because of all the good work you have done repeatedly, but particularly over the course of the last election, i think the devotion
of the republican national lawyers association particularly to the cause of election integrity cannot be matched by any other organization in this cup. and certainly, it's a job that we have to keep up the effort on that as there are people continually trying to play down the threats to the integrity of our electoral system that are the potential for taking place and in many cases from week to week we're finding new examples of exactly that. and so that's why, one reason why your work is so important. and the other is i'm glad to be here at this particular point in time to commend you for what is ahead. we have just gone through eight years of the most what i would call lawless administration in the history of the country. we have gone through periods where the constitution was shredded virtually every week. we've gone through some of the worst decisions in the history of the federal judiciary.
and as you can see just from the topics that you've been discussing today, there is much work to be done, and already the kinds of ideas and strategies that were put forward in these various panels indicate what's ahead. as your chairman here mentioned, i'm -- this award named after me is a matter of great honor to me not only because of the association here that it's presented in my name, but also the great people over the 14 different recipients over the last decade and a half. and today's recipient is certainly continuing that line of distinguished lawyers, distinguished citizens and in many cases distinguished public officials. don mcgann, as many of you know and as the chairman has already listed, has many accomplishments. let me just comment briefly on them. as the lawyer for the national republican campaign committee,
he did a great job of defending a lot of good republicans who were being unfairly attacked. as a member and chairman of the federal elections commission, he was outstanding in protecting the livelihoods and the reputation of so many people who were the victims of partisan attacks by those who would try to use that particular organization to pilary and to attack the reputation of so many of our friends for pure hi partisan purposes -- purely partisan purposes. and now, as you heard, he's not only done a great job in the campaign representing the trump campaign, but has now embarked on a very important task, and that is to defend the white house, the president and the current administration from what are often, again, unfair attacks by your opponents. i think particularly important is the way he's already embarked on coordinating the efforts of the general counsels in the various departments so that we
can are a united -- can have a united front of professional lawyers defending this administration against those who would attack it whether in the courts or in the congress or wherever else it might be. and that's why it is such a great pleasure to be able to present to him this award. as you know, he's not only a distinguished lawyer, but he has a great reputation as the chairman mentioned of support for this particular organization and participation here. so it's a pleasure for me to ask don to come up here and to present him with the edwin meese iii award from the board of aboves and the members of the republican national lawyers association. don, congratulations and keep up the great work in the important work that you'll be doing for all of us. [applause]
>> thank you very much. [applause] thank you. sit down, you all know me. it's fine, sit down. this is really a great honor for so many reasons. to have an award that has general meese's name on it is surreal, once in a lifetime opportunity. and just an honor. i remember the first time i met ed meese. it was actually many, many years ago. i had just moved to washington d.c. it was 1995, and it was at a federalist society event at the mayflower, their annual event. and it was, back then the federal society wasn't as large as it is now. it was the clinton years, so it was kind of the wilderness years, and i had just moved to washington, and i was younger
then. [laughter] and i remember i went to this dinner, and i really didn't know anyone because i was new in d.c., and i was walking around, and i heard a voice saying, hey, you can sit here, son. i sat down, it was ken cripp who pulled me down, i thought, wow, this is one of the guys, one of the reagan guys. and we went around the table, and i looked up, right across the table, hi, i'm ed meese. i thought, oh, you look just like ed meese. [laughter] so i remember the night because i just remember how warm everyone was ask how they made me teal like i belonged at the table each though they had no idea who i was. i lucked out. it shows kind of how much of a nerd i was, i was is so excited, i went come home and called hi parent -- called my parents.
now, this was basically one of the first weekends where i was in washington, d.c., so i assumed this was how every weekend was going to be in washington d.c. [laughter] where i would meet famous people and do things. it was probably 13 years later when i first met boyden gray. i was a little bit older and not quite as excited simply because i learned to contain my enthusiasm. but i do remember the first time we met, and it made an impact to actually meet in person one of my heroes. today, many years later, somehow i am now white house counsel. those of you who know me probably find that as more remarkable than i find it. [laughter] but here we are. and really every day i take inspiration from what general meese did. he started something that i humbly am going to try to continue. at the announcement of now-justice neil gorsuch we
invited general meese, and we spoke briefly, and i said we're going to try to continue what you started. when one thinks about the legacy that justice scalia has left not only for the court, but how he inspired an entire generation of law students and others to take up the pen and fight, fight for their rights, it's really ed meese who made that happen. i mean, the idea of talking about the constitution and the rule of law and judges as not policymakers, but decision makers really would not have happened but for one individual. so to to get an award with his name on it is really very, very meaningful to me. i can't, i can't overstate or understate or misstate or otherwise state the importance be -- [laughter] that he has had on all of us. it was a sad day for all of us
when justice scalia passed, and it was not easy. he can never be replaced, never will be replaced. that being said, the president made clear that he felt the judicial branch was critical to our country, for our democracy and to our people insuring individual liberty. he campaigned on the courts very openly. now, most political consultants would say, ooh, stay away from that stuff. that's a little hot. not this president. he embraced it. he made it a central theme of his campaign. he put out a list of exceptionally qualified persons, potential judges, all of whom -- other than senator lao -- all of whom are are current judges, senator lee, and from that he picked our latest justice, neil gorsuch, who i am very crowd and
and get humbled to have played a small role in that recommendation to the president. the president delivered on his promise, and i think he hit a home run there with justice gorsuch. [applause] the president's made his first circuit court nomination, parr, a district judge in kentucky for the sixth circuit. judge parr's already had his hearing before the senate judiciary committee, he did quite well. he is very sharp, very strong writer. he sat by designation on a number of appellate decisions already, so he is someone that the president feels is also going to be an exceptional judge. at the appellate level, he's already an exceptional judge at the district court level. not to make news today, i'm not going make news, but we'll soon roll out more judicial nominations from the white house. the president is putting the
finishing touches on a few folks. and without getting too far ahead of ourselves, you are going to be amazed at the exceptionalness of them all. the qualifications are impeccable, and it's really, really going to be an amazing thing. it's really an honor to be a part of it. and it really is going to show, i hope, that what i said to general meese before that we're going to pick up where he left off. we're really looking -- i looked at him as an inspiration every day as to how to, how to serve president with advice on that issue. and so in closing, i want to thank the r, this la for the -- rnla for the work that you do. everyone here, many of you have been friends for years, many of you helped during the campaign. some were critical in critical states, florida among them. thank you. and there's a number of other people.
the if i start naming people, i'll leave people out, so i don't want to hurt any feelings. but thank you to all of you who were assistants. we got it over the finish line. the president is, has had a robust first 100 days, kind of an artificial benchmark, but for when you really look up things that matter, the tact that we've managed to get a supreme court justice through the senate and confirmed is remarkable. we already have a circuit court nominee, we have a number of executive orders. in addition to the gorsuch nomination, successful confirmation, the president's had a number of successes. the one that the media begrudgingly writes about is regulatory reform. the president is taking this very seriously. it's not deregulation for the sake of deregulation. there's a very real impact that overregulation, arbitrary regulation has on everyday lives. it's very tough to plan your life when the rules always
change, very tough to plan your business affairs when you're not sure what a regulator's going to do, very tough to enjoy the promise of america when they keep moving the proverbial goalpost. it's something that the media must anytime is that we're actually -- admit is that we're doing quite a bit there. there are more successes to come. the house just passed a obamacare repeal and replace bill. it's a very good first step. and the president really was engaged and did a remarkable job on engaging with house members and trying to bring people together there in a way that probably some predecessors, particularly immediate predecessor, really did not know how to do or did not bother to do in the way that this president's going to do. so thanks to everyone. this is really an honor to be here. mr. meese, thank you very much. this is quite an honor, and i'm going to try to make you proud. thank you.
we've got a reception next door in honor of the ed meese award winner, and i want to thank michael, britney walker, the rest of the fabulous rnla staff. [applause] they did a great job putting on this conference. we could not have done it without them. i also want to thank the rest to have the rnla officers, manny, kim reid, elliot's here somewhere, everybody else on the board of governors. you all chipped in, you all made this a success. and last and most certainly not least, point of personal privilege, hi, rex, hi periweather. i hope you enjoyed seeing daddy on tv. [laughter] thanks a lot, everybody. police departments.
[applause] [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction be books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> and this weekend on booktv live on "in depth," author neil degrasse tyson discusses his many books and takes your questions. pulitzer prize-winning journalist helene cooper reports on the life of africa's first democratically-elected female prosecute on "after words". and the directer of the folger shakespeare library offers his thoughts on william shake peer's legacy. -- shakespeare's legacy. eric liu, former policy adviser to president bill clinton,
discusses how citizens can empower themselves. and booktv visits redding, california, to tour the area's literary sites and talk to hoping authors. for a complete schedule for this weekend, check out our web site, booktv.org. we now kick off the weekend with vanessa williamson's report on americans' attitudes towards paying taxes. ..