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tv   U.S. Senate Sanders on Kavanaugh  CSPAN  July 12, 2018 8:18am-8:38am EDT

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even p before the present had decided, and he was named to the court. so i also look for to sitting down with the nominee to exploit some of his views more fully and put everything that i've seen so far suggest to me, try to that is going to be a very good conversation. and that judge kavanaugh would make an excellent justice of the supreme court. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. >> mr. president, today i rise to oppose the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. this is an issue that i will return to in the coming weeks and months at greater length, but i did want to say a few words about why i am in opposition to mr. kavanaugh. i think many americans have a pretty good sense of what the function of congress is, what
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the president of the united states does. but, in fact, i think many americans do not fully appreciate the role thatap the supreme court place in our lives. in the past decade alone, the supreme court has issued some incredibly controversy all, and to my mind, disastrous decisions that have had a profound impact on the lives of the american people. let me just read you for a momentnt why this nomination iso very important. in looking at what the supreme court, often via 5-4 vote, a one-vote majority, has done in recent years. mr. president, if you go out onto the streets of i think any community in the united states
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of america, whether it is a conservative area or a progressive area, what most people will tell you is that we have a corrupt campaign-finance system. a system which today as we speak allows billionaires to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy elections. and most americans, whether they are democrats or republicans or independence, do not think that that is what american democracy is supposed to be about. what most people think is majority should rule, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but everybody getss a vote, not a situation in which billionaires can spend unlimited sums of money to support candidates who
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represent their interest. but that is, in fact, what goes on right now. and many americans may think, well, that was a decision made by congress, made by the president. not so. that disastrous decision, which is undermining american democracy, came about by a 5-4 vote of the united states supreme court in the citizens united case. that is what a supreme court decision can do. it can undermine american democracy and create a situation where the very wealthiest people in this country can buy politicians and influence legislation. mr. president, several years ago the supreme court upheld the
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constitutionality of the affordable care act, but the court also ruled that the medicaid expansion, as part of the affordable carear act, had o be optional or safe. i'm on the health education would become even helped write put i can tell you, i don'tll recall any discussion about whether or not that legislation would apply, elements of that legislation would apply to every state in this country. but the supremeo court ruled tht that was not the case. andd they said that the decision of expanding medicaid was up to thee states. andes today, we have 17 states n our country that still have not expanded medicaid. and what that means in english,
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in real terms, is today there are millions and millions of people in 17 states in this country, people who are ill, people can't afford healthcare, people who are literally dying because they don't go to the doctor when they should, that is all because of a decision of the united states supreme court. but it is not only the issue of campaign finance or the issue of medicaid in health care what the court has acted in a disastrous way. i think everybody knows that our country has a very, very shameful history in terms of civil rights. and it has been a very long and hard struggle for us to finally
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say that in america, regardless of the color of your skin, regardless of your economic position, you have the right to vote. not a radical idea but it is a struggle that very brave people fought for for many, many decades. in 1965, u.s. congress finally passed the voting rights act which had the impact of eliminating racial discrimination i in voting. and that act passed by congress had been reauthorized multiple times since. in other words, what congress said is that everybody in this country has the right to vote regardless of the color of your skin.
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but in 2013, the supreme court again by a 5-4 vote ruled that part of the voting rights act of 1965 outdated and they struck down a major, major part of that law which guaranteed that all americans had the right to vote. and literally days after that decision was rendered by the supreme court, officials in state after state after state responded by enacting voting restrictionsar targeted at african-americans, or people, young people, and other groups of citizens who don't
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traditionally vote republican. literally, days after that supreme court decision. state officials said wow, we now havee the opportunity to make it harder for our political opponent to vote, and they moved very, very quickly with restricted voting rights laws. and that was, that situation was created by, once again a 5-4 vote by a conservative supreme court. and just this year, just this year we saw the supreme court rule against unions in a really outrageous decision in the jan this case, designed to weaken the ability of workers -- janus -- public employees to negotiate
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their contract. just this year we saw the supreme court uphold president trump's muslim ban, and other important pieces ofis legislati. this is already a supreme court that, given the option, will rule as they have time and time again often by a 5-4 vote in favor of corporations and the wealthy against working people who will continue to undermine civil rights, voting rights, and access to health care, who are edging closer and closer to ruling that a persons religious beliefs should exempt them f frm following civil rights laws. so having said that let me just say very briefly why i oppose
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then nomination of judge kavanaugh. as itt happens, i do not usually believe anything that president think, sadly, he is a pathological liar, but i do think this is a moment where we should believe one thing t that he said during the campaign. i think in this instance he was actually telling the truth. entering the campaign, he was asked if he wanted to see the court overturn roe v. wade, the landmark decision that protects a woman's right in this country to control her own body. andy, he responded to that question, and ian quote, well, f we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be, that will
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happen, and that will happen automatically, in my opinion, he guess i putting pro-life justices on the court, in the quote. that's donald trump during the campaign. on a separate occasion, as many may recall, trump suggested that women who have abortions should be punished. so i have very little doubt that while he may evade the question of whether or not he wants to overturn roe v. wade, i have zero doubt that he would not have been appointed by donald trump and less that is exactly what he will do. mr. president, as i think we all know, president trump put forth a list of 25 potential justices,
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all of whom were hand-picked by the heritage foundation and the federalist society. these two extreme right wing groups claim that they have quote no idea, end quote, how any of the people on that list would rule on roe v. wade. but overruling roe has been a republican dream for 40 years. please do not insult our intelligence by suggesting that it is possible that any of these candidates could secretly support a woman's right to control her own body. that will not be the case. so that brings us to judge kavanaugh. mr. president, you may rememberu last year the federal government was sued by undocumented teenage
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girl. they were keeping in detention in texas. she discovered she was pregnant whileed in detention and try to obtain an abortion judge kavanaugh wanted to force her to delay the preceding, presumably until it was no longer legal under texas law for her to obtain an abortion in that state. when he w was overruled on a ful d.c. circuit, he complained in a dissent that his colleagues were creating a right to quote abortion on demand in court. does that sound like someone is going to strike down state laws victory undo barriers to abortion access, or disassembling somebody who had no problem with forcing a teenage girl to carry a pregnancy to term? there is also another case percolating at a texas which could have even greater
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consequences for tens of millions of americans. the state of texas and 17 of the republican states have sued the federal government, claiming that the affordable care act is unconstitutional, and the department of justice under donald trump agrees with them. now, while i do not know how judge kavanaugh would rule on this case, nobody could of course know that, i will note that in another case about the aca, he suggested that the president could simply refuse to enforce laws that he deems unconstitutional, regardless of what the courts say. and what we are dealing with here is literally life-and-death
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decision regarding pre-existing conditions, regarding the issue of whether youou have today canr or heart disease or diabetes, or some other life-threatening illness. before the affordable care act an insurance company to said you, oh, you have a history of kids, we are not going to ensure you because we can't make money out of you because that cancer might recur again. or you are too sick and we will your case.on we are not going to injure you. or if we do ensure you, your rates are going to be five times higher than somebody else of your age. and one of the major achievements of the affordable care act, supported by 90% of the american people, is that we must not end the protections
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that the american people have today against insurance companies who would bring back pre-existing conditions, the would discriminate against people who were ill. and it is very likely, mr. president, that that case will come before the united states supreme court. 90% of the americanri people say we should not discriminate against people who have cancer or heart disease. insurance companies should not be allowed to deny them coverage or raise their rates to a leveln that people cannot afford. but the trump administration has supported the argument of the republican governors will not defend the ac in court. that will come to the supreme court, and unless i am very mistaken, judge kavanaugh will
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vote with the right wing majority and allow discrimination against people who have serious illnesses, to once again be the law of the land. mr. president, time and time again judge kavanaugh has decided -- instead of the interest of the ordinary americans. he aside with chemical companies with over protecting clean air and fighting i'm a change. he argued, if you can believe it, that the consumer financial protection bureau, which has saved consumers billions and billions of dollars from the greed and illegal behavior of wall street and financial institutions, he argued that the bureau was unconstitutional because it, its structure did not give enough power to the president. he has argued against net
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neutrality. he dissented in an osha case arguing that sea world should not be fined for the death of one of its whale trainers, because the trainer should havee accepted the risk of death as a routine part of the job. mr. president, while the wood can predictic the future, we can take a hard look at judge kavanaugh's record and extrapolate from his decisions what kind of supreme court justice he will be. and i think that the evidence is overwhelming that he will be part of the 5-4 majority, which is cast decision after decision against the needs of working people, against the needs of the poor, and against the rights of
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the american people to vote freely without restrictions. so, mr. president, this is an issue i will return to, but i just want the american people to understand that when they hear this debate taking place here, same old same old pbl at each other, this is an enormously important decision which will impact the lives of tens and tens of millions of people. and i hope very much that the american people he come engaged in this issue and learned about judge kavanaugh's record and join with us, those of us, who are in opposition to his nomination. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence -- >> the clerk will call the role. >> mr. president, we are at a crossroads, a historic


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