tv Justice Thomas Swearing- In Ceremony CSPAN October 22, 2016 5:39pm-6:01pm EDT
created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. clarence thomas was nominated to the u.s. supreme court by president george h.w. bush in 1991. he was confirmed by the senate in a 52-48 vote. next, the white house swearing in ceremony held 25 years ago this month. this is 20 minutes. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states
mrs. natalie rehnquist. holy and loving god, who has given us this great nation, and it's called gifted men and women to bear the burdens and assume the duties of public service. we give you thanks and praise for raising from humble origins clarence thomas to the highest court in our land. we thank you for his strength, his courage, and for the kindness and devotion of his heart. especially we thank you that he has persevered through
adversity. he has fought the good fight and that with your guidance, he has grown in love of you and in charity to others. we ask your special blessing on him as he takes this high office. make him always mindful that he's walking in your sight, that he may apply himself faithfully to the work you have given him. but in the years to come, he may do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with his god. amen. ♪
president bush: please be seated. welcome all to the white house. mr. vice president and mrs. quayle, warm welcome, and of course to the members of the supreme court, and may i simply say that barbara and i join with you and with all the nation in mourning the loss of natalie rehnquist, the wife of the chief justice. let me also welcome the many members of the united states congress that are with us today, singled out but a few, minority leader dole and chairman biden, and ranking member thurman of the committee, and so many others, the members of our cabinet over here, and so many
friends of clarence thomas who work with him here in washington, and of course, i should especially single out senator jack danforth, a man every american would be proud to call friend. [applause] and of course, those special guests and the many members of clarence thomas' family here today, here in the front row, and clarence's mother, his sister, his brother, his cousins, sisters, aunts. that's the way it ought to be. all of you, some of whom drove all the way up. i see a little advertisement here from pinpoint georgia to be here this afternoon.
that is 600 long miles that i got a feeling they might have driven 6000 miles to be here today. people from far and wide, from all walks of life, all levels of education and income, have come here today in testament to the character of clarence thomas. what brought you here is also something more. the power of the american ideal, the values of faith and family, hard work, an opportunity. these are the values that unite us all, that give america meaning. america is the first nation in history founded on an idea, on the unshakable certainty that all men are created equal. when we ask our justices to uphold the constitution, we entrust to them the laws that give life to our principles.
clarence thomas now joins the distinguished ranks of juris to whom we entrust this sacred task, who in the start and simple phrase of chief justice marshall tells us, what the law is. i said when i nominated clarence thomas that this man is a fiercely independent thinker, with an excellent legal mind, who believes passionately in equal opportunity for all americans. and since then, the whole nation has learned that the passionate intellect and independence all spring from a single source, and inner strength, steps on his character long ago when he walked the dirt roads of pinpoint. clarence thomas comes to the supreme court having worked in the private sector, having
served in state government, and in every branch of federal government. each position will serve him well on the court, sharpening his vantage point on the many questions that come before him. these are the man's qualifications. they are not the same as his experience. clarence thomas knows firsthand the searing hate and sting of segregation. he knows the cold face of indifference, the unthinking cruelty that tells some men and women that society expects little of them and offers even less. that clarence thomas would not be here today if there were not more to this story -- he's known his share of the joys of life, the love of family, the devotion of friends, he kind gestures from people committed to decency and fairness, the justice, and
to the american dream. clarence thomas endured america at its worst. he's answered with america at its best. he brings that hard-won experience to the higher court, and america will be the better for it. let me say to everyone here, don't be overawed by the solemnity of this moment. celebrate this day, see what this son of pinpoint has made for himself, see how he makes us proud of america, proud of all that is best in us, and in just a few moments, we will bear witness as the oath of office is administered to our nation's newest supreme court justice. let me simply say on a personal level, america is blessed to have a man of his character serve on his highest court.
clarence thomas, mr. justice thomas, congratulations, and now i like to ask justice brown white to administer the oath. [applause] >> mr. president, judge thomas, ladies and gentlemen, the swearing-in of a supreme court justice is undoubtedly a serious affair. but it's also a very exciting one. i'm quite glad to be here to send in for the chief justice, unfortunately could not be here because of the death of his wife, natalie cornell rehnquist.
we called her nan, we dearly loved her and shall miss her very much. on november 1 you take the judicial oath that is required by statute. you will become the 106 justice to sit on the supreme court and we look forward to that day. i will administer this oath. repeat after me. i, clarence thomas -- >> i, clarence thomas -- >> do solemnly swear -- >> do solemnly swear -- >> that i will support and defend -- >> that i will support and defend -- >> the constitution of the united states -- >> the constitution of the united states -- >> against all enemies -- >> against all enemies -- >> foreign and domestic --
>> foreign and domestic -- >> that i will bear -- >> that i will bear -- >> true faith and allegiance to the same -- >> that i take this obligation freely -- >> without any mental reservation -- >> without any mental reservation -- >> or purpose of evasion -- >> or purpose of evasion -- >> that i will well and faithfully perform -- >> that i will well and faithfully perform -- >> the duties of the office upon which i am about to enter -- >> the duties of the office upon which i am about to enter -- >> so help you god. >> so help me god. [applause] >> wow.
colleagues, and all your wonderful family members, friends, supporters, and those who helped, even as i am joyful at this event, i am deeply saddened by the death of mrs. rehnquist and i join in the heartfelt condolences to the chief justice and his family. since that bright, sunny day in kennebunkport, july 1, it have been many difficult days. as we all went through the confirmation battle. and i mean we all. but on this sunny day in october, at the white house. there is joy. joy in the mourning. [applause]
i thank almighty god. i thank those who stood along the road of 43 years of my life, from pinpoint to the supreme court, from 1948 to 1991. i think my mother and my father, my wonderful grandparents, the nuns, my relatives, my neighbors, my friends. all who insisted that i make something of myself. and, all who stood ready to help me do just that. i thank america for the ideals, the opportunity, and the reaffirmation of so much that is good about our great country. i thank my wonderful wife and my
funny son. my wife is my best friend, and over the past 110 days, we have been brought closer together. our love has been strengthened, and we have become better people. today, now, it is a time to move forward. a time to look for what is good in others, what is good in our country. the time to see what we have in common, what we share as human beings and as citizens. there is a time to look for solutions rather than exploit problems. in the words of sir winston churchill, let us go forward together. i close this process, this long and enduring process, as i began
the 1864 battle of atlanta and the engagement outside the city highlighting john bell hood's attack on union forces commanded by general sherman. talks about his actions at the 1863 battle of chancellorsville. atlanta eventually fell to sherman's troops six weeks later. this 40 minute talk was part of a symposium. it is my pleasure now to introduce to you a man that i know as dr. edge. stephen davis has a little bit of edge to him. it is my pleasure now to introduce tohe's an author, his, yankee killer. [laughter] that should give you a little bit of context about the program we are about to hear.