tv Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Confirmation Hearing CSPAN March 13, 2019 12:19pm-2:31pm EDT
will be on shelves april 23rd. you can preorder your copy as a hard cover or e-book today at cspan.org/president or wherever books o sold. acting white house budget director, russell vought testifies at a hearing this afternoon, regarding president trump's budget at 2:30 eastern on c-span hearing. this morning's confirmation hearing from president trump's judicial nominees. >> we are going to hear from two nominees today that the aba says are well qualified, daniel collins and mr. lee, introduced by senator cotton. neither had the blue slip return. i think you understand where i'm coming from on that. there's been a lot of consultation here. from my point of view, it's time to move on. in this case, mr., i guess it
was lee, supplemented writings. you turned over 515 pages of writings. we found more, you turned in 61 pages, which is not unusual, i appreciate you doing that. we held up his hearing the first time because we received his materials late from the white house. they missed it by a day. i'm trying to let the white house know that our numbers matter. to get the background check done, we delayed it to make sure that was done. we've had supplemental writings submitted, from my point of view, the process has been fair. may not like the outcome of how this works, but i have tried to be sensitive that the background check did have holes in it and
required to get it done. i would want that for us. they missed the reporting date by a day. hopefully, i know they have a lot going on at the white house, but we are going to hold to the time schedule and the supplemental runnings have been submitted and we appreciate that. so, i feel like from a process point of view, we have been fair to the committee and it is now time to have the hearing. with that, i'll turn it over to senator finestein. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i'm really very concerned by the fact that there are no other members on our side here. these are circuit court nominees. they are controversial and it seems to me that we ought to have a full presence on our side and that's not your problem, it's my problem. but, i do want to say that.
i'm very disappointed that the committee is holding the hearings. as you know, senator harris and i have not returned our blue slips on either mr. lee or mr. collins, so, the result of this action is to effectively kill the blue slips for the circuit court, at least as long as the control is on your side. i have spoken at length on the importance of the blue slips, so i'm not going to restate everything i have said. but, around here, what goes around comes around. the blue slip, in the 25 years i have been on this committee, has been an effective way of ensuring that home state senators, regardless of party, have a say on the nominees whose
decisions will directly impact their constituents. so, i really regret that this hearing is being held when two blue slips from the state that this nominee will represent have not come in. as we publicly stated, our opposition to both is well founded. so, let me go into it. in mr. lee's case, he failed to provide over 75 articles to our judicial selection committee, despite repeated requests to do so. while many of the writings are from his time in college, others date from his time as a practicing lawyer. in addition, the committee received 60 pages of articles that had previously been unidentified in the days before this hearing and over 18 months after he was interviewed by my
bipartisan, in-state committee. further, these articles were submitted only after my staff and the press identified individual writings that were missing. given these repeated omissions, it's reasonable to ask whether there are additional pieces -- that still have not been turned over. i will do that. we can ask mr. lee about these writings, as they demonstrate very strong, personal views on issues including immigration, affirmative action and voting rights. i have also previously indicated concerns about mr. collins' nomination. as we noted, the in-state processing with mr. collins'
temperment. specifically, our vetting process identified that mr. collins has, and i quote, a history of taking strong litigation positions for no reason other than attempting to overturn precedent and push legal boundaries, end quote. in reviewing mr. collins' record, there are additional concerns about position he's taken on women's reproductive rights, the use of military to combat enemy and the views on the rights of criminal defendants. i have questions about a provision on the 2006 patriot act that mr. collins is said to have authored, which stripped judges of the power to appoint interim united states attorneys. mr. chairman, it's not too late to return to honoring the blue slip of home state senators of both parties, not just on
district court nominations, but on nominations to the circuit as well. i hope you will do that and i hope that after this hearing today, you will not allow these nominees to receive a committee vote or advance to the full senate. i would hope that members on this side would attend. this is an important hearing and i'm very concerned that our members are not present. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal is present. >> correct. >> so, if the nominees would come forward, please. raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give the committee is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the tutte, so help you god. i'll introduced mr. collins. mr. lee is introduced by senator
cotton. he graduated from harvard, from stanford, served on the stanford law review. had two clerkships with dorothy newsome on the ninth circuit in california and clerked for justice scalia on the supreme court. extensive service with public and private sector, served as the department of justice on legal counsel. he served as assistant united states attorney in los angeles for your years where he prosecuted 60 cases including eight jury trials. he joined a law firm in los angeles as an associate. 2001, he joined the justice and served as associate attorney general and focused on issues to combat child pornography and
abuse and reform sentencing laws. he played a role in the creation of civil rights and racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies. he also served as chief privacy officer n. 2003, he joined a practice and focused on appellate law. he is one of california's leading appellate lawyers. since 2015, mr. collins has been recognized by best lawyers in america for their appellate practice. 2012, he was one of the superlawyers as a top rated lawyer in appellate practice for the entire country. chief justice roberts appointed collins to the advisory committee on the rules of evidence in 2014 and reappointed again in 2017. he teaches appellate advocacy and federal court as an adjunct and loyola law school in los
angeles. he is well qualified by the aba. with that,
mr. collins. >> thank you, chairman graham and ranking member finestein for holding this hearing. i thank all the senators for your consideration of my nomination and would like to thank president trump for the nomination and hope i would earn the trust that's been reposed in me. i would like to also thank and introduce my family members starting with my beautiful wife who is bemind me, now for almost 20 years. she's been a source of joy, support, race, love and laughter in my life. i like to say that we were a match made by god, himself, because we met in the sanctuary of our parrish church ten feet
from where we were later married. my wife was the cantor at
the time in the parrish and i was one of the electors and the elector sits next to the cantor during mass. i will confess to you, i did not always give the mass my full and undivided attention. i would also like to introduce my three children, who are also here. my oldest is john paul, he is a senior in high school. he's now going through the college application and decision process. he is a very bright student, he likes to think about deep political and philosophical issues. he is also very compassionate man, except if you face him on the tennis court where his brutal lefty serve will crush you like a bug. he's one of the star players on his high school tennis team. then there's my daughter who is multitalented.
a freshman in high school. she is also a great tennis player. she was the captain of her volleyball team, starting lacrosse, she sings almost as beautifully as her mother. she is a great baker. she is multitalented. my youngest son is just applying to high school. he is also very bright young man. his passion is baseball, both as a player, where he axels and as a fan of the los angeles dodgers where he had to experience the highs and the lows in the last few years of making it to the world series, not quite closing a deal. then, i would also like to introduce my siblings who are here, my brother tim, my sisters, kris and jenny are here, my sister-in-law marie, my nephew harry and my good friend of many years, mark savage who flew in from california for the
hearing. i'm sorry that my parents cannot be here for this moment. they both passed away many years ago, but i owe everything i have to them and, in particular, to my mother who is a very strong person and taught me the importance of education and of good values. i'd be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> first of all, i want to thank this committee, particularly chairman graham and finestein for holding the hearing. thank you senator cotton for the nice nomination and thank the president for nominating me. before introducing my family members, i want to make a brief statement of concerns raised by senators of how my documents were produced. as this committee knows, i provided over 500 pages of my writings, since i was a teenager. most of them were during my college time. i made every good faith effort to collect everything i had.
i went through my personal files, my electronic files, internet searches, online data bases, my firm's library of articles, i even went to my mom's old house, went through the garage, through boxes of old baseball cards, scrapbooks and found a few articles i had written as a teenager and provided them to the committee. it later came to my attention there were additional articles which were found in nonpublic sources, for example, some were found on a private server held by someone. i provided them immediately after i found them. i apologize for this. it's caused inconvenience and it's frustrating. it's frustrating for me as well. i hope the committee understands that. i want to introduce my family members. bemi behind me is my wife, melissa.
she has a heart of gold. she's dedicated her life to helping others and public service. she started off her career as a social worker, helping underprivileged youth, then became a career civil servant and worked under the administrations of both president george w. bush and barack obama. she is the most tolerant and understanding person i know. she tolerates my many flaws and mistakes i make. importantly, she tolerates the fact that i dress up our two daughters as "star wars" characters every halloween. that brings us to our two daughters. they are a spirited bunch. by spirited, i mean if they were here, they would be singing, "wheels on the bus" out loud. that is why they are not here. they are home with my mother-in-law. my mom, over here, my mom is my hero.
when our family immigrated to the united states, my parents were middle-aged, had four kids to support and didn't speak a word of english. so, we settled down in los angeles and my parents found whatever job they could. growing up, i remember my mom taking care of my three older sisters and me in the morning, she would go to work, come back and take care of us, go to school at night to learn a new skill as a middle-aged woman. so proud of my mom and feel so blessed. i also want to mention my three older sisters. they are back home in california. i looked up to them growing up. i learned so much from them. i also want to thank so many friend that is are here today in this room. finally, i want to mention someone who is no longser here with us, but without whom i would not be here today. that is my dad. he was the hardest working man i knew, he worked 60-70 hours a
week, every week and never took a day of vacation. one of my dad's favorite sayings was, this is why america is the greatest country in the world. when we wanted to celebrate, he would take the entire family to sizzler's all you can eat buffet for $8.99. he put a couple extra tater tots on his plate and said, see, this is why america is the greatest country in the world. i never had the heart to tell him there were other culinary places than the $8.99 buffet, but he loved it. he loved the legal system. he was not a lawyer, but loved to hear a single man or woman fighting the government or the powerful and winning. he said back in our native homeland, that never happened. he mentioned that the laws would always bend to favor the
powerful, the privileged and the politically connected. here in america, things are fair and equal. perhaps my dad had an idealized view of our legal system, but that's why i wanted to become a lawyer. in my 20 years as a lawyer, i hope i tried to honor the faith my dad had in the legal system and served as a lawyer in all three branches of government, tried my best as a lawyer in private practice and am proud of the hundreds of hours i have done toward pro bono, helping the poor who cannot afford the legal system. i hope i can make my dad proud today. thank you. >> thank you both, very, very much. your stories tell a lot about you and the country. mr. collins, you have had 60 cases that you prosecuted at d.o.j., is that correct?
eight jury trials? >> eight includes a retrial of a hung jury. >> okay. 38 arguments before the ninth circuit. >> it may be 39, but about that. >> it's 38 today. >> may have been updated. >> and 14 appeals you participated in to the supreme court. is that correct? >> i never argued in the supreme court, but filed a number of briefs. >> about 14 times? >> that sounds about right. >> just checking my staff to make sure they know what they are doing. what have you learned from all this? >> i learned that the law is profoundly important to our society and that the fair administration of justice is critical to ensuring our rights, ensuring the functioning -- >> as a trial lawyer, what did you learn versus being an advocate for the appellate
court? >> being a trial lawyer and the cases i focused on were mostly violent crime cases, you really had a sense of the immediate si of your impact. i remember one case, in particular, that i co-tried with one of my colleagues and the victims family came every day to the trial. it was a horrific case involving a kidnapping and a rape and the victim suffered terribly during the trial and the testimony. after the conviction, i mean the whole family came up, the grandmother gave you a hug. you have delivered justice to them in a very concrete way. that was a very moving experience for me. >> that leads me to my next question. this committee engaged in a bipartisan effort to change sentencing laws in a way i'm proud of and the president signed. you have been a former prosecutor. i understand where you are coming from.
how do you feel about the step back? >> it appeared to me to be a balanced approach to reform some of the -- some of the sentencing provisions which seemed unduly harsh -- >> for nonviolent offenders. mr. lee. you wrote a lot as a young person. >> i did, senator. >> why? >> senator, i think when i entered college as a 17-year-old, i started to become interested in current events and started reading newspaper columns, watching television, the mclaughlin group, radio and, you know, i think -- >> you watched mclaughlin group as a kid? >> i did. keep going. >> and, you know, when you are -- i started to become interested in them and i start writing about the issues. when you are 18 or 19, you know,
you think you know everything even though you really don't. not only that -- >> when did you realize you didn't know everything? >> i think by the time i was probably in my mid to late 20s. it was a slow process, but you realize you don't have the life experiences. >> did having kids help you understand? >> absolutely, senator. having kids, being married has helped me become more empathetic and compelling. >> what shapes your views about the concept of diversity and affirmative action in our law and society? >> sure. absolutely, senator. when i wrote the pieces on affirmative action, it was the 1990s. it was a big issue in the asian-american community. a lot of us were concerned that some schools were using affirmative action to discriminate against asian-americans.
at the time, i was applying to schools. that was of interest to me at the time. in particular, i think there was a concern because there's history of discrimination against asian-americans from the chinese exclusion act, vincent chin case. and, there is also a feeling in the asian-american community that our voice wasn't being heard. there's a lot of let's write about it. let's hold rallies. write to elected officials. that was part of it. that senator that wrote about that, at that time, senator. but, obviously, senator, when i wrote it, there was a question of whether the decision from 1978 was still valid. the supreme court has held and the layer and fisher case that, you know, affirmative action in universities is permissible and
diversity compelling interest. >> senator finestein. >> mr. chairman, i trust that each member has five minutes for each? >> yes. and we'll just be very liberal. five minutes for each. if you need another round -- >> okay. thank you. let me begin with mr. lee. i'd like to know about your submission of articles, particularly the failure to disclose some controversial ones. maybe you can discuss the steps you took to identify the universe of your writings before making submissions to this committee and then explain the failure to turn over more than 40 articles that you had written during college. >> thank you, senator. i understand your concerns about
that. senator, when i got the questionnaire, it asked for all articles i had written. i started the process of looking through my personal files. i had a scrapbook of articles i mad written, i collected those. i searched my electronic files because i have my computer with pdf files. i collected those. my firm maintains a library of articles i had written as a lawyer. i went through those and collected those. i also went to the internet and did many, many internet searches to find articles. i also went to data bases lexus nexus to find articles. i also went to my mom's house where i have a lot of my stuff there in the garage. i went through many, many boxes trying to find articles. in total, i think i provided over 500 pages of articles. most of which i had written
during my college time. i believe that was all of the articles i had written, a lot of them. later came to my attention there were additional articles. again, i think they were found through nonpublic sources. again, these articles were written 20-25 years ago. it was before the internet era, so, you know, these articles were not on the internet that you can search and find. i think some of these articles we found on a private internet server that someone had. it was the url 192.23.021. someone apparently scanned these 20-year-old articles and put them on a private server. when he scanned it, it wasn't searchable, text searchable, so it didn't appear on the internet. once i discovered those, i
immediately provided them to the committee. with respect to the articles, the topics were similar to what i had written before, so, you know, in my mind, i believed i had provided everything. again, i apologize to the committee for that. it's frustrating and a major inconvenience. >> well, let me discuss one article that i have. i don't know whether it's relevant or not, but it's a counsel review, february 10, 1994. it's about aids and there's a quote, nine out of ten people with aids are gay or drug users. you make certain arguments. is this article true of your perspective today? if you wrote an article like this today, what would you say?
>> senator, i absolutely would not write that today. you know, i truly regret writing that. when i wrote that article, i was 18 years old. it was a completely misguided attempt to trying to defend president reagan's aids policy, consistent with risk levels. frankly, as an 18-year-old, i didn't know anything. no science, i was parroting something i had read somewhere and, frankly, looking at that now, 26 years later, i'm embarrassed by it. >> let's -- i don't want to waste time. i appreciate your answer. what has changed for you now? the important thing is how do you view these issues now? >> thank you, senator. i think over the years, you gain more empathy. when you go through life, the good and the bad, difficult
things and different people you meet as well. i personally know someone who is living with that disease and just thinking about, it's a person i respect, thinking of him reading what i wrote as an 18-year-old is mortifying. again, over 25 years you mature and become more emp thetic and learn things. i think, i would like to think i have matured as a person over the past two and a half decades. >> thank you for that answer. i appreciate it very much. mr. collins, i understand you drafted a provision of the 2005 patriot act reauthorization to remove the ability of federal district court judges to name interim united states attorney appointments and in 2006 attorney general alberto gonzalez fired nine u.s. attorneys for political reasons. the bush administration used
your provision to fill those vacancies indefinitely and bypass senate confirmation. you did not anticipate it creating an open, this is a quote, an open-ended feature. why did you decide to strip federal district court judges of their authority to fill u.s. attorney vacancies? >> i actually did not draft the provision that was ultimately enacted. what happened was in 2003, when i was in the department, i believe it was july of 2003, i was asked whether there was additional proposals to include in a d.o.j. reauthorization bill. i suggested, largely driven by the significant blowback the administration had gotten from the bench on the protect act that we consider removing the courts from appointing interim u.s. attorneys because of the
policy conflict between the two branches at that point and time. when i returned to my firm a year later in 2004, i got an e-mail asking me, essentially, remember that do you remember tt idea you had, what was the section? and i sent him back the section and i signatured different alternatives and language. the language that was ultimately used in 2005 and enacted in 2006 is not any of the options that i had provided in that e-mail. they came up with their own language to implement the concept -- >> the part that concerns me is bypassing senate oversight, senate confirmation. >> one of the options i had listed, although i recommended against it because of its complications was the vacancies act. there were a variety of different ways it could have been done. i did not envision what was going to happen with that and what did happen. as i said, i original --
>> you had no intent to create any situation whereby a president could decide to bypass a confirmation process? >> i did not foresee that it could be used. when you read the text of it, you realize, yes, that could be done. you could do it indefinitely. and that was not something i had thought of. mine was focused on the thought when there was policy conflict between some of the judges in some district and the administration on sentencing issues, it was probably not a good idea to have the bench appointing the united states attorney for that district. >> so you do not feel that way today? >> it was quickly repealed and it's been put back in place and i accept that's how the law stands today. >> okay. you also filed an amicus brief in the 2006 homdon case in which
you argued that president bush properly exercised his authority as commander in chief when he established military commissions to try guantanamo detainees without authorization from congress. the support disagreed with you and held that the commissions violated both the uniform code of military justice and the geneva conventions. in july 2006, testimony before this committee, you suggested that congress should, quote, move promptly to overall the decision by statute. what's the basis for your conclusion that military commissions are better suited than article iii courts to try terrorism suspects? >> there was a broad consensus among a number of people at the
time that miller commissions should be retained as an option because they provided somewhat greater flexibility for particularly difficult cases, the congress ultimately did adopt a military commissions act in 2006 that then was the subject of a further supreme court case. >> do you have that view today? >> you know, at this point, as a nominee to an article iii court, i'm not going to get to have policy views on those kind of public issues which are for the political branches to resolve. >> okay. do you believe that trial by military commission is appropriate for u.s. citizens accused of terrorism in the united states? >> i don't know that i ever specifically opined on that question -- >> i don't know whether you did or not. i'm asking you the question -- >> i don't think it would be appropriate for me to answer that kind of hypothetical. that's something that could come before the courts.
>> well, i'm not sure that's a valid reason that a trial by a military commission for a u.s. citizen accused of terrorism could be held by a military commission as opposed to a court. so you're saying you don't have an opinion on that subject? >> no. i'm saying that that kind of a claim that a military commission would be appropriate -- inappropriate is something that someone who was contesting that procedure would then file in a court and i don't think it would be appropriate for me as a nominee to a court to opine on that open question -- >> let me move on. in a case about a city ordinance requiring pregnant clinics to disclose if they don't provide abortion services, you argued that this violated the first
amendment, serves no purpose other than to burden clinics, protected speech. please explain your reasoning on how putting out a sign notifying a woman of services provided and not provided is a burden on a clinic's free speech. >> the fourth circuit in that case unanimously invalidated the ordinance as a violation of the first amendment. the court held that it really was not an attempt to regulate commercial speech. i didn't regulate professional speech. and given that the trigger for application of the ordinance was whether or not you communicated information about particular services, made the trigger for it implicate the first amendment and it struck it down. >> in 1995, you wrote a book review in which you appeared to support the position that miran
miranda v. arizona should be overturned, specifically you wrote that miranda should be, quote, jet sonned in favor of constitutional text. end quote. explain your unctioning of what it means to follow precedent and what jet ta sonning it would mean. >> the supreme court rejected those academic arguments in that law review which i also did an amicus brief in the dickerson case and i would be bound by that decision and would faithfully apply it. i would also point out in my amicus brief in that case, i pointed out that the validly of the miranda warnings was not at issue and we were not questioning that in that brief. it was the question of the remedy and whether or not the statute that congress has passed on that subject was
unconstitutional. >> thank you. i think my time is up. >> u.s. citizens cannot be tried by military commissions. senator hawley. >> thank you. can you describe to me your judicial philosophy. >> i think the role of a judge is to apply the law fairly and impartially to the facts of the case. i think with statutes, you would start with the text of the statute, apply the appropriate cannons. be bound by what the supreme court has said. i adhere as a nominee as an inferior court. >> you mentioned interpreting texts just now. that's what we do every day as lawyers and what you'll do every day on the bench. tell me about how you would go
about interpreting a text whether it's a statutory text, how would you approach it, give me some visibility into your thinking there. >> if there's a relevant precedent on point, i'd have to start on that. if there's no precedent, then i think you look at the original public meaning, what would the words have been understood to the legal community to whom they were proposed for adoption and try and get a sense of what the rule was that was established by that and then take that rule and then apply it in the contemporary circumstances of the situation and the case at hand. >> say a little bit more about original public meaning. >> it doesn't mean the subjective intent of the persons, what they had in their head. it means when you put the words down on paper, what do educated
lawyers who understand the legal system and the doctrines, how would they read those words, what would they understand the rule being established to be. and then carry that rule forward. >> you mentioned a case where there's an absence of precedent, so it's a case of first impression, and it's an interpretation case, you've got various options, you got the texts, structure, history, purpose, legislative history, you have contemporary values, you've got cannons, which you mentioned a moment ago. how do you prioritize those and deploy those different tools or considerations? >> well, as i said, if there's a precedent on point that construes it, then i'm going to have to follow that. if not, then i think you start with the plain meaning of words, the support has put considerable weight on that. if there's an ambiguity, then you may need to resort to the
cannons in order to be able to resolve that and in many cases it obvious does. >> purpose, how does that -- >> i think it's important to understand the context. i remember a case that was decided by the court the year that i clerked. it was a tax case where the statute was trying to -- it was enacted in response to two supreme court cases. and so in trying to figure out what this vaguely worded statute meant and justice scalia wrote the opinion, he did take into account that it was an effort to overall those cases. and so a reading of the words that didn't change the result in those cases was disfavored and he adopted the one that would change that. sometimes you have to look at the larger context and understand that. i think that's part of what it means to understand the words in the context of the public meaning that well educated lawyers who understand the situation and the rules would attach to it. >> let me turn to you, mr. lee.
same question. judicial philosophy, tell me how you understand the rule of a judge. >> i think the role of the judge is to interpret the law, not to impose his or her own personal views. and i think in interpreting the law the first place to look at is the text of the statute, obviously barring any precedent that controls the facts of the case. >> and what about when it comes to statutory interpretation or constitutional interpretation, how would you proceed there? >> senator, you always start with the text. and if the text is unambiguous, i think your inquiry ends there. if the text isn't clear, i think you can look at the structure of the constitution. you also look at the history as well. and i think usually by looking at the text structure and the history, they'll often be -- provide the answer. >> let me ask you about this. how should congress's own
constitutional judgments be weighed by a court? if congress has expressed a judgment on the meaning of a constitutional text, let's say, whether it's the 14th amendment or through some other means, how do you think a court ought to weigh that? >> i think the courts have to give some deference to the legislative and i think it's very important. there are cannons on statutory construction that statutes have to be construed in a way to avoid constitutional problems. but obviously the judicial branch is an independent branch and i think judges take an oath to uphold the constitution. so the courts are independent branch and they have to make their own independent judgment as well. >> what was due process mean to you. >> due process has a long history. there's obviously -- there's economic rights embedded in due process, the word due process
does not -- don't appear in the constitution. but the supreme court has held that there is a liberty interests in the due process clause. and obviously as an inferior court judge nominee, if i were confirmed, would be bound to follow the supreme court's precedent in that area. >> because of this precedent, right? >> yes. senator. >> same question to you. due process, what does that concept mean to you? how do you understand that doctrine? >> it's been a subject of some controversy. i always remember in law school it was referred to something as something to green pastel redness, but it is firmly established in the doctrines of the supreme court. it's been the basis on which the court has incorporated the bill of rights against the states for the most of the bill of rights and has acknowledged several uninnumb rated rights.
i would faithfully apply. >> then you understand the doctrine between the different case is? >> i know justice scalia was willing to in the mcdonald case, he agreed that with the line of incorporation cases based on due process as opposed to resting it on the privileges or immunities clause because the precedent was so settled, but it's a distinct line of cases that looks to unenumerated rights in terms of due process. >> thanks, mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal. >> thanks, mr. chairman. welcome to you both and congratulations on your nominations and your families being with you today. mr. lee, you did write a lot.
and some of those writings are deeply troubling. maybe they're troubling to you as well. and i want to give you a chance to explain some of them to the committee. in the time that you were at cornell there was a scandal involving sexual harassment and you may recall that you characterized the professor's actions, giving rise to that scandal, as, quote, unquote, kindly acts. you talked about the motives of women alleging the harassment as being, quote, propagated, end quote, by a course that they took giving them the, quote, view that all womens are victims of the sexism inherent in our society end quote.
you wrote in a separate article, quote, charges of sexism often amount to nothing but irrelevant pouting. so i'm wondering particularly in light of what we've seen in the "me too" movement, the conviction of larry nassar and others sexism in our view amount to irrelevant pouting? >> i understand your concerns and i can tell you issues of sexism is very concerning to me, important to me. especially as a father of two young daughters and someone who has three older sisters who i admire so much. >> why did you write that? >> when i wrote that article, i was 19 years old and i was trying to defend a professor that i had known and admired and respected at the time.
frankly at the time i didn't have a life experience of how the workplace works. my only job before then was as a newspaper boy a few years before delivering papers in our local neighborhood. i don't understand the dynamics of things work in the workplace. and frankly i was very naive. the thought was, you know, i don't engage in that kind of behavior, my friends don't gauge in that kind of behavior and at that time we didn't hear too much about these type of stories. i think now we know why we didn't hear these stories. so i think i had a major blind spot on that over the course of the past 25 years as i entered the workforce, i've understood how these workplace dynamics work, how women are -- can be mistreated by superiors -- >> do you think women should be
enabled and do you think they have the right under our law now to decide when to become pregnant and when not? >> absolutely, senator. >> that is a moral right? >> yes, senator. >> and it's a legal right. >> yes. senator. >> do you think roe v. wade was correctly decided. >> roe v. wade is an incredibly important decision and it's a landmark decision. it's a decision that's relied upon by millions of people and i will faithfully apply that precedent and -- >> but you do believe that it is a moral right for women to decide when they become pregnant. do you think there's a moral right against segregation, whether it's in education or health care, segregation based on race or religion, or any other such category. >> segregation is immoral.
>> and wherever it occurs -- >> it is. >> and it's also illegal. and do you believe brown v. board of education was correctly decided. >> again, senator, brown v. board of education is one of the landmark decisions. it has a personal meaning to me, obviously, as a minority. that's the reason why i was able to attend schools that aren't -- >> if you had been on the supreme court, would you have voted in favor of that outcome. >> i think it's an important decision. it's a landmark decision, obviously i would think it's one of the most important decisions the court has issued in reservi reserving plessy v. ferguson. >> i obviously am not surprised by your declining to answer my question. whether it was correctly decided. what do you think your father would have said?
>> dad believed in equality -- >> don't you think he would have said, yeah, it was correctly decided, that's what makes america great. >> i never talked constitutional issues with my dad and he believed in equality, and that's where i learned that important lesson. >> mr. collins, do you think brown v. board of education was correctly decided? >> brown v. board of education was one of the most important decisions by the supreme court. as a nominee as -- what would be an inferior court to the one supreme court, i'm not going to purport to undertake to great the court's homework. they would grade mine if i'm fortune enough to be confirmed. >> i'm going to suggest to the administration that they give you a sort of -- maybe a sign that you can hold up saying answer one, answer two, because
i'm receiving the same answer from every judicial nominee to that question whether you believe that these two landmark decisions, they are landmark decisions, were correctly decided and i'm just at a loss to understand why no nominee is agreeing to answer the question and how every nominee is using almost exactly the same language to avoid answering it. and i think it is unfortunate because i think we ought to have free and open answers particularly on that kind of moral as well as legal question. let me ask you, mr. lee, among your writings, you said in 1994, quote, while most people can
agree that gays should be given equal rights, it's another way to portray people as victims in need of preferential treatment, end quote. you went onto call the oppression of lgbtq people a, quote, quasimarksist paradigm of the oppressed and oppressor. maybe you can explain that to us. >> thank you. a lot of my ledge era writings were my gut reaction based on my experiences as an adolescent immigrant growing up. my dad taught me america is a generous country, it's free, and you can do whatever you want. that was my framework. and part of it when i came into college was some of the professors seemed to dwell only
on the negative parts -- >> do you think that discrimination or oppression against lgbtq people is merely a marksist paradigm. >> absolutely not. if you look at my record, i've done work on behalf of lgbtq individuals. one of the things i'm proud of is, you know, when we helped open our l.a. office, we had a very diverse group of people, but we noticed we didn't have any lgbt attorneys. i worked with people in our other offices and i had them come to l.a. and we reached to lgbt groups and we held -- >> why would you write that because of ignorance? >> senator, again, i think when i wrote that it was really -- it was criticism of some of the
professors i had where they seemed to dwell so much on the bad things that america did. and there are plenty and never talked about the good things that america has done as well. that was my gut reaction. >> so you would disavow that. >> yes. i think when i was young, my views weren't nuanced. when you're young, your views aren't nuanced. you don't understand the complexity of the world. a lot of times you base it on your experience. it's bigger, it's richer, it's more complex than based on your narrow experiences that you had a a kid. that's one things of the learned as i've gotten older. >> let me ask you about the brief that you wrote. you argued that restrictions on tobacco ads and sales within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds violated tobacco
companies first amendment rights. >> actually, the -- my client in that case, it was on preemption grounds, based on the federal cigarette labeling and advertising act. and when it also held with respect to the other parties, the cigar -- >> let me ask you and there are some interesting issues on preemption, but i only have a few moments. do you think corporations have constitutional rights just like ordinary american citizens? >> the court held that the petitioner's in that case did have a first amendment right to communicate in commercial speech on the availability of the product. >> do you think corporations have rights that are comparable to -- >> the court held did have a first amendment right to make that -- >> what about your believes, though? >> i would follow the precedent
of the supreme court -- >> you don't have any believes on that issue. >> again, i don't think it's appropriate for me to grade their homework. i would follow what -- >> you don't think it's appropriate to tell us anything about your personal belief? >> i've told you what i would -- i did answer questions about my general approach to how i would approach it, but to answer specific questions where the court has held this is what the law is, a corporation does have the right to -- under the first amendment to commercial speech to say whether i think that's wrong, i don't think that's appropriate for me to do. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator kennedy is next, but i'm going to give you my two cents about how all this works. i have five minutes i didn't use. citizens, united are you both familiar with the case? >> yes. senator. >> if something dried to change the supreme court ruling if there was a case or controversy that worked its way up through the court system, would you
expect that the supreme court to hear the other side as to why you should reconsider citizens united? >> if the -- >> you would be bound by itci, s right. >> yes. >> so if somebody in california wanted to challenge citizens united, you feel like you would be bound by it and if it was on point, both of you. >> yes. senator. >> same for roe v. wade? >> yes. senator. >> absolutely. >> is it okay to challenge citizens united to the supreme court? if the supreme court wanted to take a case, they could do that, couldn't they? >> yes. but the court is said in another case that we're a controlling precedent is on point, even if a lower court judge thinks that other cases of the supreme court have undermine its premise, that the obligation of lower court judges is to follow the case on point and apply it leaving it to the court, the prerogative to
overrule its own decisions. >> dred scott was overruled, brown v. board of education. there's a legal process where the court can reconsider precedent, do you agree with that? >> yes. >> does that apply to every case ever decided by the supreme court? >> no. the court generally indicates when it's willing to reconsider -- >> that's what i'm saying. they decide. >> exactly. >> if they want to revisit brown v. board of education, they can do so. if you can ever find a case that would come before them. i can't imagine a jurisdiction in the country doing that, that we want to go back to the good old days of segregation, but what we're talking about is not what you believe about abortion, guns, what you believe about life in general, but you're going to be judges, and i want the whole country to know that there's a system in place that
if you have a problem with the way it's written, if you have a problem with the precedent, if you think citizens united was wrong, there may be a day where the court will resit that. i hope they do. there are people believing that roe v. wade needs to be revisited. that was wrong, they have the right to make the case, judges will decide at the supreme court level whether or not to revisit citizens united, roe v. wade, or anything else. so a judge from my point of view, and i'm clearly not the smartest person in this room, you're going to be hearing cases and controversies before you and when there's a precedent on point whether you like it or not, you're going to apply it, right? >> correct. >> yes. >> same for you? >> yes. senator. >> when it comes to a statute about when a woman can decide to
become pregnant, you think she has the right, not the employer, is that what you're saying, mr. lee? >> yes. >> a lot of people believe when it comes to terminating the right of a child, that's a different situation, do you understand where they're coming from. >> yes. senator. >> thank you. >> senator kennedy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you senator. you've been nominated to serve on the ninth circuit court of appeals and congratulations on that. wile vetting your nomination i've had a chance to review your work both as a private attorney and your service while working within the government. and mr. lee, i believe there is no doubt that you have the experience to serve on the ninth circuit and from your work in this very committee to the bush
white house, you've demonstrated a commitment to public service. you've built an extensive career where you've served as lead counsel. you are no stranger to the courtroom and that being said, though, there is more that goes on into being an appellant judge in the united states than mere qualifications and job history. a qualified judge, in my opinion, has to be able to set aside preconceived emotions while holding a commitment to values that we as a country do hold so deear. some might call it temperament. you wrote a case about sexual harassment, i know this has already been brought up. and this was on the campus of cornell university involving a professor and i've had a chance to review some of your writings
and would like to ask you a few questions about it and please feel free to delve into it. is that a belief that you still hold? >> i do not, senator. >> and we had a very good discussion about that in my office and i appreciate that. if a similar situation involving sexual harassment played out today in your law firm, how would your thinking be different? can you walk me through that? >> absolutely, senator. i think you have to take any allegations very, very seriously and i think that is something we didn't do in the past. part of it we didn't hear about it. i think we now know why. and i think unfortunately a lot of people were skeptical of it. i think it's important to encourage people to come forward and listen to them and take the allegations very seriously and investigate them. >> very good.
can you then describe how your thinking on the topic of sexual harassment has evolved from the time that you were in college to where you stand today? >> thank you, senator, for that question. when i wrote that article i was 19 years old. i had never been in the workplace. i didn't know how the workplace works, the dynamics, the need for people to work and continue working, even if they face mistreatment and, you know, i was naive about that. and over the past 25 years, being in the workplace, you see how the power of dynamic works and how people stay at jobs because they need that job. and i think the most revealing thing that we've learned in recent years is just how pervasive it is in the "me too" movement. and not only that, i think we learn that even good people, the people that we admire and the professor in question was someone who i admired and trusted and i wanted to defend him.
but what we learned is that even people we trust and admire can commit these awful things. i learned that from my wife. my wife and i share everything. we're -- we always call each other, face time, texting, she maybe texting me now that i'm slouchi slouching too much. it was only recently that she told me she's faced mistreatment and she's dedicated her life to helping others. and you would think that they would treat other employees well, but that's not the case. i think it's one of those eye-opening things we've learned over the past 25 years for me personally of being in the workforce, it's opened my eye and is i don't have those naive believes i had as a teenager. >> thank you for that. because i think it is important that we understand how our life does change through those years and how we can start as a young,
enthusiastic, maybe in your words naive youngster, young teenager, but then through the course of your work experience, being involved in other activities, it's opened your eyes. we know that survivors do need to come forward and they need to be heard. but those life experiences change the way we view different circumstances. i know that senator cotton also mentioned that you have children as well. and we want to make sure that our children are able to experience life in the fullest and have the need to be heard if something should happen. as parents we want the best for our children and i know you had expressed that in our one-on-one meeting as well. i appreciate you coming forward and explaining to us the dynamics of where you were then and where you are today. and the time that i was able to spend with you in my office, it was very powerful for me to see
that you were so humble and so generous with others that have gone through sexual assaults and so thank you for that. i do appreciate you explaining that and being very heartfelt about how you are today and how you arrived at your thinking. so i appreciate the time with you. i know my time has expired. but i appreciate you fully explaining it. thank you, mr. chair. >> senator harris. >> thank you. mr. lee i've heard you acknowledge that your college writings were immature and not reflective of how you think today. but you also have more recent writings. in 2007 you cowrote an article defending laws that prohibit people from voting if they've been convicted of a crime. you also submitted a brief defending the constitutionality of one such law in new york. one out of every 13 black voters
in the united states has lost the right to vote under laws that disinfranchise individuals convicted of a crime. by krs, only one out of 56 nonblack voters have been disenfranchised. based on the evidence, do you believe that these laws have an impact on african-americans? >> senator, from statistics i've seen, they do suggest -- there's an impact. >> and do you believe that impact is relevant in deciding whether a law that disfranchises a law convicted of a crime should be upheld. >> i think that's an issue that the courts are deciding on that -- >> what's your perspective? >> senator, i'll follow the precedent, whatever it may be, as a judicial nominee. i think it's inappropriate to opine on issues that may come up before me if i'm confirmed -- >> do you believe that the court should consider impact on specific populations as a -- and what might result as a
consequence of that court's ruling? >> i think they've accepted -- >> do you agree with that? >> i would faithfully follow all precedent -- >> is there precedent dictating whether or not the court should consider the impact when considering a ruling? >> senator, i will follow -- >> is there precedent in this regard? >> i can't recall there is. at least in an employment, i believe it's used in deciding discrimination cases and the employment context. >> do you believe there's any precedent on this issue of the impact on african-american voters on the issue that you wrote about in 2007? >> i believe there are some. i think the courts are working through it. and i think the -- the case you're referring to is an amicus brief i worked on as an associate. we were representing a widow of a police officer who was
murdered and the person who murdered the police officer had sued the state of new york to be able to vote in prison while he was serving his life sentence. we were representing that widow and the widow had very strong feelings, obviously -- >> but you as a lawyer took a position on a law and so i'm asking as a consequence of data and fact that tell us there will be a desperate impact on specific populations. i'm interested to know if you're going to take that type of information into account when issuing rulings if you're confirmed. >> senator, anytime there's potentially discriminatory issues, it's a concern to me. i think it should be a concern to everyone. but obviously, i'll have to look at the precedent in the circuit and see what it is. >> have you ever taken a case challenging the constitutionality of laws that strip people of voting rights who have been convicted of a
crime. >> i have not, senator. >> and in 2005 as a practicing lawyer, you wrote an article titled illegals versus legals. and you criticized the george w. bush administration and its efforts to allow undocumented immigrants to work illegally. as describing them as hard men and women, president bush blurs the distinction between illegals and those who came to america following the rules. do you believe, sir, that a status has any bearing on his or her work ethic. >> absolutely not. >> is it your view eshd never refer to undocumented immigrants as hard working? >> no. my point there was previously in the past, congress in the 90s has defended legal immigration and pointed out that article was by blurring the distinction, you
may hurt legal immigration in the public starts views them the same. i was describing the politics of that situation of how immigration law is created. >> when you were in law school, you wrote an article entitled untruth in academic ya what you called epidemic lying. on most campuses, they repeat 1 in 4 girls are a victim of rain. >> i was quoting and summarizing a professor who had written about that. sitting here today, i wouldn't write that because frankly i don't know whether -- what the professor had written was true. i summarized that. and obviously this is issues of sexual assault, it's an important issue as a father of two young daughters. i wouldn't want anything bad to happen to them and, senator, i
can tell you, a close family member became a single mother after ending an abusive relationship and i've seen firsthand the turmoil it causes and the most painful thing about it, is this family member didn't tell me or my mom or anyone else because that was the culture. you didn't tell anybody. so hopefully things are changing now and it's an issue i take very seriously, senator. >> thank you. >> thank you. now senator kennedy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, gentlemen. congratulations. you're both under oath. i'm going to try to scrape way a little of the innuendo today. do either of you hate black people? >> absolutely not. >> of course not. >> do either of you hate asians.
>> of course not. >> do either of you hate women. >> no, senator. >> okay. do either of you hate homosexuals. >> absolutely not, senator. >> do either of you hate transgender people. >> absolutely not. >> you're under oath now. do either of you think that racially separate but equal schools are moral? >> they are not moral. >> do either of you support sexual violence in the workplace or anywhere else? >> absolutely not, senator. >> do either of you hate puppies? >> i didn't hear -- >> do either of you hate little warm puppies. >> no, i love my dog, actually. >> okay. we got that out of the way. i want to talk about, mr. lee, the -- actually, it's professor lee. professor, i want to talk a little bit about the documents
you turned over. you turned over 500 pages. >> i did, senator. >> basically two novels. >> yes. senator. >> and they ask you for documents and papers you've written in high school, post college and high school. >> yes. >> how many hours did you spend putting these documents together the first time. >> many, many hours. >> how many? >> dozens of hours looking for them. >> okay. the documents that you didn't turn over, were they on the internet? >> a couple were but they were on a private server that wasn't -- we weren't aware of. >> who found them. i believe the department of justice working with me, we found them. >> and you turned those over? >> yes. >> so we have everything, now? >> yes, senator. >> you talked about being in college. and i think you said -- and what you wrote in college.
i think you said i didn't know anything. but you wanted to know more, didn't you? >> i did, senator. >> what was your gpa at cornell. >> 4.08. >> on what kind of scale? >> i think if you got a -- my mom will be proud of this. but i think if you got an a plus, you got a 4.3. >> so you made all as. >> i did. >> did you make a b? >> i did not, senator. >> you're out. >> you'll never be a senator. you spent a lot of time reading and thinking and talking and debating, is that right? >> i did. >> is that what college is supposed to be about, making people think, not making them feel comfortable. >> i discussed a lot of issues with people. i wanted to learn things and maybe sometimes i tried to talk
and debate with lots of people. >> and did you test your arguments against -- or your assumptions against the arguments of others. >> i did, senator. >> did you believe the same things when you left cornell that you did when you entered cornell? >> no. i did not, senator. >> okay. i thought that was the purpose of college. do you consider that a bad thing? >> no, senator. i think college is a time of experimentation, certain things i regret writing because i didn't know enough. it was a learning process for me. >> let me -- i don't want to go too far over. let me ask you kind of a meta physical question. >> uh-oh. >> yeah, uh-oh. mr. collins, i've neglected you over there.
what is your definition of justice. >> my definition of justice, it would be to have the law fairly and faithfully applied to my situation. if i were a litigant, i would want the court to give me my rights in accordance with the laws as set down. >> what if those laws are wrong? >> if those laws are wrong, then we have a political process whereby people can ask for them to be changed, but in the courts, you have to follow the laws as written and the precedent as handed down. >> what about you, professor? >> senator, i think it's justices treating people equally no matter where they come from, who they may be. and treat them in equal fashion. >> i think you're both right. i think justice is when people get what they deserve. and let me --
>> careful, here. >> and let me explain what i mean by that. it's broader than just by crime and punishment. i think the people in tibet, for example, deserve to be able to worship their god. i think it's an unjust what china does to them. i think if someone rapes somebody, they deserve to be punished equally. sentence is commensurate with the crime and fairly and you try as much as you can to treat everybody equally in equal circumstances. i think -- would you agree with me that a nonviolent crime can do as much damage as a violent crime. >> it can. serious fraud can have a devastating impact --
>> you mentioned earlier about in the context of criminal justice, and i don't want to take it out of context, but we need to do better with nonviolent crime, is that right? >> well, it's ultimately always up to the congress to refine the instancing system and i think there's been a lot more thought put in and certainly in the dozen years since i last testified on these matters about how to change those to reflect our current unctioning -- >> these parents that just cheated, that just bought their kids' way into college, i heard the indictment last night. i got 80% of the way through it. it's long. it makes you want to scream. make you want to heave. i don't know if you can scream and throw up at the same time, but that's nonviolent. do you think they should be punished? >> well, their case will be presented to the court which will then decide the issues --
>> that's a very diplomatic offer. i think they should be punished. anyway, i'm getting off subject. thanks, mr. chairman. >> senator whitehouse. >> thank you, chairman. before i ask questions of the witnesses, i wanted to bring up something that has transpired since ms. raos' hearing which calls into question how truthful she was with the committee. i know that virtually every standard and norm and practice of this committee has been broken through in the mad rush to confirm all these nominees, but i do want to at least remark on what i think is a very significant lack of candor. on two subjects, both ranking member feinstein and i asked questions for the record, the
written questions that come after the hearing, regarding the funding of an organization called the center for the study of the administrative state that ms. rao ran. we asked about the koch foundation and the donors and she responded to the best of my knowledge, the center did not receive any money from the koch foundation or the federalist society. and to me she responded, it was not founded with money from the koch foundation and did not receive money from an anonymous donor. okay. we take that as her statement. but then we find through documents that were released but foia that the center for the study of the administrative state did receive financial support from both the charles koch foundation and from an
anonymous donor. in fact in 2016, george mason university testified a $10 million donation and a $20 million donation from an anonymous donor both earmarked with support for her study for the administrative state as a condition of the gift. the "new york times" has ver fied this reporting, quote, a $20 million gift from $10 million from mr. koch's foundation, it called for bolstering the center. the dean of the law school made it clear that it received $300,000 in funding from an anonymous donor. so, i know people don't want to talk about all of this, but this business of big special interests, funding the federalist society which picks the nominee, funding the judicial crisis network, funding
these amicus entities that come before the courts and now not being told -- apparently not being told the truth about this. to me it's a matter of concern. if we can't expect people who answer our questions for the record to tell us the truth, that's an important whole in the process that we all participant in here. the second had to do with her contact with the federalist society about faculty candidates. she was asked did chef any contact with the federalist society. she responded no. and then she went on to say that the committee received recommendations from the faculty addition from the federalist society what she failed to disclose was she was a member of
the faculty division of the federalist society during this period. she was basically talking to herself on this subject. i don't know how that is not pertinent and disclosable information in response to that question. to me, it signals that nominees in this administration aren't taking this committee process very seriously because it is a treadmill. it's on automatic pilot and everybody gets to go through. particularly at the circuit court level and particularly at the d.c. circuit. i want to make a record of that because i'm concerned about what's happening to this committee and to me, this demands further clarification and explanation. my question is to mr. collins and it is this -- >> that will not count against your time. >> thank you.
a follows fuel industry party with a case before you and explain to me how the advair of that fossil fuel company can conceive that they will get a fair hearing from you and what your recusal standard will be when fossil fuel industry corporations come before you and arguments are made to you? >> i identified, senator, in my response to the questionnaire that cases that involved former clients of mine would be an area that would require an inquiry -- >> that's pretty obvious. >> about whether or not it was a case of whether i should recuse. and i would make the appropriate judgment. >> would it matter to you that a party or an attorney came in
front of you that they were dead on arrival because of the fossil fuel industry and you couldn't give them a fair shot? >> i would hope -- if i had not -- if i reached the judgment that i wasn't required to recuse, i would hope they would not have that. i know the standard looks at what a reasonable person who knows the circumstances would conclude whether there was an appearance of impartiality or, you know, a loss of impartiality and the circumstance. and i agree that the appearance of impartiality is as important as the substance. >> let me read you something you wrote. you wrote climate change allegedly results from the affects of greenhouse gas admissions from billions of sources around the world accumulating in the atmosphere and it cannot be attributed to
the defendant energy companies. so let me go through some pieces of that. why did you say allegedly? >> the reason why it's purelily the procedural poster. it was on our rule 12 motion. it's a verbal tick of lawyers always to say allegedly because you're always taking the fact as -- >> let's look at the facts. do you actually believe that climate change as we are trying to reckon with it, results from the aggregate skts of billions of sources around the world accumulating in the global atmosphere during the course of centuries or is it more accurate to say that the climate change we're trying to reckon with comes from carbon emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels that has taken place in the last century? >> i continue right now today to be counsel in cases that involve
alleged tort claims that are asserted arising from climate change and so i don't think it would be appropriate for me to express a personal view on the underlying facts in a matter -- >> you did. here's what you said. i'm asking you to defend it because it looks to me like it's false. if you're willing to say something as false that the concern about climate change is something that relates to aggregate facts of greenhouse admissions from billions of sources over the course of centuries when that is not the problem when it is very attributable to admissions from fossil fuel combustion, i think i'm entitled to challenge that to you. >> the question, what you're referring to with the statement in the brief and -- is the aggregate contribution of all carbon dioxide and the question in the litigation is the share of the contribution from the energy industry and how much that contributes to it. but it's not false to say that
all of the carbon dioxide contributes to the problem. the issue was the amount of the contribution and -- >> i think it is false to attribute what we discuss as climate change using that word in its normal par lens to things that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago when we all know that it's happened since the industrial revolution. and ich because of who your client was, that was the thing to say, but i think it is actually factually false and misleading to say that because had those prior conditions continued absent the change of all this added carbon dioxide from fossil fuel, we couldn't be oops a conversation about climate change. that's why i think it is misleading. my time is up. that's why i think it's going to be hard for people coming before you to believe that if a fossil fuel company is on the other side, they'll have a shot with
you. and i don't think that's appropriate for people approaching the united states courtrooms. >> would you want to say anything? >> the only thing i would add is that i'm not sure the other side in the case disputed that all of the greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere and that remain there now from all of the sources, inter mix and contribute to the global phenomenon of global warming. so that statement that you read, senator, that's all that that said, and i don't think that's false, i don't think anyone really disputed it. the heart of the litigation was the amount of contribution of greenhouse gases from the energy industry, and whether that should give rise to tort liability. and it was a legal issue about the availability of tort remedies for that. >> senator lee? >> mr. collins, in the context of a rule 12 b 6 motion to dismiss, what's at issue are the
facts as alleged. the allegations. and you frequently refer to allegations as such in the context of a motion to dismiss, is that right? >> invariably, i do that, senator. >> how are those allegations treated? in the context of a rule 12 b 6 motion to dismiss, are you there to address or resolve disputed issues of material fact? >> no, senator -- >> and that k-that even occur in the 12 b 6 context? >> no you would have to to convert to a summary judgment motion to do that. >> and you would be at a completely different stage of litigation. >> that would be correct. >> a stage at which facts have been adduced, and facts have been discovered in the discovery process. >> correct. >> it would be impossible to refer to facts alleged without referring to them as allegations? >> as i said, it's uniformly my practice to say allegedly, no matter what the facts were, that's how you do it in a rule 12 motion. >> you served as a law clerk at
multiple levels of the federal court system. at any time during your clerkships, did you conclude that the federal court system is corrupt? >> never, senator. >> in your experience, in your career as an attorney, did you ever see evidence of corruption? >> no, senator. >> is it your position that an individual who has been nominated to serve as a federal judge in the u.s. court system needs to place at issue his or her personal political views? >> no, not to take our personal political or policy views with us to the bench. that's not the role of the judge. it is very different. it really is to follow the law, the precedent, the statutes as written, the precedents as established by the supreme court, the other precedent established by the ninth
circuit, that's what i would be bound to follow. >> "new york times" versus sullivan involved a corporation, did it not? >> yes, the new york times company was the petitioner. >> and in that case the supreme court concluded that new york times, a corporation had, rights that were protected under the first amendment. >> that's correct, senator. >> as a lawyer, you're trained to find ambiguity, lawyers deal in ambiguity, and harness ambiguity in the law, to make legal arguments, for their client. as a judge of course, your role is a little bit different. sometimes your role involves identifying an ambiguity, and one set of rules might apply if there is ambiguity in the statute, another set if there is not. do you think you're any more or any less likely than the average lawyer who becomes a judge to identify ambiguity in statutory text? >> no, i think that my, i've had
done, i've had a lot of experience with preferring issues of statutory interpretation. i'm familiar with the relevant cannons and i think i could fairly apply those consistent with established precedent. >> thank you. mr. lee, i regretted a few minutes ago that one of my cleeks invoked the memory of your late father in connection with questions. i consider that inappropriate. and would call upon my colleague to apologize for that. having lost my father, 23 years ago, this week, i relate to the difficulty that can come to anyone, when someone tries to invoke the memory of a departed loved one, in an effort to shame, humility, embarrass, or retaliate against someone with whom they disagree. as long as the name of your late father has been invoked, i wanted to invite you, if you're interested, to tell us a little bit about how your father
informed your life, about how you became a better person as a result of his life and his example, and his choices, throughout his life and his experiences as your father. >> thank you, senator, for those kind words. my father was my hero. he was the hardest working man. and whenever we faced difficulties, he always tried to uplift us all. and i think of one experience about 35 years ago, i was wanting to go to disneyland, i pestered my parents to take me to disneyland, and they finally agreed to take me to disneyland with my three sisters but to save money, they decided to take some korean food, kinpa which is rice with curry vegetables wrapped up in seaweed. this is 35 years ago and that quite of food is quite exotic and we were there and opened up our food for lunch, again, little kids started coming up and some said it smelled, others said it looked like feces, a different word, and one of them,
i remember, was, you know, pointing to my parents, making kind of faux asian sounding names and pulling their eyes and when you're a kid, smallest things seem like the world to you, and i remember the next day, maybe because i was young or because i felt helpless i blamed my dad for this whole thing and i said, i said i want to go back, i want to go back to korea, and i said, you know, you never asked us if we want to come here, move to a new country, and you know, my dad, was a stoic man but he said, you know, i know it is tough for you, it is tough on your sisters, it's tough on me, your mom, but one thing i always remember, and maybe i didn't take it as seriously when i was younger but something i always remembered and learned more as i got older, he said, i know it's tough but you don't want to go back, he said because things aren't fair there. he said, you know, the families that control the conglomerates there, the checkle, you know, they control the government, they control the economy, they control the laws, so you're not going to get a fair shot there,
but he said here in america, he said things are different, he said it doesn't matter that you're not white, it doesn't matter you want long hair, it doesn't matter our family zmt have wealth our power, is that everyone here is treated equally. and my dad wasn't a lawyer. he never red the federalist papers. but he had a gut understanding of what makes our country and our constitution so great, so powerful, and so unique in the world. and i've always remembered that. and senator, i know sometimes we haven't lived up to those ideals that my dad believed in, and that's embodied in our constitution, that's clear when we read our history books, but i think you know, all of us try to strive to live up to those ideals despite our different backgrounds and different views and senator if i'm lucky enough to be can. ed as a judge, not only will i take an oath to the constitution but i'll always try to honor the faith that my dad had in america
and make him proud. >> i'm confident he would be proud of you. thank you. >> thank you. i'd just, for the record, ms. ralph, submitted her answers to the written questions on february the 11th. so senator durbin? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lee, thank you for sharing that story about your father and your family. that was an important part of an insight into who you are and where you came from. and that is really, as you both should know by now, what this is all about. what senator kennedy, listed five or six basic questions, if that were all it took, for us to decide the fate of a nominee, these hearings would be a lot shorter than they are. but what we try to do is to go beyond the simple question about a feeling toward a group or an issue, and get some insight into your character. insight into your values. to project what you might do,
when you're given an awesome degree of power, as a judge. to literally decide a person's fate, that comes before you. and i think that is why we take the time to look back in history, to try to assemble in our minds who you really are. and mr. lee, you are a prolific writer at cornell in the early stage of your life. you, i don't know how you made time for class, because you were generating essays on every political topic of the day, and most of them leaned in one direction. they were extreme from my point of view from the right wing perspective, and some points were negative about certain groups and some points mocking certain groups in our society. they were harsh. and some of them, as i indicated, were mean. and what you've told us was that you had a major blind spot, those are your words, and that
there has been a change, tell me about that road to damascus. tell me what changed in your life that took you from an extreme harsh point of view on the right to where you consider yourself today. >> i understand your concerns, and i appreciate that question. senator, a lost things that i wrote when i was young, 18 or 19, part of it was lack of maturity, you know, again, when you're young, you think you know everything and not only that, you think everyone else is wrong and you think only if i can speak loudly, and everyone hears, i can solve all of the world's problem that everyone else can't solve. and clearly, you know, that's not the case. as you get older, you realize you know very little. when you're young. and part of it is also i think when you're young, you think being snarky is being witty, as you get older, i think you realize that, you know, frankly it comes off as insensitive or tone-deaf. i've learned that. and i can tell you, through my life experiences in the past 25 years, there have been so many
good, bad, that have taught me, and shaped me, i think into a more em pathetic, and caring and understanding person. obviously, the most obvious one is becoming a husband and a father, i think it changes you for the better, my wife makes me a better person every day. you become more sensitive to the issues. having two daughters, i think you become more sensitive to issues because i mean just the thought that my daughters wouldn't be treated equally, just makes my stomach churn. but there have been also other things that professionally, i've done a lot of probono work over my 20-year legal career and most of them had been for the poor and for members of marginalized groups and that experience, you spend a lot of time with clients, it opens your eyes a lot, because you know things, certain things, abstract concepts, statistics, but i remember representing an african-american individual who was beaten after a routine traffic stop, and we represented him and went to trial, and
again, you see these statistics about disparities. but when he, you know, tells you, and looks you in the eye and says you know, that he gets afraid whenever he sees law enforcement, even if nothing happen, that really hits you. again, you may know things in abstract concept but when someone tells you that, it really opens your eyes and opens your heart. so you know, on a professional level, as well as a personal level, you learn these things as you get older. i mean there are even small things, where, you know, i, when i was a young lawyer in new york, i decided to volunteer, i love baseball, so i wanted to volunteer in harlem teaching baseball and mentoring kids. initially it was my love of baseball. i'll do that. i took the train up to harlem and most kids were from south bronx and east harlem. and whenever i showed up these kids were eight or nine years old and come running to you with big smiles on their face and initially i thought these kids think i'm really good in baseball, but then, you realize, you know, the reason why they're so happy to see a stranger who
has frankly mediocre baseball skills is these kids don't have the support system that, you know, so many of us have had, and we've just taken for granted so they're happy to see that. >> sorry to interrupt you, my time is up, but i know what you're saying is heart felt and i certainly understand the message, and the point i want to get to is this, and as i close, mr. chairman, i'll be very quick in closing, most of us are looking for someone who is not only a good lawyer, but a good person. because your power on the bench goes way beyond the law as far as i'm concerned. i'm not one of these people, and i hear it said on this committee so often, i almost want to get up and leave, that this is somehow robotic law. here's precedent, here are the facts, well, we know what is going to happen, that's not how courts work. it is not how judges work. people bring a lot of things into the courtroom. and part of what they bring are their life experiences. and whether or not they can be em pathetic with someone
standing before them who doesn't have a fighting chance, who couldn't afford mr. collins and his legal team that is obviously well respected by those who can afford good representation. and the question is whether that person has a chance before you. whether you can possibly look through that person's eyes, and understand what the world looks like and whether looking up at the bench and looking at you, they're wondering, i'm cooked, i don't have a chance here. that to me is what this is all about. to try to not guarantee your outcomes, but at least guarantee the thought process that is empathetic to that person, and understands that their whole life may be hanging in the balance of your life experience, and the values that you brought from it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> if i could, just to build on what senator durbin said, i'm very sympathetic that myself, so, let me just give you my two cents worth of how i look at this. there's what you say when you're young and there's what you do when you get here.
so i always look and it's not outcome determinant but the aba ratings are pretty important in terms of the professional character. like sotomayor said in a speech more times than not a latino woman will reach a better decision than a white male, some people would say that racist, and i say no, and she would take the view of the litigants in front of her as a matter of fact, i think she is just trying to say, you know, what you said, we all have different experiences, and nobody with kagan or sotomayor ever suggested, as being a lawyer, an advocate, or whatever they were doing, that they were unfair to their co-workers, that they held a grudge, that they were radical in their representation, and the only thing i would suggest to the committee about these two gentlemen, is i understand you would not have picked either one of them, no democrat would, the
people who work with you, through these years, have all said decent people who take a different position than i do, and ethical, so what knocks you out with me is not your philosophy on the personal side, i'm a qualifications guy, but if i really believe you, you're holding a grudge against something, or somebody, and those are the kind of people we want to knock out. and we've had two, and i'm not going to tell you who they were. the reason i feel comfortable is because when you look at who these gentlemen have worked with, it is pretty unanimous, it's not whether i agree with them or not, they're just decent lawyers, and ethical people. and to me, on the people side, that's what i'm looking for. on the philosophical side, i definitely understand that you disagree with the judicial philosophy, and that to me is, i
did that with sotomayor and kagan, but it wasn't an outcome determinant for me. senator blackburn. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for those remarks. to kind of put a wrap around all of this hearing, mr. collins, are you still teaching at loyola or is that in the past? >> i was invited to come back, i was invited to come back again, but because of -- >> okay, let me ask you this, if you were teaching, and you have a class in front of you, what would you advise them on their professional conduct, after going through this, all this process that you're going through right now? >> well, i would tell them the same thing that i would have said before, which is that they need to understand the law, work hard, and they need to always be honest about their cases. they need to be honest about what state of the law is.
how strong the arguments. are and honest about the facts are, and where the weaknesses in their case may be. >> appreciate that. and i appreciate your family sitting there with you and enduring this question, questioning, and i know they're going to be ready to get out of here and go have lunch. they've been good and attentive. and mr. lee, your family there, i think your mom is probably the chief mama in charge, and probably -- >> yes. >> and probably does a very good job. i've appreciated you all being here. i know you all did some work at the white house with the 9/11 victims. and i know that must have had an impact on your work. and on your point of view, your world view. yes, senator. and you know, i was, i started my career in new york, during, when 9/11 occurred, and you, you
know, it's something obviously, you know, if you were of age during that time, it affects you, and just the victims and the people who were affected, and just this, the strength that you see, it is just so inspiring, you know, a lot of times you, at work, sometimes you feel frustrated or you think it's tough, but then you hear these survivors and suffered so much and they're strong and it is very inspiring. >> i would think that coupled with the probono work that you have done has had an impact on the empathy that you bring to helping people, and i would think that that would impact your ability to walk in another person's shoes, for a little bit. there was one case in your probono work, where there was a death row inmate, that wanted dna tested, and i think that one was covered in "the new york times," and i appreciated reading about that. was that your most impactful case or was there another?
>> i think that was an important case because i think there were serious allegations of racial bias that may have affected that case, and obviously, the stakes are huge, i think my, the most important impactful case in a way was representing an inmate who alleged that he had been beaten by prison authorities. and he was african-american, the prison authorities were all white, and we went to trial, it was before almost all white jury and i remember him telling me, you know, he says i'm telling you the truth, but i don't know if i'm going to get a fair shake, because he is pointing to two of the defendants were and the jury and i frankly didn't know what to tell him other than we do our best, and we did win that case on the jury trial, the jury agreed with him, and you know, he was so happy, and he said he'll take me out to lunch once he's released, he said he'll take me out to lunch. it was very, you know, felt good
about it, just have a little more faith in our jis 'tis system. >> and that's what you want, you want people to come before a judge and realize that they're getting a fair shake. well, there are three things that i like to ask nominees. will you be fair and impartial on all of the issues that you consider regardless of your personal beliefs? yes or mo? >> absolutely, senator. >> absolutely, senator. >> thank you. will you promise to put aside any bias or views that you took from a prior advocacy position? >> absolutely, senator. >> absolutely, senator. >> and can you assure us that you will apply the law and the constitution equally to every party who comes before you in your courtroom? >> absolutely, senator. >> absolutely, yes, senator. >> thank you both so much. i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, chairman graham. and thank you, both of you, for the opportunity to question and
for your willingness to serve. if i might, professor li, excuse me, mr. li, you know, first, thank you for sharing the story of your father's optimism and determination and his faith in our nation. one of the things that makes our system work is rules and process. and as a judge, you will be asked to enforce rules and process, and as an attorney, i'm a bit obsessed with rules and process. and as someone who used a state judicial nominating committee to consider nominees, candidates in delaware, i was concerned with what i got in terms of a background on which articles you provided, and when. i recognize that views mature over the course of a lifetime, that perhaps things you wrote in college don't reflect your views today, but i wanted to make sure i understood this, because the number in the gap was pretty striking to me. am i right that you did not provide literally dozens of articles that you yourself wrote
to the selection committee impanel by the two california senators. >> senator, the question air for the judicial advisory commission, i think it was question 34-a, asked for all legal writings, so i provided my legal writings, i did not provide, you know, nonlegal writings that i had written in college, becausedy not believe they were responsive but obviously with respect to senate judiciary questionnaire, it asked for all of writings so i tried to get all of my writings. >> how many times did you have to supplement the committee questionnaire? >> it was several. and i know, ai apologize for that, it was frustrating over the past couple of weeks, you know, as we discovered additional articles, and these various nonpublic sources, we supplemented, he think a total of around 50 or 60 pages. >> and my sense here is that there are ultimately, we've gotten 88 articles, writings from you. and some of them, most of them in fact, only 11 of those were
initially submitted so 77 of those were not submitted to the in stage judicial nominating commission and the vast majority were not submitted when you were initially nominated. there were 47 wrightings added in january of 2019. and then another five and then another 27 and then another four and then another two and then another one, and then as recently as march 6, seven more articles. and part of what troubled me, was hearing that these were relatively easily found by committee staff, just using public searches. can you assure us that we now have all of your published articles, that we now have the full record to look at? >> senator, i believe so. i've submitted over 500 pages and i believe they are. these articles were from 20 toe 25 years ago. and again, pre-internet era, so most of them were not on the internet, and i didn't have a master index of everything i've written. even as a teenager. so i believe i have collected
everything, and when we discovered that it wasn't, we supplemented it, and again, i apologize to the committee for the frustration it caused. >> and the notes i have here say that of the 45 that supplemented the initial filing, five of them were from the same date, same publication as other articles that were in your initial disclosure, so to me, this was, this was very concerning, just the number, the length, the difficulty, look, folks, who i have, who are now sitting on the ben inch delaware, commented that our questionnaire is very thorough, very long but frankly i think it's important to respect that process. is it critical in your view for judges to be thorough and honest? >> it is, senator. >> one of the things you wrote that was disclosed and i'm just quoting, this is a college article, but you said, and i quote, cries of racism often stem from isolated incidents and from unreliable studies based on statistic cal chicanery.
>> i don't know if i'm pronouncing that word right. do you still stand by that statement? >> i don't, senator. obviously, discrimination is real. you know, i've, you know, my family has suffered it, i think some of the language again that i used in college, again, when you're 18 or 19, you don't have the nuance, you are trying to express a gut feeling, based on your personal experiences, or limited knowledge, so, you know, you don't understand the complexity of the world, and you know, i regret some of that language that i used. >> thank you. let's jump forward to something you wrote in 2001. so you're not 18, you're not in college, you finished law school. this is while you were a clerk. you said that, and i quote, left leaning lawyers have successfully waged a rights revolution over the last three decades, what rights were you referring to? and what should we conclude from that? >> thank you, senator. i think some of the things i was referring to, i think there was, the mentally ill, who were freed from institutions, and i think
the purpose of that article, senator, was my concern that, i'm a strong believer in probono as you've seen from my track record, and most of my probono cases are just representing individuals who are poor or who don't have access to justice. and my concern was that if too many lawyers take probono cases that are politically charged or very sexy, that people would lose support, people would not support probono because they would view it as too political, and if you also see later in the that article, i mentioned that conservative groups were doing the same as well, and i was concerned about that as well, that if again, if probono is seen as a vehicle just for the left or the right, the general public and the legal profession may not support probono, because they just view it as a political tool. so that was part of my concerns that motivated that article. >> so if i hear you right, your argument, your advocacy here, where it seems at least in the quote, you're arguing against a recognition of a broader understanding of rights, you're
asserting your argument was we need folks who are willing to go out there probono and just handle workman-like day to day cases representing established rights, established claims, and not seeking to advance a particular agenda? >> i don't know if i was saying it that broadly, but it was just my concern that if too many of the probono cases involved politically charged issues, people wouldn't support probono because they just view it as too political. that was my concern at that time. >> thank you. let me ask if i might, one question of you, mr. collins, you suggested in a 2002 speech, that and i think i'm quoting here, general technical advances may legitimately have the effect of reducing the degree of privacy that existed when the fourth amendment was adopted. closed quote. technology and the ability to collect personal data has not just rapidly advanced, it has changed the frontiers of virtually everything about privacy and what data can and
should be collected. do you believe an individual's right to privacy, the right, the underlying right, the recognition of a right to be safe in one's papers and effects and the fourth amendment, has decreased because of these technological advancements? >> no, i think the kind of point i was making, i think, is validated by the, for example the supreme court's decisions in riley and carpenter, which have made changes from prior precedent in the fourth amendment area, with respect to search incident, to arrest, with respect to smith v maryland, in light of the significant privacy concerns by the technological changes, so that's the kind of point i was making, and i think those cases kind of validate that intuition. >> thank you, mr. collins. thank you, mr. lee. appreciate the opportunity to question you today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator klobuchar we have
eight minutes left on the vote. >> i better hurry. >> i don't want you to hurry. >> no, that's okay. >> i'll do five minutes and they'll tell me i can't make it and i'll put the rest on the record. mr. collins, i know you talked about this with senator fine stein but you drafted an amicus brief hamdon versus rumsfeld in which a military commission, conspireing with al qaeda and you argued the provisions in power, the president to establish military commissions, the supreme court disagreed, what do you believe are the limitations on the president's commander in chief powers in a time of war? >> well, the particular issue that we addressed in that amicus brief really just went to sort of what was the adherent scope of the authority to invoke
military commissions in a sort of pre-statutory period, so we kind of went through the history, and that was, it was primarily an historical brief going through the history of military commissions. it ultimately, given how the court disposed of the case, my brief proved to be irrelevant, because the court decided -- >> but my question is what do you believe are the limitations on the president's commander in chief powers? >> i don't think it would be appropriate for me sitting here today to opine on the substance of that question. i have already learned from the chairman's comment, that i have not kept up with this area of the law because i wasn't aware that the statute had specifically prohibited the trial of citizens. so i wouldn't purport to address it off the top of my head. >> mr. lee, i understand that you worked as an associate couns sell and special assistant to president george w. bush. according to an article in super lawyers, you were involved with the white house's response to congressional inquiries into the firing of several u.s.
attorneys, and helped to evaluate the assertion of executive privilege. what did you take away from that experience? and how do you think it will impact your evaluation of executive privilege in the future? >> senator, i think what i learned was the balance you have to take into account, between the legislative prerogatives, and it's very important for the legislature to have oversight, that's a key constitutional role. but there is also counter veiling value of being able to provide unfettered legal advice within the executive branch. so there is a tension between the two, and i think you have to balance the two, to, you know, you have to learn to accommodate, and try to come up with a compromised deal in those situations. >> and in an opinion written by chief justice berger, a minnesotan, a unanimous supreme court held in u.s. v nix than a president could not assert privilege, over materials subpoenaed in a criminal trial, based only on the generalized interest in confidentiality.
do you believe that the court properly asserted jurisdiction to resolve the conflict between president nixon and the special counsel? >> senator, i'm not, i am vaguely familiar with the case, i never read the opinion, but obviously, it's an important decision, and as an interior court judge nominee, if i'm confirmed, i will faithfully follow it. >> and in an article you wrote for the american enterprise in september of 2002, you credited the use of disparate impact crimes that fails to show that a policy has a discriminatory effect even if it wasn't not motivated by a discriminate -- and the courts have shown that the disparate impact claims as a tool. can you speak to how you would approach a case with a disparate impact claim if you're confirmed as a federal judge? >> thank you, senator. obviously the supreme court in the context has held the
disparate impact claim could be viable. think there is a test, you provide disparate impact and the other side has to proffer a reason to show that there were other factors involved, and the other side can show that that is protectual and obviously, i will faithfully follow aus precedent and you have to take discrimination claims very seriously, it is something that i believe in personally, as well as a racial minority, and it has to be taken very seriously. >> mr. collins, you wrote in an amicus brief in berwell v hobby lobby in which you made a broad constitutional argument that the first amendment's free exercise clause extends to a for profit corporation's exercise of religion. if corporations have a protected right to exercise religion, is it your opinion that corporations could also say refuse to hire someone because of their sexual orientation or what about the religion that they practice? >> the primary issue that we addressed in that case was the statutory issue about what was
the coverage of person within the meaning of the religious freedom restoration act. that required some consideration of the subsidiary question of how it had been treated under the free exercise clause. and we looked at one case in particular, where a corporation had been allowed to assert a claim, but i don't think it would be appropriate for me, particularly as these issues are working their way through the court, to opine on some of the open questions that i now are being litigated right now. >> all right. thank you. i think i will go vote. i appreciate it. i will do a few other questions on the record. thank you. >> thank you, senator. i think that's it. we'll hold the record open for written questions to march 20th. thank you very much. you both led consequential good and decent lives. i appreciate what you have done thus far for our country. and i think in both of your cases, the best is yet to come. the hearing is adjourned.
c-span cities tour is on the road, exploring the american story. and this weekend, with the help of our cable partners at media com, we visit cedar rapids in east central iowa. >> grant wood painted american gothic here in the studio. it is the piece that everybody knows. and a lot of times, people won't know the artist and they won't know the title but it is an iconic piece. it's probably the most iconic piece of american art to date. >> the iowa caucuses haven't been great at selecting the next president. >> it seems that the caucuses really perhaps did their best or highest function, is winnowing the field. we talk about three tickets out of iowa, the top three finishers in the caucuses can move on. >> join us on book tv, this saturday at noon eastern, as we speak with local cedar rapids authors.
and sunday at 2:00 p.m., on c-span 3,'s american history tv. working with our cable partners, as we explore the american story. the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. >> c-span's newest book "the presidents" noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives. provides insight into the lives of the 44 american presidents. through stories, gathered by interviews, with noted presidential historians. explore the life events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced, and the legacies they have left behind. published by public affairs,
c-span's "the presidents" will be on shelves april 23, but you can preorder your copy as a hard cover or e-book today. at c-span.org/thepresidents, or wherever books are sold. and we're live now at the dirksen senate office building, waiting for acting white house budget director russell vought to testify before the senate budget committee. they will talk about president trump's fiscal year 2020 budget request. wyoming senator mike kentuckiy is the chair, we expect it to get under way momentarily. live coverage now on c-span 3. >> call to order the senate budget committee hearing on the president's fiscal year 2020 budget request. and note that senator brown is here and senator grassley is here. and senator