tv Newsmakers CSPAN March 20, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EDT
pampilo. >> the real one from the tv show? >> yes. >> no med >> i'm looking forward to it. the american people in the cuban people are friends. president spending the next three days alone with his wife and two daughters in cuba and then argentina. we will have a special tomorrow. our guest with the atlantic council and a conversation with on a piece "can america put itself back together again." i hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. a great week ahead.
kim. >> i wanted to ask you if you could first describe your group and what roles the lives for justice will play over getting judge garland confirmed to the supreme court. ms. garcia: since the early 1980's, the alliance has had a project that reviewed every district court, supreme court nominee. helped with the confirmation of hundreds of judges. we intend to be incredibly beene this year as we have for the past 30 years. in terms of working as hard as
we can to help secure the confirmation of merrick garland. in as well as -- and the confirmation of many lower court nominees who have been waiting for a long time for a confirmation vote. we are going into a congressional recess where all the senators are back home and how important will the next two weeks the and tried to sway central republican senator's about having a hearing or moving forward? nan: two things. how just been amazing overwhelming the response has been from across the country, most of who have never gotten in alt in weighing in on judicial nominations who feel so strongly
that the senate ought to give the nominee a hearing and a vote. i think what we've already seen as an overwhelmed response. the next two weeks will be critical. home,enators are back there listening to constituents. that they will hear democrats and republicans from thousands of their constituents about the critical importance of treating this nominee fairly. speaking with be their senators, asking them to give merrick garland a hearing, a vote, and treat him fairly throughout the process. i expect these weeks to be very
important in terms of constituents communicating with their senators. >> the senate majority leader is known as stubborn. he's made it clear he doesn't forany hearings this year merrick garland this year at least through the election. gameou lay out what your plan is? how are you going to move him their public leadership? how are we going to move the leaders of the senate to your side and give garland a hearing? it's safe to say to begin with, we are entering uncharted waters. we have never had a situation like this even in the last year of a presidential term where one
party simply says we are refusing to confirm a nominee to the supreme court. this is really unprecedented in our nations history. in 1988, senate democrats gave a vote to anthony kennedy and confirmed it to a spot on the supreme court. i have learned its difficult to make predictions. we all know what senator mcconnell has said. he made that statement even before merrick garland's name was announced. i think he made that statement even before the country heard about antonin scalia's death. i'm not surprised senator mcconnell is saying this. it's very much in keeping with
the obstructionist leadership he demonstrated on a number of issues, particularly in the arena of judicial nominations. last year, on 11 judges were confirmed by the senate. i think it's the lowest number of judges in over a century. the fact he's saying he will refuse a hearing and a vote is whatmuch in keeping with he has done. senatorsa number of particularly in state where there are elections coming up in close elections, we are beginning to see a break in that blockade. senators are now saying we want to meet with this
candidate and some of them are even saying we think it's right to give him a hearing. beginning oft the this process and as it unfolds, i believe we will see more and more senators leaning on senator mcconnell to treat this nominee with a degree of fairness, the kind of fairness democrats have treated republican nominees over the years. say at this point. and it'sty adamant going to take a lot of work and a lot of pressure to force him to change his mind. judicialn: confirmations generally slow down in an election year. roberts, the
nomination was slow walked to death by democrats. the republicans repay that favor. this seems to be the area where groups on both sides really go through constant role reversals depending on who is in power. would you be taking the same position if this were the last year of a john mccain presidency saidajority leader reid we're going to let the next president the site. >> we certainly did not take the republicans are not taking that anthony kennedy should get confirmed. >> after two reagan nominations failed. he was not reagan's first choice. he was the most conservative guy they thought could get through.
anthony kennedy was one of the most conservative judges on the ninth circuit court of appeals. we knew his views on a range of issues. record. very clear yet, it was not the position of alliance for justice that he shouldn't have a vote. i would say that historic judicial nominations tend to slow down beginning in the summer. that is when you see from both sides -- if you acknowledged, if you say senators taking their that but it's fair to say we have seen a blockade, not just this year with merrick garland. as i have previously said, mitch
mcconnell has essentially walked a slow walk for the past several years. it was he and his leadership that almost invented three vacancies from being filled. if it hadn't been for some of the senators standing up to mitch mcconnell, we would not have gotten those critically important seats and judges to fill those seats, which is so critical given the fact the d.c. circuit is regarded by most people as second-most important port in the country. to look at this in the context not just of the supreme court nomination but of what republicans have been doing no systematic we of shocking -- obstructing the vote on incredibly well well if i
well-qualified candidates. mr. bravin: your counterparts on the other side, the conservative groups, gave a two track strategy. if they did hold a hearing, this guy would be someone who would uphold abortion rights and the restrictive on gun rights and be a liberal vote on many key issues there and that is what they are trying to stop. don't you hope they are right? don't you hope what they hope is a nightmare scenario for the right wing is actually true because that is what aggressive groups wanted to see for a long time?
i think president obama chose him because he jurist whowould be a inspects the constitution, respects the role agencies play in mill making, the environment. know his views on the merits on the gun case. candidate whoy a would not have been selected by this president if he would turn the clock back on our civil rights, women's rights, environmental worker protection. i certainly don't think obama would have selected a candidate who would undo so much of the progress we have made but by the ite token, president obama
appears picked a nominee not to pick a fight but because he really wanted this nominee to get confirmed. merrick garland, when he went -- to thearing today he had 32it in 1997, republicans voting for his confirmation. seven of them are still in the senate today. a few weeks ago, orrin hatch praised him. it's very difficult to label merrick garland. he is certainly not a fulbright circuit marshall. 18has an outstanding record, intellect, and has garnered swath of the broad american people.
i think it will be difficult on for republicans and their counterparts to really challenge him given the fact so many conservative lawyers, interest groups have praised his work on the d.c. circuit. if a democrat wins the white house in november, could that person renominate merrick garland? there.n: i'm not going [laughter] ms. aron: i think merrick garland is really a stellar nominee. i think he should be confirmed. i think he will be a wonderful addition to the supreme court. i think he should be confirmed this year and then with the
upcoming vacancies, which we assume will occur, after all, three of the justices will be in their 80's 2018, which means the next president might have the opportunity to name several more supreme court justices. should confirm merrick garland this year and see what happens in the future. shortlistnames on the , jane kelly, paul watford, all are stellar nominees and i hope they take their place on the court one day as well. bernie sanders says he has a litmus test for nominees. they have to be willing to overall citizens -- overrule citizens united.
indicatedinton also that the decision has to go. are you at all this comforted by the idea of presidential candidates laying out specific rulings they expect their nominees to make. we have taken issue with the use of litmus tests since the early 1980's when president reagan articulated in his reelection run that he was going to look for judges who met three criteria, were antiabortion, anti-affirmative action and civil rights, and in favor of prayer in school. we'veg as a -- as long as been involved in the field of judicial selection, it has certainly been my position that litmus tests have no place in the national conversation.
think it's that, i important for a president -- in fact, critical for presidents to talk about the court and the kinds of justices they would like to see on the court. but i have never supported litmus tests from democratic or republican candidates. basically, when each of us enters a courtroom as a party, we want to make sure that the judge before whom we are appearing is someone who's , andminded, open-minded hasn't rendered an opinion on any particular issue. i think that is what we all hope for when we walk into a courtroom. i think that is what we deserve to expect from our judges. of one sortledges
or another i think are very hurtful to the national discourse. senate republican leaders haven't ruled out stopping confirmations of the lower court judges so far this to them but are you concerned that will bleed into the lower court and effectively halt those confirmations for the rest of the year even when we are still early in this election year? ms. aron: i do. i think there's something like 40 nominees on the floor of the senate. when you look at these nominees, every single one of them has been up by their home state senator. there is really no reason in the world what they shouldn't get a one and shouldn't be seated the lower courts. you take a state like texas and i know senators ted cruz and
corn and have been out there talking about the supreme court. i just wish those senators would turn their attention to something like nine or 10 vacancies that exist in texas. that's a state that has so much litigation, so much of a backlog , you have to be flying in judges from around the country to hear cases investing. it would -- in that state. it would be really good for startwho in particular focusing on vacant sees in their own state before they start talking about the supreme court. the white house, or at least some people in the white house, have a new group
out. how are you quit donating all of these different voices? is the white house calling the shots, are you each doing your own thing? how is the strategy organize? at alliance for justice will be preparing a substantive report on merrick garland's record. other groups are engaging in , other groups will be lobbying, other groups like moveon are sponsoring days of action. i would say it's a rather large conglomeration of organizations engaged in negativity's and they do best. there are meetings simply for groups to share information about what each and everyone is doing. but at the end of the day, what we're seeing is such a
proliferation of organizations and individuals that care passionately about this that and are often running particularly in the next two weeks, will be leaning heavily on senate leadership and senators through a variety of different tactics and strategies. ms. kim: if judge garland is confirmed, what do you see his role being? could he be a critical swing vote? ms. aron: he possibly could be. i think it's hard to say at the moment. i can say this much -- his record, from what we know on his sucker court of appeals, certainly differs very much from antonin scalia's. he is a judge who has been very
respectful of the role agencies played. you see that permeating all of his decisions on the d.c. circuit. that's a far cry from antonin scalia, who was very critical of what agencies do and what congress does. will see from merrick garland someone who is a very careful jurist, someone very thoughtful. most importantly, what he will bring to his decision-making is humility and understanding that at the end of the day, what he and his other colleagues on that court are doing will affect the lives redirect we of every american in this country. i think his humility will be something that will be a breath
of fresh air on the supreme court. mr. bravin: one thing he won't bring to that court is diversity. he is another white male, harvard-educated attorney who spent most of his career working in the government or as a federal judge. that seems in some ways different from what the president was talking about when he suggested he wanted more of a salt of the earth figure who understand the struggles of common people. that's not a judge garland's fault. isn't it true a lot of groups on the left were disappointed that you had another guy who at least if you look at him on paper was just like so many other federal appointees? ms. aron: when you look at president obama's record in terms of his
appointment of asian-americans, latinos, african-americans, he has done more than any other president in history to diversify the federal courts. his record is unmatched. placedlighted that he sonia sotomayor on the supreme court. equally happy elena kagan is there and i don't want to second-guess the president's thinking on this but i have so much confidence in the first two nominees and justices he appointed that i think merrick garland will be just as good as his previous two picks. we have many, many years of vacancies to fill. we will undoubtedly have retirement's coming up very soon and i can only think that if
it's a democrat who was elected willovember, that democrat take diversity into account. in fact, make diversity a priority, and democratic party -- as a democratic presidents have done in the past. you -- what do you make of some other comments from senate republicans that they would be willing to take up his nomination in the lame-duck -- session?tion ms. aron: i think if senators are going to play games, they ought to really think twice. they all to think about two things. one, the constitutional task ahead of them that asks them to
a fair hearinge and fair consideration. two, each of us wakes up every morning. we have a job to do in we get it done. all we're asking is for the republicans to do the same. think to say we will put this duck on the condition hillary clinton is elected, we might consider confirming merrick garland because hillary clinton might send up someone more liberal. that's a ridiculous hypothetical and they ought to stop it. .hey ought to do their jobs toy ought to stop refusing give merrick garland the same courtesy democrats have even
republicans and confirm him soon. host: thank you for being this week's newsmaker. ms. aron: thank you so much. host: let me turn to our reporters. let's begin with the president making this announcement this past week of his pick to the supreme court. what happens next? mr. bravin: formally, he sent a document to senate and it's up to the senate to schedule a hearing. host: but he did say he would meet with them after the break. mr. bravin: if he can meet with the goal in criminals, you might be able to meet with merrick garland also. host: what do you think? from someard
republicans who are for reelection who will say i will meet with him. do you think the pressure on groups likees from alliance on justice and others? ms. kim: i think it depends on what we see independent voters do in their home state. as a mobilizing issue for basis of both parties. you have liberals saying we have to give him a hearing. a release depends on whether they feel they might lose the election on this issue and new hampshire hasn't felt that yet. if they do start to feel that , then they might start to see it but i think they're counting on the fact this is an
important issue but not when the voters actually vote on. mr. bravin: willsure the leadership let them distinguish themselves that way. again, it has been an unusual year. we don't know what will happen. but, it is difficult to see that pressure not only effecting a handful of five, or vulnerable candidates there are, but moving their whole caucus, which has ,ery, very, principled members maybe they would use a different word, perhaps. saying,publicans are there is divide and rule. referring to senator joe biden saying that the american people speak during an election.