Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 4th, 2011 :: 1:27:55 to 1:36:25
Total video length: 8 hours 58 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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John Cornyn

1:27:51 to 1:28:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: others of my colleagues might speak. mr. cornyn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: i have been conferring with the senator from rhode island and other senators who want to speak. maybe if we can try again at a unanimous consent request that would allow all of us a chance to speak. so i would just, since i have the floor and i assume i can speak for up to 10 minutes under

John Cornyn

1:27:55 to 1:36:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

1:28:12 to 1:28:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the standing order but i'm willing to yield some of that time so everybody can have -- ms. landrieu: i object to any unanimous consent. mr. cornyn: i have the floor. the senator's out of floor, madam president. i have the floor. i would ask at this time a unanimous consent request that -- that the senator f rhode island, the senator from -- the presiding officer: is there

John Cornyn

1:28:33 to 1:28:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: an objection? ms. landrieu: i object. mr. cornyn: i will proceed then under the standing order gives me up to 10 minutes as i understand. the presiding officer: the senator's correct. mr. cornyn: i regret that the senator from louisiana is unwilling to cooperate and provide everyone a chance to be heard. i want to proceed. i want to speak to the nomination of senator -- of

John Cornyn

1:28:55 to 1:29:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: excuse me -- of jack mcconnell to the federal district bench. i spoke on this nomination yesterday. i've offered an op-ed piece in "the washington times" expressioning my concern. and i want to just summarize for my colleagues' benefit and consideration my concerns. i serve as a member of the

John Cornyn

1:29:17 to 1:29:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: judiciary committee as does the senator from iowa, senator grassley, and before the senate judiciary committee this nominee was asked about allegations of theft of corporate documents arising out of some lead paint litigation that his law firm was pursuing in the state of -- of

John Cornyn

1:29:38 to 1:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: rhode island. and that's been the subject of some discussion. i would like to ask unanimous consent to offer several documents at this time. first of all, madam president, i would like to ask unanimous consent after my comments that

John Cornyn

1:30:00 to 1:30:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the complaint of the shirwin williams company versus motley rice be made part of the record. the presiding office objection. mr. cornyn: i would ask the article from "legal news line" about discovery disputes delaying the resolution of the theft case go motley rice, that that be made part of the record.

John Cornyn

1:30:21 to 1:30:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, what i think these documents demonstrate is that not only did mr. mcconnell intentionally mislead the senate committee with regard to his possession of these stolen documents but now there has been

John Cornyn

1:30:42 to 1:31:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for some years, even after the lead paint cases have been essentially dismissed by the rhode island supreme court with the state and mr. mcconnell and his law firm having lost, that there is an ongoing litigation by one of the defendants in that case suing

John Cornyn

1:31:03 to 1:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for tortious interference with their property, also conversion -- in other words, theft, as madam president knows -- of their private proprietary documents, including their litigation strategy, including their trade secrets and the like. the article that i've made part of the record shows -- dated

John Cornyn

1:31:26 to 1:31:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: april 21, 2011 -- is that that dispute over theft or these documents remain unresolved. in other words, mr. mcconnell and his law firm's participation in this ongoing dispute remains unresolved. and i don't know why the majority leader would choose to bring up a nomination of somebody for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench when serious allegations about

John Cornyn

1:31:50 to 1:32:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: his law firm's participation and his personal participation in the theft of corporate documents in pursuit of litigation while that remains unresolved. i think it's a terrible mistake. i know the senator from new york suggests that we ought to just go ahead and vote on cloture because he knows then that because our democratic friends

John Cornyn

1:32:12 to 1:32:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: control 53 votes in the senate, that mr. mcconnell will be confirmed. but i'm concerned that the ethical allegations made against mr. mcconnell and his law firm remaining unresolved like this, this is a terrible time for us to be voting on a lifetime tenure. if he were to be confirmed and we find out later on that there

John Cornyn

1:32:33 to 1:32:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: were actually -- that the court actually finds that he did participate in this conspiracy to steal these corporate documents, what would that say about the u.s. senate and about this process, our deliberative process? i think it would be a scandal. it would be a scandal. finally, let me just say that i've expressed my concerns

John Cornyn

1:32:55 to 1:33:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: previously about the scheme that a group of very smart trial lawyers dreamed up to sue legal industries for huge amounts of money by making alliances with state attorneys general and then suing in the name of the state, but then in the end settling these cases for billions of dollars; in some cases hundreds

John Cornyn

1:33:16 to 1:33:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of billions of dollars, and these lawyers reaping a windfall of billions of dollars in attorneys fees. and something that stewart taylor, one of the, i think, more level-headed commentators about legal matters, has said that this has indeed more offed the rule -- morphed the rule of

John Cornyn

1:33:37 to 1:34:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: law into the rule of lawyers. ultimately consumers have to pay more in terms of higher prices, and the lawyers reap a windfall, the very same lawyers who are hired through these no-bid, noncompete contracts are indeed the political supporters of these very same attorneys general, raising at least the

John Cornyn

1:34:01 to 1:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: appearance of impropriety and a pay-to-play system of providing litigation opportunities to these lawyers from which they reap billions of dollars and after which they funnel campaign contributions back to the very same state officials who have in fact authorized them to sue on behalf of the state. this is unseemly, to say the

John Cornyn

1:34:22 to 1:34:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: very least about it. finally, i would say mr. mcconnell continues by his own admission to be eligible to receive up to, actually $3.1 million a year in one of these shakedown industry lawsuits where these trial lawyers have worked with state attorneys general to sue on behalf of the

John Cornyn

1:34:43 to 1:35:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: state not in cases which were actually tried, but were actually settled under an existential threat to these businesses and these industries. at a time when we're talking, as senator portman did, about job creation, the idea that we would be confirming a lawyer to a lifetime appointment, a federal bench, that he could then serve

John Cornyn

1:35:07 to 1:35:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: as a venue given the venue shopping that frequently goes on in this type of litigation, we can expect that if mr. mcconnell finds himself confirmed as a federal judge, that he will in the future that litigants will find his court a -- a warm reception in his

John Cornyn

1:35:29 to 1:35:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: court to these dubious schemes. i just think it's an extraordinary circumstance according to standards set by the so-called gang of 14. it's not something we're going to be doing often, but when an ethically flawed nominee like this nominee is proposed by the president of the united states on three different occasions,

John Cornyn

1:35:50 to 1:36:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and senator reid, the majority leader, as is his right, tries to slip this stealth nominee through when people are paying attention to other things and we haven't had adequate time to debate or expose the record so senators can make a good judgment about the facts and about doing their duty as an individual senator, i just think it's a terrible shame.

John Cornyn

1:36:12 to 1:36:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: so i intend to vote against cloture, and i hope my colleagues will so we can have additional time to review this nominee's credentials and make a good-faith assessment on behalf of

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