Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 4th, 2011 :: 1:42:30 to 1:47:45
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Chuck Grassley

1:42:26 to 1:42:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: senator from mr. grassley: i rise to oppose the cloture motion on jack mcconnell, who has been nominated rhode island. in the i've been ranking member of the judiciary committee, i have worked in good faith to move forward with consensus nominees.

Chuck Grassley

1:42:30 to 1:47:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

1:42:49 to 1:43:09( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we have taken positive action on 68% of the judicial nominees submitted in this congress. despite my efforts, friends on the other side of the aisle and the president's top lawyer continue to claim that we're not moving fast enough. there are additional consensus nominees that the senate could turn to.

Chuck Grassley

1:43:10 to 1:43:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we could confirm additional district judge vacancies as we have been doing. but rather than continuing to move forward with consensus nominees, the majority leader chose to throw up a detour and proceed to one of the president's most controversial nominees, mr. mcconnell.

Chuck Grassley

1:43:32 to 1:43:53( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: it seems no good deal goes unpunished. before turning to mr. mcconnell's record, i want to just say a few words about the use of extended debate in considering judicial nominations. my friends on the other side have made some comments on this issue that are pretty difficult to understand given the record there.

Chuck Grassley

1:43:54 to 1:44:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: first, with respect to district court nominees and contrary to what my colleagues have suggested, there have been in the past filibusters of district court nominees. most raoepbtsly the democrats' success when we filibustered a district court nominee, mr. bryan stewart by a vote of

Chuck Grassley

1:44:15 to 1:44:37( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: 55-44. judge stewart was ultimately confirmed, but the fact of the matter is that district court nominees have been filibustered, and it was democrats who first took the step. on circuit court nominees, the record is far worse. i would note that i do not necessarily like to vote against cloture on judicial nominees.

Chuck Grassley

1:44:38 to 1:44:59( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i do not take these votes lightly. but these are the rules that the other side instituted. under the precedent and threshold that the democrats first established, members must decide whether they should move forward to a vote on confirmation of this nominee. by any fair measure

Chuck Grassley

1:45:00 to 1:45:20( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: mr. mcco very extraordinary circumstance. i have reached this conclusion based on a number of factors and i want to discuss just a couple of these reasons now. i am particularly troubled by the way mr. mcconnell handled himself before the committee. i believe mr. mcconnell, at best, misled the committee when

Chuck Grassley

1:45:21 to 1:45:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: he testified about his familiarity with a set of stolen legal documents that his law firm obtained during the lead paint litigation. when asked about these documents during this committee hearing, he testified that he saw the documents quote, unquote, "briefly," but that he was not familiar with them, quote, unquote, "in any fashion."

Chuck Grassley

1:45:42 to 1:46:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: several months after his hearing, mr. mcconnell was deposed under oath about those same documents. in his sworn deposition mr. mcconnell testified that he was the first lawyer to receive the documents. he drafted a newspaper editorial citing information that came directly from those documents. he testified that he reviewed

Chuck Grassley

1:46:06 to 1:46:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and signed a legal brief that incorporated the stolen documents and even though he told the committee that he was not familiar with the documents, quote, unquote, "in any fashion" during his deposition, he testified that he did not see any indication on the documents that they were confidential or secret. how could he know the documents

Chuck Grassley

1:46:27 to 1:46:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: were not confidential or secret if, as he testified before the committee, he was not familiar with them in any fashion? given these facts, it is hard to square mr. mcconnell's testimony before the committee with his sworn deposition testimony a couple of months later.

Chuck Grassley

1:46:48 to 1:47:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: now the litigation over these documents remain ongoing. we do not know how it will conclude. we do not know if mr. mcconnell and his law firm will be held liable for the theft of these documents. but what is the senate going to do if? if we -- do if we confirm this individual but at some later date he or his law firm is

Chuck Grassley

1:47:09 to 1:47:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: bound -- is found liable for theft? at that point it will be too late. members will not be able to reconsider their votes. "the wall street journal," recently opined that mr. mcconnell's changing story -- quote -- "changing story about his lead paint is enough by itself to disqualify him from

Chuck Grassley

1:47:30 to 1:47:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the bench." i could not yield -- agree more, and i would ask that a longer statement be put in the record and i'll yield back the time that was all the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: madam president? th senator from vermont.

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