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Senate Proceeding on May 6th, 2008 :: 0:31:05 to 0:42:03
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Arlen Specter

0:18:51 to 0:31:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Arlen Specter

Arlen Specter

0:30:53 to 0:31:05( Edit History Discussion )

Arlen Specter: republican conference, likewise, be granted floor privileges for the reminder of the congress. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: i thank the chair. mr. president, i want

John Cornyn

0:31:05 to 0:31:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to join my distinguished colleague,he ranking member of the senate judiciary committee, talking about the importance of moving judicial nominations through the senate. i also, home, want to start by briefly

John Cornyn

0:31:05 to 0:42:03( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

0:31:26 to 0:31:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mentioning a couple of numbers. the first is $3.61; this is the average price of a gallon of gasoline in america today. the next number i'd like to show my colleagues is 743; that's how many days

John Cornyn

0:31:41 to 0:31:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: it has been since speaker pelosi said that she would, if elected speaker, how long ago she said that the democrats would offer their common-sense plan for bringing down prices of gasoline at the pump.

John Cornyn

0:31:55 to 0:32:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i would note that we are -- we continue to wait for that common-sense plan and americans across this country are waiting for congress to do something about it. i would note last friday, i joined a number

John Cornyn

0:32:09 to 0:32:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of my colleagues, including the senator from new mexico, senator domenici and others, in introducing a land which we think -- a plan which we think will help bring down the price at the pump. our colleagues,

John Cornyn

0:32:23 to 0:32:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: not surprisingly, may disagree but we're waiting for their plan all these 743 days. i think the american people are wondering, watching, wondering why we have not acted and why speaker pelosi, in particular,

John Cornyn

0:32:37 to 0:32:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: has not followed through on her commitment made more than two years ago. mr. president, this morning in north carolina, senator john mccain, the presumptive republican nominee for president of the

John Cornyn

0:32:52 to 0:33:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: united states, is giving a very important speech. he may be speaking even as i'm speaking. he's talking about the role of judges in our government. i think it's a very point speech. i hope our colleagues

John Cornyn

0:33:05 to 0:33:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and the american people will pay close attention to what senator mccain is saying when he talks about the important role that federal judges play in our american government. i hope that senator obama

John Cornyn

0:33:17 to 0:33:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and senator clinton will, likewise, take the opportunity at the first chance they have to talk about their philosophy about the types of judges they believe should be nominated by the next president

John Cornyn

0:33:36 to 0:33:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of the united states were they to have that privilege and that opportunity. just five years ago, april 30, 2003, i, along with nine other of the newest members of the united states senate, wrote a letter on

John Cornyn

0:33:49 to 0:34:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this issue to senator frist and senator daschle, the respective leaders of our parties. that letter was important not only because it was a bipartisan statement acknowledging that the judicial confirmation

John Cornyn

0:34:04 to 0:34:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: process was broken and needed fixing but also important because it called on a bipartisan basis by the newest members of the united states senate for a clean break. or, as we called it, a "fresh start,"

John Cornyn

0:34:18 to 0:34:27( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: when it came to the issue of judicial confirmations. notably, we said -- and i quote -- "leave the bitterness of the past behind us." mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent that letter be made

John Cornyn

0:34:27 to 0:34:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: part of the record at the end of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: i would like to read from a passage of that letter signed by we ten freshman at the time.

John Cornyn

0:34:43 to 0:34:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in 2003 we wrote to our leaders: in some instances when a well qualified nominee for the bench is denied a vote the obstruction is justified on the ground of how prior nominees -- typically nominees

John Cornyn

0:34:56 to 0:35:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of the previous president -- were treated. all of these recriminations, we said, made by members on both sides of the aisle, relate to circumstances which occurred before any of us actually arrived here in the united

John Cornyn

0:35:11 to 0:35:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: states senate. none of us were parties to any of the reported past offenses -- whether real or perceived of the none of us believe that the ill will of the past -- the ill-will of the past should

John Cornyn

0:35:22 to 0:35:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: dictate the terms and direction for the future. unfortunately, mr. president, five years later, when it comes to judicial nominees, the grievances of the past are still dictating the terms and direction

John Cornyn

0:35:37 to 0:35:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of the future when it comes to judicial nominees. there is still time for that fresh start we called for, still a time for a clean slate. but unfortunately, no signs that is likely to occur in the

John Cornyn

0:35:52 to 0:36:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: current environment. so it will likely come to pass, once again, that last year's and the previous year's grievances will be used again -- not without some justification by senate republicans --

John Cornyn

0:36:10 to 0:36:28( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to justify the obstruction of a future democrat's nominees showing the death spiral we come to when not allowing an up-or-down vote of judicial nominees on the floor of the senate. when it comes to

John Cornyn

0:36:28 to 0:36:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: judicial nominations, the u.s. senate is supposed to be, as senator specter said, the world's greatest deliberative body but it often acts more like the hatfields and the mccoys, who don't know how

John Cornyn

0:36:44 to 0:36:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the feud began, but, nonetheless, continue to escalate the violence. let's step back and consider the basic facts. right now, across america, there are 46 federal judicial vacancies -- 12 on the circuit

John Cornyn

0:36:59 to 0:37:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: courts of appeals and 34 on the district courts. of the 46 vacancies, 13 are considered judicial emergencies including a handful on the 4th circuit court of appeals where a full 33% of the bench is vacant

John Cornyn

0:37:11 to 0:37:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: because we haven't done our job in the united states senate. the simple fact of the matter is that thus far during president bush's two years -- final two years in office -- we have seen a record

John Cornyn

0:37:23 to 0:37:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: low number of federal judges approved by the u.s. senate. sons our friends on the other side of aisle took over the senate in 2007, a total of only seven circuit court nominees have been approved

John Cornyn

0:37:37 to 0:37:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and only one this year. it would be most unfortunate and, indeed, i daresay precedent setting if this senate set this new low water mark. i have been pleased to work with the chairman of the judiciary

John Cornyn

0:37:51 to 0:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: committee, senator leahy, to gain confirmation of the last two texas -- texans to be nominated and confirmed to the 5th circuit court of appeals. most recently i appreciated the chairman's cooperation

John Cornyn

0:38:08 to 0:38:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in confirming katrina haynes, but despite my appreciation i express my regret that she is the only circuit court nominee confirmed this year. i would not fulfill my office of office if i did not press

John Cornyn

0:38:20 to 0:38:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for fair treatment of judicial nominees from my state in texas but from my colleagues' home state nominees, as well. there are many other critical judicial positions that demand our immediate action.

John Cornyn

0:38:35 to 0:38:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: i mentioned the fourth circuit which serves the states of virginia, maryland, north carolina, south carolina, and west virginia. mr. president, the fourth circuit is operating, as i indicated, with

John Cornyn

0:38:49 to 0:39:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a third less than a full complement of judges on the bench which is why this is called a "judicial emergency." the senate can and must act to alleviate this strain. this denial of access to justice

John Cornyn

0:39:00 to 0:39:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: on behalf of the people of those states who are denied access to justice because they're simply not justify judges who have been confirmed to sit and hear their cases. the judiciary committee is

John Cornyn

0:39:13 to 0:39:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: poised to act this thursday on justice steven agee of virginia, a fourth circuit nominee. it should move forward with the nominations of other fourth circuit nominees who have the support of both home

John Cornyn

0:39:29 to 0:39:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: state senators. even "the washington post" on december 2007 decried the situation on the fourth circuit saying the senate should act in good faith to fill vacancies-not as a favor to the president

John Cornyn

0:39:41 to 0:39:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: but howt of respect for the residents, the businesses, the defendants, the victims of crime in the region that the fourth circuit covers. i'm greatly disappointed the judiciary committee has been so slow

John Cornyn

0:39:54 to 0:40:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to act on the point nominations. i would ask the chairman, again, to push forward with hearings and give the nominees an opportunity for an up-or-down vote on the senate floor. there's no doubt that

John Cornyn

0:40:12 to 0:40:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the american people deserve and are -- and our very concept of american government requires -- qualified judges who understand a role is not to be another branch of the legislature dispensing their view

John Cornyn

0:40:24 to 0:40:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of justice sort of on an ad hoc basis but, rather, judges who believe their judge is to interpret and enforce the constitution; not to make up the law as they go along. as supplement, we should exercise

John Cornyn

0:40:38 to 0:40:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: due diligence -- as such we should exercise due diligence but the process of 5d vice and consent should be done expeditiously and debates on these nominees should be done openly, as the senator

John Cornyn

0:40:55 to 0:41:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: from pennsylvania suggested. we have before us, numerous well qualified nominee whose have offered to serve our citizens and we must minimize partisan politics and we should work harder to ensure the judicial

John Cornyn

0:41:05 to 0:41:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: vacancies are fill in a more timely manner. mr. president, i know my time is up and i know the distinguished senator from arizona is here to speak, perhaps on the same subject. i'm glad that senator

John Cornyn

0:41:18 to 0:41:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mccape, the presumptive republican nominee is speaking on this important issue today. i repeat my hope that senator obama and senator clinton would dress this very important responsibility of -- would address

John Cornyn

0:41:29 to 0:41:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this very important responsibility of the next president of the united states. i submit again it is our responsibility to promptly move on the nominations and to give the nominees a fair up-or-down

John Cornyn

0:41:40 to 0:41:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: vote. that has not been happening. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. kyl: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. kyl: might i inquire how much time is remaining on

John Cornyn

0:41:52 to 0:42:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this side? the presiding officer: six and a half minutes. mr. kyl: i note as my colleague did, my colleague from arizona, john mccain, is making an important statement today respecting the need to confirm

Jon Kyl

0:42:03 to 0:42:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jon Kyl: good judges for our courts of appeal and federal district courts -- something which heel be committed to when he is president of the united states. our friends around the country might be wondering,

Jon Kyl

0:42:03 to 0:48:54( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jon Kyl

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