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Senate Proceeding on May 19th, 2011 :: 2:05:55 to 2:25:25
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John Cornyn

2:05:51 to 2:06:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i want to join my colleague from alabama, who has served for a long time on the senate judiciary committee, as have i, in voition my strong opposition to this -- in voicing my strong opposition to this nominee. it is odd, it seems to me, to

John Cornyn

2:05:55 to 2:25:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

2:06:12 to 2:06:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: have someone who's actually been nominated three separate times by this president, and i think it tells us something about the president's determination to nominate and see confirmed someone who is, i think, unsuited for service as a federal judge.

John Cornyn

2:06:34 to 2:06:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: now, saying that, it doesn't mean that they were, you know -- they don't have rights to speak freely about their strongly-held views. in fact, they do. that's what we do, though, here in the electricallive brage -- in the legislative branch. that's not what we expect out of a life tenure judge. we expect judges to be impartial and to render justice and to

John Cornyn

2:06:56 to 2:07:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: decide cases, not to be roving policy-makers and making the country into their image of what it should be. because judges -- we can't vote for judges. judges are -- once appointed, they serve senator a lifetime. -- they serve for a lifetime. in return for that lifetime appointment and protection from sort of accountability that

John Cornyn

2:07:18 to 2:07:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: otherlet elected officials are required to -- other elected officials are required to have, we understand, our constitution provides that they have a limited but important role. that is to apply the law as written to apply the words of the constitution as written, and not to sort of make it up as you go along, or to dream up new

John Cornyn

2:07:41 to 2:08:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: rights alongelong the way, that aren't subject to a vote of the american people or subject to an election. so, based upon nearly everything that mr. liu, professor liu has written or said, i have some very serious concerns about his impartiality and his suitability to serve as a life tenure judge. my concerns start with his lack

John Cornyn

2:08:04 to 2:08:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: of judicial temperament. during the confirmation hearings of justice -- now justice sam alito on the united states supreme court, mr. liu went out of his way to testify, under oath, for the senate judiciary

John Cornyn

2:08:26 to 2:08:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: committee in a really -- real any i--really in a way that i can only describe as vicious and disgraceful. that is what he said. he said -- quote -- "judge alito's record envisions an america where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse, where federal

John Cornyn

2:08:47 to 2:09:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no si resistance, where the f.b.i. may install a camera where you sleep on the promise that they won't turn it on, unless an informant is in the room, where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white injury for killing

John Cornyn

2:09:10 to 2:09:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a white man, absent a multiple regression analysis showing discrimination, and where police may search where a warrant permits and then some." mr. chairman, i humblably submit this is not the america that we know, nor is it the america that we aspire to be. these were the words of a person that president obama has three

John Cornyn

2:09:32 to 2:09:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: times nominated to serve on the ninth circuit court of appeals, one of the highest courts in the land, that's supposed to decide cases without fear or favor or any preconceived notion about the outcome. but i think these words perhaps more than anything else

John Cornyn

2:09:55 to 2:10:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: demonstrate professoriu's suitibility to serve as a federal judge. these were not an off-the-cuff set of remarks or a temporary lapse in judgment. but they were a product of carefully scripted and prepared testimony provided to the senate judiciary committee during the alito hearings. despite professor liu's

John Cornyn

2:10:17 to 2:10:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: comments, justice alito was confirmed with bipartisan support. during his failed confirmation process last year, i asked professor liu that if given the opportunity, would he change anything about his remarks about justice alito. in response, mr.ly.

John Cornyn

2:10:40 to 2:11:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: lii saims clay he regrets having written that passage calling it "unduly harsh and provocative." well, professor liu waited four years to provide that semi apology to justice alito for the shameful prarks and like so many nominees who come before the senate judiciary committee, they

John Cornyn

2:11:05 to 2:11:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: seem to undergo a nomination conversion that changes the tone and the nature of their remarks and their attitudes, and frankly we just can't depend on this conversion sticking. we need greater assurance that the nominees who come before the senate are going to exercise a

John Cornyn

2:11:26 to 2:11:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: sort of dispassionate judgment that we expect of judges. and, frankly, professor liu has shown himself capable of incredibly poor judgment and not just one time. after chief justice roberts was nominated to the united states supreme court, mr. liu again

John Cornyn

2:11:48 to 2:12:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: went out of his way to criticize then-judge roberts. he argued that justice roberts' record -- quote -- "suggests that he has a vision for american law, a right-wing vision, an tag insist particular to important priets and protections that we currently enjoirks and that he's not afraid to flex judicial muscle

John Cornyn

2:12:11 to 2:12:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to adheef it." in that same article he attacked justice roberts' membership in the national legal center for public interest, calling its mission to promote free enterprise, private property, and limited government. he called those code words for an ideological agenda hostile to

John Cornyn

2:12:33 to 2:12:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the environment, workplace, and consumer protections. so, professor liu considers free enterprise, private property, and limited government code words for ideological agenda hostile to the environment, workplace, and consumer protections. that's what he said.

John Cornyn

2:12:56 to 2:13:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: is that the kind of person that we want -- that the senate should want, that america should want to sit in judgment, to enforce our constitution and laws passed by the united states congress? well, i think not. and yet another -- in yet another dramatic nomination conversion during his failed nomination process last year,

John Cornyn

2:13:18 to 2:13:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: professor liu responded to my written questions by calling this statement a -- quote -- "poor choice of words." close quote. a poor choice of words. well though there's several more examples of professor liu's lack of judicial temperament, his

John Cornyn

2:13:39 to 2:13:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: record is already crystal clear. now, its eats one thing for professor liu to disagree with a person. we do that every day here on the floor of the senate, in committee, and around the cufnlt across kitchen tables in our homes. but it is quite another to repeatedly engage in these types of inaccurate and frankly

John Cornyn

2:14:00 to 2:14:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: disgusting attacks against a public official trying to do their job the way they think that it should be done. for professor liu to only reflect upon his statements once he's offered a life tenure judgeship on the court of appeals is unacceptable. given his lack of experience as

John Cornyn

2:14:21 to 2:14:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a practicing lawyer, obviously his lack of experience as a judge, never having served as a judge, it's impossible for me to trust his assurances that now all of a sudden he will calmly and impartially apply the law as written by congress or as written in the constitution of

John Cornyn

2:14:42 to 2:15:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the united states. i would cite just one other example of my experience on the judiciary committee. this one involving now justice sonia sotomayor. justice sotomayor is a charming woman. she came into the senate judiciary committee hearings and

John Cornyn

2:15:04 to 2:15:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: won over many people who -- who were frankly a little skeptical of his nomination, based on some of her previous writings and speeches. but i remember in one particular question, she was asked whether she accepted as an individual right the guarantee in the second amendment of the constitution the right to keep and bear arms,

John Cornyn

2:15:25 to 2:15:48( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and she said she did. she accepted the decision in a case called the heller case that said that that was an individual right of a citizen. a few months later, in a case called mcdonald versus chicago, she wrote a dissenting opinion from a supreme court decision where she said the right to keep and bear arms is

John Cornyn

2:15:49 to 2:16:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: not a fundamental right. well, you can parse the words, an individual right, a fundamental right, but to me it's clear that justice sotomayor during her confirmation hearings tried to parse the words in a way so as not to raise alarms about her commitment to the bill of rights

John Cornyn

2:16:11 to 2:16:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and the second amendment to the constitution, but then once she was confirmed as a judge on the highest court in the land, of course she serves her life with no accountability, either to congress or to the voters, and she indeed serves with impunity, even though her testimony before

John Cornyn

2:16:33 to 2:16:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the committee and her decisions once on the court, i think, are inconsistent. so we can't just take a chance that professor liu has somehow had a true conversion in his views and his attitudes during the nomination process, but aside from his questionable temperament, professor liu's

John Cornyn

2:16:55 to 2:17:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: activist views of the law are equally troubling. in his book called "keeping faith with the constitution," professor liu summarized his activist philosophy in this way. he said -- quote -- "fidelity to the constitution requires judges to ask not how its general principles would have

John Cornyn

2:17:17 to 2:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: applied in 1789 or 1868, but rather how those principles should be applied today in order to preserve their power and meaning, in light of the concerns, conditions and evolving norms of our society." what does that mean? does that mean that the words on

John Cornyn

2:17:39 to 2:18:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the page don't necessarily mean what they say, that a judge is somehow going to subjectively read into those words what the evolving norms of our society are and to change an outcome to decide a case, to decide what our constitution means based on their subjective impression of those words and what evolving norms in society means?

John Cornyn

2:18:02 to 2:18:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: well, that's sometimes called a doctrine of believing in a living constitution, that the words on the page are changeable and can morph over time into meaning different things based on a judge's interpretation of what those evolving norms are. but to me, that is a license to

John Cornyn

2:18:23 to 2:18:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: lawlessness. it is a license for a judge, an unelected lifetime tenured individual who takes an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of the united states that is untethered to any concept of what the law means, something

John Cornyn

2:18:44 to 2:19:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: that can be applied with equal application to every man, woman and child in america and gives a judge a chance to impose their political or ideological views on what the constitution means. that's dangerous, it's lawless, and it is not upholding the

John Cornyn

2:19:05 to 2:19:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: constitution that we, even as members of congress, swear to uphold in our different jobs as policymakers. what is particularly troubling for professor liu is his proferl and i would say ridiculous view, that our constitution somehow

John Cornyn

2:19:26 to 2:19:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: guarantees a european-style welfare state. we're engaged in a very important debate on the floor of the senate, and during the course of the vote on the debt ceiling which i suppose we'll have sometime in july or not with whether we are going to continue to be an opportunity society or whether we have

John Cornyn

2:19:47 to 2:20:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: become an entitlement society. a welfare state. professor liu in his article "rethinking constitutional welfare" writes that the constitution includes -- quote -- "an affirmative right, an affirmative right to health insurance, childcare, transportation subsidies, job

John Cornyn

2:20:09 to 2:20:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: training and a robust earned income tax credit. "close quote. well, i must have missed that in my copy of the constitution. i don't remember the founding fathers writing in the constitution nor the states ratifying language in a constitution that guarantees a

John Cornyn

2:20:30 to 2:20:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: right to a robust earned income tax credit. when senator sessions gave professor liu the opportunity to clarify his views in april, 2010, he replied -- quote -- "i do believe that, senator, but those arguments are addressed to

John Cornyn

2:20:51 to 2:21:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: policymakers, not the courts." close quote. well, i think professor liu is being disingenuous, and i'm trying to be charitable. when he says the constitution includes these rights but says those arguments are addressed to policymakers, not the courts, he's denying that a court that

John Cornyn

2:21:14 to 2:21:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: might agree with him woulden far -- would enforce those rights as a matter of constitutional law. this does not -- this is not just addressed to policymakers. that's not being honest. i mean, i don't blame him if he has an honestly held view about these matters. i would welcome candor and expression in those strongly

John Cornyn

2:21:35 to 2:21:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: held views, but they are views more appropriately expressed in the court of public opinion, where we debate the values and meaning of our laws and what kind of country we want this to be, not in people who want to be judges and impose those views as a matter of judgment in an individual case, transforming

John Cornyn

2:21:56 to 2:22:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the written constitution into something completely different than what each of us can read on a printed page or what we learn in school our constitution actually means. in other words, professor liu believes that the constitution contains an unenumerated list of goods and services, an

John Cornyn

2:22:18 to 2:22:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: unenumerated list of goods and services like free health insurance, daycare, bus passes that federal legislators must provide to every citizen. it's not difficult to see how an activist judge might one day use professor liu's theory to force

John Cornyn

2:22:39 to 2:23:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: congress to provide for these lavish welfare benefits even though our country faces a historic debt crisis, as we do now. what's more, professor liu has suggested that under his view of the constitution, it may be unconstitutional to repeal certain welfare programs once they are enacted.

John Cornyn

2:23:02 to 2:23:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: for example, in rethinking constitutional welfare rights, professor liu wrote that legislation may give rise to a could go -- to a cognizable constitutional welfare right if it has a durability reflecting the outcome of a station and the

John Cornyn

2:23:23 to 2:23:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: considered judgment of a highly engaged citizenry. well, that's a mouthful, but what he is saying is once the legislature passes a law, the legislature has no power to repeal that law because it somehow then is transformed into a constitutional right and beyond the power of congress to

John Cornyn

2:23:44 to 2:24:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: change. that's radical. professor liu's writings have also suggested his unconventional beliefs about the death penalty. he said -- he has expressed the views that it is unconstitutional, that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and that it's appropriate for judges to consider foreign

John Cornyn

2:24:07 to 2:24:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: law when reaching their legal conclusions about what american law means. well, taken as a whole, professor liu's record demonstrates that he would use his position as a federal judge to advocate his ideological theories and undermine the well-settled principles of the united states constitution.

John Cornyn

2:24:30 to 2:24:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: madam president, that is simply unacceptable to me. i think it should be unacceptable to the senate. and given his lack of temperament, his poor judgment and his activist view of the role of judges and the law, i'm left with no choice but to fight professor liu's confirmation with every tool at my disposal.

John Cornyn

2:24:53 to 2:25:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: madam president, floor.

John Cornyn

2:25:14 to 2:25:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: madam president, i rise today to continue to express my views in support of the nomination of professor goodwin liu, a nominee, as you

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