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Senate Proceeding 05-25-10 on May 25th, 2010 :: 2:05:15 to 2:15:35
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Amy Klobuchar

2:05:11 to 2:05:31( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: i urge my my amendment. thank you,?? mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: and i request that my chents be placed in the record following senator leahy's earlier remarks on the same subject. the presiding officer: without

Amy Klobuchar

2:05:15 to 2:15:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

2:05:32 to 2:05:52( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: objection. ms. klobuchar: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to discuss the president's nomination of solicitor general elena kagan to be an associate justice on the united states supreme court. the supreme court confirmation hearing for solicitor general kagan will begin on june 28, but my consideration of her will not begin then.

Amy Klobuchar

2:05:53 to 2:06:13( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: like so many of my colleagues, i began considering her the day that her nomination was announced because i wanted to learn as much as i can about president obama's choice to fill one of the most important jobs in the land, a job as a supreme court justice. even though there are many questions that we all still need

Amy Klobuchar

2:06:14 to 2:06:34( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: to ask this nominee and we will do that in the hearings, i would like to speak today about how she appears to me based on her initial job interview, the interview i had in my office, the work that has been done so far to gather information about this nominee. after meeting with her and learning about her, i can tell you that i am very positive

Amy Klobuchar

2:06:35 to 2:06:55( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: about her nomination, mr. president. solicitor general kagan is an intellectual heavyweight who brings an incredibly broad variety of legal experiences to this nomination, and in so many of the legal jobs that she has had, she has been a trailblazer. in 2003, kagan became the first

Amy Klobuchar

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

Amy Klobuchar: woman in harvard law school's 186-year history to serve as dean. it is hard enough to manage lawyers, mr. president, as i know from my former job as county attorney, much less manage law professors, and she did it with much aplomb. in 2009, she became the first woman to serve as solicitor general, the chief lawyer representing the interests of

Amy Klobuchar

2:07:18 to 2:07:39( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the american people before the united states supreme court. one particularly interesting aspect of her background is that she has worked in all three branches of government. she served as a supreme court clerk, as an advisor to then-senator biden when he was chairman of the senate judiciary committee, and of course she has worked in two different presidential administrations.

Amy Klobuchar

2:07:40 to 2:08:00( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: in the white house counsel's office, as a domestic policy advisor, and now as solicitor general. when i look at her resume, i notice two things. the first is that she has an appreciation of how the law impacts the lives of ordinary americans. when you're involved in considering the nitty-gritty details of different policies, when you have to figure out where to compromise and when to

Amy Klobuchar

2:08:01 to 2:08:21( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: hold firm on a piece of legislation or a position that you take, you have to know exactly what the consequences of your recommendations will be. you have to think about the lives that will be impacted. the second thing i notice is that she has got a track record of listening to different viewpoints and bringing people together.

Amy Klobuchar

2:08:22 to 2:08:42( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: whether it's her track record of recruiting talented law talent while dean, whether it was conservative law professors or liberal law professors or working with senators from both parties on tobacco legislation. she has practical experience reaching out to and working with people who have very different beliefs and views than she does,

Amy Klobuchar

2:08:43 to 2:09:05( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: and that's increasingly important on a very divided supreme court. now, some of my colleagues have questioned whether she is fit to be a supreme court justice because she has never been a judge before. now, first i have to wonder whether these same colleagues would have objected to putting, say, chief justice rehnquist on the supreme court.

Amy Klobuchar

2:09:06 to 2:09:26( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: he wasn't a judge before. or justice brandeis or justice frankfurter. because they didn't have any judicial experience, would that have been the excuse, because they weren't nominated? in fact, more than a third of all supreme court justices in the history of this great country were not judges before. and you think about the court right now, every single one of

Amy Klobuchar

2:09:27 to 2:09:48( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: them came from what has been called the judicial monastery. i think it's great, mr. president, that we actually have a nominated candidate that came from a different part of the world, someone who was in the private sector, someone who has worked in the united states government, who has managed people, who has had to make tough decisions. i think that's a good thing. but additionally, i think it's

Amy Klobuchar

2:09:49 to 2:10:09( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: important that we bring someone with that kind of perspective. solicitor general kagan brings so many interesting legal experiences to the table. and beyond that, her current job solicitor general is actually referred to as the tenth justice because it's such an important position. she represents the american people before the supreme court.

Amy Klobuchar

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

Amy Klobuchar: that's incredibly important training for an individual nominated to serve on the court. and it's worth noting that the last solicitor general who subsequently became a supreme court justice was none other than thurgood marshall, elena kagan's mentor and former boss. so i hope we can put to rest this idea that only judges are

Amy Klobuchar

2:10:32 to 2:10:54( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: qualified to being justices because if that was the rule in the history of this country, a third of our justices, so many of them great ones, respected by people from both sides of the aisle, would never have gotten to the court. now, i also want to talk about one other issue that's come up the two weeks since elena kagan was nominated. i wish i didn't have to really talk about this issue, mr. president, because it's not

Amy Klobuchar

2:10:55 to 2:11:15( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: really worthy of discussion in this great chamber. it's not something you would be normally talking about with a supreme court justice, but i learned last year during justice sonia sotomayor's hearings that supreme court nominations truly bring out the silly season in washington, d.c. last year, for example, there were stories and comments, mostly anonymous, it's worth

Amy Klobuchar

2:11:16 to 2:11:37( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: noting, that question justice sonia sotomayor's judicial temperament. according to one news story about the topic, judge sotomay developed a reputation for asking tough questions at oral arguments and for being sometimes brisk and curt with lawyers who are not prepared to answer them. as i said last year, where i come from, asking tough questions and having very little patience for unprepared lawyers

Amy Klobuchar

2:11:38 to 2:11:58( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: is the very definition of being a judge. as a lawyer, you owe it to the bench and to your clients to be as well prepared as you can be. as nina totenberg said on national public radio last year, if sonia sotomayor sometimes dominates oral argument at her court, if she is feisty, even pushy, then she should fit right

Amy Klobuchar

2:11:59 to 2:12:19( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: in at the united states supreme court. and i think it was justice ginsburg during that time who commented, well, look at brier, look at scalia, she will fit right in. i thought surely we had come to a time when this became such an issue at our hearings, mr. president -- actually when she was questioned about this, i thought we had come to a time in

Amy Klobuchar

2:12:20 to 2:12:40( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: this country where we can confirm as many gruff, to the point female judges as we have confirmed male judges. well, this year is no different. this year, there was a lengthy, long article this weekend in one of our major newspapers about elena kagan's clothing, describing it in i would say rather critical terms, talking

Amy Klobuchar

2:12:41 to 2:13:01( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: about at length her leg-crossing style. now, i have to say, mr. president, i took note of this since it was compared to my leg-crossing style. i have to say i never tught i would be discussing this in this chamber, but, in fact, this was a major article and stirred much commentary all over the blogs. i don't think that such an article was ever written about

Amy Klobuchar

2:13:02 to 2:13:22( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: chief justice roberts. i was trying he was in a meeting with senator hatch, if there was a major article written about the two of them and who was crossing their legs and who was crossing their ankles and how they were facing each other. i don't think that happened. or was such an article written

Amy Klobuchar

2:13:23 to 2:13:43( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: about justice alito or was such an article written about justice rehnquist when he was being considered by this great body? mr. president, it is my 50th birthday today, and i must admit i thought we were somewhat beyond what happened to me when i was 8 years old in beacon heights elementary school and decided one day to wear bell bottom pants, flowered bell bottom pants to fourth grade and

Amy Klobuchar

2:13:44 to 2:14:05( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: was kicked out of my class by the principal, mrs. quaty. i was told at beacon heights elementary school public school, girls only wear dresses. and had to go home and change my clothes. well, a lot has happened since those days in fourth grade and now on my 50th birthday, it is my hope that we consider the

Amy Klobuchar

2:14:06 to 2:14:26( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: solicitor general of the united states elena kagan. she will be considered on her merits. she will be asked tough but fair questions, and the question should not be where does she shop but rather does she have the first-rate intellect, uni am peachable character and -- unimpeachable character and judicial temperament to join the

Amy Klobuchar

2:14:27 to 2:14:47( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: highest court in the land? that should be what we are talking about at the hearing. that should be what the press is focused on and that should be what my colleagues are focused on. just think about how far we have come, mr. president. when sandra day o'connor graduated from law school 50-plus years ago, the only offer she got from a law firm was as a position for a legal

Amy Klobuchar

2:14:48 to 2:15:09( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: secretary. justice ginsburg faced similar obstacles. when she entered harvard in the 1950's, she was the only one of nine women in the class of more than 500 and one professor actually asked her to justify taking a place that could have gone to a man. later she was passed over for a

Amy Klobuchar

2:15:10 to 2:15:30( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: prestigious clerkship despite credentials. for more than two centuries, 111 justices served on the supreme court. only three have been women. if confirmed, elena kagan would be the fourth. and for the first time in its history, three women would take places on the bench when arguments are heard this fall. so let's focus on what matters here. let's focus on the credentials,

Amy Klobuchar

2:15:31 to 2:15:36( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: on the qualifications, on how she answers the questions, and not on how she crosses her legs.

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