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Senate Proceeding on Jul 21st, 2010 :: 0:21:35 to 0:37:00
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Jim Bunning

0:21:27 to 0:21:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: and the majority controlling the final 30 minutes. mr. bunning: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky is recognized. mr. bunning: mr. president, today i rise to speak on the nomination of solicitor general elena kagan to be the justice of the united states supreme court.

Jim Bunning

0:21:35 to 0:37:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning

0:21:49 to 0:22:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: after much consideration, i cannot support this nomination. i have been following this progress very closely. i have been reading her memos and other documents from her career, and i watched her confirmation hearings before the senate judiciary committee.

Jim Bunning

0:22:11 to 0:22:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: i met with her one on one and was able to ask her eight different questions. unfortunately, i find her unsuitable to serve a lifetime appointment as a member of the united states supreme court.

Jim Bunning

0:22:32 to 0:22:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: when i spoke on the nomination of justice sotomayor last year, i pointed out the problems of the supreme court and other judges trying to replace congress and state legislatures. important social issues have been taken out of the political

Jim Bunning

0:22:54 to 0:23:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: process and decided by unelected judges. i can say for certain that this is not the way the founding fathers and the authors of the constitution intended for it to work. the creation of law is reserved for elected legislatures, chosen by the people.

Jim Bunning

0:23:15 to 0:23:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the supreme court is not a nine-person legislature created to interact with or replace the united states congress. when judges and justices take the law into their own hands and act as if they were a legislative body, it flies in

Jim Bunning

0:23:36 to 0:23:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the face of the constitution. because of this, whether it is the supreme court or the lower courts, many people have lost respect for our judicial system. this cannot continue to happen. in addition to the obvious constitutional concerns, if someday the public and the rest

Jim Bunning

0:23:59 to 0:24:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of the political system begin to tune out the courts and ignore their decisions altogether, it would be very dangerous for our country. i opposed justice sotomayor's nomination because i did not feel she understood this. i'm afraid i have to say the

Jim Bunning

0:24:22 to 0:24:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: same for ms kagan. the first problem i would like to discuss is her lack of experience. according to a congressional research service analysis, justices without judicial experience -- prior judicial experience -- practice law for

Jim Bunning

0:24:45 to 0:25:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: an average of 21 years before their appointment to the supreme court. recent polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of americans feel that prior judicial experience is an important qualification to be a justice on the supreme court.

Jim Bunning

0:25:08 to 0:25:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of modern supreme court justices, former chief justice william rehnquist was the last person nominated without judicial experience, and that was almost 40 years ago. however, chief justice rehnquist was a practicing attorney for

Jim Bunning

0:25:31 to 0:25:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: years prior to his nomination. ms. kagan herself said -- and this is a quote -- "it is an embarrassment that the president and senate do not always insist as a threshold requirement that a nominee's previous

Jim Bunning

0:25:52 to 0:26:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: accomplishments, evidence and ability not merely to hand but to master the craft aspects of being a judge." prior to her appointment to the solicitor general's job in 2009, ms. kagan was a stranger to the

Jim Bunning

0:26:15 to 0:26:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: courtroom, never tried a case, a verdict or served as a judge. she argued her first case as a lawyer less than one year ago. while ms. kagan was very -- has a very extensive background in the law, both academically and politically, i do not believe she has mastered the craft of

Jim Bunning

0:26:37 to 0:26:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: judging. i have serious conces that ms. kagan will have a very hard time separating her personal views from the legal interpretation of the constitution. whil ms. kagan was dean of harvard law school, she banned

Jim Bunning

0:26:59 to 0:27:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: military recruiters from the harvard campus during a time of war because she believed that the don't ask, don't tell law developed by the clinton administration in which she served -- and she called it a

Jim Bunning

0:27:20 to 0:27:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: moral outrage of the first order. she worked for bill clinton in his administration. she argued that the solomon amendment, which this congress passed, despite its plain text and plain congressional intent

Jim Bunning

0:27:41 to 0:28:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: behind it, allowed law schools to bar access to military recruiters. ms. kagan herself wrote an e-mail to the harvard community that in barring recruiters she was acting in the hope that the federal government would choose

Jim Bunning

0:28:02 to 0:28:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: not to enforce the law of the land. i find it very troubling that a nominee to the supreme court would change school policy and disregard federal law during a time of war because of her own

Jim Bunning

0:28:23 to 0:28:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: personal beliefs. fortunately, not a single supreme court justice agreed with her position and noted that her interpretation was rather clearly not what congress had in mind.

Jim Bunning

0:28:45 to 0:29:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: as associate white house counsel to the president, bill clinton, ms. kagan played a critical role in the debate over partial-birth abortis and did everything that she could to halt legislation going through congress to ban that horrible procedure.

Jim Bunning

0:29:06 to 0:29:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: she worked with the medical groups supporting the practice, rewriting their scientific conclusions to better reflect her preference on partial-birth abortion. the supreme court relied on this language in their decision to

Jim Bunning

0:29:27 to 0:29:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: overturn a nebraska law banning this procedure. it appalls me that someone with no medical background would try to alter scientific conclusions to defend such a monstrosity of a procedure.

Jim Bunning

0:29:48 to 0:30:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: in one memo she advised president clinton to support a democrat alternative in order to -- quote -- "sustain his credibility on the issue and prevent congress from overridingriding the veto." unquote.

Jim Bunning

0:30:09 to 0:30:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: this is concerning behavior from someone who now wishes to serve on the highest court in the land. if she was willing to rewrite scientific conclusions, who is to say how far she would go with rewriting the constitution? i also have serious concerns about ms. kagan's hostility to

Jim Bunning

0:30:32 to 0:30:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the second amendment rights. while she was clerking for the supreme court justice thurgood mahall, ms. kagan was asked to consider a case similar to the 2008 heller case -- excuse me.

Jim Bunning

0:30:53 to 0:31:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: 2008 heller case in which the court struck down the d.c. gun ban and found that the second amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms. in examining this earlier case,

Jim Bunning

0:31:24 to 0:31:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: sandrus v. u.s., she wrote mr. sandrus violates his right to keep and bear arms. i am not sympathetic were her words. it is not the job of the supreme court or any other court of the land, for that matter, to be sympathetic.

Jim Bunning

0:31:45 to 0:32:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: that belongs best in legislatures which can reflect the wishes of the people who voted for the members of those bodies. recently supporters of individual rights and liberties won an important victory when the supreme court ruled in the mcdonald case that the second

Jim Bunning

0:32:08 to 0:32:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: amendment was a fundamental right that is binding to all the states. i fear that her appointment to the supreme court could undo the process from the heller and mcdonald decisions that recognizes americans have the

Jim Bunning

0:32:31 to 0:32:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: right to defend themselves. throughout her confirmation hearings, ms. kagan repeatedly stated that she would accept the heller and mcdonald decisions as settled law. in her confirmation hearings, justice sotomayor also appeared to accept the second amendment

Jim Bunning

0:32:53 to 0:33:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: rights. specifically, justice sotomayor said she understood -- quote -- "the individual rights fully, that the supreme court recognized in heller." however, in her first year on the court, she joined the

Jim Bunning

0:33:14 to 0:33:34( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: dissenting opinion in mcdonald, saying -- quote -- "i can find nothing in the second amendment text, history or underlying rationale, that could warrant characterizing it as fundamental insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and

Jim Bunning

0:33:35 to 0:33:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes." unquote. finally, i was not satisfi with ms. kagan's response regarding the commercial clause and the limits of the power of the federal government. right now we have a government

Jim Bunning

0:33:56 to 0:34:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: taking over each sector of our economy from banking, as the majority leader and minority leader spoke about, and the auto bailouts, which they both spoke about, to an unprecedented takeover of our health care system. in her testimony, ms. kagan left

Jim Bunning

0:34:19 to 0:34:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: no doubt that she seemed virtually -- she sees virtually no limit on congressional power. this is extremely frightening to me, to say the very least. the framers of the constitution made it very clear that the role

Jim Bunning

0:34:40 to 0:35:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of the court should be anyone appointed to the supreme court must be willing to evaluate laws as they are written under the plain meaning of the constitution. a justice should not be appointed in order to achieve specific results in any case.

Jim Bunning

0:35:03 to 0:35:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: we have no judicial record of ms. kagan to look at, to see how she would rule in any of these such cases. we only have a record as an academic and a political advisor to look at as her qualifications

Jim Bunning

0:35:26 to 0:35:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: to be a supreme court justice. while ms. kagan has a very impressive background, i do not have faith that she would fully respect the roles of the judiciary and the legislative branch. i am very sorry to say for just

Jim Bunning

0:35:48 to 0:36:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the second time while serving in the united states senate, i will have to oppose a nomination to the supreme court, and i'm not happy to do so. however, it is the constitutional role of the senate to provide confirmation for this position and my duty as

Jim Bunning

0:36:12 to 0:36:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: a senator to be a part of this process. viewing the record of solicitor general kagan, i do not find her to be a suitable candidate for justice of the supreme court of the united states and will vote against her whenever the senate considers her nomination.

Jim Bunning

0:36:33 to 0:36:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: i thank the president, and i yield the floor. and note the lack -- absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the

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