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Senate Proceeding on Aug 3rd, 2010 :: 3:01:05 to 3:23:55
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Patrick Leahy

3:01:04 to 3:01:25( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: stands in recess >> while the senate is on break we're going to show you some of this morning's early debate on the elena kagan supreme court nomination. we begin with judiciary chairman patrick leahy on his support and

Patrick Leahy

3:01:05 to 3:23:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy

3:01:26 to 3:01:46( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: republican jeff sessions president obama nominated justice john paul stevens associate justice of the j supreme court of the united states. having heard from solicitor general kagan in herea confirmation hearing five weeks ago i believe the american pple have a senseer

Patrick Leahy

3:01:47 to 3:02:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: of her impressive knowledge of the law, her good humor and her judicial philosophy.er in her testimony she made clear she will base her approach deciding cases on the law and the constitution, not on politics, not on

Patrick Leahy

3:02:08 to 3:02:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: idealogical agenda.al but she made one pledge to o those of us who were at that hearing. incidentally i might say atay the outset, mr. president, i compliment republicans and democrats alike for the amount of time senators

Patrick Leahy

3:02:30 to 3:02:52( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: spent at the hearing. i want to compliment the ranking member, senator sessions. we may have disagreed on the outcome and on the vote butou i think senators worked very hard to get questions asked, to make sure that the american people knew who elena kagan was. and i would, i would note

Patrick Leahy

3:02:53 to 3:03:14( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that in this senator s sessions and i set times fores witnesses and all. we were constrained somewhat by the distinguished presiding officer's predecessor who died that week and we were trying to arrange for time for many of us to a go to the funeral.

Patrick Leahy

3:03:15 to 3:03:35( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i just wanted to publicly thank senator sessions for f his help in working working out that schedule. but i was impressed with solicitor general kagan, made one pledge.e we would do her best tor every case impartially,

Patrick Leahy

3:03:36 to 3:03:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: modestly, commient to principle in accordance with the law. mr. president, i've been her since the time of president gerald ford, and i long urged both members of the w political parties look outside what i call the judicial monastery, which what presidents used to do.

Patrick Leahy

3:03:58 to 3:04:18( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: he did and i know there was criticism by some republicans that this nominee lacks judicial experience. of course that did ignoreof one key fact. they themselves are responsible,ve president clinton nominatedes her to the d.c. circuit in 1999.99 senate was controlled by b

Patrick Leahy

3:04:19 to 3:04:39( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: republicans at the time. she was one of the 60 t nominees that they filibustered. she was not allowed to be considered. had she done so she would have been confirmed i'm sew and had more than 10 years of judicial experience. just to give some idea ofen

Patrick Leahy

3:04:40 to 3:05:00( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: her abilities and said when she was not allowed to havebi a vote, she would become dean of one of the most prestigious law schls, i was going to say in the country, actually in theay world. her nomination to the supreme court received the highest possible rating from the american bar association. her credentials and legal abilities have been extolleds by many across the political

Patrick Leahy

3:05:01 to 3:05:21( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: spectrum. i give you idea of two ofum them. justice sandra day o'connor and justice antonin scalia. no one can question the intelligence or achievementsnt of this woman. i would hope nobody would question her character either. from the moment her nomination was announced, t solicitor general kagan has

Patrick Leahy

3:05:22 to 3:05:42( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: spoken about the importance of upholding the rule of law and enabling all americans to have a fair hearing. she said law matters because it keeps us safe. because it protects our most fundamental freedoms andun because it the foundation of our democracy. like her, i believe the law l does matter in people's lives. that's why i went to law school. w

Patrick Leahy

3:05:43 to 3:06:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that's why i practiced law and became a prosecutor.en that's why i ran for the senate. i beeve that law matters in people's lives because, the constitution, thisti amazing fabric of our nation, is our protection.pr she understands this as did her mentor, justice thurgood

Patrick Leahy

3:06:05 to 3:06:25( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: in a tribute, in herte contribution to the 1993 tribute to justice marshall by the texas law review, elena kagan recalled how justice martial law clerks tried to get him rely on general notions of nairne, rather than the strict reading of the law so they could allow an appeal to

Patrick Leahy

3:06:47 to 3:07:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: in your favor. that's the rule of the law. she concluded, as i do, that justice marshall believed devoutly in the rule of law. he was a man of the law in the highest sense. he understood the. constitution's promise of equality. i was dispointed to see the manner in which his legacy was treated by some during

Patrick Leahy

3:07:08 to 3:07:30( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the recent confirmation hearing. to degree republican senators currently servingep who recently said they would vote against thurgood marshall's confirmation to the spreerm court if he was up now. well, he was a giant. he was a giant.

Patrick Leahy

3:07:31 to 3:07:51( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and, i would hope that if he was here again, that those senators would reconsider the notion whether they would vote for him or not. because with this nomination, elena kagan falls in thein footsteps of justice marshall. he was also nominated to the supreme court from the position of solicitor general.

Patrick Leahy

3:07:52 to 3:08:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: she broke a glass ceiling when she was appointed theoi first woman to serve as solicitor general of the united states and when she s served as the fst woman dean of the harvard law school. and when the supreme court nextconvened for the first time in our history, predict there will be three woman serving together among

Patrick Leahy

3:08:14 to 3:08:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the nine justices. and one need look no further than the lilly lead better case to understand each supreme court case has on lives of countlesser americans. in the led better case, five justice the of the supreme court struck a severe blow to rights of working families across our countries.

Patrick Leahy

3:08:35 to 3:08:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: ngress had acted to t protect women and others against discrimination in the workplace more than 40 years ago. but we still struggle it insure that all americans,ns women and men, receive equalen pay for equal work. it took a new congress joined by our new president to reverse the activist conservative majority in the

Patrick Leahy

3:08:58 to 3:09:19( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: supreme court by passing the lilly ledg better act, striking down immunity the supreme court given to employers for discriminating against their employees and successfully hid their wrongdoing in the leadbetter case said, a decision i

Patrick Leahy

3:09:20 to 3:09:40( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: still probably shock you in f this day and age, they could. pay men higher rate than women for the same work. as long as they kept it hidden, it was okay.r just one vote on the supreme court recently determined the citizens united case that corporate money can

Patrick Leahy

3:09:41 to 3:10:01( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: drown out the voices of americans in elections to decide the direction of our democracy. they said that a british petroleum, for example, want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars toet defeat people who want tof tighten the controls in our offshore drilling, or want tighten the kind of o

Patrick Leahy

3:10:02 to 3:10:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: inspects required ford offshore drilling, british petroleum, according to the u.s. supreme court, could spend hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat thesef people. i hope that the senate republic would join the effort to respond to the conservative activists in the supreme court, wrongly

Patrick Leahy

3:10:23 to 3:10:44( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: decided to override its own precedent and 100 years of legal development sayin started with president theodore roosevelt. unfortunately they fill bugtered the disclose act and gave their endorsement to unfettered corporate influence in american elections.n for all the talk about judicial modesty and judicial restraint, for the j

Patrick Leahy

3:10:45 to 3:11:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: nominees of republican president at confirmation hearings, we've seen a supreme court these last s five years bit anything but modest and restrained. we've seen all too often these last years the o activist conservativee members of the supreme court substituting their own judgement for those of the american people's elected representatives.

Patrick Leahy

3:11:08 to 3:11:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: now i think it is important judicial nominees understand that as judges, they're not members of an administration any administration, democratic or republican but they're judicial officers. they should not be political partisans but judges who uphold the constitution and u the rule of law for all americans. that is it what justiceha

Patrick Leahy

3:11:30 to 3:11:52( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: stevens did in hamdon which held the bushus administration's militaryst tribunals unconstitutional. and what he tried to do in citizens united, that is why u the intervention by aner activist conservative majority in 20000 presidential election bush versus gore was so jarring

Patrick Leahy

3:11:53 to 3:12:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and wrong.aj mr. gore gotten majority of votes throughout the country h but didn't get one vote on the supreme court, the one vote that decided the election and gave it to then, later president bush. during confirmation hearings, socitor general kagan reflected understanding of

Patrick Leahy

3:12:14 to 3:12:35( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the judicial role in the traditional deference to congress in judicial precedent. her's are mainstream views. she indicates she would not be the kind of justice wouldth substute her personal preferences and overrule congressional effortspr designed to protect hard-working americans pursuant to our constitutional role.co

Patrick Leahy

3:12:57 to 3:13:17( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: fight against health insurance reform.lt they seeko transform the policy dispute they lost in congress into a constitutional one that goes against 100 years of law andha supreme court precedents. they would turn back thee. clock by resurrecting longlo discredited legal doctrines wisely rejected nearly a n century ago.

Patrick Leahy

3:13:18 to 3:13:38( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: framing their opposition tohe health insurance reform as a constitutional attack, thesetu critics would als undermined the constitutional basis of laws againstas child labor, and those setting a minimum wage, or the social security act or medicare or the clean water act, the clean air act. and the landmark civil rights acts.

Patrick Leahy

3:13:39 to 3:14:00( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: all our constitutional because ofst congress's authority to legislate pursuant to the core powers vested in congress by article 1, section 8 of the constitution, including thecl general welfare clause, the commerce clause, the necessary and proper clause. the radical consequences off narrow-minded agenda would be ere congress's ability

Patrick Leahy

3:14:01 to 3:14:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: to promote the generalty welfare of the american people. these critics wish to return to the conservative judicial activism of the earlyac 1900's. a period known by reference, to one of its most notorioust cases. 1905 decision in which the supreme court struck down new york state law

Patrick Leahy

3:14:23 to 3:14:43( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: protecting the health of bakers regulating number ofy hours they could work.wo during this period of unbridled conservative judicial activism, theti supreme court substituted their own views of property for those of elected branches in order to strike down nearly 200 laws,

Patrick Leahy

3:14:44 to 3:15:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: including the laws outlawingut child labor. thgs we take for granted today. the laws protecting americans from sick chicken, something that was creating huge health hazard. they envisioned principles of defender of business's profits, profits they made with child labor.

Patrick Leahy

3:15:05 to 3:15:26( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and protector of unrestrained ability to form contracts however onerous or one-sided. the american people people suffered.eo their rights went unprotected. congress was unable to providebl assistance. that is not a time anyone should want to return to because it is based ond artificial legal restraints

Patrick Leahy

3:15:27 to 3:15:47( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that shackle the people's representatives in congress. millions of americans rely a on social security andal medi benefits, minimum wage laws. other programs that protectri americans in tough economic times. this radical conservative agenda is a threat to federal disaster relief, environmental regulation,

Patrick Leahy

3:15:48 to 3:16:09( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: even laws responding to the reckless, fraudulent, behavior that wrecked our economy. america's great safety net left in tatters this outmoded legal doctrine wereta to take root. ask our fellow americans in

Patrick Leahy

3:16:10 to 3:16:31( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the gulf, those who lost w their jobs in the recession, those who lost their homes whether the court should adopt this radical view ofli limiting congress's power to help them?he ask them whether they want to roll back the clock to overturn last passed by congress to protect hard-working americans?ri the conservative agenda to

Patrick Leahy

3:16:32 to 3:16:52( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: restore the lockner era would leave hard-workinge americans without thet protection that their lifetimes of hard work, playing by the rules, has earned them. now the fact elena kagan would not state she shares s the views of those who oppose hard-working americans, gaining access to

Patrick Leahy

3:16:53 to 3:17:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: affordable health care does not mean she is outside the mainstream. far from it. congress has woven america's social safety net over the last three score and 13 s years. beginning before i was born,id mr. president.

Patrick Leahy

3:17:14 to 3:17:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: congress's authority to usere its judgment to promote the general welfare can not now be in doubt. america, though americans are better for it, growing old no longer means growing poor. being older or poor no longer means being without

Patrick Leahy

3:17:35 to 3:17:58( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: medical care. through social security and medicare and medicaid congress established a cornerstones, some of the cornerstones of american economic security. and comprehensive health insurance reform is nowth joined them. congress has acted withinhi its constitutional authority to legislate for the general

Patrick Leahy

3:17:59 to 3:18:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: welfare of all americans. whether they're from vermontth or west virgina or alabama o or anywhere else. no conservative act activistou court should overstep thero judiciary's role by seeking to turn back the clock and deny a century of progress. those who would corrupt the constitution by trying to t

Patrick Leahy

3:18:23 to 3:18:43( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: revive the lockner era intent on a results orientedt. litmus test.s this litmus test would leadvo them not just to vote against this nomination but also b against senate c confirmation of justice sandra day o'connor, justice david souter,uice john paul stevens, justice anthony kennedy, fou

Patrick Leahy

3:18:44 to 3:19:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: justices appointed by conservative republicandy presidents. nominations that all ones i voted to confirm. it is interesting,nt mr. president, i was hereer what john paul stevens's nomination came up. it was seen as conservative from illinois.

Patrick Leahy

3:19:05 to 3:19:26( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: he was nominated by ay conservative president, gerald ford. he nominated him. 2 1/2 weeks later, 2 1/2 weeks later, the united t states senate, which was overwhelmingly democratic, voted unanously to confirm

Patrick Leahy

3:19:27 to 3:19:47( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: justice john paul stevens. i haven't always agreed with every decision of his, but a boy i've agreed with my vote for his confirmation. but to use these results-oyry ended litmus tests would require them to

Patrick Leahy

3:20:31 to 3:20:51( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i wish he would be stay consistent to that principle since he became chief justice. we do not need judges or justices to pass a test by either the right orer the left. in fact i've urged senators, and they have heard me say this many, manytimes, don't listen to the single issue

Patrick Leahy

3:20:52 to 3:21:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: or special issue groups on either the right or the left that come to the supreme we have 300 million americans in this great country, mr. president.ri 300 million americans. most of the justices we vote on will be there long afteron anyone of us leave this chamber.

Patrick Leahy

3:21:14 to 3:21:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: there are only 100 americans who actually get to vote on g it.o there are only 101 people who really get involved in this choice. first from the president's many no nation. but he can't appoint the person unless we advice and consent.

Patrick Leahy

3:21:35 to 3:21:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: so you have 101 people of this awesome duty to pick somebody and to vote on somebody whom is going to be there to protect the justice and the rights of all 300 million americans. it is responsibility. so i tell groups on either the right or the left and i've heard from many of them

Patrick Leahy

3:21:58 to 3:22:18( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: over the years in all these nominees i voted on, i'm going to make up my own mind. i will bring my own vermont principles, my own sense of vermont fairness, my own experience, my own judgment to bear. i will make up my mind. i would urge all senators to w do that. ignore the special interest

Patrick Leahy

3:22:19 to 3:22:39( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: groups on the right or the left.ep make up your own mind. because, as i said, we don't need judges or justices that pass a litmus test on the right or the left. we need judges and just is it is -- justices that wllee respect the law a passed byce congress. a appreciate that adherence toy

Patrick Leahy

3:23:01 to 3:23:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: who will fairly apply the law and use common sense. justices and judges who appreciate the proper role s of the courts in our democracy.ro that's the standard i applied when reviewing this t nomination. the same standard i applied to every supreme court nomination, including, six

Patrick Leahy

3:23:23 to 3:23:45( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: justices, nominated by republican presidents, who in have voted for. it is a standard i believe met. solicitor general kagan noten only has necessary qualifications to be a supreme court justice, but also demonstrated h respect for the rule of law. her appreciation for the

Patrick Leahy

3:23:46 to 3:23:55( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: separation of powers.ci an her undstanding the meaning of our constitution. mr. president, this vermonter will vote for

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