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Senate Proceeding on Aug 3rd, 2010 :: 5:34:25 to 5:43:35
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Byron Dorgan

5:34:12 to 5:34:32( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: quorum call: mr. dorgan: madam president? senator from north dakota. mr. dorgan: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dorgan: madam president, i come also to support the nomination of elena kagan. i think she has an impressive background. i was very pleased by her nomination by the president for a term on the supreme court, a lifetime term on the supreme

Byron Dorgan

5:34:25 to 5:43:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Byron Dorgan

Byron Dorgan

5:34:33 to 5:34:53( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: court, i might say. i had the opportunity to meet with her in my office and i found her engaging and interesting, with a lively sense of humor. i found her to be a very interesting person. i have had the opportunity to interview and talk to a number of folks who have been nominated to the supreme court. she stands out to me. she has a very impressive background.

Byron Dorgan

5:34:54 to 5:35:14( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: a bachelor's degree in history from princeton, master of philosophy from oxford, a law degree at harvard. she has done a lot of things. associate white house counsel for president clinton. she was professor at harvard law school and then dean of the harvard law school. she was confirmed by the senate

Byron Dorgan

5:35:15 to 5:35:35( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: as solicitor general on march last year. i voted for that confirmation. and i just thi she will make an excellent justice of the supreme court. i want to say that some criticism of elena kagan has been that she does judicial experience. in other words, she has not been a judge.

Byron Dorgan

5:35:36 to 5:35:56( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: well, that is true, in fact. 40 of the last 111 supreme court justices, including justice john marshall, louis brandeis, felix frankfurter and the latest -- or the previous, rather, supreme court justice, chief justice william rehnquist had no judicial experience either.

Byron Dorgan

5:35:57 to 5:36:17( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: but in many ways, that was considered a significant asset. my colleagues who now criticize elena kagan for not having judicial experience extolled the virtue of that very thing when the united states senate considering the nomation of william rehnquist who similarly had no judicial experience. so i find it, i think, a

Byron Dorgan

5:36:18 to 5:36:39( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: significant asset for elena kagan. she brings different kinds of experiences to the federal bench, and i think she will make an exceptional supreme court justice. i might say that general, a position that elena kagan now occupies, every solicitor general since 1985, including kenneth starr and ted

Byron Dorgan

5:36:40 to 5:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: olson have said kagan -- quote -- "would bring to the supreme court a breadth of experience and a history of great accomplish many in the law. we support the nomination of elena kagan and believe that if confirmed she will serve on the court with distinction." that from every former solicitor general gng 1980's.

Byron Dorgan

5:37:01 to 5:37:21( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: that is, in my judgment, some support. the determination of who sits on the supreme court in this nation is one of the most important senate makes. it is a judgment by the president, first of all, to make a nomination or send a nomination to the senate, and

Byron Dorgan

5:37:22 to 5:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: then the advise and consent responsibility of the senate is to make a judgmt about that nomination. the decisions that the court makes have a profound impact on the lives of the american people, have an impact on the questions of what kind of freedoms exist in this country. we have, i think at this moment, one of the most conse

Byron Dorgan

5:37:44 to 5:38:04( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: courts that we have had in a long, long time in this country, perhaps in this country's history the most c court. a recent study by richard posner who sits on the seventh circuit court of appeals and william landis, a unirsity of chicago law professor, ranked all 43 supreme court justices who have

Byron Dorgan

5:38:05 to 5:38:25( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: served since on their ideology and their decisions. their conclusion was that four of the five most conservative justices since franklin roosevelt sit on this supreme court right now. i don't think that we ought to be thinking of this in terms of conservative versus liberal.

Byron Dorgan

5:38:26 to 5:38:46( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: i only use that category because so many of my colleagues said it's very important to have a conservative justice. what i want on the supreme court is a justice who will use common sense in interpreting constitution and do so without an understanding that they are on one tm or another. frankly, it's disappointing not just to me but i think to most

Byron Dorgan

5:38:47 to 5:39:08( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: americans to see that the supreme court has become a court of nine justices that break into teams, our side, your side. five on one side, four on the other. that is not what we would expect of the supreme court. my -- my hope would be that the supreme court would take a look

Byron Dorgan

5:39:09 to 5:39:30( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: at issues not as conservatives or liberals, just as supreme court justices who have studied the law and who would make a commonsense judgment about what the constitution of this country means. so often, i find the supreme court standing logic on its head. the recent decision on citizens united is an unbelievable

Byron Dorgan

5:39:31 to 5:39:52( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: decision to me. corporations should be as individuals for the purpose of campaign financing without any precedent or plain text basis, and they overturned a statute by congress because they said corporations are people. oh, most of us understand corporations are artificial people created by the state for

Byron Dorgan

5:39:53 to 5:40:13( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: the purpose of allowing an entity to be created be sued, contract and be contracted with, but no one ever suggested corporations represent a real person. if so, i assume one of these days we'll have corporations running for office. perhaps a corporate candidate for the united states senate. we have general motors running

Byron Dorgan

5:40:14 to 5:40:34( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: against i.b.m. get your money together because it will be expensive. which desk will belong corporation. then it won't be long before we'll have that kind of a political race in our country. it's an absurd -- absurd decision. the 5-4 decision by the court in

Byron Dorgan

5:40:35 to 5:40:55( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: ledbetter v. goodyear is another shocking example of just standing common sense and a commonsense reading of the constitution on its head. lilly ledbetter worked 19 years, 19 years at goodyear and had consistently gotten sterling, very high ratings,

Byron Dorgan

5:40:56 to 5:41:16( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: evaluations by her supervisors. once she learned that she had been paid much,uch less than other workers who happened to be male -- she learned this after 19 years, by the way. 19 years she worked, worked hard, got paid, and then discovered all of those years she had been paid much less than the male counterparts doing

Byron Dorgan

5:41:17 to 5:41:38( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: exactly the same job. she finally sued, and the federal court said you're right and said to goodyear, you have to make back payments. and the appeals court then overturned it, and the supreme court overturned the judgment, saying that had to have taken actio within 100 days -- 180 days of the

Byron Dorgan

5:41:39 to 5:42:01( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: discrimination beg have done that in the first 180 days. she didn't have the foggiest idea they were mistreating her, saying if you're a man, you get this salary, and if you're a woman, you get this salary for doing the same thing, working side by side. she didn'tiscover they were mistreating her for 19 years, but the supreme court didn't care about they just said if she didn't

Byron Dorgan

5:42:02 to 5:42:23( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: pick it up in 180 days, sorry, out of luck, toughuck. i mean, it stands logic on its head once again. i think the fact is that the supreme court has a profound impact in terms of the way they interpret the constitution of the united states, and what i have seen recently and is certainly the case in citizens unit, i believe it is the case

Byron Dorgan

5:42:24 to 5:42:45( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: in ledbetter v. goodyear. it is the supreme court too often these days divides up into teams -- by the way, the team that seems to be winning is the team on the side of the powerful, the team on the side of the big interests, the team on the side of the corporate interests. that ought not to be the way the supreme court operates. i come to support the kagan nomination just because i think -- i thought she was

Byron Dorgan

5:42:46 to 5:43:06( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: someone with a facile, interesting mind who is going to bring a new spark to the debate among justices about what does this constitution mean. i don't know whether she is a liberal or conservative, and i don't care very much. what i care is that we put some people on the supreme court that we believe have the capability to make good decisions,

Byron Dorgan

5:43:07 to 5:43:28( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: decisions that will make life in this country better, that will reflect accurately the interpretation of the u.s. constitution, and i -- i hope very much that when the dust settles here and the vote is taken that we will have a very strong vote in support of elena kagan to become t court justice. i think that her background, her

Byron Dorgan

5:43:29 to 5:43:35( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: skill, her capability will make her a really outstanding supreme court justice, and i will be proud to vote for her nomination

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