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Senate Proceeding on Aug 3rd, 2010 :: 6:27:00 to 6:38:10
Total video length: 11 hours 12 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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George Voinovich

6:26:56 to 6:27:19( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: mr. president, i suggest the abse mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the mr. voinovich: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the three law clerks with senator

George Voinovich

6:27:00 to 6:38:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: George Voinovich

George Voinovich

6:27:20 to 6:27:40( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: cornyn's staff: amanda dubuno, suzanne bragan and walter be granted floor privileges for the remainr of this week. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. voinovich: mr. president, i rise today to speak on the nomination of solicitor general elena kagan to be associate justice of the united states supreme court.

George Voinovich

6:27:41 to 6:28:01( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: i will not support general kagan's nomination, and i did not come to this decision lightly. as i said last august during the debate on justice sotomayor, the role of the senate in the nomination of a supreme court justice is to give its advice and consent on the president's nomination with the senate to judge whether an individual is

George Voinovich

6:28:02 to 6:28:22( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: qualified based on a number of factors. among these factors are the nominee's education, legal experience, prior judicial experience, written record, judicial temperament, commitment to the rule of law and overall contributions to the law. based on m review of elena kagan's record and using these factors, i determined that

George Voinovich

6:28:23 to 6:28:45( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: general kagan at this time does not meet the criteria for membership on our nation's highest court. the president deserves deference in his nominations and of course presidential elections have a direct impact on the makeup of our judiciary. that is to say elections do have consequences. but senate confirmations should

George Voinovich

6:28:46 to 6:29:07( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: not be a simple mechanical affirmation of the president's selection, especially when the nominee will enjoy a lifetime appointment. a senator is duty-bound to conscientiously review the qualification of a president's nominee and make an independent assessment of the nominee's qualifications.

George Voinovich

6:29:08 to 6:29:28( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: general kagan is well educated, intelligent, bright and advanced quite rapidly in her career of teaching and law school administration, but one must ask is that enough? i believe it is not. i believe a judicial nominee must have substantial experience in the law, especially when the nominee is seeking a lifetime appointment to the highest court in our land.

George Voinovich

6:29:29 to 6:29:51( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: after reviewing her background, i believe general kagan does not have that relevant experience. general kagan is the first nominee to the supreme court with no prior judicial experience since 1971, almost 40 years ago. while i do not believe that a lack of judicial experience should bar one from serving on

George Voinovich

6:29:52 to 6:30:13( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: the supreme court, i note that reviewing prior judicial service is obviously the easiest way to assess a nominee's fitness for the court. this lack of judicial experience does not prevent her nomination, but in my opinion, it does shift the burden to the nominee to demonstrate her relevant experience.

George Voinovich

6:30:14 to 6:30:34( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: for example, when the senate considered justice sotomayor's nomination, there were over 1,000 prior opinions one could review to decide if she was ready for the job. with general kagan there are none. when i asked her to name opinions that she worked on with justice marshall, with which she disagreed, she stated that she

George Voinovich

6:30:35 to 6:30:55( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: could not remember any individual opinion she worked on much less whertsd she disa -- whether she disagreed with justice marshall on any of them. during our meeting general kagan noted her service as solicitor general, another job i did not think she was qualified to hold, said it was relevant because she

George Voinovich

6:30:56 to 6:31:17( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: was the solicitor general. i agree it's relevant, but her time as solicitor general has been too short. since president kennedy's solicitor general only one has served for a short period of time than general kagan. general kagan argued her fierce case before supreme court less

George Voinovich

6:31:18 to 6:31:39( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: than a yearage and -- a year ago and now we're going to confirm her as a member of that court? if you bas her qualifications on her earlier legal experience, her experience is particularly limited. general kagan worked for two years as a practicing attorney. justices rehnquist and powell, the last two supreme court nominees without prior judicial

George Voinovich

6:31:40 to 6:32:00( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: experience each spent many years in the active practice of lawsm justice rehnquist practiced in arizona for 16 years. justice powell was a lawyer in a major law firm. general kagan has two years of experience in the private practice and one as solicitor general. i also think it's worth noting

George Voinovich

6:32:01 to 6:32:22( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: that the independent congressional research service has found that on average the 39 justices who lacked prior judicial experience had over 20 years of experience in the practice of law. general kagan's experience pales in comparison. during justice sotomayor's

George Voinovich

6:32:23 to 6:32:44( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: confirmation i spoke about how president obama's standard for selecting judicial nominees based on what was in their heart flew in the face of meritocy. we aspire to hire people -- for jobs based on their skill not where they're from or who they know.

George Voinovich

6:32:45 to 6:33:05( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: justice sotomayor in addition to her 17 years of total service on the trial and appellate benches was in private practice for eight years and district attorney for four years. justice sotomayor's experience as lawyer and a judge, her judicial temperment and the fact that her opinions were within the judicial mainstream gave me confidence that she had the

George Voinovich

6:33:06 to 6:33:28( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: relevant experience to sit on supreme court. because there's such a limited record with general kagan and because she has gone out of her way, quite frankly not to answer questions, i have no idea what she'll do on the bench and whether she will be able to suppress her own values to apply the law. the fact is we really don't know

George Voinovich

6:33:29 to 6:33:50( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: much about what her views are. frankly, i've been surprise bid some of my colleagues who attempt to compare her to the famous justice brandeis, anoer justice witho prior judicial experience. justice brandeis practiced the law for almost 30 years before his nomination. much of his practice being pro

George Voinovich

6:33:51 to 6:34:12( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: bono in his later years. justice brandeis is widely regarded as one of the great legal minds not just of his time but of american history having developed numerous areas of modern law from scratch. yet, again, general kagan pales in comparison. in my meeting general kagan i asked her about how little writing she had published and

George Voinovich

6:34:13 to 6:34:33( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: she responded she had more academic writing than other members of the supreme court -- members of the supme court. this is factually incorrect and misleading. first, this is incorrect. justice scali is widy published with numerous articles and books. justice ginsburg went so far as to learn swedish to co-author a

George Voinovich

6:34:34 to 6:34:56( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: book on swedish judicial procedure and justice breyer had many books and articles to his name before joining the cou. second, it's misleading because each justice publishes hundreds of pages a year in the form of opinions greatly eclipsing general kagan's academic production. mr. president, there are over

George Voinovich

6:34:57 to 6:35:18( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: 800 federal judges, many of whom clearly have the experience, intelligence, and legal skill to serve on our supreme court. additionally if one believes, which i do not, that the federal judiciary is somehow out of touch with our socty, thousand if not tens of thousands of state court judges are out there wit lengthy judicial records, many ready to serve on the supreme court.

George Voinovich

6:35:19 to 6:35:40( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: i think back to justice sandra day o'connor who was on the supreme court of the state of arizona for eight years before she became a member of the supreme court. as an aside only a former law professor would think that the dean after law school is somehow more in touch with every day people than a judge. every day a judge is presented

George Voinovich

6:35:41 to 6:36:01( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: with the facts of every day life and must apply them to the law. a dean in law school surrounded by professors earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, donors worth millions and students soon to enter into a professional career never gets to see every day life and is never faced with a factory worker, the farmer, any other

George Voinovich

6:36:23 to 6:36:44( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: question is that -- is that liberal nominee qualified to be a member of supreme court? i would argue that general kagan has been nominated based on her friendships and personal attachments with president obama and others at the white house not based on objective qualities that would indicate she is qualified to be a member of the

George Voinovich

6:36:45 to 6:37:07( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: united states supreme court. in closing, mr. president, lack of judicial experience should not be an absolute bar on serving on the supreme court. however, solicitor general kagan not only lacks judicial experience, but has limited experience as a practicing attorney wit really only the last year as solicitor general

George Voinovich

6:37:08 to 6:37:30( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: and two years as a junior associate making up her entire practice. additionally, general kagan has had an extremely limited written record. i mean limited writtenecord. which should make all of us unsure as to what sort of justice general kagan will be. mr. president, for these reasons

George Voinovich

6:37:54 to 6:37:59( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: will call the roll.

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