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Senate Proceeding on Aug 4th, 2010 :: 6:31:00 to 6:49:15
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Patrick Leahy

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

Patrick Leahy: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask consen quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, on july 1 of this year the judiciary committee received a letter from lieutenant zachary prager, he serves in the u.s.

Patrick Leahy

6:31:00 to 6:49:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy

6:31:18 to 6:31:38( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: navyudge advocates judge general corps. he writes i was a student at harvard law school under ms. kagan and commissioned into the navy. i'm grateful to dean kagan for her leadership on military recruiting as well as a myriad of other positive impacts that she had in my law school experience. i would not be serving,

Patrick Leahy

6:31:39 to 6:31:59( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: referring to the military, i would not be serving today without it. she's earned my most heartfelt support for her nomination. this is a member of the military that felt that dean kagan helped greatly with him joining the military.

Patrick Leahy

6:32:00 to 6:32:23( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: as dean of harvard law school, dean kagan worked hard to enforce the school's nondiscrimination policy and allow the military to recruit harvard students. i ask unanimous consent that lieutenant prager's letter be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: i would like to note a letter of support the judiciary committee received

Patrick Leahy

6:32:24 to 6:32:44( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: from first lieutenant david tressler. he was harvard law school when solicitor general kagan served there as dean. he's currently serving in harm's way in afganistan. he strongly support solicitor general kagan for this nomination. here's what the lieutenant writes.

Patrick Leahy

6:33:07 to 6:33:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: policy of don't ask, don't tell. i ask unanimous cons to include the letter in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: i might say what i -- what a red herring of this question of where the recruiter's office is. you have people who want to serve in the military. they can usually find it.

Patrick Leahy

6:33:30 to 6:33:50( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: our youngest son joined the u.s. marine corps directly out of high school. brilliant young man who wanted to serve his country. so i asked him again the other day just to be sure. i said, mark, now, was that

Patrick Leahy

6:33:51 to 6:34:11( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: recruiter on -- at the high school or on campus. oh, no, dad, they didn't have anything like that. how did you find it? i got out the telephone book, i looked up the address, downtown burlington, told me exactly where it was i know the area, i walked down there, joined the u.s. marine

Patrick Leahy

6:34:12 to 6:34:32( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: corps. now, frankly, obviously my wife and i were very proud of him. he served honorably, and i can't help but think everybody i know joined the military.

Patrick Leahy

6:34:33 to 6:34:53( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: how did you do this? i checked with the recruiter, joined. or i was at an event where where somebody was speaking, i heard about it, and joined. so this is probably the biggest red herring. i have been here, mr. president, on debates, on votes, on every

Patrick Leahy

6:34:54 to 6:35:14( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: single member currently of the supreme court and some who have since retired from the supreme court. i've heard a few red herrings over the years, never one like this. but i want to commend today the 23 senators who came to the

Patrick Leahy

6:35:15 to 6:35:35( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: floor both yesterday and today to make they were outstanding in describing the quality occasions of a nominee who should be confirmed with a strong bipartisan majority. if i might, seeing the distinguished presiding officer,

Patrick Leahy

6:35:36 to 6:35:58( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i want to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of his colleague, senator klobuchar. she spoke eloquently to organize a group of senators, and she persevered despite the personal loss she suffered this week. introducing solicitor general

Patrick Leahy

6:35:59 to 6:36:20( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: elena kagan as his supreme court nominee, president obama, whose 49th birthday is today, praised her understanding of the law, not as an intellectual exercise or words on a page, but as it affects the lives of ordinary people. given america's social and technological developments since we were a young nation, interpreting the constitution's

Patrick Leahy

6:36:21 to 6:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: broad language requires judges and justices to exercise judgment. in the real world, there are no easy, complex cases with no ey answers. justice souter pointed out in a recent commencement address, different aspects of the constitution point in different

Patrick Leahy

6:36:42 to 6:37:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: directions toward different results, and they need to be reconcil acknowledging these inherent tensions is not only main street, it's as old as the constitution. it's been evident from steve justice marshall, in the

Patrick Leahy

6:37:11 to 6:37:32( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: landmark cases, to justice breiyer. the supreme court did in its most famous and admired modern decision brown v. board of education, a landmark decision that ended the scourge and the shame of segregation in this country. i rently saw the marvelous

Patrick Leahy

6:37:33 to 6:37:55( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: production of george stevens jr. one-man play "thurgood" starring lawrence an extraordinary evening. at one point, justice marshall -- thector who justice marshall reads a few lines from the unanimous decision of the supreme court in

Patrick Leahy

6:37:56 to 6:38:18( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: 1954 that declared racial discrimination and education and constitution. chief justice warren had written written -- "in approaching this problem, we cannot turn the clock back to 1868 which he the 14th amendment was adopted or

Patrick Leahy

6:38:40 to 6:39:02( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and understanding the facts in the case,he entire court helped end a discriminatory chapter in history, and they did it unanimously. the court made up of people like a former senator from alabama who had been a member of the ku klux klan. former attorney general and

Patrick Leahy

6:39:03 to 6:39:25( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: governor, and just about every other possible in between. and the supreme court did not limit itself to the constitution as it was written in 1787, because at that point in our early history, we, the people, did not include native americans

Patrick Leahy

6:39:26 to 6:39:46( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: or africanmerican slaves, and our laws failed to accord half the population equality of the right to vote because they were women. now, mr. president, any one of us want to go back to 1787 and say this should be the rules of the game? real-world judgingakes into

Patrick Leahy

6:39:47 to 6:40:08( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: account that the world and our constitution have changed in 1788, beginning with the bill of rights. it takes into account not only the civil war but the civil war amendments of the constitution adopted between 1865 and 1870 and every amendment since tss does anyone dispute that the bill of rights is correctly applied to the states

Patrick Leahy

6:40:09 to 6:40:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: to the due process clause of the 14th amendment? our bill of rights freedoms were expressed only as limitations on authority of congress. does anyone think that the equal protection clause cannot be read to prohibit gender discrimination?

Patrick Leahy

6:40:30 to 6:40:54( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i remember when it was written, the drafters obviously did not have women in mind, but does anybody think that this doesn't make it very clear that our laws should apply equally to men and women today? the constitution mentions our armed forces.

Patrick Leahy

6:40:55 to 6:41:18( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: but there is no air force when the constitution was written. does anyone doubt that our air force encompassed by the -- is encompassed by the constitution even though no framer had them in mind when the constitution was being ratified?

Patrick Leahy

6:41:19 to 6:41:40( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: of course not. likewise, in its interpretation of the commerce clause providing copy right and patent protections for writing discoveries, the supreme court has applied our constitutional principles to the creations and conditions to the 21st century. thomas jefferson and james

Patrick Leahy

6:41:41 to 6:42:01( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: madison may have mastered the quill pen, but they didn't envision modern computers or phones or smart phones or satellites. the first amendment expressly protects freedom of speech and the press. but the supreme court has applied it without controversy

Patrick Leahy

6:42:02 to 6:42:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: to things that didn't exist whe the first amendment was written, like television, radio, internet. our constitution was written before americans ventured into cyberspace or outer space. it was written before even automobiles or airplanes or steamboats.

Patrick Leahy

6:42:23 to 6:42:43( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: if the lines of the constitution remained the same as it applied to new developments, our privacy to the fourth heamsd been tested, but it survived because the supreme court did not limit our freedom to tangible things and physical inclusions that sought to ensure privacy consistent with the principles

Patrick Leahy

6:42:44 to 6:43:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: embodied in the constitution. now, if confirmed, elana kagan will be the third member of the current supreme court that has had experience working in all three branches of the government prior toc nominated. -- prior to being nominated. some criticized her work during the clinton political.

Patrick Leahy

6:43:05 to 6:43:25( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i suggest that a fair reading of her papers indicates that she has the ability to take many factors into account in analyzing legal problems. and there are skills that include practicality, principle, they were all used in service to the american people by justice

Patrick Leahy

6:43:26 to 6:43:40( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: o'connor, justice souter, justice stevens, each one nominated by a republican president. each one being justices i voted

Patrick Leahy

6:44:02 to 6:44:24( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: for. it seems that someone nominated to the supreme court will rule the way they want so that they will get the end results they want in cases before the supreme court. that's what i want, mr. president. i want an independent judiciary. i don't want a judiciary that

Patrick Leahy

6:44:25 to 6:44:45( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: will tell me way in advance exactly how they'll rule. i want them independent. but some demand justices will guarantee the results they want, that's their ideological litmus test. as critics level complaints against elana kagan, i suspect the real basis of that discontent is that the nominee

Patrick Leahy

6:44:46 to 6:45:06( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: will not guarantee a desired litigation outcome. of course, that's not judging. that's not even umpiring. that's fixing the game and that's wrong. it's conservative activism plain and simple. solicitor general kagan was right to reject that as robotic.

Patrick Leahy

6:45:07 to 6:45:29( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: we can do better than that. in fact, we always have done better than that. in reality we can expect justices are committed to doing the hard work of judging required of the supreme court. this means we want justices who pay close attention to the facts in every case that comes before

Patrick Leahy

6:45:30 to 6:45:52( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: them, to the arguments on both sides, the particular language and purposes of the statutes they are charged with interpreting, to their own precedents and to the traditions and long-standing historical practices of this nation. now, would reflect an appreciation for the real-world ramifications of their decision.

Patrick Leahy

6:45:53 to 6:46:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: judging is not just technicallual, it's not automatic. if it were -- if it were, we could have a computer do the judging. if it were, important decisions would not be made 5-4. a supreme court justice is required to exercise judgment,

Patrick Leahy

6:46:14 to 6:46:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: but it should appreciate the proper role of the courts in our democracy. you know, the resilience of the constitution, these great concepts, these wonderful phrases in the constitution are not self-executing. they are constitutional values

Patrick Leahy

6:46:35 to 6:46:55( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that need to be applied. in cases often involveompeting constitutional values. so the hard cases come before the court, in the real world we want and actually need justices that have the good sense to appreciate the significance of the facts of the case in front of them, as well as ramifications of their decisions inuman and institutional

Patrick Leahy

6:46:56 to 6:47:17( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: terms. i expect some close cases hard-working and honest judges will sometimes disagree about results. i don't expect to agree with every decision of every justice. i understand that. i support judicial independence. i noted i voted for justice

Patrick Leahy

6:47:18 to 6:47:38( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: stevens, justice o'connor, justice souter, all nominees of republican presidents. but, mr. president, we 100, the 100 men and women in this body are the ones who are charged with giving our advice and consent on supreme cou nominations.

Patrick Leahy

6:47:39 to 6:47:59( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: we 100 stand in the shoes of 300 million americans. and we should consider whether those nominated have the skills and the temperament and the good sense to independently assess in every casehe significance of the facts and how the law applies to those facts. i believe elena kagan does meet

Patrick Leahy

6:48:00 to 6:48:22( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that test. the more judges appreciate the real-world impact decisions have on hard-working americans, i believe the more confidence the american people have in their courts and i think it is important for the american people in a democracy thave confidence in their courts.

Patrick Leahy

6:48:23 to 6:48:43( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i've urged, been in now with seven presidents. i have urged presidents both democratic and republican to nominate people from outside the judicial monastery. i think real-wod experience is helpful to the process because the american people live an abstract ivory tower world but a real world of great

Patrick Leahy

6:48:44 to 6:49:05( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: challenges. we have a guiding charter that provides all americans great promise. the supreme court functions in the real world that affects all americans. judicial nominees need to appreciate the simple, undeniable fact, and they must promise to uphold the law that

Patrick Leahy

6:49:06 to 6:49:19( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: americans rely on every day for the continued safety and prosperity. mr. president, i see the distinguished senator from rhode island, mr. reed, on the floor,

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