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Senate Proceeding on Dec 21st, 2010 :: 3:17:50 to 3:36:50
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Jeff Sessions

3:17:49 to 3:18:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from alabama is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. president, i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. sessions: i want to speak on the president's nomination of mr. william martinez to the united states district court for colorado. we'll oppose the nomination. i have several reasons for doing so.

Jeff Sessions

3:17:50 to 3:36:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

3:18:11 to 3:18:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: he has a lot of good friends and people who respect him and like him, but we are trying to make a decision about a lifetime appointment on the courts of appeals, and there is some concerns with this nomination, i believe, that are serious, and in particular trends of the

Jeff Sessions

3:18:34 to 3:18:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: president to nominate individuals with judicial philosophies outside the mainstream. there is one reason in particular that concerns me about mr. martinez. it's his long time affiliation with the american civil liberties union, and the questions we asked him about

Jeff Sessions

3:18:59 to 3:19:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that were answered insufficiently for me. we have -- we have had a number of aclu nominations. i have supported some and opposed some. the aclu is a very left-wing organization. it seeks openly to defy the will

Jeff Sessions

3:19:21 to 3:19:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: of the american people in many of their lawsuits. while at the same time they endeavor to undermine and oppose traditions and institutions that make up the very fabric of our culture, our national identity and who we are as a people, assuming those things are

Jeff Sessions

3:19:42 to 3:20:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: insignificant and only pure philosophical approaches as they have of an extreme nature should guide our nation. mr. martinez has been a member in colorado for nearly a decade, and since 2006 served on its legal panel. in this role, he reviews memorandum prepared by aclu

Jeff Sessions

3:20:03 to 3:20:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: staff and attorneys and decides whether or not to pursue litigation, a very significant post in that organization. of course, that's not disqualifying. you can be members of organizations, even though some of us might not like it or agree with the organization, but any

Jeff Sessions

3:20:24 to 3:20:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: nominee from a conservative organization who takes extreme positions would certainly have to answer those positions and justify why they might take them. likewise, i think it's fair and appropriate to ask questions about this nominee and about this organization and whether or

Jeff Sessions

3:20:46 to 3:21:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: not you agree with it or whether or not if you don't agree with it why you're a member. a lot of people say they didn't agree with this position or that position, and i was left saying why are you a member?

Jeff Sessions

3:21:15 to 3:21:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it's on their website. when asked about some of the positions on important issues, he failed to clearly respond and repeatedly refusing to answer questions in a direct and clear manner, i thought. for example, at his hearing, i asked whether he agreed with the aclu's position that the death

Jeff Sessions

3:21:36 to 3:21:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: penalty was unconstitutional in all circumstances. well, he refused to answer, instead noting that the supreme court has held a death penalty constitutional, adding -- quote -- "what my view would be as a sitting federal district judge is something that would be quite different from my views as a personal citizen or an advocate

Jeff Sessions

3:21:59 to 3:22:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: or a litigant and member of the aclu." so i asked him whether he personally thinks the death penalty violates the constitution and whether he had ever expressed that view. he again failed to answer,

Jeff Sessions

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

Jeff Sessions: stating only that he had never expressed any view, so i put the question to him again, and again he did not answer. so i also asked him -- well, let me just stop and say why i think this is a very, very, very

Jeff Sessions

3:22:43 to 3:23:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: important issue. the constitution is a -- was passed as a unified document with the ten amendments. the american people ratified it. and some people in recent years only have come up with the ingenious idea that they could

Jeff Sessions

3:23:04 to 3:23:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: disqualify and lame the death penalty without a vote of the people, without the popular will to change laws that exist all over the country, they decided they could change it by finding something in the constitution that would say the death penalty is wrong, and they captured and

Jeff Sessions

3:23:25 to 3:23:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that says you shouldn't have cruel and unusual punishments, and they said aha, the death penalty is cruel and unusual, it's unconstitutional. which is not sound. let me be more respectful. and why is that not a sound

Jeff Sessions

3:23:46 to 3:24:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: policy? well, there are multiple references in the institution to a death penalty. it talks about capital crimes, talks about taking life without due process. it's in the constitution. how can you say when there are multiple provisions explicitly providing for the death penalty,

Jeff Sessions

3:24:07 to 3:24:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: how could you reach over here and think a provision on cruel and unusual punishment which was designed to prohibit people from being hung on racks and punished and tortured and that kind of thing? part of their punishment. but they advocate anyway, and that's the aclu position. and this nominee is going to be

Jeff Sessions

3:24:29 to 3:24:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: given a lifetime appointment, the power to interpret the constitution on this very real issue of national import that good lawyers know about, refuse to state that the constitution is clear that death penalties are legal.

Jeff Sessions

3:24:50 to 3:25:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: in fact, i would note parenthetically that every colony, every state had a death penalty at the time, and so did the united states government. surely the people when they ratified had no idea that somebody coming along in 2000 would create the view that the constitution prohibits the death

Jeff Sessions

3:25:11 to 3:25:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: penalty. i also ask mr. martinez whether he agreed with the president's called empathy standard, but rather than state flatly that the empathy should play no role in jud did justice sotomayor when they came up. she said, no, the judge has to

Jeff Sessions

3:25:32 to 3:25:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: be impartial. you should decide on the facts and the law, senator, not on feelings. he said that empathy can provide a judge with additional insight and perspective into the intent and the motivations of the parties appearing before the court. empathy to me is far too much like politics, far too

Jeff Sessions

3:25:54 to 3:26:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: something other than law. it's certainly not law. when a nominee like mr. martinez dedicated so much time and legal expertise to the aclu refuses to answer basic questions about these kind -- these issues, it's fair and appropriate to conclude

Jeff Sessions

3:26:17 to 3:26:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that perhaps he agrees with the other positions of the aclu also, and i have done a little checking on that. what is this organization of which he is a member? some people like the position they take on this issue or that issue, but what overall are some of the policy and legal

Jeff Sessions

3:26:38 to 3:26:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: positions taken by the aclu? over the last several decades, it has taken positions far to the left of mainstream america, and the ideals and values that the majority of americans hold dear. roger baldwin, aclu's founder, was openly vocal about his support and belief in -- quote

Jeff Sessions

3:26:59 to 3:27:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: -- socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and come pulings, close quote. he was quoted as saying -- quote -- "i seek social -- see social ownership of property, the abolition of the property class and sole control by those who produce wealth.

Jeff Sessions

3:27:23 to 3:27:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: communism is the goal." the founder of the organization, i understand, mr. baldwin's influence and impact on the aclu cannot be overstated, as former aclu counsel arthur hayes said -- quote -- "the american civil liberties union is roger baldwin." as i mentioned earlier, the aclu opposes the death penalty under

Jeff Sessions

3:27:44 to 3:28:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: any circumstances, even for child rapists, and they filed briefs recently in kennedy v. louisiana, arguing that a state could not apply the death penalty to a child rapist regardless of the severity of the crime or the criminal history unless the child died from his or her injuries. here the defendant had raped his

Jeff Sessions

3:28:05 to 3:28:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: own 8-year-old stepdaughter and caused horrific injuries that a medical expert said were the most severe he had ever seen. the defendant had done the same thing to another young girl within the family a few years earlier. even president obama, when the case came before the supreme

Jeff Sessions

3:28:29 to 3:28:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: court, said he opposed that view, yet president obama continues to nominate a host of aclu lawyers to the federal bench, and presumably has some sort of sympathy with the views they have been taking. in recent years, the aclu has litigated on behalf of sex offenders, including suing an

Jeff Sessions

3:28:52 to 3:29:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: indiana city on behalf of a repeat sex offender who was barred from the city's park after he admitted stalking children who played there. even though the convicted offender had admitted that he thought about sexually abusing the children in the park. the aclu sued to give him full access to the park and the children.

Jeff Sessions

3:29:14 to 3:29:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i agree with the mayor of the city who said -- quote -- "parents need to be able to send their children to a park and know they are going to be safe, not being window shopped by a predator. "so i would hope all nominees would share this view rather

Jeff Sessions

3:29:36 to 3:29:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: than the aclu's position on the subject. although many of you, the aclu is a neutral defender of the bill of rights, the aclu makes a very selective view of the rights it advocates. that's just a fact. otherwise, they would -- if they were defending the constitution and what it says plainly, they would defend the

Jeff Sessions

3:29:57 to 3:30:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: constitutionality of the death penalty. it shouldn't take them two seconds to figure that out. they have an agenda. as it explains on its website, the aclu openly disagreed with the supreme court's landmark ruling in the heller case, the right to keep and bear arms in

Jeff Sessions

3:30:19 to 3:30:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: washington, because the aclu does not believe the second amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms. well, okay, so good lawyers might disagree on that. but if this institution, this aclu is so committed to constitutional rights, why --

Jeff Sessions

3:30:41 to 3:31:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and oppose the power of the state, why would they not read the plain words of the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. why wouldn't they defend that individual right of free the power of the state to take away what has historically been

Jeff Sessions

3:31:02 to 3:31:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: an american right. i think it represents and reveals a political agenda as part of this organization. it also has a selective view of what exactly is protected by the first amendment. it has gone -- it has done some good work in the first amendment. the aclu has. but it has gone to great lengths

Jeff Sessions

3:31:23 to 3:31:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to limit freedom of religion as provided for in the first amendment. suing religious organizations and groups, like the salvation army, and even individuals advocating the removal and -- and supporting the removal of "under god" from the pledge of allegiance and "in good we

Jeff Sessions

3:31:44 to 3:32:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: trust" from our currency. it sued the virginia military institute to stop the long-standing tr tradition of mealtime prayer for cadets. i mean, you don't have to bow your head down if you go to lunch and somebody wants to have a prayer. nobody makes you pray. but if other people want to take a moment before they partake of

Jeff Sessions

3:32:05 to 3:32:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: their meal and say -- acknowledge a bit of appreciation for the blessings they receive, what's wrong with that? i don't believe it violates the first amendment. the constitution says that you have a -- that we can't establish a religion in america

Jeff Sessions

3:32:26 to 3:32:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and we can't prohibit the free exercise of religion either. the establishment clause and the free exercise clause are both in that amendment. but the aclu only sees one. they see everything as an establishment of religion. the aclu has also argued for the removal of religious symbols and

Jeff Sessions

3:32:47 to 3:33:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: scriptures from national parks and monuments and cemeteries that have stood for years, regardless of how innocuous they may be. i am very surprised, mr. president, that we don't have the aclu filing a lawsuit to deal with those words right over that door, "in god we trust trust."

Jeff Sessions

3:33:09 to 3:33:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it won't be long. they'll want to send in the johndarms with chill he wil chisels to chisel them off the wall. it's never what we understood the constitution to be about. reference in a public forum to a higher supreme court not

Jeff Sessions

3:33:33 to 3:33:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: prohibited by the constitution, except in the minds of some extremists. so the aclu has argued for the removal of all vestiges of christmas, going so far as to sue school districts to bar them from having santa claus at school events and threatening to sue if christmas carols are song

Jeff Sessions

3:33:54 to 3:34:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: anywhere on school grounds. give me a break. in addition, the aclu has sought to limit or removal the rights of children to salute the united states flag, recite the pledge of allegiance and openly pray. it has sued the boy scouts -- i'm honored to have been an eagle scout at one time in my

Jeff Sessions

3:34:15 to 3:34:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: life -- and government entities. and i'm not sure -- government entities that have supported this honorable institution. they've sued them. it has fought for the rights of child pornographers and against statutes to stop its production and distribution or limit exposure to it.

Jeff Sessions

3:34:36 to 3:34:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: aclu not only opposes adult pornography laws, they oppose laws that prohibit child pornography, which is where so much of the problem of pedophilia occurs. the aclu has sought to overturn the will of the people by challenging numerous state laws

Jeff Sessions

3:34:57 to 3:35:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that define marriage as between a man and a woman and has encouraged city mayors across the country to open the defy state law by granting same-sex marriage licenses, even in contradiction to law. it has vehemently opposed the 1996 defense of marriage act, calling it a -- quote --

Jeff Sessions

3:35:19 to 3:35:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: "deplorable act of hostility unworthy of the united states congress." well, that passed the year before i came here, not too long ago. just said you can't -- if one state allows a marriage to be this -- to be between members of the same sex, another state

Jeff Sessions

3:35:40 to 3:36:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: can't be forced to acknowledge it and recognize it. that's what the defense of marriage act did and passed here not too many years ago. the aclu has consistently opposed all restrictions on abortion -- all restrictions -- including partial-bi abortion, the unborn victims of

Jeff Sessions

3:36:02 to 3:36:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: violence act, and statutes requiring parental notification before a minor child can have an abortion. if they want to defend the innocent against wrongdoing, what about defending a child partially born whose life is

Jeff Sessions

3:36:24 to 3:36:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: taken from them. the aclu's extreme advocacy on abortion would force even religious health care providers, doctors, and nurses to perform abortions as a condition of medicare or medicaid reimbursement eligibility. a doctor couldn't say, well, you know, i'll treat you but i don't do abortions.

Jeff Sessions

3:36:46 to 3:36:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: if you take medicare, medicaid money, then under the aclu's

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