The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from witnesses on the fourth day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Oct. 15.
is that I found them all
imminently qualified. And if
judge Barrett decides
that the affordable care act can
stand because of severability, I
don't want you to be surprised.
Because it is pretty obvious to
me she is thinking long and hard
about that. I have no idea how
she will rule. So, at the end of
the day, I don't own what they
do once they leave here. I make
a judgment.
The people before us, are they
qualified by any reasonable
standard of intellect and
character Mark and the answer is
yes. How did we 96 and 97 both
force Kolea and get the bird.
That was the analysis. If we go
any deeper than that, President
Obama voted against Bush
nominees. He said qualifications
get you to like 70% or 80%.
The heart is what you need to
get over the line. I don't know
how to do that. And went
president, then Senator Obama,
applied that standard, I said oh
my gosh. Basically what you are
saying is I'm not going to vote
for anybody that doesn't think
like me judicially. And uses the
election didn't exist when it
comes to judges. So, to my
colleagues, it is okay to have
his hearing now. It is okay to
vote now because it is just as
Ginsburg said, presidential
terms are for four years. And I
want everyone to think long and
hard about about who would you
like to be on the court, knowing
the difference between the party
preferences. That, to me, is
more important today than it has
ever been. And with that I will
yield to Senator Lee.
>>
I like to be recognized.
>> You will be next, you are on
deck.
>> Senator Clover Shaw, you are
making the point that I am
trying to make. The clause does
in fact impact people's lives.
It does in fact impact local
forms of government. It does, in
fact, impact and it did in fact
impact the formation of this
country. It was the vocalization
of the states during the
articles of Confederation
that led to the need for the
cause to begin with. There are
some questions as to whether or
not the courts ought to have the
power to create a right of
action to enforce it or rather
that should instead be created
by Congress which we
indisputably have the power to
do. If all of you regard this is
sufficiently uncontroversial
that we need to do it. Let's run
a bill together. And we will
incorporate the
antidiscrimination wing of the
dormant commerce clause
jurisprudence and make it loll
once and for all, rather than
just a judicial creation. I
would love to do that. The point
is, this one doesn't matter. It
hasn't yet become the subject of
political tug-of-war. Based on
fear mongering, based on
fundraising by politicians in
both parties. There are a lot of
similarities there. This is what
we have reduced the courts two.
And yes this is their seat. This
is the American people's feet.
That is why we have elections.
Those elections
in 2014, 2016 and 2018 that I
mentioned matter. We've got the
authority to do this, we've got
historical precedent on our
side. We've also got the
Constitution and the best
nominee I have seen in a long
time.
>> Senator Lee.
>>
Has been so much talk about
President. I think that they
will come when history books are
going to use Senator Durbin's
comments about President. I
certainly think he stated it
well as I've ever heard it
stated. We also have little
precedent.
That is senators have always
kept their word. The first the
I was told by the Democratic
leader in the Republican leader
when I came to the Senate
senators keep their word. When I
think about what the Republican
leader
, Mr. Chairman, I know we been
friends for a long time. I think
about what you said is your
reasons for delaying any vote on
Merrick Garland. I wish you had
kept what you said then. You
have it.
— We are now officially through
the looking glass.
through confirmation hearings
just two weeks after Justice
bears his nomination and less
than three weeks before an
election amid a pandemic
affecting committee members
wasn't enough of a sham, we are
now proceeding to advance the
nomination before the hearings
even concluded.
Before we even have a chance to
ask the nominee all of our
questions. Many senators
submitted questions and she said
she would answer them. I guess
knowing we are going to vote
before we hear those answers. We
haven't even had a chance to
hear from all the witnesses this
committee needed and deemed
necessary before we voted.
Apparently, before we've even
reviewed all of judge Barrett's
record. Records of her
undisclosed speeches and
materials continue to
pour in. I think there's half a
dozen or more last night. All
those were made from a
questionnaire. I'm not
suggesting that she
intentionally failed to disclose
all these records in the
committee, but normally we have
enough time to go back and find
was that they did failed to. I'm
suggesting that it is a mad rush
to approve her as predictably —
. So, there is no reason why
these deficiencies can't be
cured. There is no reason why
this nomination cannot be
delayed. If President Trump wins
reelection in a couple weeks,
then take up the nomination in
January. That process would be
legitimate. This one is not. In
fact, this process is a
caricature of illegitimacy. The
fact that we had a nominee
before Justice Ginsburg was even
buried, in order to jam this
nomination through before the
election, that is a mark on the
United States Senate and it is
the mark of the process of
callous political power grab. It
is no secret why President
is so desperate to install Judge
Barry for the election.
President Trump
has always said the quiet very
loudly. He said he expects his
nominee to side with him in any
election related dispute.
made it impossible for Americans
not to question judge bears
impartiality if she has to vote
on such a case is a justice.
She declined to commit to recuse
herself from any election
related disputes. If she decides
in the president's favor in any
election related dispute, it's
going to cause previous harm to
both the court and indeed our
democracy. A judge should not
place the integrity of either in
such jeopardy. I worry about
what is happening in these
processes. That we are going to
diminish the respect that all
Americans should have for our
federal judiciary. And it gets
even worse. Republicans have
another horse in the race. Their
lawsuit to strike down to
Affordable Care Act on November
10. The president
and the Republican attorneys
general do not just want to
strike down some of the ACA,
they want to strike down all of
it. Almost every Republican on
this committee is joined in
those briefs.
Republicans on this committee
tried for years to overturn the
affordable care act. Both in
Congress and the courts.
So many Americans with
pre-existing conditions worry
about.
Now they think they have an
opportunity with Judge Barry.
Certainly President Trump has
said that is what is expected.
She has repeatedly criticized
the constitutionality. In the
legality of the law. She has
never defended it. That's how
she's been very clear. Very
outspoken about. That is why we
are here today.
I think Republicans see an
opportunity to wildly swing the
balance of the court for
decades.
I voted for more Republican
judges as I have been in the
Senate. And probably anybody in
this committee. I believe in
being evenhanded federal
judiciary. I don't believe in a
President of the United States,
backed by Republicans in the
U.S. Senate, saying we are going
to sway which way the court is
going to go. In fact, that's why
Republicans have gone back on
their word giving the American
people a voice. When President
Obama nominated Judge Garland
not 10 weeks, 10 months
an election, Merrick Garland the
person many people sit on this
committee said they would vote
for until the Republican leader
told him to shut up. And that is
why Republicans are diminishing
the committee. And the Senate.
Into a rubber stamp now. There's
really no way to gloss over how
wrong this process is. The
damage inflicted in the wake of
this power grab is going to be
considerable. Perhaps even
irreparable. Both in the U.S.
Senate into the federal
judiciary. Doesn't have to be
this way. This doesn't have to
be the story of judge. His
nomination. It is what
Republicans have chosen.
Certainly, you could have waited
until the election was over. And
then gone forward.
But in their personal raw power
and the drive to deprive
millions of Americans of their
basic healthcare protection,
Republicans are willing to shred
every principal this place has
stood for.
I always thought of the Senate
as being the conscience of the
nation. I see it for what it is.
The American people, I hope,
will too, thank you.
>> Nikki Senator Lee. Anybody
else?
>> I will make sure everybody
gets to speak
>>
since it's my motion anointed as
to speak for the second time if
I may.
>> Thank you Mr. Chairman. I
like to have a roll call vote on
this motion. Because I think it
is so serious, the motion — Do
you want it now or do you want
people to speak with someone who
was I like to allow everyone to
speak and I thank you for this
opportunity. You know there are
very few written rules around
here. The most important rules
are the unwritten ones. The most
important of those rules is you
keep your word. The United
States Senate works and the
democracy works because people
keep their promise. As of this
committee, on the other side,
promised, when Merrick Garland
nomination was given no hearing,
no vote, members would not even
meet with him, that never would
a Supreme Court nominee be
considered during an election
year. You are breaking that word
. And, with all the rhetoric
about precedent and history and
everything else, and about the
wrong direction that the Senate
is going, in essence, you are
taking another step in that
direction. We sought on our side
to bring into this room real
people who would be affected by
this nomination. We could not
bring them to the hearing room
as witnesses. We could not have
been be present here, because we
are in the midst of a pandemic,
and we should be dealing with it
instead of considering the
nomination of someone who has
said, in effect, that our
present health lock should be
struck down down. But we put
them in the room here and we saw
their faces and voices. Natalie
Bart whose brother was killed in
Newtown and who wants
commonsense sensible gun
violence prevention loss laws
that this nominee indicated she
antithetical to upholding.
Kristin and Michael song goes
fun pierced as a result of the
lack of safe storage of a
firearm. And once a safe law
nationally. Veterans who want
emergency risk protection orders
. So that their friends
and fellow veterans will not
commit suicide, because they
should
have weapons taken away if they
are going to use them to commit
suicide.
I wish I had a nickel for every
time I heard this term elections
have consequences. We all know
elections have consequences.
What we are seeing here is an
exercise of raw political power.
You are moving ahead with this
nomination because you can. But
might does not make right. An
American people put us here to
do what we think is right. And
in your heart you know
that what's happening here is
not right. Is not normal
so the real people eventually
will judge us. History will
haunt
this raw exercise of political
power that threatens
to strike down protection for
people with pre-existing
conditions, including now,
COVID-19 as well as heart
disease, asthma, cancer.
About half of all Americans, at
least at the people in
Connecticut 1.5 million. 130
million across the country
suffer from pre-existing
conditions. Their lives are at
stake. And that is why I brought
into this room Connor
who suffered from a disease that
would have killed him by now
without the affordable care act.
But the most important message
from Connor was what he wrote to
this nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
He said doctors take an oath,
first do no harm. Can you take
that oath? Same question might
be put us. First, do no harm.
Can we take that oath? So I hope
that we will recognize, my
colleague will recognize that
delaying this nomination is the
right thing to do here. We are
talking about moving ahead on it
before we even finished the
hearing. We haven't heard from
those witnesses. Who are going
to comment on the qualifications
of this nominee. And yet, we are
talking about moving ahead.
>> [ Captioners Transitioning ]
>> WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS
WHY I MADE THIS MOTION. THERE IS
MORE TO BE LEARNED HERE. WE HAD
AN OPPORTUNITY AND AN OBLIGATION
TO SCRUTINIZE THE SMOCK NOMINEE
FOR LIFETIME APPOINTMENT TO THE
HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND.
WHAT IS REALLY INSULTING TO THE
NOMINEE AS THE PRESIDENT HAS IN
FACT SAID, HE WANTS TO PUT HER
ON THE COURT, AS A RESULT IT IS
RUSHED PROCESS. SO SHE CAN
DECIDE HIS ELECTION.
SHE REFUSED TO COMMIT, SHE WOULD
RECUSE HERSELF, FROM SITTING ON
THAT CASE. THAT EVENTUALLY WILL
DO GRAVE HARM, TO THE COURT
ITSELF, TO LEAVE THAT QUESTION
UNANSWERED FOR THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE. AND, AS WE KNOW, AND SHE
SAID IT.
SUPREME COURT ARE NOT SELF
ENFORCING. THE SUPREME COURT HAS
NO ARMIES. NO POLICE FORCE. IT'S
AUTHORITY DEPENDS ON THE TRUST
AND FAITH OF THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE. AND ITS LEGITIMACY. I
REVERE THE SUPREME COURT. I WAS
A LAW CLERK THERE. I HAVE ARGUED
CASES ON THE FRONT OF IT
INCLUDING JUSTICE GINSBURG.
THEY GAVE ME AN EQUALLY TOUGH
TIME, BUT I TRUSTED THAT THEY
WERE GOING TO TAKE A POSITION
BASED ON THE LAW.
WE DO GRAVE DAMAGE, TO THE
SUPREME COURT, BY POLITICIZING
IT IN THIS WAY. SO I ASK MY
COLLEAGUES, TO VOTE ON THIS
MOTION AND DELAY INDEFINITELY
THE PROCEEDINGS ON THIS NOMINEE.
>> NOW WILL THE SENATOR YIELD TO
THE QUESTION MR. CHAIRMAN.
SENATOR YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I
RESPECT YOU. I KNOW YOU KNOW
THAT.
>> I APPRECIATE THAT.
>> YOU JUST ACCUSED ME OF
BREAKING MY WORD. I WANT TO
KNOW, HOW YOU HAVE REACHED THAT
CONCLUSION. WHEN DID I PROMISE
AND REPRESENTING THE GOOD PEOPLE
OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, THAT
I WOULD NOT VOTE ON A SUPREME
COURT NOMINATION, WHEN A
PRESIDENT, ANY PRESIDENT BROUGHT
IT BEFORE ME AS A MEMBER OF THIS
COMMITTEE. I HAVE READ THE
CONSTITUTION, I KNOW YOU HAVE. I
HAVE LIST TO YOUR ELOQUENT
QUESTIONS FOR 3 1/2 YEARS, HERE.
THE CONSTITUTION IS UNAFFECTED
BY THE ELECTORAL CALENDAR. WHEN
IT DEALS WITH FILLING THE
SUPREME COURT NOMINATION. SO
WHEN HAVE I BROKEN MY WORD? NOT
TO VOTE ON THIS NOMINEE.
>> IF I MAY RESPOND, MR.
CHAIRMAN.
>> YES, THAT IS A LEGITIMATE
QUESTION.
>> SENATOR I NEVER SAID YOU MADE
THAT PROMISE. I NEVER SAID ANY
SPECIFIC NUMBER OF THIS
COMMITTEE. BUT I CAN NAME SOME
NAMES, AND I WAS NOT GOING TO DO
SO. BUT, I THINK THE RECORD WILL
CONFIRM, THAT THE CHAIRMAN AND
EFFECT, MADE THAT COMMITMENT. I
MEAN —
>> THE CHAIRMAN CAN DEFEND
HIMSELF.
>> I HEARD YOU SAY, RICHARD, THE
REPUBLICANS ON THIS COMMITTEE
EVER BROKEN THEIR WORD. I TAKE
THAT SERIOUSLY BECAUSE OF MY
RESPECT FOR YOU. ARE YOU
ALLEGING I BROKEN MY WORD?
>> I'M NOT SAYING THAT YOU
PERSONALLY BROKE YOUR WORD. I'M
SAYING THAT ANY OF THE MEMBERS
OF THIS COMMITTEE OR THE SENATE,
AND THERE ARE OTHERS. I DO NOT
THINK WE SHOULD BE PERSONAL, IN
THIS COMMITTEE MEETING. THE FACT
OF THE MATTER IS, AND YOU KNOW
WELL, THAT'S THERE WERE NUMEROUS
STATEMENTS AT THE TIME THAT MARY
GARLAND WAS DENIED A HEARING,
WAS DENIED A VOTES, WAS DENIED
EVEN MEETINGS THAT IT WAS IN
PART,
NOMINATION GO FORWARD DURING AN
ELECTION YEAR. THAT WAS NINE
MONTHS. NOT 30 DAYS.
AND THIS COMMITTEE, IS VOTING
LESS THAN THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE
ELECTION. THE FULL SENATE WILL
VOTE DAYS, LITERALLY, DAYS
BEFORE NOVEMBER 3rd. AND RIGHT
NOW, AMERICANS ARE VOTING. WE
ARE IN THE MIDST OF THE
ELECTION. AMERICANS ARE IN FACT
GOING INTO THE POLLS, AND MORE
THAN 11 STATES. PROBABLY NO MORE
THAN 15. SO, I AM SAYING THE
COMMITMENT WAS MADE
THE LAST YEAR, AND I'M ASKING
THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE TO
ABIDE BY THAT.
>> YOU ARE NOT SAYING THAT I
MADE THAT COMMITMENT.
>> I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU
PERSONALLY DID.
>> THAT IS WHAT I WANTED TO
CLEAR UP,
THANK YOU, SENATOR.
>> I DON'T WANT YOU TO TAKE
ANYTHING I SAID, BECAUSE IN
AUGUST OF THIS YEAR IS THAT IF
THERE IS AN OPENING, WE WILL SEE
WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR, AFTER
CAVANAUGH. THAT IS WHAT I SAID,
ALSO. NOTHING PERSONAL.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN, F-15 QUOTES
FROM 15 REPUBLICAN SENATORS
SAYING THAT THE ELECTION SHOULD
DECIDE. I WILL PUT THEM ON THE
RECORD, IF I COULD, PLEASE.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> I DO ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH
THE REMARKS OF THE DEMOCRATIC
COLLEAGUES, AS TO THE LEGITIMACY
OF THIS HEARING. MR. CHAIRMAN,
YOU NOTED THAT RUTH BADER
GINSBURG HAD TRACKS
AS TO HER POSITION ON IMPORTANT
ISSUES. HE ALSO NOTED THAT ALINA
HAD TRACKS.
OF COURSE, I NOTE THAT
REPUBLICANS HAVE VOTED OVER 70
TIMES ARE AT LEAST 70 TIMES TO
EITHER CONSTRAIN OR REPEAL THE
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. THE TRACKS
OF THIS NOMINEE ARE, THAT SHE
WILL STRIKE DOWN THE ACA. THOSE
ARE CURSED TRACKS.
SO THANK YOU, FROM NOT HIDING
THAT FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AS
THEY WORRY ABOUT THEIR HEALTH
CARD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
PANDEMIC. AS FOR THE LIFELINE
YOU TOSSED JUDGE BARRETT ABOUT
SEVERABILITY TO SAVE THE
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. THAT IS A
SMOKESCREEN. SHE DID NOT
INVOKE SEVERABILITY WHEN SHE
CRITICIZED CJ ROBERTS FOR
MATCHING BUT IT STRETCHING THE
LIMITS OF THE CONSTITUTION TO
UPHOLD THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.
IF CJ ROBERTS HAD FOLLOWED HER
REASONING, HE WOULD HAVE VOTED
TO STRIKE DOWN THE AFFORDABLE
CARE ACT. WE ALL KNOW THE
SEVERABILITY IS A CANON OF
CONSTRUCTION. THE COUNTER TO
THAT, IS, JUST AS TRUMP AND THE
REPUBLICANS ARE ARGUING IN THE
SUPREME COURT. NOTHING IN THE
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, CAN BE
SEVERED SO AS TO SUSTAIN ITS.
THAT IS WHY WE ARE SO CONCERNED,
WHY SHE IS BEING RUSHED IN THIS
PROCESS. THANK YOU.
>> SENATOR COOMBS. THEN BOOKER.
AND ANYBODY OVER HERE.
>> CHAIRMAN. I'M SORRY CAN YOU
REDO THE ORDER.
>> BOOKER, FEINSTEIN.
>> INHABITED DEFERRED TO THE
RANK NUMBER SHEET.
>> I AM HAPPY TO SAY HERE UNTIL
1:00 OCTOBER THE 27th. ALL
RIGHT.
>> IF I MAY, MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> I REALLY LISTEN CAREFULLY TO
THESE COMMENTS. I MUST SAY, THAT
THE ARGUMENT FOR REALLY
GIVING DUE REGARD TO THIS
NOMINEE, AS I THINK AS AND
COGENTLY MADE ON OUR SIDE.
I WOULD HOPE THE REPUBLICAN SIDE
WOULD LISTEN TO THAT. THESE ARE
LIFETIME APPOINTMENTS. THEY LAST
FOR DECADES. SO WHAT IS DONE
HERE, WILL AFFECT POLICIES LONG
AFTER OUR LIFETIMES AND.
WE ARE
IN, IN THE TIME I HAVE BEEN ON
THIS COMMITTEE MR. CHAIRMAN, 26
YEARS, THERE IS NEVER BEEN A
SITUATION QUITE LIKE THIS. AND I
THINK HISTORY A, WILL REGARD US
AS WELL, IF WE ARE CONSIDERED
AND DILIGENT AND PATIENT.
I SEE NO NEED TO CHARGE AHEAD. I
JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT.
>>
SENATOR.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN DURING MY
OPENING STATEMENT I QUOTED JAMES
MANLEY WHO WE ALL REMEMBERED
WORKED FOR HARRY REID FOR MANY
YEARS. HE WAS QUOTED AS SAYING
ON HIS NOMINATION, THE GROUPS
WANT BLOOD.
DEMOCRATS ON AND OFF THE
COMMITTEE WANT A REAL FIGHT.
WELL, I GUESS THIS IS WHAT
PASSES FOR A REAL FIGHT.
I AM REALLY STRUGGLING TO FIND
OUT, AND TO UNDERSTAND WHY JUDGE
BARRETT IS SUCH A THREAT TO
THEM.
IS IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE A,
THEY HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED.
WHEN THEY LOSE ELECTIONS AND
VOTES IN THE CONGRESS THEY
DEPEND ON THE COURTS TO BAIL
THEM OUT? THAT IS NOT WHAT
JUDGES SHOULD BE DOING. JUDGES
SHOULD BE TRYING
TO DETERMINE WHAT THE INTENT OF
CONGRESS IS. WE ARE THE ONES
ACCOUNTABLE TO THE VOTERS, THEY
ARE NOT BY DEFINITION. THAT IS
WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE
JUDGES LIKE AMY CONEY BARRETT.
SHE IS NOT ONE TO SUBSTITUTE HER
OPINION FOR HOURS. SHE WANTS
HOURS TO PREVAIL. SHE WANTS
MAJORITIES RESPECTED. THAT IS
THE AMERICAN SYSTEM.
SO, I THINK A LOT OF THE
ARGUMENTS, AND MAYBE IT IS SO
OBVIOUS, IT DOES NOT, NOBODY
NEEDS ME OR WANTS ME TO SAY IT.
ALL OF THESE STRAWMEN, THEY KEEP
RAISING THIS TACITLY, THE
UNSPOKEN ACCUSATION IS THAT SHE
IS GOING TO VIOLATE HER JUDICIAL
OATH.
THAT THE INTEGRITY AND CHARACTER
SHE DEMONSTRATED HERE, THAT
SOMEHOW SHE WILL LEAVE THAT ALL
BEHIND. IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH A
RESULT, IN A FUTURE CASE SHE HAS
NOT EVEN HEARD. IT IS JUST
ABSURD. SO.
I THINK THE REGRET, THE
DISAPPOINTMENT OF OUR
COLLEAGUES IS REAL. BECAUSE THEY
HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THE
SUPREME COURT BEING
POLICYMAKERS. AND BEING
A BODY THAT BAILS THEM OUT, IF
THEY CANNOT WIN THE ELECTION OR
THE VOTE IN CONGRESS. I
UNDERSTAND THEIR
DISAPPOINTMENTS. BUT I THINK,
THEIR LOSSES THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE'S GAIN.
>> SENATOR
>> THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. TODAY
MY CONSTITUENTS FROM DELAWARE
ARE ASKING THE SAME THING. THEY
HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR WEEKS.
IN THIS PARTICULAR CONTEXT, THE
QUESTION IS, AND I GOT ONE JUST
WHILE WE WERE SITTING HERE. WHY
IS THE SENATE JUDICIARY
COMMITTEE
MEETING TO RACE THROUGH YOUR
PROCESS IN THIS CONFIRMATION
WHEN THE SENATE ITSELF IS NOT IN
SESSION. I WAS DELAYED A FEW
MINUTES THIS MORNING BECAUSE I
WENT AND GOT TESTED FOR COVID BY
THE SENATE PHYSICIAN, SO I CAN
RETURN WITH SOME CONFIDENCE TO
MY FAMILY THIS EVENING THAT I
HAVE NOT PICKED IT UP WHILE
HERE. THE SENATE OF THE UNITED
STATES IS NOT IN SESSION BECAUSE
WE HAVE AN OUTBREAK AMONGST
SENATORS. I AM NOT CONFIDENT WE
HAVE PROVIDED FOR SENATORS, FOR
STAFF, FOR THE WHITE HOUSE,
FRANKLY FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
MY WHOLE STATE IS JUST 900,000
PEOPLE. HOW MANY PEOPLE FILED
NEW ONE EMPLOYMENT CLAIMS LAST
WEEK, ALMOST EXACTLY 900,000
PEOPLE. MY HOPE IS THAT WE WILL
GET BACK TO THE WORK OF TRYING
TO DELIVER RELIEF, SMALL
BUSINESSES, AMERICANS, THOSE
UNEMPLOYED, THOSE AFFECTED
DESPERATELY NEED. I HAVE WORKED
HARD TO BRING THE VOICES OF REAL
DELAWARE PEOPLE INTO THIS
DISCUSSION. IT IS EASY TO MISS
IN THE SEEMINGLY ABSTRACT
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THINGS THAT
REALLY MATTER TO LAWYERS. I LOOK
FORWARD TO OUR LONG DEBATED ON
THAT. CONVERSATIONS ABOUT
ORIGINAL-ISM, ABOUT WHAT IS OR
ISN'T THE PRECEDENT FOR THIS
COMMITTEE, FOR CONFIRMATIONS.
OR, FOR THE SUPREME COURT. CAN
LEAVE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS
STRUGGLING IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS
PANDEMIC, AND THE RECESSION THAT
I WOULD ARGUE IS MADE WORSE BY
THE BUNGLED MISHANDLING OF OUR
PANDEMIC BY THE PRESIDENT. A
LITTLE COLD. I AM GREATLY
CONCERNED, MR. CHAIRMAN THAT YOU
AND THE MAJORITY OURS ENDING ON
THE EDGE OF A PRECIPICE OF
PUSHING THROUGH
A NOMINEE IN A WAY, YOU YOURSELF
SAID WAS UNTHINKABLE TWO YEARS
AGO, IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE
LAST QUARTER OF THIS PRESIDENCY.
WE ARE 19 DAYS FROM THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, THE
MAJORITY OF STATES ARE VOTING.
PEOPLE STOOD OUTSIDE FOR 10
HOURS IN GEORGIA YESTERDAY. THAT
IS THE GOOD NEWS, THEY ARE THAT
DETERMINED TO VOTE. WE HEARD
REPEATEDLY FROM THE NOMINEE,
THAT SHE HAS NO AGENDA.
BUT I WILL TELL YOU THE AGENDA
PRESIDENT TRUMP IN CHOOSING HER,
AND THE AGENDA OF THE REPUBLICAN
MAJORITY, AND WRENCHING FORWARD
WITH THIS CONFIRMATION, THAT IS
CLEAR.
MY COLLEAGUE FROM ILLINOIS SAID
THAT THE PROCESS IS TURNED INTO
SOMETHING YOUR AVERAGE AMERICAN
HAS A REAL PROBLEM DISCERNING
WHAT IS GOING ON. WE KEEP ASKING
HONEST QUESTIONS, AND THE
NOMINEE KEEPS DECLINING TO
ANSWER THEM IN ANY SUBSTANTIVE
OR MEANINGFUL WAY.
WE DO HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES IS
THERE ANY PATH TOWARDS GETTING A
CONFIRMATION PROCESS IN THIS
BODY BACK ONTO A REAL AND
RATIONAL FOOTING. BUT, WE ARE
ABOUT TO HAVE A VOTE IN THIS
COMMITTEE, AND THAT IS WHY WILL
SUPPORT MY COLLEAGUE FROM
CONNECTICUT MOTION, WHERE WE
HAVE NOT EVEN HEARD FROM THE
LAST PANEL OF WITNESSES TODAY.
WE HAVE NOT EVEN HEARD RESPONSES
TO THE QUESTIONS FOR THE RECORD.
THIS IS AN UNPRECEDENTED
CONTEXT. AND WITH UNPRECEDENTED
SPEED.
DO NOT CONVENE A SUPREME COURT
CONFIRMATION HEARING IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE PANDEMIC WHILE THE
SENATE IS ON RECESS WHILE
LOADING HAS ALREADY STARTED IN
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND
THE MAJORITY OF STATES BECAUSE
WE ARE SIMPLY CONCERNED ABOUT
ABSTRACT IDEAS, FOR THE NEUTRAL
APPLICATION OF LAW. AND YOU
DON'T MINGLE AND MISHANDLE MY
PREDECESSOR
AND ATTRIBUTE TO HIM SOME RULE,
THEN RESTATE THE RULE AS THE
McCONNELL ROLE THEN IGNORED IN
STATE UP IS DOWN AND DOWN IS UP
WHEN NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER
FROM THE TRUTH. THIS IS NOT ON
THE LEVEL.
YOU DON'T GO AGAINST YOUR OWN
PROMISE, AFTER AUTHORITY CLAIMED
AS A MATTER OF HIGH PRINCIPAL
JUSTICES SHOULD NOT BE CONFIRMED
IN ELECTION. AND AFTER YOU HAVE
ALREADY BLOCKADED A CENTRIST
COMPETENT HIGHLY QUALIFIED
NOMINEE FOR EXACTLY THAT REASON
BECAUSE YOU SOLELY CARE ABOUT
METHODOLOGY. THIS IS ABOUT THE
PRESIDENTS DISASTROUS RESPONSE
TO PANDEMIC. AND A DECADE-LONG,
UNFILLED PLEDGE EMBODIED IN ONE
PARTY'S PLATFORM, TO OVERTURN
PROTECTIONS FOR THE MAJORITY OF
AMERICANS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
PANDEMIC. AS MY DEMOCRATIC
COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE BEEN
WORKING, LABORING TO LAY OUT
, THERE WILL SOON BE, IF JUDGE
BARRETT IS CONFIRMED, A HARD
TURN TO THE RIGHT ON THE SUPREME
COURT. A CHANGE IN METHODOLOGY,
A CHANGE IN APPROACH, A CHANGE
IN PRINCIPLE, THAT WILL HAVE
LASTING CONSEQUENCES FOR THE
MAJORITY OF AMERICANS.
AFTER STUDYING HER RECORD I AM
CONVINCED SHE WOULD COME TO THE
SUPREME COURT WITH A DEEPLY
CONSERVATIVE ORIGINALIST
PHILOSOPHY, AND A JUDICIAL
ACTIVISM, WITH REGARDS TO THE
PRESIDENT
THAT WOULD PUT NUMEROUS
LONG-STANDING RIGHTS THE
AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE COME TO
RELY ON AND HOLD YOUR IN NEARLY
EVERY ASPECT OF MODERN LIFE AT
RISK. SIMPLY PUT, I BELIEVE SHE
WILL OPEN A NEW CHAPTER OF
CONSERVATIVE JUDICIAL ACTIVISM
UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAVE SEEN IN
DECADES. FIRST JUDGE BARRETT AS
JUSTICE BARRETT MAY WELL CAST
THE DECIDING VOTE TO OVERTURN
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. WITH
POTENTIALLY DISASTROUS
CONSEQUENCES FOR MAJORITY OF
AMERICANS.
EVERYONE WATCHING AT HOME IS
HEARD MY COLLEAGUE SAY, FOR THE
LAST 10 YEARS, THEIR TOP
PRIORITY HAS BEEN REPEALING THE
ACA. AND EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN
SENATOR ON THIS COMMITTEE IS TO
PUBLICLY, REPEATEDLY ABOUT THEIR
DESIRE TO GET RID OF THAT LAW AT
SOME POINT PREVIOUSLY. SO TOO
HAS PRESIDENT TRUMP. DESPITE
THEIR BEST EFFORTS THEY HAVE SO
FAR FAILED TO DO SO, HERE.
IN MY VIEW HAVE FAILED TO
ADVANCE A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE
PLAN FOR HOW TO DEAL WITH
PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AND GIVE
THEM LASTING PROTECTION. SO NOW,
I THINK THE LAST BEST SHOT FOR
PUBLISHING THIS GOAL, IS AT THE
SUPREME COURT. THAT IS WHERE
JUDGE BARRETT COMES IN.
AS SHE CONCEDED DURING OUR
QUESTIONING, OUR EXCHANGE, SHE
HAS HER AND IN NO UNCERTAIN
TERMS, SHE THINKS CHIEF JUSTICE
ROBERTS GOT IT WRONG IN HIS
RULING UPHOLDING THE LAW AGAINST
A CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE. SHE
WROTE THAT ARTICLE IN EARLY 2017
A MONTH LATER FOUND HERSELF ON
PRESIDENTS TRUMPS SHORT LIST FOR
THE COURT. MEANWHILE THE TRUMP
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS JOINED
THE CHALLENGE TO THE ACA THAT IS
BACK IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME
COURT TO BE ARGUED JUST A FEW
WEEKS FROM NOW ON NOVEMBER 10th.
PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS
ADMINISTRATION ARE ARGUING AND
NOT NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THE COURT
MUST TEAR DOWN THE ENTIRE LAW.
NOW, MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID
THIS IS FEAR MONGERING. THIS IS
BASELESS POLITICAL THEATER. BUT
TO ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS
CHALLENGES ARE FETCHED, JUST
READ THE BRIEF. JUST
READ THE BRIEF FILED BY THE
SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THE UNITED
STATES, OR THE ONE FILED AND
COSIGNED BY 18 REPUBLICAN
ATTORNEYS GENERAL. MOST AND
PARTLY CONSIDER THAT OUR
PRESIDENT HIMSELF HAS SAID ABOUT
WHAT HE EXPECTS FROM HIS
JUDICIAL NOMINEES. HE LASHED OUT
AT CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS OVER
AND OVER,
OR IS DECISION UPHOLDING THE
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. UNPLEDGED
IS A CANDIDATE IS NOMINEES WOULD
DO THE RIGHT THING AND OVERTURN
THE LAW. IT ISN'T JUST THE ACA
THAT IS ON PRESIDENT TRUMP'S
AGENDA FOR THE COURT. HE HAS
MADE CLEAR HE WANTS TO OVERTURN
THE ACA. HE WANTS OVERTURN ROE
VERSUS WADE. IN MOST CONCERNING
LEAD TO ME COMING IS REPEATEDLY
MADE STATEMENTS THAT HE EXPECTS
HIS NOMINEE
TO HAND HIM THE ELECTION IF
THERE IS A DISPUTE IN THE
COURTS. AS I MADE CLEAR IN MY
EXCHANGE, I AM NOT SUGGESTING
SHE IS ENGAGED IN ANY
INAPPROPRIATE CONVERSATIONS OR
COMMITMENTS WITH THE PRESIDENT.
THAT IS NOT AT ALL WHAT I AM
SAYING. IT WAS THE PRESIDENT'S
CONDUCT ITSELF THAT IS PUT THIS
ISSUE IN FRONT OF THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE. HIS REPEATED UNDERMINING
OF THE CREDIBILITY, SAFETY, AND
SECURITY OF OUR ELECT SHOULD BE
ALARMING TO OUR ALL OF US.
IT SHOULD GIVE ALL OF US
CONCERN. THOSE OF US WHO PLEDGED
TO UPHOLD AND DEFEND THE
CONSTITUTION UNDER ALL
CIRCUMSTANCES.
>> I'M SORRY?
>> IF I COULD, I AM SORRY — I
WILL NOT SPEAK AFTER THIS.
>> THAT IS FINE, I DIDN'T
NOT MEAN TO INTERRUPT YOU.
>> SHE ALSO STEADFASTLY REFUSED
TO ANSWER WHETHER SHE BELIEVED
SCOTT LEO WAS CORRECT IN HIS
CRITICISM OF GRISWOLD VERSUS
CONNECTICUT. A CASE DECIDED WHEN
I WAS JUST TWO YEARS OLD, THAT
PROTECTS THE RIGHT TO USE
CONTRACEPTIVES IN THE PRIVACY OF
ONE'S HOME. IT IS AN IMPORTANT
LANDMARK CASE BECAUSE IT IS AN
ANCHOR. TO THE LINE OF SISTERS.
THEY WERE WILLING TO SAY
GRISWOLD WAS RIGHT. SO IT LEFT
ME CONCERNED. THEN, AS I LAID
OUT YESTERDAY, WHAT REALLY
CONCERNS ME MORE IS HER APPROACH
TO THE PRESIDENT. IT IS BEEN
CALLED THE FOUNDATION STONE OF
AMERICAN LAW GIVES
PREDICTABILITY, STABILITY TO IT
AS I WALKED THROUGH YESTERDAY.
I'VE CONCLUDED THAT JUDGE
BARRETT IS EVEN MORE WILLING
THAN JUSTICE SCALIA TO OVERTURN
PRESIDENTS WHICH SHE DISAGREES.
MADE CLEAR THAT SHE FEELS FREE
TO OVERTURN CASES THAT THEY
BELIEVE WERE WRONGLY DECIDED.
WHICH IF SHE DEEPLY HOLDS THE
ORIGINALIST
PHILOSOPHY SHE HAS ESPOUSED. MAY
MEAN THAT DOZENS AND DOZENS, AND
FACT AS I DETAILED IN A CHART
YESTERDAY, MORE THAN 120 CASES,
LONG SETTLED IN MANY CASES, MAY
BE AT RISK OF RECONSIDERATION.
THEY WILL COVER YES HEALTHCARE,
YES PRIVACY, BUT EDUCATION,
CONSUMER PROTECTION, MARRIAGE
EQUALITY, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, A
RANGE OF CASES. THE MAJORITY OF
AMERICANS BELIEVE THEY ARE LONG
SETTLED. LAST AS TO PRESIDENT
TRUMP'S MOST CRITICAL EXPERT
TATIAN OR EXPRESSED WISH.
I WAS CONCERNED THAT JUDGE
BARRETT WOULD NOT SPECIFICALLY
COMMIT
TO RECUSAL, IN THE EVENT THERE
IS SOMETHING ARISING FROM THIS
EMINENT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. I
THINK NOTHING COULD BE MORE
CHALLENGING, TO THE ROLE OF THE
SUPREME COURT AND OUR NATIONAL
LIFE. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES,
FIRST TO CONSIDER SERIOUSLY,
THE CENTER FOR CONNECTICUT'S
MOTION, AND TO DELAY THE FINAL
STAGES OF THIS PROCESS UNTIL
AFTER THE ELECTION. EQUALLY IF
NOT MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO THINK
ABOUT THE MOMENT WE ARE ON. IF
THIS ELECTION IN SOME WAY IS
INTERFERED WITH, DOES NOT GO
APPROPRIATELY, I THINK THAT OUR
DEMOCRACY ITSELF IS AT RISK. SO
AT THE VERY LEAST, TO BE CLEAR.
I THOUGHT NOTHING WAS STOPPING
FROM MAKING A COMMITMENT TO
REDUCE HERSELF, GIVEN WHAT
PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SAID I WAS
GRAVELY CONCERNED SHE DID NOT.
MR. CHAIRMAN, I WILL CONCLUDE. I
WILL NOT BE VOTING TO CONFIRM
HER TO THE SUPREME COURT. I
FRANKLY THINK WE SHOULD NOT BE
TAKING THIS VOTE, WE SHOULD NOT
BE PROCEEDING TODAY.
WE SHOULD INSTEAD BE TURNING TO
THE URGENT BUSINESS OF
PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
AND ENSURING THE SAFETY AND
SECURITY OF OUR ELECTION IN
KEEPING OUR WORD. THANK YOU.
>> SENATOR KENNEDY.
>> I WANT TO ASSOCIATE MYSELF
WITH PART OF SENATOR 12 CONTROLS
, SENATOR COONS'S REMARKS.
I THINK I'VE BEEN HERE LESS THAN
AMOUNT OF TIME THAN ANYBODY ON
THIS COMMITTEE. YOU ARE THE MOST
INTERESTING PEOPLE I HAVE EVER
BEEN AROUND. AND I MEAN THAT.
THE SENATE IS.
I HAVE NOT MET A DUMMY YET. I
REALIZE THAT MIGHT BE DEBATABLE
BY SOME. I HAVE NOT MET A SINGLE
SOLITARY MEMBER OF THE SENATE
THAT DOES NOT WANT WHAT IS BEST
FOR AMERICA. AND, I CERTAINLY
INCLUDE YOU IN THAT NUMBER,
SENATOR I THINK WE OUGHT TO DO
SOMETHING ABOUT THE ECONOMIC
CONSEQUENCES. OF THE
CORONAVIRUS.
I DON'T KNOW WHY BAD THINGS
HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. BUT IT IS
HAPPENED TO THE WORLD. IT HAS
HAD PUBLIC HEALTH CONSEQUENCES,
AND PRIVATE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES.
ALSO ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES.
I'M NOT TRYING TO SCORE
POLITICAL POINTS HERE. I MEAN
IT, WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY.
SENATOR McCONNELL IS GOING TO
PUT A CORONAVIRUS BILL ON THE
FLOOR NEXT WEEK. I UNDERSTAND
MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE AISLE THINK IT IS
NOT A PERFECT BILL. SO
, IF YOU WILL TALK TO SENATOR
SCHUMER,
I WILL TALK TO SENATOR
McCONNELL, PEOPLE ON THE SIDE OF
THE AISLE,
THAT HAVE MORE INFLUENCE THAN I
HAVE CAN TALK TO SENATOR
McCONNELL. LET'S AGREE TO
PROCEED TO THAT BILL. AND, LET'S
DEBATE IT AND START THE
AMENDMENT PROCESS. LET'S DEBATE
AND DECIDE. I DID NOT COME UP
HERE FOR DELAY, I KNOW YOU DID
NOT DO THAT EITHER, CHRIS. AND,
LET'S GO TRY TO PASS A BILL NEXT
WEEK. I THINK EVERYBODY ON THIS
COMMITTEE TESTS THEIR
ASSUMPTIONS AGAINST THE
ARGUMENTS OF THEIR CRITICS. THAT
IS ONE OF THE REASONS I FIND YOU
ALSO INTERESTING. I'M WILLING TO
CONSIDER DEMOCRATIC AMENDMENTS
TO THAT BILL. SO LET'S DO IT.
BUT, IT WILL REQUIRE MY DEMOCRAT
FRIENDS TO VOTE TO PROCEED.
SO I'M ASKING YOU RESPECTFULLY,
VOTE TO PROCEED ON THAT TO BILL.
THEN LET'S START AMENDING IT.
LET'S PASS SOMETHING. THANK YOU,
MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> SENATOR BOOKER.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN, LET ME
APOLOGIZE FOR THIS METAPHOR I AM
ABOUT TO USE.
POINT OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE.
>> I MIGHT BE ONE STEP BELOW THE
HOUSTON ASTROS THING.
>> IS WHAT PEOPLE OF TEXAS AND
OTHER TRUTH COMING AS A CLOSET
VEGAN. [ LAUGHTER ]
>> I RECOGNIZE MR. CHAIRMAN,
THIS GOOSE IS PRETTY MUCH
COOKED. AND I LOVE THE BODY
POSTURES OF ALL OF US AROUND
WHEN PEOPLE ARE TALKING AND WHEN
PEOPLE ARE SAYING THINGS
, FOLKS LOOK UP AND LISTEN, AND
FOLKS ARE REPEATING WHAT OTHERS
CONSIDER TO BE THE ROUTINE
PARTISAN POSTURING
. I SEE A LOT OF HEADS GOOD OUT
OF THEIR CELL PHONES. LET ME TRY
NOT TO DO ANYTHING, WITH THE
HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL
LISTEN TO ME. FIRST OF ALL, WITH
A HEARING. I DO THINK
, THAT THEY ARE RIGHT. THIS IS A
HEARING CONDUCTED WITH DECORUM
AND PROFESSIONALISM. THAT IS
SOMETHING I THINK ALL OF US CAN
AT LEAST AGREE TO. WE HAD SOME
CRITICISMS GOING BACK AND FORTH.
I FOUND THINGS THAT WERE
TROUBLING TO ME, DURING THIS
HEARING. I TRIED TO ELICIT FROM
BOTH SIDES AND CONVERSATION IN
THE HEARING. JUST CONVERSATIONS
ABOUT WHAT I THINK IS
THE ISSUES WE DO NOT SPEAK
ENOUGH ABOUT IN THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA, WHICH ARE
ISSUES OF RACE. I HAVE BEEN
EXTREMELY PROUD OF THE FACT,
THAT WE ARE SENATE NOW THAT HAS
MORE LAX SERVING ON IT THAN AT
ANY TIME IN HISTORY.
I HAVE BEEN REALLY GRATEFUL, TO
WATCH MY SENATE COLLEAGUES,
OFTEN ON THE FLOOR OF THE
SENATE, MY COLLEAGUE TIM SCOTT,
SPEAK ABOUT THE TRUTH ABOUT
RACE.
ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCES, UNITED
STATES SENATOR, AND I HAVE MY
OWN.
I THINK THAT MANY OF MY
COLLEAGUES RECOGNIZES THIS GOES
ON. HERE WE ARE IN THE BACKDROP,
OF WHAT I THINK IS.
GREATER THAN ANY IN THE CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT OF MILLIONS OF
AMERICANS. NOT ALL WHITE TOWELS
COMING OUT TO PROTEST ISSUES OF
RACE. AND I WAS SURPRISED, THAT
IN THIS BACKDROP, ISSUES OF RACE
AND WERE SO IMPORTANT TO THE
SUPREME COURT, THAT WE HAD A
NOMINEE WHO COULD NOT EVEN TALK
TO A REVIEW ARTICLE THAT THEY
WROTE. AND THAT'S NOT, TO HER
THE SENATE COMMITTEE ASKED HER
YESTERDAY WHICH MADE ME SMILE AS
YOU OFTEN DO MY FRIEND. ASK HER
IF SHE IS A RACIST, CLEARLY SHE
IS NOT A RACIST NOR IS ANYBODY
WHO IS SERVING IN THIS
COMMITTEE. BUT IT IS NOT OUT OF
BOUNDS, TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT,
THIS BEING IN THE TIME OF MY
FAMILY, THAT THERE BEEN NUMBERS
AFFECTED BY SUPREME COURT
DECISIONS AND PRETTY PROFOUND
RAYS, WAYS. AND ISSUES THAT ARE
GOING TO CONTINUE TO COME UP.
I FIND IT SURPRISING THIS
CONVERSATION, AGAIN I AM NEW TO
THIS COMMITTEE, AND THIS
CONVERSATION ABOUT'S, DOES A
NOMINEE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS
THAT REFLECTS THEIR PHILOSOPHY.
I THOUGHT THERE WAS A LOT OF
QUESTIONS AND BOUNDS THAT SHE
REFUSED TO ANSWER. I THINK THAT
IS AN AVERSION OF PRECEDENT THAT
CONTINUES ON THIS COMMITTEE. WE
ARE HEADING INTO A PERIOD. WHERE
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE NOT
ANSWERING THINGS FOR NOT BEING
ABLE TO ANSWER WHETHER YOU
BELIEVE IN THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER
OF POWER, I JUST FOUND THAT
STUNNING. I REALLY DID. I DON'T
THINK WE COULD ASK ANYBODY IN
THE UNITED STATES HER SCHOOL
HISTORY TEACHERS IF THEY DON'T
THINK THAT IS SOMETHING SOMEBODY
SHOULD DO. I FOUND THAT THE
PRESENT. I'M NOT HERE TO REHASH,
TO MEET IN MY OPENING ABOUT WHY
I THINK IT IS WRONG TO DO THIS.
WHAT I WOULD RATHER DO, AND
CHAIRMAN, I THINK YOU ARE
PROBABLY GOING TO SEND ME A NOTE
OR FLOWERS. BUT TOMORROW,

>> JUST A CONGRATULATIONS.
>> I APPRECIATE THAT.
>> AMINA, BEFORE YOU GO ON, THIS
IS PRETTY CONTENTIOUS TIME.
TWITTER IS BLOCKING A STORY
ABOUT BIDEN AND THE WORLD IS
TURNING SIDEWAYS AND WE WILL
TALK ABOUT THAT IN A MINUTE.
BUT, THERE WOULD BE NO FIRST
STEPS ACT. IF SENATOR BOOKER,
AND A VERY CRUCIAL POINT IN TIME
DECIDED TO FIND COMMON GROUND.
THEY EVER WRITE THE HISTORY OF
THAT BILL, I WILL ATTEST TO THE
FACT THAT WHEN IT WAS ABOUT TO
FALL APART, YOU KEPT IT TOGETHER
AND KEPT HER EYE ON THE PRIZE. I
WANTED TO SAY THAT.
>> I WILL TEST OF THE FACT THAT
YOU AND OTHER COLLEAGUES, JUST
YESTERDAY, AFTER I DID TALK
ABOUT RACE, HAD A CONVERSATION
WITH ME ABOUT THE WORK THAT WE
CAN STILL DO TOGETHER. ON THOSE
ISSUES.
THEY REALLY LIKE TO GET THINGS
DONE. I'M REALLY PROUD OF SOME
OF THE WORK WE HAVE DONE IN THIS
COMMITTEE.
SO, I JUST WANT TO ACTUALLY TALK
ABOUT THE MOMENT I CAME TO THE
UNITED STATES SENATE. I WAS
ELECTED ON THE 16th, MY DAD DIED
SIX DAYS EARLIER. THEN I CAME
DOWN HERE GRIEVING.
THEY SWORE ME INTO TAKING OVER
TO SEE JOHN LEWIS WHICH WAS ONE
OF THE BIGGEST MOMENTS OF MY
LIFE. AND THEY WALKED ME INTO
THE BE SWORN INTO THE SENATE ON
HALLOWEEN. WHAT HAPPENED LATER
IS THE ROLES OF THE SENATE WERE
CHANGED. IMAGINE ME, AND AGAIN,
I WAS LITERALLY
— I GOT SWORN IN AND HAD A
VOTE, I DID NOT KNOW HOW IT TO
VOTE. I WAS LOOKING FOR A BUTTON
TO PRESS. THEY TOLD YOURSELF TO
RAISE HER HAND AND SAY AYE.
WHY ARE WE DOING SOMETHING
CALLED A NUCLEAR OPTION. I
THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE
COMING HERE TO TALK ABOUT
TREATIES. TO TRY TO PREVENT
NUCLEAR PERSPIRATION. OR NUCLEAR
FOR TASHA FEE. NUCLEAR
CATASTROPHE. I SAW SENATORS AND
STATESMEN
COMING TO ME AND EXPLAIN TO ME
ABOUT WHAT THEY SAW WAS THE
LOGGERHEAD, THE CHOKEHOLD, THAT
LEADER McCONNELL WAS PUTTING ON
THE ABILITY OF SENATOR OBAMA TO
PUT EXECUTIVE POSITIONS AND
JUDGES ON.
NOW, I JUST RECENTLY HEARD MITCH
McCONNELL BRAG ABOUT THAT, HE
WAS ABLE TO CHOKE THE NUMBER OF
JUDGES THAT OBAMA WAS ABLE TO
PUT ON, TO GIVE PRESIDENT TRUMP
A HISTORIC NUMBER OF VACANCIES
TO FILL. I'M NOT BRINGING THIS
UP AS A POINT OF ARGUMENT,
BECAUSE I HAVE LISTENED TO THIS
HASHED OUT, BOTH SIDES CLAIMING
INJURY, AND CLAIMING HARM. AND
WHATEVER THE DEBATE IS. I
BELIEVE I DID THE RIGHT THING
WITH MY VOTE. I THINK I HAVE
HEARD THE GRACE ON BOTH SIDES,
AND PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS WITH
PEOPLE, TELLING ME THAT THIS
BODY IS A SENATE.
AND TELLING ME THAT THIS
COMMITTEE IS TERRIBLY BROKEN,
AND REMARKED TO ME, THAT WE ARE
TUMBLING TOWARDS A VERY BAD
REALITY. SO, THAT IS WHAT
CONCERNS ME RIGHT NOW, IN THIS
MOMENT. THIS IS ANOTHER MOMENT
WHERE WE ARE IS AN INSTITUTION,
ERODING OUR NORMS TO THE POINT
THAT WE ALL ARE BEMOANING IT.
EVERYBODY. I HAVE HEARD ON BOTH
SIDES OF
THE AISLE BEMOANING. THIS IS AN
ISOLATED VACUUM. IT IS NOT. IT
IS HAPPENING IN A TIME OF
TERRIBLE CRISIS FOR OUR COUNTRY.
SOMETIMES I WALK AROUND THE
HOLES OF THE SENATE, I FEEL LIKE
THE FROG IN BOILING WATER, THAT
IS HAVING THE TEMPERATURE TURNED
UP SO SLOWLY THAT THEY ARE
BARELY NOTICING IT AND BARELY
REMARKING ON IT. I JUST WANT TO
ASK MY COLLEAGUES, TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE
CONTEXT OF AMERICAN HISTORY
RIGHT NOW.
SOME OF YOU ALL MAY NOT AGREE
WITH ME, BUT I'VE HAD ENOUGH
REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES OF MINE
THAT HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SPEAK
OUT ABOUT SOME OF THESE THINGS,
THAT ARE REALLY TROUBLING TO ME.
I SAW PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES BRINGING IN MILITARY AND
TURNING
GAS AND RUBBER BULLETS ON
PEACEFUL PROTESTERS IN LAFAYETTE
PARK, AND FOR WHAT?
THERE ARE PEOPLE, ALL OF US
AROUND HERE, TO HOLD UP A BIBLE
IN AN AWKWARD WAY FOR A PHOTO
OP. THAT WAS SUCH A STUNNING
MOMENT, THAT I WATCHED A LOT OF
WHAT I CALL STATE PEOPLE IN
AMERICA COME OUT STRONGLY
AGAINST IT. INCLUDING SOME
PEOPLE IN THIS BODY ON THE
REPUBLICAN SIDE. THE GENERAL,
WHO WE ALL KNOW USE THE
RESTRAINT OF POWER TO COME OUT,
A DANGER.
I DO NOT KNOW IF I COULD POINT,
OF THE PRESIDENT BEFORE AN
ELECTION DOING THINGS TO
COMPROMISE THE OUTCOME, SAYING
IF I DO NOT WIN, CLEARLY,
UNEQUIVOCAL LEE, THIS ELECTION
IS RIGGED.
THAT IS SOMETHING IN THE
PRESENCE OF MY LIFETIME, GEORGE
BUSH, RONALD REGAN WOULD NEVER
HAVE SAID. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO
DO NOT THINK IT IS PROBLEMATIC.
WE HAVE ARMED MILITIAS GEARING
UP. GO TO THE WEBSITE, ARMY OF
TRUMP.COM. FIRST OF ALL, THAT
WORRIES ME, I LIKE MY
PEOPLE CALLING THEM FREE OR
LIBERTY OF WORDS.
NOT TO DEFEND THE UNITED STATES,
NOT FOR A FAIR ELECTION. THIS IS
THE ARMY OF TRUMP. WE ARE
LITERALLY SITTING HERE. WE HAVE
PEOPLE LIKE THE GOVERNOR OF
MICHIGAN, PEOPLE ARE PUTTING
PLOTS TO ABDUCT
ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA. DOES THIS NOT
TROUBLE US? THE THINGS THAT ARE
GOING ON, ARE STUNNING TO ME. A
PRESIDENT SAYING
STANBACK AND STANDBY, TO AN
ORGANIZATION THAT IS JUST DOING
THAT. STANDING BY. WE HAVE
LITERALLY, IN THIS MOMENT, A
PRESIDENT REFUSING TO
UNEQUIVOCALLY TALK ABOUT THE
PEOPLE'S TRANSFER OF POWER. ALL
OF THESE THINGS ARE TROUBLING.
AND I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WENT TO
CAST AT THE PARTISAN WAY. EVEN
THE CONSTITUTION MENTIONS THE
CENSUS AND THE POST OFFICE, HAS
BOTH OF THOSE INSTITUTIONS OUR
DEMOCRACY ARE UNDER ATTACK RIGHT
NOW.
I SEE SIGNS ALL AROUND US, IT
WILL MAKE ALL OF US CONCERNED
AND WORRIED ABOUT WHAT IS GOING
TO HAPPEN 19 DAYS FROM NOW. I
NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE HAVING
RATIONAL CONVERSATIONS WITH
REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES OF MINE,
THAT I AM FEARFUL OF THE
VIOLENCE THAT MIGHT HAPPEN
AROUND AN ELECTION.
THAT I AM LITERALLY HAVING
CONVERSATIONS ON MY SIDE OF THE
AISLE OF PEOPLE SAYING WHAT ARE
WE GOING TO DO PART TO PROTECT
THE POLLS IN BLACK COMMUNITIES
FROM WHAT HAPPENED IN 1981 IN
NEW JERSEY, WHERE AGAIN PEOPLE
WITH ARMS, CAME IN TO TRY TO
UNDERMINE PEOPLE VOTING. THIS IS
ACTUALLY GOING ON IN AMERICA,
THESE ARE REAL CONVERSATIONS BY
RATIONAL PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT
PARTISAN RHETORIC. IT IS FAXED.
IT HAPPENS ON SOMETHING PEOPLE.
I WAS SO MOVED BY SOMEBODY A
TEXT OF THEM ON THE REPUBLICAN
SIDE. WE TALKED ABOUT THESE
DEEPER ISSUES OF OUR COUNTRY. I
REALLY APPRECIATE WHAT YOU SAID,
SENATOR KENNEDY. WE DO HAVE
COMMON VIRTUE. WE DO HAVE COMMON
VALUES. WE DO HAVE COMMON
CAUSES. LINES OF THAT DIVIDE US,
ARE NOT NEARLY AS STRONG, AS THE
TIES THAT BIND US IN THIS
COUNTRY. I STILL BELIEVE THAT.
CALL ME ERNEST OR CALL ME NAÏVE,
I STILL BELIEVE THAT. BUT, RIGHT
NOW, WE ARE DOING FOR TAT.
ME AND MY COLLEAGUES WERE
TALKING ABOUT A SUPREME COURT
SAYING, LET'S KEEP IT OPEN. ON
THIS COMMITTEE, LET'S KEEP THE
SUPREME COURT OPEN FOR FOUR
YEARS IF HILLARY CLINTON WINS.
THERE ARE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN
GOING ON ON BOTH SIDES. WHILE WE
ARE DOING THIS, WE ARE FAILING
AS A BODY, TO LEAD IN A TIME OF
CRISIS. WE HAVE FOOD LINES IN
AMERICA.
THAT HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE
THE GREAT DEPRESSION. WE HAVE AN
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN AMERICA,
THAT WE HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE THE
GREAT DEPRESSION. NEW BUSINESS
STARTS HAVE BEEN GOING DOWN FOR
YEARS. NOW WE HAVE SMALL
BUSINESSES CLOSING AT RATES WE
HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE THE
DEPRESSION. FARMS. I DON'T KNOW
IF ANYBODY HEARD. I RAN FOR
PRESIDENT LAST YEAR. AND, THERE
ARE FARMS
, WE ARE SEEING THE CLOSURE OF
THE INDEPENDENT AMERICAN FARMS
AT A RATE WE HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE
FARM CRISIS IN THE 80s AND
BEFORE. LET ME GO MORE. MY
COLLEAGUES ARE CONCERNED WITH
THIS. LIFE EXPECTANCY IN AMERICA
IS GOING DOWN. AND EVERY OTHER
INDUSTRIAL NATION IT IS GOING
UP. YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT
NATIONAL ANXIETY. RATES OF
DEPRESSION.
CLINICAL DEPRESSION ARE GOING
UP. USAGE OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE
GOING OUT. THERE ARE ALL THESE
SIGNS IN THE COUNTRY. THE GREAT
EXPERIMENT OF DEMOCRACY ON THE
PLANET EARTH, AND ALL
COMPARISON. MR. CHAIRMAN, I'M
SORRY YOU RAN FOR PRESIDENT AND
LOST.
>> WAY BEHIND WHAT YOU WERE ABLE
TO DO. NOT EVEN A T-SHIRT IN MY
CASE.
>> I JUST WANT TO POINT OUT TO
YOU, WHEN I CAME TO THIS BODY
FROM BEING AN EXECUTIVE, I
REALLY WAS INTERESTED IN DATA. I
HAD DASHBOARDS WHEN I WAS MAYOR
OF MY CITY. THIS SHOWED ME HOW
SUCCESSFUL WE WERE DOING. I
LOOKED AT THE DASHBOARDS FOR
AMERICA, THAT I COULD FIND. ONE
OF THEM WAS THE WORLD ECONOMIC
FORUM, THE KEEPS DATA ON THE
COMPETITIVENESS OF OUR
DEMOCRACIES.
WE WERE NUMBER ONE IN MY DADS
AREA AND EVERY ONE OF THE
METRICS AND MEASURES. THE
QUALITY OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.
EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN. EVEN
THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, WE
WERE THE INNOVATORS OF THE
PLANET. NOW, WE ARE NOT EVEN IN
THE TOP 10 FOR MOST OF THEIR
MEASURES. THEY JUST BUILT 18,000
MILES OF HIGH-SPEED RAIL.
THE BUSIEST RAIL CORRIDOR, THE
GHOST OF DELAWARE NEW JERSEY
FROM BOSTON TO WASHINGTON, D.C.
AND HALF AN HOUR SLOWER THAN IT
DID IN THE 60s. WE HAD THE MOST
COLLEGE GRADUATES PER CAPITA. WE
ARE NOT IN THE TOP 10 ANYMORE.
TRYING TO COMPETE IN THE GLOBAL
KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY WHEN
OTHER COUNTRIES RND EVEN. WE ARE
DRAFTING OFF OF THE INVESTMENTS
WE MADE. WE ARE NOT THE NUMBER
ONE R&D PrEP BOOK PRIVATE
INVESTMENTS COUNTRY ANYMORE.
I CAN GO ON, BUT I WANT TO COME
TO THIS CONCLUSION. WE ARE
FAILING AS A BODY.
TO SERVE THE PURPOSES TO WHICH
WE ALL CARRY. AND THE BEST WE
CAN DO IS BLAME EACH OTHER. EACH
OF US ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE
EROSION OF THIS BODY. AND, THIS
IS JUST YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF
THAT.
PEOPLE HERE THINK THIS IS WRONG.
I'M NOT JUST SAYING PEOPLE ON
OUR SIDE. AGAIN THE WORDS OF MY
COLLEAGUES THINK THIS IS WRONG.
THIS GOOSE IS COOKED. BUT I AM
APPEALING RIGHT NOW. I'M ONE OF
THESE FOLKS, DURING TIMES LIKE
THIS, TEXTING, HECKLING BACK AND
FORTH WITH MY FRIENDS.
WHAT I CALL IT WERE MY, REVIVAL
OF CIVIC GREATNESS. SOMEWHERE
ALONG THE LINE THERE IS GOING TO
BE A MOMENT. IT IS COMING. I
THINK IT IS LONG PAST DUE. WHEN
IT COMES TO EXTENDING GRACE, MY
FRIEND I WILL QUOTE YOU,
I'M GOING TO CALL MY FRIENDS,
BECAUSE IN A YOU WANT

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS, IT WILL
HELP US BEGIN TO RISE TOGETHER,
TO SAVE THE NATION. WE ARE NOW
AT A POINT, WITH WHAT WE ARE
ABOUT TO DO HERE. AND LET MY
COLLEAGUES, RESOLUTION SOMEHOW
PASS, WHERE WE ARE GOING TO SEE
ANOTHER AFFRONT TO THE
CONSTITUTION. I'M TELLING YOU
RIGHT NOW.
I HEAR FROM RATIONAL PEOPLE,
TELLING ME THAT THE FIRST TIME
IN SUPREME COURT HISTORY, WE
HAVE THE MOST ANTIDEMOCRATIC
SUPREME COURT. THEY BRING A FAX,
K, THE PRESIDENT WASN'T ELECTED
WITH A MAJORITY. AND CONFIRMED
BY A SENATE THAT HAS 10 MILLION
LESS VOTES, THE MAJORITY THAN
THE MINORITY. THESE ARE
ANTIDEMOCRATIC THINGS THAT ARE
HAPPENING. WE HAVE TO STOP THEM,
I AM HEARING THAT.
WHEN HILLARY CLINTON SEEM TO BE
THE WINNER, THEY WERE TIME OF
TRYING TO STOP HERE DO THINGS TO
STOP. WHAT HAS TO STOP IS THAT.
I'M GOING TO END WITH MY
FAVORITE POINT, THAT YOU MAY
HAVE HAD THESE MOMENTS. IT WAS
IN IOWA. I WAS RUNNING
FOR THE STAGE IN A TOWN HALL.
I'M ABOUT TO LEAP UP ON THE
STAGE. A BIG GUY SEES ME. I AM A
BIG GUY, FORMER
AMERICAN FOOTBALL PLAYER. THE
OLDER I GET THE BETTER I WAS,
MAN. I'M ABOUT TO JUMP ON THE
STAGE. AND A GUY STOPPED ME AND
SAYS DUDE, I WANT TO DO PUNCH
DONALD TRUMP IN THE FACE. I
LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID DUDE,
THAT IS A FELONY. I AM NOWHERE
NEAR, I AM A SHADOW OF THE KIND
OF GRACE
THAT JOHN SHOWED WHEN SOMEBODY
WAS EVISCERATING BARACK OBAMA
PERSONALLY, HE GRABBED THE
MICROPHONE FROM HIM AND TALKED
ABOUT HOW GOOD OF A FAMILY
PERSON BARACK OBAMA WAS NOT THE
EASY VILIFICATION WE OFTEN DO. I
CANNOT IMAGINE FOR THE LIFE OF
ME THE KIND OF PRESIDENT DOING
SOMETHING LIKE THAT. THIS A BODY
HAS TO RISE, TOO. I HOPE NOW YOU
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE NATION NEEDS
FROM US, IS THAT RACE.
TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING. TO
SHOW THAT THE GRACE NOW.
THIS IS A POINT WHEN MILLIONS OF
AMERICANS ARE SUFFERING AND
HURTING, AND LOSING THE VERY
IDEA OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN
AMERICAN IN TERMS OF THE DREAM
AND PROMISE OF THIS COUNTRY.
THIS IS THE MOMENT THE NATION
NEEDS FROM THIS BODY. ACTIONS OF
GRACE.
>> THANK YOU. I WOULD LIKE TO
DISPOSE OF THE MOTION. WE DO
HAVE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO GIVE US
THEIR VIEW ABOUT THE JUDGE. IF
IT IS OKAY AFTER THE SENATOR, WE
WILL TAKE UP THE VOTE.
>> CHAIRMAN, I WILL TRY TO BE
BRIEF. LET ME FIRST SAY HOW
SURPRISED I AM, THAT SENATOR
KENNEDY FINDS US ALL
INTERESTING.
BECAUSE I HAVE OPERATED UNDER
THE PRINCIPAL FOR MANY YEARS,
THAT EVERYBODY FROM LOUISIANA IS
MORE INTERESTING THAN I AM.
I WOULD LIKE TO ASSOCIATE
MYSELF, JUST FOR THE SAKE OF
TIME, PARTICULARLY WITH THE
REMARKS OF SENATOR BLUMENTHAL,
WHO SPOKE IN A WAY THAT I
THOUGHT WAS VERY TRUE AND
ELOQUENT. AND DOES NOT NEED MY
REPETITION.
I DO WANT TO SUGGEST TO
COLLEAGUES, THAT THE RULE OF,
BECAUSE WE CAN
, WHICH IS THE ROLE THAT IS
BEING APPLIED TODAY, IS THE ONE
THAT LEADS AWAY
FROM A LOT OF THE TRADITIONS AND
COMEDIES AND VALUES, THAT THE
SENATE HAS LONG AND BODY. THERE
ARE REPUBLICAN MEMBERS ON THIS
COMMITTEE OF WHOM I AM VERY
FOND.
LET'S, DO NOT THINK THAT WHEN
YOU HAVE US PUBLISHED THE RULE,
OF BECAUSE WE CAN, THAT SHOULD
THE SHOE BE ON THE OTHER FOOT
, YOU WILL HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY,
TO COME TO US AND SAY, YEAH, I
KNOW YOU CAN DO THAT. BUT YOU
SHOULD NOT, BECAUSE OF X, Y, OR
Z. YOUR CREDIBILITY, TO MAKE
THAT ARGUMENT AT ANY TIME IN THE
FUTURE WILL DIE IN THIS ROOM AND
ON THAT
YOU CONTINUE TO PROCEED IN THIS
WAY. I HOPE THAT IS NOT THE
CASE. BUT PLEASE DO NOT THINK
THAT THEY ARE TWO SEPARATE
RULES, THAT THEN THERE WAS
REPUBLICAN MAJORITY THE RULE IS
BECAUSE WE CAN. AND WHEN THERE
IS A DEMOCRAT MAJORITY, THE
IS, OH NO, YOU CANNOT DO IT THAT
WAY. WITH RESPECT
TO THE SENATOR'S QUESTIONS ABOUT
WHY WE ARE CONCERNED, LET ME
ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH THE
DESCRIPTION THAT
SENATOR GAVE, WHICH I THOUGHT
WAS VERY THOROUGH AND COMPLETE.
I WILL SUMMARIZE IT BY SAYING WE
ARE CONCERNED BECAUSE OF WHAT
YOU HAVE SAID AND WHAT OTHER
SENATORS HAVE SAID, IN BRIEFS,
AND IN PUBLIC PLEDGES, ABOUT THE
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, ABOUT ROE
VERSUS WADE, ABOUT A BURGER
FELL.
WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THESE
THINGS BECAUSE OF WHAT PRESIDENT
TRUMP HAS SAID. THE MAN WHO MADE
THE CHOICE AND TOLD US, THAT
CHOICE WAS BEING MADE TO
SPECIFICALLY TO COVER HIM IN AN
ELECTION LITIGATION, AND TO
TERMINATE HEALTH COVERAGE
THE ACA. HE IS YOUR PRESIDENT.
WHY SHOULD WE NOT TAKE HIM AT
HIS WORD. YOU DO NOT ANSWER THAT
QUESTION. YOUR PARTY PLATFORM.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
CALLS FOR JUDGES TO REVERSE THE
OBAMA CARE CASES. THE AFFORDABLE
CARE ACT, THAT IS. ROE VERSUS
WADE
AND THE MARRIAGE CASE. WE DID
NOT SAY THAT THAT IS WHAT YOUR
PLAN WAS. YOU SAID THAT THAT IS
WHAT YOUR PLAN WAS. AND YOU SAID
IN YOUR PARTY PLATFORM, YOU WERE
GOING TO DO IT THROUGH YOUR
JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS. THAT IS
HOW YOU REVERSE DECISIONS. YOU
PUT THAT THREAT IN PLAY. AND I
HAVE GOT TO SAY. I HAVE A AWFUL
LOT OF PEOPLE IN RHODE ISLAND
THAT DEPEND ON THE AFFORDABLE
CARE ACT. I HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE
FROM RHODE ISLAND WHO WANT TO
HAVE SOME AUTONOMY
OVER THE DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR
BODY, THAT ROE VERSUS WADE
PROTECTS. I HAVE GOT A LOT OF
PEOPLE IN RHODE ISLAND WHO
EITHER ARE MARRIED, TO SOMEONE
OF THEIR SEX, OR WISH TO BE, AND
PLAN TO BE, OR HAVE FRIENDS AND
FAMILY MEMBERS WHOM THEY LOVE,
WHO EITHER ARE MARRIED, TO
SOMEBODY OF THEIR SAME-SEX, OR
WISH TO BE. SO WHEN YOU PUT
THOSE RIGHTS IN PLAY, BY PUTTING
THAT THREAT IN YOUR PARTY
PLATFORM,
YOU HAVE NO STANDING TO
CRITICIZE US FOR TAKING IT
SERIOUSLY. THAT IS WHAT YOU
SAID. REVERSE THE OBAMA CARE
CASES. REVERSE ROE VERSUS WADE.
REVERSE THAT.
THE LAST THING THAT I WILL SAY,
AND WHILE WE EXPRESS OUR DISMAY
AND CONCERN, ABOUT THESE
SIGNIFICANT AND DISTURBING
PROCEDURAL ANOMALIES THAT ARE
HAPPENING, IN THIS NOMINATION,
ALL OF THE LAST THREE
NOMINATIONS HAVE BEEN
CHARACTERIZED BY SIGNIFICANT AND
DISTURBING PROCEDURAL ANOMALIES.
ALL THREE, THE GARLAND EPISODE,
THE CAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION, AND
NOW THIS ONE. THERE IS A
COMMONALITY TO THAT. THAT IS
VERY DISTURBING. AND THAT
SUGGESTS, THE PRESENCE OF
OUTSIDE FORCES AND INTERESTS
THAT ARE DRIVING THESE
CONSPICUOUS, DISTURBING
ANOMALIES.
LAST WEEKEND, I WAS AT HOME,
PREPARING FOR THIS, SITTING AT A
DESK WITH PAPERS OUT AROUND ME,
TRYING TO ASSEMBLE MY THOUGHTS.
I WAS IN A ROOM WITH THE WINDOWS
CLOSED. I COULD NOT FEEL ANY
BREEZE.
THE WIND DOES NOT BLOW THROUGH
THE WINDOWS IN MY HOUSE. BUT I
COULD LOOK OUT THE WINDOW, AND
LOOK OUT OVER A POND AND I COULD
SEE THE WATER ON THE POND
RIPPLING, AS THE WIND BLEW
ACROSS IT. I COULD SEE THE TREES
OUTSIDE ENDING, AS THE WIND BLEW
THROUGH THE TREES. I COULD SEE
THE RUSHES ALONG THE EDGES OF
THE POND. FLIPPING BACK AND
FORTH AS THE WIND BLEW THROUGH
THEM. I DID NOT NEED TO FEEL THE
WIND TO KNOW THAT THE WIND WAS
BLOWING OUTSIDE. THE CLUES WERE
OBVIOUS.
THE CLUES, ARE OBVIOUS. THAT
SOMETHING IS HAPPENING BEHIND
ALL OF THESE SIGNIFICANT AND
DISTURBING PROCEDURAL ANOMALIES.
I FOR ONE, INTEND TO FIND OUT
EXACTLY WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON.
IT HAS BEEN GOING ON BEHIND
FRONT GROUPS, AND USING
ANONYMOUS MONEY. THAT
WAS NOT'S, I DON'T THINK WHAT
THE FOUNDING FATHERS HAD IN
MIND, WHEN THEY STOOD UP THIS
ROBUST DEMOCRACY, BIG SNEAKY
INTERESTS WOULD BEHIND BEHIND
PHONY FRONT GROUPS AND USE
SECRET MONEY TO GET THEIR WAY.
THAT IS NOT WHAT GENERATIONS OF
AMERICANS FOUGHT AND BLED AND
DIED FOR. I MAKE A COMMITMENT
HERE,
THAT I WILL SPEND EVERY EFFORT I
MUST, TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF
WHY THESE ANOMALIES HAVE TAKEN
PLACE. THANK YOU, CHAIRMAN.
>> I THOUGHT THE GREATEST
ANOMALY I HAVE SEEN IS
CAVANAUGH. THERE IS NO USE OF
LOOKING BACKWARD, LET'S LOOK
FORWARD. THE MOTION BY SENATOR
BLUMENTHAL, TO ADJOURN THE
HEARING PAST THE ELECTION IS NOW
BEFORE THE SENATE AND THE CLERK
WILL CALL THE ROLE.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> NO.
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE
>> AYE BY PROXY
>> MR. CHAIRMAN
>> NO.
>> THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED TO.
THE BUSINESS MEETING WILL
CONCLUDE, AND WE WILL NOW MOOD,
MOVED TO MY FIRST PANEL. THANKS
TO MY COLLEAGUE FOR SAYING WHAT
WAS ON THEIR MIND AND A VERY
ELOQUENT WAY. WE WILL NOW MOVE
ON TO PANEL ONE. THE A.D.A.
PANEL. MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> HE
IS NOT ON THE PANEL, HE IS
BEHIND THE PANEL. HE HAS BEEN
SO ACTIVE.
>>
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
>>
ALL RIGHT.
>> SHE IS COMING IN. OKAY.
>>
THE HEARING WILL COME TO ORDER,
SENATOR FEINSTEIN WILL BE BACK
IN A SECOND. WE WILL NOT START
UNTIL SHE DOES. I APPRECIATE
OUR WITNESSES PATIENTS, THE
COMMITTEE DID ITS BUSINESS AND I
APPRECIATE THE WAY IN WHICH IT
WAS CONDUCTED. THE RESPECT AND
SINCERITY, AND WE WILL NOW BE
MOVING FORWARD.
I WILL WAIT UNTIL SENATOR
FEINSTEIN GETS HERE BUT I WILL
DO THE INTRODUCING. OUR PANEL
INCLUDES MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN
BAR ASSOCIATION COHORT
RESPONSIBLE FOR READING JUDICIAL
NOMINATIONS. WE HAVE THREE, MR.
RANDALL NOEL, PARTNER OF BUTLER
SNOW MEMPHIS TENNESSEE. MS.
PAMELA ROBERTS,
PARTNER WITH BOWMAN AND BROOKE,
COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA,
WELCOME. I WILL ALLOW SENATOR
GRASSLEY TO INTRODUCE MR. BROWN.
>> MR. BROWN, AS FAR AS I KNOW,
PROBABLY WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING,
BUT HE IS COUNSELOR TO THESE
PEOPLE THAT ARE. I WANT TO
RECOGNIZE HIM FOR A MORE
IMPORTANT REASON. FIRST OF ALL,
A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND.
DAVID BROWN, HE IS HERE IN HIS
CAPACITY AS VICE CHAIR OF THE
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION,
STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE
FEDERAL JUDICIARY. HE IS A
PARTNER IN A VERY PRESTIGIOUS
LAW FIRM,
CLINIC IN RILEY. I AM PLEASED
HE IS ABLE TO BE HERE TODAY, I
WELCOME HIM AND ALL THE OTHER
WITNESSES TO THE COMMITTEE, IN
REGARDS TO HIS HARD WORK, AS I
KNOW HIM PERSONALLY. AND I HAVE
HEARD HIM SAY EVERYTHING THESE
MEMBERS, UNDERSTANDING
OF THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY, THAT
REVIEW JUDGES,
CIRCUIT COURT IN SUPREME COURT.
THE TIME THEY HAVE TO PUT INTO
DO IT, SO I KNOW HOW DILIGENT HE
HAS. I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER I
TELL YOU IF HE HAS BEEN DOING IT
FOR 20 OR 30 YEARS, BUT AT LEAST
HALF THE TIME I HAVE BEEN ON
THIS COMMITTEE, WHICH WOULD BE
20 YEARS OUT OF 40 YEARS, I HAVE
KNOWN HIM TO WORK VERY
DILIGENTLY AT THIS. IF HE IS AN
EXAMPLE OF THE LAWYERS OF THIS
COUNTRY THAT SERVE THE SAME
CAPACITY, INTERVIEWING
CANDIDATES THAT ARE NOMINATED BY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, THEY ALL WORK VERY, VERY
HARD. I WANT TO THANK DAVID
BROWN FOR HIS HARD WORK, AND HE
COUNSELEES PEOPLE TODAY, THEY
PROBABLY DON'T NEED COUNCILS BUT
HE'S HERE TO HELP IF THEY NEED
IT. AND WELCOME HAND, AND
EVERYTHING ELSE. SINCE WE ARE
GETTING STARTED TWO HOURS LATE
AT THIS, AND I HAD MADE OTHER
PLANS, MR. CHAIRMAN, I WANT TO
HAVE PERMISSION TO PUT MY
QUESTIONS IN THE RECORD.
>> PERMISSION GRANTED, AND I
APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE, YOU
ARE INVALUABLE TO THE COMMITTEE
TODAY.
>> THANK YOU.
>> SENATOR , WE ARE WAITING ON
SENATOR FEINSTEIN, DO YOU
IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THEM
TO START OR DO YOU WANT TO WAIT?
IS THAT OKAY? LET'S JUST WAIT A
MINUTE. IS THAT OKAY? OKAY,
I'VE BEEN TOLD, IT IS OKAY.MR.
RANDALL D. NOEL .
>>
THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO
BE HERE TODAY.
>> THE RED BUTTON.
>>
CAN SOMEBODY HELP?
ARE WE ON NOW? WE ARE ON NOW.
>> THANK YOU CHAIRMAN GRAHAM IN
RANKING MEMBER FEINSTEIN FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE TODAY ON
BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN BAR
ASSOCIATION'S STANDING COMMITTEE
ON THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY. IT IS
AN HONOR TO BE HERE TO EXPLAIN
TO YOU OUR PROCESS, AND OUR
EVALUATION OF JUDGE BARRETT. WE
GAVE JUDGE BARRETT,
WELL-QUALIFIED, AS YOU KNOW.
OUR HIGHEST RATING. FOR 67
YEARS, THE STANDING COMMITTEE
HAS CONDUCTED A THOROUGH,
NONPARTISAN, NONIDEOLOGICAL,
IMPARTIAL YOUR REVIEWS OF ALL
NOMINEES TO THE FEDERAL COURTS.
WE ASSESS THE NOMINEES INTEGRITY
, THEIR PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE,
IN THEIR JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT.
THE STANDING COMMITTEE DOES NOT
PROPOSE OR RECOMMEND NOMINEES.
OUR SOLE MISSION IS TO EVALUATE
THE PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
OF A NOMINEE, TO SERVE ON THE
COURT. WE DO THAT THROUGH A
COMPREHENSIVE, THOROUGH FAIR,
AND INDEPENDENT PEER REVIEW, THE
ONLY ONE THEY WILL GET. THAT
ENTAILS REACHING OUT TO HUNDREDS
OF LAWYERS AND JUDGES. BAR
ASSOCIATION LEADERS, DEANS, AND
OTHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO
HAVE PERSONAL, FIRSTHAND
KNOWLEDGE OF THE NOMINEES
PROFESSIONAL ENDEAVORS, THAT
TOUCH UPON THE NOMINEES
INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONAL
COMPETENCE AND JUDICIAL
DEMEANOR. THE INFORMATION THAT
IS GIVEN TO US BY THESE
INFORMATION IS DONE UNDER STRICT
CONFIDENCE, TO ENSURE THE
COMMENTS WE RECEIVED OUR CANDID,
OPEN, AND HONEST. I'M JOINED BY
PAMELA ROBERTS, OF SOUTH
CAROLINA, THE LEAD EVALUATOR FOR
THIS NOMINEE.
WE WERE ASSISTED BY OUR STANDING
COMMITTEE MEMBERS, A TEAM OF
STELLAR LAWYERS, FROM ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, WHO WERE HANDPICKED,
AND WHOSE PRACTICES ARE IN THE
LITIGATION ARENA. WHO ARE
DEEPLY COMMITTED TO THE WORK OF
A STRONG JUDICIARY. AS YOU
KNOW, DAVID BROWN JOINS US HERE
TODAY, AND I TELL YOU, ALL OF
THESE PEOPLE WHO WORK DILIGENTLY
TO DO WHAT WE ALWAYS ASPIRE TO
DO, THAT IS TO PROVIDE A FAIR
AND INDEPENDENT READING WITHIN
THE TIMEFRAME THAT IS
ESTABLISHED BY THE SENATE
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. TO BE A
NOMINEE TO THE SUPREME COURT ONE
MUST POSSESS EXCEPTIONAL
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS.
AS SUCH, OUR INVESTIGATION OF A
NOMINEE TO THE SUPREME COURT IS
MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THAT
FOR OTHER FEDERAL COURTS. IN
ADDITION TO THE USUAL APPROACH
OF HAVING LEAD OF OUR LATER
CONDUCT AND REPORT ON THE
NOMINEE, EVERY MEMBER OF THE
COMMITTEE, FROM HIS OR HER OWN
CIRCUIT, CONDUCTS A SEPARATE
EVALUATION, WHICH IS GIVEN TO
US. SECOND, WHILE THE COMMITTEE
MEMBERS REVIEW THE WRITINGS AND
OPINIONS OF THE NOMINEE, WE
ENGAGE ACADEMIC READING GROUPS.
HERE, WE HAD
GROUPS, DISTINGUISH PROFESSORS
FROM THE LAW SCHOOL OF
UNIVERSITY MISSISSIPPI AND
BELMONT UNIVERSITY AND A THIRD
PROFESSIONAL READING GROUP THAT
INCLUDED SUPREME COURT
PRACTITIONERS AND FORMER CLERKS,
AMONG OTHERS. THERE WERE 34
MEMBERS OF THESE READING GROUPS.
THE READ THE OPINIONS IN THE
WRITINGS OF THE NOMINEE IN THE
INDEPENDENTLY EVALUATED FACTORS,
SUCH AS THE JUDGES ANALYTICAL
ABILITIES. CLARITY OF WRITING,
KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW,
APPLICATION OF THE LAW TO THE
FACTS, HARMONIZING A BODY OF
LAW, REASONING, SCHOLARSHIP, AND
THE ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE
EFFECTIVELY. OUR COMMITTEE ALSO
HAD THE BENEFIT OF EVALUATING
JUDGE BARRETT IN 2017, WHEN THEN
PROFESSOR BARRETT WAS NOMINATED
TO THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT OF
APPEALS, WHERE SHE NOW SERVES AS
JUDGE. WE INTERVIEWED JUDGE
BARRETT FOR OVER THREE AND HALF
HOURS. MS. ROBERTSON I. AND WE
RECEIVED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
FROM HER IN THE INTERIM.
THE STANDING COMMITTEE CONCLUDED
THAT JUDGE BARRETT'S INTEGRITY,
JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT,
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE, MET THE
VERY HIGH STANDARDS FOR
APPOINTMENT TO OUR SUPREME
COURT. OUR RATING OF
WELL-QUALIFIED REFLECTS THE
CONSENSUS OF HER PEERS, THAT NO
HER BEST. THANK YOU CHAIRMAN
GRAHAM IN RANKING MEMBER
FEINSTEIN FOR YOUR STAFF
ACCOMMODATING US HERE TODAY,
THEY WERE PROFESSIONAL AND
GRACIOUS AT EVERY TURN, THANK
YOU.
>> THANK YOU, BEFORE WE RETURN
TO MS. ROBERTS, THERE IS
INTENTION ON OUR SIDE BUT AS
CHAIRMAN, I HAVE ALWAYS
CONSIDERED THE INPUT TO BE
IMPORTANT EVEN WHEN I DISAGREE
WITH THAT. DURING MY TIME, WE
HAVE CONTINUED THE PRACTICE OF
ABA INPUT AND I HOPE THOSE WHO
FOLLOW ME WILL DO SO.MS. ROBERTS
.
>>> THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN,
RANKING MEMBER FEINSTEIN, AND
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. AS MY
COLLEAGUE JUST INTRODUCED I AM
PAMELA ROBERTS IN THE LEAD
EVALUATOR FOR THE NOMINATION OF
JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT,
TO SIT AS A JUSTICE ON THE
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES. IT IS MY HONOR TO BE
HERE TODAY, AND TO PRESENT THE
TESTIMONY ON BEHALF OF OF THE
COMMITTEE'S EVALUATION OF JUDGE
BARRETT'S PROFESSIONAL
QUALIFICATIONS. LET ME FIRST
START WITH WHAT THE COMMITTEE
DID NOT DO. WE DID NOT BASE OUR
RATING ON, OR SEEK TO EXPRESS,
ANY VIEW REGARDING JUDGE
BARRETT'S PHILOSOPHY, POLITICAL
AFFILIATION, OR IDEOLOGY. WE
ALSO DID NOT SOLICIT INFORMATION
AS TO HOW JUDGE BARRETT MIGHT
VOTE ON SPECIFIC ISSUES OR CASES
THAT MIGHT COME BEFORE THE
SUPREME COURT. RATHER, THE
STANDING COMMITTEE'S EVALUATION
OF JUDGE BARRETT IS BASED SOLELY
ON THE COMPREHENSIVE,
NONPARTISAN, NINE NONIDEOLOGICAL
PEER REVIEW OF THE NOMINEES
INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONAL
CONFIDENCE AND JUDICIAL
TEMPERAMENT. IN EVALUATING
INTEGRITY, WE CONSIDER THE
NOMINEE'S CHARACTER AND GENERAL
REPUTATION IN THE LEGAL
COMMUNITY. AS WELL AS THE
NOMINEES INDUSTRY AND DILIGENCE.
JUDGE BARRETT HAS EARNED AND
ENJOYS AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION
FOR INTEGRITY AND OUTSTANDING
CHARACTER. JUDGES AND LAWYERS
ALIKE UNIFORMLY EXTOL THE
NOMINEES INTEGRITY. WE CAN
RECOUNT A FEW COMMENTS.
SUCH AS, SHE IS INCREDIBLY
HONEST AND FORTHRIGHT. SHE IS
EXACTLY WHO YOU THINK SHE HAS.
NOTHING ABOUT HER IS FAKE, SHE
IS GOOD, DECENT, SELFLESS AND
SINCERE. SHE IS AN EXAMPLE OR
OF LIVING AND INTEGRATED LIFE IN
WHICH HER INTEGRITY AND
COMPASSION WE'VE THE DIFFERENT
THREADS OF HER LIFE TOGETHER
SEAMLESSLY. ON THE BASIS OF
THESE AND MANY OTHER LAUDATORY
COMMENTS, SHE RECEIVED OUR
COMPREHENSIVE, WE RECEIVED
EXCUSE ME, THROUGH OUR
COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION, THE
STANDING COMMITTEE CONCLUDED
THAT JUDGE BARRETT POSSESSES
INTEGRITY REQUIRED OF A
WELL-QUALIFIED RATING.
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
ENCOMPASSES SUCH QUALITIES AS
INTELLECTUAL CAPABILITY,
JUDGMENT, WRITING AND ANALYTICAL
ABILITIES. KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW
AND BREATH OF EXPERIENCE. THE
SUPREME COURT NOMINEE MUST
POSSESS EXCEPTIONAL PROFESSIONAL
QUALIFICATIONS, INCLUDING, AND
ESPECIALLY HIGH DEGREE OF LEGAL
SCHOLARSHIP, ACADEMIC TALENT,
ANALYTICAL AND WRITING
ABILITIES, AND OVERALL
EXCELLENCE. JUDGE BARRETT'S
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE EXCEEDS
THESE CRITERIA. IN OUR
EVALUATION OF JUDGE BARRETT'S
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE, THE
MEMBERS OF THE STANDING
COMMITTEE NOT ONLY EVALUATED THE
REPORTS MENTIONED BY MY
COLLEAGUE, BY THE PETITIONERS IN
THE READING GROUPS, BUT WENT
FURTHER TO OBTAIN THE VIEWS OF
LAWYERS, ACADEMICS, AND JUDGE
BARRETT'S JUDICIAL PEERS OF.
DESCRIPTIONS OF HER AND LET ARE
CAPTURED WITH COMMENTS SUCH AS
THESE. SHE IS WHIP SMART. SHE
IS HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE, PUNCTUAL
AND WELL PREPARED. A BRILLIANT
WRITER. AND THINKER. SHE IS
QUITE PRAGMATIC. JUDGE BARRETT
IS AN INTELLECTUAL GIANT WITH
PEOPLE SKILLS AND ENGAGING
WARMTH.
AN AMAZING STUDENT, THIS CAME
FROM A PROFESSOR, OBVIOUSLY,
WITHOUT QUESTION, THE SMARTEST
STUDENT I HAVE EVER TAUGHT. BUT
PUT IT SIMPLY, ONE SAID THE MYTH
ISRAEL. SHE IS A STAGGERING
ACADEMIC MIND. GIVEN THE
BREADTH, DEPTH, AND STRENGTH OF
THE FEEDBACK WE RECEIVED,
STEMMING COMMITTEE CONCLUDED
THAT JUDGE BARRETT DEMONSTRATED
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE,
EXCEPTIONAL AND SUFFICIENTLY
OUTSTANDING TO BE RATED
WELL-QUALIFIED. IN EVALUATING
HER JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT, THE
STANDING COMMITTEE CONSIDERS
A NOMINEES COMPASSION,
DECISIVENESS, OPEN-MINDEDNESS,
COURTESY, PATIENCE, FREEDOM FROM
BIAS AND MOST OF ALL COMMITMENT
TO EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW.
THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS PROVIDE
INSIGHT INTO HER DEMEANOR AS A
JURIST.
SHE IS ALWAYS WILLING TO BE
HELPFUL, ENGAGE WITH OTHERS ON
THE TOPIC, EVEN WHEN SHE HAS A
DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY. WHEN SHE
WRITES A DISSENT, SHE IS
COLLEGIAL. SHE IS AN EFFICIENT
JUDGE, SHE IS ALWAYS PREPARED.
AT OR ARGUMENTS SHE ASKS
INSIGHTFUL QUESTIONS. THERE IS
NEVER A HINT OF SARCASM IN HER
QUESTIONING. SHE IS ALSO A GOOD
LISTENER. SHE HAS A CALM,
SCHOLARLY TEMPERAMENT. JUDGE
BARRETT HAS DEMONSTRATED STELLAR
JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT IN ALL
SETTINGS, AND MEETS THE STANDARD
OF A WELL-QUALIFIED
. IN CONCLUSION, JUDGE BARRETT
MEETS THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF
INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONAL
COMPETENCE AND JUDICIAL
TEMPERAMENT. IT IS THE OPINION
OF THE ABA STANDING COMMITTEE ON
THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY, JUDGE
BARRETT AS WELL QUALIFIED TO
SERVE AS AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> THANK YOU. TO THE EXTENT
THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN
HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, I
THINK IT WOULD BE REASSURING.
IN TERMS OF THE BAR ASSOCIATIONS
TAKING THE TIME AND EFFORT TO DO
SOMETHING THIS IMPORTANT. WE
ARE ALL GRATEFUL. WERE EITHER
ONE OF YOU INVOLVED IN THE
JUSTICE KAGAN SOTO MYERS
CONFIRMATION PROCESS?
>> NO SIR.
>> THE REASON I MENTION THAT,
THE SAME THINGS THAT WERE SAID
TODAY ABOUT JUDGE BARRETT WERE
ALSO SAID ABOUT JUSTICE
SOTOMAYOR AND KAGAN AND FRANKLY
EVER
EVERY NOMINEE I'VE HAD THE
PLEASURE TO ASSOCIATE WITH ON
THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. IN
TERMS OF THE THREE AREAS YOU
EVALUATE, HOW MUCH TIME AND
ATTENTION WENT INTO THIS, MS.
ROBERTS ?
>> ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE
COMMITTEE?
>> YES.
>> THOUSANDS OF HOURS.
>>
MR. NOEL ARE YOU IN AGREEMENT
WITH THE SUMMARY GIVEN BY MS.
ROBERTS ?
>> YES.
>> IN TERMS, BOTH OF YOU ARE
ACTIVE IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW?
>> EXCEPT FOR THE LAST TWO AND
HALF WEEKS.
>>
I CANNOT SHOW FAVORITISM, BUT I
KNOW YOU, AND IT IS GOOD TO HAVE
SOMEONE WITHOUT AN ACCENT COME
TO THE COMMITTEE.MR. NOEL, ARE
YOU INVOLVED IN THE PRACTICE OF
LAW .
>> I AM A FULL-TIME PRACTICING
SENIOR PARTNER IN MY LAW FIRM,
YES.
>>
IN YOUR PEOPLE'S PERSONAL
INTEREST IN PROPERTY RIGHTS IN
YOUR HANDS AS A LAWYER, IS THAT
CORRECT
>> I DO, YES
>> SAVIOR YOU
MS. ROBERTS?
>> YES.
>> YOU ARE VERY VERY WELL-KNOWN
IN OUR STATE, BY THE WAY.
SIMPLY PUT, WOULD BOTH OF YOU
FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING BEFORE
JUDGE BARRETT?
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> THANK YOU FOLKS, WE GET A
FAIR SHAKE
>> NO DOUBT IN MY MIND.
>> I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT.
>> THANK YOU ALL, YOU'VE DONE
THE COUNTRY AND IN INVALUABLE
SERVICE, THANK YOU.
>> SENATOR FEINSTEIN.
>> I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU
, ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE
OBSERVED OVER MY TENURE ON THE
COMMITTEE IS REALLY HOW
EXTRAORDINARILY VALUABLE THE ABA
HAS BEEN, AND AS A NONLAWYER,
PARTICULARLY TO ME. I JUST
WANTED TO BE ABLE TO SAY A WORD
OF THANKS TO YOU. I HOPE YOU
KEEP IT COMING. WE VERY MUCH
WELCOME YOUR ADVICE, YOUR
COUNSEL,
IN YOUR LEGAL PROFESSIONALISM.
SO THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>>
THAT IS IT, THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>> I HAVE A LIST OF LETTERS
SUPPORTING THE NOMINATION OF
JUDGE BARRETT. I WILL INTRODUCE
FURTHER RECORD. SENATOR CORNYN.
>> IVA LETTER FROM THE
INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S VOICE IN
SUPPORT OF THE NOMINEE. I HAVE
ASKED UNANIMOUS CONSENT WE MAKE
IT PART OF THE RECORD.
>> WITHOUT OBJECTION.
>> ON OUR SIDE WOULD ANYONE LIKE
TO SAY SOMETHING? YOU DON'T
HAVE TO. ANYONE LIKE TO ASK
QUESTIONS?
>> I JUST WANTED TO THANK YOU
FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK, AND THE
TIME YOU SPENT ON THIS.
>> THANK YOU.
>> SENATOR , ANYONE?
>> IF I HAD, TWO QUESTIONS FOR
YOU, A BROADER ISSUE, THE ABA
AND ITS ROLE CONFIRMATION AND
ANOTHER ON DIVERSITY IN THE
FEDERAL COURTS. PRESIDENT TRUMP
NAMED 10 JUDICIAL NOMINEES, WHO
WERE SUBSEQUENTLY RATED BY THE
ABA AS NOT QUALIFIED. BY
COMPARISON, NOT A SINGLE
JUDICIAL NOMINEE OF THE OBAMA
ADMINISTRATION WAS READ IS NOT
QUALIFIED. THESE RATINGS HAVE
LED THE ASSISTANT AG FOR THE
POLICY TO WRITE AN EDITORIAL
THAT THE ABA EVALUATES NOMINEES
OF REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS MORE
HARSHLY THAN THOSE OF DEMOCRATIC
PRESIDENTS. DOES THE ABA TAKE
POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS SUCH AS
THIS INTO ACCOUNT WHEN IT
PROVIDES THIS COMMITTEE WITH
READINGS?
>>
THANK YOU SENATOR , OUR
EVALUATIONS ARE DONE AND IT
APOLITICAL, NEUTRAL IMPARTIAL
WAY. WE DO NOT TAKE INTO
ACCOUNT POLITICAL AFFILIATION,
RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE,
PHILOSOPHY,
OR PERSONAL VIEWS. IF WE FOCUS
SOLELY ON THE PROFESSIONAL
QUALIFICATIONS TO SERVE.
>> IF I MIGHT, SENATOR,
THE TWO ADMINISTRATIONS, THERE
WAS IT EVER PRACTICE. UNDER THE
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, THE ABA
PROCESS GOES FORWARD
GOING TO THE SENATE COMMITTEE.
EIGHT ADDRESSES PROBLEMATIC
NOMINEES BEFORE THEIR FORMAL
NOMINEES.
>> CORRECT. ONE OF MY
REPEATEDLY STATED CONCERNS HAS
BEEN RACING FORWARD WITH
NOMINEES BEFORE WE GET YOUR
INPUT ON QUALIFICATION, WHICH I
TEND TO RELY ON. ANOTHER
QUESTION, IF I MIGHT. BY NEARLY
EVERY METRIC, THE TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION'S JUDICIAL
NOMINEES HAVE BEEN
AMONG THE LEAST DIVERSE OF ANY
PRESIDENT IN GENERATIONS. HE
HAS MADE 50 NOMINATIONS TO THE
CIRCUIT COURTS AND NOT ONE OF
WHOM WAS BLACK. IN FACT HER
OVER HIS 200 NOMINATIONS, 85%
HAVE BEEN WHITE AND 25% HAVE
BEEN WOMEN. YESTERDAY, IN
RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FROM
SENATOR BOOKER, JUDGE BARRETT
COULDN'T NAME A SINGLE BOOK,
STUDY OR LOB REVIEW THAT IN ANY
WAY ADDRESSED RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION AND HIS LEGACY IN
AMERICAN LAW. I AM NOT
SUGGESTING IN ANY WAY THAT IS
DISQUALIFIED, I AM SIMPLY
SAYING, AT A TIME WHEN SUCH
BOOKS ARE BESTSELLERS, AT A TIME
WHEN THIS CENTRAL CHALLENGING
ISSUE, FOR THE UNITED STATES
, AND FOR OUR LEGAL SYSTEM, OF
HOW TO ADDRESS AND RECOGNIZE,
AND COMBAT THE LEGACY OF RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
, I WONDERED IF YOU COULD
BRIEFLY SPEAK TO THE IMPORTANCE
OF DIVERSITY ON THE BENCH AND IN
THE LEGAL COMMUNITY MORE
BROADLY?
>> SENATOR, WE ARE NOT HERE TO
SPEAK FOR THE AMERICAN BAR
ASSOCIATION. WE ARE AN
INDEPENDENT BODY OF THE STANDING
COMMITTEE ON THE FEDERAL
JUDICIARY. IN TERMS OF THIS
EVALUATION, AND THE WORK WE DID,
I CAN SHARE WITH YOU, OF THE
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THAT WE
REACHED OUT TO. WHO CONFIDED IN
US AND GAVE US THEIR CANDID
VIEWS, WE DID NOT HEAR A HINT OF
ANY CONCERN BY ANYONE, THAT THIS
NOMINEE SUFFERS FROM SOME KIND
OF
NULLITY IN TERMS OF
DISCRIMINATION.
>> LET ME BE SPECIFIC AND CLEAR,
I WASN'T INTENDING TO A IMPLY
THAT IN ANY WAY. HER FAILURE TO
RESPOND TO SENATOR BOOK? THIS
QUESTION WAS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE.
I DID NOT MEAN TO SUGGEST ANY
BIAS. IT LED ME TO QUESTION
WHETHER OR NOT HAVING A BROADER
DIVERSITY ON OUR COURSE WOULD
BRING INTO THE DECISION-MAKING
ROLE THOSE WHO BRING PERSONAL
INSIGHT AND EXPERIENCE
, AND WHETHER OR NOT ALL WHO
SERVE ON OUR BENCH AND IN
CONGRESS SHOULD BE MORE AWARE OF
THIS CHALLENGE FACING OUR NATION
.
>> IF I MAY, SENATOR. I WOULD
REMINDED THE COMMITTEE,
THAT THERE ARE TWO QUESTIONS IN
THE SENATE JUDICIAL
QUESTIONNAIRE, THAT THE NOMINEES
COMPLETE, THE DUE ADDRESS
DIVERSITY. ONE GOES TO
MEMBERSHIP OF ANY ORGANIZATION
OR CLUB THAT MAY DISCRIMINATE.
THE OTHER QUESTION GOES TO A
VIEW OF DIVERSITY, AND IS
USUALLY FOLLOWED UP IN THE
FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEW BY THE
EVALUATOR AND THE NOMINEE.
THERE IS SOME INTENTIONAL
DISCUSSION ABOUT THOSE IMPORTANT
ISSUES.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> THANK YOU.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> IT STRIKES ME THAT THE
NOMINEE
UNDERSTANDS DIVERSITY,
APPRECIATES DIVERSITY. SHE HAS
TWO CHILDREN SHE ADOPTED FROM
HAITI. I DON'T THINK SHE NEEDS
TO HAVE ANYONE PREACHING TO HER
ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF
DIVERSITY, HER OWN FAMILY IS
RACIALLY DIVERSE. I THINK IT
SPEAKS VOLUMES OF HER CHARACTER
AND HER HUSBAND'S CHARACTER,
FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN TERMS
OF ADDING TO THEIR ALREADY LARGE
FAMILY BY ADOPTING THESE TWO
CHILDREN FROM HAITI.
>> OKAY, ANYBODY ELSE? SENATOR
CRUISE
>> I WANT TO THANK BOTH OF THE
WITNESSES FOR THEIR HARD WORK, I
KNOW YOU PUT A LOT OF TIME IN
THESE INTERVIEWS, THANK YOU FOR
THE THOROUGHNESS IN WHICH YOU
APPROACH THE JOB, THANK YOU FOR
RELAYING TO THE COMMITTEE WHAT
YOU FOUND FROM THOSE INTERVIEWS.
I ALSO WANT TO TO ENTER INTO THE
RECORD A LETTER FROM FIRST
LIBERTY, A LEGAL ORGANIZATION
THAT DEFENDS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY,
IN WHICH THEY SUPPORT THE
CONFIRMATION OF JUDGE BARRETT
AND SAY IN PARTICULAR WE ARE
CONFIDENT
SHE WILL PROTECT THE RELIGIOUS
FREEDOMS AND CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS OF ALL AMERICANS.
>> WITHOUT OBJECTION.
>> THANK YOU BOTH FOR THE INPUT
TO THE COMMITTEE, FOR ALL THE
TIME AND EFFORT, IT IS
INVALUABLE TO THE COMMITTEE IN
THE COUNTRY. TELL THE GENERAL
HELLO, HE WAS MY BOSS WHEN I WAS
IN THE AIR FORCE.
>> THANK YOU
>> THANK YOU.
>> OUR SECOND PANEL.
TAKE YOUR TIME.
>>
ARE WE READY THERE? OKAY, THANK
YOU.
HERE'S WHAT I WILL DO. WE HAVE
EIGHT WITNESSES, SIX ARE VIRTUAL
INTO OUR WITH US IN PERSON. FOR
SUPPORTING THE NOMINATION, FOUR
OPPOSED, WE WILL DO IT IN THE
ORDER I CALL OUT, BUT BE PATIENT
WITH ME. DR. DHTTY,
LANSING, MICHIGAN, ARE YOU WITH
US?
>> YES SIR, BHATTII AM HERE.
>> HOW DO YOU SAY YOUR NAME SIR
>> IS MY LAST NAME.
>> THE HONORABLE THOMAS GRIFFIN,
RETIRED JUDGE, U.S. COURT OF
APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA. WASHINGTON, D.C.,
JUDGE ARE YOU WITH US?
>> YES SIR.
>> THANK YOU.
>> MS. KRISTIN CLARK, PRESIDENT
, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WEARS
COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER
LAW, WASHINGTON, D.C., MS. CLARK
?
>> YES CHAIRMAN.
>> THANK YOU.
>> PROFESSOR PRECAUTION, PR
A.K.A. ASH
, JAMES MONROE, DOES TOO MUCH
PROFESSOR OF LAW UNIVERSITY OF
VIRGINIA, ARE YOU WITH US?
HERE
>> I'M SORRY. I APOLOGIZE. DID
I GET YOUR NAME RIGHT?
>> VERY MUCH SO.
>> THANK YOU.
>>
MS. CRYSTAL GOOD, CHARLESTOWN,
WEST VIRGINIA, MS. GOOD ARE YOU
WITH US?
>> YES CHAIRMAN, I AM HERE.
>> MS. AMANDA, RAUH-BREI GRAND
RAPIDS, MICHIGAN?
>> YES CHAIRMAN, I AM HERE.
>> HOW DO YOU SAY YOUR NAME?
>>
RHAU BERRI
>> MS. STACY SKAGGS, LOBBYIST,
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.
>> YES CHAIRMAN, I AM HERE
>> LAST, LAURA WOLK, IS THAT
RIGHT?
>> YES.
>> FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.
WE YOU PLEASE LEAD US OFF, YOU
EACH HAVE FIVE MINUTES, THEY
WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE COMMITTEE
AND THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE
TIME TO ATTEND AND GIVE US YOUR
INPUT.
>>
>> THANK YOU CHAIRMAN GRAHAM
THANK YOU TO THIS COMMITTEE FOR
WELCOMING ME HERE. MY NAME IS
DR. PHARMACANN BOCHY, I AM OF
PROFESSOR AND LANSING, MICHIGAN.
AND A NONPROFIT CAREFREE
MEDICAL, THAT PROVIDES MEDICAL
CARE TO LOW INCOME, UNDERINSURED
AND UNINSURED INDIVIDUALS.
I AM ALSO A BOARD MEMBER IN
MICHIGAN STATE FOR THAT
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT MEDICARE, A
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF
PHYSICIANS WITH MORE THAN 40
STATES, WHO WANT TO MAKE SURE
OUR PATIENTS GET THE CARE THEY
NEED, REGARDLESS OF FINANCIAL
STATUS. MOST OF MY PATIENTS ARE
MEDICAID RECIPIENTS, MEN AND
WOMEN WHO WORK TWO OR THREE
JOBS, BECAUSE A MICHIGAN
EXPANDED MEDICAID IN 2014 UNDER
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, MORE
THAN 750,000 MICHIGANDERS CAN
NOW GET THE TREATMENT THEY NEED
. THERE ARE COUNTLESS STORIES
OF FOR MY DAILY WORK I PRESENT,
BUT I WILL SHARE JUST TWO. THE
FIRST IS A MIDDLE-AGED MALE WHO
HAD A LONG HISTORY OF
UNCONTROLLED DIABETES, AND WHO
RECENTLY
REQUIRED MEDICAID. SINCE HE
WASN'T ABLE TO AFFORD INSULIN
BEFORE GETTING MEDICAID
INSURANCE, WE TESTED HIS BLOOD
IN OUR OFFICE AND FOUND HIS
HEMOGLOBIN A1C HAD RISEN TO
17.5%. WHEN NORMAL AS 5.6% OR
BELOW.
AN A1C OF 17.5 IT MEANS HIS
BLOOD SUGAR WAS AVERAGING 455 MG
PER DECILITER, AND AS A
PHYSICIAN, MY GOAL IS TO HAVE
DIABETIC PATIENTS AVERAGE 150 OR
LESS. BLOOD SUGAR AS HIGH AS IT
IS, IS LEFT UNTREATED WILL
ALMOST CERTAINLY LEAD TO DEATH.
BECAUSE OF THE ACA, I WAS ABLE
TO START HIM ON AN INTENSIVE
INSULIN REGIMEN. WITHIN FOUR
MONTHS HIS BLOOD SUGAR DROPPED
MORE THAN 200 POINTS.
THE BLURRED VISION HE WAS
EXPERIENCING SIGNIFICANTLY
IMPROVED, HIS KIDNEY FUNCTION
IMPROVED, AND HE WAS ABLE TO
FIND A JOB. THE ACA LITERALLY
SAVED THIS MAN'S LIFE. ANOTHER
STORY I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE
INVOLVES A PATIENT WITH BIPOLAR
DISORDER, WHO WAS DOING WELL AND
STABLE AND HEALTHY UNTIL SHE
LOST HER JOB AND HER HEALTH
INSURANCE DUE TO COVID-19.
I HAVE BEEN PRESCRIBING A
MEDICATION THAT WORKED WONDERS
TO KEEP HER MOOD STABLE, BUT
WITHOUT INSURANCE THAT
MEDICATION COSTS MORE THAN $1200
PER MONTH. WHICH SHE SIMPLY
COULDN'T AFFORD. I TRY
PRESCRIBING OLDER, INEXPENSIVE,
GENERIC MEDICATIONS SO SHE COULD
PAY CASH FOR THEM, HOPING WE
WOULD FIND AN EFFECTIVE
ALTERNATIVE. NONE OF THEM
WORKED. SHE DEVELOPED A SEVERE,
DEPRESSIVE EPISODE
. HER ENERGY AND MOTIVATION
VANISHED AND SHE GAINED
SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT BECAUSE OF
THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE OLDER,
GENERIC MEDICATIONS. SHE HAD
UNCONTROLLABLE CRYING SPELLS AND
SHE EXPERIENCED SUICIDAL
IDEATION. THINGS TO MICHIGAN'S
EXPANSION OF MEDICAID, ALLOWED
UNDER THE ACA, MY PATIENT
SUFFERING ENDED BECAUSE WE
EVENTUALLY GOT HER ENROLLED IN
MEDICAID. WE RESUME THE
MEDICATION SHE DESPERATELY
NEEDED AND REGULATED HER
DOPAMINE AND STABILIZE HER MOOD.
SHE CAN ONCE AGAIN CONTRIBUTE TO
THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT HERSELF
FINANCIALLY. THESE ARE JUST A
FRACTION OF THE MANY POSITIVE
OUTCOMES OF THE ACA I'VE
WITNESSED OVER THE YEARS.
SIMPLY PUT, AS A FRONT-LINE
DOCTOR, EYEWITNESS EVERYDAY OF
THE ACA
HAS IMPROVED, IS IMPROVING, AND
WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE
LIVES OF ORDINARY, HARD-WORKING
PEOPLE. FOR THOSE WITHOUT
HEALTH COVERAGE, THEY LIVE IN
FEAR THAT ONLY ONE ILLNESS OR
ONE INJURY AWAY FROM BANKRUPTCY.
MEDICAL BANKRUPTCY IN THIS
COUNTRY IS IN THE HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. IT BREAKS
MY HEART. DURING A PANDEMIC
THAT CONTINUES TO KILL 1000
AMERICANS EACH DAY, PEOPLE NEED
THE ACA IN THE FREEDOM IT
PROVIDES, NOW
, MORE THAN EVER. WITHOUT THE
ACA, INSURANCE COMPANIES WOULD
BE ABLE TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST
A NEW GENERATION OF PEOPLE WITH
COVID-19 -RELATED, PRE-EXISTING
CONDITIONS. ANYONE WITH A
PRE-EXISTING CONDITION, BY
REFUSING TO COVER THEM OR BY
RAISING COSTS.
AS A FAMILY DOCTOR WHO CARES
DEEPLY ABOUT MY PATIENTS, I AM
GRATEFUL TO BE HERE TODAY TO
ADVOCATE FOR THEM AND FOR ALL
PATIENTS AND OUR GREAT NATION.
I'M HER TO URGE YOU TO STRIKE
DOWN, NOT TO STRIKE DOWN OR
CONFIRM TO THE SUPREME COURT
ANYONE WHO WOULD WISH TO DO SO.
AS A DOCTOR I CANNOT TALK WITH
EXPERTISE ABOUT CONCEPTS LIKE
ORIGINAL IS IN OR TEXTUALISM.
AS A DOCTOR, HOWEVER, I CAN TALK
ABOUT THE REAL-WORLD HARM OF
ENDING THE ACA, TO THE REAL LIFE
AMERICANS WHO HAVE TO CHOOSE
BETWEEN GOING TO A DOCTOR OR
BUYING GROCERIES. AS A
PHYSICIAN WHO ENGAGES WITH OTHER
DOCTORS ACROSS THE NATION, I
SHARE THE CONCERN THAT ANY JUDGE
WHO OPPOSES THE ACA, ENDANGERS A
LIFELINE
THAT MY PATIENTS COUNT ON TO
STAY HEALTHY. IN MANY CASES, TO
STAY A LIVE . THANK YOU AGAIN
FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY
PATIENTS STORIES WITH YOU.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. JUDGE
GRIFFIN.
>> CHAIRMAN. MR. CHAIRMAN,
RANKING MEMBER FEINSTEIN ,
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.
FROM 10,000, 2005 UNTIL LAST
MONTH I WAS A JUDGE ON THE U.S.
COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE D.C.
CIRCUIT. BEFORE THAT I SPENT
SEVERAL YEARS AND MANY LONG
HOURS IN THE HEARING ROOM WHERE
YOU ARE NOW AS A NONPARTISAN
SENATE LEGAL COUNSEL. I AM
APPEARING TO YOU VIRTUALLY, BUT
IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK IN A ROOM
WHERE I SPEND SO MUCH TIME
WORKING WITH SUCH GREAT
SENATORS. I AM HONORED
, BY THE INVITATION TO SPEAK IN
SUPPORT OF THE CONFIRMATION OF
MY FRIEND, AMY CONEY BARRETT, AS
YOU, THE NATION HAVE SEEN DURING
THESE HEARINGS, JUDGE BARRETT IS
SUPREMELY WELL-QUALIFIED TO JOIN
THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COURT.
A RECENT SURVEY FOUND OVER TWO
THIRDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
BELIEVE THE SUPREME COURT
AND JUSTICES BASE THEIR DECISION
PRIMARILY ON THE LAW AND NOT
POLITICS. IN LIGHT OF THAT,
THERE IS SOMETHING DEEPLY
DISTURBING ABOUT MUCH OF THE
DEBATE SURROUNDING JUDICIAL
NOMINATIONS. MANY POLITICAL
LEADERS AND PUNDITS ASSUME A
JUDGE WILL CAST THEIR VOTE VOTE
BASED ON
PREFERENCE. SUCH EXPLANATIONS
TYPICALLY MADE FOR SHORT-TERM
POLITICAL GAIN DO MUCH HARM.
THE UNDERMINE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
IN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY, WHICH
IS THE CORNERSTONE OF THE RULE
OF LAW. THE RULE OF LAW IS A
FRAGILE POSSIBILITY THAT SHOULD
BE MORE CAREFULLY SAFEGUARDED BY
OUR LEADERS. I AGREE WITH THE
CHIEF JUSTICE
, QUOTE, WE DO NOT HAVE OBAMA
JUDGES OR TRUMP JUDGES OR BUSH
JUDGES OR CLICK CLINTON JUDGES.
WE HAVE AN EXTREMELY GROUP OF
DEDICATED JUDGES DOING THEIR
LEVEL BEST TO DO EQUAL RIGHTS TO
THOSE APPEARING BEFORE THEM.
HAVING SERVED 15 YEARS ON THE
D.C. CIRCUIT ALONGSIDE JUDICIAL
APPOINTEES OF EVERY PRESIDENT,
FROM CARTER TO TRUMP, I HAVE
SEEN FIRSTHAND, THE JUDGES CAN
AND DO PUT ASIDE
PARTY AND POLITICS IN A GOOD
FAITH EFFORT TO CORRECTLY
INTERPRET THE LAW. JUSTICE
KAGAN MADE THE SAME POINT AT HER
CONFIRMATION HEARING, SHE FLATLY
REJECTED THE IDEA, THAT
DIFFICULT CASES TURN OUT QUOTE
WHAT IS IN A JUDGES HEART.
INSTEAD, AS SHE PUT IT WITH HER
CHARACTERISTIC WET. WITS, IT IS
LAW ALL THE WAY DOWN, THAT IS
PRECISELY THE TYPE OF JURIST
JUDGE BARRETT HAS BEEN. AND
PRICE VERSUS CITY OF CHICAGO SHE
RULED AGAINST PRO-LIFE LITIGANTS
WHO CHALLENGE AN ORDINANCE THAT
BARRED THEM FROM APPROACHING
WOMEN AT NEARBY ABORTION CLINICS
FOR THE PURPOSE OF LEAFLETING OR
COUNSELING. EVEN THOUGH THERE
WAS SUBSTANTIAL ARGUMENTS UNDER
THE ORDINANCE, THAT THE
ORDINANCE VIOLATED THE FIRST
AMENDMENT UNDER AN AGGRESSIVE
READING OF RECENT SUPREME COURT
PRECEDENTS, JUDGE BARRETT JOINED
AN OPINION THAT FOLLOWED BINDING
PRECEDENT AND UPHELD THE
ORDINANCE. SHE DISPLAYED THE
SAME IMPARTIAL APPROACH IN
RULINGS THAT ALLOWED THE FIRST
FEDERAL EXECUTIONS IN 17 YEARS
TO PROCEED. REGARDLESS OF HER
PERSONAL VIEWS ON THE DEATH
PENALTY. AS CONSTITUTIONAL
SCHOLAR, JONATHAN ADLER POINTED
OUT QUOTE, THESE DECISIONS
CERTAINLY ARE NOT IN LINE WITH
CHURCH TEACHING, AND FURTHER
SUGGEST
JUDGE BARRETT APPLIES THE LAW,
WHETHER OR NOT THAT COINCIDES
WITH HER PERSONAL BELIEFS.
JUDGE BARRETT BRING SOMETHING
ELSE TO HER WORK AS A JUDGE,
THAT IS ESPECIALLY VITAL TO OUR
NATION AT A TIME WHEN MANY
REGARD THOSE WITH DIFFERING
VIEWS AS ENEMIES, NOT FRIENDS.
SILVERMAN, MY FRIEND AND
DISTINGUISH FORMER COLLEAGUE ON
THE D.C. CIRCUIT, FOR WHOM JUDGE
BARRETT CLERK TO. AIMEE COMBINE
A POWERFUL ANALYTICAL ABILITY
WITHIN INNATE KINDNESS AND SENSE
OF DECENCY. THE PUBLIC RECORD
MAKES CLEAR JUDGE BARRETT'S
POWERFUL ANALYTICAL ABILITY, I
DON'T THINK WE CAN OVERSTATE THE
IMPORTANCE OF HER KINDNESS AND
DECENCY. JUDGE BARRETT'S
COLLEAGUE, AND NOTRE DAME,
CARDERS NEED SET OF HER, SHE
GENUINELY SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND
OTHERS ARGUMENTS. TIME AND
AGAIN, I HAVE SEEN HER GENTLY
REFRAME OUR COLLEAGUES ARGUMENTS
TO MAKE THEM STRONGER, EVEN WHEN
SHE DISAGREED WITH THEM.
PROFESSOR LISA GROVES SON QUOTE,
AMY
ALWAYS WELCOMES THE OPPORTUNITY
TO LEARN MORE FROM PEOPLE WHOSE
PERSPECTIVES DIFFER FROM HER
OWN. SHE IS ALWAYS VERY
GENEROUS TO OTHER PEOPLE'S
ARGUMENTS. FINALLY,
WHILE SOME OF THE DISCUSSION
ABOUT JUDGE BARRETT'S FAITH HAS
BEEN TINGED WITH BIGOTRY, SOME
OF IT COMES FROM A SINCERE
DESIRE TO KNOW WHETHER HER FAITH
WILL DICTATE HER DECISIONS AS A
JUSTICE. AS A PERSON OF FAITH,
WHO SERVED ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT,
LET ME ASSURE YOU, IT WILL NOT.
THE OATH EVERY FEDERAL JUDGE
MUST TAKE IS INTENDED TO
TRANSFORM THE CITIZEN INTO AN
IMPARTIAL JUDGE
, WHOSE LOYALTY, WHILE
PERFORMING HER JUDICIAL ROLE IS
TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF
THE UNITED STATES, AND NOT TO
ANY PRESIDENT, PARTY OR
RELIGION. IN TAKING THE OATH
THE JUDGE MAKES A SOLEMN PROMISE
WITH GOD AS WITNESS, THAT WHEN
ACTING AS A JUDGE, SHE WILL BE A
DIFFERENT PERSON THEN WHEN SHE
IS NOT ACTING AS A JUDGE.
ROBERT BOLTZ PORTRAYAL OF THOMAS
MOORE AND A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
CAPTURES THIS POINT SIMPLY AND
POWERFULLY, WHAT
IS AN OATH, HE ASKED, BUT WORDS
WE SPEAK TO GOD? IN OTHER
WORDS, FOR A PERSON OF FAITH,
THE JUDICIAL OATH IS A PROMISE
TO THE NATION AND TO GOD, THAT
SHE WILL NOT DO THE ONE THING
HER SECULAR CRITICS MOST FEAR,
REACH FOR OUTCOMES BASED ON HER
RELIGIOUS WORLDVIEW. WHEN
WEARING THE ROBE, THERE IS NO
CONFLICT BETWEEN FOLLOWING GOD
AND CAESAR.
IT IS CAESAR ALL THE WAY DOWN.
I THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY
AND I LOOK FORWARD TO ANY
QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE.
>> THANK YOU JUDGE, VERY MUCH.
MS. CLARK.
>> CHAIRMAN GRAHAM,
RANKING MEMBER FEINSTEIN, AND
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, THANK
YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO
TESTIFY IN CONNECTION WITH THE
SUPREME COURT NOMINATION OF
JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT. MY
NAME IS KRISTIN CLARK, PRESIDENT
AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL
RIGHTS UNDER LAW. ONE OF THE
NATION'S OLDEST CIVIL RIGHTS
ORGANIZATIONS. FOUNDED IN 1963,
AT THE REQUEST OF RESIDENT JOHN
F. KENNEDY. WE TURN TO THE
COURTS TO PROTECT THE CIVIL
RIGHTS AND VOTING RIGHTS OF
BLACK PEOPLE AND OTHER
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ACROSS OUR
NATION. WE CONDUCTED AN
EXHAUSTIVE REVIEW OF JERROD
JUDGE BARRETT'S WRITINGS,
SPEECHES AND DECISIONS DURING
HER TIME ON THE COURT. JUDGE
BARRETT'S VIEWS ARE FAR OUTSIDE
THE MAINSTREAM, AND FOR EVIDENCE
OF THIS, ONE NEED LOOK NO
FURTHER THAN HER OWN WORDS
BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE THIS WEEK.
JUDGE BARRETT WOULD NOT SAY
WHETHER VOTER INTIMIDATION IS
LEGAL, THOUGH OUT LOUD BY
SECTION 11 B OF THE VOTING
RIGHTS ACT AND FEDERAL CRIMINAL
LAWS. JUDGE BARRETT WOULD NOT
CONCEDE THAT VOTING
DISCRIMINATION STILL EXISTS,
SAYING SHE COULD NOT ENDORSE
THAT PROPOSITION, AND CALLING IT
A VERY CHARGED ISSUE. WHEN
QUESTIONED ABOUT THE COURTS
SHELBY COUNTY VERSUS HOLDER
DECISION. EVEN CHIEF JUSTICE
ROBERTS, THE AUTHOR OF THAT
DEVASTATING RULING NOTED QUOTE,
VOTING DISCRIMINATION STILL
EXISTS, NO ONE DOUBTS THAT.
JUDGE BARRETT WOULD NOT SAY
WHETHER ABSENTEE
BALLOTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO VOTING
IN THE PANDEMIC, CALLING IT A
MATTER OF POLICY ON WHICH SHE
CANNOT EXPRESS A VIEW. JUDGE
BARRETT HAS LEFT OPEN THE
POSSIBILITY THAT SHE WOULD
PARTICIPATE IN CASES THAT MAY
ARISE OUT OF THE ELECTION, NOW
UNDERWAY. IT IS TROUBLING SHE
WOULD NOT RECUSE HERSELF UNDER
THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND HER
STANCE SENDS A DISCONCERTING
MESSAGE TO THE 17 MILLION
AMERICANS WHO HAVE VOTED TO DATE
, WITH MILLIONS MORE TO COME.
THESE ARE VOTERS WHO WANT THEIR
BALANCE, AND NOT AN ELECTION
SEASON COURT. TO DETERMINE THE
ELECTION OUTCOME. HER RECORD
REFLECTS THE SAME
. IN CAMPER VERSUS BARS SHE
SUGGESTED THE RIGHT TO VOTE
DESERVES LESS PROTECTION THAN
THE RIGHT TO OWN A GUN, AND THAT
IS A RADICAL POINT OF VIEW NO
MATTER WHAT ONE'S VIEW OF THE
SECOND AMENDMENT. IN HER WORDS,
SHE DESCRIBED THE RIGHT TO SERVE
ON JURIES AND TO VOTE AS,
BELONGING ONLY TO QUOTE,
VIRTUOUS CITIZENS. SHE HAS MADE
CLEAR THAT HER JUDICIAL
PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN MOLDED BY
THE LATE JUSTICE SCALIA, WHO
DESCRIBED THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT
AS QUOTE, A PERPETUATION OF A
RACIAL ENTITLEMENT. WHEN ASKED
IF SHE AGREED WITH THIS, SHE
REFUSED TO ANSWER.
DURING THESE HEARINGS, JUDGE
BARRETT HAS GONE TO GREAT
LENGTHS TO DISTANCE HERSELF FROM
THE REALITY OF VOTER SUPPRESSION
AND VOTING DISCRIMINATION WE
FACE TODAY. THIS SHOULD SOUND
AN ALARM TO ANYONE IN OUR
COUNTRY WHO CARES ABOUT
PROTECTING VOTING RIGHTS FOR ALL
AMERICANS. IN THIS MOMENT, WE
ARE IN LOWER COURTS FIGHTING
EFFORTS TO PURGE VOTERS FROM THE
ROLLS, EFFORTS TO SHUTTER
POLLING SITES AND COMMUNITIES OF
COLOR,
BURDENS ON RESTRICTIONS SUCH AS
NOTARY AND WITNESS REQUIREMENTS
OF FOR THOSE CASTING ABSENTEE
BALLOTS DURING THE PANDEMIC AND
MORE. IN THIS TERM THE COURT
WILL DECIDE A CASE ARISING OUT
OF ARIZONA, WHERE THE ISSUE
CONCERNS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
IN VOTING UNDER BOTH THE
CONSTITUTION, AND SECTION 2 OF
THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. GIVEN
JUDGE BARRETT'S UNWILLINGNESS TO
RECOGNIZE THE THREATS BLACK
PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
FACE IN VOTING, I AM DEEPLY
CONCERNED HOW SHE WOULD HANDLE
THIS CASE, AND MANY OTHER SUCH
CASES THAT WILL COME BEFORE THE
COURT. A BRIEF WORD ON
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION.
JUDGE BARRETT REVEALED ALARMING
INSENSITIVITY TO RACIAL
HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE IN
SMITH VERSUS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT
OF TRANSPORTATION.
THERE, SHE HELD THAT A BLACK
TRAFFIC PATROL DRIVER WAS NOT
SUBJECT TO A HOSTILE WORK
ENVIRONMENT, EVEN THOUGH
COWORKERS FREQUENTLY SUBJECTED
HIM AND TO USE OF THE LETTER AND
WORD. JUDGE BARRETT CONCLUDED
THAT THIS WAS AN JUDGE EGREGIOUS
BARRETT CONCLUDED RACIAL EPITHET
BUT CONCLUDED THIS SORT OF
RACIAL HOSTILITY WAS NOT ENOUGH
TO THAT THIS PROVE RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION.EPITHET, BUT
CONCLUDED THE RACIAL HOSTILITY
WAS NOT ENOUGH TO THIS STANCE
PROVE IS DISSEMINATION. THIS
SIMPLY STANCE INCOMPREHENSIBLEIS
SIMPLY .INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
THE NOMINATION OF JUSTICE
BARRETT'S ARISES THAT ONE OF THE
MOST TUMULTUOUS TIMES IN OUR
NATIONS IS. WE ARE WRESTLING
WITH A PANDEMIC, PROTEST ABOUT
UNCONSTITUTIONAL POLICING
PRACTICES. RACIAL INJUSTICE, AND
MORE.
OUR NATION DESERVES THE JUSTICE
WHO IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING
THE HEART'S RIGHTS OF ALL
AMERICANS, PARTICULARLY OUR
NATION'S MOST VULNERABLE.
FOR THIS REASON, THE LAWYERS
COMMITTEE UNDER THE CIVIL RIGHTS
CIVIL LAW OPPOSES JUDGE
BARRETT'S CIVIL RIGHTS
NOMINATION. THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU, PROFESSOR
SAIKRISHNA PRAKASH.
>> IT IS A PLEASURE AND HONOR TO
BE WITH YOU HERE TODAY TO
DISCUSS JUDGE BARRETT. THANK
YOU. RANKING MEMBER FEINSTEIN,
AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. I
HAVE THE PLEASURE OF WORKING FOR
THE GREAT SENATOR ALAN SIMPSON
OVER THE SUMMER. FINALLY
REMEMBER OF THIS BUILDING. WE
HEARD THEM RIGHT THE JUDGES WILL
QUALIFY.
THE ONLY REASON SHE WAS NOT
RATED HIGHER, AS THERE IS NO
HIGHER RATING BY THE ABA. I
THINK SHE IS QUALIFIED. I THINK
HE IS A SPORTS METAPHOR, SHE IS
A FIVE TOOL ATHLETE. SHE IS
BRILLIANT, SHE IS A TREMENDOUS
EDUCATOR, SHE'S IN
INSTITUTIONALIST.
SHE IS A ROLE MODEL, AND I WILL
SAY FINALLY, SHE IS ORIGINALIST,
AND I THINK THAT IS A GOOD
THING. I WILL BRIEFLY GO OVER
SOME OF THESE POINTS. I
CERTAINLY WELCOME QUESTIONS.
WITH RESPECT TO HER BRILLIANCE,
I THINK HER ARTICLES REFLECT A
DEEPER APPRECIATION OF COMPLEX
ISSUES AND AN ABILITY TO BREAK
DOWN THOSE COMPLEX ISSUES IN A
MANNER, THAT PEOPLE CAN
UNDERSTAND. I WILL POINT YOU TO
HER ARTICLE ENTITLED THE
SUPERVISORY POWER OF THE SUPREME
COURT. THE SUPREME COURT'S
ASSUMPTION TO PRESCRIBE
PROCEDURAL AND EVIDENTIARY RULES
IN THE 1950s OVER THE INFERIOR
COURTS, AND HOW THAT IS
PROBLEMATIC, GIVEN THAT CONGRESS
HAS OCCASIONALLY GRANTED THE
SUPREME COURT AUTHORITY TO
IMPOSE RULES ON THE LOWER
COURTS.
IT IS AN INTERESTING TIME, WHERE
SHE IS BASICALLY A NOMINEE TO
THE SUPREME COURT, AND
CRITICIZING THE SUPREME COURT'S
CONCLUSIONS IN THIS REGARD. I
THINK HER DISCUSSION OF THE
PRESIDENT IS VERY NUANCED. I
THINK IT REFLECTS A WILLINGNESS
TO NOT OVERTURN THE ENTIRE COST
ATTRITIONAL ORDER,
IN ORDER TO GET THINGS RIGHT.
SHE PROPERLY NOTES THE JUDGES DO
NOT NEED TO RECONSIDER PRECEDENT
IN EVERY CASE. I THINK THAT IS
UTTERLY AND TOTALLY APPROPRIATE.
DO NOT JUST TAKE MY WORD OR THE
WORD OF ABA. THE HARVARD LAW
PROFESSOR SAID SHE IS BRILLIANT
AND CONSCIENTIOUS. I AGREE WITH
BOTH OF THOSE ADJECTIVES. AS AN
EDUCATOR,
YOU KNOW THAT SHE IS ONE THE
TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD THREE
SEPARATE TIMES. THE LISTING WAS
PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR AWARD. AND
I THINK THIS REFLECTS, HER
ATTENTION TO STUDENTS, HER CARE,
EVIDENCE CARE FOR THEM. WE MUST
NEVER FORGET THE JUSTICES, AND
OF COURSE SENATORS ARE EDUCATING
THE NATION ABOUT OUR NATIONS
LAWS. I THINK SHE WILL CARRY
THAT TASK OFF WITH EASE, AS YOU
SAW DURING YOUR TESTIMONY, SHE
IS VERY GOOD AT BREAKING DOWN
COMPLEX CONCEPTS.
I THINK SHE IS IN
INSTITUTIONALIST, THAT IS
REFLECTED IN HER WRITING. SHE
CARES DEEPLY ABOUT AMERICA. SHE
DOES NOT WANT TO BURN THE WHOLE
PLACE DOWN. I DO NOT THINK SHE
WILL DO ANYTHING THAT BRINGS THE
SUPREME COURT
INTO DISREPUTE. I THINK SHE IS
GOOD COMPANY. I THINK ALL OF THE
JUSTICES TRY THEIR LEVEL BEST,
EVEN AS THEY DISAGREE WITH EACH
OTHER, TO UNDERSTAND, EACH OF
THE JUSTICES COMES FROM THE
RIGHT PLACE. AS SENATORS TODAY
DISCUSSED, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT
VALUES, AND OF THE RIGHT
INSTINCTS. SHE IS A ROLE MODEL.
I THINK SENATOR GRAHAM HAS
SPOKEN TO THAT A GREAT LENGTH,
AND I WILL NOT GO INTO IT
FURTHER. FINALLY, SHE IS
ORIGINALIST. THEY BASICALLY
BELIEVE, THE MEANING OF THE LAW,
THAT MATTERS, IS THE MEETING
ENACTED, NOT WHAT A JUDGE OR
EXECUTIVE RANCH WOULD MAKE WITH
THE LAW LATER ON. I'M REMINDED
OF THE BIDEN CONDITION.
NAMED AFTER SENATOR JOSEPH
BIDEN, YOU PROBABLY HAVE HEARD
OF HIM. SENATOR BIDEN WAS
DISTURBED BY THE REAGAN
ADMINISTRATION'S
REINTERPRETATION OF THE ABM
TREATING. HE GOT THE AUGUST BODY
TO ADD A CONDITION WHICH SAID,
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE TREATY
THAT MATTERS COME AS THE
INTERPRETATION, THAT WE JOINTLY
HAD, WHEN WE CONSENTED TO YOUR
RATIFICATION OF THE TREATY. YOU
CANNOT REINTERPRET TREATIES
TICKETS LATER. THAT IS AN
ORIGINALIST ARGUMENT.
I WOULD ARGUE, THAT IS WHAT
EVERY LAWMAKER WANTS. LAWMAKERS,
CRAFT TEXT. THEY GET IT MARKED
UP IN COMMITTEE. THEY TAKE IT TO
THE FLOOR. THERE MIGHT BE
AMENDMENTS, THERE. THEY THEN
TAKE IT TO THE CONFERENCE
COMMITTEE. THEY BRING IT BACK,
THEY SPEND A LOT OF TIME
THINKING ABOUT THAT LANGUAGE.
THINKING ABOUT THE CONTEXT. WHAT
THEY DO NOT WANT TO SOME JUDGE
OR EXECUTIVE LATER ON, TWISTING
THAT STATUTE, TO SUE SOME OTHER
PURPOSES.
I THINK THE ALTERNATIVES OF
COURSE, THE LIVING A
CONSTITUTION APPROACH OR THE
LIVING STATUTORY APPROACH. I DO
NOT THINK THAT HONORS U.S.
LAWMAKERS. IT LEAVES THE
LAWMAKING POWER WITH THE JUDGE
OR THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER. IF YOU
LOOK AT OUR RECENT HISTORY, THE
LIVING CONSTITUTION HAS BROUGHT
US THINGS LIKE THE LIVING
PRESIDENCY.
I THINK ACROSS ALL PARTIES HAS
ACQUIRED POWERS NOT GRANTED TO
IT BY THE CONSTITUTION. THINK OF
THE WAR POWER. GO BACK AND READ
WHAT WASHINGTON AND OTHERS SAID
ABOUT IT. THINK ABOUT YOUR ROLE
IN TREATIES. IT IS GREATLY
DIMINISHED. I WILL END WITH
CAUTION AND HOPE. ORIGINALIST
AND CONSERVATIVES WILL BE
DISAPPOINTED IN JUDGE BARRETT,
THEY WILL RENDER RESULTS
DISAGREE WITH CLINICALLY.
THAT IS ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE. I
WILL END WITH A NOTE OF HOPE.
PROGRESSIVE SHOULD BE HAPPY, SHE
WILL GIVE THE MEETING TO THE
LAWS IT IS APPROPRIATE AT THE
TIME THAT YOU PASSED IT. I DO
NOT THINK SHE WILL USE HER
POSITION TO ADVANCE HER PERSONAL
OR RELIGIOUS AGENDA. THANK YOU
SO MUCH.
>> THANK YOU.
GOOD.
>> CHAIRMAN GRAHAM, RANKING
MEMBER FEINSTEIN, MEMBERS OF THE
COMMITTEE, THANK YOU FOR HANDING
ME. MY NAME IS CRYSTAL GOOD. I
AM A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER,
GRADUATE STUDENT AT WEST
VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY AND ADVOCATE
FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE.
I AM THE DAUGHTER OF A WHITE
MOTHER AND A BLACK FATHER. I AM
THE PROUD MOTHER OF THREE
BRILLIANT CHILDREN. THESE
IDENTITIES ARE ALL PARTS OF ME,
BUT NOT ALL OF ME. WHO AM I AND
TODAY. IS ONLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE
AT 16 YEARS OLD AND HAD ACCESS
TO AN ABORTION. AS A MINOR IN
THE STATE WITH THE PARENTAL
CONSENT REQUIREMENT, THAT AXIS
WAS DEPENDENT ON A JUDGE.
WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, I
COULD NOT TRUST THE ADULTS
CLOSEST TO ME.
FROM THE AGES OF FIVE UNTIL I
WAS 15 I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY
MY WHITE STEPFATHER. HE WAS NOT
CONVICTED UNTIL 2012. MORE THAN
30 YEARS AFTER THE ABUSE BEGAN.
WHEN I TOLD THE GROWN FOLKS IN
MY LIFE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE ME
AT FIRST BUT THEN REFUSED TO
HOLD MY ABUSER ACCOUNTABLE ONCE
THE TRUTH WAS OUT. LATER AT 16
WHILE IN A RELATIONSHIP, THAT
BROUGHT ME JOY, AND MADE ME FEEL
SAFE, I, LIKE 2.7 MILLION
AMERICANS A YEAR, HAD AN
UNINTENDED PREGNANCY.
IMMEDIATELY, I KNEW I WANTED AN
ABORTION. A VERY SAFE, MEDICAL
PROCEDURE, THAT ONE IN FOUR U.S.
WOMEN WILL HAVE IN THEIR
LIFETIMES. FOR MANY REASONS,
INCLUDING THE DECADE OF ABUSE
SHE DID NOT PROTECT ME FROM, I
COULD NOT TELL MY MOTHER.
INSTEAD I SOUGHT A JUDICIAL
BYPASS. I HAD TO NAVIGATE NOT
ONLY HOW TO GET TO THE JUDGE,
BUT HOW TO DO SO ON A SCHOOL
DAY. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I SHOULD
WEAR, OR WHAT INFORMATION HE
WOULD WANT. I THOUGHT IT WAS
GOING TO COURT, LIKE ON TV.
INSTEAD I WAS USHERED INTO HIS
CHAMBERS. IT FELT VERY
INTIMIDATING. I TOLD HIM I WAS A
GOOD STUDENTS, WAS A LEADER IN
MY SCHOOL. I HAD OPPORTUNITIES
THAT MANY YOUNG WOMEN FROM WEST
VIRGINIA DID NOT. I WANTED TO GO
TO COLLEGE, TO BE A WRITER. I
SAID YOUR HONOR, I HAVE A
FUTURE. I CHOOSE AN ABORTION.
IT FELT LIKE A MIRACLE, AN ADULT
BELIEVED ME, AN AUTHORITY FIGURE
DEEMED ME TO BE IN CHARGE OF MY
OWN BODY AND MY OWN FUTURE. I
STILL THINK
ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED
IF I DID NOT HAVE A LIST OF
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR IF THE JUDGE
DID NOT THINK I WAS CONFIDENT
ENOUGH TO DECIDE WHEN TO START
MY FAMILY. OR IF HE BELIEVED THE
HARMFUL STEREOTYPE I WAS RAISED
TO BELIEVE THAT BLACK GIRLS WERE
FAST AND PROMISCUOUS. ACCESS TO
AN ABORTION SHOULD NOT DEPEND ON
OUR GPA, THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN,
WHERE WE LIVE OR THE LUCK OF THE
DRAW. IT SHOULD NOT DEPEND IN
ANY SHAPE, FORM, OR FASHION, WHO
YOUR GOVERNOR IS OR WHO IS
SITTING ON THE SUPREME COURT. MY
ENTIRE CHILDHOOD, EVERY ADULT IN
MY LIFE HAD FAILED ME. NONE OF
THEM DISTURBED TO MAKE A
DECISION ABOUT MY BODY.
I NEEDED COMPASSION AND TRUST
FOR MY GOVERNMENT. ALL I GOT WAS
ANOTHER BARRIER.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS LIKE ME WHO
ARE SEXUALLY ABUSED BY PARENTS,
GUARDIANS, AND GROWN-UPS WHO ARE
SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT THEM. TODAY
37 STATES REQUIRE PARENTAL
CONSENT OR NOTIFICATION FOR
MINORS AXIS ABORTION. MOST YOUNG
PEOPLE DO INVOLVE THEIR PARENTS
IN THEIR DECISION. FOR THOSE
LIKE ME WHO CANNOT, THESE KINDS
OF RESTRICTIONS MAKE ABORTION
HARD TO GET. WE HAVE TO TRAVEL,
MISS WORK, OR SCHOOL, SAVE UP
FOR WEEKS AND PAY OUT-OF-POCKET.
THE AVERAGE PER CAPITA INCOME IN
WEST VIRGINIA IS $25,479. THAT
IS ONE SEVENTH OF YOUR SENATE
SALARIES.
BLACK AND LOW INCOME WHITE
PEOPLE STRUGGLE TEXAS
HEALTHCARE, INCLUDING ABORTION.
AND, TO HAVE OUR DECISIONS
RESPECTED. THE SUPREME COURT HAS
MADE HISTORIC DECISIONS AND
UPHELD OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS.
MY RIGHT TO AN ABORTION, THE
INTEGRATION OF MY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
, THE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
THAT ENSURES I HAVE HEALTH
INSURANCE AND WORKPLACE
PROTECTIONS FOR MY TRANSGENDER
DAUGHTER. I HAVE PUT MY FAITH IN
THE SUPREME COURT. WITH THIS
NOMINATION I AM LOSING FAITH.
ALTHOUGH, THE WAY I'VE CHOSEN TO
CREATE MY FAITH, IS DEMONIZED BY
SOME POLITICIANS, THE REALITY
IS, THAT WE ARE LIKE MOST
FAMILIES ACROSS THE NATION. I
HAD AN ABORTION. I HAVE TWO SONS
AND A DAUGHTER, WHO IS TRANS. I
LOVE MY CHILDREN. WE ARE A PROUD
AFRICAN-AMERICAN APPELLATION
FAMILY.
MY STORY IS MY OWN BUT REPRESENT
SO MANY PEOPLE LEFT OUT FROM THE
SUPREME COURT NOMINEE HEARINGS.
AN ENTIRE CAST OF PEOPLE, THAT
IS CAS TE
, CAST. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEEN
CLEAR HE WOULD ONLY APPOINT
JUSTICES WHO WOULD OVERTURN
ROE V WADE. UNFORTUNATELY
THROUGH LEARNING ABOUT JUDGE
BARRETT'S RECORD, I UNDERSTAND
WHY THE PRESIDENT BELIEVES SHE
PASSES THE TEST. PLEASE LISTEN
TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD
ABORTIONS. HEAR US WHEN WE ASK
YOU DO NOT CONFIRM THIS NOMINEE.
OUR FUTURES, OUR FAMILIES, OUR
LIVES DEPEND ON IT. WE TOO, ARE
AMERICA. THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU, VERY MUCH. STACY
STAGGS.
>> GOOD MORNING, EXCUSE ME, GOOD
AFTERNOON. THANK YOU FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO COME AND SPEAK
WITH YOU ALL TODAY. I AM HERE TO
RAISE MY VOICE AGAINST THE
NOMINATION OF AMY CONEY
BARRETT'S, AND IN SUPPORT OF THE
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. AS WELL IS
TO SHARE MY FAMILY'S STORY.
WHILE I APPEAR IN THIS ROOM,
ALONE, I BRING WITH ME MILLIONS
OF FAMILIES
, INCLUDING 130 MILLION
AMERICANS, WHO LIVE WITH
PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS, AND
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO
DISSENT FROM THIS HEARING AND
ANY CONFIRMATION TO THE SUPREME
COURT, BEFORE INAUGURATION DAY.
MY NAME IS STACY STAGGS. I AM
MORE FREQUENTLY ADDRESSED AS
MOMMY. I LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA,
WITH MY HUSBAND AND TWIN GIRLS.
WHO HAVE COMPLEX MEDICAL NEEDS,
AND DISABILITIES.
THEY ADVOCATE FOR THEIR
HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION, AND
COMMUNITY INCLUSION WITH LITTLE
LOBBYISTS. A FAMILY LED
ORGANIZATION. ADVOCATING FOR
CHILDREN LIKE MY OWN. I SHARE
JUDGE BARRETT'S
DESTINY FOR HYPOTHETICALS. AS A
BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWER,
I KNOW THAT PAST CONDUCT IS AN
INDICATOR OF FUTURE
DECISION-MAKING. I AM HERE
TODAY,
BECAUSE JUDGE BARRETT'S WILL
REPEATEDLY MAKE STATEMENTS, THAT
ARE HOSTILE TO THE AFFORDABLE
CARE ACT. A VOTE, FOR JUDGE
BARRETT'S, IS A VOTE TO TAKE
AWAY HEALTHCARE. AND A VOTE FOR
JUDGE BARRETT'S, IS A VOTE TO
STRIKE DOWN THE LAW THAT SAVES
THE LIVES OF MY DAUGHTERS. MY
FAMILY IS BUT ONE OF MANY.
STUDIES CONFIRM THE ACA HAS
SAVED THOUSANDS OF LIVES.
ESPECIALLY IN STATES THAT IF
ACCEPTED MEDICAID EXPANSION. MY
FAMILY IS A REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE OF
THE ACA'S SUCCESS. MY TWIN
DAUGHTERS, EMMA AND SARAH, ARE
ADORABLE, AND ACTIVE
SEVEN-YEAR-OLDS. THEY ARE THE
LIGHTS OF MY LIFE.
WE BALANCE A BUSY SCHEDULE OF
THERAPIES, AND DISTANCE
LEARNING.
SARAH BEING IT'S MY NATURE
LOVER. SHE IS HAPPIEST, WHEN SHE
IS SPLASHING IN THE WATER. OR
DIGGING IN THE DIRT. AND EMMA
HAS A SMILE, THAT LIGHTS UP HER
ENTIRE FACE. HER FAVORITE DAY IS
TUESDAY. WHEN WE GO TO THE FARM
FOR THERAPEUTIC HORSEBACK RIDING
. I LOVE HIM
, LOVE, WITH THE SAME JOY AND
AMAZEMENT I FEEL FOR YOUR
CHILDREN. SEVEN YEARS AGO, THE
RECENT BIRTH THEY WOULD'VE BEEN
TOO MUCH TO HOPE FOR. MY HUSBAND
AND I WERE EXCITED TO LEARN WE
WERE EXPECTING. WE WERE
SURPRISED TO LEARN WE WERE
HAVING TWINS.
I HAD EXCELLENT PRENATAL CARE,
WHICH IS ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL
BENEFITS UNDER THE AFFORDABLE
CARE ACT. THE PREGNANCY WAS
GOING GREAT, UNTIL ONE DAY IT
WAS NOT. I WAS EXPERIENCING
PAIN, SO MY DOCTOR SUGGESTED I
COME DOWN TO MY HOSPITAL FOR
MONITORING. WITHIN HOURS,
AS MY VITAL SIGNS OF FADED, I
WAS RUSHED TO THE OPERATING
ROOM, WERE OUR SMALL WONDERS
WERE BORN VIA EMERGENCY
C-SECTION AT 28 WEEKS.
THEY WERE RUSHED TO THE NEONATAL
INTENSIVE CARE UNITS, WHERE
THEIR SURVIVAL WAS FAR FROM
ASSURED. WE SAT IN VIGIL FOR
WEEKS. LEARNING AN ENTIRELY NEW
LANGUAGE OF MEDICAL TERMS,
HOLDING OUR BREATH IN BETWEEN
HEARTBREAK
, HEARTBEATS ON THEIR MONITORS.
I WAS NOT ABLE TO HOLD EITHER
GIRL FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. THEY
WERE ABOUT THE SIZE OF MY HAND.
THEY HAD
IVS IN EVERY EXTREMITY, AND SKIN
SO FRAGILE, YOU COULD SEE
THROUGH IT. EMMA'S BIRTH WEIGHT
WAS ONE POUND, NINE OUNCES.
HAS NEVER TAKEN AN UNASSISTED
BREATH, OR MADE A SOUND DUE TO
VOCAL CORD PARALYSIS. SHE HAS AN
ARTIFICIAL AIRWAY, THROUGH A
BREATHING TUBE.
SHE EATS THROUGH A FEEDING TUBE
THAT WAS SURGICALLY PLACED WHEN
SHE WAS THREE MONTHS OLD. HER
TWIN SISTER SARAH, WAS THE
BIGGER OF THE NEWBORNS, AT TWO
POUNDS. SHE NEEDED HEART SURGERY
AT TWO WEEKS OLD. THAT WAS THE
DAY PERCENTAGES TOOK ON A NEW
MEETING FOR ME. THE SURGEON TOLD
US HIS SUCCESS RATE FOR SERAS
PROCEDURE WAS 98%. THEN HE
LEANED IN AND SAID, BUT THAT
DOES NOT MEAN MUCH, TO THE
PARENTS OF THE 2%.
TO THIS DAY WHEN I HEAR DATA
POINTS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT
RECOVERY FROM COVID-19 FOR
EXAMPLE, I AM IMMEDIATELY
TRANSPORTED, BACK TO THE
SURGICAL WAITING ROOM. WHEN I
WAS FINALLY ABLE
TO BRING MY BABIES HOME FROM THE
HOSPITAL, FOR THE FIRST TIME
AFTER 110 DAYS, WE RECEIVED AN
EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS WITH
TOTAL CLAIMS NEARING
$1 MILLION FOR THEIR CARE. IN
THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS OUR
COMBINED CLAIMS HAVE SURPASSED 4
MILLION. WITHOUT THE PROTECTIONS
OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, MY
DAUGHTERS WOULD HAVE ALREADY HIT
THEIR LIFETIME CAPS, AND NOW BE
RENDERED UNINSURABLE. WE HAVE
PRIMARY INSURANCE THROUGH MY
HUSBAND'S EMPLOYER. MEDICAID
SUPPORT HAS BEEN A LIFELINE FOR
EMMA. SHE NEEDS 24 HOUR EYES ON
CARE. MEDICAID PROVIDES EMMA
WITH HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED
SERVICES INCLUDING NURSING, THAT
ALLOW HER TO STAY HOME WITH US,
WHERE SHE BELONGS, INSTEAD OF
LIVING IN A HOSPITAL OR OTHER
MEDICAL FACILITY. OUR COUNTRY IS
IN AND
A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS RIGHT
NOW, ONE GETTING WORSE BY THE
DAY. IN THIS MOMENT WE NEED OUR
LEGISLATORS TO PROTECT OUR
FAMILIES, PROVIDE RELIEF AND
SUPPORTS, TO DO THE JOB WE HAVE
ELECTED THEM TO DO.
WE DO NOT NEED TO RUSH THROUGH
THE NOMINATION OF A SUPREME
COURT JUSTICE, WHO IS ON THE
RECORD AS HOSTILE TO THE LAW
THAT PROVIDES OUR HEALTHCARE
PROTECTIONS. SHIFTING FOCUS AWAY
FROM A RELIEF PACKAGE FOR
FAMILIES DURING A PANDEMIC,
TELLS ME THE COMMITTEE'S
PRIORITIES ARE NOT ALIGNED WITH
THOSE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I
URGE YOU TO LISTEN TO US AND
ADDRESS THE IMMEDIATE NEED OF
COVERT RELIEF. LAST, I WOULD
LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE MY
TESTIMONY. TO SAY HEALTHCARE IS
A HUMAN RIGHTS, AND DECENCY
MATTERS.
TO REMIND YOU, THAT AS HER
CONSTITUENTS, MY CHILDREN AND
ALL CHILDREN LIKE OURS, ARE YOUR
CHILDREN, TOO. I HOPE YOU WILL
REMEMBER YOUR DUTY TO ALL OF OUR
CHILDREN AS YOU CAST YOUR VOTE
TO PROTECT, OR TO TAKE AWAY THE
HEALTHCARE, THEIR LIVES DEPEND
ON, TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE.
LASTLY, LET ME SHARE THAT TODAY
IS THE FIRST DAY OF EARLY VOTING
IN NORTH CAROLINA. IT IS A BIG
DAY FOR ME HERE, TOO. MY NEXT
TASK IS TO CAST MY BALLOT,
ACCORDINGLY. THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'M
SORRY I JUMPED OUT OF ORDER
THERE. AMANDA RAUH-BIERI
, THEN WE WILL GET TO LAURA
WOLK.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN, AND OTHER
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, AM
DEEPLY HONORED TO SPEAK TO ABOUT
SOMEBODY WHO HAS HAD AN EFFECT
ON MY LIFE AS A FORMER BOSS AND
CHERISHED MENTOR. JUDGE AMY
CONEY BARRETT.
I KNOW JUDGE BARRETT TO BE A
PERSON OF THE HIGHEST CHARACTER
AND I SINCERELY AND
ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT HER
NOMINATION TO BE AN ASSOCIATE
JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES
SUPREME COURT. HAD THE PRIVILEGE
TO SERVE AS A LARGE, LAW CLERK.
IT'S JOINING HER CHAMBERS AFTER
HER CONFIRMATION TO THE CIRCUIT
IN 2017.
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING I SAW
JUDGE BARRETT EXHIBIT THE RARE
AND UNIQUE SET OF QUALITIES,
THAT MAKE HER AN EXEMPLARY
JUDGE. SHE IS A BRILLIANT
THINKER, SHE ANALYZES AND WRITES
ABOUT LEGAL ISSUES, WITH
STRIKING CLARITY AND PRECISION.
SHE IS PATIENT, THOUGHTFUL, AND
COMPASSIONATE. SHE BRINGS EACH
OF THESE QUALITIES TO BEAR ON
EVERY CASE SHE DECIDES. SHE IS
DEDICATED AND DISCIPLINED. AS A
JUDGE SHE IS COMMITTED ABOVE ALL
ELSE TO THE RULE OF LAW. AS SHE
HAS SAID, AND AS I HAVE SEEN,
JUDGE BARRETT UNDERSTANDS POLICY
DECISIONS MUST BE LEFT TO THE
POLITICAL BRANCHES FOR THE ROLE
OF THE JUDGES TO ENFORCE THE LAW
AS WRITTEN.
I HAVE SEEN JUDGE BARRETT PUT
THAT UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO
THE LAW INTO ACTION IN EVERY
CASE BEFORE HER. SHE APPROACHES
EACH CASE WITH AN OPEN MIND. SHE
COMMITS TO THE IDEA THAT EITHER
SIDE MITES, IN THE AND HAVE THE
BETTER LEGAL ARGUMENT. JUDGE
BARRETT'S OPEN-MINDEDNESS IS
GROUNDED FOR COMPASSION. SHE HAS
SPOKEN ABOUT VIEWING EACH
DECISION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF
THE LOSING PARTY.
I SAW HER PUT THAT ETHIC INTO
PRACTICE. IT WOULD BE EASIER IN
MANY WAYS, NOT TO TAKE THIS MORE
DEMANDING APPROACH.
I LEARNED FROM JUDGE BARRETT'S,
THE LAWS ABOUT FAIRNESS OVER
EFFICIENCY, THAT EVERY MEMBER OF
SOCIETY AND EVERY PARTY THAT
COMES BEFORE THE COURT IS
ENTITLED TO EQUAL JUSTICE. JUDGE
BARRETT IS A JUDGE WHO APPLIES
THE LAW FAIRLY AND REACHES THE
RESULT THAT IS REQUIRED. SHE
WRITES WITH EMPATHY AND
APPRECIATES THE REAL-LIFE IMPACT
OF HER DECISIONS.
ALONGSIDE JUDGE BARRETT'S
POWERFUL INTELLECT AND ENDURING
COMMITMENTS OF THE LAW, IS HER
DETERMINATION AND DISCIPLINE.
DECIDING CASES, JUDGE BARRETT
HAS NEVER RELIED SIMPLY ON HER
EXTRAORDINARILY SHARP LEGAL
MINDS. SHE PAIRS THAT GIFT WITH
THE DEDICATION TO THE PROCESS IN
EACH CASE.
SHE NEVER TAKES A SHORTCUT. SHE
THOROUGHLY EXAMINES THE FACTS
AND APPLICABLE LAW IN EACH CASE.
SHE IS AN INTENSELY HARD WORKER.
EVEN THE EARLY RISE IN CLERKS
OFTEN ARRIVED IN HER CHAMBERS TO
FIND THE LIGHT ALREADY ON
UNDERNEATH HER OFFICE DOOR.
JUDGE BARRETT'S ALWAYS TOOK
SERIOUSLY THE VIEWS OF HER LAW
CLERKS. SHE WOULD OFTEN POP OVER
TO OUR OFFICE IS READY TO HEAR
HER PERSPECTIVE ON A CASE OR
DISCUSS A PARTICULAR LEGAL
QUESTION. IT IS A TESTAMENT TO
HER RESPECT AND CHARITY THAT SHE
OFTEN WALKS THE PATH FROM HER
OFFICE TO MINE, EAGER TO HEAR MY
THOUGHTS ON LEGAL QUESTIONS OR
TO ENGAGE ME IN DISCUSSION OVER
ISSUES. IT IS IN THOSE
CONVERSATIONS THAT JUDGE BARRETT
CREATED A CULTURE THAT
ENCOURAGED US TO VOICE OUR
DIFFERENT OPINIONS, EVEN IF WE
THOUGHT SHE WOULD ULTIMATELY
DISAGREE. SHE SEES THE VALUE IN
DISCOURSE AND SHE FOSTERS THAT
VALUE IN HER CLERKS. TEACHING US
TO BE OPEN AND CURIOUS AND
HUMBLE ABOUT THE LAW, AND LIFE.
FROM WHAT I SAW AS A LAW CLERK,
JUDGE BARRETT APPROACHED HER
COLLEAGUES ON THE BENCH WITH THE
SAME GRACIOUS HUMILITY AND
OPENNESS THAT I EXPERIENCED FROM
HER. JUDGE BARRETT'S IMPACT ON
MY LIFE RUNS FAR DEEPER THAN
LEGAL TRAINING. AS I SAID I WAS
IN HER FIRST CLASS OF CLERKS,
AND I JOINED HER CHAMBERS IN
JANUARY OF 2018. TWO WEEKS AFTER
MY GRADUATION FROM LAW SCHOOL.
I LOVED MY TIME IN LAW SCHOOL,
BUT I ALSO SPENT MUCH OF IT
UNSURE OF MYSELF. I OFTEN TRY TO
DOWNPLAY MY PRESENCE, AFRAID I
WAS WRONG, OR INADEQUATE. I WAS
NOT CERTAIN I HAD WHAT IT TOOK
TO SUCCEED. JUDGE BARRETT
CHANGED THAT FOR ME. HER EXAMPLE
AND MENTORSHIP INSPIRED IN ME
CONFIDENCE I DID NOT KNOW I HAD.
I CANNOT POINT TO A SINGLE EVENT
OR POINT IN TIME WHEN THE CHANGE
OCCURRED.
CHANGE LIKE THAT, FORMATIVE
CHANGE HAPPENS GRADUALLY ACROSS
HUNDREDS OF CONVERSATIONS AND
HOURS SHARED.
SHE LEADS AND LINE THE LIFE WITH
CONVICTION, GENEROSITY AND
COURAGE. SHE INSPIRES ME TO DO
THE SAME. FOR EXAMPLE I COULD
TELL YOU WITH CERTAINTY, WOULD
NOT HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO BE
HERE, SPEAKING TO THIS COMMITTEE
WITHOUT JUDGE BARRETT'S
INFLUENCE IN MY LIFE. JUDGE
BARRETT'S HAS THE RARE GIFT OF
LIFTING EVERYONE AROUND HER. SHE
KNOWS HOW TO BRING OUT THE BEST
IN HER CLERKS, SPRING EACH OF US
TO EXCELLENCE.
SHE HAS HER OWN LARGE FAMILY,
BUT THAT DID NOT STOP HER FROM
TREATING THE CLERKS LIKE FAMILY,
TOO. WE PILED INTO THE PACK OF
JUDGE BARRETT'S MINIVAN, SHE
DROVE US TO CHICAGO FOR HER
FIRST SET OF ORAL ARGUMENTS. SHE
CARED DEEPLY ABOUT EACH OF US,
INVESTING TIME AND ENCOURAGING
US TO CULTIVATE RICH, FULFILLING
AND WELL-ROUNDED LIVES. BEING
MENTORED BY HER IS AN HONOR.
JUDGE BARRETT HAD ELEVATING MY
THINKING, WRITING, AND
CHARACTER. SIMPLY BY BEING
HERSELF.
AS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SHE
WOULD BE A ROLE MODEL FOR
GENERATIONS TO COME, AS SHE HAS
FOR ME. I AM PROUD AND HONORED
TO SUPPORT JUDGE AMY CONEY
BARRETT'S NOMINATION TO SERVE AS
AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED
STATES SUPREME COURT. THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, OUR LAST
WITNESS, IS LAURA WOLK. DID I
GET THAT RIGHT?
>> YOU DID. MR. CHAIRMAN,
RANKING MEMBER FEINSTEIN, AND
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. MY
NAME IS LAURA WOLK. I AM A
FORMER STUDENT AND MENTEE OF
JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT. IN PART
BECAUSE OF HER UNWAVERING
SUPPORT I AM THE FIRST BLIND
WOMAN TO SERVE AS A LAW CLERK ON
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES. IT IS NOW MY IMMENSE
PRIVILEGE, TO APPEAR BEFORE YOU,
AND SUPPORT OF JUDGE BARRETT'S
NOMINATION TO THAT SAME GREAT
INSTITUTION.
YOU HAVE HEARD OVER THE PAST FEW
DAYS ABOUT JUDGE BARRETT'S
JUDICIAL QUALITIES, WHICH ARE
BEYOND REPROACH. SHOULD YOU
CONFIRM AMY BARRETT, THE COUNTRY
WILL RECEIVE SOMETHING FAR
GREATER, THEN SIMPLY AN
UNPARALLELED LEGAL MINDS. IT
WILL GAIN THE SERVICE OF ONE OF
THE KINDNESS
, KINDEST INDIVIDUALS I'VE EVER
KNOWN. HER BRILLIANCE IS MATCHED
ONLY BY HER COMPASSION, AND HER
INTEGRITY IS UNASSAILABLE.
I AM NOT SPEAKING IN MERE
ABSTRACTIONS, HERE. RATHER, I
HAVE EXPENSED THESE
CHARACTERISTICS FIRST-HAND WITH
LIFE-CHANGING RESULTS. BECAUSE I
AM COMPLETELY BLIND SEMI RELY
HEAVILY ON ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
TO COMPETE ON A LEVEL
PLAYING FIELD WITH MY SIGHTED
PEERS. BEFORE ARRIVING AT NOTRE
DAME LAW SCHOOL IN 2014 I WORKED
HARD TO ENSURE THE UNIVERSITY
WOULD PURCHASE BACKUP COPIES OF
THE TECHNOLOGY I USE. UPON
ARRIVAL, I DISCOVER THAT YOUR
AQUATIC, YOUR AQUATIC, MY
PERSONAL LAPTOP
BEGAN TO FAIL. OVERNIGHT I FOUND
MYSELF STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP IN
CLASS, FALLING INCREASINGLY
BEHIND WITH EACH PASSING HOUR. I
NEEDED HELP, AND I NEEDED IT
FAST. I HAD BEEN JUDGE BARRETT'S
STUDENTS ONLY FOR A FEW WEEKS
REBUT HER GRACIOUSNESS AND
WARMTH GAVE ME HOPE, THAT SHE
COULD PROVIDE ME WITH THAT
ASSISTANCE.
EVEN SO, I MAINTAINED RELATIVELY
LOW EXPECTATIONS. BASED ON MY
PAST EXPERIENCE, I ASSUMED THAT
SHE WOULD SIMPLY DIRECT ME, TO
THE PROPER BUREAUCRATIC
CHANNELS, WHICH COULD TAKE WEEKS
IF NOT LONGER TO NAVIGATE. BUT
SHE DID SOMETHING ALTOGETHER
DIFFERENT. SHE SILENTLY LISTENED
WITH DEEP ATTENTION AS I
EXPLAINED MY SITUATION. GIVING
ME THE FREEDOM, TO LET DOWN MY
GUARD AND COME APART.
AS A DISABLED PERSON I AM
ACCUSTOMED TO ACT AS IF I HAVE
EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL. WHEN
IN REALITY THE WORLD FEELS LIKE
IT IS SPINNING OUT FROM UNDER
ME. IN FRONT OF JUDGE BARRETT'S,
I WAS ABLE TO LET THE MASK SLIP,
AND INDEED, TO DISAPPEAR
COMPLETELY. I POURED OUT ALL OF
MY CONCERNS NOT JUST ABOUT
TECHNOLOGY MY WORRIES ABOUT
FAILING CLASSES. BUT ALL OF THE
BURDENS I CURRENTLY CARRIED AS A
DISABLED WOMAN NAVIGATING A
BRAND-NEW ENVIRONMENT. WHEN I
FINISHED, JUDGE BARRETT LEANED
FORWARD AND LOOKED AT ME
INTENTLY.
LAURA, SHE SAID WITH THE SAME
MEASURED CONVICTION THAT WE HAVE
SEEN DISPLAYED THROUGHOUT HER
ENTIRE NOMINATION PROCESS, THIS
IS NO LONGER YOUR PROBLEM. IT IS
MY PROBLEM.
I CANNOT CAPTURE ADEQUATELY THE
RELIEF THAT WASHED OVER ME AT
HER WORDS. HER OFFER WAS RARE
ENOUGH IN ITS OWN RIGHT. BUT
EVEN WHEN SUCH OFFERS ARE
EXTENDED, MANY UNFORTUNATELY DO
NOT FOLLOW THROUGH. IT IS HARD
TO TRUST AN OFFER OF ASSISTANCE,
NO MATTER HOW DESPERATELY IT IS
NEEDED OR EARNESTLY AS IT IS
GIVEN. NOT SO WITH JUDGE
BARRETT. ANYONE WHO HAS
INTERACTED WITH HER, NOSE, THAT
SHE IS A WOMAN OF HER WORD. SHE
MEANS WHAT SHE SAYS, AND SHE
SAYS WHAT SHE MEANS. WHEN SHE
PROMISED TO ADVOCATE FOR ME, SHE
COMMANDED MY TRUST. TO THIS DAY,
I DO NOT KNOW WHAT JUDGE BARRETT
DID TO SOLVE MY PROBLEM. ITSELF
A TESTAMENT TO HER HUMIDITY.,
HUMILITY.
IT PLACED ME IN A POSITION THAT
WOULD EVENTUALLY ALLOW ME TO
APPLY FOR THE CLERKSHIP ON THE
SUPREME COURT. THIS ENCOUNTER
WAS THE FIRST IN WHICH JUDGE
BARRETT DEMONSTRATED THE DEPTH
OF HER GENEROUS SPIRIT. IT WAS
FAR FROM THE LAST. SHE HAS
REMAINED A CONSTANT SOURCE OF
STRENGTH, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND
SOLACE, AS I HAVE PURSUED
PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL
OPPORTUNITIES WITH NO ROADMAP
TUBE, TO GUIDE ME.
SHE HAS GIVEN ME A GIFT OF
IMMEASURABLE BAT VALUE. THE
ABILITY TO LIVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE
WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BREAK DOWN
BARRIERS, SO THAT I CAN LEAVE
THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE THAN I
FOUND IT. THOUGH I AM HERE TODAY
TO SHARE WITH YOU MY STORY, THE
VERY BEST ASPECT OF THAT STORY,
IS THAT IT IS HARDLY UNIQUE.
THOSE WHO HAVE HAD THE BENEFIT
OF KNOWING AMY CONEY BARRETT
UNDERSTAND THAT SHE POSSESSES A
BOUNDLESS FONT OF ENERGY AND A
RADICAL SENSE OF LOVE, THAT SHE
IS EVER READY TO POUR OUT UPON
THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO CALL HER
TEACHER, BOSS, FAMILY, AND
FRIEND. JUDGE BARRETT WILL SERVE
THIS COUNTRY WITH DISTINCTION.
NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF HER
INTELLECTUAL PROWESS, BUT ALSO,
BECAUSE OF HER ABILITY TO TREAT
EVERYONE AS AN EQUAL, DESERVING
OF COMPLETE RESPECT. AS A
BENEFICIARY OF BOTH OF THESE
QUALITIES, I URGE YOU TO CONFIRM
JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT TO THE
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES. THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU ALL. THE TESTIMONY
AND
THEIR OWN WAY IS INCREDIBLY
COMPELLING AND YOUR LIFE
CIRCUMSTANCES, WE APPRECIATE YOU
SHARING WITH THE COMMITTEE.
WHETHER IN SUPPORT OR OPPOSITION
TO JUDGE BARRETT. I REALLY DO
NOT HAVE ANY QUESTIONS. I WILL
TURN IT OVER TO SENATOR
FEINSTEIN. FOR THE COMMITTEE, IF
YOU WANT TO GRAB A BITE, WE WILL
PRESS ON. I JUST WANT TO KEEP
GOING. WE WILL MAKE SURE
EVERYBODY CAN ASK QUESTIONS,
JUST ONE EDITORIAL COMMENTS.
LAURA WOLK AM VERY IMPRESSED
WITH WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY. MY
SISTER, IS THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR FOR THE COMMISSION OF
BLINDNESS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, SHE
IS TRYING TO BRING ABOUT BETTER
OUTCOMES. I JUST HAVE SOME
UNDERSTANDING, OF THE WORLD THAT
YOU JUST SPOKE OF, AND MAYBE ALL
OF US CAN WORK TOGETHER, TO
PROVIDE SOME UPPER GAME HERE
WHEN IT COMES TO BETTER
SERVICES. SENATOR FEINSTEIN.
>> I WOULD LIKE TO ASK OF THIS
QUESTION, IF I MAY, OF CRYSTAL
GOOD. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR
BEING HERE AND SHARING YOUR
REMARKABLE STORY WITH THE
COMMITTEE. YOU HAVE TESTIFIED
ABOUT A VERY PERSONAL DECISION,
THAT YOU MADE AS A TEENAGER, TO
HAVE AN ABORTION. I WOULD LIKE
TO JUST TALK TO A LITTLE BIT
MORE ABOUT IT. BECAUSE, AS YOU
AND I BOTH KNOW, THIS IS VERY
HARD, FOR A GIRL, OR FOR A
WOMAN. THE PERSONAL
CIRCUMSTANCES ARE OFTEN NOT
KNOWN.
I WAS WONDERING, IF YOU WOULD
DISCUSS WITH US, WHAT IT HAS
MEANT FOR YOU, TO HAVE THAT
RIGHT. THAT RIGHT
CONSTITUTIONALLY, TO
REPRODUCTIVE CARE.
>> THANK YOU, SENATOR FEINSTEIN.
I JUST WANT TO SAY, I AM HERE
TODAY, WITH THE SUPPORT AND
PRAYERS OF MY PASTOR, MY FRIENDS
AND FOLKS FROM THE HILLS AND
HOLLERS, MY FAMILY, INCLUDING MY
MOM. MY MOM AND I HAVE, REALLY
LONG WAY. WE HAVE BEEN ON A VERY
LONG, HEALING JOURNEY TO BUILD A
STRONG RELATIONSHIP.
HER ACTIONS OF THEN WERE NOT
EXCUSABLE, BUT TODAY I REALLY
UNDERSTAND HOW WOMEN LIKE MY MOM
AND MEN, TOO, CAN FALL PREY
TO A CULTURE OF SILENCE IN
CHURCHES AND SYSTEMS AND SYSTEMS
THAT KNEW WHAT MY STEPFATHER WAS
DOING. THEY PROTECTED HIM AND
NOT ME. SO, YOU KNOW MY RIGHT TO
ACCESS HEALTHCARE, IS WHY I AM
HERE TODAY.
I AM SPEAKING FROM NOT A PLACE
OF BITTERNESS, BUT TO GIVE
CAUTION AND CONCERN IN THIS
NOMINATION, THAT THE GOVERNMENT
CANNOT, AND SHOULD NOT CREATE
BARRIERS TO HEALTHCARE. THANK
YOU.
>> IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT YOU ARE
A VERY STRONG PERSON. WE ALL
WISH YOU WELL. I WOULD LIKE TO
ASK
DR. FARHAN BHATTI.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLE,
WHO HAVE EXCELLENT HEALTHCARE
COVERAGE,
AS IS TRUE HERE FOR US IN THE
SENATES, TO HELP US UNDERSTAND
HOW IMPORTANT THE ACA IS FOR
YOUR PATIENTS?
>> WELL, WHAT I WOULD SAY TO
FOLKS WITH GOOD INSURANCE, IS OF
THAT WE ARE BLESSED. I HAVE GOOD
HEALTH INSURANCE, TOO. WE ARE
BLESSED TO BE IN A POSITION. YOU
KNOW, AS A SOCIETY, WE SOMETIMES
PUNISH PEOPLE WHEN THE ONLY
MISTAKE THEY MIGHT HAVE MADE IS
NOT CHOOSING THEIR PARENTS
WISELY. A LOT OF MY PATIENTS
FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY, WHERE,
YOU KNOW, THEY ARE HARD-WORKING
PEOPLE, THEY GO TO WORK EVERY
DAY, THEY TRY TO DO THEIR PART
TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY. YOU
KNOW, THEIR STORIES DO NOT OFTEN
GET TOLD HER THAT IS WHY AM HERE
TODAY. AS TO TELL THEIR STORIES.
LET FOLKS KNOW, THAT THE
COMMITTEE THAT I AM HERE
REPRESENTING, AND TO ME, I AS AN
INDIVIDUAL VALUE HEALTHCARE FOR
ALL AMERICANS. THAT IS WHAT THIS
IS ALL ABOUT. IS MAKING SURE THE
AMERICANS HAVE ACCESS.
>> NSW FOR A MINUTE, WHAT IS
REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME, WHAT DO
YOU THINK OF THE LONG-TERM
CONSEQUENCES, THAT THE PANDEMIC
WILL HAVE, ON THIS NATION'S
HEALTH?
>> I'M VERY WORRIED ABOUT THE
PANDEMIC. WE ALREADY HAVE HAD,
MANY, MANY, 217,000 DEATHS, IT'S
MILLION AMERICANS HAVE
CONTRACTED COVID, 14 MILLION
AMERICANS HAVE LOST THEIR
EMPLOYER, EMPLOYER-BASED
HEALTHCARE BECAUSE THEY LOST
THEIR JOBS INTO THE BEGINNING OF
THE PANDEMIC.
WE NEED TO TAKE BOLD ACTION TO
GET THE PANDEMIC UNDER CONTROL,
IN ORDER TO SAVE AS MANY LIVES
AS POSSIBLE. I'M VERY CONCERNED
ABOUT OUR HEALTH RESPONSE.
>> ONE LAST QUESTION. WHAT DO
YOU BELIEVE THE MOST CRITICAL
HEALTH RESPONSE IS, TO BE
BENEFICIAL, IF YOU COULD SPEAK A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT. IN THE
NUMBERS OF PEOPLE? YOUR ADVICE,
TO US.
>> WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB AT
THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT,
STARTING WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT ON DOWN, WITH
TESTING. AND CONTACT TRACING.
AND PROVIDING THE RESOURCES TO
ALL THE STATES THAT THEY NEED,
TO DO THAT. THE NUMBERS, AS
STRIKING AS THEY ARE, ARE A
SHARP UNDERESTIMATION OF WHAT
THE REALITY ACTUALLY IS. WE DO
NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY AT THE
GROUND LEVEL TWO
PERFORMANCE MANY TESTS AS WE
NEED, TO KNOW JUST HOW MANY
AMERICANS ACTUALLY HAVE COVID,
AND HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BECOME
SICK AND DIED FROM COVID. THE
NUMBERS ARE SHARP
UNDERESTIMATION. ANYTHING THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN DO, TO
EMPOWER EACH AND EVERY STATES,
TO GET MORE ACCURATE COUNTS, AND
ALSO, TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
WHERE, WE NEED, MASKS SHOULD NOT
BE A PARTISAN ISSUE. WASHING
HANDS SHOULD NOT BE A PARTISAN
ISSUE. SOCIAL DISTANCING SHOULD
NOT BE A PARTISAN ISSUE. WE NEED
EVERY ELECTED MEMBER OF
CONGRESS, TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE, BY
GAUGING, ENGAGING IN
ACTS OF PUBLIC HEALTH IN ORDER
TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF HEALTH.
>> WHAT KIND OF AXA PUBLIC
HEALTH?
>>
BASIC THINGS HAVING EVERY MEMBER
OF CONGRESS COMMIT TO WEARING A
MASK, COMMIT TO SOCIAL
DISTANCING, COMMIT NOT TO GOING
INTO INDOOR PLACES WITH MORE
THAN 10 PEOPLE. NOW HOLDING
LARGE RALLIES WHERE PEOPLE ARE
WEARING MASKS STANDING RIGHT
SIDE-BY-SIDE NEXT TO EACH OTHER.
EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS HAS
AN OBLIGATION TO LEAD BY
EXAMPLE. THAT IS WHAT IS GOING
TO HELP MY PATIENTS THE MOST.
WHEN THEY SEE ELECTED OFFICIALS
THAT THEY TRUST LEADING BY
EXAMPLE AND PARTICIPATING IN OR
TAKING PART IN, A SIMPLE PUBLIC
HEALTH MEASURES, TO KEEP
EVERYBODY SAFE.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DOCTOR.
>> DOES THAT INCLUDE PROTEST?
>> WITH THAT INCLUDE MASKED
PROTEST?
>> ANY LARGE GATHERING OF
PEOPLE.
>> WITH THAT INCLUDE RIOTING?
>> WELL, SIR, I DO NOT SUPPORT
RIOTING IF THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE
ASKING ME.
>> THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO MAKE
SURE, THANK YOU. SENATOR
KENNEDY.
>> THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN. I
WANTED TO THANK ALL OF OUR
WITNESSES, FOR TAKING THE TIME
TO COME BY. I PARTICULARLY WANT
TO THINK, PROFESSOR SAIKRISHNA
PRAKASH.
YOU DID ME A FAVOR. YOU MAY NOT
REMEMBER IT, BUT'S, ONE OF MY
COLLEAGUES IN MY OFFICE IS
SITTING BEHIND ME, HANNAH
FREIRE. YOU RECOMMENDED HANNAH
TO ME. AND I WANTED TO THANK YOU
FOR THAT. SHE HAS MADE, YOU HAVE
TAUGHT HER WELL. SHE HAS MADE A
SUBSTANTIAL CONTRIBUTION IN MY
OFFICE. ALSO, TWO OF YOUR
COLLEAGUES, PAUL'S TEETH FROM
AND DAN ORTIZ. ARE FRIENDS OF
MINE. WE WENT TO SCHOOL
TOGETHER. THOUGH AT DIFFERENT
SCHOOLS. PAUL AND I WERE
TOGETHER AT ONE SCHOOL, DAN AND
I WERE TOGETHER AT ANOTHER.
PLEASE REMEMBER THEM TO ME. THEY
ARE IN A WORD, BRILLIANCE, AND
GOOD MATES. SO, TELL THEM I SAID
HI. AND THANKS AGAIN TO
EVERYONE.
>> HERE IS ONE.
I WANT TO SHOW YOU A PHOTO OF
NATE LAU.
THIS PHOTO IS EIGHT YEARS OLD. A
GOOD-LOOKING YOUNG MAN. IT IS
THE EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
SURGERY THAT SAVED HIS LIFE.
DIAGNOSED WITH BILIARY ATRESIA.
HE NEEDED A LIVER TRANSPLANT.
MEDICAL CARE COSTS MORE THAN $1
MILLION THE FIRST YEAR OF HIS
LIFE, AND OF COURSE THE
CONTINUES. IS IN THE THIRD
GRADE, PLAY SOCCER, VIDEO GAMES,
PLAYING WITH HIS YOUNGER SISTER.
HE OF COURSE NOW HAS A
PRE-EXISTING CONDITION FOR THE
REST OF HIS LIFE. HIS PARENTS
TELL ME, LIFETIME LIMITS MIGHT
HAVE COST HIM HIS LIFE PERIOD.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE
FUTURE OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE
ACT AND DR. THANK YOU FOR
REMINDING US. REMEMBER THIS
LITTLE FELLOW. WHAT A
GOOD-LOOKING YOUNG MAN HE IS.
I'M GOING TO MAKE A CONFESSION
HERE, THAT MAY NOT SIT WELL WITH
SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES. WHEN
SOMEONE TELLS ME,
CHECK THE BOX, I AM AN ORIGINAL
LIST. IT IS NOT ENOUGH FOR ME.
IT DOES NOT TELL THE WHOLE
STORY. IN FACT IT DOES NOT TELL
ME MUCH. LET ME READ TO YOU WHAT
THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO SAID A
COUPLE DAYS AGO IN A NEWS
CONFERENCE.
ASKED HER IF SHE WAS
ORIGINALIST. HERE IS WHAT SHE
SAID.
YOU ASK A , BLACK WOMAN IF SHE
IS AND ORIGINALIST, NO MA'AM, I
AM NOT SURE THAT CONSTITUTION
DID NOT CONSIDER ME A PERSON IN
ANY WAY SHAPE, OR FORM BECAUSE
I'M A WOMAN, I AM BLACK, AND
BECAUSE I AM . I AM NOT AND
ORIGINALIST. I BELIEVE IN THE
CONSTITUTION, IT IS A DOCUMENT
THE FOUNDERS INTENDED TO EVOLVE.
WHAT THEY DID WAS THAT THE
FRAMEWORK FOR HOW OUR COUNTRY
WAS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT FROM
ANY OTHER. ORIGINALISTS SAY
LET'S GO BACK TO 1776. WHAT WAS
THERE IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE,
THAT IS IT. THAT LANGUAGE
EXCLUDED OVER 50% OF THE PEOPLE
LIVING IN AMERICA TODAY. SO NO,
I AM NOT AND ORIGINALIST.
I DO NOT TAKE ANY COMFORT, WHEN
PEOPLE PROCLAIM EYMAN
ORIGINALIST, TRUST ME. I'M GOING
TO LOOK AT THE CONSTITUTION,
TAKE A GOOD HARD LOOK AT IT, DO
NOT WORRY, WE WILL FIND THE
WISDOM IN THESE WORDS. WE HAD A
CASE HERE, WHICH WAS VERY
IMPORTANT, WE TALKED ABOUT OVER
AND OVER, EACH DAY. JUDGE
BARRETT TOOK THE TIME TO WRITE A
LENGTHY, LENGTHY DISSENTS. SHE,
BEING AND ORIGINALIST, TOOK THIS
ADVENTURE IN HISTORY. SHE WENT
BACK 400 YEARS.
SENATOR KENNEDY, 400 YEARS, WAS
NOT EVEN LOUISIANA MAYBE AT THAT
POINT.
400 YEARS TO FIND SOME GUIDANCE
FOR WHAT SHE MISSED IN HER
CONCLUSION IS WHAT IS HAPPENING
400 YARDS FROM WHERE SHE LIVES.
WHERE CRIME GUNS ARE COMING
ACROSS THE BORDER FROM THE STATE
OF INDIANA INTO THE CITY OF
CHICAGO AND KILLING INNOCENT
PEOPLE. THE NOTION WE WOULD
SOMEHOW DROP OUR GUARD AND MAKE
IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE
CONVICTED FELONS TO OWN
FIREARMS, IS JUST DOES NOT MAKE
SENSE
. I DO NOT KNOW IF GOING BACK TO
THE TIME OF THE BRITISH
DECISIONS ON WHAT TO DO WITH
FRONT LOCKS IS MUCH GUIDANCE
WHEN IT COMES TO THE REALITY
TODAY. MISS CLARK, IF YOU ARE
STILL ON BOARD, WHEN YOU COMMENT
ON
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT'S VERSION OF
ORIGINALIST THEM IN HER TAKE ON
IT.
>> I HAVE GRAVE CONCERNS ABOUT
JUDGE OF BARRETT'S COMMITMENT
TO ORIGINALIST THEM, AND
TEXTUALISM, AS A THEORY OF
CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION.
IT PURPORTS TO RELY ON THE
UNDERSTANDING OF OUR
CONSTITUTIONAL
TEXT AT THE TIME WHEN THE
LANGUAGE WAS ADOPTED, WHICH WAS
NOT PRACTICAL IN THE 21st
CENTURY. IT CAN LEAD TO A HIGH
DEGREE OF SPECULATION ABOUT THE
FRAMEWORK SUBJECTIVE
UNDERSTANDING.
BUT, I WOULD LIKE IF I COULD,
SENATOR, TO READ A QUOTE
FROM JUSTICE KENNEDY. THE NATURE
OF INJUSTICE IS OF THAT WE MAY
NOT ALWAYS SEE IT IN OUR OWN
TIMES. THE GENERATIONS THAT
RHOTON RATIFIED THE BILL OF
RIGHTS AND THE 14th AMENDMENT
DID NOT PRESUME TO KNOW THE
EXTENT OF FREEDOM AND ALL OF ITS
DIMENSIONS. SO THEY ENTRUSTED
FUTURE GENERATIONS, EIGHT
CHARTER PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF
ALL VERSES AS WE JOIN LIBERTY
UNDERSTAND ITS MEANING. I THINK
JUDGE BARRETT'S STRICT ADHERENCE
TO ORIGINALIST THEM AND
TEXTUALISM STANDS TO TURN OUR
COUNTRY BACK DECADES.
AND, RUNS THE RISK WE WILL
EXCLUDE FROM THE CONSTITUTION
PROMISE, AFRICAN AMERICANS,
WOMEN'S RIGHTS, LGBTQ RIGHTS,
AND MORE.
>> ISN'T IT INTERESTING, THAT
MANY OF THE QUESTIONS AND ISSUES
BEFORE US, STILL RELATES
TO THE EVOLUTION OF THINKING,
BEYOND THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION
AS IT RELATED TO
AFRICAN-AMERICANS FOR EXAMPLE
AND PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES
TO WOMEN TODAY? WE ARE GOING
THROUGH THIS, IN THE MIDDLE OF
THIS. AND THE FOLKS, WITH THE
CONSTITUTION WHICH I SWORE TO
SUPPORT AND DEFENSE, DID NOT GET
THOSE TWO ASPECTS RIGHT. WOMEN
DID NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE, TO
AFRICAN-AMERICANS WERE NOT EVEN
COUNTED AS FULL CITIZENS, LET
ALONE HAVING THE RIGHT TO VOTE.
WE ARE STILL DEBATING THAT MANY
HUNDRED YEARS LATER. THANK YOU,
MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> SENATOR LEE.
>> JUDGE GRIFFITH, IF I COULD
START WITH YOU. IN ADDITION TO
BEING A JUDGE ON THE U.S. COURT
OF APPEALS, YOU HAVE ALSO BEEN A
PROFESSOR, AND YOU HAVE TAUGHT A
COURSE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS,
AND STANFORD LAW SCHOOL,
REGARDING THE UNIQUE, DISTINCT
ROLE OF THE ARTICLE FREE JUDGE.
IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY, YOU
HAVE ALSO STARTED FOR THE LAST
FEW YEARS, TEACHING THE SAME
COURSE AT HARVARD. AND, YOU WILL
BE TEACHING THAT AT HARVARD AND
THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA THIS
YEAR.
WHAT DO YOU TELL YOUR STUDENTS,
ARE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
LESSONS THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED?
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, THE
DANGER IS IF I GIVE YOU THE FULL
ANSWER, THE STUDENTS ARE OUT
THERE BY HEARING WHAT I THINK.
JUST KIDDING, WE
, I CAME UPON THIS COURSE,
BECAUSE I WANTED TO HAVE A
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT MY
ROLE WAS AS A JUDGE. WHAT AM I
SUPPOSED TO DO UNDER THE
CONSTITUTION. WHAT ROLE AM I
SUPPOSED TO PLAY. IF I COULD
TELL A QUICK STORY, THAT
CAPTURES WHAT I HAVE LEARNED.
BOTH FROM BEING A JUDGE, AND
THEN FROM, THE COURSES IN
HEARING INTERACTIONS WITH
STUDENTS, IT HAPPENED THE DAY
AFTER IT WAS CONFIRMED BY THE
SENATE'S, FOR MY SEAT ON THE DC
CIRCUIT. IT WAS A HAPPY DAY FOR
ME, IN MY OFFICE.
I WAS THE RECIPIENT OF MANY
CONGRATULATORY PHONE CALLS,
FROM PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE
COUNTRY, WHO I HAD KNOWN AND
WORKED WITH BEFORE. ONE WAS FROM
A FELLOW, WE HAD BEEN AT THE
SAME LAW FIRM IN WASHINGTON,
D.C. HE CLERKED FOR A
DISTINGUISHED MEMBER OF THE DC
CIRCUIT WHO HAS LONG SINCE
PASSED AWAY AND WENT ONTO THE
SUPREME COURT. HE WANTED TO GIVE
ME SOME ADVICE ABOUT BEING A
JUDGE. HE SAID ARE YOU OPEN FOR
ADVICE. I SAID BOY, AM I. I AM
TEACHABLE. HE SAID. I WILL TELL
YOU WHAT I WAS TOLD THE FIRST
DAY IN MY JUDGES CHAMBERS ON THE
DC CIRCUIT. HE SAT ME DOWN, HE
SAID. HERE IS HOW WE GO ABOUT
OUR JOB HERE THE FIRST THING WE
DO, IS LEARN THE FACTS OF THE
CASE AS BEST WE CAN. THESE ARE
REAL PEOPLE. THEY HAVE REAL
STRUGGLES. THEY DESERVE TO KNOW,
THAT WE KNOW WHO THEY ARE. THAT
WE KNOW THE CHALLENGES THEY
FACE, THE THEY DESERVE THAT. WE
HAVE TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME TO
LEARN THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES. SO
THE NEXT THING THAT WE DO IS WE
THINK LONG AND HARD AND DEEP,
ABOUT THE FAIR RESULTS, THE JUST
OUTCOME. THE EQUITABLE
DISPOSITION, AND ONCE WE FIGURE
THAT OUT, WE GO FIND LAW
TO SUPPORT OUR DECISION. THE
PURPOSE OF THE CALL, WAS A
CONGRATULATORY ONE. IT WAS NOT
TO ENGAGE IN THE DISCUSSION OF
THE ROLE OF THE ARTICLE 3 JUDGE.
I TOOK A VOW, TO MY LEVEL BEST
TO ALWAYS HEED THE FIRST PART OF
THAT ADVICE. ALWAYS HEED THE
FIRST PART OF THAT ADVICE. THESE
ARE REAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE REAL
STRUGGLES. AND WE NEED TO
UNDERSTAND THEM. I TOOK A VOW,
THAT I WOULD NEVER
FOLLOW THIS, IT IS THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE WHO GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS
FAIR, AND JUST AND EQUITABLE.
AND THEY EXPRESS THAT, THROUGH
THEIR POLITICALLY ACCOUNTABLE
REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH MEMBERS
OF CONGRESS. THEY DO THAT
THROUGH LEGISLATION. THEY DO
THAT THROUGH THE CONSTITUTION OF
THE UNITED STATES. I WAS NOT
APPOINTED, TO DECIDE, TO TAKE MY
OWN VIEWS OF WHAT IS FAIR AND
JUST AND EQUITABLE, AND USE OF
THEM TO RESOLVE THE CASE. THAT
IS NOT WHAT OUR SYSTEM ALLOWS.
IT WOULD BE A PERFECTLY GOOD WAY
OF RUNNING A GOVERNMENT, BUT
THAT IS NOT THE SYSTEM, THAT OUR
GOVERNMENT WAS CREATED TO DO. I
AM AN ORIGINALIST, I AM A
TEXTUAL LIST. THERE ARE MANY
POLITICAL PROGRESSIVES, WHO ARE
ORIGINALIST. ONE IS THIS
PROFESSION
, PROFESSOR. PROFESSOR AMAR, IN
HIS BOOK THE CONSTITUTION, A
BIOGRAPHY. WHICH I HIGHLY
RECOMMEND. SAID SOMETHING QUITE
PROFOUND. THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL,
WILL NOT QUOTE IT, TO PARAPHRASE
IT. THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTY
, PROTECTED BY THE CONSTITUTION,
IS OF THE RIGHTS OF WE THE
PEOPLE, TO SET THE RULES, BY
WHICH THE GOVERNMENT'S, BY WHICH
OUR SOCIETY IS RUN. WE DO THAT
THROUGH POLITICALLY ACCOUNTABLE
REPRESENTATIVES. WE DO NOT DO
THAT THROUGH JUDGES. OUR JOB AS
A JUDGE, IS TO BE A FAITHFUL
AGENT,
TO WE THE PEOPLE AS THEY EXPRESS
THEIR WILL THROUGH LAW. THE
CONSTITUTION HAS A VERY
COMPLICATED LAWMAKING PROCESS.
IN THE CASE OF STATUTES,
IT IS BY PASSAGE AND PRESENTMENT
TO THE PRESIDENT. IN THE CASE OF
THE AMENDMENTS TO THE
CONSTITUTION. TWO THIRDS PASSAGE
IN CONGRESS, THREE FOURTHS
PREDICATE VACATION BY THE
STATES. IT IS A VERY COMPLICATED
PROCESS. IF YOU NOTE IN THE
PROCESS THERE IS NO DESCRIPTION
FOR THE ROLE —
>> JUDGE WE NEED TO WRAP IT UP.
>> THERE IS NO ROLE FOR A JUDGE
IN THIS. THAT IS THE LESSON WE
LEARNED. THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, JUDGE.
>> THANK YOU. ANYONE OVER HERE?
>> JUDGE GRIFFITH, I WAS NOT
THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR
INTERRUPTING YOU.
>> THAT WAS ME, JUDGE. FOR GOING
OVER, AND I DIDN'T HAVE A CLOCK.
>> I MENTIONED THAT, BECAUSE
JUDGE GRIFFITH SAT ON THE CASE,
VERY RECENTLY, WHERE I WAS
PRESENT, AS THE PLAINTIFF IN
BLUMENTHAL VERSUS TRUMP. THANK
YOU JUDGE GRIFFITH FOR BEING
WITH US, AND ALL THE WITNESSES.
WHO WERE HERE TODAY, FORGIVING
YOUR TIME TO THIS VERY IMPORTANT
FOR SEATING. I WANT TO ASK,
PARTICULARLY,
KRISTEN CLARKE. BECAUSE, THERE
IS SUCH A STRONG RACIAL JUSTICE
MOVEMENT
IN THIS COUNTRY, NOW. WE ARE IN
THE MIDST OF A HEALTH CRISIS,
AND OBVIOUSLY AN ECONOMIC
EMERGENCY. THE RACIAL JUSTICE
MOVEMENTS, IS SO DEEPLY
IMPORTANT. I ASKED JUDGE BARRETT
ABOUT THE ISSUE OF GUN VIOLENCE
PREVENTION.
I BROUGHT WITH ME, THE STORY,
AND INTO THE ROOM, THE VOICE AND
FACE OF JANET RICE, WHO LOST HER
SON, SHANE OLIVER, IN DOWNTOWN
HARTFORD.
THEY ARE BLACK.
AND ALSO HAD THE VOICE AND FACE
OF CHRISTIAN MICHAEL SONG WHO
LOST THEIR SON ETHAN, AND
NATALIE WHO LOST HER BROTHER.
EVERY COMMUNITY, EVERY PART OF
THE COUNTRY, IS AFFECTED BY THE
SCOURGE OF GUN VIOLENCE. JANET
RICE LOST HER SON, SHANE OLIVER.
IN THE SHOOTING, PROBABLY NO
FAULT OF HIS. CERTAINLY NONE OF
HERS.
I WONDER IF YOU COULD TALK ABOUT
THE NEED FOR SENSIBLE COMMON
SENSE GUN VIOLENCE, PREVENTIVE
MEASURES. JUDGE BARRETT, HAS
TAKEN POSITION, THAT THE SECOND
AMENDMENT
SHOULD GIVE FELONS, A CLASS OF
FELONS, WITHOUT ANY LEGAL
SUPPORT, AND THE CIRCUIT COURTS,
THE RIGHT TO POSSESS FIREARMS. I
AM EXTREMELY CONCERNED, ABOUT
THE EFFECTS OF THAT KIND OF
APPROACH,
TO COMMONSENSE MEASURES, LIKE
CONNECTICUT HAS. OTHER STATES
AROUND THE COUNTRY, THAT PROTECT
EVERYONE. BACKGROUND CHECKS, AND
EMERGENCY RISK PROTECTION
ORDERS, SAFE STORAGE LAWS,
ETHAN'S LAW AS IT IS KNOWN IN
CONNECTICUT. BECAUSE ETHAN WAS
KILLED WHEN A GUN THAT SHOULD'VE
BEEN SAFELY STORED WAS AVAILABLE
TO TO TEENAGERS, WHO WERE IN
EFFECT PLAYING WITH IT.
PERHAPS TELL ME ABOUT THE
EFFECTS OF STRIKING DOWN THOSE
KINDS OF LAWS. ON COMMUNITIES OF
COLOR AROUND THE COUNTRY, AND ON
THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE.
>> THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION,
SENATOR BLUMENTHAL. WE EXAMINED
HER RECORD VERY CLOSELY WITH
RESPECT TO THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
JUDGE BARRETT SECOND AMENDMENT
PRUDENCE REFLECTS AN ORIGINALIST
VIEWPOINT. AGAIN WE SEE HER
ORIGINALIST AND TEXTUAL LIST
OUTLOOK REALLY SHAPING HER VIEW
OF THE LAW. HER RECORD SUGGESTS,
THAT SHE WOULD BE INCLINED TO
MAKE IT EASIER TO EXPAND
INDIVIDUAL'S RIGHTS TO OBTAIN
AND USE GUNS. THAT WOULD BE MORE
DIFFICULT FOR STATES TO IMPOSE
REASONABLE RESTRICTIONS ON THE
PURCHASE AND USE OF GUNS. I DO
THINK THIS IS A VERY REAL ISSUE,
FOR OUR COUNTRY. WE HAVE BEEN
THROUGH
A SPATE OF NOT
, OF MASS SHOOTINGS. THEY HAVE
HAD DEVASTATING IMPACT ON
VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES INCLUDING
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. I HAVE
DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT HER
JURISPRUDENCE IN THIS AREA.
>> I'M GOING TO PASS ALONG TO
THOSE IN THE WEBEX. WE DID LOSE
AUDIO IN THE CHAMBER. IT YOU ARE
NOT ALONE. IT LOOKS LIKE IT MAY
BE SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENED
YESTERDAY. IT MAY BE RECKLESS
CONJECTURE. BUT, FROM THAT
STANDPOINT.
THE RECORDING STUDIO TEAM IS
TRYING TO BRING THE MICROPHONES
IN THE ROOM BACKUP. THEY CANNOT
HEAR IN THE ROOM, EITHER. HOW
ABOUT THAT.
>> THANK YOU TO ALL OUR
WITNESSES FOR BEING PATIENT.
>> THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. I
THINK I HAD ABOUT A MINUTE.
>> YOU'VE GOT FIVE MINUTES.
>> WONDERFUL.
>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT
YOU BUT EVERY TIME WE GET THERE,
THE SYSTEM BREAKS. YOU HAVE FIVE
MINUTES.
>> THANK YOU. I WANT TO JUST
FINISH WITH MISS CLARKE AND I
WILL RESTATE THE QUESTION. ARE
YOU THERE?
>> AS I AM SENATOR.
>> I WILL RESTATE THE QUESTION
MAYBE MORE SIMPLY AND CLEARLY.
MY IMPRESSION ABOUT ORIGINALISM
IS THAT IT IS OFTEN USED AS A
SMOKESCREEN
BY ACTIVIST JUDGES WHO WANT TO
LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH AND
SUBSTITUTE THEIR OWN JUDGMENTS
FOR THE LEGISLATURE. MY CONCERN,
ONE OF THEM ABOUT JUDGE BARRETT
IS THAT HER OPINION AND CANDOR
INDICATES AN APPROACH, A VERY
ACTIVIST ONE TO THE SECOND
AMENDMENT THAT WOULD VERY
POSSIBLY STRIKE DOWN COMMONSENSE
GUN VIOLENCE MEASURES SUCH AS
BACKGROUND CHECKS, EMERGENCY
RISK REDUCTION ORDERS
, SAFE STORAGE LAWS LIKE ETHAN'S
LAW IN CONNECTICUT AND OTHER
MEASURES THAT ARE DESIGNED TO
STEM AND STOP GUN VIOLENCE. I AM
PARTICULARLY CONCERNED BECAUSE
OF JANET RICE, WHO IS STILL
GRIEVING HER SON. JANE OLIVER,
NATALIE BARDEN, WHO IS GRIEVING
FOR HER BROTHER WHO WAS KILLED
IN NEWTOWN, THE
SONGS, KRISTIN AND MICHAEL, WHO
STILL HAVE A HOLE IN THEIR HEART
FOR THEIR SON ETHAN AND THEY
CHAMPIONED ETHAN'S LAW
COURAGEOUSLY IN CONNECTICUT. WE
ARE A SAFER STATE BECAUSE OF THE
VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF GUN
VIOLENCE WHETHER IN NEWTOWN OR
DOWNTOWN HARTFORD, AS WITH JANET
RICE AND ALL ACROSS THE STATE,
OFTEN IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
BUT LITERALLY EVERY COMMUNITY.
EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD
, EVERY FAMILY, EVERY COMMUNITY
IS VULNERABLE TO THE SCOURGE AND
EPIDEMIC OF GUN VIOLENCE. IT IS
A PUBLIC HEALTH MENACE. LET ME
ASK YOU ABOUT THAT JUDICIAL
PHILOSOPHY
, ORIGINALISM AS A BLIGHT IN THE
SECOND AMENDMENT. DO YOU SHARE
MY CONCERN THAT IT COULD LEAD TO
STRIKING DOWN THOSE LAWS THAT
STATE LEGISLATURES, AND
HOPEFULLY CONGRESS ONE DAY YOU
WILL INTERACT TO MAKE AMERICA
SAFER?
>> THANK YOU SENATOR BLUMENTHAL
. VERY BRIEFLY, IN OUR ANALYSIS
OF JUDGE BARRETT'S RECORD, HER
SECOND AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE
REFLECTS AN ORIGINALIST APPROACH
AND WE BELIEVE THAT HER
ORIENTATION IS ONE SUCH THAT IT
WOULD BE MORE LIKELY THAT
SHE WOULD SEEK TO EXPAND AN
INDIVIDUAL'S RIGHT TO OBTAIN AND
USE GUNS AND THAT SHE WOULD BE
INCLINED TO OPPONENT, SHE WOULD
LIKELY RESIST RESTRICTIONS ON
THE PURCHASE AND USE OF GUNS. WE
LOOKED AT HER DECISION IN
CANTOR VS BARR VERY CLOSELY. HER
OPINION LETTER SHE WROTE IS ONE
IN WHICH SOME OBSERVERS HAVE
FOUND TO BE IN CONFLICT WITH
EVERY OTHER REPUBLIC COURT THAT
ADDRESSED THE ISSUE AT STAKE IN
CANTOR. I AM CONCERNED SHE WOULD
PUT HER THUMB ON THE SKILL OF
PROVIDING MORE ACCESS, EASY
ACCESS TO GUNS IN OUR COUNTRY .
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH MS.
CLARKE. I WOULD LIKE TO TURN TO
MS. GOOD. YOU
TESTIFY TO BEING A SURVIVOR OF
SEXUAL ABUSE AND YOU STATE THAT
YOU ARE THE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY
BECAUSE YOU QUOTE HAD ACCESS TO
AN ABORTION. YOU ALSO MAY HAVE
HEARD MY ASKING JUDGE BARRETT IF
SHE THOUGHT AS A LEGAL POSITION
ROE V. WADE WAS CORRECTLY
DECIDED, INCLUDING IN CASES OF
SEXUAL ABUSE. I BROUGHT TO HER
THE STORY OF SAMANTHA, WHO WAS
A RAPE VICTIM AND SURVIVOR AND
HAD AN ABORTION. HOW DID YOU
FEEL KNOWING JUDGE BARRETT
SIMPLY WOULDN'T ANSWER THAT
QUESTION THAT ROE V. WADE AND
GRISWALD V. CONNECTICUTT WERE
CORRECTLY DECIDED QUESTION
>> AS A SURVIVOR, IT IS DEEPLY
DISTURBING. MAKES YOU THINK THAT
NO ONE CARED ABOUT CONSENT WHEN
I WAS BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED. ALL
YOUNG PEOPLE DESERVE THE RIGHT
TO CONSENT
, AUTONOMY, AND DIGNITY. I AM
HERE TO STAND AGAINST THIS
NOMINATION. THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANKS
MR. CHAIRMAN.
>> THANK YOU.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN. I HAVE A LETTER
FROM THE NATIONAL EDUCATION
ASSOCIATION, WHICH REPRESENTS 3
MILLION EDUCATORS SERVING 50
MILLION STUDENTS. THEY ARE
URGING THE SENATE TO FOCUS ON A
COVID-19 RELIEF BILL AND NOT
, TO QUOTE THE LETTER, BUT TO
CONFIRM PRESIDENT TRUMP'S
NOMINEE AMY CONEY BARRETT BEFORE
ELECTION DAY. THAT IS NOT PART
OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT. I
ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ENTER
THIS LETTER INTO THE RECORD MR.
CHAIRMAN.
>> NO OBJECTION.
>> I HAVE TWO QUESTIONS FOR MS.
CLARKE SO IF YOU CAN SIGN ON.
MS. CLARKE, THE SUPREME COURT
SHELBY COUNTY DECISION THAT IT
IS THE PRECLEARANCE PROVISION OF
THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT, WHICH
REQUIRED TWO SECTIONS WITH A
HISTORY OF VOTING DISCRIMINATION
TO GET APPROVAL FOR INCHES TO
THE VOTING LAWS. AFTER SHELBY
COUNTY, OVER A DOZEN STATES
PASSED RESTRICTIVE VOTING LAWS.
DURING THE HEARING, I ASKED
JUDGE BARRETT IF
VOTING THIS COMMISSION COULD BE
ACCESS. SHE REFUSED TO ANSWER
AND POINTED OUT THE SUPREME
COURT DID NOT ADDRESS SECTION 2
OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT IN
SHELBY COUNTY. THE SPRING COURT
HAS RECENTLY DECIDED TO TAKE UP
THIS ISSUE. UNLIKE THE
PRECLEARANCE PROVISION, SECTION
2 PUTS THE BURDEN ON THOSE
CHALLENGING THE VOTING LAW TO
SHOW THAT THE
LAW WOULD RESULT IN A DENIAL OR
ABRIDGMENT OF THE RIGHT OF ANY
CITIZEN TO VOTE. THIS KIND OF
BURDEN SHIFTING MAKES IT HARD TO
PREVAIL, WOULDN'T YOU AGREE, MS.
CLARKE?
>> YES SENATOR, I COMPLETELY
AGREE. SECTION 2 IS NOT A
SUBSTITUTE FOR THE IMPORTANT
PROTECTIONS THAT HAD LONG BEEN
ACCORDED BY THE SECTION 5
DECLARANTS PROVISION.
>> I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD
UNDERSTAND WHAT BURDEN SHIFTING
REALLY WILL RESULT IN. THEY HAS
TO BE BASICALLY A CASE-BY-CASE
BRINGING OF THESE LAWSUITS TO
CHALLENGE WHETHER OR NOT
THE LAW PASSED BY A STATE
ACTUALLY SUPPRESSES THE VOTE.
THAT IS A PRETTY TOUGH BURDEN
WHEREAS THE PRECLEARANCE
PROVISION BASICALLY REQUIRED THE
JURISDICTIONS TO HAVE TO COMPLY
WITH THAT PROVISION TO SHOW THAT
THERE PROVISION DID NOT SUPPRESS
VOTES, ISN'T THAT CORRECT?
>> THAT IS CORRECT AND IN
ADDITION, SECTION 2 LITIGATION
HAS PROVEN HAS TYPICALLY TO BE
MORE COSTLY, MORE TIME INTENSIVE
AND MORE BURDENSOME.
>>
I THINK THE SUPREME COURT IN
MAKING THAT 5-4 DECISION SHOULD
HAVE PREDICTED THAT THAT WAS
EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN
AND THEY CERTAINLY SHOULD HAVE
PREDICTED THAT A LOT OF STATES
WOULD BEGIN TO PASS ALL KINDS OF
LAWS THAT WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT
OF SUPPRESSING
, ESPECIALLY MINORITIES AND
BLACKS. ANOTHER QUESTION FOR
YOU. I KNOW YOU REVIEWED JUDGE
BARRETT'S RECORD, INCLUDING HER
KISSES ON THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT. I
DID TOO. I FOUND TWO OF HER
CASES RELATING TO DISCRIMINATION
IN THE WORKPLACE PARTICULARLY
CONCERNING. THE FIRST WAS
EEOC V. AUTOZONE, WHERE JUDGE
BARRETT DECIDED NOT TO BE HERE A
PANEL DECISION WERE THE PANEL
APPROVED A SEPARATE BUT EQUAL
DECISION. JUDGE BARRETT JOINED
AN OPINION THAT EFFECTIVELY
APPROVED OF AGE DOES COMMISSION
AGAINST JOB APPLICANTS. CAN YOU
SPEAK IN A LITTLE MORE DEPTH
WHY THE LAWYERS COMMITTEE WAS
CONCERNED ABOUT JUDGE BARRETT'S
RECORD ON WORKERS AND CIVIL
RIGHTS?
>> THANK YOU SENATOR. IN THE
AREA OF WORKERS RIGHTS THAT WE
EXAMINED, JUDGE BARRETT HAS
DEMONSTRATED AN INCLINATION TO
SIDE WITH CORPORATIONS AND WITH
EMPLOYERS OVER EMPLOYEES. WE ARE
DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE EEOC
V. AUTOZONE CASE WHERE JUDGE
BARRETT ESSENTIALLY ALONG WITH
FOUR OTHER JUDGES REFUSED THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S REQUEST FOR
A FULL PANEL REVIEW OF A CASE
INVOLVING AN EMPLOYER HERE,
AUTOZONE, WHICH CHOSE TO
INTENTIONALLY SEGREGATE
EMPLOYEES ON THE BASIS OF RACE.
THE ASSIGNED BLACK AND LATINO
EMPLOYEES TO AUTOZONE LOCATIONS
BASED ON RACE AND THEY DID SO
EXCLUSIVELY. THE LOWER THREE
JUDGE PANEL FOUND THIS WASN'T
RACIAL SEGREGATION BECAUSE THE
PEOPLE WERE STILL PAID THE SAME
AND RECEIVED THE SAME BENEFITS
BUT THE OUTCOME HERE IS DEEPLY
DISTURBING. WE DO NOT NEED TO
RETURN TO AN ERA IN WHICH WE
TOLERATE
RACIAL, INTENTIONAL RACIAL
SEGREGATION IN ANY CONTEXT OF
SOCIETY. WE ARE ALSO DEEPLY
CONCERNED ABOUT
SMITH VERSUS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT
OF TRANSPORTATION, WHERE JUDGE
BARRETT AUTHORED A DECISION THAT
A BLACK TRAFFIC PATROL DRIVER
FAILED TO MAKE A CASE THAT HE
WAS FIRED IN RETALIATION FOR
MAKING COMPLAINTS OF RACIAL
BIAS. IN THIS CASE, THE WORKER
WAS SUBJECT TO RACIAL SLURS. HIS
COWORKERS USED THE
"N WORD" ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS.
SHE DID NOT FIND THERE WAS
SUFFICIENT BASIS TO FIND HE WAS
SUBJECT TO A HOSTILE WORK
ENVIRONMENT. WHEN YOU LOOK AT
THE SUM TOTAL OF JUDGE BARRETT'S
RECORD IN THE TITLE VII CONTEXT,
IT RAISES GREAT CONCERNS ABOUT
HER WILLINGNESS TO PROTECT
VICTIMS OF DESQUAMATION IN THE
WORKPLACE
AND SEEMS TO MAKE CLEAR HER
ORIENTATION TO PROTECT THE
RIGHTS OF CORPORATIONS AND
BUSINESSES.
>> IF I MAY MR. CHAIRMAN. IN THE
CASE THAT WAS AN OVERT
RACE-BASED KIND OF POSITIONS,
THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A
PER SE VIOLATION?
>> I AGREE SENATOR. WE LOOKED
AT HER RECORD AND IT REFLECTS A
PATTERN. I THINK THAT THE
PATTERN THAT WE SEE ACROSS BOTH
OF THESE CASES INDICATES A JUDGE
WHO WOULD NOT BE INCLINED TO
ENFORCE TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL
RIGHTS ACT, ONE OF OUR NATION'S
MOST IMPORTANT FEDERAL CIVIL
RIGHTS LAWS OF WHEN IT COMES TO
PROTECTING WORKERS IN THE
WORKPLACE. I HAVE EVERY REASON
TO BELIEVE THAT SHE IS SOMEBODY
WHO WOULD SIDE WITH CORPORATIONS
AND BUSINESSES.
>> ALREADY WE HAVE A SUPREME
COURT THAT ALREADY IS
PROTECTING CORPORATE INTEREST
OVER INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. THANK
YOU.
>> SENATOR BOOKER.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I WANTED
TO THINK MORE SENIOR SENATOR AND
FRIEND CHRIS FOR YIELDING TO ME.
>> I DIDN'T SEE HIM OVER THERE.
>> I APPRECIATE THAT. I WANT TO
THANK ALL THE PANELISTS. IT HAS
BEEN EXTRAORDINARY TO HEAR FROM
SOME, FROM ALL OF YOU THINK
FRANKLY.
CRYSTAL GOOD MOVED ME WITH HER
TESTIMONY AS WELL AS STACY
STAGGS. IT MEANS A LOT TO ME.
SAIKRISHNA PRAKASH, I WOULD
THANK YOU AS WELL BUT IMS THAT
YOU'VE GOT OF MY CLASSMATE NOAH
FELDMAN IN A DIFFERENT COURT
HEARING. I THOUGHT I COULD GET
THROUGH A HEARING WITHOUT
HEARING ABOUT MY CON LAW
PROFESSOR . I WANT TO FOCUS ON
MS. CLARKE IF I CAN. I WANT TO
THANK YOU FOR YOUR IMPORTANT
TEST MONEY. I TALK A LOT ABOUT A
LOT OF CONCERNS AROUND THE FACE
WERE OBVIOUSLY IN THE MIDDLE OF
ONE OF OUR LARGER RACIAL
RECKONINGS IN OUR COUNTRY'S
HISTORY. I STARTED A LOT OF MY
QUESTIONING YESTERDAY ABOUT
CRIMINAL LAW. I WONDERED IF YOU
COULD START GROUNDING A LOT OF
MY CONCERNS IN ACTUAL WRITINGS
OF HERS AND PERHAPS EVEN TALKING
ABOUT MIRANDA FIRST, HER
WRITINGS ON THE RADAR.
>> THANK YOU SENATOR BOOKER. WE
ARE AT AN INTERESTING MOMENT.
THE SUMMATION ARISES WHEN
ARE PROTESTING RACIAL INJUSTICE
AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL POLICING
PRACTICES. IN OUR EXAMINATION OF
HER RECORD, WE LOOKED VERY
CLOSELY AT ONE OF HER ARTICLES
WERE SHE TALKS AT LENGTH ABOUT
MIRANDA, THE MIRANDA DOCTRINE,
THE DOCTRINE THAT REQUIRES THAT
OFFICERS REDO YOUR RIGHTS WHEN
YOU ARE ACCUSED OF A CRIME. SHE
HAS DESCRIBED THE MIRANDA
DOCTRINE AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE
COURT'S CHOICE TO OVER ENFORCE A
CONSTITUTIONAL NORM THAT SHE
SAYS GOES BEYOND CONSTITUTIONAL
MEANING. SHE SUGGESTS THAT
MIRANDA WARNINGS THROUGHOUT TIME
HAVE INEVITABLY LED TO THE
EXCLUSION OF EVIDENCE
, EVEN WHEN SOME CONFESSIONS
WERE FREELY GIVEN. I AM GRAVELY
CONCERNED THAT A JUSTICE BARRETT
ON THE SUPREME COURT WOULD MEAN
A COURT THAT WOULD BE MORE
INCLINED TO CHIP AWAY AT THE
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THOSE
WHO ARE ACCUSED OF CRIMES AND WE
KNOW THAT OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM IS DISPROPORTIONATELY
OPPOSED TO
BLACK PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOR
AND SO THIS IS AN AREA OF GRAVE
CONCERN.
>> THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN
AMERICANS IN THE CRIMINAL
JUSTICE SYSTEM BEING WRONGFULLY
CONVICTED IS PRETTY STAGGERING,
EVEN UP TO RECENT MONTHS
.
>> THAT IS CORRECT SENATOR. WE
ALSO KNOW RACISM AT VIRTUALLY
EVERY STAGE OF OUR CRIMINAL
JUSTICE SYSTEM FROM GETTING
STOPPED AT THE STREET TO LENGTH
OF SENTENCES TO WHO GOT THE
DEATH PENALTY. THOSE ARE THE
KINDS OF CASES THAT ROUTINELY
COME BEFORE THE COURT AND SO, IN
MANY RESPECTS, THIS IS A LIFE
AND DEATH ISSUE FOR BLACK PEOPLE
AND PEOPLE OF COLOR WHO ARE
SUBJECTED TO PUNISHMENT AT THE
HIGHEST LEVELS IN OUR CRIMINAL
JUSTICE SYSTEM.
>> AND THERE IS A LOT WRITTEN
ABOUT THIS, THERE ARE A LOT OF
STUDIES ABOUT HOW
AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN PARTICULAR
BUT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO
A SYSTEM REGARDLESS OF INNOCENCE
OR GUILT. IN FACT, I HAD
MENTIONED, YOU HEARD ME RATTLE
OFF A WHOLE LOT OF WELL READ
BOOKS BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC, YOU
ARE FAMILIAR WITH ONE
"WHY INNOCENT PEOPLE PLEAD
GUILTY", CORRECT GASTRIC
>> GAS.
>> DOCUMENTS WHY THERE ARE NO
LONGER EVEN TRIALS. SO MUCH OF
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS
DONE BY PLEA BARGAIN. ARE YOU
FAMILIAR WITH EXAMPLE
AFTER EXAMPLE OF WHY YOUNG
PEOPLE CAUGHT UP IN THE CRIMINAL
JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT ARE PLANNED,
THAT PLAYED OUT JUST SIMPLY TO
GET OUT OF JAIL, CORRECT?
>> YES AND WE ARE DEEPLY
FAMILIAR WITH THE RESURGENCE OF
DEBTORS PRISONS, WHICH ENTANGLE
POOR PEOPLE WHO ARE
DISPROPORTIONATELY PEOPLE OF
COLOR IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM MERELY BECAUSE OF THEIR
POVERTY.
>> RIGHT AND CAN I GO I WANT TO
ASK WITH A LITTLE BIT OF THE
GRACE. HERE, THE FIRST TIME I
VISITED RIKERS ISLAND VISITING
USE IN LOCKUP, MS. CLARKE, I
WAS STUNNED. I WAS ALREADY THE
MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEWARK THAT
I WAS VISITING PEOPLE WHO HAD
BEEN CONVICTED OF CRIMES AND
MET WITH A WHOLE BUNCH OF
TEENAGE KIDS AND ASKED HOW LONG
THEY HAD BEEN IN FOR. SIX
MONTHS, EIGHT MONTHS, ONE YEAR.
18 MONTHS WAS ONE OF THEM AND I
SAID WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN
CONVICTED OF? AND THEY WOULD ALL
LOOK AT ME AND SAY THEY HAD NOT
BEEN CONVICTED. THESE WERE
PEOPLE INFORM ELECTIVELY MINOR
ACCUSATIONS WHERE THEY WERE
STUCK IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM THAT LED BRIAN STEVENSON,
WE HAVE A SYSTEM WHO TREAT YOU
BETTER IF YOU ARE RICH AND
GUILTY THEN IF YOU ARE POOR AND
INNOCENT. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT
IS NOT AN OCCASIONAL MISCARRIAGE
OF JUSTICE, THESE GO ON IN
THOUSANDS OF CASES IN EVERY CITY
OF AMERICA WHERE YOU SEE YOUNG
PEOPLE BEING TURNED INTO THE
SYSTEM, BEING PUT INTO SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT, WHICH IS STILL
LEGAL IN MOST STATES.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFESSIONALS CALL
IT TORTURE. THEN THEY ARE LET
OUT OF PRISON NOW HAVING THOSE
DEEPLY PSYCHOLOGICAL
EFFECTS STILL OFTEN NOT
CONVICTED OF ANYTHING AND THIS
IS RIFE WITHIN THE SYSTEM. TO
SAY THAT SOME OF THESE BASIC
PROTECTIONS LIKE MIRANDA ARE THE
OVER SECURING OF RIGHTS, TO ME
IS AN ASTONISHING LACK OF
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY
GOES ON IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM EVERY SINGLE DAY AND TO
SIT ON THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE
LAND AND NOT KNOW ABOUT WHAT
ANYBODY WHO WORKS IN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE WORLD — I HAVE
SEEN SOME JUDGES BREAK DOWN IN
TEARS ABOUT HAVING TO FOLLOW
MANDATORY MINIMUMS. I'VE SEEN
PROSECUTORS COME TO ME AND SAY
THERE HAS TO BE A DIFFERENT WAY.
TO SEE WE ARE, THE CONCERN I HAD
ABOUT NOT BEING FAMILIAR WITH
SOME OF THESE BASIC STUDIES
COMING FROM, YOU KNOW THIS, I
WON'T NAME THEM, THE PEOPLE ON
THE RIGHT, THE ORGANIZATIONS
SOME OF THEM HAVE VILIFIED THIS
VERY HEARING THAT I FOUND COMMON
CAUSE WITH TO TRY TO CORRECT
SOME OF THESE TRAGEDIES. COULD
YOU FINISH SAYING, IS ANYTHING I
AM SAYING OVERSTATING THE FACT?
>> NO SENATOR. THE MOST
NOTORIOUS EXAMPLE OF THE CRISIS
THAT YOU JUST DESCRIBED IS
KHALIF BROWDER, WHO WAS TOLD FOR
THREE YEARS AT RECORDS
ISLAND, WHO COULDN'T POST BAIL.
HE WAS ACCUSED OF STEALING A
BACKPACK BUT NEVER BROUGHT
FORWARD FOR TRIAL AND ULTIMATELY
TOOK HIS LIFE. HE COMMITTED
SUICIDE BECAUSE OF THE TRAUMA
THAT HE EXPERIENCED AT RIKER'S.
JUSTICE BARRETT RECORD ON RACE
AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE MATTERS AND
HER WRITINGS ON MIRANDA ARE A
POWERFUL ROAD MAP INTO HOW SHE
WOULD LIKELY HANDLE CRIMINAL
JUSTICE CASES THAT COME BEFORE
THE SUPREME COURT. THIS IS IN
LARGE PART, THE REASON WHY WE
OPPOSE HER NOMINATION.
>> I WOULD SAY IN CLOSING TO THE
CHAIRMAN, WE SIT IN A COUNTRY
WHERE WE ARE COMFORTABLY SITTING
HERE RIGHT NOW WELL CHILDREN ARE
BEING TORTURED IN SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT. DISPROPORTIONATELY
BLACK AND DISPASSIONATELY POOR.
I CREDIT THE DATA,
DISPROPORTIONATELY STOPPED BY
POLICE, THEY FIND TRAFFIC STOPS
THAT WHITE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY
FOUND WITH DRUGS MORE THAN BLACK
PEOPLE ARE STOPPED. YOU CAN GO
TO EVERY PART OF THE SYSTEM FROM
STATIONHOUSE ADJUSTMENTS ALL THE
WAY THROUGH TO SENTENCING
TREATMENT IN PRISON, PERCEPTIONS
OF THREAT THAT ARE OFTEN DEEPLY
AFFECTING WHETHER SOME
DESPERATION OR PAROLE AND THE
COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES IF
SOMEONE IS POOR NOW. WHEN THEY
GET OUT OF PRISON, THEY HAVE
CONSEQUENCES THEY FACE THAT ARE
MUCH DIFFERENT THAN IF SOMEONE
WHO IS WHAT HE GETS OUT OF
PRISON. IT SO FRUSTRATES ME THAT
WE HAVE A NATIONAL SHAME THAT
OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS
NOT
JUST. WE DO NOT HAVE EQUAL
JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW. WE ARE A
NATION THAT STILL ENGAGES IN
THINGS OTHER COUNTRIES CALL
TORTURED PEOPLE IN OUR PRISONS
AND WE DO NOT NUMBER ONE OF A
SENSE OF URGENCY TO DO SOMETHING
ABOUT IT. WE CONTINUE TO PUT
PEOPLE ON THE HIGHEST COURT IN
THE LAND WHO ARE NOT EVEN
FAMILIAR, IT SEEMS, WITH THE
SCHOLARSHIP AROUND THIS ISSUE.
THANK YOU.
>> JUST A FEW BRIEF COMMENTS AND
WE WILL FINISH WITH SENATOR BILL
REFORM. THERE IS A MOVEMENT TO
ABOLISH CASSVILLE. SENATOR RAND
PAUL MAYBE IS ON IT AND SENATOR
HARRIS. I TRIED TO WORK WITH
SENATOR BOOKER, I FIND YOU VERY
KNOWLEDGEABLE
IN TRYING TO SEEK COMMON GROUND.
YOU HAVE SEEN STATES THAT
BASICALLY ABOLISH BAIL AND DROP
SOMEBODY OFF IN THE MORNING,
THEY ARE BACK OUT ON THE STREETS
IN THE AFTERNOON COMMITTING
VIOLENT CRIMES AND YOU OF THE
SITUATION WITH A YOUNG MAN THREE
YEARS FOR STEALING A BACKPACK. I
GET IT. THERE IS THE OTHER SIDE
OF THE STORY TO THE EXTENT THAT
WE CAN CREATE A PAROLE SYSTEM IN
THE FEDERAL SYSTEM, COUNT ME IN.
THE FEDERAL SYSTEM DOESN'T HAVE
PAROLE. THE FIRST STEP IS
SENTENCES
OFFENSES. SENATOR LEE, YOU'RE
BEEN GOOD AT THIS. I WOULD LIKE
TO TAKE A SHOT TO SEE IF WE CAN
FIND A PILOT PROGRAM FOR PAROLE.
I WENT TO A FACILITY IN SOUTH
CAROLINA WHERE A MAN HAD BEEN
THERE FOR 35 YEARS. HE WAS IN
HIS 50s AND EVERY GUARD SAID HE
IS HERE FOR NO REASON. THE GUARD
SAID THIS GUY OVER HERE, IF HE
EVER GETS OUT, HE WILL KILL THE
FIRST PERSON HE MEETS. SO I
WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A SYSTEM THAT
ADDRESSES WHAT YOU ARE TALKING
ABOUT BUT DOESN'T LEAD TO
A CATCH AND RELEASE IN TERMS OF
VIOLENT OFFENDERS.
>> I WELCOME THAT. EVERY PERSON
I VISIT AND A LOT OF
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FAITH,
MATTHEW 25
DRIVES ME BUT I TRIED TO VISIT
PRISONS. EVERY REPORTING, THE
TOUGHEST WHAT IS YOUR NAME, I
ALWAYS ASK THE QUESTION. ARE
THERE PEOPLE HERE THAT DON'T
BELONG QUESTION AND THEY LOOK AT
ME AND SAY ABSOLUTELY.
ABSOLUTELY.
>> THEY SAY WOULD PAROLE HELP
AND THEY SAID YES. SENATOR
>> THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. MY
COLLEAGUE FROM NEW JERSEY, AS
YOU ALL KNOW, COREY WAS MY OWN
FATHER'S VOLUNTEER WORK IN
PRISON MINISTRY THAT REALLY
SHAPED MY YOUNG LIFE
, VISITS TO UPSTATE PRISON WHEN
I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL AND MY
DAD WAS GOING TO VISIT A BIBLE
STUDY GROUP AND THAT A CONVICTED
MURDERER HOME ON PAROLE WEEKENDS
TO OUR HOUSE, WHICH REALLY
SHAPED MY SENSE OF WHAT IT MEANS
TO BE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS
>>>
WE ARE PAST THE POINT WHERE
PEOPLE OF DELAWARE
EXPECTED ACTION ON REFORM
EFFORTS TO DEAL WITH
RACIAL INEQUALITY AND THAT
SHOULD BE ON OUR AGENDA
EVERY DAY. IT WAS A JUDGE FOR
WHOM I CLERKED THAT
TOOK ME TO A FEDERAL PRISON, SHE
MADE SURE ALL OF US
WENT TO A FEDERAL PRISON, MET
WITH PRISONERS, HAD AN
UNDERSTANDING OF THE
CONSEQUENCES OF DECISIONS. I
THINK EVERYONE WHO SERVES IN
THIS ROLE SHOULD HAVE
THAT INSIGHT INTO THE THEM'S
FAMILIES, CONSEQUENCES
OF CRIME BUT ALSO WHAT
INCARCERATION MEANS THINGS
LIKE CASH BAIL AND SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT. I HAVE HAD
A BILL ON SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
OF JUVENILES FOR A
NUMBER OF YEARS. LET ME GET TO
QUESTIONING
THE
PANEL. IF I COULD BRIEFLY,
SINCE I KNOW I AM THE
LAST TODAY, DOCTOR, IF I MIGHT,
WHAT KIND OF, TWO
THINGS,
RUDY GIULIANI IN SPEAKING TO AN
EVENT ABOUT
COVID-19 RECENTLY SAID PEOPLE
DON'T DIE OF THIS
DISEASE ANYMORE. IS THAT
ACCURATE? AND WHAT IF ANY
KIND OF MEANINGFUL RELIEF CAN
CONGRESS PROVIDE THAT
WOULD HELP. CLINIC IN MICHIGAN
AND HELP THOSE IN
PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE TO THIS
PANDEMIC?
>> THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION.
THE ANSWER TO YOUR
FIRST QUESTION IS NO IT IS NOT
ACCURATE. PEOPLE ARE
STILL DYING EVERY DAY, 1000
AMERICANS EACH DAY ARE
DYING BECAUSE OF COVID-19.
THERE IS A LOT THAT
CONGRESS COULD BE DOING TO HELP
MY PATIENTS. WE
COULD BE POTENTIALLY
EXPANDING UNEMPLOYMENT,
GIVING
PEOPLE CASH ASSISTANCE, MY
PATIENTS ARE HAVING
DIFFICULTY PAYING RENT. THEY
ARE FINDING DIFFICULTY
GETTING FOOD TO EAT EVERY DAY.
I HAVE PATIENTS WITH
DIFFICULTY
AFFORDING MEDICATIONS. SO MY
PATIENTS
ARE FACING REAL LIFE CHALLENGES
AND CAN'T AFFORD TO
WAIT FOR AN ELECTION, THEY CAN'T
AFFORD FOR CONGRESS
TO CONTINUE WITH THE HYPER
PARTISANSHIP WE
ARE
SEEING, THEY NEED ACTION NOW.
THAT IS ONE OF THE
REASONS I CAME TODAY WAS TO
ADVOCATE FOR MY
PATIENTS. SPECIFICALLY, YOU
KNOW, GIVING PEOPLE
ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, ANYONE WHO
HAS A COVID-19
RELATED ILLNESS SHOULD NOT HAVE
TO WORRY ABOUT GOING
BANKRUPT. MAKING SURE THAT WE
PROTECT THOSE PEOPLE
MOVING FORWARD SO THEY DON'T
LOSE HEALTH INSURANCE
AT ANY POINT IN THE FUTURE
BECAUSE OF PRE-EXISTING
CONDITIONS. SO THOSE ARE SOME
OF THE THINGS THAT
COULD BE HELP TO PROTECT MY
PATIENT IS US.
>> THANK YOU. IT IS MY HOPE
THAT WE WILL FIND
A
PATH IN THESE LAST THREE WEEKS
TO ACTUALLY DELIVER A
MEANINGFUL PACKAGE, IT SHOULD BE
ROBUST, IT SHOULD
PROVIDE RESOURCES FOR GRASSROOTS
MEDICAL CLINICS. I
APPRECIATE YOUR ADVOCACY AROUND
THE HEALTHCARE OF
YOUR CHILDREN, YOU SPOKE ABOUT
HOW THE ACA IS VITAL
TO KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN
HEALTHY, MY COLLEAGUES HAVE
SAID THEY WANT TO REPEAL AND
REPLACE ACA, MY
CHALLENGE HAS BEEN FINDING THE
REPLACEMENT PLAN.
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THE PLAN IS
FOR THE ACA?
>> THANK YOU. CAN YOU HEAR ME?
>> YES, I CAN.
>> NOW
I CAN'T.
>> A FEW WEEKS AGO PRESIDENT
TRUMP WAS HERE IN
CHARLOTTE AND SIGNED AN
EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT HE SAID
WOULD PROTECT
PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. FIRST
OF ALL
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS A
WHOLE HECK OF A LOT
MORE THAN PROTECTIONIST AGAINST
PRE-EXISTING
CONDITION EXCLUSIONS. SECOND OF
ALL THE EXECUTIVE
ORDER THAT WAS SIGNED PER WHITE
HOUSE COUNSEL HAD NO
LEGAL EFFECT. IT WAS A GREAT
IDEA BUT I HAVE TO
TELL YOU, LIKE YOU, I REMAIN ALL
CAMERAS AND EAGER
TO SEE AND READ AND CONSIDER AN
EFFECTIVE
REPLACEMENT PLAN. I KNOW THAT
MY OWN SENATOR,
SENATOR THOM TILLIS, IS HE IN
THE CHAMBER TODAY?
>> HE
WAS EARLIER.
>> I KNOW THAT THE SENATOR HAS
PUT FORTH WHAT
IS
CALLED A THE PROTECT ACT, THAT
USES THE TERM
PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS BUT
IN EFFECT DOES NOT MEET
THE STANDARD THAT WE CURRENTLY
HAVE WITH ACA. SO, I
WOULD SAY TO THAT THAT THE
AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ON
PINS AND NEEDLES AND FEELING
VERY ANXIOUS FOR
WHATEVER REPLACEMENT PLAN MIGHT
SOMEDAY IT. SO WE
CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THE IMPACT
IS. I AM SURE YOU
CAN UNDERSTAND THE ANXIETY THAT
COMES WITH THE
ABSENCE OF THAT. I MEAN SINCE
2017 WHEN THE LITTLE
LOBBYIST FIRST STARTED TO
COME TOGETHER WE HAVE BEEN
FACING A FUTURE WITH THREATS TO
THE AFFORDABLE CARE
ACT MINUS A VIABLE REPLACEMENT.
WHILE CHILDREN'S
LIVES HANG IN THE BALANCE. IT
HAS BEEN DIFFICULT
AND STRESSFUL FOR YEARS AND IT
CONTINUES WITH EACH
DAY.
>> THANK YOU. ONE THING I TRIED
TO EMPHASIZE IN
TALKING TO PEOPLE IN DELAWARE IS
THAT ACA DOES NOT
JUST PROTECT 20 MILLION
AMERICANS WHO GET THROUGH OR
HEALTHCARE, IT DOES NOT JUST
PROTECT 130 MILLION
AMERICANS WHO HAVE PRE-EXISTING
CONDITIONS, NOW MORE
BECAUSE OF THE
PANDEMIC, IT PROTECTS A MAJORITY
OF
AMERICANS. THIS IS RELEVANT
BECAUSE THIS WEEK
WEAKER CONSIDERING A SUSPECT, A
SUCCESSOR TO THE
JUSTICE. IT DOES NOT ALLOW
INSURANCE COMPANIES TO
TREAT PREGNANCY AS A
PRE-EXISTING CONDITION OR TO
CHARGE MORE BECAUSE WOMEN ARE
WOMEN. SO IT PROTECTS
A MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE. LET ME CLOSE
WITH TWO QUESTIONS FROM HIS
CLARK. MY STAFF HAS
IDENTIFIED, I PUT UP A BOARD
YESTERDAY OF 120
SUPREME COURT CASES THAT WERE
DECIDED 5-4 THAT I NOW
BELIEVE ARE AT RISK OF
RECONSIDERATION OR REVERSAL
IF JUDGE BARRETT IS CONFIRMED.
ONE OF THESE CASES
IS A DECISION THAT UPHELD THE
PROMOTION OF RACIAL
DIVERSITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
MICHIGAN. THIS WEEK
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SUED
YALE UNIVERSITY FOR
ITS EFFORTS TO PROMOTE RACIAL
DIVERSITY, A CASE
SIMILAR TO THAT, THE
ADMINISTRATION HAS ALSO
SUPPORTED AGAINST HARVARD. CAN
YOU EXPLAIN THE
IMPACT THIS CASE HAS HAD FOR THE
NATION?
>> THANK YOU, SENATOR FOR THAT
QUESTION. THERE ARE
A NUMBER OF CRITICAL CASES IN
THE SUPREME COURT
PIPELINE AND SOME OF THE MOST
HIGH-STAKES CASES ARE
CASES INVOLVING CHALLENGES TO
RACE CONSCIOUS
ADMISSIONS POLICIES AT COLLEGES
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
AS YOU KNOW THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT RECENTLY
SUED
YALE UNIVERSITY, THERE HAVE BEEN
SIMILAR SUITS
BROUGHT AGAINST HARVARD, THE
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH
CAROLINA, THE UNIVERSITY OF
TEXAS, MY ORGANIZATION
IS INVOLVED IN ALL OF THOSE
CASES AND THEY ARE ON A
FAST TRACK TO THE SUPREME COURT.
THE SUPREME COURT
HAS HELD THAT RACE CAN BE WON
AMONG A NUMBER OF
FACTORS AT COLLEGES CONSIDER AND
PULLING TOGETHER
THEIR COLLEGE CLASSES. WHAT
IS AT STAKE IS RACIAL
DIVERSITY, THE PRINCIPLE OF
RACIAL DIVERSITY. I AM
CONCERNED THAT JUDGE BARRETT ON
THE SUPREME COURT
WITHOUT END THE PRECEDENTS THAT
HAVE BEEN
ESTABLISHED IN THIS AREA AND
THAT WOULD TURN BACK
DECADES OF PROGRESS AND RESULT
IN COLLEGES THAT ARE
NOT RACIALLY DIVERSE, COLLEGES
THAT WALK THE DOOR ON
BLACK STUDENTS AND LATINO
STUDENTS WHO ARE DESERVING
OF ACCESS. IT WOULD ROLL BACK
THE CLOCK ON EQUAL
OPPORTUNITY. I AM GLAD THAT YOU
ASKED THE QUESTION
SENATOR BECAUSE IT REALLY
UNDERSCORES HOW
HIGH-STAKES THIS NOMINATION IS
FOR THE NATION.
>> YOU DID SOME IMPORTANT EARLY
WORK IN YOUR CAREER
ON ELECTION PROTECTION AND
PRESIDENT TRUMP AND
MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE HAVE
REPEATEDLY ATTACKED
THE VALIDITY OF MAIL IN VOTING,
EVEN THOUGH
PRESIDENT TRUMP HIMSELF, MEMBERS
OF
HIS FAMILIES,
ROUTINELY USE MAIL IN VOTING AS
A WAY TO CAST THEIR
BALLOT AND THERE HAVE BEEN NO
EVIDENCE OF WIDESPREAD
VOTER FRAUD. WE HAVE SEEN
EFFORTS BY THE
ADMINISTRATION TO UNDERMINE THE
PROPER FUNCTIONING
OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, WE HAVE
SEEN THE GOVERNOR OF
TEXAS TRY TO MAKE IT MORE
DIFFICULT FOR VOTERS TO
SUBMIT TO THEIR BALLOT IN THIS
UPCOMING ELECTION.
WE HAVE SEEN LINES BETWEEN 5-10
HOURS IN THE STATE
OF GEORGIA FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO
VOTE. THE
PRESIDENT HAS OPENLY CALLED FOR
VOTER INTIMIDATION.
CAN YOU SPEAK TO
THE IMPACTS OF THESE IMPEDIMENTS
ON
VOTING, HOW THEY DIFFER FROM THE
IMPACT OF ANY
ALLEGED VOTER FRAUD AND HOW THIS
DOES OR DOES NOT
ALIGN WITH A TRAGIC HISTORY IN
THIS COUNTRY OF VOTER
SUPPRESSION.
>> YOU CERTAINLY MAY ANSWER THE
QUESTION BRIEFLY
IF
POSSIBLE.
>> YES, CHAIRMAN. SENATOR VOTER
SUPPRESSION IS A
LIVE AND WELL. WE SEE IT EVERY
DAY IN PLACES LIKE
TEXAS, GEORGIA, NORTH CAROLINA,
STATES THAT WERE
COVERED BY SECTION 5 OF THE
VARIETY VOTING RIGHTS
ACT. WE KNOW PEOPLE ARE
STRUGGLING TO ACCESS THE
BALLOT ADMITTED THE PANDEMIC AND
THERE HAVE BEEN
LAWSUITS TO TEAR DOWN THE
UNCONSTITUTIONAL BARRIERS
TO THE BALLOT, WHICH IS WHY
JUDGE BARRETT'S VIEWS
MATTER. WHICH IS WHY IT HAS
BEEN DISTURBING TO
LISTEN TO JUDGE BARRETT THIS
WEEK EXPRESSED AN
UNWILLINGNESS
TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT VOTER
INTIMIDATION
IS UNLAWFUL, TO EXPRESS AN
UNWILLINGNESS TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT VOTING
DISCRIMINATION IS ONGOING
AND EXISTS. THESE CASES ARE IN
THE SUPREME COURT
PIPELINE AND ON THE COURT'S
DOCKET, WHICH IS WHY,
AGAIN, WE OPPOSE JUDGE BARRETT'S
NOMINATION TO THE
SUPREME COURT. SHE WILL TURN
THE CLOCK BACK ON
VOTING RIGHTS IN THIS COUNTRY.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK
YOU MR. CHAIRMAN.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR
WITNESSES.
>> MR. CHAIRMAN I WANT TO THANK
YOU, THIS HAS BEEN
ONE OF THE BEST SET OF HEARINGS
I HAVE PARTICIPATED
IN. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR
YOUR FAIRNESS AND THE
OPPORTUNITY, IT LEAVES ONE WITH
A LOT OF HOPES, A
LOT OF QUESTIONS, EVEN SOME
IDEAS PERHAPS SOME GOOD
BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION WE
CAN PUT TOGETHER TO MAKE
THIS GREAT COUNTRY EVEN BETTER.
SO, THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP.
>> THAT MEANS A LOT TO ME. I
KNOW WE HAVE DIFFERENT
VIEWS ABOUT JUDGE BARRETT,
WHETHER WE SHOULD BE
DOING THAT BUT, TO MY DEMOCRATIC
COLLEAGUES YOU HAVE
CHALLENGED JUDGE BARRETT, YOU
HAVE CHALLENGED US, I
ACCEPTED THOSE CHALLENGES AS
BEING SINCERE AND
NOT
PERSONAL. I DON'T THINK ANYONE
CROSSED THE LINE
WITH THE JUDGE. THE PEOPLE ON
MY SIDE THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR BEING INVOLVED AND
TELLING OUR SIDE OF THE
STORY AND ASKING THE JUDGE ABOUT
YOUR CONCERNS. ONE
THING WE CAN TELL YOU AS LONG AS
THERE IS SENATOR
GRASSLEY THERE WILL BE A
QUESTION ABOUT ETHANOL. TO
SENATOR FEINSTEIN YOU ARE A JOY
TO WORK WITH. TO
THE STAFF THIS HAS BEEN HARD, A
LOT OF PRESSURE SO
THE PEOPLE WHO SET UP OF THE
ROOM, THANK YOU. TO
THE WITNESSES WHO CHOSE TO
PARTICIPATE TODAY AS
PRIVATE CITIZENS, THANK YOU, TO
THE POLICE OFFICERS
WHO MADE THIS GO WELL, THANK
YOU, TO MY STAFF I
REALLY DO THANK YOU. SO, WHAT
WE WILL DO NOW IS
ENDED WHERE WE BEGAN, MY VIEW
OVER THE ACA
IS
DIFFERENT THAN SOUTH CAROLINA,
WE ARE GETTING
$1 BILLION LESS BECAUSE OF THE
FORMULA. THOSE
ISSUES WILL BE DECIDED AT THE
BALLOT BOX. ALL I CAN
SAY IS VOTING DOESN'T MATTER AND
I AM SORRY THAT
ANYONE HAS TO WAIT IN LINE. WE
NEED TO MAKE SURE
THAT WE DEAL WITH THAT AS A
NATION BUT VOTING
PARTICIPATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA
IS VERY STRONG, I AM
HAPPY ABOUT THAT. THIS IS A
CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR
SAY, THE STATE BACKS ARE HIGH
BUT LET ME SAY THE
ELECTION WILL COME, WINNERS WILL
BE DECLEARED AND WE
GET TO START OVER. THE THING I
LIKE MOST ABOUT
DEMOCRACY IS A JOURNEY WITHOUT A
DESTINATION. WHEN
ARE WE GOING TO GET THERE. WE
NEVER ACTUALLY DO.
WHEN YOU ARE A CHILD YOU ARE
WANTING TO GET TO WHERE
YOU CAN GO, IT REALLY IS THE
JOURNEY. I DON'T KNOW
HOW THE ELECTION WILL COME OUT,
I FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT
BUT HAVING SAID THAT, YOU KNOW,
2016 WAS
A CURVEBALL
IN MANY WAYS AND I DON'T KNOW
WHAT IS GOING TO
HAPPEN BUT THE MORE PEOPLE VOTE
THE BETTER. WHEN IT
IS ALL OVER IN A FEW WEEKS I
WILL JUST SAY THIS, IF
I AM AROUND I WILL COMMIT MYSELF
TO STARTING OVER,
LOOKING FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD
AND TO THE JUDICIARY
COMMITTEE WE
HAVE TALKED ABOUT THINGS THAT
REALLY
MATTER, WE HAVE HAD DIFFERENCES
BUT WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT SECTIONS AND 30, I THINK
THAT IS MATTERING
MORE EVERY DAY AND THE FACT WE
HAD A UNANIMOUS VOTE
TO MAKE SURE THAT SOCIAL MEDIA
OUTLETS EARLIER
PROTECTION WHEN IT COMES TO
PROTECTING CHILDREN
AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IT
IS A GREAT PLATE TO
START. THERE ARE A LOT OF SMART
PEOPLE ON THIS
COMMITTEE ABOUT ANTITRUST,
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SO
THIS COMMITTEE, IN MY VIEW, EVEN
THOUGH WE HAVE HAD
A ROUGH RIDE LATELY HAS THE
POTENTIAL TO ENGAGE EACH
OTHER AND MAKE AMERICA A
STRONGER, SAFER PLACE. TO
MY FRIEND, I DON'T THINK
EVERYONE LIKES THEIR JOB
MORE THAN YOU DO. I HAVE NEVER
SEEN ANYONE, SENATOR
YOU ARE IN THAT CATEGORY, WHO IS
SO ENTHUSIASTIC
ABOUT THE LAW AND POLITICS. I
WILL END WITH THIS,
JUDGE BARRETT, I HAVE HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS
SEVERAL PEOPLE APPLY FOR THE JOB
OF BEING A SUPREME
COURT JUSTICE. I HAVE NEVER MET
A MORE AMAZING
HUMAN BEING IN MY LIFE. NOT
FROM JOSIE PROFESSOR
WHO HELPED
THE STRUGGLING YOUNG BLIND A
STUDENT AND
EVERYONE ELSE SHE HAS HELPED BUT
YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF
THE LAW, YOUR DISPOSITION, YOUR
CHARACTER, THE ABA
RATING WAS WELL-EARNED SO THE
HEARING REGARDING
JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT TO
BECOME ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
OF THE SUPREME COURT IS
NOW OVER. THE MARKED UP
WILL BE OCTOBER THE 22ND, TO ALL
WHO GOT US HERE
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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