tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 17, 2016 9:04pm-9:19pm EDT
earlier in the data ranking day the ranking member of the committee, patrick leahy met with the judge and spoke to reporters after the meeting. >> i know you may have questions but i just had a good meeting with the judge. i've known him for a long time but we had a couple interesting conversations. we are both former prosecutors
and i followed him very closely in oklahoma city during a stint of creating legislation in the emergency fund for the communities hit by terrorism which has expanded since then that i watched the professional way that he handled what could have been a real problem. i said what happens now? i know the answer but when you are a judge or a prosecutor, what do you do, and he said you look at each case by itself so i fooled with the government sometimes and against the government. to me, that's why the recommended judges in vermont obviously at a different level.
i've always said we'd make a difference coming in. so patrick leahy he or patrick smith coming forward and that's where i want a supreme court justice. so i am pleased with the president's nomination. i think that what you see is what you get. there is no hidden agenda. he's made it very clear where he stands. now i am proud to serve in the senate as we took an oath to uphold the constitution. and now let's just do that and follow the constitution.
you don't have any questions probably but if you do, go ahead. >> [inaudible] i wonder if you can talk about how difficult. >> i didn't have to talk about it because you've seen a republican leadership say they don't care what the constitution says they are going to ignore it and i hope that will change. if we follow our normal routine, we could have the hearings, the debate, the background and the vote by memorial day. we are seeking an unprecedented number of resources both last year and this year. if we don't have time, cancel a couple. we are paid every single day whether we are here or not.
there is no reason why especially somebody as noncontroversial as the chief judge there is no question that this could easily be done by memorial day. >> did the judge express any sort of disappointment with the republican actions? they talked to them on the phone berkley who said you are a nice guy but we aren't going to take you on. >> they shouldn't talk to him by phone [inaudible] you meet with every nominee. i've done this with every president. it is as a courtesy you meet with them and give them -- this is a very, very important subject a senator can take a lifetime appointment.
i think we over its two the country and more important, to the constitution to meet with the person, don't phone it in. >> did they talk about that at all? >> no, they discussed the wall [inaudible] the last few weeks the recess is going to be critical regarding the nomination. what specific events are planned and is there anything concrete plan? >> [inaudible] you will see the calls and letters i'm getting from my state from both republicans and democrats. it's not a question of promoting them as they are some of the most conservative and liberal
[inaudible] they say the same thing, then make up your mind, let's have a vote. either vote yes or no. >> can you talk about what role they might have been persuading them to move forward and what you envision, what role the judge himself might play persuading the republicans to move forward and what do you envision for him? for >> i think that it is a role of fairness. you have people attacking him and saying we can't do this or that. let him blank isn't going to go out before the press like i am now and give his side of the story where he gets a chance to say anything and that's what he
ought to have. he isn't going to say anything publicly about in a hearing, he could answer questions and he ought to have the opportunity. and it is a question of fairness. most important is us following the constitution. how can you say we are being fair if we don't even give him a hearing? there is no fairness in that. i can't think since i've been here, a supreme court justice at the request of the white house, both of them republicans that everybody has had a hearing. >> did the judge say that he is
prepared to wait until after if necessary? >> we want into that wanted into that because that should be a non- issue. the fact is if we fall it takes about 60 days and if you have a nominee let's take a year i don't think that's really and then we never do that after the election. but now that you're supposed to. the president wasn't elected for three years and nearly another party to tell us that he got elected and he's trying to do his job and he has done his job -- if it has some kind of a grandstanding thing every day
that's one thing i would hope that the legal scholars would talk to those but both republicans and democrats had asked them what they think. some of you have been here long enough to remember president ronald reagan to the conservative republicans. he recommended to the president sandra day o'connor. she had a full hearing and became the first woman to serve in the united states senate. she is now retired. she has made it very clear publicly that she thinks we
should go forward in the nomination hearing. there are those that have been on the supreme court and retired, but you will find people across the political spectrum, republicans and democrats are saying have the hearing and vote up or down. [inaudible] are you saying the senate's democrats wouldn't be willing to have a hearing and vote on judge garland after [inaudible] >> i'm not saying that at all. what i'm saying is do what is always done, have the hearing. i get tired of hearing [inaudible] i remind them the last two years
of the term they put 68 of the judges. we were doing the nominations right up to september and then we all recessed. do the same thing we did. >> is there a chance that he will be confirmed? >> i talked about where the hurdles are and what i thought would happen if we actually followed the oath that we have all taken to uphold the constitution. >> [inaudible] >> we actually didn't even go into that.
i'm not going to go into the specific discussion of the then i did decide with the government ruled against it. let's not go down and ask the obvious question why. what if we do this and what if we do that. i am just saying i've done it for five years now, uphold the constitution. this is one of the most important votes that we can ever cast. others like that it is extraordinarily important. [inaudible] >> they are already attacking the liberal point that he made
on other things but the bar is already attacking. >> some of the republican groups realized that their party made a bad mistake saying they are not going to follow the constitution. they can't do this based upon the constitution. they try to distract on the reasons. [laughter] >> senate democrats denounced their republican colleagues for holding up merrick garland's nomination to the court in a conference court of the conference today. senator reid said the majority leader mitch mcconnell cannot prevail on his vow to not hold a hearing or vote for the nominee.
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