Vice President Pence at the Federalist Society CSPAN February 6, 2017 11:14am-11:40am EST
greg kaplan onm some of the military related nominations of trump. no senate hearings yet scheduled for the navy and air force secretary nominee's as the search for a new army secretary pick continues, after the first pick, vincent viola, with church's name from consideration. vice president mike pence spoke to the federal society about numbing to the supreme court, neil gorsuch. here are his room. [applause]
everybody, is in the house. [applause] vice pres. pence: ambassador gray, members of the federalist society, honored guests, it's a privilege to be with you. it's a privilege to be with you here in this place, and congress hall, at such a time as this in the life of our nation. i bring you greetings and i'm here today on behalf of the president of the united states of america, donald trump, who appreciates -- [applause] vice pres. pence: -- the federalist society and all that it stands for. it's truly humbling to be in this position and to be in this place today. thank all of you, members of the federalist society, or your support and work over the past year. it was quite a campaign but it has already been quite an administration, am i right? [laughter] [applause] i know the president feels the
same way that i do, that we are here, in no small part because of your commitment and the ideals of the federalist society to restore the promise of america. it is fitting that we are in philadelphia today, in the shadow of independence hall, only steps away from where the founding fathers echoed ideals. they declared these truths to be self-evident, that we are all created equal, and that we are endowed not by government, but that we are endowed, as the president recited this week, endowed by our creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that principle is at the center of the american experience, and it will always be. [applause]
vice pres. pence: the men who wrote these words will forever be honored in the american pantheon. thomas jefferson, james madison, and so many others. documents they drafted, the declaration of independence. the year in which they signed it, 1776, is now synonymous with the freedom of the world. what they did that day is the greatest gift we have asked sons and daughters of the united states. it's humbling to be so near to where they pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. yet our founders were not finished with their noble work, were they? in the words of abraham lincoln, they had labored to create an apple of gold, now they needed a pitcher of silver to frame it in, to adorn and to preserve the principles at the heart of our exceptional experiment into self-government.
so it would be 11 years later, the summer of 1787, our founding fathers returned to independence hall. they came to craft the framework of government to protect those timeless ideals, the ideals that bind us together as a people and give us purpose as a nation. they gave us the constitution of the united states of america. [applause] vice pres. pence: it was, it is, and i believe it will forever be, the greatest charter of liberty our world has ever seen. it's fostered our nation's unparalleled success. it is, to this day, the greatest bulwark against tyranny in history. this is the constitution that trump and i both swore to uphold. on january 20, just over two weeks ago, we stood before the american people and before god and made solemn vows. in my oath of office, i simply promised to support and defend the constitution. as did the president. and i promise you, we will keep
that oath. [applause] vice pres. pence: people keep asking me what it was like up there on the stage. i tell people it was just very humbling. it was humbling for me to be there. my grandfather came to this country from a little town in ireland, he got on a boat, crossed the atlantic, went to ellis island and took a train to chicago, illinois, where he drove a bus for 40 years. he was the proudest man i ever knew. the fact that he had the courage to cross that ocean is why michael richard pence is now the vice president of the united states of america. it is, i am sure, startling to him, knowing me as well as he did in more ways than one.
[laughter] vice pres. pence: i found myself thinking upon that stage what that irishman must be thinking, looking down from glory. i only came to one conclusion, he was right. not about me, he was right about america. anybody can be anybody because of the system of liberty that we have enshrined in the constitution and the founding documents. [applause] vice pres. pence: that moment was made all the more special because of the man who who adminsterred my oath of office, justice clarence thomas. [applause] vice pres. pence: i am privileged to have met justice
thomas about a decade ago when i was a member of congress, and privileged to have a chance to get acquainted with a man of his conviction and his courage on the supreme court of the united states. i know everyone in this room holds justice thomas in the same high regard. not only that, we want to aid him in his lonely fight, his lonely fight too often on the supreme court, and we can do that best by giving justice clarence thomas another colleague on the bench who shares his courage and his commitment to our nation's guiding documents, and this we are doing. [applause] vice pres. pence: you know, the
american people elected trump, i believe, in significant part because of his vow to do just that, to nominate someone to the supreme court in the mold of not only justice thomas but also of the late and great justice antonin scalia. [applause] vice pres. pence: it was such a special night earlier this week, when we were joined not only by our nominee and his wife but also by the widow of justice scalia and his son, who was with us there to share that moment. justice antonin scalia's devotion to the constitution will be forever remembered by the people of the united states of america. [applause] vice pres. pence: but this was trump's promise, and make no mistake about it, my friends, in
the federalist society, we're in the promise-keeping business in washington, d.c. now. before i say anything more, it behooves us to remember justice scalia's legacy and honor his memory. we all knew justice scalia. the federalist society actually owes him a great deal. justice scalia was one of its first faculty mentors in the early 1980's, i'm told, at the university of chicago. our country owes a great deal to him, too. his incomparable opinions, even more his incisive dissents, will stand the test of time, influencing future generations of lawyers through his wit and wisdom. as his successor said the other night, america misses justice scalia greatly, and i know we'll always cherish him in our hearts. would you mind getting to your feet and just showing how much we appreciate the life and work and memory of the late justice antonin scalia? [applause]
vice pres. pence: i mentioned before that last week i had the great privilege to speak with the justice's widow, maurine. the president asked me to invite her to join us at the white house for the supreme court announcement the next day. during the conversation, i told her that trump was about to nominate a worthy replacement for her husband, and before i could go further, she stopped me and said, actually that's not how the president puts it. she said the president actually told me that no one can replace my husband, they can only succeed him. [laughter] isn't that wonderful?
and it's true. we all know why. and that's why president trump devoted so much energy to picking the best possible nominee. last year, president trump took the unprecedented step of releasing a list of the 21 men and women he was considering for the supreme court. there was full transparency literally every step of the way, unprecedented transparency in this process. each individual the president named shared several key qualifications. sterling academic credentials, a brilliant legal mind, and unwavering commitment to the constitution of the united states. four days ago, as you all know, president trump nominated someone who fits this description to a tee, judge neil m. gorsuch. [applause] i can say with the utmost confidence, judge gorsuch is a worthy successor to justice antonin scalia.
by the grace of god and with what i know will be the tireless efforts of everyone in this room, i believe neil gorsuch will soon take his seat as an associate justice on the supreme court of the united states. [applause] vice pres. pence: when you get down to it, judge gorsuch, plain and simple, is one of the most mainstream, respected, and exceptionally qualified supreme court nominees in american history. don't take my word for it. that was the conclusion of the american bar association in 2006. after president george w. bush nominated him to the tenth circuit court of appeals, the unanimousim a rating of the highest possible
recommendation. and the united states senate agreed. only two months after his nomination, the senate confirmed him by a unanimous voice vote. and nearly a third of those senators on both sides of the aisle are still serving in the senate today. a unanimous vote. as president trump asked on tuesday, can you believe that? [laughter] vice pres. pence: oh, yes, you can. when you look at judge gorsuch's record ever since, in his decade on the 10th circuit, he has established himself as a fair and impartial judge, who has been faithful to the constitution. he's well known as a keen legal thinker and, just as important, a clear legal writer. it's evident to all that he's a man also of high character and courage, indispensable qualities for a jurist. over the past few days, it has been amazing to see the outpouring of support for those who know judge gorsuch and his work from the ethics and public policy center.
he was declared a "dedicated originalist and textual list who writes with clarity, force, and verve." the "wall street journal" praised him as a "distinguished choice who will adhere to the original meaning of the constitution." and leonard leo, who, of course, is here, called him an exceptional jurist. by the way, leonard, let me say again how much i and the president appreciate your tireless work on behalf of our country and the constitution. we're grateful for all you have done. [applause] vice pres. pence: i should also note that judge gorsuch is so well liked that even those that disagree with him sing his praises.
the acting solicitor general under president obama endorsed judge gorsuch in the strongest possible terms. he called him "an extraordinary judge" who will "help restore confidence in the rule of law." that's what this is really all about. our constitutional order requires the rule of law without exception. we are, after all, a nation of laws. judge gorsuch firmly understands this. he said on many occasions that judges must apply the law as to theirithout regard own politics or personal feelings. he put it well on tuesday, movingly saying, "in our legal order, it's for congress and not the courts to write new laws." he added, "it's the role of judges to apply and not alter the work of the people's
representatives." my favorite line, sitting as i was on the front row, is this one -- "a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands." i don't know about you, but that's my kind of supreme court justice. [applause] vice pres. pence: not just his words. judge gorsuch's record on the bench clearly demonstrates his fidelity to the wisdom of the founders rather than the whims of our own day and age. 200 written more than opinions while on the 10th circuit court, and if you read
them all, and some have, an unmistakable picture emerges. he's around originalist and a textualist who will pick up right where justice scalia left off. holding separation of powers and the checks and balances between the three branches, he also defends the constitution's unique system of federalism and restricts the national government to the specific and enumerated powers enshrined in the constitution while leaving to the states much more sizable control over their lives and destinies. these carefully calibrated mechanisms, so wisely designed by our founding fathers, are a strong foundation for the protection of the american people's fundamental liberties. by defending them, judge gorsuch has shown himself to be a true friend of our freedoms. it should be abundantly clear that judge neil gorsuch is indeed a worthy successor of justice antonin scalia. he is cut from the same cloth. our constitution and our country will be stronger with him on the supreme court. but we're not there yet. which is why i'm here. first, of course, we must abide
by the constitution and secure the advice and consent of the senate. the morning after his nomination, i escorted judge gorsuch to capitol hill for the first time. i'm pleased to report in just a few short days, he's met with 12 senators in both political parties, and he's making himself available to meet with all 100 members of the senate, if they're willing to meet with him. of course, several announced their opposition within minutes of his nomination, and now they're even threatening to use the filibuster procedure in the senate to stop him. make no mistake about it, this would be an unwise and unprecedented act. never before in the history of our country has an associate justice nominee to the supreme court faced a successful filibuster, and judge neil m. gorsuch should not be the first. [applause]
vice pres. pence: let me say, president trump and i have full confidence that judge gorsuch will be confirmed but rest assured, we will work with the senate leadership to ensure that judge gorsuch gets an up or down vote on the senate floor one way or the other. [applause] this seat does not belong to any party or ideology or interest group. this seat on the supreme court belongs to the american people, and the american people deserve a vote on the floor of the united states senate. [applause] vice pres. pence: my friends, this is a historic time for our country. we are on the verge, literally,
of reaffirming the supremacy of the constitution in our nation's supreme court. we're giving a new voice to the age-old vision of our founding fathers. we're rededicating ourselves and our country to the timeless principles that they proclaimed only a few steps away from where we're standing today. under president trump's leadership, we're returning power to the american people, the rightful rulers of the greatest nation the world has ever known. we have much work to do, but i'm confident, with the grace of god, we will accomplish the task before us. let me just close by saying thank you. thank you to all of you for your work, as men and women of the law, participants in the federalist society, your own fealty to the constitution of the united states and the way you live that out in your lives and careers. i must tell you it is inspiring to be with you today and i truly
do believe that for all our nation has accomplished over these last 241 years, i'm absolutely confident that as we keep faith with the ideals that were first minted just a few steps away from here in our founding documents, in that declaration, and in that constitution, the best days for america are yet to come. thank you very much. god bless you. [applause]
eugene: thank you so much, mr. vice president. as a small token of our appreciation, i would like to give a tie and some cufflink type things, well within our limits. we're very honored to have you, and thank you so much. good for talk shows. vice pres. pence: i will be appearing on television very soon. see if you notice anything. thank you very much. god bless you, gene. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> the senate meeting at noon eastern time today, about 20 overes away, for debate the nomination of betsy devos as education secretary with a vote on the nomination tomorrow and more work on nominations later
this week. live coverage of the senate on c-span [applause] . "hill" reporting a federal court in pennsylvania is forcing google to richard reid emails stored on a server outside of the u.s. -- the pennsylvania court agreeing with the circuit court but disagreeing with analysis on the location of the search and seizure. the house starting its shortened to day work week in about two minutes. before that, a look at trump administration changes to federal rulemaking and regulations from today's "washington journal." our guest now, first-time guest, sam batkins, director of regulatory policy at the american action forum. first off, what is the aaf? what do you do? guest: the american action forum
was founded in 2009 by former cbo director -- and i handle regulatory policy through the forum, which ranges in everything from agriculture policy to environmental energy policy to transportation policy and everything in between. we have a variety of issue areas and we handle telik communication, health care, tax and fiscal policy, but immensely gamut. >> where does the money -- host: where does the money come from? guest: that is a good question. i am not directly involved in fundraising. americanactionfor run.org is the place to go. explain what you have seen and heard from the trump administration over these two weeks about federal rulemaking. guest: people have been talking about the regulatory budget, a way to manage regulatory