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tv   Senate Judiciary Committee Votes on Attorney General Garlands Nomination  CSPAN  March 1, 2021 7:04pm-7:20pm EST

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per day. amen to what was just said. mr. zients: i want to thank everybody for joining today. we'll be back together on wednesday. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] >> "washington journal," every day at 7:00 a.m. and watch live coverage of the senate judiciary committee on c-span3 and or listen live on the c-span radio app. >> the house rules committee has been meeting all day, but they have finished their work. john press in a hand of politico said the house will be voting on tonight a rule that includes a technical correction to the covid relief bill passed by the house on saturday night. the underlying measures in that
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rule are two bills, one on election chames and one on police reform. until the house comes in, we'll show you some of the senate judiciary committee hearing from earlier. they voted 15-7 to advance the nomination of merrick garland to be attorney general. the full senate could take up the nomination this week. >> the hundred 17 congress i want to welcome everyone. we have three items on our agenda today and i'd like to quickly address 2 of them, committee rules and subcommittees before focusing our remarks on judge garland's nomination to serve as indications next attorney general. we are voting today to adopt
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committee rules for the hundred 17 congress and we made very few limited modifications on a bipartisan basis and my hope is we can adopt these rules by voice vote. we will be voting to formalize our subcommittees including jurisdiction and membership of each. we have 2 reconstituted subcommittees this congress, subcommittee on privacy technology and the subcommittee on human rights and the law which was previously chaired. i know our subcommittee chairs are eager to hold important hearings on legislation and oversight and i look forward to an active subcommittees schedule this year and i hope we will be able to approve these subcommittees by voice vote as well. let me turn to the major business at hand. judge garland's nomination to be attorney general. i don't think there's much to say about judge garland that hasn't already been said . he's a man of extraordinary qualifications in his life has been dedicated to public service and advancing values title to this department's functioning. integrity andindependence ,
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fidelity to the rule of law and equal justice for all and i know a number of my republican colleagues share my perspective and have announced publicly. senator tillis said in a press release i have no doubt judge garland will serve with integrity with the best interests of our country in mind. senator cornyn said i was struck by judge garland humanity. i believe is a good man and a nice person. i couldn't agree more than with what senator cornyn said but i believe you will hear in this and heard the testimony, of mrs. butler. she's a mother of 2 children and judge garland personally mentored her, not to take anything away from any other witness but that mothers insight on merrick garland was one i cannot ever forget. my colleague cory booker
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asked the final personal question during his first round which allowed judge garland to speak from his heart about life in public service and what this country means to him and why he would give up a lifetime appointment to the second highest court in the land to endure this political process and becomeattorney general. this is what judge garland said . i come from a family where my grandparents led fled anti-semitism and persecution . this country protected us and i feel an obligation to pay back and this is the highest best use of my set of skills to pay back. it was an electric moment we won't forget. the nation needs this kind of selflessness in a nominee. america will be better with this kind of person leading the justice department and i'm proud to support judge garland and i had my colleagues will join me in doing the same. i turned to my friend ranking member chuck grassley for an important statement. >> thank you mister chairman.
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it's obvious we're here today to vote on the number nomination of judge garland for attorney general. i intend to support his nomination i want to state my concerns about the direction of the department of justice in hopes that the judge will work with us to do what he said that he wants to do. pretty simply, keep the justice department nonpolitical and nonpartisan and apolitical. judge garland as i said in his hearing is an honorable man. he says he wants to follow the law. nothing more, nothing less. i believe that is what he said he wants to do. his career of faithful public service i think means i own him a chance to just do exactly what he said.
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but he has his work cut out for him. during the campaign, president biden said that his administration would be the most progressive in history. i'm afraid that might be right. it will be up to judge garland to stand up to efforts to turn the justice department into an arm of the progressive wing of the democratic party as happened under president obama. so i will back this up with some statistics and things coming before the judge as attorney general. first the durum investigation. we covered the investigation a lot judge garland's hearing and in written questions. while judge garland has consistently said that he has no preconceived notions on durum, he has unfortunately refused to give the same commitment on durum that barr
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dave on the miller investigations. in written questions he's refused to explain what standard you would apply to evaluate durum and failed to give the kinds of easy commitments that barr gave to this committee. what he's told us to is that in spite of these failures to commit, expects that he will allow him to proceed. i take judge garland at his word that he will in fact allow durum to proceed. i will also put him on notice this way. because of his repeated failures to commit to protect durum, any actions taken to end, cover-up or otherwise undermine the durum investigation should be interpreted as premeditated
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and political. if durum is sidelined, that will be the only explanation for judge garland's consistent refusal to answer like barr did on mueller. as i said, i think judge garland is an honorable man so i expect that he will, that will not happen. but his credibility is on the line . i can on religious liberty. judge garland's spoke movingly of his family seeking refuge in the united states while fleeing anti-semitism. like judge starr told our committee at the hearing, i trust he understands the importance of religious liberty. by voting for judge garland, i'm expressing confidence in his willingness to take those rights seriously. i asked him many questions about religious liberty was
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satisfied that the justice department run by attorney general garland will protect religious liberty as the broad first freedom envisioned by our founders and not marginalize it as a backwards lifestyle preference as envisioned by a lot of progressive radicals. on the subject of the right to bear arms. i'll be frank, judge garland's answers on the right to bear arms have not been encouraging. during his hearing he said he would safely enact president biden's money grabbing agenda. i hope he will stand up for the independence of the justice department and follow the law as president biden instruction to violate the second amendment.
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if he doesn't i expect the courts will have something to say about that issue. on the subject of litigation positions. if judge garland really wants to show us that he's the next and leavy and not the next eric holder, he should pay close attention to positions that justice department takes on litigation . just because the trump justice department took a position doesn't mean that position was wrong. if every four or eight years the justice department comes up with a new list of statutes, it won't defend or write in disfavor, what's the point in passing laws? i hope judge garland thinking back on his long judicial experience will preserve the institutional credibility of the justice department. it's a similar issue to
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prosecutorial discretion. just because a prosecutor has discretion in how to charge and how to try a case, doesn't mean the attorney general has discretion in how to charge try all cases in ways that change the law. we saw this in daca under obama. i'm concerned we will see this with the death penalty and illegal entry under biden. the role of the president is to take care that the laws be followed. and of course this applies to the attorney general. the attorney general doesn't get to use principles of discretion to change the law however much he or she might want to do that. then on the subject of slice funds, i brought this up in some discussions either privately or publicly with the attorney general nominee.
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when the justice department enters into a settlement with a bad actor, the money should go to the victims and the u.s. treasury. given that money to third parties, especially those congress has defunded is a direct assault on the appropriations process, i frankly can't see any good reason the justice department would rescind the existing regulations on this subject. any effort to change these settlements will be pure and open political favoritism. i could go on. there's a suit and settle issue. the government law with guidance documents, abusive consent decrees. defendant irs targeting. operation chokepoint area the democrats have collected amnesia on the scandal date of the obama justice
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department during which it was almost always punishing obama's political enemies. what do all these practices have in common? the practices i justlisted . besides being partisan and political, and effort to do an end run around the congress. if judge garland is serious about having a nonpartisan justice department, and i think he is and he will net these bad practices in the blood. he will enforce the law. he will not manipulate the powers of the executive to make the law more satisfying for progressive activists. judge garland if he's serious about what he told us as a big job ahead of him area he will be under tremendous pressure from within the administration and particularly from pressure from congressional democrats to turn the justice
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department into mark elias and the aclu and do it with each of them having guns, it will be up to him to keep the justice department from turning into the social justice environment. i take him at his word that this is not what he wants and that his occasional evasions were in good faith. i plan to vote for him. i hope that my trust is not misplaced. i yield thank you senator grassley. at this point i like to announce any member that would like to submit a written statement in relation to this nominationmay do so and those who wish to make oral statements in the committee i will stay as long as necessary for that purpose . the chairman notes the presence of a quorum and i believe this point we can call the role on both merrick
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garland and the two procedural issues related to committee rules and the subcommittees and then leave it open for questions. or pardon me, statements by members so on the nomination of merrick garland to the united states attorney general theclerk will call the role . [roll call vote] >> in order to fulfill our 40-plus year commitment to covering congress we take you live to the house floor. live coverage of the house next on c-span. message from the secretary of the senate on march 1, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. that the senate agreed to


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