tv KPIX 5 News at 5PM CBS January 31, 2017 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
coverage. he is live in new york. we'll see you back here at 6:00. >> pelley: this is a cbs n president trump is about to address the nation for his nominee for his pick for the supreme court. the seat has been empty since justice scalia died nearly a year ago. president obama had nominated merick garland but the republican controlled senate refused to consider him for a record 293 days. hoping the next president would be a republican. now some democrats in the senate say they will hold up mr. trump's nominee whoever he is. well that's what we're about to find out tonight in our chief legal correspondent jan crawford is joining us now.
tell us about the top contenders, january. >> reporter: right -- contenders, jan. >> he has elite credentials, harvard law. he's considered a writer, but he doesn't have scalia's sharp. the other contender is blue collar with a pull yourself up by the boot straps story. he's judge thomas hardeman of pennsylvania. he graduated from noter dame with honors he put himself through law school driving a taxi here at georgetown. so two very different personal stories. but scott both solid conservatives. >> jan crawford thank you very much. in the east room of the white house we are expecting the president at any moment we now see the crowd is standing and
applauding. and here now is the president of the united states. of the. >> thank you thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen. when justice scalia passed away suddenly last february, i made a promise to the american people. if i were elected president, i would find the very best judge in the country for the supreme court. i promised to select someone who respects our laws and is representative of our constitution and who loves our constitution. and someone who will interpret them as written.
this may be the most transparent judicial selection process in history. months ago, as a candidate, i publicly presented a list of brilliant and accomplished people to the american electorate and pledged to make my choice from among that list. millions of voters said this was the single most important issue to them when they voted for me for president. i am a man of my word. i will do as i say, something that the american people have been asking for from washington for a very, very long time. ( applause ) today-- thank you. today i am keeping another promise to the american people
by nominating judge neil gorsuch of the united states supreme court to be of the united states supreme court. and i would like to ask judge gorsuch and his wonderful wife, louise, to please step forward, please, louise, judge. ( applause ) here they come. here they come. ( applause ) so was that a surprise? was it?
i have always felt that after the defense of our nation, the most important decision a president of the united states can make is the appointment of a supreme court justice. depending on their age, a justice can be active for 50 years, and his or her decision can last a century or more, and can often be permanent. i took the task of this nomination very seriously. i have selected an individual whose qualities define-- really, and i mean closely define-- what we're looking for. judge gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline, and has earned bipartisan support. when he was nominated to the tenth circuit court of appeals, he was confirmed by the senate unanimously. also-- that's unanimous. you can believe that nowadays with what's going on? ( applause )
does that happen anymore? does it happen? i think it's going to happen maybe again. also with us tonight is maureen scalia, a woman loved by her husband and deeply respected by all. i am so happy she is with us. ( applause ) where is maureen? please stand up. thank you, maureen. ( applause ) thank you, maureen. she is really the ultimate representative of the late, great justice antonin scalia whose image and genius was in my mind throughout the decision-making process. not only are we looking at the writings of the nominee-- and i
studied them closely-- but he is said to be among the finest and most brilliant, oftentimes the writings of any judge for a long, long time. and his academic credentials, something very important to me, and education has always been a priority, are as good as i have ever seen. he received his undergraduate degree from columbia with honors. he then received his law degree from harvard, also with honors, where he was a truman scholar. after harvard, he received his doctorate at oxford, where he attended, as a marshall scholar, one of the top academic honors anywhere in the world. after law school, he clerked on the supreme court for both justices byron white and anthony kennedy. it is an extraordinary resume, as good as it gets. judge gorsuch was born and raised in colorado and was
taught the value of independence, hard work, and public service. while in law school, he demonstrated a commitment to helping the less fortunate. he worked in both harvard prison legal assistance projects and harvard defenders program. brilliance being ashiewrkd i studied every aspect of his life. he could have had any job at any law firm for any amount of money. but what he wanted to do with his career was to be a judge, to write decisions, and to make an impact by upholding our laws and our constitution. the qualifications of judge gorsuch are beyond dispute. he sent man of our country and a man who our country really needs and needs badly to ensure the rule of law and the rule of justice. i would like to thank senate leadership. i only hope that both democrats and republicans can come
together for once for the good of the country. congratulations to you and your family. may god bless you. may god bless our glorious nation. judge gorsuch, the podium, sir, is yours. ( applause ) >> thank you. thank you. mr. president, thank you very much. mr. president, mr. vice president, you and your team have shown me great courtesy in this process. and you have entrusted me with a
most solemn assignment. standingly here in a house of history and acutely aware of my own imperfections, i pledge if i am confirmed, i will do all my powers permit to be a faithful service of the constitution and laws of this great country. for the last decade, i have worked as a federal judge in a court that spans six western states, serving about 20% of the continental united states and about 18 million people. the men and women i've worked at every level in our circuit are an inspiration to me. i've watched them fearlessly tending to the rule of law, enforcing the promises of our constitution, and living out daily their judicial oaths to administer justice equally to rich and poor alike. following the law as they find it, and without respect to their personal political beliefs. i think of them tonight. of course, the supreme court's work is vital not just to a region of the country but to the
whole, vital to the protection of the people's liberties under law, and to the continuity of our constitution, the greatest charter of human liberty the world has ever known. the towering judges that have served in this particular seat of the supreme court, including antonin scalia and robert jackson, are much in my mind at this moment. justice scalia was a lion of the law. agree or disagree with him, all of hi his colleague otsz bench cherished his wisdom and his humor, and like them, i miss him. i began my legal career working for byron white, the last coloradoan to serve on the supreme court, and the only justice to lead the n.f.l. in rushing. ( laughter ) he was one of the smartest and most courageous men i've ever known. when justice white retired, he gave meet chance to work for justice kennedy as well. justice kennedy was incredibly
welcoming and gracious, and like justice white, he taught me so much. i am forever grateful. and if you've ever met judge david sentelle, you'll know just how lucky i was to land a clerkship with him right out of school. thank you. these judges brought me up in the law. truly, i would not be here without them. today is as much their day as it is mine. in the balance of my professional life, i've had the privilege of working as a practicing lawyer and teacher. i've enjoyed wonderful colleagued whose support means so much to me at this moment, as it has year in and year out. practicing in the trial work trenches of the law, i saw, too, that when we judges don our robes it doesn't make exwus smarter, but it does serve as a reminder of what is expected of
us-- impartiality and independence, collegiality, and courage. as this process now moves to the senate, i look forward with speaking with members from both sides of the aisle to answering their questions and to hearing their concerns. i consider the united states senate the greatest dlibbative body in the world. >> and respect the important role of constitution affords it in the confirmation of our judges. i respect, too, in the fact in our legal order it is for congress and not courts to write new laws. it is the role of judges to aplierk not alter the work of the people's representatives. 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 am so thankful tonight for my family, my friends, and my fai faith. these are the things that keep
me grounded at life's peaks and that sustain me in its valleys. to louise, my incredible wife and companion of 20 years, my cherished daughters, who are watching on tv, and all my family and friends, i cannot thank you enough for your love and for your prayers. i could not attempt this without you. mr. president, i am honored and i am humbled. thank you very much. ( applause )
>> pelley: 49-year-old, tenth circuit appeals court judge neil gorsuch, and his wife, louise, introduced to the nation by president trump just a few moments ago. when judge gorsuch was being quiz by the senate for his current job on the tenth circuit court of appeals, he told the senators, "my personal views have nothing to do with the case before me. the litigants deserve better than that. the law demands more than that." he is a conservative judge, which will leave the court essentially where it was before the death of antonin scalia, with four conservatives, three liberals, and two judges that-- justices who are considered moderate. major garrett is in the east room of the white house where the announcement was just made. major. >> reporter: scott, in the second row here in the east room, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, and are for
him, this is the culmination of one of the most audacious political gambits in the history of american jurisprudence, politics and supreme court because because it was mitch mcconnell who said to senate republicans during last campaign, "we are not going to move forward on then-president obama's nom 92 to replace antonin scalia. we are going to delay that red sox and bet that our nominee, whom ever it is, will win, and then make the foik put a conservative in the scalia seat on the supreme court." that audacious gamble has paid off, and you saw it in the full force of neil gorsuch tonight here in the east room, a conservative in the, let us say, long line of scholarly conservative jurists, like antonin scalia, and president trump is putting him before the united states senate to fill scalia's seat, and he said during the campaign, and i saw this at countless rallies across the country, the supreme court is important. if you consider the supreme court important, vote for me. put me in the presidency, and i
will deliver for you voters a conservative nominee to the scalia seat on the supreme court bench. that is exactly what happened. it was audacious politics then. it is culminated here tonight in the east room. >> pelley: major garrett in the east room for us tonight. so let's go to nancy cordes next, who covers capitol hill for us. nancy, the average wait for a justice before he gets his confirmation hearing is around 50 or 60 days. do you think that the appointment or the nomination of judge gorsuch will be expedited? what is he facing on the hill? >> reporter: well, democrats are nursing some pretty serious wounds, scott. they had to wait and watch for 11 months while president obama's pick for the supreme court basically dangled there. and as major pointed out, was blocked by republicans. so they are in no need nationwide allow this confirmation process to go by swiftly. they haven't said how long they plan to hold it up. we've asked them repeatedly.
is it weeks? is it months? is it a year? they're ritang all their oppositions and they said they would wait to see who the pick was. would it be someone who was within the main stream of legal thought. already tonight, the democratic national committee has put out a statement calling him a right-wing idealing on. but i can tell you, scott, conservatives universally are delighted with this pick. and it makes some of the more unorthodox statements and actions from donald trump that have really made republicans nervous up here for the past couple weeks, it kind of makes all of that pay off because there is almost nothing more important to republicans or democrats on capitol hill than the choice for another member of the supreme court. >> pelley: nancy cordes. judge gorsuch a moment ago mentioned his faith, and that will be another change for the court. all of the members of the court currently are either catholic or jewish. but judge gorsuch and a
protestant. let's go to john dickerson on the set of "face the nation" in washington furst. john, what's at stake for the trump administration with this nomination? >> well, what was at stake, the biggest prize for conservatives, and i was talking to a republican just before this announcement who said, you know, there have been some concern about whether donald trump is listening to his allies in washington. but on this question, he istened. he's picked somebody who conservatives really like, and this sends a big signal to them on the-- one of the most important things that conservatives care about. why? because of control of the course court. there will be a conservative majority. of course not on every issue, but by and large. but also that judge gorsuch will be there for a long time, long after donald trump leaves the presidency. so that's why that is so important. and going back to major's point about mitch mcconnell on the night antonin scalia passed away or that it was announced, donald trump was at a debate, and what
he said about this was, "i think it's up to mitch mcconnell and everybody else to stop it." meaning barack obama's nominee. and he said it's called, "dlairks delay, delay." well, he got his wish. >> pelley: one thing that won't change on the court, all of the current members attended law school at harvard or yale. gorsuch attended school at harvard. and so for those of you keeping score, it's now harvard six, yale three. let me go to jan crawford for just a moment. what do we know about gorsuch's history on the bench? >> reporter: well, he's been a solid, predictable conservative judge, whose philosophy, judicial philosophy is very much modeled after justice scalia and a method of restraint. we've seen some controversial decisions that you're going to hear about. he sided with religious employers in a case over the bawrk contraceptive mandate. he's also written a book on youth asia in which he argues
for the sanctity of life. you saw president trump outline the case for judge gorsuch, his track record academically, his reputation as a judge, being a careful writer, a thoughtful person, and a very reflective jurist on the bench. he is someone who sbled to be without the sharp elbows and blunt manner of justice scalia, which whichsometimes hurt justice scalia because it made it difficult difficult for him to build coalitions. they do not believe judge gorsuch will have that problem. he is a genial colleague which will help build the coalition which is crucial because the supreme court can't do anything without five votes. necessary many ways a very traditional pick. but, remember, we have not had-- and when you think about the fight ahead, which will shift here to capitol hill first thing in the morning-- we've not had an election-year vacancy in 100 years. and democrats in some ways have
laid the groundwork for this fight with some of their past decision. >> pelley: jan crawford for us tonight. jan, thank you. there will be more about the nomination of neil gorsuch on the u.s. supreme court on your local news, on this cbs station, and, of course, as always on our streaming news service cbsn. for those of you in the west, on the cbs evening news, we will have more. for those of you in the east on the central time zone will join cbs prime-time programming in progress.
we were looking at the east room of the white house. here a couple of things about judge gorsuch he's 49 years old. very young. so he would serve for a very long time. he has spent a big deal of his time as a lawyer in private practice. he sited with hobby lobby in an appeal in a contraceptive case this had to do with obama care requiring employers to pay for insurance that guaranteed contraceptive care to their employees. the appeals court ruled that the company hobby lobby in this
case, did not have to violate its religious beliefs in order to pay for insurance for contraceptive care. and judge gorsuch was on the side of the majority in that particular case. jan crawford is our chief legal correspondent and she has been studying judge gorsuch's history. jan, tell us a little bit more about his temperament and his philosophy. >> reporter: judge gorsuch is somebody who has in many ways an establishment figure. he's got these elite academic credentials. he lawyered in the supreme court before he entered private practice. clerking primarily for justin anthony kennedy. he has developed a reputation before he became a lawyer then as a lawyer here in dc. as a highly respected colleague. not only because of his sharp intellect but because of his penalty. -- personality. you're going to see people on both sides of the aisle come
out and say very good things about him. then when he got on the bench, people saw him as being able to build coalitions. in many ways, this is an establishment pick. he is very much in the mold of a supreme court justice. you know out of central casting with that ivy league pedigree. the philosophy degree from oxford. you saw president trump making the case for him already. he's almost saying like look, this is a guy. this looks like a supreme court justice and his record is exactly like a supreme court justice would have. of course this will not change the balance of the supreme court. and i think that's important to keep in mind. he's replacing that conservative icon. justin antonin scalia. now let's go back to the east room of of the white house where the announcement
was made just a couple of minutes ago. where mayor garrett has been standing. >> reporter: i have john thune, and senator corbin your reaction. >> i think he's a good pick. impeccable credentials. but he also worked for two supreme court justices. i think that will serve him well as well. i'm excited about the pick. >> how contentious do you think the battle will be for judge gorsuch. >> i think it's very difficult to attack this judge's credentials. very qualified. mainstream judge. if you look at his judicial experience, great temperament. someone who has been unanimously approved by the united states senate when he was up for the tenth circuit court of appeals. we're excited about this pick. we think he's a really strong one. i think it's going to be very hard for the democrats to block
him. >> as a member of the leadership you were responsible for at least providing advice not to have garland, president obama's nominee move forward. what would you say to those who say turn about is now fair game. we're going to delay your pick like you delays ours. >> this is the beginning of a presidential term. we think that you know the american people made it very clear that this is the direction they wanted to move and i think the democrats and united states senate are going to be hard pressed to try and block. i hope they will cooperate and work with us to get this judge confirmed. >> senator corbin you were on the ballot in november. you heard the appeals from then candidate trump about the supreme supreme court.
i have never seen the supreme court factor in an election the way it did this time. >> i think it influenced the election quite a bit. if you look at the undecided voters in ohio, if you ask them what the top issue was other than jobs it was the supreme court. they wanted somebody more in the mold of scalia. a person that was respected by both sides and i think that's what we have here. i think people will be generally pleased as they get to know judge gorsuch and his background. also major, my council in the office has had tkpwraed things to say about him -- great thing to say about him. which is what again, choose to judges are good at. >> thank you very much for joining us in the east room. scott, back to you. >> major garrett live for us
tonight. where the president made the announcement about half an hour ago, announcing that neil gorsuch a federal appeals court judge from denver will be his nominee to the supreme court. judge gorsuch, will be considered by the senate, democrats are already vowing to hold up his nomination. and we are beginning to see some protests already on the steps of the supreme court. this a live picture from the supreme court just now. so president trump nominating federal appeals court judge neil gorsuch of colorado for the u.s. supreme court. i'm scott pelley for some of you in the west, the cbs evening news is coming right up. >> for news 24 hours a day, two
to captioning sponsored by cbs >> the supreme court decision. today i am keeping -- to the american people. by nominating judge neil gorsuch. >> i pledge and confirmly do all oh, my powers permit to be a faithful servant to the constitution and laws to this great country. >> pelley: also tonight, the firing and the firing back of the president's decision to fire attorney general is shameful. >> and illegally order and she is not going to execute it, that clearly is a betrayal. >> pelley: afire destroyed a mosque in texas, people of all faiths have opened their
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