Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Justice Marshall drew his line, yet we confirmed him by a vote of 69-11. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor drew her line, yet we corfirmed her by a vote of 99-0. Justice Kennedy drew his line, yet we confirmed him by a vote of 97-0. Justice Ginsburg drew her line. yet we confirmed her by a vote of 96-3. Justice Breyer dreu his line, yet we confirmed by a vote of 87-9.

We must use a judicial rather than a political standard to evaluate Judge Roberts's fitness for the Supreme Court. That standard must be based upon the fundamental principle that judges inter pret and apply, but do not make the law.

Judge Roberts, as every Supreme Court nominee has done in the past. you must decide how best to honor your commitment to judicial impartiality and independence. You must decide when that obligation is more important than what Senators, including this one. might want to know. As the Senate has done in the past, I believe we should honor your decision and make our own.

Judge Roberts, you have a tremendously complex and important and honorable record, from law school through the various positions in Government that you held, to the judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to now. We have a great deal of respect for you. We expect you to make a great

Jus tice, and I just want to congratulate you on your nomination.

[The prepared statement of Senator Hatch appears as a submis sion for the record.)

Chairman SPECTER. Thank you very much, Senator Hatch.

I know Senator Warner is with us, one of the introducers, and of course, he is welcome to stay. But the timing, we will move te him at about 3:20, approximately.

Senator Kennedy?
STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, A U.S. SENATOR

FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Judge Roberts, I join in welcoming you and your family to this Committee and to this famous room-the site of so many historie hearings.

Today, our Nation's flags are at half mast to honor the memory of Chief Justice Rehnquist and his deep dedication to his beloved Supreme Court. We know that Judge Roberts was especially close to him, and our thoughts and prayers go to the Rehnquist family and all who knew him.

As we are all aware, the Senate's action on this nomination is profoundly important. It is a defining opportunity to consider the values that make our Nation strong and just, and how to imple, ment them more effectively, especially the guiding principle of more than two centuries of our history—that we are all created equal.

"Our commitment to this founding principle is especially relevant today. Americans are united as rarely before in compassion and generosity for our fellow citizens whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. That massive tragedy also taught us another lesson. The powerul winds and floodwaters of Katrina tore away the mask that has idden from public view the many Americans who are left out and

left behind. As one Nation under the injustice, the inequality, and our society.

Across the years, we have exper great triumph as each succeeding to our founding principle and give cans have shed blood, campaign worked in countless quiet ways, a our citizens is part of our democra for a good education, a good job, an

Today, grandparents who were their grandsons and granddaughte without discrimination or intimida because of that progress.

Today, fathers and mothers expe same opportunities as their sons to earn fair pay. And our society is b

Today, parents expect their disab receive an education that draws ou reach for their dreams like all other better because of that progress.

Too many have sacrificed too muc far, to turn back the clock on that pect their elected representatives to business of making America the land expect our courts to defend our prog sponsibility

The challenge today is especially global economic changes and major n. curity, and we need the ingenuity and of every American.

Our military leaders are the first to cially diverse Armed Forces are essent the cause of freedom at home and abro

Every citizen counts, and we must that hold back millions of our people. our diversity as we compete in a new

So the central issue before us in th Supreme Court will preserve the gains rights that are indispensable to a mod equal America. Commitment to equalit: of fairness and conscience. It is also ou

strength and purpose.

We also are a Government of the pe a strong voice in the great issues that s of checks and balances was drawn up ir ciple that absolute power corrupts abso make sure that no branch of Governmer it can avoid accountability. The people their Government is promoting their in terests, when it comes to the price of gas scription drugs, the air we breathe and the food and other products we buy. T

keep Government from intruding into their private lives and m personal decisions.

But the tragedy of Katrina shows in the starkest terms w every American needs an effective national Government that w step in to meet urgent needs that individual States and com nities cannot meet on their own.

Above all, the people and their Congress must have a voice in cisions that determine the safety of our country and the integr of our individual rights. We expect Supreme Court Justices to hold those rights and the rule of law in times of both war a peace.

All this and more will be before the Supreme Court in t years ahead, and its judgments will affect the direction and cha acter of our country for generations to come.

Judge Roberts, you are an intelligent, well-educated, and serio man. You have vast legal experience and you are considered to one of the finest legal advocates in America. These qualities a surely important qualifications for a potential Supreme Court Jutice. But they do not end the inquiry or our responsibility. TH Committee and the full Senate must also determine whether y have demonstrated a commitment to the constitutional principl that have been so vital in advancing fairness, decency, and equ opportunity in our society.

We have only one chance to get it right, and a solemn obligati to do so. If you are confirmed, you could serve on the Court for generation or more, and the decisions you make as a Justice w have a direct impact on the lives of our children, our gran children, and our great-grandchildren.

Because of the special importance of an appointment like your the Founders called for shared power between the President ar the Senate. The Senate was not intended to be a rubber stamp f a President's nominees to the Supreme Court-and, as Georg Washington himself found out, it has not been.

Judges are appointed by and with the advice and consent of th Senate,” and it is our duty to ask questions on great issues th matter to the American people, and to speak for them. Judge Rol erts, I hope you will respond fully and candidly to such question not just to earn our approval, but to prove to the American peop! that you have earned the right to a lifetime appointment to th highest court in the land.

Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, there are real and serious reason to be deeply concerned about Judge Roberts's record. Many of hi past statements and writings raise questions about his commi ment to equal opportunity and to the bipartisan remedies we hav adopted in the past. This hearing is John Roberts's job intervie with the American people. He will have a fair chance to express hi values, state his views, and defend his record. The burden on hir is especially heavy because the Administration, at least so far, ha chosen not to allow the Senate to have access to his full record. W can only wonder what they don't want us to know.

In particular, we need to know his views on civil rights, votin rights, and the right to privacy-especially the removal of existin barriers to full and fair lives for women, minorities, and the dis

keep Government from intruding into their private lives and most
personal decisions.

But the tragedy of Katrina shows in the starkest terms why
every American needs an effective national Government that wil
step in to meet urgent needs that individual States and commu-
nities cannot meet on their own.

Above all, the people and their Congress must have a voice in de cisions that determine the safety of our country and the integrity of our individual rights. We expect Supreme Court Justices to up hold those rights and the rule of law in times of both war and peace.

All this--and more will be before the Supreme Court in the years ahead, and its judgments will affect the direction and char acter of our country for generations to come.

Judge Roberts, you are an intelligent, well-educated, and serious man. You have vast legal experience and you are considered to be one of the finest legal advocates in America. These qualities ar surely important qualifications for a potential Supreme Court Jus tice. But they do not end the inquiry or our responsibility. This Committee and the full Senate must also determine whether you have demonstrated a commitment to the constitutional principles that have been so vital in advancing fairness, decency, and equal opportunity in our society.

We have only one chance to get it right, and a solemn obligatio to do so. If you are confirmed, you could serve on the Court for : generation or more, and the decisions you make as a Justice wil have a direct impact on the lives of our children, our grand children, and our great-grandchildren.

Because of the special importance of an appointment like yours the Founders called for shared power between the President and the Senate. The Senate was not intended to be a rubber stamp for a President's nominees to the Supreme Court-and, as Georgt Washington himself found out, it has not been.

Judges are appointed “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” and it is our duty to ask questions on great issues tha matter to the American people, and to speak for them. Judge Rob erts, I hope you will respond fully and candidly to such questions not just to earn our approval, but to prove to the American people that you have earned the right to a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, there are real and serious reasons to be deeply concerned about Judge Roberts's record. Many of his past statements and writings raise questions about his commit ment to equal opportunity and to the bipartisan remedies we have adopted in the past. This hearing is John Roberts's job interview with the American people. He will have a fair chance to express his values, state his views, and defend his record. The burden on him is especially heavy because the Administration, at least so far, has chosen not to allow the Senate to have access to his full record. We can only wonder what they don't want us to know.

In particular, we need to know his views on civil rights, voting rights, and the right to privacy-especially the removal of existing barriers to full and fair lives for women, minorities, and the disabled.

From the start, America was sui a hill. But each generation must ! this new century, some Americans ballot box because of their color, their gender, denied a job because o they are gay, or denied an appropr disabled. Long-established rights to

We need a Chief Justice who beli and the guarantees of our Constit that majestic building near here an. spiring words inscribed in marble a tice Under Law."

I look forward to hearing from Ju he joins the Supreme Court, he wil made and will guarantee that all place in the Nation's future.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Senat mission for the record.]

Chairman SPECTER. Thank you, Se
Senator Grassley?
STATEMENT OF HON. CHUCK GE

FROM THE STATI Senator GRASSLEY. Judge Roberts, late you on your nomination. I think i nominated to replace a mentor of yoYou obviously have a tough act to foll Justice Rehnquist was a great Suprer in the strict application of the law a a consistent voice for judicial restrai leadership.

Judge Roberts, we had a good person tle over a month ago, and based on have reviewed, you appear to be extr meeting, I was encouraged by your re the courts as an institution in our de ward to asking more questions abou tions, as well as your judicial approach ing you about what you think are pric ary, as you now lead that branch.

Of course, as we reflect on the enorm the packed hearing room filled with m is worth recalling the fact that judicia before the Senate until 1925. Ever sir the hearings were not public spectacles. Byron White was nominated to the S Kennedy, the hearing before the Judici 15 minutes and eight questions. And it ate sure got it right within Justice Whi on to serve then for a generation,

Of course, all this was before we had has encouraged ratcheting up the rheto stituencies. Furthermore, Judge Roberts

of the Internet age, with millions of eyes scrutinizing thousands downloaded pages of writing, not to mention the hundreds website blogs characterizing the documents that have been p duced in an accurate or, more likely, inaccurate way, and opini on every record that you have been involved with, and doing it the minute.

So to some extent, there is no turning back from what we ha created here, and you just happen to be the latest victim of su scrutiny.

During the Ginsburg nomination, Senator Biden, then Chairma of the Judiciary Committee, urged that we not treat these hearing in Senator Biden's words, as "make-or-break trials” of “dramat importance.” And I sure agree with what he said then.

Rather, the hearing provides a unique opportunity for us to e sure that each person appointed to the Federal bench will be a tru judge and not some sort of super-legislator. The courts should n be made up of seats designated conservative, liberal, moderat Rather, we have a responsibility to fill the Federal bench with ind viduals who will faithfully interpret the laws and the Constitutio individuals who will with hold any personal, political, or ideologica tendencies from their decisionmaking process. And this is eve more important when we are confirming you now to the Suprem Court as opposed to when we confirmed you to the circuit court.

There are a number of qualities that I look for in a Suprem Court nominee. I believe that the nominee should be someone wh knows he or she is not appointed to impose his or her views what is right or wrong. As Chief Justice Marshall said over 20 years ago, the duty of the judge is to say what the law "is,” no what it ought to be.” Moreover, the nominee should be someon who not only understands, but truly respects the equal roles an responsibilities of the different branches of Government and th role of our States in the Federal system. If we confirm a nomine who is all of this, none of us on the political right or the politica left-will be disappointed, because it will mean in the end that th people, through their elected representatives, will be in charge. O the other hand, if we confirm individuals who are bent on assign ing to themselves the power to "fix society's problems” as they se fit, a bare majority of these nine unelected and unaccountable me and women will usurp the power of the people hijacking democ racy to serve their own political prejudices. We do not want to go down that road, and we should not go down that road.

Why is it, then, so important to have Supreme Court Justice: practice judicial restraint? Because that means the policy choice: of the democratically elected branches of Government will only be overturned if and when there is a clear warrant to do so in the Constitution itself. We want Supreme Court Justices to exercise ju dicial restraint so that cases will be decided solely on the law ang the principles set forth in the Constitution, and not upon an indi vidual Justice's personal philosophical views or preferences. Felix Frankfurter identified this

as the highest example of judicial duty A fundamental principle of our country is that the majority has a legitimate right to govern. This approach hardly means that the courts are less energetic in protecting individual rights. But the

15

of the Internet age, with millions of eyes scrutinizing thousands of
downloaded pages of writing, not to mention the hundreds -
website blogs characterizing the documents that have been pro
duced in an accurate or, more likely, inaccurate way, and opinion
on every record that you have been involved with, and doing it by
the minute.

So to some extent, there is no turning back from what we have created here, and you just happen to be the latest victim of such scrutiny.

During the Ginsburg nomination, Senator Biden, then Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, urged that we not treat these hearings in Senator Biden's words, as "make-or-break trials" of "dramatic importance." And I sure agree with what he said then.

Rather, the hearing provides a unique opportunity for us to en sure that each person appointed to the Federal bench will be a true judge and not some sort of super-legislator. The courts should not be made up of seats designated conservative, liberal, moderate. Rather, we have a responsibility to fill the Federal bench with indi: viduals who will faithfully interpret the laws and the Constitution

. individuals who will withhold any personal, political, or ideological tendencies from their decisionmaking process. And this is even more important when we are confirming you now to the Supreme Court as opposed to when we confirmed you to the circuit court.

There are a number of qualities that I look for in a Supreme Court nominee. I believe that the nominee should be someone whi knows he or she is not appointed to impose his or her views o what is right or wrong. As Chief Justice Marshall said over 200 years ago, the duty of the judge is to say what the law “is,” not what it ought to be.” Moreover, the nominee should be someone who not only understands, but truly respects the equal roles and responsibilities of the different branches of Government and the role of our States in the Federal system. If we confirm a nominee who is all of this, none of us on the political right or the political left-will be disappointed, because it will mean in the end that the people, through their elected representatives, will be in charge. Os the other hand, if we confirm individuals who are bent on assigting to themselves the power to "fix society's problems” as they se fit, a bare majority of these nine unelected and unaccountable med and women will usurp the power of the people-hijacking demos racy to serve their own political prejudices. We do not want to go down that road, and we should not go down that road.

Why is it, then, so important to have Supreme Court Justices practice judicial restraint? Because that means the policy choices of the democratically elected branches of Government will only be overturned if and when there is a clear warrant to do so in the Constitution itself. We want Supreme Court Justices to exercise ju dicial restraint so that cases will be decided solely on the law and the principles set forth in the Constitution, and not upon an individual Justice's personal philosophical views or preferences. Felix Frankfurter identified this as the highest example of judicial duty. A fundamental principle of our country is that the majority has a legitimate right to govern. This approach hardly means that the courts are less energetic in protecting individual rights. But the words of the Constitution constrain judges every bit as much as

they control legislators, executives,
are no longer a Nation of laws, but
in judges' robes.

During my tenure in the Senate,
of these Supreme Court nominatic
nine to date. I am hopeful that we
process that will not degenerate int
and Thomas hearings. Rather, we r
vility as we saw during the O'Conn
ings.

Moreover, I am hoping that we nominee about how he will rule issues that will or may come before the practice, as you know, in the pa leagues that Justices Ginsburg and tions on how they would rule on ca hearings. The fact is that no Senate or her own issue-by-issue philosoph nominees on specific litmus-test qu that Court. To do so is to give in to t only want judges who will do their po regardless of what is required by the result is then a loss of independenc a lessening of our Government's chech

Some have suggested that since y to be Chief Justice, you deserve eve when you were just nominated for As we should prolong the hearings and than we have already turned over thu has been described as “first among eq there really isn't anything substantive your vote will count just the same as So my own questioning and analysis really be much different from your pre

But it is true that the Chief Justice head of the Federal judiciary. The Chi who has a good management style, wh and who can foster collegiality on the think that since you have appeared b argue cases on appeal, and that the cu spect you, that bodes very well ir transitioning into the Court, into the ne

I congratulate you.

[The prepared statement of Senator
mission for the record.]

Chairman SPECTER. Thank you very r
Senator Biden?
STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH R. BII

FROM THE STATE OF
Senator BIDEN. Thank you, Mr. Chair

Judge Roberts, welcome. Mrs. Robert
note at the outset I have never heard
who was not independent. It is amazing

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »