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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  October 27, 2020 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk, on pbs in america and around the world. my name is mike embley. in a major victory for donald trump — amy coney barrett is confirmed as a justice on the us supreme court. this is the scene live at the white house — where justice barrett will shortly be sworn into office. we will take you there alive when it happens. tracking the trump wall — we report from arizona on the role immigration is playing in the presidential campaign. a call for europe to step up its battle
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against coronavirus — as some hospitals in belgium ask infected staff without symptoms to carry on working. and why patches of hidden water could boost plans to build a permanent base on the moon. hello and welcome. the united states senate has approved the appointment ofjudge amy coney barrett to the supreme court. these are live pictures from the white house — wherejudge barrett is about to be sworn in. we understand that any moment. the republican—majority senate voted largely along party lines to confirm ms barrett to the lifetime post. she is president trump's third appointment to the nation's top judicial body. the democrats had accused the republicans of hypocrisy for wanting to appoint
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a newjudge so close to an election. the white house has indicated a celebration of her confirmation will be held outdoors despite the mass infection of members of the administration at a similar event to mark her nomination. lebo diseko is on capitol hill for us. i guess people who are not staying completely across american politics will wonder why we are making such a fuss about the appointment of a judge, but it is a very big deal. absolutely. the supreme court rules on things that really impact on americans' lives, like the rights for women to have access to abortion, brown versus education, all sorts of things that really impact day—to—day life. there are a number of cases that are scheduled to come to the supreme court in the coming months, on immigration, the right of same—sex couples to adopt
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children, also on the affordable care act, also known as obamacare. so these are legacy issues, issues that shape people's lives for decades and generations to come so decades and generations to come so that's why it is important. with the recent appointments, the court was already leaning towards a more conservative point of view. amy coney ba rrett‘s point of view. amy coney barrett's appointment absolutely cements that. absolutely. donald trump had said that he wanted to appoint, nominate a said that he wanted to appoint, nominatea —— said that he wanted to appoint, nominate a —— conservative justices to the supreme court. he has managed to get three through. that means that he has now put through three, a third of the supreme court are donald trump nominees. to put that in context, each of the last three presidents had two terms and put through to supreme court judges so in one term donald trump has done more than that, it is quite historic. and apart from the issues you have listed, she may, in the event that the election result is
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very close, she may need to help rule on that. this is the thing, this is the big worry that democrats have, and she has refused to recuse herself oi’ has refused to recuse herself or to use a colloquial term, she has refused to say she will not take part in those types of proceedings. she was asked that in the confirmation hearing in front of senators. but democrats are really worried that having been essentially nominated and pushed through by trump and republican senators, she will be inclined to take the decision that favours him. there are also a number of cases coming up in the next week or so about ballots and how long states can count postal ballots for, so wisconsin, pennsylvania, north carolina is well, they all have such cases. technically, amy coney barrett could start work tomorrow, we don't know whether she will but that is the worry
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for democrats, that not only could she shape the actual way that the proceedings of the election, but any result that comes out of it if he should go to the supreme court. just keeping an eye on the white house, in case a ceremony to celebrate the confirmation does go ahead. it's always pretty likely that confirmation was, the vote was going to go president trump's wave. the democrats particularly incensed because in 2016, i think the republicans refused to consider president 0bama's nominee much further away from an election? yes, eight months away, that was. but it was interesting listening to the speeches that senators were making just before the vote. the leader of the democrats, chuck schumer, was saying, look, we will get the senate back at some point, and do not think we will forget this. mitch mcconnell, the leader of the republicans in
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the senate, saying we are not responsible for getting us to this point, democrats have blocked our son done all sorts of things over the years that have created this bitterness. so both sides clearly know how to hold a grudge. what's happening outside the white house? members of the administration assembly, we think president trump is about to appear. applause cheering and applause
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cheering and applause thank you very much. my thank you very much. my distin was guessing fellow americans. this is a momentous day for america, for the united states constitution, and for the fairand impartial states constitution, and for the fair and impartial rule of law. the constitution is the ultimate defence of americans's liberty, the fitful application of the law is the cornerstone of the law is the cornerstone of our republic, that is why as president, i have no more solemn obligation and no greater honour than to appoint supreme courtjustices. greater honour than to appoint supreme court justices. 0n greater honour than to appoint supreme courtjustices. on this 0ctober evening, and it is so
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beautiful, the first lady and i welcome you to the white house to bear witness to history. in a few moments, we will proudly swear in the newest member of the united states supreme court, justice amy coney barrett. she is one of our nation's most brilliant legal scholars and she will make an outstanding justice on the highest court in oui’ justice on the highest court in ourland. justice on the highest court in our land. justice barrett's both will be administered by the court's longest serving member, currently on the bench, a man whose allegiance to the law has earned him the respect and gratitude of all americans. justice clarence thomas.
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0ur our country owes a great debt of thanks to senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, we appreciate it very much, thank you. and we are grateful as well to the senate judicial are a chairman, lindsey graham. thank you. —— senatejudiciary chairman. also with us, senators marsha blackburn, mike braun, bill cassidy, kevin cramer, tate cruise, steve daines, ronjohnson, cramer, tate cruise, steve daines, ron johnson, james langford, mike lee and mata sally. i hope i didn't leave anybody out. and a very special
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thanks to our great vice president, mike pence. thank you. also, iwant president, mike pence. thank you. also, i want to thank pat super loanee. thank you. and very importantly, i want to welcome justice very importantly, i want to welcomejustice barrett's husband. thank you, jessie. we also recognise your seven children, your great, beautiful children, your great, beautiful children, who have become very popular in this nation. people have been watching them and loving them and they are watching right now back home in indiana. thank you very much. i speak to everyone when i say that the barrett's family has
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ca ptu red that the barrett's family has captured america's heart. it is highly fitting that justice barrett fills the seat of a two para nearfor barrett fills the seat of a two para near for women “— barrett fills the seat of a two para nearfor women —— pioneer. justice ruth peter ginsberg. tonight, justice barrett becomes not only the fifth woman to serve on oui’ becomes not only the fifth woman to serve on our nation's highest court, but the very first mother of school—aged children to become a supreme court justice. very important. 0ver court justice. very important. over the past few weeks, the entire world has seenjustice ba rrett‘s entire world has seenjustice barrett's deep knowledge, tremendous poise and towering intellect. she answered questions for hours on end. throughout her entire confirmation, her impeccable credentials were unquestioned, unchallenged and obvious to all. justice barrett earned a full academic scholarship to
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notre dame law school, graduated first in her class and served as a clerk for justice antonin scalia. she was a beloved professor at notre dame law school 15 years before i very proudly appointed her to the us circuit court of appeals for the seventh circuit in 2017. the american people have been profoundly impressed to learn of her achievements, her compassion, generosity, her face and her sterling character. justice barrett made clear she will issue rulings based solely upon a faithful reading of the law and the constitution is written, not legislate from the bench. the equal, impartial and constitutional rule of law that we enjoy every day in america is one of the crowning
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achievements in the history of human civilisation. it is the triumph of reason, experience and the values which are eternal and everlasting. 0ur devotion to this inheritance is what has made america the most just, exceptional and glorious nation ever to exist. i want every american child watching to understand that this is a very special and important ceremony. we are fulfilling the duty that passes to each new generation, to sustain the national traditions and virtues that make possible everything we have achieved before that. because of a constitution under cultural freedom, you because of a constitution under culturalfreedom, you live in a land where anything is possible and where any dream can come true. no matter who you are, no
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matter your background. in america, everyone is entitled to equal protection under our laws. and your sacred rites can never, ever be taken away. the march of liberty that began with the american revolution continues onward this evening. tonight at the white house, we carry forward the cause of freedom, equality and justice, for which are so many generations of americans have given so much. we honour the cause for which men died, to win the civil war, and for which they jumped out win the civil war, and for which theyjumped out of aeroplanes and shed blood on distant battlefields. we honour the immortal principles inspired millions in the struggle for civil rights and we ta ke struggle for civil rights and we take special pride in the nation that inspires billions of people all over the world. we must never take this radiant inheritance for granted. we
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must never lose confidence in oui’ must never lose confidence in our history. our heritage or in oui’ our history. our heritage or in our heroes. to reach for the stars, we must stand upon the strong and sturdy foundation built by those incredible americans who came before. justice barrett, as you take your oath tonight, the legacy of our ancestors falls to you. the american people put their trust in you and their faith in you, as you take up the task of defending our laws, our constitution, and this country that we all love. we ask god to give you wisdom and courage. i know you will make us all very, very proud. as long as we are loyal to our founding and to oui’ loyal to our founding and to our fellow citizens, america's future will be bright, america's destiny will be
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great, and america's people will for ever and always be free. i now askjustice thomas to administer the oath. thank you very much. ido i do solemnly swear. i, amy coney barrett, do solemnly swear. but i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. against all enemies, foreign and domestic. against all enemies, foreign and domestic. that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the
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same. that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that i take this obligation freely. that i take this obligation freely. without any mental reservations. without any mental reservations. or purpose of evasion. or purpose of evasion. and that i will well and faithfully discharge. and that i will well and faithfully discharge. the duties of the office on which i am about to enter. the duties of the fish which i am about to enter. so help me god. so help me god. —— the duties of the office. cheering and applause
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thank you. thank you so very much. thank you all for being here tonight. and thank you, president trump, for selecting me to serve as an associate justice of the united states supreme court. it's a privilege to be asked to serve my country in this office, and i stand here tonight truly honoured and humbled. thanks also to the senate for giving its consent to my appointment. i am grateful for the confidence you have expressed in me, and i pledge to you and to the american people that i will discharge my duties to the very best of my ability. this was a rigorous confirmation process andi rigorous confirmation process and i thank all of you, especially leader mcconnell and chairman graham for helping me to navigate it. my heartfelt thanks go to the members of the
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white house staff and department ofjustice, who worked tirelessly to support me through this process. your stamina is remarkable and i have been the beneficiary of it. my husband and i are also so it. my husband and i are also so grateful to the many people who have supported ourfamily over these last several weeks. thruway is both tangible and intangible, you have made this day possible. jesse and i have been truly awestruck by your generosity. i have spent a good amount of time over the last month of the senate both in meetings with individual senators and in days of hearings before the senate judiciary committee. the confirmation process has made ever clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federaljudiciary fundamental differences between
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the federal judiciary and the united states senate. and perhaps the most acute is the role of policy preferences. it is thejob of role of policy preferences. it is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences. in fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. by contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. it would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. federaljudges do not stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people. this separation of duty from political preference is what makes thejudiciary political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. ajudge declares independence, not only from
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congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. thejudicial that might otherwise move her. the judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty. the rule of law must always control. my fellow americans, even though we judges do not face elections, we still work for you. it is your constitution that establishes the rule of law and the judicial independence that is so central to it. the oath that i have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that i will do myjob means at its core that i will do my job without means at its core that i will do myjob without any fear or favour, and that i will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences. i love the
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constitution and the democratic republic that it establishes, andi republic that it establishes, and i will devote myself to preserving it. thank you. applause amy coney barrett confirmed as the justice on the us supreme court by the senate and note taking the oath of office at the white house. the oath administered byjudge clarence thomas. it has to be said, that event, there was no masks to be seen despite the super spreader event at the white house to mark her confirmation. 0ur correspond is at capitol hill. the judge seemed to be addressing in her a cce pta nce seemed to be addressing in her
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acceptance speech one of the main concerns that many people who do not welcome her appointment have, this distinction between judges on the one hand and members of congress and president on the other. she said it is the job ofa other. she said it is the job of a judge to resist policy preferences, and it would be a dereliction of duty to give into them. it's interesting, i don't know whether that will allay the views of her critics are not. that is a point of view that she said time and time again during the confirmation hearings, and really it aligns with the original list view, one that is that you have to take the text of the law as it was written, not only can you not put your own personal views into this, but equally you are not meant to interpret the law, for now, given the constitution was written so long ago. ijust dislike ruth bader ginsburg had a different view which was that your life experiences, it is the prism through which you see
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things. so she spent a lot of time really working on advocating for equality between the sexes because of her experiences. equally, she had a different view in terms of interpreting those laws and the constitution saying, look, the law is a living, breathing thing, it is not stuck in one time, you have to interpret it for our particular time that we live in so actually what she's saying, it may have been designed to allow people's fears but it might ring alarm bells for others. and as you have been pointing out, this is president trump's third appointment to the nation's highest court. he said it was a momentous day for america. these pictures and the pressures of the senate vote are bound to feature in every campaign video in the days leading up to what's left of this election campaign. for some voters, there really is no more important issue than a solid conservative majority on the supreme court. yes, it's
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interesting. i was looking on twitter a couple of moments ago and an evangelical leader that is very popular has been very critical of donald trump, remarking on the fact that you have african—american justice swearing in a female conservative justice, just how historic that is. donald trump promised his supporters that he would appoint more conservative justices to the supreme court, he has managed three, a third of the court. so it is huge. the question is whether or not the kind of bitterness, the bad taste in the mouths of democrats over the way this has happened and the fact it's happened and the fact it's happened before the election, whether that might energise democratic voters to come out. thank you very much indeed for that. just in case you have justjoined us, a major victory for donald trump, any —— amy coney barrett confirmed as a justice on the us supreme court
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and has taken the oath of office at the white house. she is a8, office at the white house. she is 48, it office at the white house. she is a8, it is a lifetime post, edge could shape the united states for a generation. you're watching bbc news. let's get some more on this now. we can now speak to sahar aziz, professor of law at rutgers university law school, joining us from newark in newjersey. as you watched those pictures, what were you thinking?” as you watched those pictures, what were you thinking? i was thinking that i'm very concerned about the legitimacy of the supreme court in the future. this was a nomination that was rammed through, the average time to nominate and confirm a justice or a nominee for the supreme court is 67 days, this was done in 30 days. it was donejust days, this was done in 30 days. it was done just eight days before an election that may change who the president is and who controls the senate, whether it will be the democrats over republicans. and
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i think that many people who do not share the conservative leanings of this court will start questioning its legitimacy and thinking it is more about political body as opposed to a more legal body. president trump raised the point that he was filling the seat of ruth bader ginsburg, very important figure and an entirely different kind of lawyer and human being. yes, i mean, nowjustice barrett has gone on the record saying that she believes that the contraception provision in the affordable care act violates religious freedom, she has gone on the record stating that she believes that roe versus wade, she has necessarily said she would overturn it but she has made statements in the past showing that she supports, she opposes abortion and there is going to be a case that will come before the well, the supreme court will decide whether it will hear a case
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challenging a mississippi law that was passed in mississippi by the legislature and the governor that abortions after 15 weeks are banned unless there is a medical emergency or a severe foetal disability. but there is no exception for rape or incest. this friday, the court will decide whether it is going to hear the case and she will now vote in that, and if it comes before the supreme court there is a real question whether they are going to uphold that law that will make it illegal to get an abortion after 15 weeks. and if the election is very tight, if the supreme court is called upon to decide, she will be one of three trump nominees having to decide who is the next president. yes, if there is a challenge, if for example he may not concede, if he is found to have lost the election, she will also be presiding over some cases that are coming before the court about trump himself, for example, whether
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or not he must disclose eight yea rs of or not he must disclose eight years of tax returns. he has been told he is not immune from a grandjury been told he is not immune from a grand jury subpoena and that a grand jury subpoena and that a prosecutor in new york city can get access to his federal taxes and she is going to be on that court now so the question is, will she be biased in that in her ruling, and her vote, three of them were appointed by trump himself to that court. so there is going to be some serious questions as to whether this court can be independent from this administration whether it is going to invite vote under the policy preferences. judges are very good at creating pretext and using semantics to claim that this isn't about policy preferences but about the law. but again, this isjust politicising the court even more. briefly, i know it's potentially a big question, she
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is described as a constitution —— make constitutional original list and i understand that means she will only act on the letter of the law as written. she will not interpret in the light of modern life. well, it tends to also mean that she's come to look at what the congressional intent was, she will also look at what the original... if there is a statute, what the congressional intent is but also looking at what the founding fathers, but they might have imagined or had in mind when they passed a particular, when they passed the constitution or when they wrote a particular amendment, and unfortunately that creates and unfortunately that creates a very stagnant and outdated constitution, and that's a big divide between those who we would call conservative judges versus. . . would call conservative judges versus... professor, i will have to come back to this, forgive me, we arejust have to come back to this, forgive me, we are just about to run out of

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