tv Washington Journal 10122020 CSPAN October 12, 2020 6:59am-9:02am EDT
honors anyone can ever receive. host: isabel wilkerson joining us to talk about her new book, "caste." joining us by zoom, which has the occasional bandwidth challenge, we apologize for that to our audience, but thank you for spending this hour with c-span. guest: thank you so much. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ "q&a programs areequipmen available on a website or podcast c-span.org. of hours, the supreme court confirmation hearings began for judge amy coney barrett. ," today's "washington journal
nan aron talks about her group's opposition to her nomination. later, former tennessee attorney general paul summers talks about his group's efforts to keep the supreme court to nine justices. "washington journal" is next. ♪ host: at age 48, judge amy coney barrett would be the youngest andeme court justice solidify the conservative members. welcome to the first of four days of hearings beginning at 9:00 a.m. eastern each day. we will get right to it with your thoughts on the nominee. do you support or oppose judge amy coney barrett? if you support the judge, (202) 748-8000. if you oppose, that line is (202) 748-8001. if you are unsure or undecided,
the line is (202) 748-8002. you can send us a text as well, (202) 748-8003. and make sure you tell us your name and where you are texting from. on twitter, it is @cspanwj. we welcome your posts at facebook.com/cspan. just to lay out a little bit of the schedule for our coverage plans, as we mentioned, it is four days of hearings, getting underway today an adequate a.m. eastern, and all of the hearings this week right here on c-span, c-span radio, streaming online at c-span.org. we will probably get over there a bit early this morning as folks start filling up the so justroom, etc., before 9:00, our coverage should get underway. "usa today" leading the way with what to expect, their headline on their front page and their website, taking a look at monday, today, the day will consist of opening remarks from
barrett and all 22 on the committee, 12 republicans and 10 democrats. chairman lindsey graham will start, followed by senator dianne feinstein, than barrett, followed by 20 members. tuesday, senators will question barrett on her career and position on issues that could come before the court, including health care, guns, abortion, and religion. each senator will have 20 minutes to question barrett. on wednesday, each senator could offer two or three rounds of questioning after each senator minutes. then on thursday can what is expected to be the final day, senators are expected to hear witnessesde who know barrett and will vouch for her career in service. the names of these witnesses and how they know barrett have yet to be released. the committee won't vote until after it holds barrett's nomination for one week, a common practice by the panel. vote isittee
expected around october 22 and is likely to split along party lines, 12-10. then her nomination will go to the full senate, where she will need at least a majority to be confirmed to the high court. (202) 748-8000 if you are supportive, (202) 748-8001 if you are opposed. hear from senator craig kaplan on some of the rules and regulations getting into today. he tweeted last night senators, staff, and press are being asked to complete covid-19 health inventory forms each day before entering the u.s. capitol and office buildings this week. hearing room seedings will also comply with attending room safetyn and protocols. we are expecting several senators to be asking their questions remotely. person.nee will be in journal," areet guest on this program yesterday and her colleague lindsay wise
wrote, "supreme court nomination hearings promise to add protect as theyctability look to expand the supreme court's majorit conservative ma. chairman lindsey graham has planned for days of hearings starting monday through three republicans on the 22 -- those on the 22-member panel cannot attend in person with two having tested positive for the coronavirus and a third under quarantine for having been exposed for one of them. republicans' goal is to have judge barrett, who is set to be before the committee but not take questions until thursday, confirmed before the full senate during the last week in october. election day is october 3. ryan is in south lake tahoe, california. good morning. caller: hi, yes, nice to be on.
thatoint i want to make is amy coney barrett cannot be becauseby the dems, they have made it impossible to stop it with their nuclear option. also, kamala harris during the vp debate lied about abraham lincoln not filling the position. of course he filled the position. the issue was that they could not slide -- fly back and forth to washington, d.c. at that time, so things moved a lot slower. i would like to talk about kamala and her lies. da, and she covered up -- inphile ring in the oakland with the christian church, the catholic church. she covered that out, so why are we talking about this? rob also right,
supporting judge barrett. good morning. caller: absolutely. i think she is an intelligent, decent looking person. i think there will be nothing gained from waiting until after the election is scheduled. i think she will make a good addition to the court. i do very much. thank you for taking my call appeared i appreciate it. host: our line for those opposing the nomination, (202) 748-8000. richard is on the line, chestnut hill, massachusetts. good morning. tell us why. caller: good morning. can you hear me? host: yes. caller: well, let me just be brief. in the media, it has been portrayed that those on the right side of the spectrum care more about the court and the social "wedge" issues. i am a liberal democrat, and that is the most important issue, the fact that the
president can -- with the senate -- have a supreme court for decades and decades, long after we are all gone, and with the death of justice ginsburg, put that hypocrisy aside, mr. scanlon, from what they did with mary garland -- merrick garland. the fact that judge barrett, while she is qualified academically, intellectually, we will now have -- and i am an institutionalist, let me just say. i am not one for packing the comes arounde what goes around and will come back to bite the other side at some point your however, this is just so depressing, because "new york i actually have great respect for the judicial branch of the government, and we are going to be going back probably over half a century if not more in terms of women's rights, and i could go on, but please have a good day.
thank you so much. host: richard come on twitter, someone agreeing with you in terms of packing the court. this one says expanding the court is allowed under the constitution. case closed. everything should be on the table with a biden administration. mentioned senator harris earlier. an article mentions that. a big saved and frame the nomination. the second justice hearing of justice brett kavanaugh, senator grassley and the chairman was interrupted by a man to be far down the democratic side of the dais. "we cannot move forward with this hearing," senator kamala harris and the most junior person on the panel, senator grassley tried to ignore her.
chris coons of delaware, senator kunz of delaware, a member of the judiciary panel, was on fox news sunday and talked about some of the issues he expects to come up. [video clip] well, i am going to be laying out the way in which judge barrett views, her views on reaching back and reconsidering and overturning long settled precedent are not just extreme, they are disqualifying. she had taught at a well-regarded law school. she clerked for justice scalia, but she has views that make her not qualified to serve on the supreme court. president trump has that he will only nominate someone to overturn the affordable care
act, taking away health-care protections from more than 100 million americans in the middle of a pandemic, and both president trump and members of the majority on this committee have said they will only go for a nominee who would overturn roe v. wade. as i related my questioning this week, we should not be having this hearing with two members of the committee infected with covid. it is rushed. it constitutes court packing, and her views are too extreme to qualify her to serve on this court. host: you can send us a text, (202) 748-8003. this one is from mike in orlando says, "totally opposed. coney barrett needs to explain why she is, was part of a religious group that believes women should be subservient to men." tom in pittsburgh, "i think she is a great choice, i just hope democrat don't attack her in front of her children for political gain." this one on facebook, "excellen choice," she would do a great job on the supreme court." good morning.
caller: good morning. i want to basically talk about being amy coney barrett basically has to go in front of the judiciary committee today, and i believe the republicans do have the votes to confirm her, but the democrats will try anything to stop it, it should be her priority to just not make the headlines and as calm to make this and collected as possible and try to have the democrats questioning and their attack on her for religious views or her,k the hearing to see happy the story and not her. if she does that, then she will have a much higher chance.
host: all right, rhonda from new mexico, missouri. undecided. why? -- north carolina barlett. ballot. i tried to do that at the courthouse. the idea was to go on the republican line. buts going to support her, not as much as i like. she is confident, eloquent. her speech was eloquent, too. during the confirmation process, how many days, and who is on the committee? host: there are four days of hearings, so they start this morning at 9:00. she will make her opening statement today, as will all of the senators. questioning will begin tomorrow and continue into wednesday, and
then on thursday, the last day, what we expected be the last day of the hearing, members will hear from witnesses supporting the nominee. pennsylvania, jackie. , also supporting amy coney barrett. good morning. caller: hi. good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am very supportive of barrett. qualified, is very and i trust president trump to data qualified person, unlike democrats right now, so you should be very concerned on the picks they would be picking. thank you so much. host: a tweet from kamala harris, the junior democrat on the committee, again, 12 republicans, 10 democrats. senator kamala harris tweeted "the supreme court makes decisions that will impact america for generations we need to make sure the integrity is upheld by not appointing a new justice until we have a new president on the opposite end is the senior member, the chairman
of the committee, lindsey graham, and a debate on friday with democrat candidate jimmy harrison, and talked about the hearings. [video clip] senator graham: i was asked, "what would you do if there is an opening," and i said if it were there. nbc, if there was an opening on the supreme court, what would you do? we will see what the market bears. toill lead the charge confirm judge amy coney barrett to the court. if chuck schumer and a democrat were in charge, they would be doing the same thing. we had 20 -- 19 nominations an election year. 17 of the 19 have been confirmed when the president is the same party as the senate. here is the thing for me. when it comes to democratic judges, i gave them a fair shake, and i voted for them to when it comes to republican judges, my democratic colleagues want to destroy them.
cavanaugh, i, now hope he does not turn into a battle to it i am hoping that amy barrett gets treated with respect. we are moving forward. we are doing nothing unusual here in terms of how the senate operates. host: committee chair lindsey graham. here is what the democratic leader in the senate has to say. chuck schumer tweeting, judge coney barrett said she would overturn roe. he also says series conflict of interest. judge barrett must immediately pledge to recuse yourself from decisions on the affordable care act and the 2020 election. calls, suzanne, vancouver, washington, undecided as well. go ahead. caller: yes, we should listen to
what she has to say, what is going on. does she go by the law? does she go by the constitution? yes, then that is how we vote. this fear mongering that is going on is kind of ridiculous, don't you think? aren't we tired of that? thank you. host: michigan is next up. david, good morning. caller: good morning. good morning, c-span. i think thecause republicans are really doing the country a disservice. the majority of americans, not the 40% that support trump, but the majority come of the 60%, does not think that she should be put on the court before this election. so you are going to put somebody on the court for a lifetime that the majority of america does not want. it is wrong, it is more like a form of communism, that a minority of people have in their wake them against our wills. we pay taxes.
should be heard. also, if this is going to make democrats not want to work with republicans for a long time, because it is just a slap in the face, the way they did obama, and the way they are cramming this woman down our throat just to be evil and just to have power is going to mess up our country. thank you. host: here is the latest from axios and their polling on the nominee, support grows for supporting judge amy coney barrett. democrats are losing the supreme court messaging war, they write.
host: in pennsylvania, this is martin. go ahead. caller: yes, you are going to becauseot of call ins, they question barrett. is, if their signal is broken, would that stopping your income if they cannot question barrett for confirmation? mysterious way, if the signal is broken, would that stop the hearing? host: what do you mean signal, the tv signal? caller: on virtual television. host: there will be several members that will be virtual, but the nominee herself will be in person, and has been as practice, the chair of the committee, lindsey graham
certainly will become and the number of republican and democratic senators will be in the hearing room. caller: correct, but what about the ones that want to question her that are going to be on virtual? if their signal is broke, they can't question her for her hearing confirmation, would that deny or stop the proceeding? host: that is a fair point. i don't think so. they have had a number of hearings. the senate judiciary has had a number of hearings already, and certainly the problems with technical issues with some of those, but those hearings have proceeded on. i don't think that would slow it down. caller: would that stop the proceeding? host: this is just my interpretation of it -- i don't think it would. and as has been pointed out, they have actually gotten better at doing these, you know, like all of us, using zoom and virtual things, we are just getting better at doing it, so the hearings themselves have gotten easier to do, i suppose.
it seems like they have not had as many technical issues as they did early on. thanks, martin. we go to karen next in chester, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: hi. becausesonally opposed, she clerked for scalia, god bless his soul. oralu go back to 2013, the arguments and the shelby county case, he basically dismissed the idea that that cannot possibly be going on today, but my question is, if i were there today, i would ask him, part of that voter rights act, as soon closed the, alabama dmv places in a majority of their counties. there were no open dmv offices where people could get a license or a picture i.d. , i think the fact that
the majority of the court is in the ivy league system, and some of them have not ever even tried cases. i do not think they are in touch with reality and as i said, god rest his soul, scalia was a brilliant man, but he did not realize that racism is. alive and well. . thank you for taking my call. on twitter,eaction jimbo in bakersfield with this, california independent voter, "my support or lack thereof of amy coney barrett is irrelevant since the gop has decided to ramrod her through the nomination. process. . -- nomination process. the 11-member or 12-member supreme court a reality." done toer, not being
serve the best interest of the country. this one, oppose a conservative court, likely to rule against consumer and workers. that is dawn. vaccine in baltimore, michigan, however, supporting the nominee. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. with the, uh -e - uh, judge barrett, the problem that the democrats are having is that they are fearful that she will overturn roe v. wade. thathey can rest assured will never happen. that is an established fact now. , thenyway, if she did doctors that are performing abortions now will continue to do them. the only difference is that the american public will not have to pay for your birth control. adviselso would like to
that liberal men are pushing for abortion rights, that they do not have to worry about tapping to pay child support, because that is majorly what they are really concerned about. they are not concerned about the unborn. they are concerned about having to pay child support. will support her, but i am not fearful about roe v. wade being overturned, because that has been established. thank you, and you have a good day. com reporting. this morning, "amy coney barrett will say laws should be applied as written, not as judges would write." they write --
while millions and millions of people had voted, including myself, we should wait until the next election. wins, let him go ahead. if biden wins, let's postpone it. that is the fair way to do it. in this is the first time six months before an election aat somebody has proposed supreme court justice, because in the six months, that is when people are making up their mind about who we want to vote for. is, i mean, this is totally going against the people. the people -- and i am surprised that others aren't raising their voices in defense of other people, because we are voting! -- once hell has said oh, we cannot, because the
people are voting. well, what is so wrong with it now, mcconnell? it just jams the court. host: just to let you know also, we will cover a debate tonight with mitch mcconnell. first, though, a couple of presidential campaign events we will cover. president donald trump in sanford, just north of orlando. that is coming up tonight at 7:00 eastern. we will also cover a joe biden event earlier in the day at 1:15 p.m. on that mitch mcconnell debate, that is coming up tonight at 7:00 as well against his democratic rival, amy mcgrath. alive, televised debate will be live here on c-span, also c-span.org and the c-span radio app. also a reminder that the hearing of the coverage in about an hour and a half, 9:00 eastern, we expect to go there a little earlier, the first of four days of coverage for judge amy coney barrett. lynn, good morning. caller: yes, i do not have an
opinion on amy coney barrett personally, however, the american people will have the same degree of law and order that they have faith in the impartiality of our justice system, and the same senators who are touting law and order are going to prove with their votes for her that they do not care whether the american people have faith in the impartiality of our justice system. host: all right, thank you. gregory is in silver spring, maryland, good morning. opposing the nominee. caller: good morning, sir. generally, i want to read frame the entire conversation, if that is ok with everyone. ideald like to propose the that really, we do not have a say in any of our government. this nomination of
amy coney barrett whatever barrett. , it is emblematic of the lack of control by us, the people. might be easy to summarize it as such. you know what? calling c-span in the morning and just really, clearly laying out the fact that this is a plutocracy, this is not a democracy. that, youesult of have an incredibly divided government that has been controlled by putin, and, you know, i am going to wander off now into my hypotheticals, but granted, it should stand. this is not democracy. this is plutocracy. host: we will go next to hyde park, new york. darlene, good morning. caller: good morning.
thank you for all you do for c-span. ijust wanted to say that really, truly believe, it really feels like they are just rushing this through. people are already voting, and what the last caller said, 100%. and i also want to just say it should wait, and whenever the next president -- that would be the honorable thing to do in this divided country. this sick, corona country right now! and the republicans could jam this through. it really says a lot about where america is right now. it is not about americans. and there is a pro group, backed afc, and the federalist society, and people need to look at what is going on
in america. host: one of the democratic members on the committee is senator mazie hirono. she was on a program and was asked about the questions she will have this week. [video clip] ties toudge barrett has an organization called people of praise you have set her religious beliefs should not be off-limits, and you question whether or closely held views can be separated from her ability to make effective, fair decisions." do you plan to raise her fate tomorrow, and how can you do that without approaching religious bigotry? her religion is immaterial, irrelevant. that is what i said. so that is my position. i am totally focused. let this nominee, sitting there as a justice is going to do in striking down the affordable care act. that is what i am focused on. i am not going to be asking questions about her religious views. they are irrelevant.
>> so no one -- you don't think any democrats will bring up her faith or religious views? sen. hirono: [laughs] i think it will be the republicans bringing up that particular issue. why? because they do not want to tell the american people that they are about to vote for a person who is going to take away their health care. fairll, just to be commit was democrats when she was uprigh for a different post, democrats senators feinstein -- sen. hirono: actually, back then , chuck grassley and ted cruz asked about her writing. hawleyenator josh saying democrats have a history of bigotry. violence is not good enough.
"the washington times," risky judgment of barrett's catholicism." they write democrats are still reeling over the loss of the seat occupied come along occupied by the recently deceased justice ruth bader ginsburg. host: some reaction on twitter, untaxed, this one saying, "i support amy for supreme court, because she is pro-life. catholic democrat. but i also support joe biden for
president, because the gospel and climate change are top pro-life issues, in addition to abortion. on many issues, the democrats are much more in line with the bible. another, i am for the process. another, i am or the confirmation as i was for the previous confirmation. senator kunz notes that each choose a nomination based on the nomination of the president. ray saying i support the nomination all the fluff you hear is just fluffy or she is qualified to g should be confirmed, enough said. prince is with us from george, virginia. go ahead, undecided line. caller: hey there, good morning. thank you for taking my call. this is an out-of-the-box mentality on the issue, but i personally believe that a regulated candidate industry is
a conservative issue. of course, i think it has been proven around the country that it is fiscally irresponsible for states not to take up the issue for their process to hear in the south -- or excuse me, and my home state of virginia, we have the virginia a.b.c. system, the virginia alcohol therage control, distribution of spirits, and i believe that private farmers and small business that should have the right to farm and produce products, and i think it would be a great compromise if the state still maintain control that way. whatnot,cctv and picking up these products, and of course there are issues where children are getting a hold of these substances. thesesir, do you see issues making their way to the supreme court, or have they? caller: see, that is great, and that is why i would love to
learn more about the nominee, and i certainly hope that the judicial committee will post some of these questions to her. host: ok, shelbyville, tennessee, duty, supporting the nominee. hi there. caller: yes, i do. the president has the right, even though there are just three months left, if he loses, but if he wins he has another four years,. and i think that everything i have read about her would be an excellent supreme court judge. also, i want to say something. list 1000-- they people that have been contacted polls, 1000 people, whether biden leaves or trump leaves, and how many millions of people do we have in the united states, that we listen to the polls? that is all i have got to say. i support the president. i will be voting for him this coming wednesday.
just in case i do not live to make it to november 3. thank you very much. host: ok, judy. ocala, florida, george, go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. thank you very much. i do not understand why justice ginsburg did not step down when a democratic president were in power, i.e. president obama. and the last thing i want to say trump has theent same right as any other to place in a supreme court justice. so this sounds like sour grapes to me on the part of the democrats. they are acting as children. thank you very much. host: ok coming to beaumont, texas, talking about the nomination of judge amy coney barrett. her confirmation hearing starting at 9:00 this morning. in beaumont, texas, this is james. good morning. caller: hi, listen, i am james
wilson. i just wanted to know that senator graham said that there will be no judge put into office until after the election, so what happened to that? my daddy used to tell me if you could not keep your word, you are less than a man, so now answer that question. did you say that? but he said that. thank you guys for having me on, and i appreciate everything. bye. host: ok, carolyn is next. she opposes the nomination of judge barrett. go ahead, carolyn, alexander, virginia. caller: yes. i am calling because she ain't gonna realize she is going to have to leave a legacy behind, and her legacy is not going to be good for her kids. they are not thinking about they born to thet they united states. and she was any kind of person
we think she is, she will wait to be nominated in. because she did not, her legacy is not going to be anything like the justice who just died. she is not going to be that way. she needs to wait until the election over. us,ld trump already told that she already talked to , shed trump, if she loses is going to vote him in, and everybody is forgetting that is what she said. if she has to go to the supreme court, she is going to vote donald trump in that office. host: we mention a moment ago about president trump's rally in florida. this will be the first of what we expect will be three rallies by the president. he was on yesterday on fox new'' futures," and he asserted that he was immune to the coronavirus. here is what the president said. [video clip] [video clip] i want to start with breaking news, and that is the note that
you have revealed with the doctor, which said you are no longer considered a transmission risk. does this say you know longer have covid, sir? pres. trump: yes, which means i am basically immune, and i would have to go away into a basement, which i did, because you have to run the country, you have to get out of the basement. it looks like i am immune, for, i don't know, a short time, maybe a lifetime, nobody knows, but i am immune, so the president is in very good shape. host: president trump yesterday on fox news with maria bartiromo. we sawack to an ad yesterday about president trump's campaign that included the words of dr. anthony fauci. this is a report from cnn to he was on cnn. he says his words were taken out of context and the new campaign touting the coronavirus response. "dr. anthony fauci did not
consent to being featured in a new advertisement from the trump campaign, touting that president trump handling of the coronavirus pandemic. instead, the nation's leading infectious disease expert tells cnn his words were taken out of context. "in my nearly five decades of public service, i've never publicly endorse any political candidate. become as attributed to me without my permission in the gop campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement i made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials," fauci said in a statement provided exclusively to cnn when we asked if he agreed to being featured in the ad. here is how the president responded to that, about dr. fauci's words. "they are indeed dr. fauci's words. many people agree and outcome vaccines and cures long ahead of projections." that is from president trump. back to your calls on the
nomination of judge amy coney barrett to the supreme court, filling the seat for the late justice ruth bader ginsburg. we go to dexter in the nation's capital, supporting the nominee. good morning. caller: good morning. is that as faray as the supreme court justice is the republicans -- i don't want them to, but they can go ahead and fill it, and when they feel it, they just need to understand that we are going to ,ake sure our representatives congressmen senators, and if we end up with the white house, we are going to make sure that the republicans pay a heavy price for this, because we are going to make dca state, we are going to make puerto rico a state, and we might and up packing the court. so if they want to play unfair and do these things without the consent of the whole country, even though, you know, when obama was president, he tried to put in a supreme court justice eight months ahead of the
election, and mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham and all the rest of those clowns all said that it was too close to the election. "we need to let the voters decide." now that the tables have turned coming out the voters have been cut out of the picture, and they get to decide to and since they want to go that way and republicans want to follow them, then they just need to realize that we are not going to get any unity this way. we are going to get more division, and we are going to do whatever we can to push you out of government and push you out of controlling this country so that we can get somebody in there with some common sense, because it ain't so common anymore, because we are tired of it, and we are not backing down, and we are not going to allow you guys do whatever you want to do and we can can say it is ok. that is the end of my comment. host: we will hear from ken next, tulsa, oklahoma, supporting the nominee. hey, ken. caller: good morning. the abortion advocates are really mad about us getting a
supreme court justice that might , which wase v. wade never federally -- never passed into law. it was only a declaration based on the decision of the supreme it is saidtherefore to be overturned, and the planned parenthood group in was selling the baby parts, kamala harris supported the undercover groups that, to showl what planned parenthood had done. opposing, andis all these people calling in opposing her because she has a time forview, it is this country to follow christian
beliefs and stop killing our babies. host: beverly is next up in pittsburg, missouri, decided. go ahead. beverly, go ahead. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for having me. undecidedn is, i am on the nominee. she has got the credentials. my question is why? why is it so important to rush this nominee through for a lifetime appointment when we are in the middle of a pandemic. we are already voting. why is it so important to get this nominee through a novelty stimulus through? that is my question. host: ok, another caller from missouri supporting the nominate. marianne from baldwin, missouri. go ahead. caller: yes, thank you very much. i am a former history teacher,
so i have been looking at this issue historically. of 1890 2,tion years , justices were appointed and took their oath of office this in october, so that , three, int a month some cases, three weeks before the elections took place. so, historically, this is not something new. secondly, one justice cannot overturn anything. i don't know where these people get the idea that she is going to come in and overturn the aca or roe v. wade. it just does not happen. it has to be a decision made by if justices as a group, and one justice could have overturned roe v. wade, don't you think a justice like antonin scalia a would have done that back in the 1980's, 1990's, and early 2000's?
that she will overturn anything is just not a possibility. the president has a right to choose who he or she -- hopefully someday -- would want, but historically, none of this matters. host: from a historical ifspective, mary anne, judge barrett becomes justice buried and becomes a largely 6-4 majority in some cases, the likelihood of overturning some president like roe v. wade, the likelihood of that increases. ,aller: well, first of all there's always a likelihood of anything. as a previous caller said, roe v. wade, there was never a law that was passed by congress for abortion. it is strictly a judicial decision.
plessy versus ferguson, which supported separate but equal, jim crow, which was looked upon and made by the justices in 1896. it was another supreme court decision that overturned that in brown v. board of education of topeka, kansas. the only settled law -- and i get so frustrated -- the only settled law is the constitution. anything else can be overturned, and even the constitution can be changed through amendments, the amendment process, so really, folks, there is no such thing as settled law. saw as justice roberts supported the aca. he is supposedly conservative. who knows? and we also saw neil gorsuch in
a recent hearing, he sided with the liberal side of the court. we don't know how these people will judge based on what they are thinking today. it has to be a specific part of a specific case. host: well, we really appreciate your perspective, from a former history teacher. thanks for that. this is one view from "usa today " on potential cases that could come up on the court, with judge amy coney barrett, potentially justice barrett, on that court. this is by mario nicholas, an project,o the lincoln a republican group. he writes that --
the election to vote on her. but i think that, you know, kate is his place to do that, and she is the president -- he is the president. if it was turned around, you know, the democrats, they would do the same. they would do everything they could to push it through. and they are just, you know, worry because, you know, she is for things that's right. me,it's not democrats, to or is not republican, it is right or wrong. you know, she stands for things that are very important to this country, and abortion being one -- the main one, in my opinion. , you know, because we have been fighting this coronavirus and the deaths and the deaths and the deaths, but, you know, it is ok for the democrats to not want her there because she might help overturned roe v. wade. you know, i watch cnn, you know, and they do run the numbers on
their side of their screen, you 215,000, you, know, why don't they run how many babies are murdered since roe v. wade? you know, it is way up in the 60 million, 70 million. every time a baby is aborted, why do they not run that number and show what it is? and it is not democrat-republican, and my opinion, it is right or wrong, because this country was founded "in god we trust." and these people are going to pay. mexico,om santa fe, new robin opposing the nominate. go ahead. caller: yeah, hi. my objection is a little bit different. that alreadyalized five of the supreme court justices are catholic. --, this would make sense
that does not reflect the makeup of this country in any way, shape, or form. if, for example, we were going to nominate the sixth jewish justice, i have a feeling the catholics and the protestants would be hysterical. how about the sixth muslim justice? how would they feel about that? any one particular religion in this country is not practical,t is not and it just is not fair. it does not reflect the sentiments of the different religions. you cannot impose one particular religious sentiment or ideology single religion. i am glad the woman brought up the issue of the constitution. yes, please, follow the
constitution. are they going to follow the constitution, or are they going to follow the pope? host: this is a little bit to robin's point, a "wall street journal" news piece that says "charismatic workgroup comes into focus." host: from the "wall street journal." texts, will be present support a strong woman or bring party before faith or gender? michelle right she will make an
excellent duress and constitutionally, the president is within his right. this one says that obama did not have a democratic majority in the senate, so he was not going anyet garland appointed at point, especially as a lame-duck president could this one opposed to the nominee, conservative group will likely work against consumers and workers, as don and mechanicsburg. i am not as concerned about roe as i am this selection decision. and the . ginger opposing justice barrett. pinehurst,n carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i do support judge barrett, at least based on every thing i've seen so far, including her confirmation hearing for the court of appeals and the andussions of her decisions opinions on various issues,
various divisive issues, and in which she has taken both sides. putting her own beliefs before the law and precedents. i do support her appointment and confirmation, because i feel that it is extremely important that the judiciary, the one branch of government that is supposed to be completely nonpartisan and concerned only with the constitution, the law, and precedents, should not be politicized, and i think it is pretty disgusting to read predictions, for example, that the senate will be split along party lines. disgusted extremely
2016, when the senate refused to even consider the appointment of judge merrick garland after having refused to hear testimony regarding the nominations of some 100 lower court judges. that peoplehink be very surprised by her rulings. for example, justice clarence thomas, one of the "most conservative" justices on the court, wrote, to me, the most correct opinion in the case of wright, and is . will not go into further,, will bei think people
very surprised by her following the law and the presidents. host: thanks, ginger. lindsey graham grants the lead confirmation hearings amid a political dogfight. the south carolina senator tied in the polls. graham will be front and center when the country tunes in for the partisan battle. that the south carolina's prominent role leading the judiciary committee, however, will not necessarily be a boon of free publicity back home where he is fighting for political survival in one of the toughest reelection bows of his career. ofant to show you the story fundraising by his opponent from the "new york times." debate on thishe network, friday was the debate with his rival, jamie harrison. "rival to graham shadows fundraising."
int: let's hear from sam edgewater, maryland. i'm sorry, sarah, in edgewater, maryland. opposing the nominee. go ahead, sarah. caller: hi. i am opposing the nominee down because of her per se but because of the way it was done. the republican party denied president obama the same courtesy by having somebody, having hearings for his nominees nine months before the election. to me, it is such a double standard. it shows to me and everybody else in the country how low, i mean, the politicians in washington, d.c. have gone down. we americansvel can expect from our government, and it is not just that. it is a lot of other things as well.
aboutident who talks right-wing people being find people, you know, the republican party that does not say one peep about that. and they do this with a lot of things. you know, there is such extremism from the right and from the left, and it seems to theset both party's goal days is to make sure the other party fails and undermine one another. and i think, to me, i don't know, i mean, it is not even worth it listening to the politicians, you know? and i just think that there is absolutely no respect, anymore decency. it is unheard of and washington, d.c. the insults are flying from left to right. and not only is united states the laughingstock of the world, our politicians are showing the world how incompetent and who they truly are on a daily basis, "embarrassment" is not even
the word that were described that. you know, the president of the united , he called some countries, and i quote him now, "shit" hole countries. host: we'll let you go there, air a. appreciate your calls, and there are more ahead. come up in the next segment, we'll be joined by unanimous aron, president and founder of the alliance for justice, who opposes the nomination of amy coney barrett. later on, former tennessee attorney general paul summers from the coalition to preserve an independent u.s. supreme court, talking about his group's opposition to court packing. host: tonight on "the communicators," charlie mitchell, author of a new book on cybersecurity, talks about the administration's approach to cybersecurity and how its
efforts compare with previous administrations and those of other countries. >> the message that the u.s. government has been really pressing on industry and business leaders, that the top person in an organization has to really personally take responsibility for cybersecurity and show that they are interested in it and that this is a cultural value within their organization. the government is telling that to companies, and i would think the same thing should apply to the government. host: watch it tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> the competition is on. be a part of this year's c-span student cam video competition. middle and high school students , be the start of a national conversation by making a five to six-minute documentary ex-ploringt issues you want the
president and congress to address in 2021. be bold. show supporting and opposing points of view and include c-span video. be a winner. there's $100,000 in total cash prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000. the deadline to submit video social security january 20, 2021. be informed. you'll find competition rules, tips, and more information on how to get started at our website, studentcam.org. >> the senate confirmation hearings for judge amy coney barrett begin today at 9:00 a.m. eastern with opening statements by judiciary committee members, introduction of the nominee, followed by an opening statement by judge barrett. watch live coverage on c-span. stream or on demand at c-span.org or listen live on he c-span radio app.
>> "washington journal" continues. host: ahead of the hearings getting underway, we are joined next by unanimous aron, who is president and founder of the alliance for justice to talk about the nominee and the process. good morning,man aron. guest: good morning. thanks for having me. host: remind our viewers about your organization, what is its mission, and where do you get your funding? guest: alliance for justice is a national association of over 120 public interest civil rights organizations, part of the alliance's work over the years has been to elevate the subject of the federal courts, our judiciary, and our funding comes from a variety of sources, including foundations and individuals. host: tell us what is your organization's view of the nominee we've been talking about this morning, judge amy coney barrett. est: alliance for justice is
adamantly opposed to judge barrett's confirmation. you know, when president trump started picking judges, particularly his supreme court justices, he made the claim i am looking for a justice who will implement two critical issues for me, one, i'm seeking to repeal the affordable care act, i want a justice who will overturn that act. number two, i'm looking for a justice who will overturn roe vs. wade, and amy coney barrett clearly meets both tests. she has been critical of the supreme court decisions, written by john roberts several years ago that upheld the affordable care act, and as far as abortion is concerned, she is vehemently anti-abortion.
she signed an ad a couple of years ago pledging, seeking to overturn roe vs. wade, so that she fits both criteria. but there's also a third one, which is ch has emerged, and that is president trump is looking for a candidate who will be a vote on the supreme court if he challenges the election, and he has chosen amy coney barrett based on his conviction that she will be a vote to continue to place him, put him in office. so it's those three reasons why she was chosen and i think one other point needs to be made. president trump will be in office four years, eight years, his appointees to the supreme court, as well as lower courts, will be sitting on the judiciary much longer, for many
more years than donald trump is president, making decisions. and in this case, making decisions that will take us backward, that will overturn so many of the rights and freedoms and liberties we've taken foregranted in this country for decades. host: for our viewers and listeners, you've heard where the alliance for justice stands. we'd like to hear from out phone lines. 202-748-8000 if you support judge barrett. 202-748-8001 if you oppose the nomination. and for those of you undecided, 202-748-8002. nan arohn, let me ask two questions. on her qualifications, do you think her judicial qualifications qualify her for a position as high as the supreme court? number two, do her rulings, particularly on the seventh district circuit court, give us any indication of where her judicial philosophy is and where she might rule in future
ases on the supreme court? guest: no, i do not think amy coney barrett is qualified. her record actually is thin. she's been on the seventh circuit court of appeals for a new years, only a few years, and before that was a law schoolteacher at notre dame law school. i think when you look at the qualifications for a supreme court justice, you've got to look at does someone have very strong analytical abilities, is this a person of impeccable honesty, but third and equally important, is this a person who is going to help take our country forward? is this person someone who will advance our rights and protections? does this person have judicial temperament? and probably most importantly, is this person open-mind and had fair-minded? and when you look at her
rulings, her opinions, dissents n the circuit court of appeals, you do see a judge who is not open-minded, who has very distinct views and ideas of how the law ought to be applied, and if you are an immigrant, if you are a person of color, if you're a person who cares about gun safety legislation, if you're a person who has been discriminated against because of your age, amy coney barrett is a vote against you. our organization, alliance for justice, did a very thorough review of her decisions and her work on the seventh circuit court of appeals, and what emerges from that review is a judge who is very one-sided, very close-minded, and i would y her rulings will have an incredibly cruel impact on most
americans. so it's a very disturbing ecord, and i think americans from across the country ought to be very, very upset. host: finish your thought, go ahead, yeah. guest: not solely with her record, but with the way in which the senate is proceeding with her nomination and confirmation. ramming it through at a moment when americans are voting, there's absolutely no reason to be rushing through with her nomination, except for one factor. host: not surprisingly, nan aron, republican senator ben sasse has a different view of what her record might indicate. i wanted to play you his comments to chris wallace on fox news sunday and hear your response to that. here's ben sasse. >> i want to discuss some of the key issues that a justice barrett would confront on the court.
back in 2006, she signed a newspaper ad that called for overturning the quote, the words she signed, barbaric legacy of roe v. wade. then as a judge, she voted to re-hear cases where other judges in the seventh circuit struck down restrictions on abortion. senator, aren't you counting on a justice barrett to either end or restrict a woman's right to abortion? >> the reason i think that amy barrett is a rock star and should be on the court is because she's very clear about her jurisprudence. she's an originalist, and she's a contextuality, which means when she puts on her black robe in the morning, she knows what it is to be a judge, and that is to cloak your personal preferencesly. our judges don't wear red or blue jerseys. they don't advocate for policy positions, and we shouldn't be having either democrats or republicans on the committee trying to figure out how can they divine the future of how they'll rule on particular
cases. this is a so-called ginsburg rule -- >> wait a minute, wait a minute, senator. senator, with respect, you're being a little disingenuous here. i mean, you're very staunchly pro-life. that's a perfectly legitimate position to take. but aren't you, in fact, counting on justice barrett to either end or restrict roe v. wade, and wouldn't you terribly disappointed if she failed to do that? >> there are two different jobs, chris. you're right, i'm pro-life, and i stood for election before the voters in nebraska and i get to do that again in 23 days, and i ask them for their vote. and i tell them my policy positions. if apple i barrett were running for the -- if amy barrett were running for the senate from the state of illinois, she would have policy positions that she'd lay out to the american people. that isn't what a judge's job is. host: what do you hear there from senator sasse? guest: we know exactly why senator sasse is voting for amy coney barrett, and that is
because she's already told us that she will overturn roe vs. wade, and she's already indicated that she is opposed to the affordable care act. those are the two reasons ben sasse supports amy coney barrett. he can fall back on sweet sounding words like contextuality, originalism. but the fact of the matter is, he knows exactly where she stands, and ben sasse will have to go home if he votes for amy coney barrett and explain to his sandrortse n his state why he voted for a justice who has indicated, has told us that she will take away healthcare for millions of americans in this country in the middle of a pandemic. that's what ben sasse will have to explain to his voters and why he cast a vote for someone
who will take away abortion rights for women. host: let's flare tonya in north carolina, who opposes the nominee. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i agree with the guest you have there. i had a couple of comments. my first thing is the president trump had already stated that he would contest the vote, and that is the major thing that i see right now. would e sure the judge go along with him because of her nomination. and also, you got to think about the affordable care act, what else will they take away, the right to vote? i'm african-american, and there's so many things that i
remember long time ago, i wasn't even a teen yet, and women were performing abortions in back alleys and killing themselves and their babies. so this is so important. we don't want this. also, one more thing. people that are pro-life, i have respect for them. but a woman should have a right to choose. our president also knows that these private places where they have these immigrants in, they are sterilizing women. but none that have has ever been brought up, so what is the difference in thank you for taking my call. host: ok. nan aron? guest: i think this caller raises another point, which is y is the senate rushing to push through this confirmation before an election?
this caller made the point about having a justice on the court who will vote with president trump, but there's another point. and that is that the republicans are manipulating the process so they can comment an ultraconservative hold on this supreme court that can led for generations. there will now be a majority of supreme court justices who are opposed to abortion, who are opposed to healthcare, who are opposed to voting rights this caller made very clear, who will take our country back, and i think all of us at this stage in life and our country, need to go forward, need to deal with very pressing economic problems, certainly a healthcare crisis. we need to be looking forward, not overturning sandrites freedoms that have been in place in this country for
decades. host: to the caller's point on the potentially contested election and a potential case or cases that justice barrett may have to overview, what is the sort of precedent there for a judge recusing himself or herself from those sorts of cases having been just confirmed during a time in which an event, in this case the election, is happening? guest: we're going to hear a number of senators ask amy coney barrett what her views are with respect to recuse sandal whether if, in fact, a challenge is made in the courts to the election results, whether amy coney barrett will recuse herself. i think that will be a very significant and should be a significant issue in this confirmation hearing. host: let's flare illinois supporting judge barrett. caller: hi, good morning. i totally disagree with this lady speaking. she's totally biased, solid democrat.
and also, didn't obama put two people on the courts? and try to get a third one? so that would be stacking also, i would agree. as a christian, abortion is a no-no. so thank you very much. guest: the fact of the matter is, yes, president obama, to put two highly qualified, stellar justices on the supreme court, but you may have forgotten that the third nominee, merrick garland, who was nominated soon after justice scalia died in february of president obama's last year, you may remember he never got either a hearing or a vote during that year, and in fact, was never obviously confirmed. in addition, there were dozens of judicial nominees named by president obama his last gleer office, and republicans blocked
their confirmations. so in effect, if you compare e two, republicans have used judgeships to gain, acquire power and to ensure at the end of the day that our courts will not be independent, our justices won't be fair-minded, but they will be individuals who have distinct views on many of the rights and liberties that we hold so precious in this country. so in effect, democrats did not get all the judges that they put forward, and while merrick garland sat and languished the last year of obama's administration, being held by republicans, now the tables are turned, and republicans in the ast year of donald trump's
perhaps tenure, while people -- when people are still voting, are rushing through a justice in order to ensure that a very small minority of people were making decisions that affect our lives for decades and decades. host: senate judiciary committee gaveling in at the usual location, the hart senate office building. live coverage here on c-span. we're talking with nan aron, founder and president of the alliance for justice. to ross in california, who opposes the nomination. caller: oh, yeah, hello, good morning, c-span listeners and your guest. my thought is looking back at the bush v. gore thing, the supreme court justices initially said don't bring it to us. yeah, it was challenged in such a way that it went to them, and they voted three times basically for their candidate.
and i suspect that is what is going to happen again. this election coming up in a few weeks is going to be challenged. it will go to the courts, kicked up to the higher court, and basically, when you walk into a polling house, you get to vote one time. these guys are going to vote again on this, and that's unfair and un-american. thank you. guest: i think the caller is telling us that our election should be decided by our voters, not justices on the supreme court. and i think that is in the best interest of this country, to have the decision as to who becomes our next president be one that the voter makes, not a small number of justices on our court. host: tennessee, supporting the nomination.
caller: i want graham in there. i want president in there because he's done more for our country, and i'm 88 years old. and he's done more for our country than anybody. he's got a family that he's trying to raise here. and he don't need money. e's got money. and our systems has been give away for years and years and years. and i'm not for it. i'm for people working and taking care of theirself. and when they start in the 40's giving it away, it's been give away ever since. host: nan aron, let me ask you about preparing for a potential democratic president, looking down the road. the president famously had lists of, for the federalist society, another organization, potential federal judges to
appoint, and the senate has moved through 300 of his appointees. is your organization or related organizations doing similar sort of job for potential democratic president, in this case, joe biden? guest: progressive groups would e remiss if and we they didn't put together -- i can't say a list, because there's not one list, but put together names of ome wonderfully -- wonderful candidates who represent both demographic and experimental diversity. i know we certainly have collected lots of names. other groups as well. and if joe biden becomes president, we will be sharing names, as we always have over time, for decades and decades. ut certainly we are looking at some of the stars in the legal
world and collecting dozens and dozens of wonderful names. host: let's hear next from harry in georgia. caller: good morning. hank you for taking my call. i would just say, number one, this judge, amy barrett, appears to be a person of integrity. now, my worry is that she's appointed by a president who appears not to have any. but i'd just like to make one comment, and that is one more, which is without the work that ruth bader ginsburg devoted her life to, there would likely not amy coney bryant, because women were never appointed judges. before ruth bader ginsburg got
into her business with the aclu, ok? guest: thank you. nan aron? guest: that is such a wonderful point. ruth bader ginsburg created looteders of opportunities for -- ladders of opportunities for all of us, women and men in this country. and there's no question that amy coney barrett will undo so much of the progress that we have enjoyed now for years, whether it's in the work place, whether it's protections for workers, young people, old people. ruth bader ginsburg as a lawyer nd a justice was a pioneer for equality, and there is absolutely -- and this is important -- nothing in amy coney barrett's record to
indicate, to show that she will continue to make rulings on that continuum. the fear is that she will take us back and eviscerate so much of the progress that we men and women have made. guest: nan aron, founder and president of the alliance for justice, joining us this morning. thanks so much for being our guest. guest: thank you so much for having me. host: more ahead here on "washington journal," as the hearing looms, beginning at 9:00 eastern. we'll probably be there a bit earlier. so next up, we will be joined by former tennessee attorney general paul summers. he's from the coalition to preserve an independent u.s. supreme court, talking about his group's opposition to court packing.
>> the senate confirmation hearings for judge amy coney barrett begin today at 9:00 a.m. eastern with opening statements by judiciary committee members, introduction of the nominee, followed by an opening statement by judge barrett. watch live coverage on c-span, stream or on demand at c-span.org or listen live on he c-span radio app. the u.s. supreme court began its new term hearing oral arguments via conference call. listen live at c-span.org/supremecourt. tuesday, listen live to two cause, the cases of the united states v. briggs and united ates v. collins, followed by city of chicago v. fulton. on wednesday, the justices hear arguments. listen to the oral arguments live or on demand at c-span.org/supremecourt.
"the contenders" about the men who ran for the presidency and lost, but changed political history. tonight, four-time governor of new york and the first catholic presidential candidate for a major political party, al smith, "the contender the" this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern on merican history tv on c-span3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us this morning, from nashville, former tennessee attorney general paul summers. he's currently a member of the organization called the coalition to preserve an independent u.s. supreme court. paul summers, tell us about your organization. what's your effort about? guest: thank you, bill. our nonpartisan, bipartisan coalition called keep nine is a coalition which wants to permanently ban court packing
by use of a constitutional amendment. our constitutional amendment that we are proposing is only 13 words, and would be the shortest amendment in the constitution. the supreme court of the united states shall be composed of nine justices. urrently and since 1789, the constitution has been silent on the number of justices of the supreme court. all it takes to change the number of justices on the court is to pass a statute that's signed by the president. we feel that that is court packing, and we want to make sure that that doesn't exist. our forefathers were smart. they envisioned three independent and separate branches of government. two were political, and one, the judiciary or the supreme
court, was nonpolitical and should be nonpolitical. we are of the opinion, and that opinion has been shared by many, many legal scholars for many, many years that court packing is a detrimental thing. it's detrimental to the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and basically destroys the checks and balances on abuse of power of the other two branches. if a political party is in power with the three branches of government, or actually the two branches of government, they can change the number of the members of the supreme court either up or down. that's called court packing, and that would result probably in putting new justices on the court that would be of the same ideology as the president and as the congress. host: does your organization come about because of the
recent push and at least discussion by some on adding members to the supreme court? guest: absolutely not. our coalition has been in existence for well over a year, back in 2019. i became involved in the coalition about six months ago when they asked me, a former attorney general, to spear head the coalition regarding former attorneys general. it is a bipartisan group. we have both democrats, republicans, and independents on the group, and we are completely independent of the political process. host: paul summers is our guest am you heard him explain his group's sandogs their proposed constitutional amendment. we welcome your thoughts on this topic, what's been called court packing. republicans use 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. ndependents, 202-748-8002. there was, back in september,
paul summers, a bill proposed by democrats in the house that would limit the term of a supreme court justice to 18 years. does your amendment address that in any way? guest: our amendment does not address that. our amendment strictly is as to the number of justices on the court. we feel that this is not only proper, but is also historical. or the last 151 years, since 1839, we have had nine members on the supreme court. most people feel like it's already in the constitution. that has nothing to do with any other types of amendments. host: it was seven justices before that, correct? guest: since 1789, we have had a range from five to 10 justices on the supreme court, all of which were put there by statute. t in 1859 or 1869, the supreme
court has been nine justices and that seems to have been a great number. as a matter of fact, the late justice ginsburg in 2019 was asked the question, how many justices do you think should be on the supreme court, and her comment was, and i quote, nine seems to be a very good number. host: the most recent, and it's not that recent effort to add justices to the supreme court was during the roosevelt administration. give us a brief history of that. guest: that was in 1937. roosevelt had been re-elected. roosevelt had the power of his party behind him. he had both the congress and, of course, the presidency. he tried to add, as i recall, six justices to the court, but a bipartisan group, not only his allies, but also his opposition opposed him in that constitutional amendment process, and it failed. that's the last time it's been
tried, and we want to prevent that from being tried ever again. that's why we want to ban court packing. host: given the amendment process, how would this work? given the amendment process, its potential playing this out a bit, in a democratic presidency, that a president den could add members, but your proposed amendment would take years to work through state ledge tures, correct, if approved by congress? guest: well, there are basically two ways under our constitution to amend the constitution. one is to have 2/3 of both the house and the senate propose an amendment to the constitution, and then it be ratified by three-quarters of the states. or there is a constitutional convention process where 2/3 of the states could recommend a constitutional convention, and then the congress could decide whether or not they wanted to have it ratified either by
convention or by the congress. host: and the name of the group escapes me right now. there is a group that's pushing for additional amendments to the constitution in the process that you just described. is your group affiliated with them at all? guest: no. our group is called keep nine. it's a coalition to preserve the independence of the supreme court. we only want to pass a constitutional -- have it ratified, a constitutional amendment that sets the number at nine and that does not change every again. host: we've got calls for you. let's hear first from jeffrey in sarasota, florida, republican line. florida, go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call. sir, i am a first-year law student at coley law school in michigan, and i'm also a veteran teacher of american government. i taught over 10 years.
and agree with your thrust that court packing is a terrible idea, but i don't agree with adding a constitution. the constitution is a very sacred document, and i think that you're a little too eager to get this through. the supreme court had a variety of members. i believe it began with seven or five. sandr you brought up the 1937 court packing by franklin roosevelt, arguably one of the most prestigious and powerful presidents we ever had, and that was sunk by the political process. and i think that should be our guide that it won't happen, because look at joe biden. he won't admit that he's considering it because it is so lethal to do so. i just think that the
constitution should have only essential amendments like ending slavery or things of that nature, not setting the supreme court members at nine. i mean, what's next, set representation at a certain population in the u.s. house or to add three -- make two the ors from each state, only thing that would be considered. i agree with your sentiment, and i think court packing is a terrible, authoritarian, and quite frankly, a gentleman kobian tactic to try grab control of one third of the american government. guest: thank you. i really applaud you going to law school, and good luck to you. the reason that we feel like the constitutional amendment is
not only appropriate, but absolutely necessary, is because it's very easy particularly if you're a candidate to be against court packing, and there are, after an election, you can then change your mind. but if you say you not only are against court packing, but also favor the keep nine amendment, then that means permanently that you are against court packing and cannot change your mind. that seems to be very emblematic of this particular election cycle, and we want to end court packing altogether. what happens with court packing basically is that the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary are destroyed. tpwhow longer have a third branch of government, which is independent and is nonpoliticized. you basically have policy makers and legislators wearing black robes. that's not the way the
legislature envisioned, nor the president envigsd, nor the judiciary envisioned the judiciary to be. we want to permanently ban court packing, and that requires a constitutional amendment so that one cannot change his or her mind on that issue. host: democrats line. caller: good morning. how you guys doing today? all i have to say about this situation is because it's a hard choice about this. but the thing about it is mitch mcconnell and the republicans have left the democrats no other option. if mitch mcconnell would just hold on to the seat until the president is confirmed on november 3 or whenever, then it's fine. then the democrats would have time to choose their own. but mitch mcconnell has already packed the courts with over 200 judges on the lower court, and
now also wants to pack it more. this leaves no choice, because then it's going to be nothing but conservative views the next 10, 20 years. host: on that, i wanted to read some words by harvard law, who sits on an organization of take back the court, an organization that advocates for expanding the number of justices. he said, like our caller, republicans played hard ball. seems to me perfectly normal for democrats to play hard ball in response. when one side does and the other doesn't, that can erode democracy too, and that's what we've experienced in the united states already. guest: if one party is in power, and they expand the that nd put in justices are of the same political ideology as they are, then what is going to happen when the other party in 8, 10, 12 years comes into power? they are going retaliate. the next thing we know, we have
got 12, 15, 18, maybe 21 members of the supreme court, and we basically have a judiciary just like a banana republic. we want to keep the judiciary independent. we want them to interpret the law and not legislate the law or set policy, and we want them to be a safeguard against the abuse of process bit other two branches. that's why we are pushing -- and by the way, on a national basis based on a national poll, nine 18% favor the keep amendment by a margin of more than 3-1. host: glen, independent line, from pennsylvania. good morning, glen. caller: good morning, sir. good morning. please let me finish this gentleman here. first, i got to suggest something to mr. biden.
, select these judges liberals or so-called conservatives. e don't select them by their qualification. we select them if they're liberal or conservative. so for mr. biden, you tell the people that listen, if the republican put conservative, conservative judge on the court, yes, you're going try to buy it out and put some liberal . sir, you notice that the way we select our judges is the liberal or conservative. we don't select them by their qualification. mr. summers, did you notice that? thank you. guest: i don't exactly understand your question, but let me explain the process as i understand it. we have two branches of government that are political,
the executive branch and the legislative branch. the judicial branch is not political. now, that said, during the confirmation process, it certainly is political. but once you hire a judge, once you confirm a judge, whether he or she is a district judge, a court of appeals judge or on the supreme court, that person is not accountable to the public any longer. that person is accountable to the law, interprets the law as he or she basically understands it and looks at the text of the law, and that is so much -- that is so why it is important that we have independent justices, because they are not accountable to the people like the other two branches are. they are not policy makers. they are not legislators. they are people who wear black robes and read words and interpret those words. actually, judges, and i've been one for 15, 18 years, actually
judges shouldn't even wear black robes. they ought to wear black and white striped robes because they are referees. ost: you served, summer paul summers, tennessee attorney general from 1999 to 2006. are there lessons to be learned onan indication behalf states do with their supreme courts or their superior courts in terms of expanding the numbers of members on those courts? guest: i can't speak for any other constitutional provision other than tennessee, but in tennessee, it is a constitutional provision that we have five members of the tennessee supreme court. i would imagine that most of the constitutions of other states provide the same. as a matter of fact, most people didn't even -- don't even realize that our constitution does not provide for nine justices. most people, including lawyers, think that that's in the constitution. the constitution is silent. we want to keep the number at
nine just like it has been for 151 years, and it worked pretty well for those 151 years. please don't court pack, don't stack the court, and please remain it at nine, because that is a permanent -- that is a permanent firewall toward politicizing the judiciary. host: on the political side of that, this from the aclu, they tweeted that president trump is threatening the very legitimacy of the court by trying to rush through a nominee. it's on the senate to delay the vote. senator ed markey from massachusetts says this about the expansion of the court. if republicans confirm judge barrett and the filibuster and expand the supreme court, is your group fearful that the court will be expanded under a democratic president? guest: our group was well in operation before the conversation began regarding the untimely death of justice
ginsburg, the nomination of judge barrett, and now the confirmation process. tpwherp existence, and we have been trying to work toward this constitutional amendment process for well over a year, more than a year. that has nothing to do with that process. let me say this. based on what i know about the constitution and what i know about the facts, the president was the president for four years. he made his nomination, and the senate has the right to advise and consent on any judicial nomination. the process is working just ike it's worked for the last 230-some-odd years. host: hearing getting underway in about 15 minutes for amy coney barrett. you'll have live coverage here on c-span, on c-span radio, and we hear next from mason, charlottesville, virginia, on the republican line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. mr. summers, i wish you the best on moving this forward as
quick as possible. gentlemen, i am 68 years old white male. i grew up in northern virginia. he was a dim all my life until the last 10 years. -- i was a democrat all my life until the last 10 years. no distop miss ginsburg, but she had an opportunity to step down from her seat when obama was president. no one lives forever. they missed their chance. the current administration is going by the law. not outside the law. mr. summers, i wish you the best of rubbing. guest: thank you very much. host: to matt, virginia, democrats line. you're on with paul summers. caller: let's talk about the supreme court. first of all, the myth it's not political is the biggest load zpwf i've ever heard. it is an extremely political branch of the government, the political government, and it always has been. so the myth that you've created, the republican movement that, oh, it's some nonpolitical branch of the
party is ridiculous. number two, it's legal for biden to do that. so if he has the votes, he should do it, just like trump. comment three, george w. bush and donald trump were elected without the majority of the people in this country. two out of the three elections we've had with republicans in charge have been nonpopular vote-elected presidents. the majority of the people don't support their positions. and yet they get all these supreme court justices who skew to their views that are against the majority of the people in this country. there's a problem there. and to say that these supreme court justices are representing the people duly is kind of a myth, too. we have a very messed up political system right now. host: paul summers, any thoughts? guest: i would just like to, again, reiterate that 3-1
majority of the voters in america support the keep nine amendment, and we appreciate that. we think it's the right thing to do. host: from the hill, democrats shoot down talk of expanding the supreme court. senate democrats have been tamping down talk of expanding the supreme court, if republicans fill the seat held by the late justice ruth bader ginsburg. they write progressive activists and some lawmakers have raised the idea since ginsburg's death was announced, arguing the party needs to be ready to take bold steps while facing a 6-3 conservative court. we're looking at live pictures from the hearing room. continue our conversation with paul summers and hear next from ray in pennsylvania, independent line. caller: yeah, i have a couple of things i hope you'll let me get through for our esteemed panelist there. first of all, everybody knows, and i guess you know, too, it's not in the constitution about how many supreme court justices
are, so any argument you make has no legal standing. number two, republicans already packed the court by not allowing obama his choice, and you can't argue the other way on that now either, because you said that trump was allowed to have his choice, but now you're going say obama wasn't allowed to have his. so that was essentially court packing by the republicans and mitch mcconnell. thirdly, you say you go by ginsburg's words about nine being the best number. her last wish was not to have a justice appointed until the election, so you can't have it both ways there either. and finally, there's nothing in the constitution that says that the president can't shrink the court. let's make it into seven and kick off a couple of your buddies. finally, one more for the american people, and that's "the pelican brief," and that's it, thanks. host: several things there, paul summers. you want to address any of his comments? guest: sure. our coalition is a bipartisan coalition of former attorneys
general now former members of congress. our numbers are basically 2-1 democrats to republicans on the coalition. this is truly nonpartisan. we were well working on the constitutional keep nine amendment well before 2020, before the confirmation and the nomination process began for judge barrett or anyone else. this is something we need to do, because this prevents -- this constitutes a firewall against the potentiality of court packing by either party from now on and evermore. it's worked well for 151 years. well now.rk we've got 27 amendments in the constitution. this would be the 28th amendment. remember, too, that in 1787
when our founding fathers ratified or basically passed the constitution of the united states, we didn't have a bill of rights. we didn't have amendment number one regarding freedom of religion and freedom of speech. we didn't have amendment number two regarding the right to bear arms. these were all kind of afterthoughts. they weren't thought during the original writing of the constitution. we have to have a constitutional amendment to remain as a permanent, a permanent firewall against court packing. one more thing. it's going to be hard work. it's going to take a long time. but we didn't have the 19th amendment, which took 100 years basically, we wouldn't have the right to vote for women in america. all i can say is it takes hard work, diligent application, but
we're willing to do it on a bipartisan basis, both democrats, republicans, and independents. host: where is your group in that work? where are you in the process of this amendment, proposed amendment? guest: we're in the process, we've already got a house joint resolution filed in the house, and i anticipate within the next couple of weeks we're going to have an announcement for a sponsor in the senate, and we're moving along with great decision. host: we'll continue with our conversation. senators are coming into the hearing room. our guest is paul summers, talking about a constitutional proposed amendment on court packing. and limiting the justices' numbers to nine, keeping it at nine. indiana i understand, mike on the republican line. caller: yes, i just kind of guess, the only reason democrats want to do this is because they got caught. they broke the law, biden did
and obama when the c.i.a. went in there and told them about trump working hillary putting trump with the russians. this is the only reason this all came up, because they got caught being illegal. host: i'm going let you go there. paul summers, any final thoughts before we wrap up? guest: thank you very much. i appreciate being on this morning on c-span. we are pushing. we are trying. we're working hard on a nonpartisan basis to keep the united states supreme court in a composition of nine on a permanent basis, just like it has been for 151 years to prevent permanently court packing. thank you very much. host: the co-throigs preserve an independent u.s. supreme court, and our guest, paul summers, thanks for being with us. guest: thank you. host: we'll take you live next to the senate hearing room, the confirmation hearing, day one for amy coney barrett. judge amy coney barrett nominated to fill the seat of