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tv   Sen. Lindsey Graham Speaks at the Federalist Society  CSPAN  February 6, 2019 8:25pm-8:43pm EST

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on u.s. foreign-policy, the latest in yemen, syria and venezuela. as well as ethics rules. plus, reactions to president trump's state of the union. joining us for that is the kaiser family foundation member. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern on thursday. join the discussion. >> next, south carolina senator lindsey graham talks about the rule of law and his priorities as chair of the judiciary committee. this is about 20 minutes. sen. graham: good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] sen. graham: thank you. my name is dean rider. roiter. a special welcome to all of you
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joining us on the livestream on c-span. welcome to the federal society's first annual religious later french review conference. recordings of the entire c-span on the on federal society's website. please visit our website to learn more about the article one initiative and watch the rest of the conference. it is my honor to introduce the speaker for today's afternoon address, senator lindsey graham. representedam has south carolina in the u.s. senate since 2002. serving, he was elected to the u.s. house of representatives in 1994. the first republican from the third congressional district of south carolina in over 100 years. election, he served as a judge advocate general in the u.s. air force and later in the south carolina air national guard and air force reserves.
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electedks ago, he was as chairman of the senate judiciary committee, a committee with broad legislative jurisdiction and oversight of the department of justice and homeland security. alsoommittee is of course, test with a consideration of all article three judicial nominations including nominees to the supreme court. the senate judiciary committee manages a historically blistering pace and confirmations over the past on it for months under senator grassley. inheriting am's fair amount of momentum. he has pledged the confirmation of judges will be one of his first priorities as chairman of the committee. i am excited to hear his bus today -- his thoughts today about whether the senate and congress are headed to the mark. what they can do differently or better and what the road forward looks like. join me in welcoming senator lindsey graham. [applause]
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sen. graham: thank you all. i'm late. i was talking to the turkish president about syria. this is a coveted world we live in. think you for the kind -- thank you for the kind introduction. i will try to do the best they can. i want to acknowledge. -- i will try to do the best i can. we had some bumps in the road. let's get right into it. what is happening on the committee? hopefullys, and legislative breakthrough. about picking judges. i have been here since 2002. i have had six votes are supreme court nominees. i have voted for them all. kagan and sotomayor or qualified. i wouldn't have chosen them, but
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they were qualified. they represent people that the democratic president would pick from. as to the four nominated on the republican side, i found them exactlyqualified, in the type of person that a republican president which is from. which takes us to the federalist society. your organized around the idea principlestional that i share, and it should not be news that when a republican president wins, that you would be the type of people they would talk to. about who would be a good person from our philosophy point of view. where do you think the democrats go? --t you think they talk to who do you think they talk to? they have their constituencies
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that monitor judges, people that they feel are rising stars in terms of the more liberal judicial philosophy. that's the way it works. i keep trying to tell everybody elections matter. but, i'm afraid we are in a dark area now -- period now. elections, when it comes to judges, never ends. the rules have changed against my will. i was in the gang of 14 that stopped the filibuster during the bush years. saying we should only filibuster judges and extraordinary circumstances. the politics of judges is ever-increasing, and eventually is going to hurt the judiciary. you asked me what i worry the most about? it's going to be very hard to find somebody to come forward if we keep doing what we're doing.
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brett kavanaugh, thank you for sticking with him. thank you for understanding he was highly qualified from our point of view. what he went through was unconscionable and i hope it never happens again. because at the end of the day, any republican president would put bread on the top of their list. -- brett on the top of their list. hands down, no question, qualified. he was president bush's private secretary. he handled every single piece of paper that came across his desk. he had been in the trenches as judging and lori during without any hesitation. lawyering without any hesitation. then.hat happened the goal was to hold open the seat for 2020.
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that didn't work. 2013, harry reid decided to change the rules to require a majority vote for circuit court judges. -- i senatornator called me up and it before and said we're going to change the rules, and i couldn't understand why, because there were very few judges waiting. it was a power grab. it is overtime, going to change the judiciary. i worry a lot about what is coming. if you don't have to reach across the aisle to get any votes, judges are going to be more ideological than they would be otherwise. mature when weo put somebody forward, they really do represent the law from a constitutionally conservative point of view, not some ideology in their agenda.
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that's what i like about you. you don't want that ideologue writer left. it is going to -- right or left. it is going to put pressure on all of us to do make sure -- to make sure we do the vetting. so, we are going to do 41 tomorrow that are holdovers, will have more hearings and more votes, and all we need is a majority. i'm hoping that one day somehow, one of these high-profile nominees will give some votes from the other side. if they can't find a vote from the democratic side, i don't know who can. we are where we are. there is no use blaming anybody. let's just press on and try to make the best of it. thatule of law means to me you don't have to have a militia to get your way. most places in the mideast that
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have a hard time going forward have a big problem. nobody trusts the cops, the -- they act in a very limited way, and most people feel the only way you can represent your interests is through armed groups. imagine what america would be like if we did not trust the corporate. we may not like the outcome, but split decision in the supreme court, power was transferred peacefully. that is worth protecting. what am i going to do is judiciary chair? i am going to make sure we can appoint as many well-qualified conservatives on trump's watch as possible. and the key is well-qualified. i will not let the aba veto what happens, medicare about what they think.
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youngercomes to judges, is better than older. when it comes to judges, well-qualified is better than not well-qualified. i have been a lawyer most of my and there are people we can find in every state that are well-qualified and that conserve for a while. pay, if you're in your 40's or early 50's, doing well in the private sector, we ask you to leave the practice with a couple of kids going to college or about to go to college. we have to think about pay. that two out of three magician rate -- judiciary nominees came from the private sector, and one of three came from the public sector. it is a career path to be a judge.
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very few people come from the private sector. they are great government lawyers out there, but the strength of our judiciary overtime has been in my opinion the best and brightest in the private sector, will lead the private sector to serve publicly. to be a judge. hey does matter. -- pay does matter. i have been talking to justice roberts to make sure that we pay benefitse of that will allow people to make the transition from the private sector to the public sector. sacrifice, but it's got to be financially doable. the rule of law is worth investing in. when you look at all the money we spent on judges, on prosecutors, public defenders, the entire ball of wax, it is
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probably less than 1% of the entire budget. we need to think about access to justice. when it to make sure that there are prosecutors out there -- we need to make sure that there are persecutors up there in sufficient numbers, immigration judges to make sure the rule of law works. the public defenders are there insufficient numbers and quality to make people believe they are going to get a fair shake regardless of their income. i like my job. as a united states senator. i love the law. it is the one thing we have going for us that overtime takes is really different. buying into this idea is not where you come from, not how much you make, that the route of the quality of the evidence and all of the presumptions over the last 200 years that have served us well.
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when i want to do -- what i want to do is populate the judiciary with well-qualified conservative judges and a reasonable manner -- in a reasonable manner. that those who go into this profession are compensated in a fashion they are enticed to do so in the future. legislatively, i want to deal with social media, the behemoth on privacy, on content, on how you protect the platforms from being hijacked by foreign governments and terrorists. this is a completely new area of life. all these social media outlets have enriched our lives, but also created problems. i do want to take another shot at a broken immigration system. what i worry about the most, syria, but a cyber attack when than anything else. -- more than anything else. we don't have the infrastructure we need in place to protect our
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critical infrastructure from what i think is an inevitable attack. you will never regulate this problem, so working with senator whitehouse, i want to create incentives for people in the our business, the financial services business, other areas of critical infrastructure including elections to heart and infrastructure -- harden the infrastructure. achievee we ought it to the best business practices -- audit to achieve the best business practices. if they meet the standards, give them liability protection. that's the only way this is going to work. dhs cannot regulate these industries, because the threats change so quickly. to the federalist society, thank you for your input. you have my phone number. i've got yours.
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but, we need to be thinking about protecting and preserving the rule of law, not just our people versus theirs. what i have seen in the last couple years really bothers me. we have to find some way to have a truce here. to reset. because if we don't, i really do worry about the quality of an independent judiciary. aboutbusiness, it's all loud. 50 plus one. no matter how you get there, as long as you get there. in your business, the rule of law business, it is about a quiet place, where people can evaluate without the pressure of the next election to get the right outcome for their fellow
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citizens. what i will do as judiciary chairman is everything i can to solve the problems that face our country and you and novel ways. i will dedicate my tent to preserving the rule of law. -- my time to preserving the rule of law. protecting those who come forward to serve, paying them adequately, and ensuring that we get the best and the brightest. the thing about our profession is people take it for granted until they need it. every lawyer in here has been the but of a joke. -- butt of a joke, until you need one. god bless you. [applause] >> matthew whitaker has been acting attorney general since
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november when he replaced the outgoing attorney general jeff sessions. on friday, he will testify before the house judiciary committee on his role overseeing special counsel robert mueller's investigation, his first appearance before the committee. watch live friday at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span two,, or life with the free c-span radio app. -- live with the free c-span radio app. >> following president trump's state of the union, reaction from lawmakers on capitol hill. next, we hear from senate leaders speaking on the senate floor. be placed on the calendar. mr. mcconnell: well, last night the president shared a hopeful vision of a bright future for our country. in part he reminded us that the future is the bright because of the big steps we have taken together in the past two years to move the nation forward. steps like historic tax reform that has helped middle-class families acros


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