tv President Biden on Justice Breyer Retirement CSPAN January 30, 2022 9:41pm-10:01pm EST
conversations about historians about their lives and work. many of our television programs are also available as podcasts. you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> president biden and supreme court justice stephen breyer spoke at the white house about the justice from the supreme court. the president reiterated his pledge to pick a black woman for the vacancy and he said he would announce his nominee by the end of february.
to express the nation's to justin stephen breyer -- justice stephen breyer for his remarkable career in public service and his commitment to making the country's laws work for its people. our gratitude extends to his family for being partners the country owes you as well. stephen breyer's public service started early. he served in the u.s. army as a teenager and in all three branches of the federal government before he turned 40. the good old days. a clerk to supreme court justice goldberg, a prosecutor in the department of justice, a member of the watergate prosecution team. >> he served in all three branches of the government before he turned 40. and as he was a law clerk, a prosecutor in the department of justice, a member of the watergate prosecution team.
i first met stephen breyer when i was a senator on the judiciary committee. and he started off as taking care of one of the subcommittees and then became chief counsel during his tenure as chairman of the judiciary committee. beyond his intellect and hard work and legal insight, he was famous for biking across washington virtually every day for a face-to-face meeting with republican chief counsel, the ranking republican counsel. over breakfast they discussed what they would do for the country together. in those days, we tried to do things together. that spirit stuck with me when i took over the judiciary committee as chair after senator kennedy's tenure. and it was my honor to vote to confirm justice breyer to serve in the united states supreme court under the court of appeals first in 1980. and then 14 years later, in 1994, i got to preside as
chairman of the judiciary committee over the supreme court confirmation hearings. we were joking with one another when he walked in did we ever think that he would have served decades on the court and i would be president of the united states on the day when he came to retire. when she looked at it. anyway, i'm joking. but i was proud and grateful to be there at the start of his distinguished career in the supreme court and i am very proud to be here today on his announcement of his retirement. during his confirmation hearings back in 1994, nominee stephen breyer said quote the law must work for the people. he explained to us his faith that our complex legal system has a single purpose. to help people who make up our country. it was supreme court. his legacy includes his wo his scholarship are why he became justice breyer by an overwhelming artisan boat at the time.
justice breyer announced his stepping down after four decades on the federal bench. 28 years on the supreme court. his legacy includes his work as the leading scholar and jurist in administrative law, bringing his means to bear to make government run more efficiently and effectively. it includes his stature as a beacon of wisdom on our constitution and what it means. and through it all, justice breyer has worked tirelessly to give faith to the notion that the law exists to help the people. everyone knows that stephen breyer has been an exemplary justice. fair to the parties before him, courteous to his colleagues, he has written landmark opinions on topics from voting rights to patent law two laws protecting our environment and religious practices. his opinions are practical, sensible and nuanced. it reflects his belief that the job of a judge is not to lay
down a rule, but to get it right, to get it right. justice breyer's law clerks and colleagues as many of the press here no, describe him and his desire to learn more, his kindness to those around him and his optimism for the promise of our country. he is patiently sought common ground and build consensus, seeking to bring the court together. i think he is a model public servant in a time of great division in this country. justice breyer has been everything this country could have asked of him. and he has appeared -- when he appeared before the judiciary committee almost three decades ago, we had high hopes for the marquis would leave on the history of law and the constitution. and has exceeded those hopes in every way. today is his day. our day to commend his life of service and his life on the court. let me say a few words about a critically important work of
selecting his successor. choosing someone to sit on the supreme court, i believe, is one of the most serious constitutional response abilities a president half. our process is going to be rigorous. -- the most serious constitutional responsibilities a president has. i have been studying candidates backgrounds and writings, i have made no decision except for one. the person i will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. it is long overdue in my view. i made that commitment during the campaign for president and i will keep that commitment. i will fully do what i said i would do. i will fulfill my duty to suit jess -- to fill the justice with his advice. you heard me say in other
nomination processes that the constitution says seek the advice and consent, but the advice as well of the senate. i'm going to invite senators from both parties to offer their ideas and points of view. i will consult with leading scholars and lawyers. and i am fortunate to have advising me in the selective process vice president kamala harris. she is an exceptional lawyer, former attorney general, former member of the senate judiciary committee. i will listen carefully to all of the advice i am given and i will study the records and former cases carefully. i will meet with the potential nominees and it is my intention, my intention to announce my decision before the end of february. i have no choice at this point. once a selected nominee, i will ask the senate to move promptly on my choice. in the end, i will nominate a historic candidate, someone who is worthy of justice breyer's legacy, and someone who, like justice breyer will provide
incredible service on the supreme court. justice breyer, on behalf of all the american people i want to thank you and your family for your tremendous service to our nation. i am going to yield the floor to you, mr. justice. stephen breyer: thank you mr. president, that is terribly nice and believe me, i hold it right here. it's wonderful. and i thought about what i might say to you in something i enjoy is talking to high school students, grammar school students, college students. even law school students. and they will come around and ask me, what is it you find particularly meaningful about your job? what gives you a thrill? and that is not such a tough question for me to answer. it is the same thing. day one almost up today i don't
know how many. but what i say to them is, look, i sit there on the bench. and after we hear lots of cases and after a while, the impression -- it takes a while. i have to admit. but the impression you get, as you well know, this is a complicated country. there are more than 330 million people and my mother used to say it is every race, it is every religion, and she would emphasize this. it is every point of view possible. and it is a kind of miracle when you sit there and see all of those people in front of you, people that are so different in what they think. and yet, they have decided to help solve their major differences under law. and when the students get cynical, i say go look at what happens in countries that don't do that. and i can't take this route of my job.
people have come to accept this constitution and the rule of law. i want to make another point to them. i want to say look, of course people don't agree. but we have a country. that is based on human rights, democracy and so forth. but i will tell you what lincoln thought, what washington thought, and what people today still think. it is an experiment. it is an experiment, that is what they said. and paid each of our grandchildren a certain amount of money to memorize the gettysburg address. we want them to pick up and what i want the students to pick up if i can or number the first two lines, fourscore and seven years ago our fathers created upon this here a new country. a country that was dedicated to liberty and the proposition that all men are created equal.
conceived in liberty, those are his words. and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. he met women too. and we are now engaged in a great civil war. to determine whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. see, those are the words i want. to see, an experiment. and that is what he thought. it's an experiment. i found some letters that george washington wrote where he said the same thing, it is an experiment. that experiment existed then because even the liberals in europe, they are looking over here and saying it is a great idea in principle, but it will never work. but we will show them it does. that is what washington thought. and that is what lincoln thought. and that is what people still think today. and i say, i want you, and i am talking to the students now. i say i want you to pick justice
up. it is an experiment that is still going on. and i will tell you something, you know who will see whether that experiment works? it is you, my friend. it's you, mr. high school student. it is you mr. college student, it is you mr. law school students. it is us, but it is you. it is that next generation and the one after that. my grandchildren and their children. they will determine whether the experiment still works and of course, i am an optimist and i am pretty sure it will. does it surprise you? but that is the thought that comes into my mind today? i don't know, but thank you. president biden: dr., i don't know that you have ever been to the white house and the lincoln bedroom, but i invite both of you to come and stay. the lincoln bedroom has, against the wall between the windows, looking out, a handwritten copy
of the gettysburg address written by lincoln. in that bedroom, the sitting room. so you've got to come and see it, and even if you cannot come and stay, bring your grandchildren, so that they can see it as well. thank you all so very, very much for being here. i'm not going to take any questions because i think it is inappropriate to take questions with a justice here. he is still sitting on the bench . but you will have plenty of opportunities to get me later today and for the rest of the week, next week two. so thank you very much. thank you.
>> this week on the c-span networks, the house and senate are both in session. the senate will vote on nominations including university of pennsylvania president amy gutman to serve as u.s. ambassador to germany. and read at joe louis to be president of the export import bank. on tuesday, two hearings for the nominations of shalonda young
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recorded conversations while in office. here many of those conversations on c-span's new podcast, presidential recordings. >> season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson. he will hear about the 1964 civil rights act, the 1964 presidential campaign, the gulf of tonkin incident, the march on selma, and the war in vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson's secretaries new. because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact, they were the ones who made sure that the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and theirs. >> you will also hear someone talk. >> jim. >> yes, sir. >> i want a report of the number of people assigned to kennedy on the day he died and the number assigned to me now. and if minor not less, i want them less right quick. -- if mine are not last. >> i will stay behind these
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