gorsuch statement.mp3

Speeches and Events
Monday, March 20th

Opening statement from Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

He's like come on in his. Some scores on. Who's one of the most important decisions a president trump young administration indeed. The top reasons many people voted him into office to elect a Supreme Court justice. Now judge Neil corsets of Colorado. Nominated to be that next justice about to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee as his confirmation hearings began. Anticipated moments here ABC's Lana Zach is at the capitol. One what do we expect to hear from judge corsets right now and what kind of battle can we expect over the confirmation. We'll see if he actually tries to make any overture over to the democratic side he. Has been praised buying a moderate. From both parties. And in many ways his resume reflects that he is. In every way a the search you. Two incidents Ilia seats in in philosophy. And his. Constitutional scholarship. Fund and even in the way that he approaches. The role of a Supreme Court just so. All one of the myriad of his case he absolutely. Has every why to be confirmed by the senator or under consideration but. That and let's think about the politics of this we are entering in you a very divided congress in which. The Democrats are still feeling very wounded about. President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court Merrick Garland never even making it had this step that confirmation hearings he never got the chance to make those opening or more remarks which were going to hear. I'm Neal corsets in just a couple of moment but. That is. Is politics and Democrat made a very big point about how bad and that what we just heard a moment ago from senator. Bennet of Colorado saying it was an embarrassment to this funny that they never considered. Judge Merrick Garland and as tempting anime before Democrats that he reminds them that two wrongs don't make a right. The Democrat testifying in favor of president trump nominee. Let's lawn has acted at the capitol right now right now the former a attorneys solicitor general writer for Colorado Neal Cotts yellows giving his introduction. A judge court also just heard is Lana said. From Michael Bennett and from Cory Gardner the U Colorado senators one Republican. One Democrat and on perhaps that being one of those sort of overtures that the top administration trying to make trying to create this bar bipartisan deal but. We do keep hearing those words lie and the nuclear option. If that came necessary if they needed you could Republicans actually for the confirmation right through. They could potentially now here's here's the Guinea on that they are hoping to get sixty votes to confirm him that would be. Just the normal the normal state of bits. The only option that's available to the Democrat to try and fight back on the would be says it launched a filibuster. Any one Democrat can do that they can try and and prolong the hearing as much as possible Tryon and not bring. Of course it up for me an actual vote. As just a political ploy to to get there there ounce of left if you. They wanted to do the the and it has indicated the Senate Leadership has indicated that they are willing to do this so called nuclear option which would be to stop the filibuster to prevent them from doing it. Into force a vote that would allow of course it's to be confirmed. But essentially bypassing. All of the avenues that Democrats have available to. It would be men see it with that precedent. That that potentially could destroy eighty any feelings of bipartisanship that exists in the congress as. As tenuous as they may be right now so that's really something that that broke don't want to see happen in the past when it's been threatened there have been bipartisan. Members who have tried to bring Republicans and Democrats together to try and prevent that from happening in the heat that happened for now but with. Democrats not having a lot of options open to them and them not happening. A co he's an idea how they want to approach. This nomination. And think what really happened. Judge courses his friend and colleague Neal Cotts yell right now continuing to give his opening remarks the last of several sort of introductory opening remarks this. Senate panel has been here for about four hours is eighth. That's Belichick and just to get through opening remarks tomorrow will actually be to question and answer session the behind mr. Koch right now judge course it appearing relaxed. I like and now. He's being called up to that table here when diet change. Everything nature to do and they will be changing out the names actively changing out involved water. As judge course that sit back they're looking relatively relaxed Lana quickly what's the preparation been like over the last couple week. Over the old executive office building right next door to the White House we've been holding some sort of mock hearings for him people throwing questions at him practice and and you mention how many hours are doing the hour today. A total of 24 hours in about the average usually for how long he's come through here and right now judge corset with his hands raised about to be sworn in with this testimony. Please be seated and you me tell us what you want here at this point. It. Mr. chairman. That are Feinstein. Members of the committee. I am honored. And I'm humbled to be here. Coming to Washington. Met with over seventy senator. You offered me a warm welcome. And wise advice. Thank you. I also want to thank the president the vice president. In their team. And been so gracious to me. And I thank them but they are. I want to thank senators Bennett and garner. General cot shall there kind introduction. Reminding us that long before we're Democrats or Republicans. Or America. Sitting here I'm acutely aware of my own imperfections. A pledge to each of you and the American people. If I'm confirmed. How do all my power from it to be a faithful servant the constitution and laws of this great nation. Mr. chairman I cannot even attempt to do this. Without Louise. My wife of more than twenty year. Sacrifices she has made. And are open and giving heart. They beat me at all. What is so much. We are often play very different than their. Tiny apartment. But we'll show pork. When Louise his mother first came to visit was concerned by the conditions understandably. As I headed out the door to work. Well never forget her whispering to her daughter in a voice I think intended to be just loud enough for meeting here. Are you sure he's really a lawyer. My teenage daughters watching out. Beating chickens for the county fair. Devising ways to keep our determined pet goat out of the garden. Building a semi functional ply board hover craft for science fair. Brining aid our natural Wyoming storm with high school debater in the back arguing all away. These are just a few of my very favorite memories. I love you girls in pot. My extended family. Here across Colorado. When we gather it's dozens of we hold different political and religious views. But we are united on law. In between the Stanley pranks the packer children running rampant. Whoever's hosting is usually left with at least one drywall repair. My parents and grandparents. Are no longer with us there's no question on whose shoulders I can't. I'm model as well the first women graduate of the university of cholera Walsh school. That's the first female assistant district attorney in Denver she helped a program to pursue deadbeat dad. In her idea of daycare sometimes meant I got to spend today wondering holes were tagging along behind the police off. He taught me that headlines are fleet. Courage last. My dad taught me that success in life. Is very little to do with that. Kindness you showed me is a great perch. You show me too that there are few placed closer to god. And walking in the wilderness. Waiting Trout stream. Even if it is an awfully long drive home with the family dog after encounters a Coke. My grandparent. As a boy I can ride my bike to their whole their future and my mom on her poor and Irish. Worked to help support is Stanley is a boy after losing his own. But the nuns they tree got an education and he became a doctor. Even after he passed away. I heard stories for years from grateful patient group called him kneeling by their bad sides. Of the my pretty. His wife my grandmother grope on a Nebraska farm. Where icebox wasn't something you plug into the wall that something you lowered into the ground. Seven children. She never stop moving and she never stop law. My dad's father made his way through college working on Denver trolley cars. You practiced law through the Great Depression. They taught me that lawyers exist to help people with their problems not the other way or. His wife came from a family pioneers. She loved to fish. She's the one who taught me how to fly. Wanna thank my friends. So many of whom are here. Liberals and conservatives and independence from every kind of background and belief. Many hundreds. Britain the committee on my back. I'm truly touched by their support. It in their forming all. Not least when we recently lost my uncle Jack. It Ural much. Like long fiscal pre. He gave the benediction took an oath as a judge eleven years ago. Confessed I was hoping you might offer some prayers. As it is and obviously. Wanting my fellow judges across the country. Judging is sometimes a lonely heart. But I've seen how these men and women work how hard they work with courage and collegiality and independence and integrity. There were that helps make real. Constitutional laws the date for all. Running my legal here. Byron white. My mentor. A product of the west he modeled for me judicial courage. He followed the law where ever it took him. Without fear or favor to anyone. War hero. Rhodes scholar and yet highest paid NFL football player of his day. Because today is god there's John Elway and there's Peyton Manning. My childhood and got him Byron white. I also had a great fortune clerk for Justice Kennedy. He showed me that judges can disagree without being disagreeable. But everyone who comes to court deserves for that. That a case isn't just a number or name. But I like story. And human being with equal dignity to my jail. Justice Scalia was a mentor to. He reminded us that words matter. That the judge's job of all the words that are in the law. Not replace them with those are. Colleagues cherished his great humor to. Now we didn't agree on everything. The just to finish with the enthusiasm the New York. He thought the hardy a lap the line on the water somehow or the fish was. Finally there's justice Jack. He wrote so clearly that everyone could understand his decision he never hid behind legal dark. And while he was a theme to be your advocate for a client when he was a lawyer he reminded when you become a judge you or he defend only one client. All. By their example these judges taught me about the rule of law and the importance of an independent judiciary. How hard our forebears worked to win these things how easy they are to Lou. How each generation must either take a turn carrying the but on. Watchful. Mr. chairman these days we sometimes hear Georgia and likely described as politicians in row. Seeking to enforce their own politics rather than driving to apply the law impartially. I thought that were true and hang up the truth is I just don't think that's what a life and laws about. As a lawyer for many years working the trial court French. I like judges injuries while human imperfect. Striving hard every day the rarely decide the case I've put. The judge now for more than a decade. I've watched my colleague and long days wearing a case. Sometimes he answers we reach are the ones we personally prefer. Sometimes he answers follow us home. Keep us. But the answers we reach are always the ones we believe the law requires. And for all its imperfections I believe that the rule of law in this nation truly is a wonder if it's no wonder it's the envy of the world. Of course once in awhile we judges do disagree. But our disagreements are not about politics but about the law's demands. When they offered example. The first case I wrote as a judge reached the Supreme Court divided five to four. Court affirm my judgment with the support of just is Thomas and Sotomayor. Which Justice Stevens and affiliate in the that's a lineup on my pick and usual. But actually it's exactly the sort of thing that happens. Quietly. Staying in and day out in the United States Supreme Court and in the court across this country. I wonder if people realized it justice Thomas and Sotomayor agree about 60% of the time. Where the Justice Scalia and Breyer agreed even more often than. All and a very toughest case in aren't higher the and here's another example. On my record. Over the last decade or participated in over 2700. Appeal. Often the case are hard to only about 5% of all federal law to make their way to do it in the Court of Appeals. I served with judges appointed by President Obama. All the way back to president Cha. And the tenth circuit we hear cases from six different state covering two times own and 20% of the continental united. But in the west. We listen to one. Respectful. We tolerate we cherish that from point of view. And we seek consensus whenever we can't. By law courts tell me that 97%. Of those 2700. Cases are decided. We're decided unanimously. And that I've been in the majority. 99 per cent of the talk. That's my record. And that's how we do things in the west. Of course. I made my share mistake to. As my daughter's never tire reminding me putting on a rope does not make me any border. And I'll never forget my first day on the job carrying a pile of free up the depth to the bench I tripped on the handle my row. And just about everything went fly. But troublesome is the robe can be. Probe does mean something to me and not to like and I'd call it state I'm sure. Put in a row reminds us judges. It kinda lose our egos and open arm lines. It serves to his reminder of the modest station we judges are meant occupied in a democracy. In other countries judges were Europe scarlet. Silk Vermont. Here judges. We judges we buy our own plain black robes. And as senators ask an a though I can attest to require it at the local uniform supply store two pretty good deal. Ours is a judiciary. Honest black polyester. When I put on the Rolen also reminded that under our constitution this body the people's representatives. To make new ball. For the executive to ensure those laws are faithfully execute it. And for neutral and independent judges apply the law and people's views. If judges were just secret legislator is declaring not what the law is what they would like it to be. The very idea government by the people. And for the people. Would you re. And those who came before the court with live in fear. Never sure exactly what the law requires of them except for the judges will. This Alexander Hamilton. Liberty can have nothing from nothing to fear from judges who apply the law. But liberty as everything to hear it judges try to legislate to. In my decade on the bench I try to treat all who come before me fairly and with respect. And for equal right to poor and rich. I'm not a key is for native Americans seeking to protect tribal. Or class actions like one that insured compensation for victims of a large nuclear waste. Pollution problem. Produced by corporations in Colorado. I'm ruled for disabled students. For prisoners. The use. For workers alleging civil rights violations. And for undocumented immigrant. On time to I've ruled against such per. My decisions have never reflected a judgment about the people port. Only judgment about the wall in fact at issue in each particular. Case. A good charge can promise no more than that and good charge should guaranteed to last. For a judge to like every outcome he reached is probably a pretty bad church. Correction for policy result he prefers rather than though the law compels. Mr. chairman as a student many years ago. I found myself walking through the old Gregory burial ground ball. It's where Paul Revere John Hancock. And many of our founders are buried. There I came across a tombstone of a lawyer and judge. Who today is largely forgotten. As role death and to be. In and out. His name was increased some. Written on his tombstone over 200 years ago the description of the man. As a lawyer. He was faithful and able. To judge. Patient. Impartial. The site. In private life whose faction and mild. In public life he was dignified and party feud were allayed by the correctness. Misconduct. Cologne. We violence. Awaited his perch. In rank for all. Humanity of the matter. Mr. chairman those were to quit. Keep them on my. These are from me is a daily reminder. Of the walls integrity. That a useful life can be led in her. Hard worker take. An encouragement to good habit. When I fail when Eiffel. At the end of it all. I could ask for nothing more. Than to be described as he. And if confirmed. I pledge to you. But I'll do everything in my power. To be. Thank you Georgia. I have just a few words to say to read but before I do that. We will convene tomorrow at 930. Judge Neil gore hoping to become the next Supreme Court just a of the united day he finished his statement with a smile presenting himself as. Pretty standard conservative and a friendly one at that he shared a hug with his wife he brushed back tears talking about his late uncle whom he considers a hero. He noted an old family saying that lawyers exist to help people with their problems not the other way around. And without mentioning president trumped by name he pushed back at the docent at the notion idea that judges at any place. In politics he stayed away from the thorny issues of abortion religious freedom and corporate right. And it's a closed with a soaring quote about judicial dignity. Thank you for joining us he will be back tomorrow as will be with more of his question and answer testimony. For these confirmation hearings meanings and I'm bright milky this has been live coverage from ABC news. He made of honor winner for the first three here with the Edward. Just stressed.