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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 26, 2013 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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>> i always had house housekeepg duty at school, nots nip -- anyone's favorite, but i did that in college, worked a variety of jobs so i could go to school, and i have seen in my own life what a difference that made, and the opportunities that i've had, i since we want on and had my mba from the university
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of washington, took out student loans to do that. some of the loans we debate here in congress recently, i'm paying off the student loans, but i'm grateful this is a country where no matter who you are, where you come from, that you can come here, you can pursue dreams, work hard, and really see what you can do with your life. >> and following your twitter account, twitting out including one in the mcdon's uniform. how old were you in >> i was in college. it was a summer job that i had at that point in the mcdonald's in washington. there was -- that would be the probably 1986, my freshman year in college. >> national journal says you're one of the top ten republicans to follow on twitter. how much do you tweet? >> i try to do it -- my goal is once a day. it's a combined effort between my staff and myself, so it is,
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you know, sometimes they 2003 -- tweet or i'm tweeting, and i can easily check twitter on blackberry to get a sense of what the hot topics are, what's on people's minds or what reactions are in congress. i've enjoyed the social media and the ability to have a realtime conversation with people that i represent as well as just others that are plugged into what's going on here on capitol hill. >> let me ask you about your district because before you, george had the seat, and before him, speaker of the house. do you have any interest serving as house speaker? >> you know, i'm here just to be the best representative that i can be for the people of eastern washington, and i think john boehner's doing a great job as speaker, has my support, and i
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didn't run for congress thinking i would be in leadership, and i'm here because my colleagues encouraged me to run for leadership. there's certain, you know, people back home will remember that tom was speaker and hear i'm in leadership, and they'll ask that question, but i,ings my focus is just to be the best representative that can i can be for the people i represent. >> sometime down the road, if the opportunity arises, would you be interested? >> you know, it's hard for me to say. i -- it's -- it's always a balancing act. i'm a mom too. taking into consideration the demands of having two kids and a third on the way as well as responsibilities on capitol hill, you know, those are all visions that you have to make at any given time and decide what's best for you as well as your family. >> you are the first woman in
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congress to have a baby twice. >> yes. >> expecting a third. your son, cole -- >> yes. >> has downs syndrome. what's that taught you over the years? >> so i was single when i was elected to congress, and the best thing that happen since being elected to congress was meeting brieon rodgers, becoming married, becoming a wife and a mom, and our older, cole, was born with down syndrome. it's not what you expect. it's not what you dream, but i sit here today, and i'm a better person because of cole and what he's taught me. i'm a better legislator. he's begin me a whole new passion what i do here on capitol hill. >> how so? >> well, when you first get the news, it is -- it's some of the most difficult news receivedded as a parent, but i look back on it now, and i was immediately
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welcomed by the disabilities community. people all across this country who have been through similar experiences and, first of all, reached out and said, it's going to be okay, and that met -- that met everything to us at that point and having different people contact me, but i quickly -- i quickly, you know, just decided, you know what? i'm going to -- we're going to -- first of all, we're going to do everything we can to maximize cole's development. we want to see what we can be. you go to work, learn everything you can about down syndrome, whatever the disability may be, and then i quickly became grateful for so many who have walked this path before me and the opportunities and the resources that are available today that were not available that long ago. you think about early intervention, early education,
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all of the commitment that we've made through the individuals with date.coms -- disabilities act, and i'm so grateful for those who have fought so that now cole will have more opportunities, and as a member of congress, it makes me think that it's my turn. it's my turn to carry that baton and to continue to work for more opportunities. when you look at we've made tremendous progress, but there's more to be done and whether it's transition to adulthood and employment or individual living, independent living, that's -- there's more that needs to be done in that area. they estimate that between
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70-80% of those with disabilities are unemployed, and many of them have a lot to offer and would like to be employed, and so i've been working on addressing barriers to employment. that's another thing, cole opened up doors for me and relationships i would have never had otherwise. when he was born, she says, now, you need to get cole into spes buddies, special olympics, come over and have tea with teddy one of these days so we can sit down and talk about all the issues, and i would have never had the opportunities to build relationships or to understand these issues the way that i do if not for cole. >> so, as a mom, were you nervous pregnant a second time
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and a third? >> oh, sure, sure. yes, you give a lot of thought to what might happen, but yet the odds, based on your age, first of all, and i was told because we had one with downs syndrome, a duplicate 2 # 1st chromosome, it's the most common ab normality, but there's a lot of abnormalities, that i would have a 1% greater risk, and my husband and i gave it a lot of thought, but ultimately concluded that we didn't want to look back and say, oh, we wish we we have tried to have more children because we both love being parents and that's -- we
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want that in our lives, and so we decided that we were going to go ahead knowing the risk, and have a second, and now we're in grace -- grace blossom was born in 2010, and she's doing really well, and we have number three expected this year, and it's a tremendous blessing in our lives. cole and grace get along great. it's -- i can already see cole is having a positive impact on grace, and she's having a very positive impact o on him. it's good. >> here in washington, d.c., your district is in washington state. >> yes. >> you're a mother, wife, representative, part of the leadership. how do you juggle it all? >> well, it -- it's a whole team of people i say that make it possible. it's -- i might be out front,
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but first of all, it's the tremendous support of my husband. he's retired from the navy never been married, never been a dad, dreaming of still that happening in his life, and now he didn't necessarily imagine living in washington, d.c. and being mr. mom, but he is embracing this at this time in our lives, and is -- i couldn't ask for more support. >> how did you meet him? >> at a campaign barbecue. it was the summer after being elected to congress. his sister worked on the campaign, and she invited him to the barbecue to introduce him to other volunteer's daughters, and at the end of the evening, he wanted to meet kathy, and so that was how we met, and then we just started corresponding. our first date was up at the
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naval academy. he's a naval academy grad, invited me for a tour of the naval academy, on the arms services committee, and he wanted to see the academy and go to a football game. it's been just a great, special blessing that whole relationship, so -- but it's having the support of my family and our extended family, my mom and brian's family, his parents and sisters and brother all in spokane so they are, you know, they offer support for us when we are home, a great team, staff, and all the thousands of supporters i have. it is -- a bunch of people make it possible for me to do this. now, i contend that it's, that this job and the balancing challenges that i face on any given day are not that different than millions of other working
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moms. mine might be more high profile, and people see me on camera, but day in and day out, the challenges of getting the kids ready for school or helping them with homework and the stresses of wanting to be a good mom and good wife, but the glands -- demands of happen -- having a job, and you handle it better than other days. that's normal. i'm grateful for the opportunities i've been given and the people who make it possible for me to do what i'm doing here on capitol hill as well as tremendous blessing of being a mom to these great kids. >> how often do you get back in the district, and how do you maximize flight time between here and washington state? >> right. you know, that flight time, that's my time, you know, some of the -- the rest of the hours in the week, quite often others
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have dibs for the hours, and so i really come to enjoy the flight. it's, you know, seven to eight hour trip from washington, d.c. to spokane. there's no direct flight, so i have to fly someplace, and then get to spokane, but it's quiet time, time for me to do reading, catch up on notes that i want to write or have some time to myself, so i've enjoyed that time. i get home varying in the course of the year, but i say at least two, three times a month, and we have at least once a month now a district work period where we can go home for an entire week, and i just -- i just hit it, you know, i just maximize the days, get around the district. i have a large district, ten
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counties, takes a while to get around the district, but we're making it work. at the beginning, brian traveled back and forth with me, and even after cole was born, we tried having them in spokane, and i was just going back and forth every weekend, which was -- it was -- it was a long trip to make every week, and i was tired and had limited time with the family, so i'm -- i find that it's working better to have the family based here in washington, d.c. where i can go home some evenings at least and be with them, and we have our time together in the morningings, and then some weekends, and then fit the travel around that, but when i do go home to the district, then i'm not trying to spend time with the family and get around the district. we're making it workment i think
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every family, every member of congress has to decide how best to organize that in their lives. >> let me ask you policy issues because you've been leader in the republican party, and you made a comment recently that the party doesn't need to be more moderate. >> uh-huh. >> give specifics, how so? >> well, i don't believe the republican party needs to change what it stands for, the principles and values that we believe in as republicans, that have been long standing, but i do think that the republicans have to do a better job of connecting our policy positions with how people live in the 21st century and also using 21st century communication tools that the days of issuing a press
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release or raising money and being on tv for television ads, that's not connecting as much. we talked about social media, and, boy, at the 2008 election when president obama was able to create a network of 12 million to 13 million people in america, e-mail addresses, that was a wakeup call to me. we've seen where technology has revolutionized many areas of our lives. well, it's revolutionizing the way that members of congress representatives connect with people they represent, a with people they represent, and that republicans need to embrace these tools we have for communications so when i first ran for leadership, i was focused on bringing the republicans as it related to social media, and we had we
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legislated 30% of the members that were on twitter and facebook. today, we have 9 a%. members that still converting to blackberries, smart phones, and they made that transition, and members who have been here for many, many years recognizing that they needed to change. i remember jerry louis, a congressman from los angeles area, he described it as the difference between a -- when we went from radio to television, that that's the same kind of communication transition where people get the nudes, interact personally and professionally and the communication is different. it's digital. we have to use the tools. after the election, i
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accountanted it was not about moderating, but it's the communication side of it. there's a the focus on the leadership team, charged with the communication strategy for the republicans in the house. a lot of the work has been on taking the message to every corner, engaging people from every walk of life, every demographic group, and we've started organizing meetups, for example, as republicans on capitol hill sit down with millennials from around the country and talk to them about issues on their minds and listen and have a dialogue with them. we've done that with vietnamese-americans, korean-americans, hispanics, another with indian-americans, but it's to build relationships, and to, as republicans, talk with people from all different backgrounds as to what's on their minds and hear from them,
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so i -- i think that was one of the take aways from the election was that a lot of people didn't think that the republicans cared about them, and that's -- that's pretty fundamental, so we have been doing more of that, and then using digital tools to take our message to every corner, and really highlighting the talent in the conference. we were younger than the democrats on average in the house. we're five years younger than the democrats. our leadership team is 16 years younger than the democrats so i'm like most people think of the republicans now that we're the party of the old rich white guys when in reality you look at who the young people are, the republicans, we do have women, we have hispanics. we need to present o broader face and demonstrate that
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republicans represent them and republicans in office that represent them. part of it is related to the communications side. the other part is on issues in particular where we just need to do a better job of making sure we talk about balancing the budget in ten years. that's a goal that we have, and we are challenging our friends on the other side of the aisle, the senate, and the administration to join in the effort to balance the budget in ten years, but take it to the next step. it is now -- why is that important to seniors and recent college grads and important to hard working american families, and so in my mine, that's when i say that is part of modernizing. it is really talking about issues in terms that people in
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20 # 13 can relate to it aarp their kitchen table, in the homes as to what our priorities are, what the vision is for the country and aspirational goals for every american. >> as an institution, is congress working? is the house working the way you expected it to be? >> hoe, there's room for improvement. we, you know, this is a, i think, people's, you know, recognizes this is a difficult time for the country. we have difficult issues that we face. you know, when you look at congress from an outsider's perspective, you know, you think, well, it's simple. the house is supposed to pass the bill, the senate is to pass the bill, go to conference committee, and you sort it out, and you put it on the president's desk. well, in reality, you just see that that is not the way that it's been working most recently,
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and i -- it's too much of congress now based on crisis management where we just go from one crisis to another. >> so how do you fix it? how do you change it? >> well, that's where i really appreciated speaker boehner and the leadership that he's brought in the house when he became speaker, one of his goals was to restore the institution itself and return to what he called regular order, but it is to restore how the institution is supposed to operate, and he was a committee chairman so he understood the important role that committees have in this process, and so as simple as it may sound, it's important that a bill start in the committee and that you have the hearings and you have the debate and that
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republicans and democrats both have the opportunity to offer the amendments and to go through that process actually get a better outcome than if it's all done in the speaker's office with a small group, and so speaker boehner has really wanted to empower the chairman and encourage them. you need to take the lead on the issues. put together the legislation, when it comes to the floor, it's up to you. the days of, okay, this bill is red toy go, mr. speaker, you have to come up with the votes are over. having said all of that, you have to get the 218. that's where the leadership, i think, what i see right now is in the house, it's up to us to be figuring out, okay, how do we find or find that sweet spot or
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the 218 members that are willing to support a particular bill to move us forward, and that has to be in conjunction with leadership and the committee chair. >> you have been in the minority and now you're in the majority. why is there gridlock? are the two parties not talking to each other? >> well, i think that for the republicans in the majority right now, we have -- we believe this is a critical time economically for the country. we got to get people back to work. the fact that we have the lowest work force participation rate since 1978 is unacceptable, that we are on the wrong path, and that we need to stand firm on some policies that are going to get this economy growing, and that's where you'd hear us talking about the importance of tax reform, the importance of balancing the budget in ten years, the importance of spending reforms, spending
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reductions before just raising the debt ceiling. yet there's resistance. in fact, on the other side of the aisle, you have president obama right now saying, for example, raise the debt ceiling where no conditions, just a clean vote to raise the debt ceilings, and the reason we find ourselves at gridlock is because that is never going to happen or be acceptable for the republicans to raise the debt ceiling without there being conditions, a tax to that. president obama, when he was senator, a u.s. senator said it was irresponsible for us to continue just to add to the deficit, to have -- add to the debt, have record deficits, that we needed to take action, and yet it's a lot easier to talk about what needs to be done versus do the hard work of
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getting it done, and so the reason we find ourselves where we are now is because these are very politically, difficult decisions that we have to make. it means that we're not going to be able just to continue the current path that america has been spending way beyond its means for many, many year, and we're -- but we reached that point where we can't just continue down this path, that it's impacting our economy. it impacts our military and our readiness. it impacts our children and the country that they're going to inherit, whether america's going to be strong, so i think the reason it's difficult now is because these are difficult decisions we have to make, but it's also -- these are very important. they may not be politically popular back home when you start talking about reforming programs
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or reducing spending at the federal level, but it needs -- it needs to happen for in order for america to be strong moving forward, so there's, you knowings there's the tug-of-war now between what's politically popular versus what is -- what really needs to happen. >> let me follow up on a couple items. dislocation, part of the original capitol office here? >> yes. this wall right here is the -- used to be the -- part of the outside wall of the original capitol, and when they expanded the capitol in the mid 1850 #s and 6 os, this was all added on when they add on the house wing and the senate wing so it's pretty special, and i have a great view of the mall looking west to washington state. >> you're bio says you have a
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passion for history. >> uh-huh. >> if you could talk to somebody in america history, who would that be? >> oh, my. boy, right now i think it would be george washington. i've so admired him and talk about important leadership that he brought at a difficult time for the country, but he was someone that was highly regarded, steady as you go type of a hand, and actually was put in a position that he didn't necessarily seek, but that people said we need you and we need your leadership at this time, and to -- and to hear some of, you know, those were difficult decisions that they were making. they didn't always agree, very passionate debates, sometimes with your friends, allies, sometimes with others pulling in another direction so there's
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parallels there, and i would love to sit down and talk with george washington and to hear him just share both what they were facing when they were founding this country and then, boy, any perspective he could give us today would be especially helpful. >> would he recognize congress the way it is today? >> oh, i hope so. in some ways i don't think that our founding fathers ever imagined that the legislative branch would be necessarily as weak as i see it right now. they set it up so the legislative branch would be the most powerful branch within the three branches of government, but the struggles between the branches of government, between the executive branch and the judicial branch and legislative branch and their foresight to know that, you know, you want to have that balance of power, you don't want to have just one person in charge, and you want to sprat power and have --
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separate power and have checks and balances, i think it was so wise and served an important role and on behalf of the people we represent, the legislative branch needs to stand up to the executive branch and judicial branch at times. >> first, do you have a chance to read? >> well, it depends. you know, i go through spurts. >> what are you reading now? >> well, i have been -- i picked up peggy's book on what i saw of the revolution, her time in the white house under ronald reagan. i'm almost done with that one. i'm enjoying rereading, and then -- well, that and my baby name book i read every night because we are trying to come up with baby names right now. >> no decision yet? >> no. >> time question, what's next for you? any desire to seek higher office, some said you might run for president. leadership in the house?
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the u.s. senate? >> oh, you know, i -- we'll see. i am honored to be representing the people of washington here in congress. i don't have any plans to be running for the other offices. i am honored to be here. i'm committed to working hard, being the best representative that i can be for the people of eastern washington, and them also working with my colleagues around the leadership table to provide important leadership for the republicans in the house right now, hopefully providing vision and some clarity as to where we want to take the country moving forward. >> representative mcmorris rodgers, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> next on c-span2 #, a discussion about how technology
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could make proceedings of the supreme court more available to the public. our interview with russell moore, the southern baptist convention, about the role of religion and politics and later, the house energy and commerce committee questions government contractors about problems with the healthcare.gov website. >> i saw firsthand the tragedies that children face when they're not cared for by loving parents. it was in the sheriff's office where i first witnessed the horrors of child sex trafficking, and it convinced me that we needed to do more to protect our youth at risk of abuse. >> like me and many other youth in care, we become accustomed to be isolated like the victims of domestic violence by adapting to moves from home to home, easily adapting to when traffickers
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move us multiple times from hotel to hotel, city to city, and state to state. exploiters go without fear of punishment due to the lack of attention when young people from the population go missing. no one looks for us. i want to make this clear. no one looks for us. >> when they hear the term "child sex trafficking," most americans think it only happens in other countries, or that foreign children are brought here to be sold in large cities. in fact, we have learned that most of the victims of child sex trafficking are american kids who are trafficked in small towns and large urban areas. if people are not aware of it, they are not looking for it. >> this weekend on c-span, house ways and means looks at changing foster care systems to prevent sex trafficking saturday morning at ten eastern op c-span 2 # #, spend two days in os p live at the texas book festival with panels commemorating jfk's
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assassination saturday and sunday on booktv, and c-span3, in a country deeply divided, how did lincoln resolve the political and moral dilemmas created by the issue of slavery sunday evening at 7:30. >> pete williams took part in the discussion hosted by the roars committee for freedom of the press in washington, d.c..
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this is an hour and a half. >> ready to go? >> good morning. i'm bruce brown, the exec -- executive director for reporter's committee freedom of the press and welcoming you here to technology and transparency of the supreme court. now, in the 40 some odd years since the reporters' committee literally was housed in a desk drawer in the press room of the supreme court, it has grown into one of the country's leading media law advocacy groups. a lot happenedded to us. we've had a gala on the set of saturday night live in new york city. we hosted barbecues on rooftops. we had one of the founding members store full copies of the
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pentagon papers in his freezer to i vade justice department curiosity about it. we've had our briefs cited in u.s. supreme court opinions. we had our name mentioned in oral arguments at the supreme court. we've gone on road trips around the country to teach seminars on free press and free speech. we have never had a panel at the national press club, and we're fixing that today with our first ever panel on supreme court technology and transpaper sigh, and we have, as i say on studio 8h and rockefeller plaza, we have a great show for you today on technology and transpaper sigh at the supreme court. we have judges, and we have
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journalists, and we have academics, and we have supreme court litigators, and as our moderator and musical guest, we have long time veteran supreme court reporter tony morrow and former head of the steering committee of the reporters' committee. i'm here to welcome you, thank you for coming, and to join us in this new chapter in our programming at the reporters' committee, and without further adieu, i'll turn it over to tony, thank you. [applause] >> thank you, bruce, i'm tony, and i want to welcome you to the discussion. i want to thank bruce brown and deb, especially, among others for making this happen.
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in addition to being on the steering committee of the reporters' committee for close to 30 years, i've been covering the supreme court for 33 years so this is near and dear to my heart. here's what's specific to the discussion this morning. for years or decades, if you raise the issue of access in relation to the supreme court, there was really only one thing to talk about, the refusal to allow broadcast coverage of the proceedings. that issue is still with us, unfortunately, and it will be front and center this morning for sure. with up stepble momentum of transparency from all institutions all the time, cameras in the court is no longer the only thing to talk about and will address other issues today. there's the audio of oral arguments, which in many other courts is streamed live, but not at the supreme court.
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release supreme court arguments are delayed until they are no longer of much use to the news media with rare and unpredict l exceptions. the announcement of the decisions of the courts are even further delayed. it was only this week the project, not the court itself was able to post announcements from last june. seems clear that if there had. live access to the announcement of the affordable care agent decisions the year before cnn and fox and others would not have gotten it wrong in the first place from their reports in the court. there's recusals that happen more often than you think where the justices bow out of the case. they almost never explain to the public why they do or don't step aside. there's financial disclosure forms posted on loin for many other public officials, but not at the supreme court. the justices forms available at
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the u.s. courts, on paper for a fee and only after the justices have been told who is asking for them. there's the court's website prompt with decisions and widely used, but could be more accessible and educational as well as other courts around the world. it does not make available the text of petitions file with the court or other filings except for briefs on merits. there is no pacer for the supreme court. a press pool follows the president, and for supreme court justices, news of the where abouts and health is very hit and miss and dependent on how much or how little information the justices want to release. in the related area of ethics and accountability, others are
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held to explicit standards, but not the supreme court. they are left in the dark about the decisions justices make or don't make about perceived conflicts of interest or other ethical concerns. i could go on. these issues seem to be popping up more and more these days in relation to the supreme court, but let's get to the discussion. we have a terrific panel to enter deuce each one briefly. first, ken star, for whom there's many honors, president of the university, former solicitor general, and judge, former judge for the court of appeals and author, too, of the classic "first among equals: supreme court in american life," in this town, judge is the one that sticks, so that's what i will call him. next we have chief justice moreno connor of the ohio
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supreme court. glad to have her with us. she's innative of dc, on the court for the ten years serving as chief justice since 2010. her court is an innovator in terms of access and technology, and you can get the audio of oral arguments on itunes. next, coleader of the practice and former acting solicitor general of the united states. just last week, he argued the first of a likely five cases of the supreme court this term to bring him to the total of 22 cases argued in his career. next, pete williams of nbc news covering the supreme court and justice department for 20 years. i think that's right, 20 years, as others cut back on the coverage, pete is a television correspondent we see most often in the supreme court. when a major decision comes down or a mass shooting strikes, pete
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is the one to turn to for calm and accurate coverage. allen, learner family dean for public interest and public service law, former head of public citizen litigation group arguing 20 cases before the supreme court. he's the lawyer who in 2004 had earned justice schee ya to rescue in a case involving vice president cheney, her partner in a duck hunting trip. not surprising he, he refused to rescue himself and issued a scathing memorandum in the process. before the speakers begin, i want to mention that we're going to very much encourage questions from the audience, and we'll do that in written form. there's peps and cards on the seats. keep that in mind as discussion goes on, and write down questions and i'll receive them
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and when the time is right, i'll ask as many as i can. with that, judge? >> thank you, and so thankful that the committee decided to hold an event at the national press club. it's a privilege to be here and with my friends and colleagues on the panel. i'll be autobiographical just for a moment. i'm in favor of greater transparency in the supreme court so that is the organizing principle and application of the principle i'd like to speak to is i am and have been now for a couple decades in favor of cameras in the court. i was trained as a young pup by chief justice warren burner, a great protecter of traditions at the same time seeking to reform
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change that cor's procedures in a number of ways. he loved to share with the law clerks as we came in that he was in favor of technology, so much so he decided when he was chief justice in 1969 there should be a photocopier in the court. [laughter] that was a great reform because the law clerks will say, yes, we had to do flimsies to prepare certain pool memos at the time, cert memos for all the justices, especially the ifps, and so you'd use carbon people. it was 1869 -- no, it was 1969. it was a version to changing procedures and methodologies and so there was not much discussion about cameras in the court because of the great traditions of the court.
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my epiphany then to roll quickly forward is when i was privileged to argue up successfully the second flag burning case, and by the way, litigation, we had two categories of victories and developments. this was a very significant development. the constitutionality of 1989 #, and so i can the best, but i was one vote short, and we were not surprised at that result and in the office where robert's father served with such distinction. at the conclusion of the argument, i said hello to one of the columnist who is kind of james jay killpatrick, and he indicated he was going to be writing -- didn't cover the court, but would show up -- the opinion piece he wrote,
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syndicated columnist, was every american should have seen that argument. it's not that i was so good. i clearly wasn't. my opponent was brilliant. he was an absolutely great, great a pell lat lawyer. it was not the advocates, but the entire process and especially the justices' engagement in the questions, sometimes reflections, and it was a poignant argument. john paul stevens who many would categorize in the great service as not a bash liberal, voted in favor of the government in that case, that the flag was unique. that is when i changed my mind after reading the column that every american should have seen the argument. i knew how poignant at the time it was, especially when the greatest generation was still with us and john paul stevens was part of that generation. how could you not protect the
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flag of the united states? i have been a proponent for a long time, and i've been very, at the same time, sensitive to the court'sceps of tradition that's part of the greatness traditions are good and sound, and there should be a reason for departing from tradition. there is a powerful reason to change and to reform, and that is what justice sandra day o connor calls, opposes cameras in the court, and i greatly respect the other view, but profoundly disagree. in connection with her effort to respond to what she calls the collapse of sighing -- civic education in the united states. they are one of the places where we are very end gauged with the community and local schools systems and so forth, but the point i'm making is that here
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are thoughtful justice the concerned and that apocalypse term is hers, the collapse of civic education in the united states, so think of how wonderful it would be for the school children who maybe get into the argument with those 250 or 3300 seats, people count in different ways, you'd think we know exactly how many seats there are, but no more than 400 seats for the public, and on the trips to washington, d.c., that's one of the things to check. you have to go to the supreme court let's watch the supreme court in action, and they are unable to do this. now, the principle response, and i'm merely through, the principle response as i understand it other than this is the way we've done it, this is tradition and so forth, which at the end of the day, it's not a persuasive argument, so what is behind now the reason for carrying on the tradition. the most common -- there's a
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number, five or six, but lifting up one, the concern that the chief justice for whom i have a greatest respect said the concern of grand standing and i think the response to that is, you know, experience is a great teacher. it was holmes is said wisely the life of the law is experienced and not lomingic. -- logic. certainlily that's true in procedure. that's the experience and now know and hear from the chief justice about ohio's experience, if you start chronically, and i have not done this, but it's. done, the experiences of the courts that do have cameras in the courts, and for right now, let's talk about the highest court in the jurisdiction. that's all i'm talking about. i'm not talking about o.j. simpson. leave that asaid. that's a huge different set of issues. we're talking the highest court now in the land. what we see now is person after person, justice after judge,
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advocate after advocate saying it would be a good thing, a very good thing, and that there is no that i know evidence of grand standing saved from a comment, and the supreme court of canada said in the 20 years that the canadian supreme court had oral arguments, there's one issue of grand standing. well, that happens more in the united states supreme court i would think than once every 20 years, but leave that aside so in her colloquy with justice ginsburg, how did you handle that? i think advocates tell you who are here will say you don't win any points by being a grand stander. the justices themselves, i think, realm, there's grand standing that goes on, will it get worse? i don't think that it will get any worse on the bench because
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of this, and i close with this. i have argued in supreme courts where there are cameras. they are utterly unintrusive. you are -- in fact, when i argued, controversial same-sex marriage in the california supreme court, i'm arguing the case, there's decorum inside, and the very able clerk of the court is pointing to where the camera is. it's just part the of the briefing of counsel, and that two and a half hour argument of the california supreme court, there was absolutely no -- just nothing other than the government working in a very effective way, and so when you look at what the at a time supreme courts experienced, including in my own native state of texas where i'm privileged to be back, the state of texas, the texas supreme court would be
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characterized by folks around the country, certainly in texas as, quote, a conservative court, but chief justice wallace jefferson proudly, unanimously, with his colleague said it's time for us to move in the 21st century. there is now live telecasting. i spoke with a justice just yesterday to confirm. has anything happened lately? not a single nasty episode, not one. yet the sense of public education increased tremendously these materials used in the classroom and so forth so if we care as i think everyone does in america and each of the justices do about civic education in the united states, the costs are modest to none and benefits are powerful. it's time for that tradition to come to an end. >> chief justice roberts has
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said oral arguments are not for education. they are for us, meaning the's. that would be his response. >> that it should be closed to the public. >> right, right. >> chief justice o'connor in >> thank you very much for the invitation to be here on the panel and honored to do so. i had ten years of experience with cameras in the courtroom at the highest level of the supreme court of ohio, and i have to concur grand standing is nonexistent as a response to cameras in the courtroom. they are so unintrucive that i think the litigants and public in the courtroom don't even realize that they are filmed, and i have to say we have more than 200 seats for the public to come in and be able to observe. they don't need a ticket.
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just come in. at times it's standing room only, and at time there's overflow rooms that because of the technology we have been able to accommodate those that show up and want to listen to oral arguments or more and do so with ease at very little inveeps to anyone involved. i understand as the judge mentioned, there's a difference of opinion on whether or not there should be cameras in the courtroom, but i have to say addressing cameras in the courtroom for the united states supreme court i respectfully disagree with their posture and their position on this. why is this important? one of the reasons it's important is because the public cares. the public wants to see cameras, want to see what's happening in the courtrooms as they want to see what the transparency provides with every branch of our government, and that's extremely critical. you know, the public receiving information now in a way that's
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transformed and morphed into instan tan yows information, and that's a good thing, i believe, in many, many respects. the downside of that, you know, can be dealt with, but there is no downside to having that exposure to the oral arguments being conducted, and, in fact, all 50 states supreme courts allow for cameras in the courtroom. there's certain restrictions in 14 states with regard to access to the trial courts and there's a distinction in some instances between civil access and, i mean, access to civil cases and access in criminal cases, but, again, that is a state by state determination to be made by the judiciary, and overall, when what we're addressing here is the access to the united states supreme court. think back, you know, judge starr mentioned the flag burning cases, but in the last year, there's monumental cases of tremendous public import decided by the united states supreme
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court. we've had the affordable health care act. how many people in the country will be impacted by that decision? we fast forward to march of this year with the same-sex marriage issues, again, monumental decisions that impact the quality of life for so many of our citizens, and yet what are we able to view with regards to those arguments? the ones in march, all we could see is masses huddled outside the supreme court waiting in line if they were fortunate enough to secure a ticket to be one of the several hundred people to go in there. you know, instead of seeing lawyering, you know, the superior advocacy and interaction of the justices with those advocates and with one another to pull back the curtain and allow the american public to see a branch of government in operation deciding cases that so significantly impact the lives of our citizens and future of
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our children in the country, and i think that that alone is a reason to have that exposure. what's the flip side? what exposure do we have to the united states supreme court? we have and no disrespect to the reporters in the room, but we have individuals facility everying information, and oftentimes they, themselves, have not been in the courtroom to observe what happened. the timeliness of the information, you know, is also, or i should say the staleness of the information is also a problem getting that very, very important information to the public, so, to me as a lawyer, to me as a justice, and to me as a justice of the country, that's unacceptable access to a very important branch of our government. as i said, public expectations about how they awire knowledge and understand the world has
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undergone a radical change, and we need to keep up with the times, all institutions do, especially government institutions. now, there's about three reasons to pawk briefly, one already addressed, and that is the grand standing. as i said in the temperature years this we have broadcast live our oral arguments in ohio, there's many significant cases in the courtroom, we've never, well, i do say there was one instance where an attorney acknowledged they were on camera, and turned around and said, for the benefit of the audience, i'd like to start by saying, and the chief justice at the time said the only audience you should be concerned with is the seven members in front of you, and that's a quick end to that, and that was the only incident i can think of in our ten-plus years of having oral arguments live. we have the benefit of having arguments archived so that they can be teaching tools.
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they are teaching tools for the law schools and litigants who come before the court and want to learn how to improve skill. it is a wonderful opportunity to do that. we have a process in the court, our court in ohio, where we archive oral arguments and have the briefs op line so that the underpinnings of the case, if you will, are accessible to the public and to anybody who would like to view them. we have the oral arguments, the archives, and when opinions come out, those are, of course, viable on line, soup to nuts, start to finish, totally transparent with the cases. ..
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in charge of the responsibility of electing public officials. charged with the responsibility of following the law. charged with the responsibility of being with citizen and yet we hide from them the operation of our high e -- one of our highest court in our judicial branch. that does not work with their civic responsibility. americans deserve the opportunity to within our government in action. and not be forced as i said, to use the filter of media in order to aks sectors their -- access their government.
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tran -- tran parent sincerity is another -- i get the strong impression that the justices don't want personally' that transparent. that recognizable. have that kind of celebrity attached to their per sewn that and what they do. i say that the american public has the right to know who their justices are and be able to recognize the justices just as they do their city council member, their mayors, their governors, the united states senator, the congress people, an state legislator as well as the governorrers. we are public servants. whether you are chief justice of the supreme court, ohio supreme court, or a member of the legislative branch or executive branch. we are in place. we're olding these honored positions for no reason other than to serve the public.
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we are institutions that serve the public. with should be transparent to the public. i feel strongly about doing that. i think that the more transparency our government has. the greater opportunity we have for understanding and hopefully accommodation and acceptance. because we are a diverse nation. there are two -- washington activity has emphasized that. the decisions that come from the supreme court are dealing with cases and topics that are so polarizing that if we don't have the vails of secretly about how the judiciary does their job, and the -- exposure of the journal pinnings of these decisions ting does not bode well for the level of our confidence our public should have in the workings of our
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judicial branch of government. i am i think the argument is much more heavily weighted in the district of columbia of putting cameras in the courtroom. having exposure and acceptability then continue with the 19th century mode in the country. thank you. i think my remarks between tony and the judge. tony listed greechs about the court. and the judge claim cameras and more coverage is the right way to go. let me just say it's my first time appearing on a panel with the judge. i left the solicitor general office. t a privilege. when i was a there i learned how great a job. maybe the public should learn
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more about that too. in any event, let me start by saying the supreme court. there's something ma gassic to celebrate about this. every time i go there to argue a case or watch a case. i feel it's a temple of truth. you are seeing nine of the smartest people top lawyers arguing with iewn another in a reasonabled, powerful way. and it is frily awe inspiring to watch. that you don't have in the other branches. i remember my last day at the
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justice department was the day the arizona finance case was handed down. the chief justice began his opinion striking down the arizona campaign finance scheme. then justice kagan writing her major dissent as a justice give her powerful answer to the chief terrific opinion. and this back and forth moment was just so wonderful to watch. i share the sentiment of the panel that i wish more americans could see it. it's a pity that americans don't get to see it. particularly in an era when, you know, the other branches don't work quite as well. we had a shut down in congress for 16 days. we have little of that deliberation we see in the extreme court happening in congress at least visibly. it's surprising congress' rating
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have never gone above 40%. the supreme court has never gone below 0%. i guess i issue a cautionary note about that. i can't tell the justices what to do. i take they believe their situation is different than the state supreme court experience either because of the kind of cases that come before them or frankly their own personalities. and for that reason, they have raised some concerns. and the concern i don't think are just of the grand standing litigant variety. thing are concerned some of them will play to the crowd instead of trying to further that temple for truth. that may be an idiosyncratic decision just about the current people on the court and the current personality and everyone
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saying, look, we're worried about this. the system is working pretty well maybe we shouldn't change it. one thing i can tell you is litigating before the court and, you know, the 18th argument last week. it's a pretty nerve wracking experience. i remember my first one they had audio released right after it was concluded. i was arguing my case against the solicitor general who had done 35 cases. ofit was my first. i was worried my friend and enemy and everyone would listen to it. it would be played on john stewart and this and that. that's something to worry about. it's true even for experienced advocate you get nervous when you are up there. the idea you have televised every fumble i think is going impact it does that mean we
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shouldn't have camera? i don't think so. if i can wave my wind and convince them do so the unbelievable cost from the tbreft civic education perspective are there. they're tremendous. they're undeniable. but with these nine they might come to a durcht conclusion. so my final thing to say is the good news here i think that the generation and i think that it is an inevitable that cameras will be in the supreme court. that is my generation. we're used to have cameras all the time. we're being record. ed. we use phones that have cameras and cameras taking picture and the rise of google glass. we'll all day -- always be on camera. i share the chief justice's view that, you know, the court should keep up with the times. i think that is invariably going to happen and, you know, it's a
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question of the personality on the court who is comfortable and who is not. >> having watched you argue in the supreme court, i don't think so you to worry about your fumbles being broadcast order television. i can't remember any. beginning with the historic cases in 2000 that setted the presidential election between bush and gore. the court started to release audio recordings of the oral argument within an hour or so after the argument ended. in the term that followed the court continued to do something similar with the audio releasing it for the high profile and putting it shortly after the arguments were over the same day. two years ago there was a change. you heard a little. go to a little more detail. the court stopped doing that. it would not put itself in the position cdz which were the high profile case. which were enough to merit the
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treatment. it would poe the audio of each week's argument on the the court's website on friday which allowed the court say it was actually increasing public access to the court at the same time as tony pointed out it drained them of any news value. even though there is a pilot project on the civil trial in the federal district court. they're not doing to change the audio policy either even though they regularly poe them. here in washington you can go on the court of apeople website for the district of columbia and hear the oral argument audio from the week's cases. some of the current justices
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said they worry that sound byte of oral arguments would be taken out of context and could be mislead. other justice have said if the supreme court accepts cameras. then this will force the lower the court accepting them too. and still others have said they're weary about any changes at all in the institution because they simply don't know how cameras would affect the supreme court's funking. -- functioning. we watched with interest as justice sotomayor talked about issue during the conformation hearing. she sounded favorable mr. wilson inclined. she volunteer as a judge to allow camera in the courtroom for pilot project and experiences were positive. she suggested that if she were confirmed she might express that view to her colleagues and their internal discussions if the subject came. she appears to have changed her mind. [laughter] there is little doubt that allowing public access to orm
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argument, i think would deepen unking of the court. they would be available on the internet and the over cable networks would obviously show if not the whole thing extended excerpts. justice scalia is the most outspoken about tv coverage. if it was allowed most people would never watch the entire one-hour argument and instead rely on what is called snippets on the evening news. and as a snippet i can tell you that's undoubtly true. it's hard to so how t a reason to keep them out of the court. after all, report on oral argument that appear the next morning in the newspaper, they are just going have snippets too. that is quotations of the print
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equivalent of a snippet. their newspaper and the ap seldom run the entire transcript of an oral argument. thank you very much. [laughter] the video clips that would be broadcast on the news programs would be more vivid that is to say, more faithful to the original of what was said in the court. so perhaps that why he objects. it seem to be an odd argument to say they would be more vept of the -- representativive of what happened. we have long grown accustom to what he calls snippets. the video vocabulary, if you will. they standarded appearing a century ago in the movie knees reel. we have seen them for decades in television coverage of personal speech and news conference and congressional debate. viewers understand what a snippet is just as they understand what a quotation is in a newspaper.
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justice breyer talked about television coverage earlier before the house budget committee. i thought of illuminating. he has become convinced that it might influence not the judge -- not the lawyers from grand standing but the way members of the the court including myself might conduct themselves during oral argument. permit me to quote a snippet of what he said in the testimony. here is what he said, quote, people come me and say, be careful you think it won't affect your questioning. they say the first time you see on prime time television somebody taking picture of you and using it in a way that you think is completely unfair and miss your point in order to caricature what you're trying to do because they don't believe in the side they think you're coming from. the next day you'll watch more carefully what you say. that is what is worrying me. so i used to think that the main
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reason the justices oppose tv coverage was as you implied chief justice, they didn't want to bees hassled in the line of starbucks. and now i think -- i'm serious about this, they fear being made fun of by john stewart on the "the daily show " . >> well, i agree with everything that has been said, but i'm a realist and increment list. let me propose a high-tech solution. how about radio? how about radio starting with the decision they read from the bench, which can't possibly involve an element of grand standing since the justices prepare what they're going say in advance. it would also enable people who sit in the offs not to trej to the supreme court when the decisions are coming down and not today but tomorrow the next day. they already have audio inspan dish instay taste use audio it
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goes to the lawyer's lounge. they have to hook it up to the internet or the radio station. then we have it. having tried that they could go on to hear every oral argument on the same way. second, let me talk about recusal and let me make a suggestion. not that the congress passed law requiring statements and reasons although i would support that. i suggest something rather simple. i suggest what we used to calm at camp a buddy system. and when somebody has suggested a justice recuse him or herself. that you have a partner -- pete and i would be together. you would agree with me that every time somebody suggested so you a rei cue sal you be rereconfused. you talk to me before you tell anybody your answer. and i promise the same to you. it would be better if you were aid logically on other sides.
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so there tbhowb strategy about please step off the case so we can a 4-4 tie. and i think if the justices did that, it would be a lot more feelings of the not an individual decision it was somehow collectively made and the idea of talking to someone you respect and have to work with every day i think would have quite a lefting influence on the issue of recusal. third point i want to make is different point of i made before. and on a different subject. i have been very troubled in the last couple of months about all of this talk about justice ginsburg stepping aside and she should do it for the good of the country. and that all of the people who think that maybe the democrats won't control the presidency and therefore to keep the majority or keep the vote the way they are. she should step aside. i think what justice begin burg does is her own business.
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and i would proport to tell her what to do or not to do. i think it's quite unseemingly we're having this discussion. but the reason we're having this discussion is justices have life tenure. they can stay as long as they want and we know that the practice is on with very few exception of strategic retirement. several year ago i was privileged to be one of the coauthor of the a book by roger and paul enacted by statute under which they have 18-year term staggered 2-year term so every president would get two appointee and there would be no strategic retirement. the justice become senior justice paid in full and, by the way, if there were any recusal, there probably won't be many you
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have a supreme court justice ready to sit in and step in. thank you. >>. >> when the court has a decision whoever wrote the margety opinion summarize the decision. we asked why can't we get the audio of that. because as you know, if you have heard it. it's usually pretty good. and sometimes quite vivid. quite alive. pretty juicy. what we've been told -- i'm struggling to describe how we've been told. i'll simply say by authorityive member of the court is that it ain't going to happen for this reason: what they say is when there a decision, a published opinion of the court they've seen that. they go back and forth. they all know what it's going say.
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sometimes as they listen to the announcement they say wait minute, that's not what i signed on to. [laughter] so what bev bonn told is if that is not going happen simply because it would require too much comedy on the court for them to sort of ma sthaj and agree to it and, you know, complicate things. so just a little further insight. just to be clear, i mean, you don't have to trej up to the supreme court every day to find out whether the case has been decided particularly in the modern era literally the written opinion comes on the moment that it's being handed down. and so, you know, -- and. >> except for the health care case it was an hour and a half later, i think. >> sorry. in general that's how it happens. >> all right. alan mentioned the recusal issue. i wanted to get your experience,
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chief justice o'connor in ohio. and maybe, ken, if you had some thoughts on recusal and either the buddy system or announcing reasons or not announcing reason for recusal. >> i have interested in what you said about the buddy system. t the first time i hear if mentioned as a potential way to deal with it or idea. in ohio on the supreme court if asked to recuse, each justice for themselves. whether or not they will recuse and just put a written at the same time son the docket i recuse or after consideration i have decided not to recuse from this case. and that's all there is to it. there is no explanation or reason given one way or the other. now there's a movement of -- a to have a model role for
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recusal of the judiciary, and there is a work in progress -- the con friday of chief justices of which i am a member is involved in a process of examining what a model role would look like. i'm on the subcommittee. actually i'm sharing the subcommittee to take a look at that and that is a work in progress realize that we have 50 different jurisdictions of state court judiciary in this country. and i -- each state operates a little bit differently for the judiciary. obviously some judges and justices are elected. some are appointed.
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they are appointed for different term. some have retention elections. some have appointment until age 70. if you're a judge in vermont and you don't have to get off the bench until 90. and, you know, so there's a circht variety. and i've always had the -- on the one size fit all type of a rule and that's with a we are examining with the con friday of chief justices in conjunction with some people who are not justices -- members from the academic community as well as the lower courts trying to decide what would be the ideal model rule put out there to preserve the individually and be very realistic with the various system in place for the employment of the judiciary in all 50 states. >> i want to echo a theme running throughout the conversation thus far. the overarching value of transparency and democratic society and accountability with
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respect to recusals. there are two frequent reasons for justices stepping aside. one, i think, is truly unavoidable. that's the prior service. justice kagan, in my judgment, has appropriately stepped side when a matter of before her office, the office of the solicitor general. there might come a point where there's a tennuation. let leave those kinds of exceptions to the rule aside. something extraordinary is lost when a justice or more than one justice particularly it's one or recuses hip. the ability of a the court function. it's designed to operate as odd number court. nine justices and every member of the court should be participating in that every case. the supreme case, by the way, occurred when justice tom clark resigned from the court so that
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his son ramsey clark wouldn't have to face the issue when his son was becoming attorney general. a noble act. the second is one that i really do think that the justices should wrestle with, and embark a on a course of conduct that eliminates this entirely. and as recusal because of financial interest. if one is going become a justice of the supreme court, i think there is a deal. t an implicit tale -- deal. you conduct yourself as a justice. so you can do your duty. now there may come time. one justice because of a death in a family -- i realize there may be a process. i would hope that the justices would move to a system since they're not subject to the code
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of judicial conduct. the judicial conduct has no authority over the supreme court of the united. getting to the conversation and saying, look we contemplate you are going decide everyone's cases unless you have an kagan, tom clark kind of issue so what are you going do when it's conformation or actually even in a budget conversation. that's an instrumentalist question. no justice should step aside because of financial interest. they should divest themselves as promptly of possible whatever the interest might be to prevent them from doing the job. >> two point on that, congress, a few years ago, passed a law that enables all judges to divest themselves without adverse tax consequence. it was a law applied in 1980.
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the people coming to the executive branch. it applies to the judiciary and a number of justices and judges have done that. they have to roll the investment to a conflict-free account. a tax-free tran action. the excuse that -- i agree 100% on that. there's a separate problem about what do you do about your children practices law in various law firms. and i think the justices have come to an understanding about that and they have a policy on it. and i continue think -- ic everybody is comfortable. there are so many of them that have so many different relatives around. it seems to be work well. >> and another one 1974, which knead -- which eliminated the old rule which was in order to recuse you had to have a substantial financial interest. now it's even one share forces a recuse l. that's seems to be problematic. would be wonderful if they can
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divest. i agree with the judge starr entirely about that. but i think congress also bears some responsibility for this. there's a real cost not just in term what judge starr talks about when a justice ends up recusing you don't have a full compliment hearing the case. it's also it's the fact that these recusal -- big sophisticates law firm and entity will fight to try goat one justice or another recused or strategize from the start. figure out the law firm or something like that. t extremely unseemingly. it's a problematic thing. i think congress could change some of the rule and eliminate some. >> that statute applies to justices, by the way, section 455. whatever the judicial conference can do the statute does apply. they get the final word on it. >> before i open it up to general question, i want to --
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just ask each of you to answer one or two questions. neil, you talked about the imagine -- majesty of the court and the uniquenesses of the supreme court, and the justices, when asked about these issues often put it in term of the sort of supreme court exceptionalism that the court is uniquely apolitical, unelected, unlike any other court and unlike any branch or level of government and the justicings say, you know, we have a unique court and don't want to mess it up. ..
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>>
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that's what the supreme court is about the ability to do something like that against popular sentiment ideas the we should be really careful when we start imposing solutions of them i do agree with certain personalities with cameras in there but if they are reluctant to come and they themselves feel it will compromise their ability to ask questions as justice breyer said that we have to respond. >> with that exception alyssum is applicable to every judge in this country. every judge, every court of law for citizens to go into a court and plead your case to rely on the rule of law. that makes our judicial period she exceptional from the lowest to the highest court and there are rules
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and regulations and expectations that apply to every betty's experience. although i understand the magnificence in a grand juror a.m. scope and consequences of those decisions headed down that same exceptional liz some is present or should be in every court room in this country. our ability to access the court is what is so vitally important interviews accords in operation is access and i know that is spoken in normally in terms of a party i understand dash but i take that view of access to be so much broader. >> i would except to the product -- the promise of
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the majesty of the corps and a lot more generally the supreme court in terms of a constitutional democracy the first among equals are often inspiring and i completely agree with that. but the conclusion should not be a greater transparency falls from that premise i fink the right question and a constitutional democracy what is in the public interest? it seems the kinds of concerns those observations that it is snippet phobia that has people concerned or a john stuart appearance and a reasonable response is
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grow in extra layer of skin. you have life tenure and you are a public figure. you have the blessing. [laughter] that the compensation cannot be reduced you have a life appointment that if the reform proposal is not adopted you can serve until the age of 92. no one will force you to step down. now you are giving something how about you serve the public interest? many of you, you choose to write books. when you do you choose to go on the book to our progress of if you are on the beating shows on television. you must review that as part of the public education process so you cross that
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bridge of in celerity that flows from the exceptional is a man the majesty but with all due respect you are not the oracle of delphi you are a very privileged person with this extraordinary exceptional opportunity now to have that conversation did is the public interest or the concerns that boiled down to snippet phobia personal embarrassment? that is not a good response to all school children who will be denied the opportunity to see the supreme court of the united states in action. a final thing is it used to be a likely area of debate to look to international law that their little salic at the supreme court of canada
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but the jury is in it works. of has work to over 20 years all of these concerns are ephemeral and not well founded. so that is canada maybe they're more civil. perhaps. think of parliament they are not so simple in the house of commons yes a new supreme court does have care rescind the of core remit is newer than sofar the report is it works just fine so with that it confirms the the chief justice has said so at the end of the day while i think it is strong does not carry the conclusion there for cameras as greater transparency. >> 95% of the cases filed 5%
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of the federal courts then you minimize that number by what is heard by the supreme court in a different works in 95 percent of the other cases serviette the supreme court level to varying extents with the trial court and the appellate court i think those numbers alone offer legitimate justification and i would never presume to believe that congress should order the supreme court to do this i do not advocate one branch of government advocates another board makes this monumental cultural change i do not advocate for that but we need to realize the supreme court itself has evolved from the original conception involved in both
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number and gender and 70 other progressive steps this is just one more. >> justice o'connor commented when she saw that moment when three women came through the curtain and took their place it was such a move being a and a magnificent moment. would that be wonderful for us all to be able to see that? it was extraordinary with john paul stevens said biggest side with the outpouring and affection and admiration there was a lot of disagreements constitutionally buddy vermis affection for the man and his remarkable service to our country on the supreme court. we did not get to see that either.
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at least to the ceremonial part? maybe that is the incremental part maybe we have at least the ceremonies broadcast? >> what portion of justice kagan swearing in was broadcast. >> but not in the court. >> it was in a conference room. >> right to. they don't want to breach that wall. >> chief justice o'connor said congress should not tell the supreme court what to do and what of the questions from the audience is how can congress help move to route more transparency with the supreme court? to the other panelists think that congress can play a role? >> i suppose there is separation of powers the it
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enforcement's there is a situation not so long ago where presidents who are exceptional took the view that their papers were their own even though the taxpayers had paid for them and paid for the salaries and support staff that they belong to the president and congress as a result of dick suits impeachment and said no. those of nixon and those going forward are not personal private papers of the president. they are the papers of the people. they can be made public. that could be viewed as the infringement and tried that congress telling the president what he could do in the supreme court said no. that's not right you can do that.
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long days there -- you can't do that but the enforcement problem is a little harder because the justices to want to put the cameras in there unless the president will send in troops. [laughter] who knows what the response would be? i hope it does not come to that but all of these are extremely persuasive but the logic is having cameras in the court room it is hard to imagine what the poll of american people would look like today on this question it is hard to imagine a most anybody supporting it. >> i remember when justice scalia was sworn in in the
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question is now can i go to home depot? to buy tools without everybody knowing who i am? now he goes on television with public appearances and also justice breyer so the notion they are not known to the public if the public pays attention is not the case said the board that's the problem they could focus the camera is on the advocate and not shooting but the backs of the heads of the justices. >> i could not even find the camera the first of might argue did defy would agree and stand that would be a bad time smith the idea of congress mandating camera is is a nonstarter it will not happen it would never be enforced so what can you do
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short of that? congress can pass resolutions that urge support to share their experience in they could have hearings that break out this information in senate confirmation hearings they could press the answers of their views that i think would be a helpful development but this is a wonderful example of trying to get to the heart of the issues to educate first the public than the courts about the fact the objections does seem to be as strong as they think they are ultimately they have to decide based on their idiosyncratic personalities but what if eight do and what doesn't do they isolate the colleague?
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how do they go about making that decision? that is a card set of questions to. >> i think congress does have a role to manage. from the part of the guy can persuade to embrace but i am no longer period favor if that is a fair characterization of justice sotomayor characterization but my state senator gordon t. meet up with the illinois state senator dick durbin to say this needs to happen with individual rap -- representatives like the congressman from houston a very well-known judge said
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this needs to have been it is a matter of focus and leadership and congress can nejd but i would disagree though the heavens fall if congress passes a law? it is inconsistent but it is not a violation of separation of powers i think the supreme court would obey the law. richard dixon obeid the law the ada tuz said the margin calls -- the marshals are the mavericks' but to send in the appropriate people is too extravagant to be maintained the court will obey the law but hopefully through gentle nudging and focusing and what is on the
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public interest what to read these is in the light of civic education why don't you do it yourself? >> a couple of questions about the notion again involving congress if it should adopt require the supreme court to adopt a code of conduct one questioner put it as every federal judges subject to a code of conduct except nine s should the supreme court justices be subject to such a code? >> we don't have that distinction in this state court today are subject to the same code of conduct as the lower court judges. i am not sure the rationale
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except just also let me see some of the complaints leveled particularly in the court has been politically motivated. so rewritten much dicier place having subjected ourselves to that disciplinary process and the rules that cover the judiciary it may well be that the political ramifications argue in support of those nine members of the supreme court not being subject because of the misuse of those rules on vacation or the potential for that to happen.
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>> another question for chief justice o'connor are their administrative burdens or issues to maintain a public electronic access sandy you have any concerns of security of some of the access that is given on your web site? i know security has been raised by u.s. supreme court justices as well but i did not the issue of cost or burton has really been an issue what is your experience? >> i don't believe the cost to the implementation the hardware or the software or the subsequent maintenance would be prohibitive that all is not within the ohio supreme court.
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they have a very sophisticated system. when you say security do they mean hacking to change the content of our opinions? that would dawn happen we are very secure to access those sort of details but the other aspects with justice scalia he could not cohosh to the hardware store are you a recognizable face? is that in some way to be concerned with those are ways those are dealt with a and even now the justices have pretty extensive operations with their public
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appearances that is not the experience of members of the supreme court of the various states of a technologically i am not worried about preaches and certainly not the cost to do with they don't need to reinvent the wheel there is excellent technology hardware and software but personal security? when you are out to you about i don't know if it is any more issues than it is now based on them putting themselves out to the public by three interviews of both to workers that probably would not get much more attention. >> the question of the public perception of the
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court, i thank you said that polls show it never goes below 40 percent but it does see there have been some that it shows us a decline of public approval? to you think the greater access would help or hurt the public approval rating of the court? there seems to be a feeling it is almost like the of familiarity preach attempt the more the public sees the less they will like it? >> that always struck me as a horrible argument that the public sees what is going on they will not like it so we should not allow them to see it that if they don't like it that is the reason they should see a. i am not sure that is right at the end of the day but i do is take if i could talk
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to the justices i would say you have a great story to tell that everyone should see i can understand they think things are working pretty well all they can do is be stewards of this great institution there is a feeling they could only massive up it is our duty to explain why that is not sue -- why that is not so with all the empirical evidence. it is not a and easy sell. >> every advocate that appears least more than once would say the court works beautifully, the process is very improper on dash very impressive. >> i have anything up there pending so i could speak of
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36 argument's been up there almost countless others. the court works brilliantly. the processes is very serious in that has its moments of humor you don't get the sense that they take themselves with the undue seriousness the advocates don't take it lightly it is a serious process that was described as a respectful quality or professionals doing professional work not reading green eggs and ham. [laughter] if the question is do you think the supreme court is doing a good job? if you ask them are they serious about their work for conscientious even to read
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their best to thank you get a much higher approval rating as with most polls the question is more important they and the answer. >> what we under appreciate is there unanimity that exists. almost 50 percent of the decisions each year on merit our unanimous then if you take the super herb majority 8172 it is tough 54 -- five / four decisions that divide people on the panel or the audience so it is not surprising people would have different interpretations of the first amendment. unfortunately now it is all political it is deeply philosophical through which they go about their work but they are professionals in did the majority of time
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they agree on the process and they are very open and transparent they write books but the work of the court is so deeply misunderstood by the american people that i happen to think the cameras would be a beneficial step forward. >> 1.you are right if there is a characterization of the court when the public disagrees it does not go past they don't look to the discipline utilized in that is through the media comes stop characterizing supreme court justices as republicans are democrat where other members of the judiciary. >> we call them liberals and
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conservatives. [laughter] >> i am glad we stray into that out. >> wade you attach a political label to a justice or a label for awhile be worthy of republican ohio supreme court now we have a democrat so that has been unfortunate for the journalist so i think it is not a responsible way to attach a political fable to them. >> in much of my practices we have talked about the american public that the business community general counsel has a big reception and the conservative budget
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committee business cases if they could see the oral arguments i think it would change the dynamic. >> should there be a supreme court press pool when the justices travel? >> when they take the exciting trips do teach a class? absolutely. the press pleyel i guess the analogy is for a long time in the nation's history the president to and how to do fund-raisers no one was there that changed when president reagan was shot the other is a regular press pool that travels wherever he goes around town, around the nation or around the
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world. to have a pool cover all nine injustices' covered granted they don't all travel at the same time, i cannot imagine that it would be logistically that match that people want to do but it how much would produce material that would be that useful? i think it is no. >> i will take the trips to italy. [laughter] but with that we must and if the program serves as a beijing to hold that is great and it has been a great discussion. think you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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