Friday, Oct. 5, 2018

Booker (Note: Floor Updates are suspended until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow)

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Booker: (8:08 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Mr. President, on September 16 Dr. Christine Blasey Ford publicly came forward to share that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. This was a remarkably courageous act. It was one in which she hesitated to do. It was something that she struggled with. But yet she said time and time again that she believed it was her civic duty, her civic duty, that her sense of citizenship, that act of grace, that feeling that you have a commitment to country, to causes larger than yourself, she put herself forward."

Cruz, Klobuchar, Jones, Murkowski

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Cruz: (5:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Judges who will follow the law, who will be faithful to the Constitution, who will uphold our fundamental liberties, free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, the fundamental liberties protected every American in the United States Constitution. The stakes here are high, particularly with this seat, the seat that was held by Justice Kennedy, a justice who has been the swing vote for three decades now. Even though the stakes are high, Mr. President, what we have witnessed the last several weeks is unprecedented in the annals of confirmation battles. We saw initially a confirmation hearing that was relatively straightforward."

 

Senator Klobuchar: (6:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "What we know about Judge Kavanaugh's record and what it suggests about the kind of justice that he would be. In the last decades, the Supreme Court of the United States has decided who you can marry, where you can go to school, who can vote, and for people like my grandpa who worked 1,500 feet underground in the mines in Elie, Minnesota, his entire life, the Supreme Court has decided how safe your workplace is. The next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that affect people across the country, their lives forever. The next Supreme Court justice will rule on cases that could determine whether health insurers can deny coverage to people who are sick or who have preexisting conditions and whether women's rights are protected, and the next Supreme Court justice will be in a position to serve as a check, as a check and balance on the other branches of government."

 

Senator Jones: (6:47 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I've been moved by the many reports of thousands of women who have felt compelled by recent events to reveal similar stories that they have buried for many years, some for decades the last few weeks women have shared with me intensely painful and personal descriptions of assaults. Some who I've known for a period of time but never knew what they were carrying within them. Many of these happened so many years ago, high school, college, as young professionals. Often they hadn't told anyone, even their closest friends and loved ones. Their experiences while different in detail have so many similarities. Their feelings of fear and shame and guilt were overwhelming at the time of their encounters. Those emotions exert a powerful hold on these women's lives, even if they go on to find professional success and fulfilling relationships, it is still buried within them."

 

Senator Murkowski: (7:40 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I have had the opportunity to vote on five justices prior to this. I took my time. I was deliberate. I was thoughtful. Some accused me of being too deliberate, too thoughtful, taking too much time. This is important to me. It should be important to all of us, and I know that it is important to all of us. And so I studied the record. I sat with Judge Kavanaugh for a lengthy period of time, about an hour and a half, and asked the questions that I had and did more due diligence, reviewed the cases. And I did my homework, listened to the concerns that were raised by many in my state on issues that were all over the board, whether it was a woman's right to choose, whether it was the Affordable Care Act, whether it was executive authority, deference to the agencies, native issues."

Menendez, Lee, Cruz

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Menendez: (4:42 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "My friends, we're here in the U.S. Senate, we're staring into the abyss and when is staring back at us is a future in which the American people's trust in the Supreme Court is being irreparably damaged. To vote yes on Brett Kavanaugh is to send a message to every woman in America that your voice doesn't matter. If you risk everything, your security, your stability, your reputation to come forward and speak truth to power about a sexual assault, they will call you credible, they will call you courageous, but they will not believe you. It's a message that says, if you survived a sexual assault, don't bother telling anyone. Because you must be mistaken."

 

Senator Lee: (4:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I was briefed by a small handful of Judiciary Committee staffers who had clearance to read to me an F.B.I. document they had just received. I wasn't allowed to share the details of that communication with anyone, not even members of my own staff because at the time they were confidential, couldn't be discussed with the public, couldn't be discussed with anyone who hadn't received specific clearance from the F.B.I. to do so. At the time these allegations were brought forward, I was able to tell my staff only the following: The allegations raised by this individual - I didn't know her name at the time - are serious."

 

Senator Cruz: (5:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Judges who will follow the law, who will be faithful to the Constitution, who will uphold our fundamental liberties, free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, the fundamental liberties protected every American in the United States Constitution. The stakes here are high, particularly with this seat, the seat that was held by Justice Kennedy, a justice who has been the swing vote for three decades now. Even though the stakes are high, Mr. President, what we have witnessed the last several weeks is unprecedented in the annals of confirmation battles. We saw initially a confirmation hearing that was relatively straightforward."

Graham, Merkley, Stabenow, Hassan

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Graham: (3:56 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The biggest winner today is those who still want to be judges. You may have saved those who want to come after judge Kavanaugh from humiliation to the enth degree because you rejected it today. For every would him that comes forward with sexual assault, god only knows how many don't say a word. But to right one wrong, seldom does it help to create another. Senator Collins explained the dilemma that we face as a society and rejected the idea sacrificing judge Kavanaugh's great name would make anything better. To the extent that individuals matter in America, you rose to the occasion."

 

Senator Merkley: (4:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And those instructions, we are told, were not to talk to any of the corroborating witnesses, not those eight that she put forward and not the 20 that were put forward by Debbie Ramirez. So 28 individuals not brought before the committee and not talked to by the F.B.I. I hope we have lots of opportunity to share our perspectives across the aisle to understand this as we struggle with the issue of fairness because for many of us fairness has not been achieved and the bigger message is to these two women who came forward to share their journeys, to share their experiences is that the U.S. Senate was unwilling to hear them out, unfortunately."

 

Senator Stabenow: (4:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "From health care to civil rights to the safety of the air we breathe and the water we drink to the ability to be able to raise our families and pursue the American dream, to the very health of our democracy, decisions made by the Supreme Court affect us every single day. As you know, I was born in Michigan. I lived in Michigan my whole life. My whole family is still in Michigan, and I'm so grateful for that. Every decision I make in the United States Senate puts the people of Michigan first. My decision to oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh is no exception. The allegations that have been made against Judge Kavanaugh deserve to be taken extremely seriously."

 

Senator Hassan: (4:16 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Throughout this confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh has revealed himself to be staunchly partisan and never was that more clear than during his hearing on the allegations raised by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. During that hearing, he called those credible allegations against him - and this is a quote - revenge on behalf of the Clintons and seemed to threaten his political enemies by saying, quote, what goes around comes around. There is ample reason to believe that Judge Kavanaugh would be an ally on the Supreme Court for the Trump administration and Republicans in congress who are seeking to undermine our health care system."

Kaine, Collins, Alexander, McConnell

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Kaine: (2:57 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And that's why our nation gives judges life tenure, so they can render independent rulings without fear of losing their jobs. In a whole series of writings, speeches and rulings over the course of many years both as a lawyer and as a judge, Judge Kavanaugh embraced an unusual deference to executive power. I think this is one of the reasons that the president nominated him, and I don't have confident that Judge Kavanaugh will hold the president accountable to the law. Second, Judge Kavanaugh's writings as a bush administration lawyer, at least those the majority has allowed us to see, demonstrate his personal view that settled law is only settled until five justices decide to do something different."

 

Senator Collins: (3:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It is particularly worrisome that the Supreme Court, the institution that most Americans see as the principle guardian of our shared constitutional heritage is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens. Mr. President, we've heard a lot of charges and countercharges about Judge Kavanaugh, but as those who have known him best have attested, he has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father. Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored. Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh."

 

Senator Alexander: (3:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I saw that 150 people had been interviewed over 25 years about Judge Kavanaugh, that they had been specifically asked the question whether they saw any evidence of alcohol abuse and every single one said no, there was no evidence of sexual impropriety. I want to thank Senator Collins for her insistence on an extra week so that we could have a seventh F.B.I. investigation. I took the time to review that as well. And I saw that no matter how credible Dr. Ford seemed and she did seem credible to me, that no one except Dr. Ford remembers that alleged incident and the other four, as Senator Collins said who Dr. Ford said were there either don't remember it or said it didn't happen. But I think the more important take away from what the senator from Maine has said is that we've reached what she said she hopes is the rock bottom in the senate confirmation process. This is not the way things should be."

 

Senator McConnell: (3:55 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "So those of us who have been in the chamber today had a unique opportunity to listen to a great statesman from Maine once again talk about this institution, how it ought to treat matters like this, and that she's given us the opportunity to think about how we can rise above the depths to which we've sunk during this process. I want to thank the senator from Maine. I've not heard a better speech in my time here and I've been here a while. It was absolutely inspirational."

Hirono, Harris, Murray, Blumenthal- Correction

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Hirono: (2:02 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Mr. President, I rise today in opposition to Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States based on an in-depth look at his legal career and judicial writing, I conclude he has a long pattern of misstating facts and misapplying the law in order to further his partisan political agenda. His partisan ideologically driven agenda is particularly troubling in cases involving women's personal, intimate decisions. Roe v. Wade allows women to have control over whether and when to bear children. It is more than that as Justice O'Connor explained. I'm quoting Justice O'Connor, it is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter."

 

Senator Harris: (2:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "There was not clearly when the White House directed the F.B.I. to do its work, it appears from everybody I've seen the F.B.I. Was not permitted to look at all the allegations. That's clear to me. It is clear that the White House did not permit the F.B.I. to request Mark Judge's Safeway records. It's clear from everything I've seen, the White House did not permit the F.B.I. to investigate the dishonest testimony of Brett Kavanaugh or to examine and listen to the evidence that would have been provided by a list of over two dozen witnesses that would have been at the very least able to corroborate or deny the allegations that were made."

 

Senator Murray: (2:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "What message does that send across the country today to other women who are so bravely now telling their stories so it will not happen to anyone else? What does it say to them? What does it say to young girls in high school and college today? They're going to get away with it, so be quiet, because it'll only ruin your life, not theirs. What message does it say to young men? I have heard my colleagues say, well, it was high school, it was college. Really? Is that what we want, young boys in high school today to think that it's okay, don't worry whatever you do in high school does not count?"

 

Senator Blumenthal: (2:38 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "I believe Dr. Blasey Ford because she was credible and powerful as a witness before us. In what she remembered and what she so candidly said she couldn't remember. I believe Deborah Ramirez. I believe all of you who have written my office or called us, as you have done many of you in other states to my colleagues, who have recounted the horrors of your personal experience with sexual assault, who have come to me as I've been in airports or rallies or other public meetings and shared with me your horrific stories. I believe you. America believes you."

Rubio, Carper, Blunt, Inhofe

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Rubio: (12:50 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The constitutional amendment process, and that has been used in this country. They would not have given us this process if it was their intent that the Supreme Court be the one that could change the Constitution. And the reason why I outlined that criteria is because that is the criteria that I used to evaluate Judge Kavanaugh's nomination when it was first presented. I found myself with no doubts about his intellectual ability or his academic credentials, and I don't think anyone has raised those. I have seen seven F.B.I. background checks that turned up no issues with his character, and I had 12 years of service as a federal circuit judge as proof that he shared my criteria as the proper role for a court and proper standard for constitutional review."

 

Senator Carper: (1:09 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It is widely expected he would side with conservative justices if and when cases like Texas vs. The U.S. come before the court. And if he does the A.C.A.'s protection for people with preexisting conditions would be invalidated for tens of millions of Americans. Speaking of health care, Americans overwhelmingly support women having the freedom to make their own health care decisions. Brett Kavanaugh while working in the Bush White House in 2003 wrote an internal memo stating that Roe v. Wade may not be considered, quote, settled law of the land because the Supreme Court can always overrule its precedent, close quote. "

 

Senator Blunt: (1:31 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when it took 43 days for her to be confirmed, we're at 83 days or something like that now. When I looked up a couple of articles, just to refresh my memory, when she shows some fire, and she had plenty of it, and I admire that, the description of her is - of her is her well-known candor, like when she said about the Republican nominee last year, he's a fakeer. He has no consistency about him. He should withdraw. What she said when she said I can't imagine what this place would be, I can't imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president. Now is that a temperament issue or is that too political? By the way I'm not offended by political."

 

Senator Inhofe: (1:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Before the senator from Missouri leaves, confession is good for the soul, and I want to share something that will shock him, and that there were a number of things I did in college - in high school and college that are not displayed on my campaign material. I said it. A lot of people on the phone today are not sure what we did with the vote this morning. We had the vote this morning because we had to move forward in order to consider the final consideration of this great nominee tomorrow. It was filibustered by the Democrats. Of course, we had to do a cloture vote. I know it's somewhat in the weeds here but that's what we have to do and that vote took place."

Cornyn, Durbin, Tillis, Wyden

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Cornyn: (11:17 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "But to my mind, what the Senate just voted for was to end the character assassination, the games, the intimidation tactics that unfortunately have compromised so much of this nomination process. Our vote today was important not only because it will allow us to move forward and conclude this confirmation process, but it was important because it shows the United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be bullied by the screams of paid protesters and name calling by the mob. We will not be complicit in the attempts to tarnish a good man's character, destroy his career, and further delay this confirmation process, a constitutional process of advice and consent."

 

Senator Durbin: (11:40 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "But expressing their point of view with a sign or march or even a chant, I have to say that is part of our constitutional birthright, thank goodness, in the United States of America. Last week I saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for the first time. I heard her name for a week or more. I had seen one photo of her in sunglasses. I had never seen her or heard her speak. She came forward at great risk to herself and to her family after having been dislocated from her two different homes with her kids. And she came here to face the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation and to speak under oath. She had absolutely nothing to gain by coming forward. She did it, as she said, out of a sense of civic duty."

 

Senator Tillis: (12:03 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The way to get into those 100,000 secret documents that they are talking about, we estimate that if our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would have done what they had traditionally done is come up with an agreement on document production, that they would have gained a lot of insights into the documents that we considered relevant but not necessarily the documents that they would like to use to create another political narrative. But they refused to cooperate. And we moved forward. As a matter of fact, we moved forward and provided more documents for this Supreme Court nominee than the total number of documents provided for all in total of the last three or four Supreme Court nominees."

 

Senator Wyden: (12:18 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Mr. President, the deeply misguided vote to move forward on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination has taken this Senate one step closer to a moment that will cause enormous pain for millions of Americans, particularly women and survivors of assault. Now some may say that the senate is rolling back the clock on women in America by confirming Brett Kavanaugh. After seeing what's happened to the women who have spoken out and talking to women in Oregon, I question how much the clock ever ticked forward. Indeed this process has shone the spotlight on the double standard that women across this country face just so that they will be believed. On the other hand, Dr. Ford never wanted any of this. The way she has been treated by Republicans in this Senate and the president of the United States is inexcusable."

Feinstein, Schumer, McConnell

Executive Session (Kavanaugh Nomination)

Oct 05 2018

Senator Feinstein: (9:48 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "The nominee before us being considered for a pivotal swing seat, if confirmed, would be the deciding vote on some of the most important and divisive issues of our day. I'd like to start by speaking about some of the issues in relationship to Judge Kavanaugh. President trump promised to only nominate individuals to the Supreme Court who would be pro-life and pro-gun nominees, who would automatically overturn Roe v. Wade. In my judgment, Judge Kavanaugh clearly meets the test. In a speech in 2017, Judge Kavanaugh focused on praising Justice Rehnquist and his dissent in Roe v. Wade where he challenged the right to women's privacy as protected in the Constitution."

 

Senator Schumer: (10:04 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "And finally the dam broke under the weight of credible allegations that Judge Kavanaugh committed a sexual assault in high school. In 2018 the Republican majority conducted a hearing that made the Anita Hill hearings in 1991 look fair by comparison. In this hearing there were no corroborating witnesses on either side, no independent investigation of the facts to inform the questioning. They even hired an outside counsel to put a witness, Dr. Ford, on trial. Only at the 11th hour urging of break-away members of their caucus Republicans submitted reluctantly to a one-week investigation of the allegations, an investigation which was then severely circumscribed by the White House."

 

Senator McConnell: (10:19 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It was 88 days ago that President Trump announced his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is a nominee of the very highest caliber. A brilliant legal mind, an accomplished jurist, with a proven devotion to the rule of law. Today the senate has the opportunity to advance his nomination. Every one of us will go on record with one of the most consequential votes you ever cast in the senate. Now, the stakes are always high for a Supreme Court nomination, but, colleagues, the extraordinary events of recent weeks have raised an even higher -- raised them even higher this time."

Grassley

Opening Remarks

Oct 05 2018

Today -

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Under the rule, at 10:30 a.m. the Senate will VOTE on cloture on Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Senator Grassley: (9:33 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the supreme court. Shortly thereafter on July 9 the president announced - announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve as the newest justice. Judge Kavanaugh has spent 25 years of his career in public service. He's spent the last 12 years on the D.C. Circuit, considered the second most important federal court in the country. His record there has been extremely impressive because the Supreme Court is, as an example, adopted Judge Kavanaugh's opinions no fewer than a dozen times. Judge Kavanaugh is also a pillar in his community and also in the legal profession."