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Welcome judge -- -- And welcome to your family and friends and congratulations on -- nomination in congratulations to your parents you.
It's such a good job on raising ticket to -- -- today.
We are beginning now beginning the end.
And an extraordinarily.
Important process -- to confirm Supreme Court justice it.
-- according to go to war.
The Senate's constitutional obligation to advise and consent on Supreme Court nominees is probably.
Our most important response ago.
Supreme Court justices serve for life.
And once the senate confirms nominee she's likely to be affecting the law and American lives.
Much longer than many of the senators who are here to confirm there.
Devising consent process for the nomination began after Justice Souter announced his intent to resign.
And pres Obama.
Consulted when members of both parties before making his selection.
-- continue since then.
With the help from extensive public debate among analysts and commentators.
Scholars and activists.
Both additional press.
And in the Blogosphere.
This public vetting process.
While not always accurate or tempered.
Is extremely valuable both the senate and to the public.
One of the truly great benefits of a free society.
Is our ability to delve deeply into an extensive public record.
We've seen a wide ranging discussion of the issues it was anyone literally anyone can help dissect and debate.
Even the most meeting due -- legal issue and personal expressions of opinion.
In another less public part of the process judge you have a wonderful experience -- meeting -- ninety senators.
Over on 90% almost 9% of the senate these needs are also extremely useful I -- I learned a great deal from my meeting and I'm compliment.
I'm confident my colleagues -- as well.
For me the critical criteria for judging a Supreme Court nominee of the following.
A first rate -- -- Significant experience.
-- question integrity.
Absolutely commitment to the rule of law.
On -- wavering dedication of being fair and open minded.
The ability to appreciate the impact of court decisions and the lives.
Of ordinary people.
-- so what we've learned so far.
-- -- -- -- -- I'm confident this -- hearing we'll give this committee and the rest of the senate the information we need to complete our constitutional duty.
I believe we each owe you a decision based on your record and your answers to our questions.
That decision should not turn on -- code words.
Like judicial activist -- -- charges of guilt by association.
Or in any litmus test instead.
We should focus on your record and your responses.
And determine where the epic qualities that one enable you to well -- all Americans.
And the rule of law.
On our nation's highest court.
As my colleagues have already noted your rise from humble beginnings to extraordinary academic and -- achievement is -- desperate inspiration.
-- -- -- And I note that you would bring more federal judicial experience the Supreme Court than any justice in over a hundred years.
-- also I'm incredibly value practice experience.
Not always a prosecutor but also as a commercial litigator.
In terms -- -- -- record you'd -- been careful.
Thoughtful and open minded in fact what strikes me most about your record is it seems to reveal no biases.
You appear to take each case it comes without predilection.
Giving full consideration of the arguments of both sides.
Before reaching a decision.
When Justice Souter announced his retirement in May I suggest that the court would benefit from a broader range of experience among its members.
My concern of the time.
Wasn't a real lack of women or racial or ethnic minority -- current court although that deficit is -- -- -- point of fact the most of the current justices let it be black -- -- women or men share roughly the same life experiences.
I am heartened but what you bring to the court based in your upbringing your story of achievement in the face of adversity.
-- professional experience a prosecutor commercial litigator and yes the prospect of your being the first -- to sit on the High Court.
The Supreme Court is not -- represented body we should hold as an idea.
That it broadly reflect the citizens it serves.
Diversity -- many goals.
Outside the courtroom it better equipped our institution -- to understand more of the viewpoints and backgrounds that comprise our pluralistic society.
Moreover a growing -- a social research suggests that -- with diverse experience and backgrounds come to the right outcome.
More often than did non diverse groups which may be justice -- I believe it up -- -- court will function better as well.
Another concern I have about the current Supreme Court is his handling of business cases.
Too often it seems they disregard said the law and congressional policy choices.
Based on my education.
My experience my inclination I am not anti business.
But whether it's preempting state consumer protection laws.
Striking down punitive damage awards restricting access to the courts or overturning nine.
Today's court gives me the impression.
That in business casing the working majorities outcome oriented in their 421 -- Given our current economic crisis and the -- of regulation and enforcement.
That led to that crisis that bias is particularly troubling.
Congress can and will enact a dramatically improve regulatory system.
The president can and will make sure that relevant enforcement agencies are populated -- Smart motivated and effective agents.
But -- Supreme Court.
Resistant to federal government involvement in the regulation markets could undermine his efforts.
A judge or court has to call the game the same way for all sides.
Fundamental fairness requires that in the courtroom.
Every once that comes to the -- the same about count no balls no strikes.
-- the aspirations American judicial system is as a place.
Where the powerless have a chance.
For justice on a level playing field with a powerful.
We need justices on the Supreme Court could not understand that aspiration.
But also are committed to making it -- reality.
Because of the importance of business cases before the Supreme Court.
I plan to spend some time asking you about your experience is a commercial litigator.
You're handling of business cases is trial judge on the Court of Appeals he approached the business case is generally.
What I've seen of your record -- seem to recall these cases right down the middle without any bias or agenda that is very important to me.
Those of us up here will be done talking.
And you'll have a chance to testify and answer our questions and look forward to your testimony thank you.
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