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Versus a general Kagan welcome to our committee -- There is somewhat more people here than usual and but let me begin one of the things that has -- changed slightly are scheduled this week.
As a depth of senator Byrd.
All of us I believe is safe to -- both Republicans and democratic senators are saddened by his death.
No senator came to care more about the constitution.
-- -- more effective defender of our.
Constitutional government that many senior senator from West Virginia.
In many ways -- -- keeper of the seven plane fiercest defender of the service.
Constitutional role of prerogatives.
I don't know how many how many times we saw.
Server powered up the copy of the constitution.
The difference between him voting.
Anyone of us holding it up you could put it back in his pocket and recited.
Verbatim the whole constitution.
Others Bose speakers record for the time certain senate and congress.
For a number of votes cast.
I -- -- was a mentor friend.
He -- retirement is committed.
I was honored to sit there and this -- on the Senate floor.
Engagement a discussion about the Senate -- its rules about the issue of the moment.
About our families.
It was a privilege of samba there and fight against assaults in the constitution.
-- -- -- -- -- dollars in unnecessary and costly war in Iraq.
Here's a self educated man who -- much throughout his life -- much to teach us solve.
It's senator Byrd was such an extraordinary man marriage and grit and determination.
-- -- to spam.
Drew strength for his deep faith.
Who took it too hard it is apple to -- defend the constitution.
The arc of his career in public service.
An inspiration to all.
And should inspire generations of Americans.
-- -- -- -- -- and 111 justices on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Have been women.
Because she's confirm.
Solicitor general Kagan over in the Supreme Court today.
Historical high water mark.
-- -- and earned a place at the top legal profession.
-- -- -- Occasions are unassailable.
As -- student chiefs -- out of Princeton.
Oxford and Harvard Law School.
-- awkward to the great Supreme Court justice.
Justice Thurgood Marshall.
And I appreciate seeing justice marshall's son Thurgood Marshall in the audience here today.
She worked in private practice.
And -- for then Senator Biden on this committee should -- brought to the nation's most respected law schools.
-- -- of President Clinton on wide variety of issues.
She served as dean of Harvard law school and is now the solicitor general of the United States.
Sometimes referred to as the tenth justice.
I -- were better country for the past that the path of excellence.
Has taken her career.
As -- path now open to both men and women.
Steve Justice Marshall -- our constitution as intended to endure for ages.
To be adapted to -- various crises it human figures.
-- -- other great justices recognize that the broadly worded guarantees.
And powers granted the constitution.
Adapt to changing circumstances.
Our constitution has -- the test of time.
The genius of our congress was to establish a constitution.
Firm enough to enshrined freedom and the rule of law -- guiding principles.
-- flexible enough to sustain a young nation.
That was destined to -- to the -- -- -- -- Rich's most powerful nation on earth.
I myself on the most diverse nations on -- It took more than four score years and civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds and thousands.
Two -- -- and of African Americans.
Included citizens all persons born or naturalized.
In the United States.
-- the so.
Or members of -- would transform the constitution the one that more fully embraced.
Equal rights and human dignity.
The country and I democracy were stronger for.
The job was not complete.
It was halfway through the last -- -- -- discrimination was.
Dealt a blow when the Supreme Court.
And the modern landmark case of brown versus board of education.
Congress passed so right senators stood for in the voting rights act of 65.
America free again to provided Fuller measure of equality.
And those were held back for so long because of the color of his -- Our path to a more perfect union union.
Also included the rejection suddenly five years ago.
Judicial activism by the Supreme Court.
And are establishing.
A social safety net for all Americans.
To -- outlawing child labor.
And guaranteeing a minimum wage.
To Social Security Medicare Medicaid congress -- -- the growing load.
No longer means growing poor.
And the -- older -- no longer means being without medical care.
Progress continues today.
We better port.
Have a hundred members of the supreme that a hundred members of the Senate.
Standing here in the shoes of more than 300 million Americans.
-- -- discharge our constitutional duty.
Respecting his domination.
Spring quarter exist for all Americans.
Only one person gets to nominate.
-- -- for the court.
Only 100 Americans get to vote.
On whether that person should be on the corner not.
It is an awesome responsibility.
There is a nominee -- engagement this committee and through these proceed with the American people and they.
Constitutional con conversation about the role of the courts and -- constitution.
And we discuss the constitution's commerce clause.
Spending -- talk about congressional authority to pass laws to ensure protection of our communities.
From natural and man made disasters.
To encourage clean air and water.
Provided health care for all Americans to ensure safe food and drugs to protect equal rights.
To enforce safe workplaces.
And to provide a safety net for all seniors.
And I reject the ideological litmus tests.
From either right or the -- This -- and applied to Supreme Court nominees.
I expect judges who look to the legislative intent of our laws.
Consider the consequences of their decisions.
To use common sense and -- -- of the law.
In my view is Supreme Court justice needs exercise judgment.
Should appreciate the proper role of the courts are -- democracy.
Should consider the consequences.
On the fundamental purposes of -- law.
And the lives of Americans.
-- will -- Sosa general Kagan.
Here publicly whatever -- -- privately.
To be open be responsive.
To share with us.
Even more importantly with the American people -- judicial philosophy.
But also to assure us -- -- judicial independence.
From either the right -- the left.
I -- that fair minded people fired her judicial philosophy well within the legal mainstream.
-- welcome questions through solicitor general Kagan about judicial independence.
But -- heard senators on both sides to be fair.
There's no basis to question her integrity.
-- -- presumed that this intelligent woman has excelled.
During every part.
We're very even distinguished career blacks independents.
-- center of the judicial nominees understand it as judges.
They're not members of many administration.
The courts are not subsidiaries.
-- any political priorities.
-- interest groups.
Connect judges should not be prices.
That's why the sprint court's intervention in the 2000 presidential election.
In bush versus gore was so jarring and why.
He -- In many people's minds throughout this country the credibility to the core.
As far as -- court's recent decision citizens united.
In which five conservative justices rejected the -- -- impressive.
Reject of the bipartisan law enacted by congress.
Rejected a hundred years and legal development.
In order to open the door for massive corporate spending on election was such a joke to the system.
The American people live in the real world of great challenges.
The Supreme Court needs to function and -- real world.
The constraints of our constitution.
Miles -- Vermont the fourteen state union.
Did not vote to join the union until the year the bill of rights was ratified.
We are cautious in Vermont.
Those -- in the green Mountain State are protective of our fundamental liberties.
We understand the importance -- constitution it's amendments have had an expanding.
Individual liberties over the last 220 years.
-- don't do indicate it would demonstrate through this hearing.
She'll be the kind of independent justice.
Who keep pace through these principles.
And keep faith with the words that are described in Vermont marble.
Over the front doors of the Supreme Court.
Under law put the rest of my statement -- record insert.
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