07.10.18

[VIDEO] Sen. Coons outside the Supreme Court: “Courts have consequences.”

Sen. Coons: “We have a job to do, as members of the Judiciary Committee, to dig into his record, to go through it thoroughly, to demand the release of every single record that might be relevant.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke in front of the Supreme Court to discuss what’s at stake following President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

“It is my hope that Americans won't just look at the numbers of our two caucuses, but that they'll realize that courts matter, that this nominee will have an impact on your life, and as we dig into his record, you'll take up your role as citizens and speak out,” said Senator Coons. “And communicate to your senator and to this Congress, your passion for our making sure that the freedoms hard-won over decades by key decisions of this Court will not be rolled back in the event this man is confirmed. And the way to know that is to know his record, and to hold him accountable. I look forward to your voice, and to your role in making sure we win this fight for freedom.”

Full audio and video available here.

Senator Coons’ remarks are below:

Thank you, Senator Klobuchar, and thank you for reminding us with very compelling personal stories about how courts matter, about how the decisions of the Supreme Court matter more than any other court's decisions in ways that have impacted you as a mother and as a daughter. The Supreme Court, the beautiful marble building behind us, is not a temple. It's not an academic institution. It is the place where nine justices apply the Constitution to our society, to our lives, to our families. And courts have consequences.

It didn't have to be this way. President Trump could have nominated someone last night not off the narrow list of those pre-cleared, pre-approved by far-right organizations like the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society. We could be here today discussing a nominee who was potentially someone with a wide-open record. Someone who might command a bipartisan majority. Instead we have someone who we know has a long record of being at the most conservative end of jurisprudence in our country.

But we don't really know his full record. He was at the center of the Bush administration. He's written hundreds of opinions on the D.C. Circuit Court. And so the president, having now taken his constitutional step of nominating a Supreme Court justice, we have a job to do, as members of the Judiciary Committee, to dig into his record, to go through it thoroughly, to demand the release of every single record that might be relevant, so that you, the American people, might know what this next justice, if confirmed, might do with your rights, your liberties, and your freedoms.

And then, and only then, should we have a hearing and take a vote. We must know this man's record. Because where he's going with our Court and our freedoms and our rights can best be predicted by how he's behaved and where he's been. At the center of so many issues in the Bush Administration, in conversations and in decisions of the Federalist Society, and in his seat on the D.C. Circuit. Many said that because of the number we in the Democratic minority had no chance of defeating a determined Republican majority in repealing the Affordable Care Act. That, in fact, turned out to not be true. Because millions of Americans recognized their health care was at stake and they called, they acted, they got engaged, they spoke out, they came here to our Capitol. 

It is my hope that Americans won't just look at the numbers of our two caucuses, but that they'll realize that courts matter, that this nominee will have an impact on your life, and as we dig into his record, you'll take up your role as citizens and speak out. And communicate to your senator and to this Congress, your passion for our making sure that the freedoms hard-won over decades by key decisions of this Court will not be rolled back in the event this man is confirmed. And the way to know that is to know his record, and to hold him accountable. I look forward to your voice, and to your role in making sure we win this fight for freedom. 

Let me now yield to a seasoned senior litigator,  former state attorney general, and member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut.

###

Press Contact

CONTACT: Sean Coit at 202-224-5042 or Sean_Coit@coons.senate.gov