tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 14, 2016 6:38am-7:01am EST
justice scalia: these are not going out over television? host: these are. these are still being seen on c-span. the first question in front of me is to justice scalia. why argue the way that you are? [laughter] you can hit a home run on that. justice scalia: the devil makes me do it. [laughter] ginsberg, the next question from josh gibson, a student at the kennedy school. the first amendment is a bit of a grab bag of for -- free expression. did the founders decide against including others? are there others that they or you that you would have wished had been included? justice ginsberg: i was
concerned about having a bill of rights. maybe there were some you left out. a statement in the ninth amendment that says -- the enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others. one thing we did not ring out before was that the first amendment is the first amendment. the first thing that was on the minds of the framers was not freedom of speech or of the press but rather about not having an established church. the first thing is that no log respecting the establishment of religion. and then the freedom side of it or prohibiting the free exercise there was. the first thing they did not want to have was the church of england. that is kind of a
negative. it is something you cannot do. what is the positive side of that -- freedom of religion? justice scalia: it is all negative. it is all saying what the government cannot do. it is all limitations upon the government. that is what the whole bill of rights is. the government cannot do this or that. they are all negative. host: and except for the government, everyone else can do whatever they want? justice scalia: absolutely. host: but you can't. justice ginsberg: to take an example, we have an anti-discriminatory law of 1964. until then, discrimination in the private sector was ok because the constitution restricts what the government can do. a private employer could say i don't want any women in the job and that would be perfectly ok
as it was until 1964. justice scalia: did you have something to do with that? justice ginsberg: president johnson and the congress that passed the civil rights act of 1964. host: a question from catherine of the museum. to whom does the first amendment apply? do undocumented immigrants have the five freedoms? justice scalia: i think so. anyone who is present in the has protections under the constitution. americans abroad have that protection. other people abroad to not. -- do not. totice ginsberg: when we get -- it doesendment
not speak of citizens. as some constitutions grant rights to citizens. hours says persons. -- ours says persons, documented or undocumented. i have a question from david thorson who you know. to decideou look where the freedom of the press is or is not identical with freedom of speech? i have a feeling that is a loaded question. justice scalia: i have never thought that it was anything except identical. i cannot imagine that you can limit some things that can be spoken but to not limit things that can be printed. i think it is the same criteria as to whether the limitation is
unconstitutional. justice ginsberg: i think david must have a case in mind. [laughter] from nikkistion here schnapp of u.s. news & world report. was there any case that rattled your friendship? i think wesberg: were most at loggerheads over the vmi case. remember that? you had a stirring dissents. justice scalia: it was a great dissent. [laughter] justice ginsberg: you were the only dissenter. justice scalia: because clarence was recused because he had a son there, didn't he? remember the chief wrote it from my judgment and not your dissenting opinion. we went many rounds --
justice scalia: back and forth. justice ginsberg: one time, i refer to thee that university of virginia at charlottesville. you have to forgive this ignorant person because she does not know that there is a university of virginia -- there is not a university of virginia at charlottesville. come in he do was was not finished writing his dissent. it was getting late. we were into june already. he gave me the penultimate copy of his dissent. he came to my chambers and he gave it to me and said -- i want to give you as much time as i can. to answer this. my second judicial conference and it ruined i whole weekends. [laughter] days toave me the extra
respond. i really appreciated that. i have nevera: gotten angry at ruth or any of my colleagues because of the way they voted in an opinion. if you cannot discrete -- disagree with your colleagues on a law without taking it personally, you ought to get another day job. that not the kind of a job will allow you to behave that way. ruth and i disagree on the law all of the time but it never had anything to do with our friendship. justice ginsberg: we do also have a difference in styles. regard my opinions as rather dull and boring while yours are really jazzy sometimes. [laughter] host: jazzy. here is a question from seth dodson.
justice stevens recently adjusted a constitutional amendment to modify the second amendment. if you could amend the constitution in one way, what would it be and why? certainlyalia: i would not want a constitutional convention. oa! who knows what would come out of that but if there was a targeted amendment that were adopted by the states, i think that the only provision i would amend is the amendment provision. whatured out at one time percentage of the populace could theent an amendment to constitution and if you take a bare majority in the smallest states by population, i think something less than 2% of the people can prevent a constitutional amendment.
it ought to be hard but it should not be that hard. if i couldsberg: choose an amendment to add to bes constitution, it would the equal rights amendment. [applause] what do you mean by that, please? justice ginsberg: it means that women are people equal in stature before the law. that is fundamental constitutional principle. i think we have achieved that through legislation but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. i mentioned title vii of the civil rights act -- the first one was the equal pay act.
that principle belongs in our constitution. it is in every constitution written since the first world war. granddaughters, when they pick up the constitution to see that notion that women and men are persons of equal stature. i would like them to see this as a basic principle of our society. host: is there any doubt in your mind that it would pass the judgment of the american people? justice ginsberg: it came pretty close. illustrationis an of how awfully hard it is to get an amendment. justice scalia: could i comment on that? i don't want to -- justice ginsberg: i don't want that. host: to what extent do social
media platforms such as twitter where speech can be broadcast to millions in dimly challenge traditional concepts of free speech? interesting question. what is your thought on that? well, i don't: know that it challenges traditional concepts of free speech. it challenges traditional of finding out who said what, where certain people say things that are unlawful or that are punishable by law. but i don't think it changes what the first amendment means. a great dangerg: for people who use those devices if you cannot take it back. once you let it out, it is there for everyone to see. host: but you don't feel that it
changes the concept of freedom of speech or of press? you would haveg: to give me an example. newman asked this question. as it becomes easier to share opinions and even, should social media be required to limit what is shared? is that a legal question? justice scalia: no. it is a policy question and i do not do policy. justice ginsberg: i would agree with my colleague. host: joshua at the washington center. do you feel the separation of church and state has been misunderstood with congress and the supreme court taking a proactive stand on the establishment portion but not on
the prohibition part? i don'tscalia: understand what he means by the last part. proactive stand -- host: i was hoping you would understand. [laughter] because i'm sorry, i am not there. our last question -- and you were a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up? justice scalia: maybe i am an unusual person but i don't ever recall wanting to be anything. a baseball player or a hockey player or a lawyer. a judge. not i never set my cap on being a judge. i didn't even want to be a lawyer when i was in college. when i graduated college, i didn't want to be a lawyer. i had an uncle vincent who had an office in trenton. and itto hang out there
seemed like a good life so i went into the law. i just wanted to do well whatever i was assigned to do. if i had any quality that accounts for my making it this far, it is my ability to interest myself in whatever was shelved under my nose no matter how dull it was. i took pleasure in doing it to the extent i could, perfectly. but i never set my cap on being a federal judge much less a supreme court justice. host: justice ginsberg. justice ginsberg: in my growing manyars, there were so limits on what a girl could aspire to be. she could not be a police officer, a firefighter, it hold coal miner.
she cannot work at night. there were all of these restrictions. there were very few women lawyers, maybe 3% of the bar and even fewer judges. i never aspired to be a lawyer and certainly not a judge because i had to make a living. i better be a teacher. that was a secure job for women. the exhilarating thing for me when i think about my daughter and my granddaughters is the opportunities open to them that did not exist. isfavorite example of this my granddaughter who is now 23. when she was eight, she was with me and i was being interviewed. and she said she wanted to be part of the show also. the reporter said ok klara -- what would you like to be when you grow up? and her response was i would like to be president of the
united states of the world. [laughter] [applause] and that to me is the change in what girls can aspired to do and -- that has been exhilarating. host: unfortunately, we have come to the end of the line. i want to share with you the essence of a conversation that was repeated over and over again with me. and with the producers of this program, especially the executive producer mike friedman. and that is the thought that we live at a time in washington where the idea that two people who have strongly different opinions on very important issues can actually be good friends. and can actually respect one another. and that kind of usual respect is so terribly important today.
i hope, i truly hope that this beenam televised as it has can set an example and serve as a model for people all over the country who may have different opinions but do recognize that in this country, there are -- is plenty of room for different opinions and we ought to have more room for friendships. thank you so much to you both. [applause] ladies and gentlemen we ask that you please remain in your seats while our host and the justices are escorted from the ballroom. [applause] ask that you, we please remain in your seats -- >> president obama was in california when it was reported that justice scalia died. he gave a brief statement after learning the news.
pres. obama: for almost 30 years, antonin scalia was a larger-than-life person on the bench. a brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, with incisive wit, and colorful opinions. he influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students that profoundly shaped the legal landscape. he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most sequential judges and thinkers that served on the supreme court. justice scalia dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy. the rule of the law. tonight, we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time. antonin scalia was born in new jersey to italian immigrant
family. after graduating from georgetown university and harvard law school, he worked at a law firm before entering a life of public service. he was the assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel, judge on the circuit court, associate justice of the supreme court. a devout catholic, a proud father of nine children and grandfather of many loving grandchildren. he was both an avid hunter and an opera lover, with a passion for music you should with his -- that he shared with his dear colleague and friend justice ruth bader ginsburg. michelle and i were proud to welcome him to the white house including in 2012 for a state dinner for prime minister david cameron.
tonight, we join his fellow justices in mourning this remarkable man. this is a time to on or justice -- to remember justice scalia's legacy. i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor. fore will be plenty of time me to fulfill that responsibility and to give that person a timely vote and a fair hearing. i take this seriously. they are bigger than anyone -- anyone party. they are about our democracy. they are about the institution which justice scalia dedicated his professional life in making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned. but it this moment, we most of all want to think about his family. michelle and i join the nation in sending our deepest gratitude to justice scalia's family, a
beautiful symbol of a life well lived. we thank you for sharing justice scalia with our country. god bless them all, and god bless the united states of america. >> here on c-span this morning, "washington journal" is next. of10:00, johnny isakson georgia. and later the fbi director, and his cia director john brennan and admiral michael rogers testified at a senate intelligence hearing on global security threats. on today's "washington journal," of look at the legacy justice scalia and how it will impact things in the coming months. all -- also matthew were dembski
with the wit -- wilson center. will also take your calls and look for your comments on facebook and twitter. >> >> he had wit and colorful opinions. he influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. host: president obama paying tribute to justice antonin scalia arrest night in california, as the nation mourns the death of what many are calling a legal giant. flags at the u.s. capitol and all federal buildings are at half-staff this morning in tribute to the man who served nearly 30 years on the high court.