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Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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02:59:36 - 03:02:08
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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) asks O’Connor’s opinion on the issue of allowing women to serve in combat in the military. O’Connor discusses her time on the Defense Advisory on Women in the Service, which considered a variety of statutes and regulations regarding women in the service. O’Connor says the Defense department established that women would be allowed various service rolls in the branches of the military. The Advisory then looked into the role of women in the military and then made appropriate recommendations. O’Connor offered suggestions that were adopted by the group and then Congress. O’Connor's suggestions asked if the statutory definitions of combat could be revisited. O’Connor wanted to provide a specific outline of what roles women could hold in the military.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor answering questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee. O’Connor continues discussing the role of women in the military and her time on the Defense Advisory on Women in the Service. O’Connor discusses how women were barred from serving on ships, other than hospital or transport ships. O’Connor says it was suggested that Congress reexamine the prohibition of women on ships; looking at the particular mission to be performed and the ability of an individual to carry out the mission. O’Connor says the total prohibition of women serving on ships was removed. O’Connor also recommended that the Defense Department and Congress reexamine some of the definitions of combat, to ensure that women were not being unnecessarily excluded from appropriate tasks. O’Connor provides the example of being assigned to performing tasks in a missile silo. O’Connor says she did not serve on the Advisory at anytime when it was suggested that the total prohibition on women in combat be removed. U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) closes his line of questioning.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) recognizes U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH). Senator Metzenbaum asks O’Connor if she has had any involvement with antitrust issues in her public career. O’Connor says she has had very little involvement in antitrust issues, but explains the extent of her experience. O’Connor sponsored and succeeded in passing a state ant-trust act in the Arizona State Senate. O’Connor says the state act was patterned after the Sherman Antitrust Act. O’Connor says she heard one or two antitrust actions as a trial court judge. Senator Metzenbaum says the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of antitrust laws in the nation, citing the landmark United States v. Alcoa antitrust case. Metzenbaum discusses the opinion U.S. Appeals Court Judge Learned Hand issued in United States v. Alcoa, in which Judge Hand stressed the importance of small businesses. Metzenbaum asks O’Connor if she agrees with Judge Hand’s opinion. O’Connor says she does not know what antitrust issues are currently pending in the Federal Courts, but recognizes that the intention of the Sherman Act was to reduce or eliminate monopolies. O’Connor says the Sherman act encourages competition and smaller business.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) says in the last Congress impediments on consideration for Federal Courts were removed. Senator Metzenbaum says there is no longer a 10,000 dollar minimum requirement for federal questions to be considered in Federal Court. Metzenbaum believes that no matter how big or small the litigant, everyone deserves access to the courts. Metzenbaum brings up a recent article O’Connor wrote that appears to criticize the removal of the 10,000 dollar minimum requirement. Metzenbaum cites from O’Connor’s article. Metzenbaum asks O’Connor to explain her writings. O’Connor agrees that access to the courts is vitally important, regardless of economic status. O’Connor says the point she was making was that we have two sets of courts, State Courts and Federal. O’Connor believes there are issues with managing the interrelationship between the two court systems. O’Connor believes the U.S. may be the only country in the world that operates parallel court systems. O’Connor says people do have access to the State Courts to resolve Federal issues. O’Connor says that Federal and Constitutional issues are being resolved at the state levels.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee answering questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee. O’Connor continues to explain her recent article criticizing Congress’s removal of the ten thousand dollar requirement for federal questions to be brought before Federal Court. O’Connor says her article was a response to the trends she observed with the extension of the federal level. O’Connor says there are crowded Federal Courts and a need for more judges. O’Connor says federal issues can be heard at the state level; if they are not resolved at the state level, there is a right to have the issue resolved in the Federal Court. O’Connor believes a strong State Court system can address federal issues.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) continues the discussion on widening access to the Federal Court. Senator Metzenbaum believes there is a disparity between the rich and the poor when it comes to access of the Federal Courts. Metzenbaum asks what the citizens may think of the Federal Court system if they can’t produce the 10,000 dollar “ticket of admission.” O’Connor believes wider access to the Federal Courts is an issue, but believes this issue needs to be viewed in the context of a stronger state system. O’Connor says the issue is matter for Congress to debate and consider. O’Connor believes there are appropriate remedies and resolutions in the State Courts.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) questions O’Connor on her comments regarding the recovery of attorney fees. Senator Metzenbaum believes the recovery of attorney fees can be discriminatory when the litigant does not have the funds to enter the court in the first place. O’Connor believes the issue of attorney fees should be the subject of Congressional inquiry. O’Connor says that someone who is poor, has no other right of access to the court, cannot afford an attorney, and has a valid claim; should be entitled to pursue that claim, with an avenue of relief in the recovery of attorney fees. O’Connor says it is an issue for Congress to amend legislation regarding the recovery of attorney fees.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) continues on the issue of attorney fees and access to the Federal Courts. Senator Metzenbaum discusses Civil Rights and the Enforcement Act of 1871 (aka the Ku Klux Klan Act). Metzenbaum says the attorney’s fees being allowed do not reflect any abuse because they were allowed by the court. Metzenbaum says the court would not have allowed attorney fees if they had no merit. Metzenbaum cites O’Connor as saying there should be a legislative prescription with respect to the recovery of attorney fees in Civil Rights cases. Metzenbaum says limiting the recovery of attorney fees in Civil Rights cases would cause two things: deny the litigant the right to recover legal fees and with the suggestion of a 10,000 dollar limit, the litigant could be denied access to the court. Metzenbaum believes both of these issues create a discriminatory situation. O’Connor discusses “Section 1983” cases; saying if Congress believes Civil Rights cases are the unfair subject of “Section 1983,” it could restrict the application accordingly. O’Connor believes the court has extended “Section 1983” far beyond civil rights cases and extended it to any violation of Federal Law. O’Connor says she was suggesting that Congress review the application of legislation allow cases to enter Federal Court without a ten thousand dollar limit.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) continues on the subject of denial of access to the courts, referring to an article written by O’Connor. Senator Metzenbaum believes denying the recovery of attorney fees could lead to the denial of a litigant to receive representation in court. O’Connor says her article in no way suggested that anyone should be deprived of a judicial forum for airing grievances. O’Connor says the point is that there are two parallel court systems; it is a question of choice as to whether the litigants can use the State Courts or have everything channeled through the Federal Court. Speaking as a state judge, it was O’Connor’s view that use of the State Courts could be encouraged. O’Connor does not find the choice between Federal and State Courts to be necessary in every instance. O’Connor says this is an issue for Congress to debate and she was only presenting her opinion. Metzenbaum says litigants would have no choice under O’Connor’s suggestions. O’Connor says litigants would still have remedies and a forum. Metzenbaum closes his line of questioning.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) recognizes U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS). Senator Dole questions O’Connor’s recommendation on further restricting cases that can be heard in Federal Court. Dole asks what recommendation O’Connor would make for State Courts dealing with an increased case load. O’Connor says her suggestion regarding Federal Courts was not conclusive. O’Connor say the issue of restrictions for litigation in Federal Courts is something for Congress to consider. O’Connor says regardless of whether diversity jurisdiction is reduced or eliminated, it will have an impact on the State Courts. O’Connor says in some jurisdictions it takes less time to get to trial in the Federal Court than the State Court. O’Connor says these issues raise serious questions. O’Connor says Congress should be looking into the issues. Dole says State Courts may favor litigants from their state over out-of-state litigants if diversity jurisdiction is abolished. Dole asks O’Connor’s suggestion on dealing with this issue. O’Connor says she has no experience in other states, but in Arizona O’Connor says she has not experienced favoritism of in-state litigants. O’Connor believes jurisdictional favoritism is no longer an issue in the present time.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) asks O’Connor’s opinion on whether the Exclusionary Rule should be applied to cases where an officer has committed a technical violation of law, but an individual’s Constitutional rights have been uneffected. O’Connor says a number of Federal Courts in the country are beginning to approach the exclusionary rule in a different way. O’Connor says Federal Courts are starting to remove technical violations from the Exclusionary Rule. O’Connor believes some of these issues will be addressed by the Supreme Court.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) asks O’Connor for her definition on the term “strict constructionists.” To O’Connor, the term refers to someone who appreciates the difference between the policy making functions of the Legislative Branch and the Judicial role of interpreting and applying the law. O’Connor says there is a difference between making the law and interpreting the law.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) asks O’Connor about the interpreters of law. O’Connor says she knows the difference between the role of the legislator and the judge. O’Connor understands the role of the judge is to interpret the law, not make the law. Senator Dole agrees with O’Connor’s statement. Dole discusses the concern that the court is making law, mentioning “judicial restraint” and “judicial activism.” Dole discusses the limitations the Legislative Branch places on judicial independence. Dole discusses the impact the Congress can have on court decisions. Dole asks O’Connor to what extent the Supreme Court should be aware of public and Congressional sentiment on issues before the Court. O’Connor says the Court would only have to consider the facts of the particular case and the law applicable to those facts. O’Connor says it would be a dangerous practice to go outside the record and outside the law in guidance for how a case should be addressed. O’Connor says these issues are why the Court strives for judicial independence. O’Connor says cases should not be based on current perceptions of outside activities, but rather on the matters that appropriately come to the attention of the Court.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) discusses Congressional issues in the past that Congress wished the Supreme Court paid more attention to, mentioning the bussing issue. Dole says the Congress sometimes believes the Court is oblivious of the outside world. O’Connor is sure that through the arguments of counsel and the brief writing process, the Court is never totally oblivious to what is going on. O’Connor assumes the litigants themselves are making the realities of life known to the Court. O’Connor believes the Justices should not be going outside of the judicial process.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) asks for O’Connor’s stance on abortion, based on an Arizona State Senate bill she sponsored. Senator Dole believes the bill prevented benefits and payments for abortion, unless it was a medical emergency. O’Connor says she was not the drafter of the bill, it was a state Medicaid bill. O’Connor says Arizona assigned the issue of medical care for the poor to a citizen’s committee. O’Connor recalls that Dr. Merlin Duval headed the committee. O’Connor says Dr. Duval later became the Dean of the Arizona Medical School. O’Connor says the committee recommended that this particular bill be adopted. O’Connor says the bill included a provision concerning the use of public funds for abortion. O’Connor says she supported the bill and its provisions. Dole asks if the bill became law. O’Connor says the bill did become law, but says the bill was never funded for the Medicaid functions. Dole asks this bill reflects O’Connor’s views on abortion. O’Connor says yes, on the subject of Medicaid and abortion.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) brings up the issue of disallowing attorney fees brought under “Section 1983.” Senator Dole cites O’Connor’s comments suggesting Civil Rights suits be heard in State Courts over Federal Courts. Dole asks if plaintiffs Civil Rights cases could be the victims of prejudice or bias if they are limited to State Courts. O’Connor says bias is a possible issue, but cases could be moved to a forum where bias would not be an issue. Dole closes his line of questioning.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) recognizes U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ). Senator DeConcini brings up the issue of the Exclusionary Rule. DeConcini asks O’Connor if she could comment on the recent Evans decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. DeConcini cites U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the possibility of removing the Exclusionary Rule. DeConcini asks if O’Connor believes Congress could effectively make changes to the Suppression Doctrine. O’Connor says it was suggested that Congress could create new remedy for people who had evidence against them obtained illegally. O’Connor suggests that a civil damage action could be created. O’Connor says current case law does allow for civil actions against officers who obtain evidence illegally. O’Connor is unsure that Chief Justice Burger was talking about eliminating the Exclusionary Rule.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) asks O’Connor if the Exclusionary Rule is an appropriate matter for Congress to look into and alter. O’Connor does not know if it would be appropriate for Congress to eliminate the judge on Exclusionary Rule. O’Connor understands that the Exclusionary Rule is a judge made rule, not a Constitutional doctrine. O’Connor does believe a Congressional investigation would be a great benefit. DeConcini believes the Exclusionary Rule was handed down for the purpose of deterrence. DeConcini says studies have shown the Exclusionary Rule has not deterred law enforcement officials from illegal search and seizures. DeConcini says it could be a proper time for Congress to consider other remedies and provide statutory modification of the Exclusionary Rule.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) refers to O’Connor’s article in the William and Mary Law Review. Senator DeConcini gathers that O’Connor wants to see the State Courts play a larger role in the Judiciary System. DeConcini asks what proper role of the Federal Government would be, as far as encouraging the State Court System to conduct and accept a greater role. O’Connor believes in expanding the jurisdiction of State Courts. O’Connor also believes in adding in additional education programs for state judges. O’Connor says additional programs will cost money. O’Connor says training programs are vital in the criminal justice system for prosecutors and defense counsel. O’Connor says the legal system works at the trial and appellate level, only if there are capable lawyers representing both sides. O’Connor says having skilled defense counsel and prosecutors takes training.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) discusses federal funding for legal personnel within the State Court System. Senator DeConcini asks if it troubles O’Connor that there would be federal assistance in the State Courts. O’Connor says it does not.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) turns to the issue of abortion. Senator DeConcini asks for O’Connor’s personal opinion on abortions. O’Connor says her personal views have no place in the resolution of any legal issues. O’Connor believes a judge must set aside their personal opinions. O’Connor cites her own abhorrence of abortion as a remedy. O’Connor says abortion is not a practice she would engage in. O’Connor says she does not want to criticize those who have had abortions, nor those who support abortion. O’Connor recognizes that abortion is a sensitive issue. O’Connor says her view may be the product of her own upbringing, her religion, background and family values. O’Connor has held her own personal views on the subject of abortion for many years. DeConcini expresses his appreciation of O’Connor’s response to a difficult subject.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) brings up the impeachment process allowing Congress to remove a federal judge from office. Senator DeConcini says there is almost a total lack of supervision over federal judges. DeConcini discusses judicial impeachment and the separation of powers. DeConcini discusses the possibility of giving the Judicial Branch power to supervise and remove its own judges. DeConcini believes it is unfair to allow incompetent judges to continue to hear cases. DeConcini asks O’Connor’s opinion on the possibility of creating judicial discipline within the Judicial Branch. O’Connor speaks from her experience as a State Court Judge. As a State Court Judge, O’Connor has been subject to periodic review by the Electorate. O’Connor says the review process has been satisfactory for her and helpful.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor answering questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee. O’Connor says Arizona also incorporates a commission that is charged reviewing of the capacity of judges alleged to be incapacitated. O’Connor says the commission can carry out discipline or removal of judges. O’Connor cannot say whether Arizona’s system will work at the federal level. O’Connor says there would need to be a review of any proposals for Constitutional issues. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) says many states have adopted systems similar to Arizona. Senator DeConcini discusses O’Connor’s role in the Arizona State Legislator when the review system for judges was adopted. O’Connor discusses her support for the Arizona system. DeConcini discusses the Constitutionality of a performance review system for Federal Judges, mentioning the Judicial Tenure Act. DeConcini say the Judicial Tenure Act is the beginning for a review process in the Federal Court System, mentioning its support from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. DeConcini say the U.S. Supreme is excluded from the Judicial Tenure Act. DeConcini discusses the impracticality of the Judicial Impeachment process in the present day.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) continues discussing the difficulties of the Judicial Impeachment process. Senator DeConcini asks how one might assure citizens they can be heard when a judge is incompetent. DeConcini discusses the misbehavior of judges and the Good Behavior Clause. DeConcini asks O’Connor if she supports a judicial performance review approach on the federal level. O’Connor says yes, her experience at the state level has been positive. O’Connor discusses the notion that the Executive Branch is a faceless bureaucracy. O’Connor says a tenured judge who is not subject to review can be a frustration for the common citizen. O’Connor says she can appreciate considerations that have been given to the review of a judge’s performance, but refrains from discussing Constitutional issues and practicality. DeConcini thanks O’Connor. Judiciary Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (D-AZ) asks O’Connor if she needs a break. O’Connor says she can carry on.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) recognizes U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Senator Leahy turns to the issue of the Exclusionary Rule. Leahy asks if a judge made rule on a Constitutional issue can be considered to be of Constitutional dimension. O’Connor says there are Constitutional implications for the Exclusionary Rule under the Fourth Amendment. O’Connor says the search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment cannot be violated. O’Connor says the Fourth Amendment is applicable to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment. O’Connor says the Exclusionary Rule applies to the use of illegally obtained evidence in court. Leahy asks for clarification on the distinction between the judge made level and the Constitutional level. O’Connor says the Constitution regards search and seizure questions, but the Exclusionary Rule applies to the utilization of evidence in courts. O’Connor says the Courts developed the utilization of evidence in courts themselves.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Year Shot:
Video:
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1981  (Actual Date)
Color
03:53:15 - 03:55:18
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10660
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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asks if the Exclusionary Rule pertains to an unconstitutionally obtained confession. O’Connor says perhaps, but she has not necessarily heard of illegally obtained confessions applying to the Exclusionary rule. O’Connor discusses the Good Faith Exception. O’Connor discusses technical errors made by law enforcement officers and an officer’s understanding of the particular facts. O’Connor has noted that Federal Courts have begun to talk about changes in these areas. Senator Leahy asks if such changes would be judge made law. O’Connor says yes.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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515511_1_27
Yes
Washington, DC, United States
Year Shot:
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Timecode:
1981  (Actual Date)
Color
03:55:18 - 03:57:33
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10660
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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) turns to the subject of Brown v. The Board of Education. Senator Leahy ties Brown to judicial activism. Leahy cites O’Connor as saying Brown did not create social policy by the Supreme Court, but was simply the Court reversing a previous decision based on new research. Leahy says the new research in Brown was not new research into the Constitution or law. O’Connor says there was an examination of the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment. O’Connor says Brown was also impacted by perceptions of social impacts. Leahy asks if there was no new knowledge of law in the regard of Brown. O’Connor says in some cases, when the Court reaches a contrary result to a previous decision; the Court does so based on the examination of the legislative history and of the intent of the framers. O’Connor says this is done to determine whether the prior decision was correct. O’Connor believes not all cases bring new evidence, but in some cases the evidence we have is reviewed. Leahy asks if Brown created social policy with far reaching implications. O’Connor says in that instance, yes.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Audio:
Location:
515511_1_28
Yes
Washington, DC, United States
Year Shot:
Video:
Timecode:
1981  (Actual Date)
Color
03:57:33 - 03:58:58
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10660
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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asks if the decision of Brown v. the Board of Education could be considered judicial or social activism. O’Connor thinks Brown was considered activism and is considered activism by many. O’Connor accepts Brown as a holding of the Supreme Court, but declines to comment too far. O’Connor says she cannot say much on Brown, because she was not part of the decision. O’Connor says Brown returned a basis created on a substantial majority decision. O’Connor says Brown found that the previous understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment was flawed. Senator Leahy asks if Brown was a correct interpretation of the Constitution and not simply a reflection of popular opinion. O’Connor says Brown has stood since 1954 and is well entrenched.

Senate Confirmation Hearings on the Appointment of Sandra...

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Audio:
Location:
515511_1_29
Yes
Washington, DC, United States
Year Shot:
Video:
Timecode:
1981  (Actual Date)
Color
03:58:58 - 04:01:48
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10660
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Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Sandra Day O’Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) brings up the Republican platform regarding popular opinion and human life. Senator Leahy believes respect for human life seems to be the main criteria for picking judges. Leahy asks if the criteria has become too narrow. O’Connor believes every possible evaluation of a potential judge should be used to place very well qualified people on the bench. O’Connor believes all aspects of a person’s character and ability should be considered. Leahy asks if popular sentiment should be criteria for a judge. O’Connor would like to think the individual characteristics, capability, the judicial temperament, and judicial capacity of person would be considered. Leahy asks if a judge should go against popular sentiment to reflect the law. O’Connor says if necessary, judges must be prepared to act with courage. Leahy asks if a judge should be prepared to go against popular sentiment to uphold the law. O’Connor says each case should approached on the facts and the applicable law. O’Connor says judges should consider the case as judges in context of the case before them with factual records, briefs and arguments of counsel. O’Connor does not think that judges are permitted to go outside the record in resolving the issues in the cases before them. Leahy discusses the outside influences judges face in their daily lives outside of the court.