Franken: I have done that; I keep reintroducing the bill.
Franken now talking about Wells Fargo bank problems. When customers tried to sue WF for sham accounts, company argued that any dispute about sham account was covered by arbitration clause in real account.
Franken: If a suit could have proceeded in court, other customers would have been alerted to problem with sham account, perhaps could have done something about it.
Franken: This doesn't just hurt customers, but also hurts employees.
Franken: Would you agree that openness is a critical aspect of a jury trial?
Gorsuch: I believe in the Seventh Amendment. I believe in all of them.
Gorsuch: So many virtues, and transparency is one of them.
Franken: So glad to hear that, because Roberts Court has closed the jury to employees and to customers. Frankly, there is so much at stake here.
Franken: If there are no Democratic or Republican judges, what was Merrick Garland about? It was about let's leave this up to the election.
[Kind of an abrupt segue from forced arbitration to Merrick Garland, but Franken is running with it.]
Franken: I thlnk I have a thought. [Deep thought?]
Franken: This is really about something. My colleagues on the other side say we're making something up, but we're really trying to figure out whether we are going to see a continuation of this pro-corporate bias, big money in politics like Citizens United.
Senator Ben Sasse, who is next, offered to give Franken a minute or so, but Grassley said he wanted to move on.
Sasse, to Franken: We may need to fix this problem, but I don't know what it has to do with Supreme Court justices.
Grassley: The problem is lawyers get paid a lot more in court than in arbitration.
Sasse: One of the only non-lawyers on the Judiciary Committee (him) got slapped by the senior non-lawyer (Grassley). Nebraska is going to beat Iowa in football this year.
Grassley: That's what you think.
Sasse is entering letter from Gorsuch's former students into record.
[Summary: They like him a lot.]
Also entering letter from Judge Gorsuch''s classmates at Columbia, where he did his undergraduate degree.
Sasse: People know that you will be confirmed. Comments like Nancy Pelosi's re detrimental effect of Gorsuch confirmation are absurd. Real danger in not condemning those remarks.
Sasse: I hope that some of the folks on the other side of the aisle will do so.
Sasse: The vote for you should be overwhelming. If it looks like it breaks down on party lines, that will reflect poorly on the institution.
Sasse: Will you comment on interplay between Article I and Article II of Constitution working together to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court justice?
Sasse: what do you think are the hardest questions?
Gorsuch: Respectfully will have to decline to answer.
Gorsuch is talking about American history, going to Philadelphia. Founders recognized that it is about "we the people." The people are sovereign.
Sasse: As a justice interpreting U.S. Constitution, is it ever appropriate to look to foreign law?
Gorsuch: If you have a choice-of-law provision in a contract or a treaty, maybe. But when you are talking about interpreting the Constitution of the US, we have our own tradition and our own history.
Sasse: What role does the Declaration of Independence play in interpreting the Constitution?
Gorsuch: It's an amazing document. It was a death warrant if they failed.
Gorsuch just said "bigly." Sasse pointed it out. Says Sasse also just won five dollars.
Gorsuch: You just embarassed me in front of my nephew.
Sasse: He's the one paying me the five bucks.
Pretty sure I see Sen. Joe Manchin in here. He is a Dem considered a potential yes vote on Gorsuch
Sasse is finished up. So now we are going to have a ten-minute break.
Chris Coons of Delaware is next.
Grassley: We will do what's been done for the last 30-40 years. We will have a closed session and then reconvene. For the third round, we would allow 15 minutes but hope you could use less.
Grassley: I hope not everyone wants a third round.
Senator Franken gets 31 seconds to say that Federal Arbitration Act was indeed passed in 1925, as Gorsuch said, rather than 1924, as Franken corrected him. He apologizes.
Grassley: That doesn't happen very often around the Senate.
Coon entering op-ed from Wash Post about someone whose mother wanted to end her life; and letter from LGBTQ groups expressing concern about Gorsuch.
Coon: I wanted to return to our discussion about privacy and the autonomy of adults to make our own decision.
Coons: You didn't mention more recent cases in which the right to privacy has been central -- Griswold, Roe, Casey, Lawrence, Obergefell. When you agreed there is a right to privacy, important to note we were talking about the same thing.
Coons: Do you agree right to privacy was an essential part of those cases' holding?