WASHINGTON, July 16 LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The following is a transcript of the
radio address by President Bush to the nation:
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Under the Constitution, I have the
responsibility to nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day
O’Connor. This past week I met with Democratic and Republican leaders in the
United States Senate and sought their views on the process, and their thoughts
on the qualities to look for in a potential nominee. Also, my staff has
talked with more than 60 members of the United States Senate. Members of the
Senate are receiving a full opportunity to provide their opinions and
recommendations, and I appreciate their advice.
I will be guided by clear principles as I make my decision. My nominee
will be a fair-minded individual who represents the mainstream of American law
and American values. The nominee will meet the highest standards of
intellect, character, and ability, and will pledge to faithfully interpret the
Constitution and laws of our country. Our nation deserves, and I will select,
a Supreme Court justice that Americans can be proud of.
The American people also expect a Senate confirmation process that rises
above partisanship. When I met with Senate leaders, we discussed our shared
goal of making sure that the confirmation process is dignified. The nominee
deserves fair treatment, a fair hearing, and a fair vote. I will make my
nomination in a timely manner so the nominee can be confirmed before the start
of the Court’s new term in October.
The experiences of the two justices nominated by President Clinton provide
useful examples of fair treatment and a reasonable timetable for Senate
action. In 1993, the Senate voted on and confirmed Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg to the Supreme Court 42 days after President Clinton submitted her
nomination. And despite the significant philosophical differences many
senators had with Justice Ginsburg, she received 96 votes in favor of
The following year, Justice Stephen Breyer was confirmed 73 days after his
nomination was submitted, with 87 votes in his favor. Again, Republican
senators in large numbers voted for confirmation of Justice Breyer despite
significant philosophical differences. These examples show that the thorough
consideration of a nominee does not require months of delay.
As we continue the process to fill the opening on the Supreme Court, we
are also moving forward on other important priorities for the American
people. This past week, we received more good news on the economy. The 2005
deficit is projected to be $94 billion less than previously expected. I told
the Congress and the country we would cut the deficit in half by 2009. This
week’s numbers show that we are ahead of pace, so long as Congress acts wisely
with taxpayer dollars.
This good news on the budget is coupled with other news that shows the
economy is strong and getting stronger. Our economy is growing faster than
any other major industrialized nation. The unemployment rate is down to 5
percent, lower than the average rate of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. We have
created more than 2 million jobs in the past 12 months. More Americans are
working today than ever before in our nation’s history, and home ownership in
America is at an all-time high.
To keep our economy growing and creating jobs, Congress needs to continue
working in the upcoming weeks on our pro-growth economic agenda. First, for
the sake of our economic security and our national security, the Congress must
complete its work on a good energy bill that will reduce our dependence on
foreign sources of energy.
Second, the House needs to follow the Senate’s lead by approving the
Central American and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. By lowering
trade barriers for our exports, this agreement will level the playing field
for America’s goods, services and crops, and help create jobs for American
Third, Congress needs to send me a fiscally responsible highway bill that
modernizes roads and bridges, improves safety and opens up new job
Finally, Congress needs to move forward with Social Security reform. For
those of you who were born before 1950, Social Security will not change. But
the system has made promises to our younger workers that it cannot pay for.
And the cost of fixing the system grows higher with every year we wait. So
Congress needs to act now to strengthen Social Security for our children and