White House East Room Washington D.C. November 6 3:28 P.M. EST
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. We have another big record stock market day and another record in the stock market in the history of our country, which, to me, means jobs and a lot of other things. We're doing really well, and I just wanted to let you know. I think it's the 119th day that we've set a record. So that's good stuff. (Applause.)
So, good afternoon and thank you all for being here as we celebrate a profoundly historic milestone and a truly momentous achievement. Thanks to many of the people here today, my administration and Republicans in Congress have now confirmed more than 150 federal judges. And, to be honest with you, it's substantially higher right now than that, Mitch. It's about 159. And we should have, within the next short period of time - like two months - we should have about 182 federal judges. How's that? Good? Good? (Applause.)
And I say often: Percentage-wise, you'll never beat one man. We know who that is, right? George Washington. One hundred percent. (Laughter.) But in terms of, I'd like to say, quality and quantity, we are going to be, I think, just about number one by the time we finish - number one of any President, any administration.
So I want to thank all of you for the incredible job you've done. That's really fantastic. Thank you very much. That's a big statement. (Applause.)
And they will uphold our Constitution as written. These distinguished men and women are some of the most gifted scholars, respected jurists, and finest legal minds ever placed on the federal bench.
Together, we are restoring American freedom, defending American justice, preserving the extraordinary vision of our Founding Fathers.
We are delighted to be joined on this special occasion by Vice President Mike Pence. Thank you, Mike, very much. (Applause.) Thank you, Mike. And Attorney General Bill Barr. Thank you, Bill. (Applause.)
I want to thank some real friends of mine, too - and warriors, I have to say. Warriors. We have a lot of great warriors in our party. And it's - I think it's necessary, frankly, to be a warrior. (Laughter.) If you're not, you've got a problem, right?
But I want to thank Chairman Lindsey Graham. Lindsey, thank you very much. Great. (Applause.) A very special man - a man that's so popular in his state, I don't even think they're going to run anybody against him anymore - they've given that up - Chuck Grassley. Right, Chuck? (Applause.)
And also with us are Senator John Cornyn. I looked at your polls. Nobody is beating you, John. Nobody. And you don't have to worry about Beto anymore, that's for sure. (Laughter.) From Texas. He doesn't like guns, religion, or oil. (Laughter.) He knocked out all three categories. Somehow, in Texas, that won't work. I don't think that works anywhere, Josh. What do you think? That doesn't work anywhere. (Applause.) Good.
John Cornyn. Mike Lee. Mike, thank you very much. (Applause.) Senator Ted Cruz - also Texas. Thank you, Senator. Thanks, Ted. (Applause.) Senator Thom Tillis. Thom, thank you very much. (Applause.) Senator Ben Sasse. Ben. Great. Great to have you, Ben. (Applause.) And Senator Marsha Blackburn. Marsha, thank you. Great job you're doing. (Applause.) And Josh Hawley, our young star. He's a young star. Thank you, Josh. (Applause.) Thank you. Great job, everybody.
In addition, the nation owes an immense debt of gratitude to a man whose leadership has been instrumental to our success. It's so important to him. And that's - he always mentioned it - number-one point. I've always heard, actually, that when you become President, the most - single most important thing you can do is federal judges. They say Supreme Court judges, but we have them, too. But federal judges. And, you know, based on that, I think there's nobody that's done a better job ever than Senator Mitch McConnell. (Applause.) True. True. Stand up, Mitch. Stand up. Come on. Stand up. (Applause.)
You know, I always get up and I talk about the economy, the economy. I'm always talking. They never write about it, but that's okay. The people get it. But Mitch will then follow me; he'll talk about judges, always. And it's great what you've done. Incredible. The impact is truly amazing. Thank you very much.
We also, as you know, we have two great Supreme Court judges, so that's in addition to what will be 182 judges. And then we go by what I call normalization, after you get 182. But our Supreme Court judges are great gentlemen. It was so easy to get them confirmed, right? (Laughter.) One in particular. Nobody has ever had to go through that. And I have great respect for both of them. So, we appreciate it, Mitch. Great job.
Generations from now, Americans will know that Mitch McConnell helped save the constitutional rule of law in America. It's true. It's for a long time.
I also want to thank Pat Cipollone and his phenomenal team at the White House Counsel's Office, along with our Office of Legal Policy. Where is Pat? Where is Pat? Stand up, Pat. Come on. (Applause.) He's the strong, silent type. Strong. He's very strong, silent. Great job you've done. Very great. I'd always - I always wanted to be the strong, silent type, but it never worked out for me, Lindsey. (Laughter.) Never worked out. I want to be, but it doesn't seem to work that way.
But the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice, and the many friends and legal luminaries who have supported all of those nominees, and to all of the rest of you in the room - some incredible people in this room, great friends.
In their great wisdom and genius, the Framers of the Constitution separated government power into three branches. Congress writes the laws. The executive enforces the law. And the judicial branch provides an impartial interpretation of the law as it applies to any case before them. This system was designed to protect citizens against the unjust concentration of governmental power.
And I do say, I think we're going through a very interesting time right now, if you must know. More interesting than at most other times. When judges assume the role of a legislature, the rights of all citizens are threatened.
The great English jurist, William Blackstone, warned that if the judicial power were "joined with the legislative, then life, liberty, and property...would be in the hands of arbitrary judges whose decisions would be then regulated only by their opinion, and not by any fundamental principles of law."
In other words, the impartial and objective judge, who is a faithful servant of the law, is essential to the survival of American liberty. So it's really something. It's really something that you've all done. This is such a big moment in our history.
And I think what I'm going to do is, as we go along, I'm going to ask a couple of you to say a few words, if that's okay, because I think it's appropriate. It wasn't in the schedule, but I think it's very appropriate to have a few speak. You have to promise it's going to be very quick and short - (laughter) - because the media won't stand for anything else. (Laughter.) But I would like to get your views. I think it would be very interesting for all of us.
In recent decades, our system has been under relentless attack by the left-wing activists who want to take the powers of the elected branches and give that power to unelected federal judges. They want to impose by judicial decree what they failed to win at the ballot box. Does that sound familiar to anybody? (Laughter.) That's really familiar.
When judges write policy instead of applying the law, they impose sweeping changes on millions of Americans without the benefit of legislative debate, public rulemaking, or the consent of the governed. As a result, these highly political rulings inflict painful damage on our security, society, and economy, imposing unworkable edicts on businesses, workers, families, and law enforcements, really, alike. They give many, many bad nights to many, many people, including Presidents. Including Presidents. But we power through it. We have no choice.
I will do everything in my power to halt judicial activism and to ensure the law is upheld equally, fairly, and without political prejudice for all of our citizens.
So, I'd like to - before going any further, I'd like to maybe start off - I think it would be appropriate if we start off with Mitch to just say a couple of words and how he feels about where we are and what we're doing.
And we're going to go through a couple of our friends, if you don't mind. And to me, it will be very interesting.
Mitch? Mitch McConnell. Thanks. (Applause.)
Well, Mr. President, I'm reminded of Election Night, when I realized that not only had you won but we had taken the House, we had held the Senate, and this was going to be one of those unusual periods where Republicans had all three branches. To show you how unusual that is, you go back 100 years - only about 20 of the last 100 years has our Party had all three.
So we got a chance to set the agenda, just an opportunity to move the ball in the right direction. What's the most important thing? Clearly, it was the Supreme Court. You had been helped enormously by a decision that I made - and these guys will back me up - not to let President Obama fill that Scalia vacancy on the way out the door. (Applause.)
And, boy, you didn't blow it. Neil Gorsuch is an all-star, isn't he? (Applause.) And the President alluded to that easy confirmation we had with Brett Kavanaugh. You made a great choice, Mr. President. And it's not just that. The circuit courts, where 99 percent of litigation stops, are full of bright, young men and women who believe in the quaint notion that maybe the job of a judge is to follow the law.
Read the entire transcript HERE
You can visit a collection of all White House posts by clicking here.