The Supreme Court, of course, has the responsibility of ensuring that our government never oversteps its proper bounds or violates the rights of individuals. But the Court must also recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people.
I do not espouse the unitarian position. President Clinton's assertion of directive authority over administration, more than President Reagan's assertion of a general supervisory authority, raises serious constitutional questions.
It's not that there are no masters, but that there are many. And the job of the solicitor general is to balance those masters and to accommodate them all, each in their proper places, wisely and well and in so doing to represent the people of the United States.
When the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues, the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce, and the Senate becomes incapable of either properly evaluating nominees or appropriately educating the public.
It was a very cool thing to be a smart girl, as opposed to some other, different kind. And I think that made a great deal of difference to me growing up and in my life afterward.
I owe a debt of gratitude to two other living Justices. Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg paved the way for me and so many other women in my generation. Their pioneering lives have created boundless possibilities for women in the law. I thank them for their inspiration and also for the personal kindnesses they have shown me.
I've led a school whose faculty and students examine and discuss and debate every aspect of our law and legal system. And what I've learned most is that no one has a monopoly on truth or wisdom. I've learned that we make progress by listening to each other, across every apparent political or ideological divide.
I have no regrets. I don't believe in looking back. What I am proudest of? Working really hard... and achieving as much as I could.
I think the nine justices think the solicitor general is the 35th clerk.
What my political views or my constitutional views are just doesn't matter.
I think that if there are positions that you can't argue... then the responsibility is probably to resign. If one's own conscience is opposed to the requirements and responsibilities of the job, then it's time to leave the job.
To have the opportunity to lead the Solicitor General's office is the honor of a lifetime. As you know, this is an office with a long and rich tradition, not only of extraordinary legal skill but also of extraordinary professionalism and integrity. That is due, in large measure, to the people who have led it.
If I am confirmed, I will commit to show Heller and the principles articulated in it the full measure of respect that is due to all constitution decisions of the court.
In fact, corporate and union moneys go overwhelmingly to incumbents, so limiting that money, as Congress did in the campaign finance law, may be the single most self-denying thing that Congress has ever done.
And what my constitutional values are are wholly irrelevant to the job, and so neither you nor anyone else will know what they are.