[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush (2005, Book II)]
[July 16, 2005]
[Pages 1230-1232]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov]



The President's Radio Address
July 16, 2005

    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 confirmation.

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    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 homeownership in America is at an alltime high.
    To keep our economy growing and creating jobs, Congress needs to 
continue working in the upcoming weeks on our progrowth 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 workers.
    Third, Congress needs to send me a fiscally responsible highway bill 
that modernizes roads and bridges, improves safety, and opens up new job 
opportunities.
    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 grandchildren.
    The American people expect members of both parties to offer a 
positive agenda and get things done for our country. By working together 
in the weeks ahead, I am confident we will achieve positive results for 
all Americans.
    Thank you for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 7:50 a.m. on July 15 in the Cabinet 
Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on July 16. The 
transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on 
July 15 but was embargoed for release until the broadcast. The Office of 
the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this 
address.

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