Speeches

01.11.22

The Scheme 11: Faculty Lounge Report

Mr. President, I am here to speak for the 11th time in my series discussing the scheme through which a bunch of big, anonymous donors captured our Supreme Court. Today, I am going to talk about the Biden Supreme Court commission, which could have done a useful, even authoritative investigation of the scheme and all its terrible effects at the Court but which, regrettably, ended up as an exercise in ineffectual time-killing. I have laid out the scheme in detail in earlier speeches in this serie… Continue Reading


12.09.21

The Scheme 10: Climate Obstruction and The Scheme

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, it is a pleasure, and I appreciate my friend, Senator BLUNT. I am here today to rise for the 10th time to talk about the rightwing scheme to capture our Supreme Court. As the Presiding Officer knows, I have delivered a lot of speeches on the Senate floor, and a majority of them- 279 of them, to be precise-addressed climate change. These were my ''Time to Wake Up'' speeches, many of which focused on the network of phony front groups and trade associations used b… Continue Reading


11.16.21

Scheme Speech 9: Amicus Flotillas

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today for now the ninth time to unmask the rightwing, dark money scheme to capture our Supreme Court. I say ''capture'' in the sense of regulatory capture, an Agency capture-a well-known phenomenon. Today, I turn to an important tool of the scheme's apparatus: the orchestrated amicus curiae brief. So, first things first, amicus-or friend of the court-briefs are an important instrument in our judicial system. They help those who aren't parties to a case to … Continue Reading


10.29.21

The Scheme 8: Tu Quoque (You Too)

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss again the scheme by rightwing donor interests to capture and control our Supreme Court, just like big industries have captured and controlled regulatory agencies through history. In these speeches, I have covered the origins, motivations, and central players in the scheme; and, today, I am here to respond to a little bit of counterprogramming from the scheme. So, obviously, Job 1, if you have captured an agency, is to pretend it is not cap… Continue Reading


09.20.21

The Scheme Speech 7: Brett Kavanaugh

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I return to the Senate floor to again discuss the scheme to capture our Supreme Court; in this case, it will be through the lens of how recent Justices got on the Court. And I will choose Brett Kavanaugh. I think we all remember the famous list-the Federalist Society list-that Donald Trump promised to follow in Supreme Court appointments. The first interesting thing about Brett Kavanaugh is that he was not on the list of candidates that Donald Trump had offered … Continue Reading


08.05.21

The Scheme Speech 6: Judicial Crisis Network

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, these speeches on the scheme by dark money interests to seize control of the Supreme Court are designed to describe it in all its repulsive intricacy. My last speech discussed an operation in this scheme within the Federalist Society. This speech will take you literally down the hall from the Federalist Society to something called the Judicial Crisis Network, or JCN. They share the same purpose, the same hallway, and likely the same controlling donors. Remember D… Continue Reading


07.27.21

The Scheme Speech 5: The Federalist Society

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am here once again to shed a little light on the dark money scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. As folks may recall, my first two speeches covered the early foundation of this scheme--a prominent conservative lawyer Lewis Powell's detailed strategy memo for the corporate U.S. Chamber of Commerce and then Justice Lewis Powell's work on the Court to assure his corporate power strategy's success. From there, I turned to what historian Richard Hofstett… Continue Reading


07.13.21

The Scheme 4: A New Constitutional Right for Dark Money

Mr. President, this series of "Scheme'' speeches is designed to chronicle a long-running, covert scheme to capture the Supreme Court. Regulatory Agencies have often and notoriously been captured by regulated interests. There is a whole doctrine of regulatory capture found in economics and administrative law that revolves around this history of the regulatory capture of administrative Agencies. So, if you can capture administrative Agencies to serve special interests, why not capture a court? Th… Continue Reading


06.22.21

The Scheme 3: Latent Virus

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am delighted to follow the majority leader and his strong remarks about the beginning of the process of passing S. 1, not only to deal with the question of voting rights but to deal with the question of the dark money plague that is infesting our democracy and taking the power over decision making in this body and in this building away from regular people and putting it into the hands of not only special interests but of special interests who are happy to operate… Continue Reading


06.21.21

Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on the For the People Act

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I want to speak briefly this evening about S. 1, the Senate version of H.R. 1, the democracy reform bill that we are going to be considering moving to proceed to this week, and I hope we will be able to show a unified Democratic Caucus moving to proceed. It is often described as the voting rights bill, and it is described that way with good justification because there are some very, very important protections that are built into it to protect the voting rights o… Continue Reading


06.10.21

Gaspee Raid Speech

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I am here for one of my favorite days of the year on the Senate floor because today is the 249th anniversary of the Gaspee raid. I can only imagine what I am going to do next year when it is the 250th anniversary of the Gaspee raid. I may bring pyrotechnics onto the Senate floor, in violation of every rule. The Gaspee raid is what Rhode Island abolitionist and writer Frances Whipple McDougall called the ``first blood'' drawn in America's struggle for independence… Continue Reading


06.08.21

The Scheme 2: Powell on the Court

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, in my opening speech about the rightwing scheme to capture the Court, the Supreme Court, I described the secret strategy memo that Lewis Powell wrote on the eve of his appointment to the Court about how to deploy corporate political power. As a Justice of the Supreme Court, Powell had the chance to prove to the corporate world his secret memo's theory of what could be achieved by ``exploiting judicial action''--his phrase--particularly with, as he called it, ``a… Continue Reading


05.27.21

The Scheme 1: The Powell Memo

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, there is a scheme afoot, a scheme I will be talking about in weeks ahead - a long-running, right-wing scheme to capture the Supreme Court. Special interests are behind the scheme. They control it through dark money - hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous hidden spending. We will dwell in later speeches on how the scheme operates. This first speech seeks its origins. The scheme is secret, and because of its secrecy, it is hard to know exactly where the sto… Continue Reading


05.27.21

Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on Kristen Clarke and Voting Rights

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, here we go again. Just a few weeks ago, the Senate debated Vanita Gupta's nomination for Associate Attorney General, so let's review the bidding from that. Gupta was eminently qualified for her role. She had support from the foremost law enforcement leaders and groups in the country. She had proven herself handling high-level government responsibilities. But Republicans set their hair on fire trying to take Ms. Gupta down. They grasped for something, anything, to … Continue Reading


04.15.21

Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on Kristen Clarke, Vanita Gupta, and Voting Rights

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am here to express my support for the nomination of Vanita Gupta to serve as Associate Attorney General. It is a little strange here on the floor today because under normal circumstances I would talk about Ms. Gupta's exemplary record of service and how she will excel as the third in command of the Department of Justice and that she would be a consensus nominee. But the extraordinary effort to scuttle her nomination on a partisan basis in spite of her exemplary r… Continue Reading


03.23.21

Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on Dark Money and the DISCLOSE Act

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I pick up where Senator Van Hollen left off because, when he was fighting for the DISCLOSE Act in the House, I was the manager of that bill on the floor here in the Senate. It would do something very simple. If you are spending more than $10,000 in an election, we ought to know who you are. That is pretty easy. It is not going to rope in lots of small donors. It will get the big interests who are out there trying to control our democracy and hide who they are whil… Continue Reading


03.15.21

Nomination of Debra Anne Haaland

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I am here to say a few words on behalf of Deb Haaland to be Secretary of the Interior. There is something wonderfully beautiful and symmetrical about her appointment to this position because of the Department of the Interior's role supervising America's public lands. Well, of course, before America's public lands were America's public lands, they were Native American lands, and Deb Haaland will be the first Native American to serve in any President's Cabinet and… Continue Reading


01.27.21

Time to Wake Up 279: Finale

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am particularly glad to see the senior Senator from New Mexico presiding on what, for me, is a sentimental moment, because he has been such a terrific friend and colleague and advocate in the battle of climate change. I am here today because, at last, it is time to say farewell to my battered ``Time to Wake Up'' image board here and to a run of more than 275 weekly climate speeches. It has been one of the Senate's longer runs, I believe, but I think it is time t… Continue Reading


12.15.20

Time to Wake Up 278: Save Our Seas Act 2.0 Colloquy

Madam President, while Senator Grassley is on the floor, I would thank him for his remarks about the First Step Act and let him know that on the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with him to continue to advance that. As the Senate knows, the Grassley-Durbin segment and the Cornyn- Whitehouse segment were the two key pieces of that bill, and it is terrific to hear the Senator and our chairman at the time chose support to continue that work. So I am grateful. What I would like to do… Continue Reading


12.09.20

Time to Wake Up 277: Donors Trust

Mr. President, I mentioned recently in one of these speeches that an identity-laundering group called Donors Trust decided to do a letter to the editor of my home State paper asserting that they were just as innocent as newborn lambs. The Center for Media and Democracy has recently obtained the IRS form 990 for calendar 2019 for this little lamb, Donors Trust, and it has some fascinating findings. Donors Trust took in a total of $312 million in donations in 2019-- nearly a third of a billion d… Continue Reading

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