Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer

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This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 16, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the personal story segment tonight there's little doubt Judge John Roberts (search) will be confirmed as the Supreme Court (search) chief justice, perhaps by the end of the month. The judge has done very well under some withering questioning, and with us now is one of those interrogators, Senator Chuck Schumer from New York.

You're going to vote for him.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: I'm not sure. I really haven't made up my mind.

O'REILLY: I'm betting you're voting for him.

SCHUMER: You might be right. You might be.

O'REILLY: You know why? You know why? You're a fair man. He did very well. He's a patriot. He has no ideological axe to grind. He's an honest patriot, and you're going to vote for him.

SCHUMER: Well, I'll tell you, I think he — first, he's the most brilliant person who ever came before us. He sat through there for three days, no notes. No one passed him a piece of paper. No one whispered in his ear.

The thing that I like best about him, he's a lawyer. He loves the law; he's devoted his life to the law. Bill, I don't like ideologues on the bench. I don't like far right ideologues. I don't like Thomas or Scalia. They want to use the courts to change America.

I don't like left wing ideologues. I think the Warren court did go too far, and it spawned a conservative movement to control the courts that now has — is doing what it criticized the Warren court for dong.

O'REILLY: So you must be outraged about this judge in California...


O'REILLY: ... throwing out the Pledge of Allegiance (search)?

SCHUMER: Judges like that make things very bad for Democrats. I don't like that judge.

O'REILLY: Good for you, good for you, because that's not what this country is all about.

SCHUMER: Of course not.

O'REILLY: So that's why I know you're going to vote for...

SCHUMER: Well, we'll see. The thing I'll say against him is he did not answer a whole lot of questions. Now that's in his interest.

O'REILLY: Nobody is going to do that. You guys are gotcha guys. You're playing a gotcha game.

SCHUMER: Let me phrase it a different way. I'm not playing a gotcha game. I don't think — I want to find out. If he's a Scalia or Thomas, I don't want to vote for him.

O'REILLY: OK, here you go, if I'm Roberts...

SCHUMER: Yes, go ahead.

O'REILLY: ... you ask me whatever you want and I'll tell you.


O'REILLY: Go ahead, go.

SCHUMER: What I want to know, Judge, is — and this is, well, it's arcane. The Commerce Clause, which we — since the 1940's has built up the federal government, Rehnquist, your mentor began to cut it back.

O'REILLY: The Commerce Clause (search).

SCHUMER: Yes, what do you think?

O'REILLY: I don't know anything about it. What's in...

SCHUMER: He didn't say that.

O'REILLY: See, I'm an honest judge. I don't know about the Commerce Clause. And...

SCHUMER: You can't ask a judge — he is right about this. You can't ask a judge about what they'll do in the future. Will you overturnRoe vs. Wade (search)?

O'REILLY: What you — will you overturn Roe vs. Wade?

SCHUMER: You can't ask him that.

O'REILLY: OK, but I'll tell you what he's thinking.

SCHUMER: Go ahead.

O'REILLY: You want to know what he's thinking? I know this guy, and I...

SCHUMER: Go ahead. Go ahead.

O'REILLY: He's not going to — he's not going to campaign to overthrow Roe vs. Wade. Not going to do that, all right?

But you're not going to get rulings from him that allow unfettered partial birth abortion. You're not going to get rulings from him that allow parents not to know that their 12-, 13-, 14-year-old girls are having an abortion. You're not going to get those extreme rulings from him.

He's going to keep the basic tenet of what the court has ruled in the past intact.


O'REILLY: But he's not going to allow the loons who want anything goes to rule.

SCHUMER: Right. You think he's going to — there's something called the constitutional and exile movement. Cut the federal government back to the way it was before the New Deal (search). Will he go for that?


SCHUMER: Good. That's my No. 1 question.

O'REILLY: Because look, who's the biggest spender on poverty entitlements in the history of the country, which administration?

SCHUMER: Probably Nixon.

O'REILLY: No, the Bush administration.

SCHUMER: Because of now, yes.

O'REILLY: The Bush administration is spending more money on poverty entitlements — we had that on earlier this week — than any president. He makes Lyndon Johnson (search) look like a scrooge.

SCHUMER: You're right. You know, people don't realize it. Well, most of the time. But he — the Democrats, these days...


SCHUMER: ... are more fiscally moderate in terms of balancing the budget...

O'REILLY: Than Bush.

SCHUMER: ... than the Republicans.

O'REILLY: Bush has outspent any Democrat you can get in there.

SCHUMER: You bet. He hasn't vetoed a bill. He never tells us now, but yes, yes, yes.

O'REILLY: All right. What else do want you to know about Roberts?

SCHUMER: OK. I also want to know about Roberts, will he continue to protect the right for privacy? What people do among themselves should be their own business?

O'REILLY: What people do among themselves, their own business, unless it impacts the public health...

SCHUMER: All right. Fair enough.

O'REILLY: ... or the public safety.


O'REILLY: Or privacy doesn't trump life. Privacy doesn't trump life.


O'REILLY: So you can't say, "Because I don't want to have the child and the umbilical cord is still attached I can cut the child's head off." Sorry.

SCHUMER: Right. But the court has ruled that — and I wasn't asking about abortion. I was much more asking about two consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom.

O'REILLY: The Texas decision.

SCHUMER: There's a Texas decision. There's a whole bunch.

O'REILLY: Does he strike you as a bedroom zealot?

SCHUMER: He does not.

O'REILLY: No, so he's not going to do that.

SCHUMER: But — but he does — he's — what he is, I think, and I don't know this. I'm trying to figure it out. He is a conservative but a mainstream conservative. He's that, he'll get most Democratic votes.

O'REILLY: He's a — he's a traditionalist. There's a difference — look, the press has now made it a war between liberals and conservatives in this country. That's not fair.

SCHUMER: Yes. Right.

O'REILLY: It's between traditionalists, and he's one...

SCHUMER: Right, right.

O'REILLY: ... and secular progressives, who do want a dramatic change in the way that the country runs. That's the war. He's a traditionalist. He's not going to come in...

SCHUMER: Where's Scalia? Where's Thomas?

O'REILLY: Scalia and Thomas are basically no government guys.

SCHUMER: Right. So they're not traditionalists?

O'REILLY: Well, they come at it from a different point of view, in the sense that Scalia is very spiritual, as you know, but basically those two guys they say, "We don't want the government involved."

SCHUMER: In anything.

O'REILLY: We'll let the states do it and that's why you got the Texas privacy law passed. You should like these guys.

SCHUMER: Well, the problem with the Scalias and the Thomases, in my judgment, is they're ideologues. They hate the federal government. They will use the courts to overrule the legislature, to overrule the will of the people. Roberts says that judges should be — yes, it's true.

O'REILLY: But I haven't seen it. See, if you can give me an example how Scalia and Thomas have overruled the rule of the law.

SCHUMER: Thomas says...

O'REILLY: In what area?

SCHUMER: I'll give you an example. Thomas says commerce, what we talked about before...

O'REILLY: The Commerce Clause.

SCHUMER: ... if it doesn't cross — the item itself doesn't cross into state lines you can't regulate it. No one says that.

O'REILLY: All right. So maybe you're right. I have to prove ignorance on that issue.

SCHUMER: Fair enough.

O'REILLY: I'm glad you're going to vote for Judge Roberts.

SCHUMER: Don't put words in my mouth.

O'REILLY: You heard it here first, big exclusive. Here he is.

SCHUMER: Carnac O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: You want to put money on it. I bet a big dinner.

SCHUMER: Well, I'm not betting anything.

O'REILLY: There you go. You heard it, again. Always a pleasure to see you, you're always welcome here.

SCHUMER: Thank you.

O'REILLY: And tell, you know, Senator Clinton I'd love to see her here, too. This isn't such a bad place. You had a good time.

SCHUMER: I've always enjoyed your show. I think you're fair. I don't think that everyone on FOX is fair. You are.

O'REILLY: I am fair, and I'm balanced most of the time.

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