tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN June 25, 2015 7:00am-8:01am PDT
could be as many as 24,000 missing e-mails from former irs official lois lerner. that's in addition to the 1,000 previously missing e-mails from their investigation -- that their investigation uncovered so far. she was at the center of the allegation the agency targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" starts now. and good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. we're waiting right now on two important decisions from the u.s. supreme court. the justices expected to deliver rulings on same-sex marriage and obamacare either today tomorrow or monday. we'll let you know as soon as they come in. but we begin in charleston south carolina where one hour from now mother emanuel will lay to rest the first of her nine parishioners gunned down last week in that horrific attack.
funeral services for ethel lance will begin at 11:00 a.m. eastern. also next hour the first of two viewings for the reverend and state senator clementa pinckney. the earlier viewing will be at his home church in rich laendland -- ridgeland. >> reporter: good morning, two of the victims of this massacre will be having their funerals today. the first will be ethel lance. she was 70 years old when she died. the other funeral services will be for reverend sharonda coleman singleton singleton. tonight at mother emanuel there will be a viewing of reverend clementa pinckney's body. yesterday thousands of people showed up at the state capitol to show their respects where he was lying in state. now, we're also learning a little bit more about reverend pinckney's funeral. we know that large delegation a
bipartisan delegation will be traveling from washington to charleston tomorrow for the funeral, and we also have heard that the president has begun drafting his eulogy the eulogy that he will be delivering during the service. his speech will focus primarily on the tragedy that happened here and celebrating the nine lives that were lost but the white house has not ruled out, carol, the pocketssibility that the president could speak about some of the controversial issue that is have come to the forefront since the tragedy that happened here perhaps talking about the confederate flag and maybe even gun control, carol. >> all right. alina machado reporting live from charleston. turning now to the manhunt for the two killers on the run. a second prison employee is now charged in their escape and he's already out of jail. the prison guard gene palmer posted bond overnight on charges he helped the killers escape maybe without even knowing it. according to prosecutors, palmer gave the inmates a screwdriver and pliers to fix electrical breakers in the cat walk behind
their cells. those killers would later use that cat walk to escape. palmer is accused of providing the contraband and then trying to cover it up. an official familiar with the investigation says police found those tools at palmer's home along with paintings he allegedly accepted from the men as payment. after the escape palmer alleged allegedly burned or buried the paintings to destroy the evidence. let's get more on this boris sanchez is live in owls head new york. good morning, boris. >> reporter: good morning, carol. palmer obviously posting bail this morning. he's accused of unintentionally helping these inmates. he's facing three felony counts one of promoting prison contraband two charges of tampering with evidence. he's also facing a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct. he could face a maximum of seven years behind bars. he's also due in court later
today. >> joyce mitchell's bond was $200,000. why the huge discrepancy? >> reporter: it likely has to do with intention. palmer's lawyer claims his client didn't know that there was a plan to escape. he says he didn't know that there were tools inside that frozen meats he passed along. mitchell is alleged to have put the tools in the meat and alleged to have made plans to pick up the inmates once they finally got out of the prison. >> tell me more about these paintings authorities said were in palmer's house. he burned some of them and then buried some of them in his backyard? >> reporter: yeah. investigators say that after the inmates escaped, palmer tried to burn several of the paintings that were given to him by the inmates. he also tried to bury some in the woods near his home. investigators believe the prisoner gave him these paintings and in return palmer provided them with contraband. that's why they're considered
evidence, that's why he being charged with tampering with evidence. >> boris sanchez reporting live this morning. we're learning new details about the relationship joyce mitchell had with both escapees. an ex-inmate who served with matt and sweat in 2012 tells cnn there is no doubt in his mind that mitchell and sweat were involved. he claims mitchell would bring art supplies and food to sweat from the outside, but mitchell's attorney denies the pair was having a relationship. let's bring in former nypd sergeant joseph jackaloni. is there any doubt in your mind there was some sort of intimate relationship going on between joyce mitchell and one or both of these inmates? >> there had to be. they work in such a close environment. it's just a natural that you get so familiar with them about you this one might have taken it to the next level. >> i'm so i don't know intrigued with the right word intrigued about the paintings.
gene palmer accepted morning one painting from these inmates and he had them hanging in his house and he burned some and buried some in the backyard. >> i'm not much of an art connoisseur but taking anything from an inmate is always against the rules, at least official mis misconduct misconduct. if you just agree to take it you're committing the crime. he's got some serious issues ahead of him. >> one of the more frightening aspects of this is now authorities believe these two killers stole rifles from hunting cabins and they're now armed. how does this change the search? >> this is a real possibility. i mean all these hunting cabins guns but we haven't talked about camouflage clothing either which could be helping them evade during the daytime, too. as a law enforcement officer, this is your number one fear. we saw it with the escape with bucky phillips many years ago where he took guns and he actually killed one trooper and wounded two others. this is a real possibility and
slows down the whole thing, too. >> do you think they're still in this area? it's been 20 days now. they don't really have sur -- they're not survivalists. they don't really know what they're doing out in the woods. >> no but for instance they found this one cabin. i think we're going to find more where they're breaking in eating peanut butter or water. investigators haven't led on what they found inside that cabin. they said there were several things. they might have some other issues that we don't want to know about in the media because we don't want to let anybody else know. >> so i've been asking analysts about this for several days. the search itself seems like a wild goose chase. it's here, it's there, it's everywhere. >> it's like a whack a mole strategy. every time you get a phone call you're running hither dither and yon so to speak. you have to run down the leads. at the end of the day they will evaluate what happened and they will look back on each of the
calls. >> joe, thank you so much for being with me this morning. i appreciate it. still to come many didn't buy the boston bomber's apology before he was sentenced to death. i'll talk to one victim whose view might surprise you though. ♪ ♪ ♪ (charge music) you wouldn't hire an organist without hearing them first. charge! so why would you invest without checking brokercheck? check your broker with brokercheck. ahhh. beautiful day in baltimore where most people probably know that geico could save them money on car insurance, right? you see the thing is geico well, could help them save on boat insurance too. hey!
okay...i'm ready to come in now. hello? i'm trying my best. seriously, i'm...i'm serious. request to come ashore. geico. saving people money on more than just car insurance. this is cnn breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the united states supreme court just released one of the most anticipate anticipated, one of the most anticipated decision of this term. whether 6.5 million americans will continue receiving federal
subsidies to help buy health insurance. our correspondents and experts are all going over the opinion right now. we want to make sure we understand exactly how these supreme court justices rule. jake tapper is standing by. he's up on capitol hill near the supreme court. we'll be joining us live but as we await the result let's go to cnn's john king over at the magic wall. john set the scene for us. >> king versus burwell is the name of the case. used to be king versus sebelius. at issue is this there are health insurance subsidies in place in obamacare, the health care law, across the country for middle income americans. 34 states use federal exchanges. those states did not set up federal -- set up their own state exchanges so they used federal exchanges. 6.4 million people could be affected here. here is the argument. the argument against the subsidies is the law says established by the state, therefore those arguing the subsidies should be overturned in 34 states says the law does
not allow them in those states only the 16 states that set up their own federal exchanges should have these exchanges. the government the obama administration arguing against that says that's not what congress intended. despite maybe the awkward wording, congress intended the subsidyies to be available to all low and middle income americans across the country. republicans like to cite these numbers. they say, look a majority of americans oppose obamacare. that's not fair though. if you look at this more closely, 37% say the law is too liberal. those are opponents. favor and not liberal enough. if you add up those two, you get 58%. it's unfair to say a majority of americans oppose the law flatly because a good slice of that oppose it because they think it didn't go far enough. this is what's interesting as we head into the 2016 political year and if the court decided the subsidies are illegal, what would republicans do about it? if you look right here 88% of republicans oppose the law.
73% of democrats favor the law. so wolf as we wait for the big legal decision, whatever the court decides could impact a very big political debate heading into 2016. at the presidential level and if you look at the states if you look at the states where this comes into play these are the states that do not have state exchanges. people in these states get their subsidies through the federal exchanges. let me give you a couple five states new hampshire, pennsylvania ohio illinois and wisconsin where you have republican senate incumbents on the ballot in 2016. so if the court makes a big reversal, it would not just be a presidential issue, it would be an issue in the congressional and senate races as well. >> the ramifications of this decision by the united states supreme court, john are enormous right now. we're going through what the justices have decided. glor ya gloria borier ierger is with us. personal the political ramifications going into a presidential election campaign season they're enormous right
now as well. >> absolutely because while republicans have opposed obamacare and opposed these health care subsidies, they really don't have an alternative at this point. you have 6 million to 7 million people who receive these subsidy subsidies who would be clearly affected by this wolf and as john points out, it would be a huge political issue. 22 of the 24 republican senate seats up in the next term are in the states that don't have these subsidies, and so you would be taking something away from people that they already have and if republicans have nothing to replace it with and if they were to win, they would have a political problem on their hands. on the other hand if this were -- if this -- the subsidies were upheld, this would be a huge victory for the obama administration.
>> it would be a major victory for the obama administration gloria because this is if not the signature issue of the obama
presidency it certainly is one of the most important issues that he has gotten forward. i want to go to cnn's jake tapper up near the supreme court right now. jake we've been reviewing the decision of the supreme court. go ahead and share with our viewers what you have learned. >> reporter: well wolf what we have here is a 6-3 decision in which the chief justice of the supreme court, roberts, joined with the centrist kennedy as well as the liberal members of the court, beginsberg briar, sotomayor, and keegan. it appears to be a major victory for the obama administration in the obamacare case. let's go to pamela brown who is at the supreme court. >> reporter: this was a broad ruling in favor of the obama administration. today the high court ruling that millions of americans that are in states with federally run exchanges can keep their tax credits that help them pay
for their health insurance. the government has said that the subsidies are the linchpin to the law, and without them the law would be gutted.
it would be severely destabilized and today once again chief justice roberts stepping in and saving in a sense the affordable care act ruling in favor of the government and saying that these millions of americans can keep their subsidies. again, a very broad ruling here. the court didn't even defer to the irs interpretation. it said that it is clear in the law that tax credits are available to individuals and states that have a federal exchange. at issue here were four words in the law, established by the state. the challenger said that makes it clear that only those americans and the states that have set up their own exchanges can get subsidies. again, today the high court disagreeing with that and saying that all americans who need those subsidies to help them pay for their health insurance can keep them. again, this was authored by chief justice roberts and justice kennedy along with the liberals on the court. a big, big win for the obama administration. >> that's right, pamela. if you look at the text of the
decision, it says given that the text is ambiguous about these state-run exchanges, the court must look to the broader structure of the act. here the statutory scheme compels the court to reject petitioner's interpretation reject it. let's go to jeffrey toobin with more on this. what is your take on this? it appears both kennedy and roberts completely sided with the obama administration's arguments. >> reporter: they did. one implication we know is when you walk into the barack obama presidential library in a few years, the first thing you're going to see is the affordable care act because this act is now here to stay unless congress overturns it because it's knotts going -- not going to be the courts. the courts have decided this is a matter for the political branches. the paradox about today's decision is that legally and it's not all that significant as a precedent, this is not a decision under the constitution.
this is simply an interpretation of the law itself and it says the way the law has been interpreted so far is correct. so this isn't a decision like perhaps smetion mareame-sex marriage which we may get tomorrow which will have broad implications for future decisions. this is very narrow in a way tied only to the affordable care act itself, but in terms of its implications for actual human beings starting with the 6.4 million people who are getting those subsidies, it's a very big decision indeed. >> jeffrey toobin once again, the supreme court issuing a 6-3 ruling in favor of the obama administration's interpretation of the affordable care act. let me bring in professor jonathan turly who we should disclose you represent speaker boehner on a separate obamacare case against the administering, not this case but this disclosed, how are you interpreting this decision. it seems like a big win for the
president. >> it is a big win. it's a big win politically and legally. this case divided the two circuits that are next door neighbors to the supreme court. the d.c. sirte ruled opposite of today's opinion. the fourth circuit across the river ruled in favor of the administration and the administration prevailed. what's curious is roberts' legacy as jeffrey was talking about in saving obamacare once again. he did that with the individual mandate. very unpopular with conservatives. and once again he's adopting the same type of broad statutory interpretation. he's saying i need to look at the statute as a whole not just those words, and i think that this conforms with the purpose of the statute rather than send it into a death spiral if i were to rule for the petitioners. it's very uncharacteristic for a member who is associated with the right to adopt that type of broad statutory approach but he did it before when he saved obamacare the last time. >> that was a 5-4 decision so
his vote was crucial. this is a 6-3 decision so his vote was not crucial although the fact he chose to write the opinion as the senior justice on the court not insignificant. >> to give credit to the administration they picked up justice kennedy as well. a 6-3 decision on a court that's usually very divided on this issue and it make it is a more magnified victory. >> we should point out the human factor at play here, 6.4 million americans receiving tax subsidies who are on the state exchanges, these obamacare exchanges, they were at risk of losing those subsidies. >> this really was an existential threat. only 13 states have so-called state he can changes. the rest are federal exchanges. that took the obama administration by surprise. i don't think they anticipated states would not create their own exchanges. >> i think when it comes to the exchanges, a lot of things took the obama administration by surprise it's fair to say. >> but this was absolutely necessary. they had to somehow subsidize people in those other states or
the entire act would collapse and that's what they did. and the supreme court today said they could do that. and they'll continue to do it in the future. it stabilizes the act for the time being. >> jeffrey toobin let me brings you back in here. are you surprised by the ruling today? >> not really. i mean this was a long shot i thought from the very beginning. i mean this is an interpretation of the law, of these four words, that not a single member of congress said they thought was the correct interpretation. all through the very long and torturous debate over the affordable care act, it was assumed by everyone that the subsidies would be available in the state exchanges and in the federal exchanges. it was only years -- many months later when a group of conservative lawyers pored over the statute and found these four words that this case and this issue even arose. however, this court is usually so politicized, and there was one d.c. circuit court that
ruled against the administration so, you know you couldn't be super confident, but it seemed to me from the very beginning that the administration's position was very strong here. this was a highly technical, legalistic reading by the plaintiffs in the case and, you know there is part of john roberts that you could sense in the oral argument who was saying to his fellow conservatives, look if you want to overturn this law, go do it by winning some elections. win the presidency. win congress. and then you overturn the law. don't pass the buck to me. don't tell me to be the bad guy to take 6.5 million people off insurance. you want to do it go win elections, and now coming into 2016 we'll see if republicans can do just that. >> i'm being told that justice antonin scalia who dissented, he was in the 3 of the 6-3 is reading his dissent from the bench and speaking of dissents,
jonathan turley here with me has a dissenting prn from the one you just shared. >> i hate to disagree with my friend but i disagree with the nature of the argument. the alaska circuit ruled in favor of the petitioners. many of us felt this was a credible argument. >> that what was a credible argument? >> that the language of the statute required states to create their exchanges in order to get subsidies, and that divided two major court of appeals circuits. now, clearly the administration prevailed. the fact that scalia is reading his dissent shows the depth of opposition here. often the justices don't do that. they do that when they really want people to consider their views, particularly in dissent. and this is going to continue to divide. many people, very credible people felt when the statute said it's an exchange established by the state, it meant that that was a carrot and stick approach. if you didn't do it you didn't get the subsidies, and that
included references by one of the architects of the law, professor gruber who is very controversial and they found quotes from him basically saying the same thing, it was a carrot and stick approach. >> of course we can't ignore the politics of this as much as the u.s. supreme court likes to think of itself as above politics obamacare and how controversial it is especially among republican base voters is going to continue. wolf blitzer, let me throw it back to you. >> it's a huge huge win for the obama administration. the affordable care act will remain in place unchanged. it will continue to go forward. there presumably will be lots of republican efforts in the house and senate to try to derail it. the president has veto power, two-thirds majority, not possible to derail it. for all practical purposes the united states supreme court today led by the chief justice john roberts, anthony kennedy also going with the majority deciding obamacare, the affordable care act, will remain the law of the land at least for the time being, and
republicans, critics of obamacare will have to come to grips with this reality. there will be no change at all for those 6.4 million americans who receive federal subsidies. no change at all in those states that don't have the state exchanges, rely on the federal exchanges. business as usual for all of them. a huge decision a huge win for the president of the united states by the united states supreme court today. a big win yesterday for the president on his trade authority legislation that he wants to create a new trade deal with pacific rim countries. tom daschle, the former senate majority leader was very very helpful to the president in trying to get this health care legislation through. he's joining us now on the phone. you must be thrilled senator by what the united states supreme court has decided today. >> i am thrilled wolf. this is a huge victory. you have characterized it very well. i think really what it does is put this whole debate about whether the affordable care act is going to be here to stay to
rest. this is the final blow for opponents. there is no real possibility from here on out that either through the legal or the political process they are going to be able to repeal the affordable care act going forward. so it's a huge victory not only for the legal interpretation but for what it means for the future of health care in the united states. >> well there is one possibility of it being derailed senator. the next presidential election if a republican president is elected and is determined to derail the affordable care act and there are significant republican majorities as you well know in the house or the senate they could do it then right? >> they could do it technically, wolf but i think by then we're going to have over 25 million people in the exchanges. more and more people are going to rely on the exchange mechanism to buy insurance. more and more people are going to have the opportunity to buy -- or to benefit from the medicare expansions in states
going forward as well. so this will be so ingrained in the next couple years into our health care system that i don't think even the hardest core opponents are going to be successful in repealing. there are too many lives at stake, too many people who have come to depend on this system for their care as they look at health affecting their lives. >> you make a good point, senator, because there were a bunch of republicans, at least privately, who were worried if the supreme court would have gone the other way, this could have backfired. you have 6.4 million americans who might lose their health insurance. you have millions of others whose rates might go up as a result of a decision against the obama administration. that's something they didn't necessarily want to have to deal with going into a new round of elections. >> well it's pretty clear that republicans had a very very hard time coming up with an alternative to the affordable care act. they still have yet to do so. i think that says all you need to know about whether or not this is here to stay. there is no real alternative.
this is it and we've got to make it work. we've got to come together and make it work even better and i'm confident we can do that now with the supreme court decision behind us. >> senator daschle, thanks very much. dana bash is up on capitol hill getting reaction. dana what are you hearing? >> reporter: well the reaction is pouring in. i just got a statement from senator marco rubio, presidential candidate. marco rubio saying of course he disagrees with the court ruling and believes that they've once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by president obama and congress. he promises if he does become president, he will work to repeal obamacare. and that is likely what we're going to hear from pretty much all of the presidential candidates not to mention the republican members of congress here who have worked very hard legislatively to repeal obamacare but have not been able to do that. one thing i want to mention is that, you know for a congress
that tends to kind of careen from crisis to crisis this is actually something that republicans were preparing for and when i say this i mean this decision. they were preparing for what would happen in the likelihood that the supreme court went the other way and that they said that the subsidies needed to be repealed. they had a plan in place for stopgap measure and, therefore, keeping these subsidies until the end of the year changing things up for 2016 and so forth. so there actually was a lot of meeting going on. there's actually legislative text that is written in case the court went the other way, but now that is going to be, you know, kind of in the dust bins of history. that's not going to actually be needed right now. one other point i want to make wolf real quick is that as far as republicans here on capitol hill are concerned, this isn't necessarily the end. there is still another supreme court case that has actually
been sponsored by the house republican majority to claim that the mandate is snit constitution -- not sktional constitutional and that's something republicans feel like they might have a better legal standing on to try to dismantle this law. >> let's not forget there are nine justices on the united states supreme court, four of them are in the liberal camp. they will almost certainly all vote in favor of the continuation of the obamacare and not only chief justice roberts but justice kennedy voting in favor of the continuation so all of those potential challenges down the road to face high hurdles. michelle kosinski they must be uncorking the champagne bottles over there. >> reporter: we can only imagine, wolf especially given the build up to this over the last couple of weeks. president obama almost putting out this force publicly as if
they were trying to lobby the supreme court. the white house denied they were doing that but interview after interview, there was even one in which one of the anchors that was interviewing president obama thanked him for saving his life. there was so much put out there leading up to this decision but right now we are hearing silence from the white house, and the reason for that is because we strongly believe we will hear from president obama himself today making some kind of statement in some form appearing before the public to celebrate this win. when you look at the decision not just the wording of the decision itself, talking about the text being ambiguous, but you have to look at the broader structure of the law, and in justice roberts' majority opinion, saying congress created this law to improve the insurance market not to destroy it, these are almost word for word statements of what the white house has been saying repeatedly over the last few weeks leading up to this. when you look at president obama's statements as well as
from the press secretary the last few weeks saying that this should be an easy case that it shouldn't have even come up at all. that they fully expect the justices to rule as scholars expect them to that this was a twisted interpretation of four words, established by the states. i mean it was almost as if the white house was challenging the supreme court to rule otherwise, making some people think, well, you know this is going to go the opposite way. what is the white house going to say at that? they sort of pre-empted that by putting this firmly in the hands of congress. the president saying repeatedly that this would be an easy fix for congress to just change those four words. now we see that's not necessary, that the justices have ruled as the white house boldly predicted they would rule. >> they not only predicted it sylvia burwell, the secretary of health and human services repeatedly said there was no plan b as far as the obama administration was concerned. they simply assumed that the
continuation of obamacare would go forward and they weren't going to start worry being what would happen if the supreme court ruled the other way in this particular case. they were right. the supreme court just to point out, ruling 6-3 in favor of the continuation of obamacare without any changes imposed. michelle i want to have you stand by. i believe you're right, we will be hearing i assume from the president of the united states. he'll be speaking out on this i'm sure sooner rather than later. of course we'll have live coverage of that. gloria borger, john king with me. gloria, this is a huge win for the president of the united states. he had no plan b. if it would have gone the other way, it would have been a disaster for obamacare, for his legacy. >> a couple things about his legacy wolf. first of all, you have trade legislation being approved huge win for the president.
you have this reaffirmation of obamacare, a key component in it the health care subsidies, huge for his legacy. we've been talking about this for a long time about how the president's legacy may not really be determined by john boehner but is in fact being determined by john roberts. and i think you saw the john roberts part of this today. it doesn't say to you that john roberts loves health care reform. what it says to you is they understood that congress' intent was not to throw the health care system into chaos, but rather to provide these subsidies and, you know there's a statement here that says that the combination of no tax credits and an infective coverage requirement could well push a state's individual insurance market into a death spiral. it is implausible that congress meant to do that. so they're just interpreting what congress meant, but that is what the president has been saying. that's what the president said.
this is a huge legacy day for barack obama. >> this may well be the best week of his second term in the sense that back from the ashes he had lost that trade vote. then they have a big comeback with the help of republicans, we should take note with the help of republicans he gets his trade legacy piece of the agenda and now this, which the cement is about dry. yes, there's another legal challenge but the cement is about dry on the legal challenges to obamacare. the republican chairman saying it is now clear in the wake of the ruling that the only way to appeal obamacare is through the next presidential contest. as dana noted, republicans would have had to have come up with something so these people didn't lose their subsidies like that. that politically would have been a disaster for republicans. they had a plan to step in. this pressure is relieved on them now, but it will now become a litmus test in 2016 not just in the presidential race but candidates running around the country and that becomes very challenging for the republicans. one other footnote, it may sound a little off the wall this will
become a problem for jeb bush. conservative republican activists say your dad gave us david souter your brother gave us john roberts. mike huckabee already saying this is an act of judicial tierneytier tyranny. supreme court picks will now become an issue when you go to iowa and that will be interesting when it comes to guy name bush. >> and let's see what comes on gay marriage. >> that's another issue the supreme court has to make a major decision on tomorrow on same-sex marriage. and we could get that decision as early as tomorrow morning as well. jeff zeleny is covering the race for the white house, the hillary clinton campaign. how is this going to impact her effort to a, get the democratic presidential domination and, b, get elected president of the united states, jeff? >> there's no question a victory for president obama on something like this is a victory for secretary clinton. no question about that. she is going to make sure that this is at the front and center of her campaign throughout the
democratic primary fight but also in the general election should she become the nominee. she is going to say that she is here to protect this legacy this law. so this is a very good decision for secretary clinton. >> six justices voted to continue obamacare as-is. the chief justice john roberts, anthony kennedy, ruth bader ginsburg stephen breyer sonia sotomayor, elena kagan. three justices voted against, antonin scalia clarence thomas and justice alito. let's go back to jake tapper. >> reporter: i was just talking to jonathan turly about the blistering dissent being given by justice scalia in which he says we should start calling this law scotus care instead of obamacare, standing for supreme court of the united states. i want to bring in kathleen sebelius who joins us from the phone. this case used to be king versus sebelius. now it's king versus burwell
because, of course miss burwell replaced kathleen sebelius at hhs. kathleen sebelius joining us on the phone. what's your initial reaction? you must be excited. >> good morning, jake. i think it's a very positive decision for the 6.5 million people around the country who now have affordable health care based on the framework of the law that provides tax subsidies and i think it gives them really an opportunity to make sure that the law continues to grow not only having more people with affordable care but the kind of real improvements in care that are going on lowest health inflation in 50 years, the biggest drop in uninsured rate ever seen in this country, and now we can continue to make sure that people who have coverage can get the kind of care that they need and deserve.
so it's a very positive step forward. i'm pleased that the majority of the court and a strong majority actually felt that the law was written the way it was providing subsidies for everyone who qualified based on income not based on who set up the marketplace. >> there is of course still another pending supreme court case when it comes to the affordable care act or obamacare. professor jonathan turly is the counsel for speaker boehner in the case house of representatives versus burwell. professor professor, if you could briefly describe what the case is about. >> that case is really not about what we do in health care but who makes these decisions. in the house of representatives' case the entire body challenged an action by president obama who committed about $170 billion over ten years without the approval of congress and this was after the administration came to congress and asked for
funding and was rebuffed. it deals with the power of the purse. it's a more central issue involving the separation of powers. it's different than what occurred today. >> reporter: secretary sebelius s that a case you're concerned about at all? >> well i think that i don't profess to be a lawyer constitutional lawyer. i think this is a case that involves more than just health care. i again feel that decisions were made appropriately, but the court will be left to decide. i don't think that case has nearly the kind of calamitous impact that a ruling in favor of king would have had given the immediate loss of coverage for millions of people and then spiraling downward of private insurance markets. so that case will go forward,
but i think the last sort of framework challenge to the affordable care act has just been decided by a majority and the framework of tax subsidies plus personal responsibility plus no pre-existing conditions ever again by insurance companies really stands as the framework of providing affordable care to millions of americans. >> if you're just joining us, the u.s. supreme court in a very strong 6-3 decision upheld the obama administration's position on obamacare when it came to a court case on whether or not 6.4 million americans who have state exchange insurance should get subsidies from the federal government. jeffrey toobin i believe you wanted to ask secretary sebelius the former secretary of the department of haem and human services a question. >> what i wanted to do frankly was respond to my friend john turley's comment about his own lawsuit which is not really in
the supreme court. the supreme court has not agreed to hear it and, frankly, i think that case is a long shot at best. the supreme court doesn't get into fights between congress and the executive branch. so i think it is important to emphasize that the serious legal challenges to obamacare are over now. and the president's position has won. the political battle continues, as it should. many republican candidates will run for president saying they want to overturn obamacare, and they have every right to do that if they win an election. but they are not going to be able to do it through the courts anymore. that's the significance of today's ruling. >> i'll let jonathan respond quickly and then i want to bring back secretary sebelius. >> i didn't say it was in front of the supreme court. i don't know what jeff knows about the outcoming decision that hasn't come out yet. we're waiting for an opinion from the supreme court on a threshold challenge by the administration. but at issue is the provision
that deals with the funding that goes to insurance companies. so it's a significant challenge, but only the judge knows how that will come out. >> right. and that is possibly i should have said the word possibly perhaps when i was talking about that case. secretary sebelius back to you if i could. now that you have some distance from the obama administration now that you're no longer a member of it and you hear about obamacare from real people affected by it both the positive and the negative are there any things that you think need to be done to the law to improve it? >> well jake it's a very significant new law, and i think that there are going to be lots of things as it goes forward that need to be looked at and improved tweaks around, you know various kinds of technical requirements. i think what would be really spectacular is if the congress
turns its attention to how to improve the law, how to make sure it works well. i'm about to go and join people in aspen, colorado for the spotlight health meeting that is part of the ideas fest later today, and this former hhs secretaries will all be there because we're in part celebrating 50 years of the medicare and medicaid laws and the improvements they've made to the lives of americans. i hope 50 years from now we look at obamacare in the same way and have the opportunity to say it doesn't look anything like it did when it was passed in 2010. it's improved and changed along the way, but it's made a huge difference in not only affordable coverage but more importantly this scene that sun ralphing right now, which is how to deliver better care at lower costs and that's very exciting delivery system reform that's very much under way.
>> former secretary of the department of health and human services kathleen sebelius. congratulations i suppose are in order on the big victory. >> congratulations to consumers across the country and providers. the law will stand and that's very good news. >> thank you so much. just to reiterate, the u.s. supreme court handing president obama and his administration a huge victory, upholding their interpretation of the statute when it comes to obamacare. 6.4 million americans will not have their subsidies revoked. just to read a brief note from the opinion, quote, congress passed the affordable care act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them roberts wrote. if at all possible we must interpret an act in a way that's consistent with the former and avoids the latter. we're being told that president obama will come out and discuss this issue, his big victory at 11:30 in the rose garden. we'll bring it to you live. i want to go to pamela brown who is live at the u.s. supreme court.
>> reporter: you can see behind me there is a huge crowd. many people celebrating today's ruling. interesting to note that once again chief justice roberts took the lead in saving this law. justice kennedy joined him this time around but not only did he take the lead with this but he didn't leave a door open for a different interpretation of the law under perhaps a republican administration. he could have done that had the justices deferred to the irs interpretation of it but that didn't happen today, and i think that says something, elizabeth. >> absolutely. you know the court could have left open the door if it had just simply deferred to the agency for republican president for example in the next administration to change a tax credit rule but it didn't. it issued an extremely broad ruling that is a huge win for the obama administration. the court could have ruled more narrowly but it didn't because the tax credits are so important to the interlocking reforms of the affordable care act, they involve billions of dollars in spending and affect the health care and, frankly, the lives of
millions of american people. >> what i this i is interesting to note and we should mention elizabeth you filed a brief on behalf of the government in this case. you're a cnn legal analyst. even though the chief justice took the lead in saving this bill it doesn't necessarily mean he likes the bill but what i think he could see is that if you take those subsidies away from those millions of americans and states with federally run exchanges, that could create chaos. >> absolutely. he noted that the economies of the states could be thrown into a death spiral and that it would cause enormous chaos throughout the country. >> he's looking again in this ruling he looks at the law as a whole and says it is clear, if you look at the law as a whole that these americans and these 34 states with federally run exchange kansas city keep their subsidies. jake tapper back to you. >> we're getting more of the scalia dissent which is the losing side in the decision where the justice scalia wrote, the court has no free floating
power to rescue congress from its drafting errors. right now i want to go to brian todd in the thick of the protests. brian? >> reporter: some very excited protesters out here in favor of upholding these tax credits. they're chanting aca is here to stay chanting still covered. i'm over here with the leader of the protests. his name is benton strong with the center for american progress. benton first of all, your reaction to the decision. >> i think it's a really important day for health care in america. a great day. we get to see at least 6 million people maintain access to affordable health care. the court upheld it again for a second time. frustrating they took this place in the first place. hopefully we can go forward and make sure more people get covered. >> we heard it may not be the end. marco rubio, presidential candidate, has vowed to repeal obamacare. >> right. >> what's your reaction to that and how strongly are you prepared to carry on the fight. >> the first thing it tells us is the republican never had a
plan to fix it. if it had gone the wrong way, then the republicans in congress and the presidential candidates not just rubio, we saw scott walker with an op-ed yesterday saying don't bail out the government. like what we know is this is an important ruling because the republicans didn't have a plan to make sure people could keep access to affordable health care. look, if they want to make another challenge, then i think people will continue to fight for that. we're seeing the benefits of the law. it's working. 16 point something million people have access to health care who didn't before and that's a reality here that maybe it's time to stop with this fight. >> congratulations and thanks for talking to us. jake we'll set the scene further for you over here. very excited protesters. i count them as maybe two dozen, 30 people. if there were anybody here against upholding the tax credits, we didn't see them. the people outnumbers these protesters are protesters over here who are in favor of upholding the constitutionality of gay marriage. they did not get the ruling they were looking for today.
hab that comes tomorrow. >> brian todd in the thick of the protests. obviously the u.s. supreme court remaining one of the more opaque institutions of government. not allowing television cameras, not allowing recording equipment. that's why we rely on firsthand accounts from reporters who are there. i'm going to go back to pamela brown with stephen from cnn who was there as the decision came down. >> you were in there when not only chief justice roberts read out loud his opinion but also the fiery dissent from justice scalia. tell me what he said and what it was like sitting in that courtroom. >> it was really interesting. whenever you're in the courtroom there's a moment of tension when you realize the judgment is coming and the judges know but nobody else knows. john roberts, the chief justice, said very calmly i will have the opinion in king versus burwell. everyone in the court sat up this is it. >> once again the second time he's taking the lead. >> the second time. he proceeded to go through his opinion. it wasn't until about two-thirds of the way through we realized he was going to affirm this
judgment. and, you know, you could tell the political context of this because he made several comments which sounded like he was trying to protect himself against the argument that once again he'd saved obamacare. he talked about how the law was inartfully drafted and the way that congress passed it through reconciliation not through normal manner. you could tell the political stakes and then as soon as it finished he said justice scalia has a dissent and justice scalia said indeed. the whole court starts laughing. and he starts into this evisceration of the john roberts' opinion in this case sitting right next to john roberts who has kind of watched it stony faced the whole way through and it wasn't until he got to the end and scalia said she should all obamacare scotus care that everyone kind of relaxed a little bit and smiled and even the chief justice had a little chuckle. >> is that right? tell us what the energy was like sitting in that courtroom, especially when scalia was reading his dissent sitting right next to chief justice roberts. >> it was incredible. he's a very eloquent dissenter,
antonin scalia. many occasions he's had a dissent which is full of rich vocabulary. he was making the point very viscerally that the court had rewritten a law of congress and it wasn't the court's job to do so. he said this is a major moment in american history. he said it will set astounding precedents and it will kind of echo through the years and confuse lawyers for years to come. so it was a fascinating clash between the top two justices on the court about the actual purpose of the court. >> what's interesting, i was in the courtroom during the oral arguments for this case, and chief justice rockets bare roberts barely said a word. justice scalia made his opinion more well known. in some ways it's not a surprise that he dissented in the way that he did, but reading it out loud and using this strongly worded language is interesting to note. and the fact that chief justice roberts who again didn't say much during the oral arguments came in and took the lead authored this opinion.
what was that like not only when he said i am reading my opinion out loud but when he was starting to read and you didn't know what conclusion they had reached. >> everyone was trying to think, what is he going to say? it became clear that he was going to affirm this judgment. it was very interesting. but, you know, i think it was a case of the chief justice taking hold of his own supreme court, the two most -- perhaps the two most controversial decisions at least politically of this court and saying i am going to take responsibility for this. some people thought he might, you know give the opinion to justice anthony kennedy, but it was a clear case of the chief justice taking control of his own supreme court. >> and the fact that justice kennedy, the conservative justice, sided with him this go around is also interesting to note. again, chief justice roberts saying, you know congress is voted by the people. they wrote this law. if you look at it as a whole, it's clear millions of americans keep their subsidies.
and without the subsidies it could create chaos. that's something the court didn't want to be responsible for. jake tapper pass it back to you. >> thank you so much. i'm going to go back to wolf blitzer right this second to talk more about this big overbheming victory for president obama and the u.s. supreme court. >> a huge win for the president of the united states. a 6-3 decision by the united states supreme court in favor of continuing the affordable care act, obamacare. the chief justice of the united states john roberts, siding with the majority justice kend also going with the majority. senator rand paul is joining us a republican presidential candidate. the senator from kentucky. senator, you must be pretty disappointed with this decision. >> yeah wolf. as a fashionphysician, i think the supreme court missed an opportunity. i think we made a mistake. if they would have ruled and adhered to the literal nature of the law, maybe congress would have had a chance to take up
obamacare again and try to make it less bad or fix the parts of it that are causing so many problems in our society. i really think obamacare is making all insurance more expensive and taking away choice. so i am disappointed that we've missed an opportunity here. >> for all practical purposes senator, at least for now any changes, significant changes, in obamacare, changes you as a physician, as a republican as a senator, as a presidential candidate would like those changes are going away at least for now until -- if there is a republican president that could change but at least for now you're resigned to the fact obamacare stays as-is. >> i would still like to reform it and change it and give patients back more choices on whether they can choose which doctor or which insurance plan legalize competition and legalize inexpensive insurance again, but it makes it hard because we don't have the leverage. if we had the leverage where the president had to revisit this because part of it had been
struck down then we would have the leverage to force the president to revisit it. we have majorities and so we can bring it up and we can pass legislation, but getting the president to actually do something about it and actually have the leverage to get him to perhaps sign something that would change obamacare, i think we've lost that leverage. >> but just to wrap this up senator, even if you do the republican majorities in the house and senate pass legislation, the president presumably will veto that legislation and you don't have two-thirds majorities to override a presidential veto right? >> i agree, and that's why without this court case i think we've lost the leverage to actually have the president negotiate with us. >> all right. senator, thanks very much senator rand paul expressing his disappointment in the 6-3 decision by the u.s. supreme court. sara murray is joining us one of our cnn political reporters. you're getting lots of reaction. what are you hearing? >> reporter: we are getting lots of reaction. the latest is from wisconsin governor scott walker.
he is calling for the law to still be repealed and he says it's up to the house and senate to make sure they do that. this is indicative of what we're hearing from all of the republican presidential accounts. mike huckabee, rick perry, they're all saying that this is still time to repeal this law. i think the interesting question is how you do that going forward. if you talk to republicans who have worked on health policy they say now that this has been confirmed twice by the supreme court, it's very difficult to actually go through and repeal this law. we saw in rick perry's statement, he says now it's time for leadership from the white house. and i think that's really what it comes down to. if republicans want to be able to change this law, want to be able to repeal it one of them is going to have to win the white house. i expect we'll see republican presidential candidates use this as a kind of rallying cry going forward that if you are not happy with the president's health care law, it's clear you have to elect a republican to the presidency. >> i'm sure it will be a huge issue in the race for the white house. sara stand by. i want to remind our viewers, the president of the united
states he's obviously very pleased by this decision by the supreme court and in a half our or, so he will be addressing the nation from the rose garden at the white house. we'll have live coverage of that. jeff zeleny you're getting reaction from the hillary clinton campaign. what are they saying? >> hillary clinton, of course is very happy about this supreme court ruling. she sent out her response and she says this. she says yes, exclamation point. scotus affirms what we know is true under our hearts in the law. health insurance should be affordable and available for all. and then wolf after that she sent out a message as well to her supporters saying please sign this petition this online petition if you agree with me. so that is a sign that the clinton campaign is going to try and use this as a rallying point to remind those obama democrats, if you will who helped re-elect him and elect him the first time that they need to support her on this. and the clinton campaign is just fine with this being an argument going forward in the primary and the general election. they believe that this is a strong argument to moderates, to independent voters across
america. and i have to say, we heard this -- this is almost like deja vu from three years ago. mitt romney and other republicans back in june of 2012 said they're going to take this to the ballot box. so we will see how much republicans actually are campaigning on this after their primary fight ends because democrats believe this is a winning issue for them. >> it does underscore how significant the united states supreme court is and that presidents of the united states nominate supreme court justices and the decisions of those justices don't just go on for four years or eight years but go on very often for decades. it's a huge huge responsibility for any president, and you're right, it will presumably be a big issue going forward. jake you got to admit the chief justice, john roberts, now twice has sided with the president of the united states in saving the key elements of obamacare. >> it is a stunning turn of events wolf and just to recap for those joining us president obama has been handed a huge victory at the u.s. supreme
court. a of-36-3 decision joupupholding the obama administration's interpretation of the affordable care act. the chief justice of the supreme court sided with the 6-3 majority saying that indeed the 6.4 million americans who had subsidies who were on the state he can changes would -- were not on state exchanges would get the federal subsidies even though they were not on their own individual state exchanges but were on the federal exchange. i want to go to neil catall a former acting solicitor general for the obama administration and wrote a brief on behalf of the american hospital association. 22 democrats voted against john roberts when he was up for confirmation. this is the second time he has sided with not only the liberal majority but i think it's fair
to say not necessarily the most conservative interpretation of the arguments before the court. >> i think that's fair. i think today's decision is a sweeping victory for the president and for the congress that passed the affordable care act. there are only four justices out of the nine that have been appointed by democratic presidents. today you had six of them so two republican appointed justices, the chief justice but also justice kennedy coming in and saying this is the law that congress intended. >> are you surprised at all that chief justice roberts has emerged in this role? >> i'm not. the chief justice i think from the time of his confirmation hearings and even before that when he was in private practice i think was known as a sober, even handed not particularly political person -- >> he was a member of the federalist society i believe. >> so are many people. that ap pel lation doesn't really mean very much. what's the best way of understanding this complicated statute and what the chief justice said we're sitting in
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