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tv   CNN Tonight with Don Lemon  CNN  September 18, 2020 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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majority, right now. he can't afford to lose more than three republican votes. if there -- if he loses four republican votes, then there will not be someone confirmed. and at the moment, there's several republicans who are concerned about moving forward before the election. that includes lisa murkowski of alaska. susan collins of maine. chuck grassley of iowa has even indicated some apprehension in the past about moving ahead before the election. and typically, timeframe for confirming a nominee takes between two to three months so it seems highly unlikely someone could get confirmed before november. now, after november, it's possible. but that calculus all gets really complicated if the republicans lose majority, if the president loses re-election to joe biden. and at that point, will republicans say, look, the voters spoke. the new majority needs to come in and confirm a nominee. that is, clearly, not the view of mitch mcconnell, who says
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that he will move forward to confirm someone. he says this is different from 2016 when he sat on president obama's nominee. saying let the voters decide. he is saying that's divine because there was a democrat in the white house. now, it's a republican senate, republican white house. and he's going to put forwath t nominee before the end of the year. >> you hear mitch mcconnell's statement. it sounds like he says, pointblank, it's going to go out for a vote. >> yeah. look. i think donald trump wants to get his name out there, as quick quickly as possible. want surprise me if he nominated a woman to replace her. i think he wants to use this to get the base motivated. don't forget, he had been losing a little bit of support from evangelical voters. he can say, look, i'm going -- i'm going to nominate someone who is pro-life. and this is important to me. and of course, it's important to
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mitch mcconnell because he's -- judges have been his -- this past year. so i think they are going to move, move, move. and then, i think you have republicans who are in tight races. or what if the senate changes hands? i mean, we -- we just don't know how this will play out. but i can guarantee you, on both sides, this is going to motivate the base of both parties. now, remember, joe biden has not, yet, given a list of potential nominees. the president has said why doesn't biden give his list? and biden didn't feel the need to. i'm wondering, now, whether this changes the calculation on that and whether joe biden would feel the need, for example, to say this is the person i want for the court. i have texted a couple people. i don't have answer on that, yet. >> yeah. there's a special election, i think, in arizona if mark kelly, the democrat who's running
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against the incumbent republican, was to win that. or to -- was to win that against a republican. if they were to win that, then that would be one less republican in the senate. because i think mark kelly would actually get sworn in, right away. >> that -- that's -- you know what, anderson, that's news to me. i just don't know the law in arizona. it -- it's important to recognize that all the new senators come in on january 3rd. the president comes in on january 20th. so the window of the lame-duck period is not till january 20th. it's only until january 3rd. it's a tight timeframe. and if there's one thing i've learned, in covering the united states senate is, you don't bet against mitch mcconnell and win very often. i mean, he is a master of procedure and of substance. but he doesn't always win. and there are a lot of
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variables, here. and he 's not in control of all of them. you know, the -- the -- he does not have a lot of votes to play with. and, look, let's be honest. his position is the height of hypocrisy. you know, he can invent some reason that, well, it was different when obama was president because there was a republican senate at the time. he didn't say that, at the time. that never came up, at that point. it's irrelevant, anyway. there were 11 months left in -- in barack obama's term and mitch mcconnell and every single republican said, too late. here we are, with two months left in -- in -- in donald trump's term. and they're saying that's fine. that is hypocrisy. it's not complicated to understand. and good luck to the republican senators who are trying to explain to their swing voters
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about how those positions are consistent. >> but, jeff, if you're decrying hypocrisy, i understand. but there's plenty of things that are hypocritical that get done, especially these days, all the time. >> absolutely. that's why it's unwise to bet against mitch mcconnell. but, you know, politicians respond to incentives. and the incentives come from their voters. there -- there is nothing mitch mcconnell cares more about than the courts. and nothing more within the courts than he cares about -- cares about more than the supreme court. so, you know, he is going to be on a mission to get this nominee who will, certainly, be coming, probably in the next week or so. and almost certainly, amy coney barrett. but he is not in entire control of this process.
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and the public and how interested the public is and how much swing voters care. you know, it's one thing to say, donald trump to his base, roe v. wade. doesn't seem to me. so, yes, his base wants a very right-wing nominee. but you know, he is a he not just running for the president of his base. he is running for president of the united states. and those positions on social issues, on gay rights, on -- on -- on civil rights. on -- on abortion rights. they're not popular, with most of the country. so, you know, we'll see. as i said earlier, it is not a done deal, one way or the other. >> yeah. getting some new information. this comes from npr. it's from i think -- it's from her granddaughter. the granddaughter of ruth bader
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gi ginsburg. this is what her granddaughter said. just days before her death, as her strength waned, ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter. saying my most -- my most fervent wish is that i will not be replaced, until a new president is installed. jeff, that -- certainly, a new president, meaning, a president, not donald trump. >> let's not -- let's not kid around, here. i mean, ruth bader ginsburg was a liberal democrat. she -- she -- she was indiscrete before the -- before the election in 2016. displaying her -- her contempt for donald trump. and so, i mean, she wants to be replaced by a democrat. period. and, you know, i don't think that's a surprise. i don't know how many votes that
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will shift, either among the citizens or among senators. but that is an unusually blunt statement from ap unusually blunt justice. >> david gergen is just joining us, now. david, how do you see the political battle that is about to be waged. >> mitch mcconnell has just turned on the gauntlet, anderson. i think we are going to have a titanic fight over this. yes, as jeffrey has said, it will mobilize a lot of people on the right. overturn roe v. wade. where people think donald trump has delivered on his promises, they will vote in heavier numbers. but this will unleash a fury among democrats, for all the obvious reasons. so brazenly contemptuous of fair
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play. it is so hypocritical, that i think you are going to see that the republicans will pay a price at the polls this november, over this issue. i think -- among other things, i think it makes it more likely -- i think it makes it more likely that joe biden will win the election. it makes it more likely that the democrats will take over the senate. and if biden is the president and, next year, when he tries to heal things. i think it's going to make polarization even more poisonous, almost irreversible. filibuster, for example, i think could easily go out of the anger that's caused over something this unfair. so i think this is a big, big deal. it could change the elections. and i think -- my bet is, it will change the elections in donald trump's favor, not the other way around. >> you mean -- >> i'm sorry. change in joe biden's favor, not the other way around. i think this plays into biden's hands, simply because the -- the unfairness.
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it's just so -- it wreaks of hypocrisy. and i think people are going to want to pay a price for it. >> david, do you think it's possible and, again, this is hypothetical. depending on a lot of what happens. but if -- if joe biden gets elected and, in a lame-duck session, they do confirm a nominee of president trump's choosing. do you think that the democrats, once in power, would try to, then, expand the number of justices on the supreme court? >> that's a darn good question, anderson. i have been wondering about that, myself. that's what i think we don't know. it's really, really hard to do. but there are going to be a lot of people on the left who will feel they're entirely justified. after all, this will end up being two seats that the democrats will feel have been stolen from them. you know, we hear, all the time, the president talking about the election's stolen. well, here, it's the court that's being stolen, in the minds of most democrats. >> david gergen, thank you. arian devogue is joining us by
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phone. i am wondering what you make of mitch mcconnell's statement. >> well, it's the next, big fight. and that's what's interesting about it. we sure saw what the last fight was over brett kavanaugh. and that was even after the gorsuch, the whole gorsuch nomination hearing. but, anderson, it's interesting. you know, the one thing i wanted to talk about is the fact that ruth bader ginsburg began this last supreme court term, right, with her fourth bout of cancer. she was recovering from that. she was heading into this unbelievable term with those big issues. in january, she thought that she was cancer free. and she told cnn. but then, in february, she got these new tests. and what's remarkable about it is that she didn't talk to the public about it like she has in the past. she just dug in. a huge abortion case. she dominated oral arguments on that. and then, covid came and the
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court was closed down. and we had, for the first time, telephonic arguments. she called in from the honespit and continued to -- on women's health care issue. that kind of shows the woman that she was. and at the end of the term, after the term had finished, she was also working on a book that was going -- one of her former law clerks, amanda tyler, was working on a book talking about her history in the area of je d gender rights. and amanda told me tonight, up until about three weeks ago, they were trading information on the book. ruth bader ginsburg was marking it up. she often said, you know, she was going to do the job, until she could no longer do the job. and that's what's really extraordinary about it. that she was working, right up to the end on her legacy. and on the issues that defined
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her legacy. >> yeah. ariane, actually, we have amanda tyler joining us right now. clerk for justice ginsburg and as you said was working on a book with her. amanda, thank you so much for being with us. i'm so sorry for the -- the loss for you. can you just talk about your thoughts, tonight? and -- and -- and also, the woman that you came to know? >> devastated. there's no other word. i think all of us who had the privilege and true honor of serving as a law clerk of the justice are -- we're just reeling, tonight. it was one of the greatest honors of my life to be her law clerk. it was so extraordinary of -- it was such an extraordinary experience. she was my idol. you know? and how many people get to say that they worked for their idol. >> did you -- did you interview with her for the job? >> i did. >> that's got to be pretty intimidating.
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>> yeah, it was. but she put me at ease, right away. i was pretty nervous, though. >> what was she like to work with? >> she was meticulous. she had the highest standards. i like to analogize working for her with -- with being on a sports team with someone like michael jordan. she was so great that she made everybody around her do their best work and be at their best. and -- and it was just awesome to be able to be a part of that. >> can -- i mean, i -- i'm not a lawyer. i've never worksed fed for a jur in a law firm. can you give me an example? how does that -- how does that actually play out, in an office setting? is it you -- you are discussing something and she -- the way she makes you think about it is different? >> well, she would involve her law clerks. i mean, obviously, she is the justice and she made the decisions. but she would work with her law
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clerks, extensively, on drafting the opinions. and that was an extensive and drawn-out process because every single word had to be doing something in the opinion. the opinion had to be written, in an accessible way. it was very important to her that anyone could pick up one of her opinions, and understand it, whether they were a trained lawyer, or not. and so, there was a lot of back and forth. and her editing remained -- you know, i had been working with her in the last few months. her editing was as extensive as ever. she was still teaching me to be a better writer, even as recently as this summer. >> and what was your focus on -- what's your focus on the book that you were rightiwriting wit? >> so, she and i have compiled a book that includes a discussion that we had, last year, about her life. it includes some of her most recent speeches. it includes documents and -- and -- and things that she wanted to put together to tell
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about her life's work, fighting for gender equality. and more generally, to make, as our constitution's preamble says, ours a more perfect union. so it's a collection of materials, including, also, materials that we wrote together about her whole career. >> what was it that drove her? i mean, you know, you look at all the sort of -- the signposts along the way on her career. i mean, the loss of her mom. a sister who -- who died when she was very, very young. her, you know, having a child out of -- right out of -- out of college or marrying out of college. having a child. going to harvard law school. facing discrimination from the dean of harvard law school. saying, you know, to the nine women at harvard law school, you know, please, each of you, stand up and justify why you are taking the place of a man at harvard law school. i mean, couldn't get a job even after graduating first in her
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class at columbia law school or tied for first in her class. what do you think motivated? >> she was tenacious. i'm sorry, anderson. she was resilient. she was tenacious. and she was a fighter. my favorite image of her is of her holding up her fists in a mock fighting mode during her confirmation proceedings. i think that is ruth bader ginsburg in a nutshell. she was determined. she was not going to let anything stop her from achieving her full, human potential. and she's made it her -- or she made it -- i'm sorry, i hesitate when it becomes past tense -- she made it her life's work to -- to make sure that everyone could have opportunity to live up to their full, human potential. that's what she was about and that's pretty special. she left an enormous legacy. she made our country better. and she did it, first, as an advocate. and then, as a judge.
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and i think it was the drive to contribute. to leave the world a better place than she found it. that kept her going, right up until the end. >> i think the successes she had in -- in her career, prior to being on the supreme court. it's a testimony to -- to the successes she had. that, i think for many people today, thinking about the obstacles that she faced after graduating first in her class at columbia. having been in the columbia law review, harvard law review. not being able to find a job. is -- is extraordinary and -- and the unequal treatment and that's really what -- i mean, she focused like that -- that's what she -- she changed. i mean, she -- she focused on gender equality. and made amazing strides. >> yeah. she completely changed the legal landscape in this country. and she made it so -- i mean,
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this is not about me but i want to use myself as an example. it was not a big deal. >> i think -- sorry -- hey, you know. amanda, sorry, you froze. your computer froze for a second. you were saying it was not a big deal. >> it was not a big deal for me to go to harvard law school, as a woman. it's not a big deal for me to be a law professor, as a woman. it's because ruth bader ginsburg and her jgeneration of women that, that is possible. so lucky as i do all the women lawyers of my generation she opened that up. but she opened up so much more. she was determined to change the legal landscape in this country for, not just women lawyers but, women and men, so that gender discrimination would no longer
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enforce outdated gender stereotypes. >> amanda tyler, i know it's -- it's a difficult moment to -- to talk about her. and i really appreciate you doing that. because it helps to -- to bring her back and -- and keep her in all our minds. thank you very much. >> thank you, anderson. >> i want to go to jim acosta, now, at the white house. jim. >> anderson, president trump just finished up that rally in minnesota. and he briefly spoke with reporters waiting outside of air force one. he said that he had just found out about the passing of ruth bader ginsburg as he was leaving the stage in minnesota. he said -- and this is what he said, just a few moments ago to reporters. i didn't know that. and then, about the late justice, he said she led an amazing hi amazing life. she was an amazing woman. interestingly, anderson, he did not comment on the vacancy, now, on the court. obviously, talking to manu raju earlier, what we are hearing from our sources, president is expected to seek to replace ruth bader ginsburg.
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i was speaking with a source close to the president a few moments ago who said he desperately wants to put another supreme court justice on the high court. and so, we should definitely expect that to happen. in terms of what the president is going to say on that subject, it is possible, anderson, as he gets back on air force one and heads back to washington. that he will make some comments to reporters on air force one. and so, we might see some bulletins from our friends at the wire services and that sort of thing over the next hour or so. but i suspect, everything wie know about the president, republicans on capitol hill who are aligned with mitch mcconnell, they very much want to replace ruth bader ginsburg on the high court. but the president, he seemed genuinely surprised and stunned by the news when reporters mentioned to him that she had passed away. >> appreciate that. congresswoman shalala, i am sorry we are talking under these circumstances, and i'm sorry for your loss. if you could, just talk about
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the person you knew. >> well, first of all, she had a wonderful sense of humor. but ruth ginsburg was just a giant. every woman in america, doesn't make any dichfference what your politics is, ought to say thank you, tonight, to an extraordinary woman. amanda taylor, who you just talked to, played division 1 soccer, if i remember correctly, at stanford. and tigtle 9 was something that ruth protected as part of her role for champion women's rights. i first met ruth when she was at rutgers. then, we both taught at columbia. i used to have lunch with her on a regular basis. when she came to miami, she would always call and i'd try to get together with her. let me say this. marty ginsburg was, also, an important figure, not simply in her life. he ran the campaign to get ruth
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on the court. the president, if i remember correctly, president clinton was considering both ruth and steve briar. but marty called everyone. ruth cooperate uldn't do it. she was a federal judge. marty did a full-court press. i mean, he organized that campaign to make sure we all called the president. or, actually went and talked to him to recommend ruth. and of course, hillary was already there. but we all got multiple calls from marty, as he called everyone to make sure that we made the case. he gave us talking points. and i'd say, marty, i don't need talking points. i know ruth. but it was -- it was a very special time to see her come on the court. and of course, we're all
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thankful for the years we had her. our lives will never be the same. we'll -- we'll always be better, every woman and every child in america will have a better life, because of ruth ginsburg. >> i don't want to -- if -- i don't know if you want to talk about what happens, now. you know, mitch mcconnell has put out a statement saying there will be a vote. i'm wondering what you make of that. >> that it's in bad taste. that he should have at least waited 24 hours. at least the president didn't say that, immediately. but probably, because he was caught short about this. i think that we should take a couple of days and -- and celebrate her life, before we get deeply into the politics. >> i want to play, if you -- if you can just stay for a second. just some sound from justice ginsburg talking about being an attorney.
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>> i had the idea being a lawyer was a pretty good thing. you could get a job, and you could work for pay. but you could, also, help keep the society in tune with our most basic values. i wasn't fully appreciative of the hurdle that i would face because 1956, when i started law school, there was no anti-discrimination law. no title 7. certainly, no title 9. and were totally upfront in saying we don't want any lady lawyers. >> i think she personally -- i -- i -- this is from memory. so i may have some of the details wrong. but i remember reading that when she was married to her husband out of college, and she had a
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child. they moved, i think it was to oklahoma, where he was in -- serving the military. and that she worked in the social security office and was actually demoted after having a child. which is just, again, it's one of those things that, at the time, that was -- that was something that was common. >> you know, ruth used to -- once joked with me that they had all these social security cases that came before the supreme court. and she had once worked at social security. i think i was sued about 11,000 times a year on those -- on those individual cases. but she -- this -- her experience, being discriminated against, as a woman, as a mother, as a lawyer.
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she used that to make our lives better. she used that experience to chip away at the law, so that we all had extraordinary opportunities. >> what -- what a remarkable thing, to have had her as a friend. >> she was special. >> yeah. they don't -- people like her do not come along, every single day. congresswoman -- >> generous. kind. one of a kind. >> congresswoman shalala, appreciate your time tonight thank you so much. and again, sorry for your loss. >> you're welcome. >> our coverage continues on the death of justice ginsburg. we'll return, right after a short break. eople feel like they're part of a team. my name is timothy chi and i'm the ceo of weddingwire. we're very proud customers of custom ink. we keep coming back to custom ink because of the quality of the product, the customer service, and the ease of use. that moment you walk in the office and people are wearing the same gear,
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let's make hand washing andren important one.ssons. safeguard is donating ten million dollars in hand soaps and sanitizers to families in need. safeguard your family. wash away germs. just about half past the hour, we are looking back at life and legacy of supreme court justice, ruth bader ginsburg. she died today. in her years on earth, she did more than most of us would ever dream of doing. a look back with cnn's jessica snyder.
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>> reporter: ruth ginsburg as rise to the nation's highest court was a classic, american story. >> what is the difference between a bookkeeper in new york's garment district? and a supreme kofcourt justice? where else but in america could that happen? >> reporter: tied for first in her class at columbia law school. but the glass ceiling stood firm. >> there were three strikes against her. first, she was a woman. second, she was jewish. third, she had a young child. >> very much, with the model of the naacp's legal defense fund led by thurgood marshall. she had this idea that you had to build precedent, step by step. >> reporter: ginsburg became an appellate court judge. 13 years later, she was named to the supreme court, the second
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woman on the bench. the first, sandra day o'connor, was glad to see her. >> the minute justice ginsburg came to the court, we were nine justices. it wasn't seven and the women and it was a great relief to me. >> reporter: as a justice, ginsburg consistently voted in favor of abortion access and civil rights. perhaps, her best-known work, writing the 1996 landmark decision to strike down the military institute's ban on admitting women. like the one she wrote struck down to keep provision of the voting rights act and ended the contraception mandate for some businesses under the affordable care act. >> in our view, the court does not comprehend or is indifferent to the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay
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discrimination. >> a factory supervisor at a tire plant in a high-profile pay discrimination case. ginsburg urged congress to take up the issue in her dissent. 20 months later, the lily ledbetter pay act was the first president obama signed into law. ginsburg became the most senior of her liberal colleagues but she didn't slow down. steven colbert discovered that the hard way. trying to keep up with rbg's famously tough workouts. >> i'm cramping, working out with an 85-year-old woman. >> ginsburg hired a trainer after treatment for colorectal cancer in the late '90s. doctors treating the justice for broken ribs discovered cancerous growth on her lung. the surgery was successful but the recovery caused ginsburg to miss oral arguments at the supreme court for the first time in her career. she was also treated, several times, for pancreatic cancer but
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always stayed up on her court work. even after losing her husband of 56 years to cancer, ginsburg was back on the bench the next morning. >> i love the work i do. i they haink i have the best jo the world for a lawyer. i respect all of my colleagues, and genuinely like most of them. >> reporter: her best friend on the bench was the late justice, antonin scalia. her ideological opposite. >> what's not to like? except, her views of the law, of course. >> they shared a laugh about ginsburg drinking wine, before nodding off at the state of the union. >> i was 100% sober because before we went to the state of the union, we had dinner together. and justice kennedy -- >> that's the first intelligent thing you've done. >> in her later years, she gained rock-star status with millennials, thanks to social
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media. >> it was beyond my wildest imagination that i would, one day, become the notorious rbg. >> reporter: the nickname was a play on the name of the late rapper, the notorious b.i.g. there were books, clothing, tattoos, even a species of preying man ttis in her honor. there was a feature film on the basis of sex and a documentary produced by cnn. "rbg" was an unexpected, box-office hit and gave the justice an even larger platform to share her lifelong mission of gender equality. >> people ask me, sometimes, when will there be enough women on the court? and my answer is when there are nine. >> so here is where we are, tonight. mourners outside the court. flags, at half staff there and
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at the white house. president trump just weighed in after a campaign stop in minnesota. cnn's kaitlan collins joins us now, from there. kaitlan, what did the president say? >> well, anderson, it was kind of a jarring moment because this news broke, just after the president had gone on stage here, in minnesota. and so, he was up on stage for close to two hours. not knowing the news of what had happened. and obviously, altered his campaign that he's experiencing. and then, he found out, from reporters, as he was walking back to air force one. and he weighed in and here's what he said. >> she just died? wow. i didn't know that. i just -- you're telling me now, for the first time. she led an amazing life. what else can you say? she was an amazing woman. whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman, who led an amazing life.
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i'm actually sad to hear that. i am sad to hear that. thank you very much. >> so, anderson, you see there. his first comments as he found out were focusing on rbg's legacy. talking about that. and then, he went up the stairs to air force one. and they just took off a few moments ago. but the question next is going to be the political aspect of this and the president nominating someone. and we know this has been something that he thinks could help boost his standing with voters even before there was a vacancy on the court. that's why he revealed that list at the white house just a few weeks ago. and now, this is going to be something that fundamentally shifts the trajectory of this campaign. it's going to change what these two candidates are talking about, on a regular basis. and one problem the president has had is with suburban, women voters. and he has told people in the last several months he does think if he nominated a woman to the supreme court, that it could help boost his standing with women. so all of these factors and all of these conversations are going to be something we're discussing
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over the next several weeks. anderson. >> kaitlan collins. kaitlan, thanks very much. joining me now, our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, the struggle that she had had with cancer. i mean, it goes back a long time. and just, you know, it points to the -- the resilience and the strength that she had. i mean, it's extraordinary, how long she was battling forms of cancer. >> it really was. i mean, you know, we would follow her, for some time, through these hospitalizations and the various types of treatments. and remember, it was back in 1999, you know, 20 years ago. she -- she had developed colon cancer. and then, it was first time she developed pancreatic cancer was in 2009. it was pretty early stage, at that point, anderson. they thought it had been treated well. she underwent surgery for it and she seemed to have sort of, you know, recovered from that and not had any problems. until last year when there was evidence that there was some
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recurrence of this cancer. she, again, underwent treatment for it. you may remember, in january this year, she said she was cancer free. keep in mind, in the midst of all that, she had a bout with lung cancer. and she fell, broke her ribs, as you heard just a few minutes ago. and when they were evaluating her for the broken rib fractures, that's when they found the cancer. it was over the summer that she developed a recurrence. she tried amino therapy. but there was spread of this cancer to her liever. and most recently, i believe in july, anderson, the types of therapy she was getting at that point were no longer considered curative therapy. and at that point, i think doctors knew that this -- this -- what ever treatment she was getting was not going to cure her pancreatic cancer or even, you know, fully treat it. >> and yet, she continued to work. i mean, that's the thing that's so stunning to me.
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>> yeah. i mean, she -- it was incredible. and some of these therapies, you know, they're tough. tough for anybody. you know, someone who is -- who is much younger. certainly, for someone in their 80s, it's a lot to endure. and she, as you point out, went through it. and then, we were always surprised because we thought she was going to be in the hospital for longer. and then, the next alert we would get from her office would say the justice was discharged from the hospital today. she plans on returning to work and she sees no reason she couldn't return to work. it was always pretty remarkable. i know people always talk about her resilience and how tough she was and her workouts and stuff like that. but i can tell you, just from a medical perspective, you know, cracking your ribs. going through rib fractures. going through a lung cancer operation. all the therapies she had for pancreatic cancer. all that. she also had a stint put into one of the blood vessels in her heart. it's remarkable. and a lot of that sort of started for her, in her late
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60s. you know, so she was already older, at that point. and then, you know, over the following 20 years, she -- she really went through a lot. and -- and seemed to bounce out of it, each time. >> and yet, i mean, all the things she did over the last 20 years is just -- i mean, it's extraordinary, what she did with the time that she had. what a life. sanjay, thank you so much. appreciate it. want to go to our manu raju, who's been talking to congressional sources covering the -- the angle of what's going to happen, now, in terms of -- of a replacement for the justice. which is, obviously, something that's already being looked at by mitch mcconnell and others. manu, what are you hearing? >> yeah. that's right. i mean, mitch mcconnell is making it very clear that he wants to have a vote on the senate floor before the end of the year. the ultimate question, anderson -- >> listen. >> ruth bader ginsburg was not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure. and my heart goes out to all
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those who cared for her and care about her. and she practiced the highest american ideals, as a justice. equality and justice, under the law. and ruth bader ginsburg stood -- stood for all of us. as i said, she was a beloved figure. as young attorney, you all know the story. she persisted overcoming a lot of -- a lot of obstacles for a woman and practicing law, in those days. as well as, she continued until she -- she -- she moved herself in a position where she could end up changing the law of the land. or leading the effort to provide equality for women, in every field. and she led the advance of equal rights for women. it's hard to believe but it is my honor to preside over her confirmation hearing. i got to meet her, at the time.
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and she -- in the decade since, she has been absolutely consistent and reliable. and a voice for -- for freedom and opportunity for everyone. and, you know, and she never failed. she was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of the civil and legal rights of -- civil rights of everyone. her opinions and her dissent are going to continue to shape the basis for our law for a generation. and, you know, tonight and in the coming days, we should focus on the loss of her -- the justice. and her enduring legacy. but there is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president.
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and the president should pick the justice for the senate to consider. this was the position the republican senate took, in 2016, when there were almost ten months to go before the election. that's the position the united states senate must take, today. and the election's only 46 days off. i think the fastest justice ever confirmed was 47 days. and the average is closer to 70 days. and so, they should do this with full consideration and -- and that is my hope and expectation what will happen. thank you, all. and i'm sorry such a -- we had to learn it on a plane ride. but thank you very much. >> former vice president biden reacting to the death of justice
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ginsburg. making clear, from his perspective, that it would be inappropriate to -- for mitch mcconnell to do what he has, now, already said he will do. which is, bring a vote on a replacement for justice ginsburg for president trump. vice president biden was talking about filling a position. i want to go back to manu raju who has new reporting on that. i'm sorry to have interrupted you, manu. just bring us up to speed on -- on -- mitch mcconnell issued a statement -- i guess, it was about a little bit more than 50 or so minutes ago. >> yeah. he made it very clear that the nominee will get a vote before the end of the year. that means, when the republicans still control the senate, no matter what happens in november. and when president trump is in the white house, no matter what happens in november, trump's replacement will get a vote on the floor of the senate. now, it's unclear when, exactly, that will happen. of course, it's unclear who that nominee will be. and it's, also, unclear whether the republicans would have the votes to confirm a nominee.
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and that is the big question that we will be -- we will be dealing with and we will be reporting out for the next two-plus months up until the end of the year. because the republicans can only afford to lose three senators if they want to get a nominee confirmed before the end of the year. and the ultimate question is that whether there will be republicans who say, look -- will agree, essentially, with what joe biden said. that the next president should make that decision. the next senate should make that decision. at the moment, there really are only a handful of republicans that we are looking at who could fall in that direction. people like susan collins of maine. lisa murkowski of alaska. mitt romney of utah. others, more institutionalist type senators that are retiring, like lamar alexander of tennessee. where will they ultimately come down if democrats are successful in november? one question i'm told is under consideration and discussion among senate republicans is whether they should try to move
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before november. it's typical, two to three months is the typical timeframe for a nominee. one thing i am told they are discussing is whether or not there would need to be nine justices on the supreme kofrtcoo deal with any election disputes. of course, we expect there to be lots of legal challenges potentially over mail-in voting, especially if the election is close. that is going to be a discussion, here, in the senate. need to deal with it, come election day. but of course, that raised all sorts of other issues. president naming a nominee who could presumably preside over a disputed election. so those are all major question that will decide the balance of the court and will affect americans' lives for years to come here, anderson. >> i want to talk more about this. gloria borger, jeff toobin, paul begala. do there have to be nine justices in order for the court to make a decision, which is what manu just raised? >> not -- not at all. in fact, because mitch mcconnell
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kept antonin scalia's seat vacant for manufacturore than ae court functioned fine with eight. and you mentioned something, earlier, that i think is worth focusing on, a little bit. which is that, you know, a lot of people think the number of supreme court justices is set in the constitution. it's not. and -- and it's changed, over the years. i mean, it hasn't changed for -- for more than a hundred years. but it is the -- the -- if -- if the republicans jam through a second nominee and a second seat that many democrats believe have been stolen. the democrats, if they control the presidency, the house, and the senate, can increase the number of justices. they can add one, two, three, justices to the supreme court, if, you know, that -- that's simply a law. it's not a -- it's not in the
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constitution. and you can be sure, if this vacancy is filled under these extraordinary circumstances, there will be a lot of democrats who want to do just that, if joe biden and the democrats win in november. >> paul begala. we haven't heard from you tonight. you know a thing or two about political battles on capitol hill and the white house. what do you -- what do you foresee? >> well, first, my heart does go out to justice ginsburg's family and friends. she was a remarkable person. when president clinton picked her. i remember, he said to me this is the thurgood marshall of the women's rights movement and he was right. so i've been texting with members of the senate. and it's extraordinary. the democrats, of course. one member, for example. very institutionalist. very moderate senator, who often seeks out bipartisan compromise. it sounded to me like he's putting war paint on. he said this would do lasting
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damage. putting someone on the court, in the last months of a trump presidency, would do lasting damage to the legitimacy of the court. a more progressive senator told me there will be no holds barred, if we take the majority. republicans take us for patsies and, too often, they are right. there will be a movement, to put four. four on the court. i'm not entirely sure mcconnell has those votes, though. i think congressman shalala was right, that that was bad manners. the democrats i have talked to say senator murkowski of alaska, republican, has already said in the past she would not support one. they believe she will stay true to that. chuck grassley. senator from iowa. has, in the past, said he would not support an election-year nominee. a lot of pressure on mitt romney who's stood up to trump more than anybody else in the republican conference.
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and then, senators up for re-election. susan collins of maine. cory gardener of colorado. thom tillis of north carolina. even lindsey graham. so all those senators i just mentioned a moment ago, may have tough re-election bids. and this will be an issue. usually, republicans vote far more than democrats on the court. and that's to their credit. a month ago, there was a pew poll where for the first time in my experience more democrats cared than republicans. so this is a very salient issue to democrats. as i say, i have been talking to some of the more moderate people i know in the senate. and they don't sound very moderate about this. >> paul, just as you are talking, we have been looking at the other side of the screen, a shot outside the supreme court. and it's really an extraordinary scene.
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people are gathering to pay their respects to ruth bader ginsburg. i'm not sure that -- that generally happens with the death of a supreme court justice. but -- it may but i haven't seen something like this. it's -- it's an extraordinary testament to how well-known she was and the impact that she had. you know, not -- not only as a justice. but also, for the career that she had and all that she had done for gender equality and for civil rights, before. >> right. had she never been on the supreme court, she would have been one of those consequential figures. this is someone who's left an enormous impact on our society. and i think, very much, for the
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better. >> gloria, we are no longer showing outside the court. but it is. it's an extraordinary idea people are going to outside the supreme court, almost 10:00 at night, on a friday night in washington. >> it is. and it's -- it shows you that ruth bader ginsburg is sort of a woman for the ages. and she has affected women, in particular, of all generations and of all political stripes. because one thing women can agree on is that there needs to be some equality for them, no matter where you come from, politically. and ruth bader ginsburg tried to hand that tho them, every singl day of her life. and that's what she worked for. and so, i do think she's a justice for the ages. and i do think she -- she is someone that, in a way, although she was a liberal justice, i get
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that. but she was brilliant. look. she was friends with antonin scalia. and she was somebody who paved the way for women. and i think, no matter what political persuasion you are, whether you agree with her on issues, you can say, that was a woman who was a pioneer for me and for others. and i think that's what you are seeing on -- on the steps of the supreme court, tonight. it is political, sure. but lots of women can look to her and say i wouldn't be where i am, if it weren't for ruth bader ginsburg. >> jeff, you have written extensively about the supreme court and two books which i've actually read, which are awesome and really fascinating. it's such a -- a -- an interesting institution that people don't really know much about how it works, behind the scenes. what role did she play? i mean, obviously, we know on her political positions. but just in terms of interacting with all the other justices.
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>> you know, she -- she was famous, for a time, for her friendship with antonin scalia. marty ginsburg was a great chef. and antonin scalia was a great eater. and they used to spend new year's eve together, every year, where marty would cook. and the -- the ginsburgs and scalias would -- would enjoy his cooking, together. that is something that is rare in american politics, these days. you don't see those kinds of friendships across the aisle in the united states senate, the way you used to 20 and 30 years ago. but no one should mistake her friendship with the add v vadve. and often, thwarted during her 27 years on the court. there is no sugarcoating the
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fact that she was in dissent in a lot of important cases. >> stay with us. more on the remarkable life of justice ginsburg, after this. if you have medicare and medicaid, a dual complete plan from unitedhealthcare can help. giving you more benefits. at no extra cost. and a promise to be there for you. whatever your story may be. to learn more, call or go online. dual complete from unitedhealthcare.
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