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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 29, 2009 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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american public pay attention to this issue and not become confused about our own security. we are still in the cross hairs about groups like al qaeda. if they get their hands on these weapons, i believe they will use them. there were six countries 10 years ago that had nuclear weapons. today, they're almost 10. there are over a dozen states that have biological weapons. some of these have ties to terrorist group, including iran and syria. . . many people are still flabbergasted that al qaeda was able to pull off the attack --
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the attacks of 9/11. the concern is thick and help somebody or do this themselves without anybody's help, which could make it even more challenging from an intelligence perspective. host: thank you for being with us. >> this is another live look at the u.s. supreme court as the core wraps up its 2008-2009 term. they issued this morning a ruling has that white firefighters in new haven, conn. were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that sonia sotomayor endorsed as a appeals judge. new haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no african-americans and only to spend our part were likely to be made to tenants or captains based on the results, the court said monday in a 5-4 decision.
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the city said it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities. so that supreme court decision was 5-4 in favor of the firefighters who say they were denied a promotion of race. some reaction coming in from that from the office of senator patrick leahy, a democrat from beaumont -- democrat from vermont, the chairman of the judiciary committee. he says the supreme court decision interest the critical protections of title 7 anyway never intended by congress when it passed this landmark law to prevent workplace discrimination more than 40 years ago. he also wrote that it would be wrong to use today's decision to criticize judge sonia sotomayor who sat on the panel of the second circuit that heard the case but did not write its unanimous opinion. the judge and the lower court panel did what judges are supposed to do. those are the words of senator
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patrick leahy. they follow precedent -- is notable for justices would have upheld the ruling, including the retiring justice souter, who sonia sotomayor is nominated to replace. the court has repeatedly said title seven should not be used to support efforts at voluntary compliance. the strong basis in evidence standard as described in general and was cavalierly applied in this case, making voluntary compliance a hazardous venture. that was patrick leahy quoting from the 5-4 decision coming from the supreme court today. you can follow more reaction to this decision by the u.s. supreme court at our website, c- you can also see a portion of the argument where there are oral argument transcripts as
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well as judge's opinions and more at our web site, c- the court also making announcements on what cases the will or will not hear in the upcoming term beginning in october. regarding one of them, the supreme court has refused to allow victims of the 9/11 attacks to pursue lawsuits against saudi arabia and four of its princes over money allegedly funneled to al qaeda. the court is leaving in place by the ruling of a federal appeals court that the country, saudi arabia, and the princes are protected by sovereign immunity. that means that foreign countries cannot be sued in american courts. later today, as you can watch a house hearing on regulating executive pay at publicly traded
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companies. that is at 12:30 eastern time on our companion network, c-span2. at 5:30 p.m., and admiral speaking at the atlantic council. the topics include north korea's most recent nuclear and missile testing. that's at 5:30 eastern on c- span. >> file sharing has wreaked havoc on our business. >> tonight, on "the communicators" digital music and publishing. >> one of the goals of my industry is to have the isp's take more responsibility for the service they're providing and make sure they're not providing a huge on trade to intellectual property for free. >> the chairman of universal music publishing group, tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicator's" on c-span2.
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>> in just a moment, we will go to more of today's's "washington journal" but, bernard madoff has been sentenced to 150 years. he spoke of his own behalf at the sentencing, the judge sentenced him to 150 years. that was a recommendation as one of the harsher lengths of sentencing. again, bernard madoff is sentenced to 150 years. we will have more on that as time allows and the news develops. we will have that for you here on c-span. a topic on this morning's "washington journal" was how congressional seats may be preserved or not through redistricting. we will show you that segment now. host: peter brookes is the
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project manager for re- districting reform. this comes up every 10 years with the senses, but this is an issue broader than just the census. what is your organization concerned about? guest: it is concerned about extreme jerrymanders that have been taking place with more frequency and extremism. politicians choosing voters in their districts rather than voters choosing their elected officials. americans for redistricting reform was greeted as a couple of years ago with a grant from the rockefellers to focus to the extent that we can on the fact that politicians when they draw up the strips with a congressional or state legislative oftentimes jury pick their voters to ensure the election of incumbents or create damage to the other party.
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host: tell us about the role of the census and seven congressional districts? guest: it will be taken in 2010. our constitution provides for that. once the census did it come out there usually released on a rally basis, beginning 2011. -- when the data canal. when that comes up for each state and we khagb over the course of a decade, populations move and people moved in and out of the states. some states lose population and there is a formula congress has set out to determine how many congressional seats you get based on a population calculations. they allocate seat number one,
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then seat number two, all the way to four hundred 35. >>host: how are they able to do that? guest: unless the state law bars them from doing more than once a decade, they are permitted to do it. the most recently famous example was in texas, where in 2003, the texas legislature took the congressional redistricting map and a read-predicted the state even though they had a valid plan in state -- and the re redistricted the state. if we allow legislators and politicians after every election to look over the results and then decide this incumbent looks like their district is trending so they may have a problem in the next election, let's move some bad population out and did
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population in. then we can afford the voters will. >>host: you mentioned to texas where it benefited republicans, but have states been gerrymandered to benefit democrats? >> it is a bipartisan effort. both sides do it. both sides maximize their political power to the extent they can within a state. because congress has a balance roughly of democrats and republicans even the democrats are in control now, redistricting is a process that allows a party to pick up seats for about five elections. if you can redistrict in such a way in a state and you control the governor's chair senate and house, you can -- right after the census comes out, if you really want to gerrymander the
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district, you can really minimize the minority party, whichever party that happens to be, and then drop the whole decade of that party will never be able to recapture the seeds that had been taken away. >> -host: you can call the numbs on your screen if you have a question or comment for the guest. there is a bill proposed before congress that would change congressional redistricting. under the bill, a congressman from tennessee is one of the sponsors. there be an equal number of commissioners appointed by the majority and minority leaders in the legislature. where did the independents come in? guest: independence are not
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precluded from being appointed to the commission, but the way it works in the state is that they generally, the major political parties in the last election, the leaders of those two parties, they could be independent or green in some states, they get to choose a person to be on that commission. there's nothing that precludes democrats or republicans from appointing an independent to the commission. it is usually seen as a process where democrats will appoint democrats and republicans will play republicans. host: how does your organization feel about the proposed legislation? guest: [unintelligible] they have shown leadership on this issue. it is difficult to get incumbent members of congress to agree that the process by which they get to choose their voters ought to be changed.
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it is probably the biggest advantage that incumbents have and we applaud them for putting the issue out there. we cannot even get a hearing the last time the bill was introduced. we hope the leadership in the house will at least give him the opportunity to focus some sunlight on this issue because german -- gerrymandering is undermining our democracy. host: we have a call from our democrats line. caller: i want to know if your guests can speak for ohio and a paradigm shift that has happened or we have democrats in control of what is going to make up [unintelligible] if they are reelected with this upcoming term. what we have seen is that ohio has been very gerrymandered when the republicans had control. the districts were sold out of whack that the democrats took over, when in in each republican district. i want to know if he has studied the ohio state map and could
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talk about the redistricting there. guest: that's an interesting topic because ohio is a very important state with a lot of congressional seats. as the caller pointed out, republicans control process there. the redistricting there is done by an independent commission for the state legislature and the districts were gerrymandered by republicans. interestingly enough, during the course of the decade in ohio, when republicans did control the process, there was an initiative to take this issue and put it into the hands of an independent commission that would, and a bipartisan way, democrats supported it because they were the party of power. republicans were against it because they were the party in power. now, because the democrats of taken over, you see the democrats lost interest in coming up with an independent commission has waned and republicans seem to be more interested.
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guest: a call from raleigh, n.c. on the independence line. caller: i think it is unconstitutional that democrats, when they have power in office, they will keep wanting more power. so they're going to take up more districts. more districts and when the republicans do not have the power there will be put behind. host: do it you see that happening? guest: it is definitely true in north carolina for the democrats control the governor's chair, the house, and the senate. when you have a monopoly like that on state power you really have the opportunity as a majority party to draw the lines almost any way you see fit as long as they do not violate federal law. you can redistrict in a way to put the minority party in a
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permanent minority status for the rest of the decade. host: viewers are calling from a number of states. what they cacan they find out fr website? guest: we have a math of the nation and you can bring up each state. -- have a mpa. ap. -- we have a map. host: back to texas with a twitter. what is the story with taxes now? guest: that is probably one of the best examples that you can use about why it redistricting can really hurt estate. at the time that the 2003
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redistricting took place there control the house but not by much will bested by the then minority leader was to knock off certain democrats. this it was half 110% a partisan effort. they knocked out three people. there were all democrats. those world ranking members of the rules committee, agriculture committee, and homeland security committee. all of those three people got redistricting peoplea point are there now out of congress. then the democrats to control the house. all three of those people would be committee chairs. think about how powerful the committee is, especially for the state of texas -- rules, agriculture, home and security. yet those german ships are held by someone from new york in
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rules, minnesota in agriculture, and mississippi in homeland security. it has real consequences. host: good morning on the republican line. caller: what we will see in this next census with obama moving into the white house and letting acorn take over the census, it will be let chicago politics cannot i do not want some criminal from a corn showing up at my friend door and asking me what time i leave for work. -- from acorn. what can they do if we refuse to enter this? it will not be fair. it will be gerrymandered by acorn will sign up every illegal they can find. there will give them the census to fill up as if they are american citizens. host: what do know about the committee group acorn in 2010? guest: i don't know there will
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have any role in conducting the census. caller is obviously referring to the widely publicized issues of acorn registering people who are fictitious or duplicative. the thing to remember is that the white house has made it clear after some initial news reports about this that aboutcensus will be conducted only and the part of commerce. that is the way that it should be. it should never be a political football. i would say to the caller that it is important everyone respond to the senscensus. it is used for a variety of purposes. m)áá
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i would add one final point. it does not matter whether you are a person who is an undocumented person happens to be here or whether you are here as not a citizen, but here legally or whether you are a citizen, the census counts everybody. because everybody who is here is using services. the issue of emigration and the legality is a separate issue from the census. host: our guest is a former adjoint professor of law at georgetown university. what brings you to this issue of redistricting? guest: i was in the justice department for 21 years, in the voting rights section, the civil rights division. i looked at a lot of redistricting plans in that capacity when i was in the death -- when i was in the justice department. i left in 1994. i have done a lot of litigation in the area of redistricting and was retained to represent certain members of the
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congressional black caucus. whose tissues were struck down in the 1990's in wake of the supreme court decision. -- whose issues were struck dumb. then i was retained as general counsel by the national democratic party's redistricting party, impact 2000. host: is a more democratic or republican party? guest: it is split pretty evenly. republicans control more of legislatures and governorships in states where they had a monopoly. this time you see more split control. neighboring virginia is a good example where you have a democratic governor and senator and republican-controlled house. that means you either compromise to get a plan passed for redistricting, or not in which
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cases the courts will draw it for you. host: good morning, on the democrats' line. caller: of like to ask him about the republicans. when they were in office they redistricted around and change everything. now they're talking about democrats. here in tennessee our elections have always been [inaudible] guest: what is interesting is that her comments reflect the frustration many have with the redistricting process. whoever happens to be in power at the time it takes place is really able to draw the districts in a way to minimize competition from the other side. i will say that the supreme court of the united states has said that political gerrymandering is something that can violate the constitution. they have never found it to violate the constitution, but say theoretically you can bring such a case.
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we brought the texas case to them for texas admitted that 110% of the reasons for redistricting was political, the supreme court turned its back on the challenge. in terms of partisanship i think nearly anything goes. based on that supreme court decision. host: nebraska on the republican line. caller: good morning. this legislation, will it help to solve some of this gerrymandering? especially since rahm emanuel and a corn will be running it? guest: a think use talking to the cantor bill, rather.
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it is talking about putting it into citizens' hands to draw maps. that must be a good process, especially if you are concerned about politicians picking who their voters should be. oftentimes the citizens commission will have a lot more redistricting meetings out and open rather than in smoke-filled rooms. host: the issue coming up in new york with an article this morning in the paper writes the state senate -- are the got you down? no worry, the end is in sight. the state senate should be back in business by 2013. an analysis suggests that democrats are poised to gain as many as six seats after the 2010 census,@@@@@@@@@ @ @
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redistricting is more abstract art than exact science. guest: i would agree with that. the situation in new york was an interesting one. what you had in new york for decades was republicans controlling the state senate and democrats controlling the general assembly, the statehouse. they had a gentleman's agreement, so to speak, where the democrats in the house were allowed to restrict themselves and not disadvantage themselves at all. the republican senators went along and rap -- and approve the plan and the republicans led democrats control the census and redistricting even though the state was getting lower and blower. now you have the split, with new york trending the way it is.
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it is a matter of time before the democrats take over the state senate. did, but i believe a couple of democrats switched parties to create this situation. host: good morning on the democrats' line. caller: thank you for letting me speak to your guest there. i have a question about the fairness of all this. it seems like what happened is during the 1990's, and have worked in civil-rights. there were so intent on getting minority districts that a lot of times but they do in these seven states is to take all the minorities and liberal people and put them into maybe one district to lessen or diluted the voting power and that of the non-working minorities and other districts. -- in other districts.
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the supreme court seems to think anything you do in redistricting is ok. how would you redistrict the state that has -- how would you know where to draw the lines if you have a stay with 10 congressional seats and they did not have people register as if they're democrats or republicans? guest: let me answer the last part first. you look at election returns from prior elections to see what presents were voting overwhelmingly for one or the other party. you could measure the way if you did not have voter registration by party. but the callers point is extremely interesting because under the voting rights act states are required to provide states with effective opportunities for minority voters if they can meet certain conditions. it is of redistricting strategy, actually, employed in many cases
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by republicans to take minorities and pack them into districts to the highest level for the reason the caller says. because it has an effect of bleaches the adjoining districts, making them more white and more susceptible to democratic losses and republican gains. this is often referred to as the unholy alliance between republicans and a separate groups. host: has president obama weighed in on this? guest: he has and says the process needs reforming. he says a system whereby we let politicians really manipulate the lines from which they are elected -- you know, i have seen politicians draw districts to enter to include certain members of the family within it. or drop a line that goes out just to take a particular potential opponent out of the
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district so they'll have to run against the person, or first person to move. even in president obama's book he noted the importance of reforming this process host: here is a twitter message. host: why 435? guest: it has been in effect for about a century and congress can change it. many people think it should be changed. there is a possibility that in the next round some congressional seats will have 1 million people. the u.s. house is supposed to be the people's house. the more people you must represent it in such a district, especially when the lines can be drawn in such a


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