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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  May 9, 2022 10:00pm-10:34pm EDT

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current members of the supreme court answer questions about roe v. wade during their confirmation hearings. >> let me ask you this. john roberts said that roe versus wade is the law of the land. do you believe that? >> it is an important precedent of the supreme court. it has been on the books for a long time, it has been challenged on a number of occasions, and i discussed those yesterday. the supreme court has reaffirmed the decision, sometimes of merit, sometimes of deciding. >> they lead the foundation for roe v. wade. if your impression is law? >> -- versus casey reaffirmed the court holding of roe. that is the president of the court and settled in terms of
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the holding of the court. >> you can find the weekly on c-span now, our free mobile video app, or wherever you get your podcasts. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more, including comcast. >> you thought this was just a community center? no, it is way more than that. >> comcast is partnering with 1,000 community centers to create wi-fi enabled centers for students of low income families to get them ready for anything. announcer: comcast supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> the house takes up a bill this week allowing its staff to perform -- form unions. it would also set the minimum salary for housestaff at 40
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$500,000. they also begin debate on protecting a woman's right to abortion. 60 votes would be needed. this comes after draft supreme court decision overturning roe v. wade was released to the press. watch coverage of the senate and the house of representatives live on c-span. >> -- is with us, he is the supreme court reporter for bloomberg. here to talk with us about the future of roe v. wade in the wake of the leaked draft, when you heard the news of that, when you saw that draft decision come out, what were your initial thoughts? >> i was driving so my initial thought was i should pull over to not hit anybody. nothing like this has happened
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in my time covering the court where a leaked draft opinion came out and this is close to the biggest supreme court decision we have had over a long period of time. perhaps it wasn't that surprising given the way the argument went. it was very much a possibility that the court might say that we are going to overturn roe v. wade, but the fact that it came out like this is stunning. >> in terms of coverage, it is an incredible -- you do not get background from the justices, but for information to come out like this has never happened before. >> we have seen a few examples in recent years about tidbits of deliberations getting leaked out between argument and won the case is decided. we have seen other examples after the fact of reporters who have learned some of the maneuvering that went on behind
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the scenes in a case but again, this sort of thing where the entire draft opinion comes out, nothing has come close to it. >> this draft opinion was reportedly written back in february. this is in the mississippi abortion case, correct? mr. stohr: yes. >> what does the mississippi loggia and what are the justices continuing -- considering? mr. stohr: that would be banning abortion after fifth teen -- 15 weeks of -- asking the courts to go even further than it would need to hunt explicitly overturn roe in the 1992 casey decision. >> has the court ruled on any of the abortion cases it has heard? mr. stohr: it has ruled on the texas case about whether this texas law that would ban
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abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, whether there is a way to challenge that and lock it before it went into effect. the court dealt with that on an emergency basis and they essentially said no, there is not a way you can challenge that law. there is another kentucky case that was even more procedural on questions about whether the kentucky attorney general could take the defense of that state's abortion law. >> what are the ramifications of the decision in the mississippi case? mr. stohr: if all they do is uphold the mississippi law, there has been some reporting that that is what chief justice john roberts would prefer that they do, and at the minimum they are going to undercut the base of roe and casey which led, up until the point of fetal
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viability, they cannot restrict abortion. there is no way they can hold that law without at least undercutting the base of roe and casey. >> looking at the future of the supreme court under chief justice roberts, how has the court changed, the makeup of the court and the dynamics was now six conservative justices, including the chief justice? how has chief justice roberts' role changed with the addition of the new justices? mr. stohr: after justice ginsburg died, we had -- along ideological lines. he really controlled almost everything once justice barrett took the seat, that shifted the
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balance to the right and now this is somebody other than john roberts for the case. maybe cavanagh, neil gorsuch, and to that extent, the chief justice prefers a bit of an incremental approach to the law. the idea that you might not go all the way to overturn roe in this case might be something you might do, but if there are five justices, we want to go further than he does and he controls that decision and that is from this draft. >> we welcome your calls and comments. we are talking about the leak of that draft decision. here are the lines for democrats. it is (202) 748-8000, for republicans, (202) 748-8001, and for all others, it is (202) 748-8002.
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they did not waste any time after yesterday and they confirmed the decision, but also initiated the investigation of what that investigation would look like. some people are calling for the fbi to begin investigating and the chief would ask the marshal of the supreme court, somebody who basically charges security to do an investigation so that keeps it in internal. we do not know a lot about that investigation. we do know that the marshal could perhaps call on some outside help with that investigation paid we do not even know for certain that we will hear the result of it. all we know is that he has asked her to do that investigation. >> that means some reporters were asked questions by the marshal or were asked to appear to answer questions. mr. stohr: it certainly could. there is some precedent for
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reporters being asked about their sources and that is troubling for a lot of journalists from a first amendment perspective. i would imagine that the marshal would start internally, talking to the people, there are a dozen people that have access to the opinion, and that would be an issue of starting, and if that does not produce -- they would consider something broader than that. >> what did you think about the protests happening, talking about the protesters marching between the maryland houses. that is also unprecedented. have those justices received extra security? mr. stohr: we talk about the security proceedings, but we saw on saturday night that there certainly was a very big police presence at both of their houses. they knew that this was coming and there was no -- there were a
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number of officers in congress and the like. the court itself, there is now the same fencing that they had around the capitol complex of january 6. perhaps that is now there. the court is clearly taking some security precautions. >> tell us about the process that the justices go through. this is a draft decision. how did they come to a consensus on the decision or decide a case. how does that process go? mr. stohr: after the argument, they always have a private conference where they take an initial vote and within a week or two after that, they have a justice in the majority, and it appears to be justice thomas that gets to assign the opinion to somebody and that will be the majority opinion and the various
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points, saying that i can join with that opinion or they have defenses as well. >> in the washington times, this tells a more in-depth look at some of the arguments written in that draft. when you looked at that draft decision, did it report to us what you had heard from justice alito, particularly the questions he may have asked during that mississippi case? mr. stohr: it did. it also comports with what he said in his speeches over the years where he wants to look at the constitution from an originalist perspective. he looks at the history and tradition surrounding that and also there were parts of opinion where you could see he has
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nodded towards another justice like justice barrett who had an argument and raise the idea of the safe haven laws that you leave the baby somewhere, and not be prosecuted for that. that is something that he makes as an argument, something he mentions as an aside, so you can be little pieces of the opinion where he may have been trying to attract the support of the other justices. >> do you think the final decision will be written by justice alito? mr. stohr: that would certainly be the case. the dynamic seems to be that the chief justice has been and perhaps dill is trying to convince one of the other justices, someone like kavanaugh or barrett to join him in a narrower decision. if so, we might end up with not an opinion from the courts but rather, two different camps in the majority, one that will go
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farther and one that is narrower. >> we have a call from betty in stockton california. good morning. >> good morning. i am about this minister -- a baptist minister and i really believe in god we trust. we put weight on marriage before they can be doing sexual activities. i think that there would not need to be an abortion. i think it is murder when you take a fetus and and its life. i think it is a travesty to america. we murder so many people before birth and after birth. i am totally against it paid and i wish it was overturned. >> what are some of the other
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highlights from the draft that justice alito wrote? mr. stohr: is basic saying was that abortion is not a right that has been mentioned in the constitution. because it is not a right mentioned in the constitution, it can be protected only if it is deeply rooted in the nation's history. he spent a lot of time talking about english common law and laws that were in place throughout american history, including around the time of the 14th amendment when it was enacted after the civil war. that seemed to be a real core of the decision and that is one of the areas where people on the other side of the issue have been pushing back in terms of his analysis. >> pushing back with legislation, it has already been passed and then from wednesday, the women's health protection act, they finally closure done that. i want to remind viewers that
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that will be coming on a vote to advance that bill this wednesday in the u.s. senate, live coverage is here. it will be over on c-span two. mike is on the democrats line. go ahead, mike. mike in st. louis, you are on the air. >> good morning. thank you for taking my call. it is a complex issue. i'm going to read from page 65 of the draft. roe and casey must be overruled and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned. never mind, i think -- i should have this paid off, i apologize. -- page off, i apologize. i live in missouri and we have
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got the trigger law. a lot of state legislatures did not know how they would rule and they thought they would go back to the states, which is kind of true, but if they wanted -- of the five justices wanted to go back to the state legislatures, they should have said that. they said to return it to the people and their elective -- elected representatives. i think viable fetuses have a right to life and i don't -- i know they don't say that in roe v. wade specifically, but a viable theory -- fetuses have a right to life and this is one they said roe v. wade was -- should be dismissed. they did away with that right. >> he mentioned the term trigger law, tell us about that. mr. stohr: there are 13 states that have laws that if the supreme court overturns roe, automatically abortion would be
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banned in our state. there are other states that have pre-existing bands on abortion, some dating back 100 years that would potentially kick in as well so we are talking about how do people look at this commend where talking at least two dozen states that would ultimately be completely banning abortion if the court overturns roe. >> what does this term, starting decisive mean? mr. stohr: that means that the supreme court will stand by its precedent. all agree that there are some circumstances where you can overturn a past ruling. they look at what the right factor in what is the right time. they definitely spend a lot of time and opinion talking about his view about when you can overturn the ruling and why this is an appropriate time to do that. >> howe also has the court
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overturned its previous precedent? mr. stohr: it has been once a year during the roberts court time that the number has increased in recent years and there are certainly -- the number could increase a lot more going forward, if you have a lot of individual justices who have suggested that we overturn such and such a ruling. this is the biggest one. >> would this also opened the door for states to reconsider their contraceptive laws, or the 2015 decision on gay marriage? mr. stohr: justice alito says no. his analysis, he says that abortion is different only because there's a potential human life involved there. certainly, what states do it?
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the mississippi governor said to the press yesterday that we cannot rule out the idea that mississippi would ban contraception. the underpinning of ro from an overly -- of roe from a legal standpoint, that is a decision that some justices when they are testifying before the senate have said it is a settled law, but why this would be a settled law under roe is hard to say at this point. >> let's hear from the independent line. >> good morning. what i would like to say is that the u.s. flag seems to be broken -- the wind is blowing hard, but i am a vietnam veteran.
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i do not understand why the flags are not flowing correctly. >> at the u.s. capitol? >> yes. >> we turned around to look at the capital route, but they are looking fine. here is springfield, virginia. the independent line. >> good morning, greg. >> you're on the air, go ahead. go ahead with your question or comment. >> i am going to try to be really calm about this. i have been listening to this concern about this draft since it came out. i am a nurse. my working experience has been -- i have to tell you i have been on the side of watching history take place.
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i was there before my degree in massachusetts before this law was passed and i remember the young girls, there was one in particular who hung herself because she was vilified for being pregnant. from the pastor from stockton, i have to remind him that it is not just that ladies have to wait until they get married. i want to remind him about the gentleman -- i think his name was brock turner -- on how he raped a young woman who was unconscious. i want to remind him about the institutions that have been put in place to protect young girls and women from harm that have been failing them miserably. there was a case of a football team in ohio who went and partied, they drugged the girls at the party and gang raped them, videotaped it, and the
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coaches knew about it and it did nothing. we have got larry nazar, we have got the guy from penn state. we have been told that the girls have to control themselves when we have young men and men who claimed to be part of a group called in cells who believe that girls' bodies are there's. as a nurse doing a community vaccination at a middle school in virginia, i saw 14-year-old boy who was a basketball player sexually harassing one of his classmates. those kinds of behaviors are dismissed like, they are just boys. there is a new case now in south carolina of three young women who are raped by a 19-year-old and the court let him off with probation. he doesn't have to register as a
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sex offender. we have got warren jeff, the head of a religious group in utah who felt it was ok to take 12-year-olds as brides. >> a lot there, a real hard social issue that the justices are grappling with here. mr. stohr: it is and part of what justice alito said in his draft opinion is that we want the court to be out of this and that sort of debate is happening among the people and their elected representatives. not totally clear that will happen. the issues as i was talking about are going to come back if this draft opinion does become finalized. some states will ban abortion in cases of rape and insist and the sorts of things she was talking about. we have those laws on various other issues.
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>> when do you think we could get a decision on this case? mr. stohr: by june or early july. that is one the court term ends and they usually come out at the end of the term in recent years. >> let's hear from the democrats line. >> good morning. thank you for taking my call. i want to mention your introduction to this program. the future of roe v. wade. i have got news for you. roe v. wade does not have a future. dozens of states have trigger laws and a lot of states in the southeast and midwest in this country have a higher maternal mortality rates than any developed country. -- have trigger laws, and my other question is why would alito and the supreme court not
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go after a form of birth control like plan b? one a fully fledged human person -- should be locked up and everyone made a big deal about how trump was saying, there should be some form of punishment for women who have a termination pregnancy. it is not a big lie. they are prosecuting miscarriages these days. these radical anti-choice forced birth proponents have no ideological consistency. why not make contraception more accessible? no, that goes against our ideology. mr. stohr: the texas law is in effect right now. and it comes to the supreme court, they refused to block it. they allowed a small avenue for
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a challenge to go against it, but the lower courts said that avenue does not exist so the law is in full effect right now. that means people can file full lawsuits in texas against anybody who has an abortion before six weeks and abortion has not totally stopped in texas but it has significantly reduced. >> one of the pro-choice members is susan collins. kavanaugh and gorsuch possibly broke -- on roe v. wade. if this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inaccurate with what gorsuch and kavanaugh said in their hearings. in my office, she said we do not know what each justice's decision reasoning is until the
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supreme court officially releases its announcement. these are conversations prior to their nomination hearings, correct? mr. stohr: that is correct. she said in conversations she had with them privately and in their public testimonies, it was -- her public testimony was that they both said that roe is a precedent. they didn't say settled law. it is a president of the court, is what they said, which is a different thing. they said it was entitled to respect as a precedent of the court, and people talk about casey as a precedent on a precedent. it may be that they said something more to her privately and perhaps she will reveal that. >> let's hear from cornelia in
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new jersey on the republican line. >> hi. thank you for taking my call. i sympathize with girls and women that have been abused or even raped or are in poverty and so on, but two wrongs never make a right. we have to respect life. if we can murder a child in the womb, why would anyone respect life in america or anyplace else that condones abortion? once that child is conceived, it has a right to be respected and loved and cherished and supported. there are groups out there that will support women who are in need of help with their pregnancies. >> justice alito's draft,
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doesn't get into those issues at all about when life begins and when a fetus is considered viable? mr. stohr: we are not going to decide that. he did recognize that a lot of what they were saying is that there is an interest on the stateside and articulating what that interest is is that many people does believe it is a human being. that was part of the reason justice alito said we should not be involved in this. >> we go to richard in florida. you are on the air. >> i would like to know how it is possible under the texas law allowing anybody to sue the doctors that provide for an abortion after six weeks, how they can have standing in the court?
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if you have normal relations, no knowledge of the person you are suing, don't you have to have some standing before the court to allow you to collect certain damages? the whole lot doesn't seem to make any sense to the fact that the federal courts have been throwing it out, it seems amazing to me. it is such a vigilante form of justice that it is very scary. to allow you to collect civil damages? a doesn't seem to make any sense and the fact that the federal courts haven't thrown it out seems amazing to me.
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it seems like it's such an vigilante form of justice that it's very scary. >> that's a great question. this will be standing in the texas state courts. it's not u.s. constitutional standard. the point of the texas law is that that argument can still be made, but it requires -- providers are now at risk of massive liability if they rely on an argument like that, go ahead and perform abortions and then get sued. have to count on the texas courts to agree with them and say yes indeed, you are right. this law -- the person suing you doesn't have standing
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>> political correspondence jonathan martin and alex burns talk about their new book, this will not pass, which covers the 2020 presidential election, the january 6 right, and the first year of the biden presidency -- riot, and the first year the biden presidency. watch "washington journal" live on c-span. join the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. treasury secretary janet yellen gives an update on u.s. financial stability. live coverage of the senate banking committee hearing is tuesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, online at, or with our free video app c-span now.
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>> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, supported by these television companies and more. ♪ >> giving you a front row seat to democracy. president biden has signed a bill making it easier to send weapons, military equipment, and other aid to ukraine in its fight against russia. in return the u.s. will have guarantees for replacing or reimbursing the assets at a later date. pres. bide w


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