tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC June 26, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
>> and respect. >> trust and respect, lennie gerber, and pearl berlin, thank you for that life advice and thank you for joining us again tonight. >> thank you. >> it is our pleasure. equality. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york again. the zimmerman trial is continuing and we will update you on the latest developments there in a moment. but first let me start tonight with this huge supreme court decision striking down the defense of marriage act. it means that the united states government opposes any discrimination against same-sex couples married in one of the
states that recognizes the same-sex marriage. married means married. if you're married in one of the states that recognizes marriage by same-sex couples, you are married in the eyes of the government of the united states as of today. i would have gone further than the decision today. i think the 14th amendment to the constitution could not be more clear, quote, nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of life nor deny to any person within its jury diction the equal protection of the laws. tell me how a state can deny a couple that right to marry without denying liberty? and how can a state be allowed the couple without due process of law? did they commit a crime? what due process? i heard david boyce say something outside the supreme court today. he said the decision by the court striking down doma will be followed by the same decision against california's prop 8 when that measure gets to be properly brought before the court which it hasn't so far. i agree with david as i often
do. the wheels of justice turn slowly but they will some day and they will some day grind finally. we'll get the court decision america deserves some day. for now it is a time to celebrate the american constitution and the rights it protects. justice correspondent pete williams joins me now. pete, what a day and what a direction. it just seems like even though it's only justice kennedy but the future has been pointed out to us today. >> well, it's very interesting, chris, that just yesterday, the supreme court greatly disappointed the civil rights community in america by striking at the heart of the voting rights act. then came back today and struck down the defense of marriage act giving great hope to the advocates of same-sex marriage across the nation. >> right. >> now, i think you very accurately characterized what the decision says. it does not say that any state has to allow same-sex marriage. what it says is in the states that choose to do so, the federal government cannot refuse to reck nose those marriages.
justice kennedy's opinion for five members of the court said that such a distinction by the federal government serves no legitimate government purpose and demeans people in those states who are recognized as legally married in the states and also humiliates is the word he used tens of thousands of children of same-sex couples. so that was a huge decision. and then in the second big decision today, the court tossed out the legal challenge to california's proposition 8. the challengers had brought. a lower court had declared it unconstitutional. and today the supreme court basically let that lower court ruling stand. it said that the people who put prop 8 on the ballot had no legal authority to come here to the supreme court and try to get the supreme court to overturn that ruling. this opinion written by chief justice cut john roberts said in order to have the legal standing in federal court, you have to show some specific injury to yourself. just having a keen interest in a
subject or a general grievance or it just makes you mad isn't enough. you have to show that you yourself are injured. he said the prop 8 proponents could not make that demonstration. a couple other quick points. number one, when can same-sex marriage start in california? probably not for another 25 to 30 days. wheels of justice have to move, they have to send the order back to the court of appeals. that all has to happen. i will say this. the prop 8 proponents insist there is another way for them to pull prop 8 out of the hat. they haven't given up yet. they think there is a technical way they can get prop 8 reinstated in california. but i would say that the chances of that are pretty slim. so two huge decisions here, chris. >> let's put it together. most married couples live a like this. upper middle class, middle class. they grow up and get married in their 20s or 30s in new york state which now recognizes same-sex marriage.
at a certain time in their life maybe their late 60s, they move to a state like florida. in normal cases in the past, that couple is still married in florida. you don't even think about it. of course they're still married. will they still be married in the eyes of the federal government once they move to florida having moved from a state that recognizes same sex to a state that doesn't? >> as of today, no, with two very minor exceptions. for the most purposes of federal law, the federal rules look to the rules of the state where the couple goes, not to the rules of the state where they got married in the first place. now, the obama administration says it's going to scramble right now to change those rules. so for example, if you're married here in the district of columbia and you file your taxes jointly because you're a married couple and then you move to indiana, presto, the irs no longer thinks you're married as the rules are written now even with doma struck down. the administration says it's going to start rewriting those rules and try to harmonize them so they apply as you said. >> we've got chaos facing us without conformity. pete, great reporting. i know it's interesting to
everybody in the way we're still learning about where we're headed as well. pete, thank you for joining us. up with of the plaintiffs in the prop 8 case. here's what she said today. >> today is a great day for american children and families. sandy and i want to say how happy we are, not only to be able to return to california and timely get married, but to be able to say to the children in california no matter where you live, no matter what your parents are, no matter what family you're in, you are equal. you are as good as your friends' parents. and as your friends. >> translator: the -- >> she sued after her partner died and she was forced to pay taxes a married straight couple would have to. today she won. and here's what she had to say. >> we won everything we asked and hoped for. wow.
i'm honored and humbled and overjoyed to be here today to represent not only the thousands of americans whose lives have been adversely impacted by the defense of marriage act, but those whose hopes and dreams have been constricted by the same discriminatory law. >> we're joined now by gavin newsom, governor of california and christine quinn the speaker of the new york city council. christine quinn, first of all, you're gay up against anthony weiner. i think you're pretty mainstream. let's talk about this. it's so fascinating. this is pretty nonpartisan. i'm looking at this. judge kennedy, a reagan guy. a reagan personal friend and appointed by him. ted olson who fought for bush down in the bush versus gore fight in florida. and only one democrat. two out of three guys, all straight i believe pushed through this thing. it isn't just a gay rights movement in a narrow sense. >> not at all.
look, these decisions today are huge steps forward. and they're steps forward in what they ruled but also you're totally right in who ruled, it was involved in the case and this idea that lgbt civil rights are just some special interests that only a few americans care about who live in california or new york. that reality does not exist anymore. this is much more becoming a pain stream movement. i think that's what's going to help propel us forward. but i do want to take hometown pride. eddi is a new york gal and i want to thank her for her bravery. >> new york is a liberal state in this regard. not everything. not taxes sometimes. governor newsome, you were a pioneer, you were sort of like john brown in the pre-civil war days. you were so far out you got in trouble for him. if prop 22 came up today, not 22, prop 8. if this came up today that
banned same-sex marriage, it looked like it was getting close so it would go the other way now. >> no question be it. >> so the people of california, if they got the vote in your state, they would vote for same sex? >> there's no question in my mind. now, that said that was the backdrop of today's decision if in the worst case prop 8 was upheld, we were ready to go forward with a ballot initiative next year with that confidence in mind. christine knows this and i think everyone watching, even people opposed to marriage equality understand the generational shift. if you're 29 and younger, you overwhelmingly support marriage equality regardless of your political stripes. every single day into the future, it's more and more likely we're going to right these wrongs not just here in celebration of what happened in california and across the country with doma but now in those 37 other states where we still have a lot of work to do.
>> let me ask you about this chris quinn in new york here and this whole question of the country. what are we going to do if we have a country that ends up being divided this way, you're going to have parts of the country where the federal government supports you, you get social security, retirement. in the military, i guess they're going to recognize that fully now. every right as a separate person you get as a gay person. the minute you step out of your state to retire where it's warmer, i was struck by what our expert said. >> this is not the full victory but it's a great step forward. we should be really happy today and really gratified but shouldn't be satisfied because we can't really be satisfied until marriage equality is a right for everybody and every state and if -- i'm not leaving new york but if one was crazy enough to leave new york wherever you went, you would still be recognized as married. that is the ultimate goal. we're not there today. but we now can leap off of a
really firm foundation. we're not fighting against a federal law that you said my family was less than your family. that's now gone. and that creates a different construct for forward motioning >> governor, i want you to talk about san francisco. we had jeane kirkpatrick back when it was all right to do gay baiting and she would refer to the san francisco democrats, hee-hee-hee. i get the feeling i think it is my favorite city although i'm a philadelphia guy. there's nothing like your city. it is a spectacular city. it's also a gay mecca. what is the feeling in that community tonight about this celebratory moment? >> at our best chris, you know this, and for that matter the best of our state and country, we don't kent tolerate diversity. we celebrate it each and every day. we unite around those things that dr. king so eloquently talked about, those things that bind us together. that's what we celebrated that spirit and pride that comes in shape and form when we celebrate those differences as we did with this decision today.
so look, that spirit is permeating the city. and that sense of possibility and hope that we can take this message across the country as christine said to all of these other states. so eventually we go back in front of that supreme court and have the loving versus virginia adjudication and get this addressed on the issue of merit and deal with those remaining states that still deny full equality for all of their citizens. >> i'd like to see as i said in the opening, go all the way with the lawrence decision where david boies said we ought to go and recognize liberty and due process and come down on the states that don't want to go along with this. would you like to see that happy? >> you'd like to see it happen for everyone. the fight state by state -- we'll do it, but it's going to be hard. i want to follow-up on one thing pete williams mentioned. in the ruling around prop 8, it was really are said that for this case to move forward, there would have had to have been harm against someone else. the court said there was no harm
against the folks who brought the case. that's important in my opinion because it underscores what we've always said. my marriage doesn't harm anybody else. and those who put that argument out are today made very clear, it's an absurd and baseless argument. >> christine, you'll be good for new york some day. i'd love to see you mayor of new york. i'm just kidding about this. we're pretty friendly. it is the new normal. i think you're fabulous and you would be great for the city. lieutenant governor gavin newsom has been on his way for years and once again has achieved his goal. equality. >> god bless. >> thank you, chris. >> thank for coming on. why today's supreme court decision means so much to regular people. this is formal recognition by the united states government, not just legal recognition of same-sex couples. this is a big moral and emotional issue to people. we're going to talk about that, especially the people in the lgbt community itself. but everybody. yes you're all one of us now officially now. also, you knew this was coming. darrell issa now claims, oh, no, i never said the white house was
behind those alleged targets of conservatives. i never even implied it. not me. well, two things. yes, you did, darrell. can i call you darrell when you said the targeting came out of washington, that meant the white house. and two, there was no targeting conservative groups. here's what we're left with. darrell issa was misleading the country about who was behind something that never even happened. that's not a great start for a career. plus the other supreme court decision on the voting rights act. we want to show you the immediate effects of that decision so far where states are moving right away to limit access to the polls in places like texas, mississippi, alabama, they're already trying to screw the black voter. watch what they did. and witness for the prosecution. martin's friend takes the stand. she was on the phone with trayvon martin moments before he was killed. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
interrupted with an important phone call. take a look at this. >> the president's on the line. from air force one. >> go ahead. >> hello, mr. president? this is kris perry. >> and sandy. we thank you so much for your support. >> we're proud of you guys and we're so glad that in california, and in a growing number of states across the country because of your leadership people are getting equal rights. so you guys should be very proud today and, you know, for your courage. you're helping out a whole lot of people everywhere. >> thank you, mr. president. >> it was like nixon talking to the astronauts. we'll be right back after this.
stonewall riots. they're named after a big riot up here about equal rights in new york city down in the village which gay rights advocates say began the movement for gay rights in this country. it also comes ten years to the day of another supreme court decision, the lawrence versus texas case which struck down anti-sodomy laws. well, the gay rights movement has made enormous gains in recent years and today's decision is the milestone showing how far it has come. jared is a democratic member of the congress from colorado. and richard was an advisor to the great bill clinton when he was president. congressman, very few people know what it's like to run for congress when you're openly gay and now to be there at a time that the federal government has now not only just officially legalized same-sex marriage, but has formalized its regularity, if you will. made it equal and very much the same thing in terms of straight marriage in terms of its authenticity, its reality. to me, it's a staggering decision today.
>> you know, as you know, the capitol and supreme court are across a lawn. there's a lot more happening on the supreme court side than the capitol side for equal rights. i was over there this morning, thousands of people on the steps of the court gazing at the columns and really excited that our relationships of gay and lesbian americans in fully committed relationships will now receive recognition. >> did you think when you were growing up or as you ran for congress, did you see the united states constitution on your side? >> you know, you mentioned stonewall. frankly, my generation had a lot easier than the generation ahead of me, the pre-stonewall generation. today's kids growing up have it a lot different than i did in schools across our country, taking a same sex date to prom knowing you can marry the person you love. it's amazing the speed we've made progress. the american people are a good people. and they recognize loving relationships and in all their
forms. today's supreme court decision was an important step if the right direction. >> richard, you were there with bill clinton. we had a bill signed by the we president called the defense of marriage act which was anti-gay marriage. you were there, now you're here. bill clinton now celebrates what the court decision said today in knocking down what he signed. how do you put all that together? >> the first thing i want to say about the decision is i think the language in the decision is very affirming. and it really reflects the cultural change that we've seen in the 17 years since clinton was president. you know, he has written about it, he's talked about it. he had that "washington post" op-ed in which he asked the court to overturn doma. i think he's expressed a lot of regret. i think that today -- >> regret, is it the right word or did he do what he had to do? i am an understanding person about politics. i understand at the time, the country wasn't there. why should the president be there? a number shows the country is there. look at this number here right now.
back in 2004, and you were well into this fight before that, it was 30% of the country. less than a third supported guy -- gay marriage, same-sex. then in 2009, it leapt about 25% and went to 41. and then it went another 25% and went to 53%. it's almost double where it was in this century. >> that is why the ruling today is possible. is because you see public be opinion shifting. and that is also -- >> you feel that opinion. >> i feel it around myself. i feel it in, you know, in popular culture, on tv, the the news, in politics. we had a record number of lgbt americans elected to congress. times are really changing. but it's because people have come out. because now people know gay people as their friends, as their neighbors. as their kids, as their parents. it's because gay people have come out that this -- >> i agree with that.
>> this legal moment is possible because of the cultural moment. >> also because people run for office now openly. congressman, tell me, has the wall gone down in colorado as it has in say massachusetts or rhode island? >> it's interesting. in my sexual orientation has never been an issue in running for office. there are six openly gay members of the house. none of them come from gay mecca districts like san francisco. they're from regular suburban districts. river side, california, madison, wisconsin, suburbs of new york city. i'm from the suburbs of denver. it's never been an issue on the campaign trail. >> let's talk about reality for one minute. it seems like young gay people in their late teens get mobile. they can pick a college if they've got money to do it, pick where they want to live. they go to the cities. they go to atlanta, they go to washington. they don't want to stay in the rural areas. is that a reality we live with for a long time? >> they go to the big cities. when i was in law school, i never thought i could run for office because i was a gay person. i thought maybe i could serve in
appointed office. maybe i could serve behind the scenes. but i never thought i could run for congress. it is a totally new day. >> jared polis from the suburbs of denver and richard has been in this fight a longer than many of you have been alive. this guy's been in a long time. up next, the trial of george zimmerman. trayvon martin's friend took the witness stand today. she was on the phone with trayvon martin just before he was killed. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] away...
well, the trial goes on today. there was a significant moment in the trial of george zimmerman charged with second degree murder in the killing of florida teenager trayvon martin. martin's friend rachel jeantel took the stand today as a witness for the prosecution. she was on the phone with martin the night he was killed. here she is today speaking about
that phone call. >> he said, why are you following me for? and i heard a hard breath man saying what are you doing around here. then trayvon was going on and i heard a bump. i feel a feeling it was the bump of the headset. then i was calling trayvon. trayvon. and i start hearing him saying get off, get off. >> we turn to craig melvin who has been following the case for sanford, florida. and legal analyst lisa bloom. craig, what happened today of significance to the prosecution case? >> chris that, clip that you just played there was very significant. that's where they left off about 15 minutes ago. the defense attorney was trying to show that there was an inconsistency in what rachel jeantel said in her deposition and what she said in court. in her deposition she said it could be trayvon. and today on the stand at one
point she said it was certainly trayvon. that's where we left off today. we also left off about an hour and a half, she starred about 2:30. the prosecution spent about an hour with her. then the defense spent about an hour 45 minutes including breaks and then at the end, when asked how much additional time they would need tomorrow with the 19-year-old, don west said, oh, a few hours. a couple of hours. at that point rachel jeantel was viblgly disgusted. she was visibly disgusted at a number of different points throughout her testimony. i talked to her attorney earlier today. a miami-based lawyer who identified himself as her attorney. and he said she would be a reduck tant witness. and a reluctant witness she was. there were a number of exchanges between her and the defense attorney when you could tell that she was not happy about being here. at one point, she asked him, are you listening?
are you listening to me? over and over again. and there were a couple of other pointed exchanges, as well. there were two things, two other things of note, chris. one thing they were prepared for, according to her defense attorney and that was that the lie she told about going to the hospital instead of going to the funeral for trayvon martin, instead of going to his wake. she said that she told that will lie because she did not want to upset sybrina fulton, his mother. she didn't want to the upset the martin family and came up with the lie about going to the hospital so she wouldn't make herself necessarily look back and make them feel bad as well. that's what they were prepared for. the other thing the attorney did not mention to me at least was this idea she lied about her age to protect her privacy. at one point she admitted today in court she said she was 16 when in fact she's 18. she was 18 then. now she's 19. >> okay, thanks. we're going to keep up with this. we're going to bring in lisa bloom.
i'm looking at this case. how do you bereave beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed murder? second degree murder? how do you go about doing this. >> it boils down to the moment george zimmerman pulled that trigger. was he reasonably in fear of great bodily injury or death in the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not in fear, that he did not act in self-defense and to get a second degree murder conviction they have to get the jury to say he acted with a depraved heart with reckless indifference to human life. >> meaning he just went out to shoot the guy. >> that's right. that's why they bring in the earlier call. in where he said these guys always get away with it to show indifference. >> how do we get the truth when we only have one person living? >> that happens in every murder case. almost always the case where one person is deceased so it's a circumstantial case. what the prosecution is doing now is bringing in witnesses who can disprove little pieces of george zimmerman's statement
because he cooperated with police. he gave a lengthy videotaped story of what happened that night. immediately. the following day. >> right away. he had no attempt to hide or to run. he just showed up and how do you interpret that? >> that's to his credit. that's definitely a point for the defense that he immediately cooperated with the police. as soon as they came, he said i shot him. i did it. >> what about the thing i hear from a lot of friends that say he was told not to pursue him. is there any evidence he did pursue on foot? we don't know exactly which direction he went. we know he got out of his car. >> his defense attorney has said yes, he did follow him. the dispatcher said we don't need you to do that very careful language. he said i can't given specific instructions to not do it. it's not illegal to ignore a police dispatcher. if he had stayed at a safe dance, maybe this wouldn't have happened. >> i hope we get the truth. >> it's all about the evidence shows. >> thank you so much. craig thank you for your reporting and lisa, thank you up next, darrell issa wants
us to believe he never said the white house was behind the irs targeting groups. how come there's a whole chorus of republicans following him and saying there's an enemies list at the white house and that malarky as biden would say. the so-called scandal he spent weeks hyping has turned out to go up in smoke. there was no scandal. this nixon wannabe ain't making it. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ larry ] you know throughout history, folks have suffered from frequent heartburn but now, thanks to treating with prilosec otc, we don't have to suffer like they used to. [ bell dings ]
♪ of course the enemies list out of the white house that irs was engaged in shutting down or trying to shut down the conservative political viewpoint. an enemies list that rivals the president's a time ago. >> to target conservatives and stifle speech has been in full swing and in open view for all of us to see for years.
>> what a zero. welcome back to "hardball." that guy's been shooting blanks for weeks now. white house enemies list, terms like that, a coordinated campaign to target conservatives. that's the perception of the irs controversy republicans have seriously created. and that i think in large part is due to the guy you just saw. the guy leading the investigation. darrell issa. the republican house oversight chairman has repeatedly attempted to link the white house to the irs targeting controversy. but his conspiracy theories are nothing more than that have been debunked by an ag report, and two transcripts from his own interviews and three, an internal report by the new irs chief. with seemingly no evidence on his side, issa went on cnn yesterday in what first looked like an effort of damage control. here he is in full backtrack mode talking to cnn's dana bash. >> i've never said it came out of the office of the president or his campaign.
what i've said is it comes out of washington. >> and now more from the blunderbuss bs he's so good at. saying what he's trying to say here doesn't have to require any evidence. here he is with more in that same interview, pushing the old story. >> for years, the president bashed the tea party groups. he was very public against these groups. and on his behalf, perhaps not on his request, on his behalf, the irs executed a delaying tactic against the very groups that he talked about. >> malarky on his behalf, perhaps on his behalf, no evidence. dana bash pressed him for evidence. take a look at their exchange now. >> do you have evidence of that based on the interviews you've done or you're just making an assumption. >> dana, you cannot close a case -- you can never close a case on what you don't know. you can only close a case on what you do know. >> in other words, guilty till proven innocent.
e elijah cummings and dana milbank. congressman, in all the times you've sat next to mr. issa at hearings, have you ever gotten the impression he thinks there was political hanky panky here? from the white house? >> yeah, i honestly don't know what he thinks. i mean, quite often he makes a lot of statements and then, and these statements make headlines and then there's a search for the facts and in many instances, the facts are never found. and so i don't know what he thinks but i can tell you one thing that the interviews that have been conducted and the chairman knows this have shown no political involvement in this episode. no white house involvement whatsoever. and we know that it started in the cincinnati office. and it was started by a self-proclaimed republican, a conservative republican. and i think the thing that
bothers me most, chris, is when these types of allegations are made and you have exculpatory evidence that shows clearly that it's not accurate, you ought to say something because we are in search of the truth. >> yeah. >> so that we can do reform so that we can then restore the trust in the irs. you cannot get there unless you stay focused on the truth. and so when you throw out these statements that are not supported by any evidence whatsoever, i don't think it does harm to the integrity not only of the committee, but to the congress. >> so now we know that the chairman of the investigating committee, darrell issa is now publicly saying he's never accused the white house or any of the campaign people, none of them as he claimed they're guilty. therefore you have to figure out all the interviews he's done show no evidence of that.
then you go back to the question, how did this become part of the hit list of the gop propaganda machine? how come people have kept putting out the word this is part of the scandal? they talk about the irs scandal. issa says he never said the irs targeting was coming out of the president's office. but he has repeatedly made the connection with blatant terms. here are two instances. one is an interview with cbs, another with cnn. >> how dare the administration imply they're going to get to the bottom of it. this was the targeting of the president's political enemies effectively and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn't discovered till afterwards. as you know, as late as last week, the administration is still trying to say there's a few rogue agents in cincinnati when in fact, the indication is they were directly being ordered from washington. >> dana, you're one of the great satirists of our time. i don't think you can satarize the sleaze pral he's -- patrol he's been on. he never stops. he doesn't feel any shame about
having no evidence. it's one thing to go after your political opponent. that's what you do in politics. but when you realize you've got nothing, can you keep smearing them like this guy is doing? >> you know, chris, this committee as you know has a long history of shenanigans going back to chairman dan burton firing a bullet at a watermelon in the vince foster case. even by those standards, issa has been extraordinary. you said he's been firing blanks for weeks now. i would say a couple years. the congressman can correct me on this, but i think he's at 10, 11, 12 major investigations into this administration. fast and furious, wikileaks, benghazi, solyndra, fannie mae. it goes on. in each case there's a pattern he sort of makes an outlandish suggestion that this goes right into the white house or the president's going after his political enemies. he couches it with some sort of a weasel word and then nothing comes of it. congressman cummings should be delighted because chairman issa sacrificed his credibility.
people in the press when they hear these allegations have to discount that even though we love a good scandal. >> you've been pushing him to put all he's got, show your cards in a poker game. show us the transcripts. is he going to do it? >> i don't know what he's going to do. but i can say one thing, chris. you asked how did this get out of hand with all these other people repeating what the chairman has said. i think they thought, they just assumed when he said things like political enemies and whatever, that the president was involved, they assumed that he had evidence. people like chairman rogers and others and kemp and senator cruz. they assumed that had he some evidence. and so then they then took it another step and made all kinds of statements and the next thing you know, and sometimes i wonder if things are thrown out there hoping that it will stick and then when there's no evidence, people still are left with the same impression that what was said is true when in fact it's not. that's what concerns me.
>> this is -- >> that's about integrity of the committee. >> this is what nasty little high school boys and girls do on the internet. they send out nasty little stories about their friends, their enemies rather and they get away with it because once the stink bomb has been thrown it's hard to come back and get rid of it. that's what this guy does. he throws around stink bombs. thank you. good luck with getting the truth. and dana milbank, thank you for joining us again. up next, elections have consequences and so do supreme court decisions. and after yesterday's ruling on the voting rights act crushing it, states are moving to suppress the votes of people who tend to vote for democrats. look at mississippi, texas, alabama, they're going out now to suppress the black vote. reince priebus must be thrilled. this is "hardball," are the place for politics.
congressman edward markey won the special election last night in massachusetts. he's headed to the united states senate. he beat gabriel gomez by ten points. 55-45. that margin is right in line with recent polling up there. he expects to be sworn in sometime after the july 4th recess. we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball." the supreme court's decision to effectively demolish the voting rights act yesterday, has immediate effects that could disenfranchise all kinds of voters. the state's republican attorney general now says those days are over. with today's decision, the state's voter i.d. law will take effect immediately. in mississippi, the same reaction, the state's republican secretary of state said, the process for implementation of constitutional voter identification begins today. and in alabama, the supreme court's decision clears the way for that state's new photo i.d. law. photo voter i.d. will be the first process that we have gone through under this new ruling. clearly, it's now become harder to vote in nose states and that's just beginning. joining me now is codirector of
the advancement project, and washington post columnist and msnbc contributor, eugene robinson. you grew up in the deep south, here we go again. it's effectiveness really, and we have all these states that were playing these games in 2011 and 2012 under the fine leadership of republican leader are now back at it again with no objections. nobody an obstacle in terms of the supreme court or the voting rights act? >> what the court has done in my view is take away the most effective weapon that the justice department had under the voting rights act to keep states from doing this sort of thing, from doing voter suppression. and justice under eric holder has used clearance to keep all sorts of bad things from happening. that's to be harder now, and there are still other remedies under the voting rights act, but much more difficult, i think to prevent these sorts of voter
suppression efforts. >> what happens now if a state is really egregious, like you have to have so much documentation, you wear people out, they say, look, i'm 80 years old, i'm not going to get my papers figured out at this age. i'm not going to go to whatever office i have to go to, i have been voting all my life. people know me at the voting station, i'm not going to bother. does this wear voters out is this is that what this is about. >> this is an added burden for voters, especially for voters who are older, it's also a burden for students, it's a burden for anybody that doesn't have a driver's license or a passport, which means people with lower incomes, less ability to move around and get to the driver's license authority. so what can happen is that either the department of justice or private groups such as advancement project on behalf of individuals in these states can sue under either state law or under the other section of the voting rights act, section 2,
which prohibits discrimination nationwide, those lawsuits are expensive and i think if you add all the resources of all the civil rights groups, there won't be nearly enough to do what the department of justice did, which is monitor thousands and thousands of voting changes every year. >> to what effect? they're able to act on the voting rights act, that was more effective. let's take a look at this now. the supreme court's decision has put booster rockets on a package already passed by the house of representatives there, that will make it much harder to vote. the senate intends to move as early as next week on them. cut early voting hours, including sundays. back to you, do these seem to be areas, early voting is a black phenomenon, i'm told that, these seem so obviously targeted. >> yes, north carolina is a state that has been known to be moderate, and i think it's a
state, a southern state where voters of color were starting to have a real impact. and this set of laws, especially the cut back on early voting and taking away sunday voting, which is known as souls to the poles in the african-american community. and north carolina's tremendous innovation of allowing registration during the early voting period. all of those mechanisms were used more heavily by african-american voters and in fact president obama carried north carolina in 2008 not on election day, but during the early voting period. >> well, let me look at this, jean, the only good news here, is in the 2012 election, for the first time in census history, black voters passed on whites -- 66.2 of eligible black voters cast ballots, up from 64.7 in 2008. 61.4% -- down from 1996. at least in a presidential year,
when there is an african-american candidate for president, the black percentage of political activism has beaten the whites. this is a first, i'm not sure if it's an enduring pattern, but it happened for the first time. >> that's kind of a question, there's anecdotal evidence that i picked up that all this voter suppression activity or these attempts actually help motivate black voters in a lot of places and said, oh, no, they're not going to do that to me. big question as to whether in a midterm election, when you don't have the presidency at stake, and when you don't have barack obama running on top of the ticket, can you get a black vote that exceeds or equals the percentage of white vote? but we'll see. i think it will be interesting. >> it has a john henry quality doesn't it? the guy against the machine. how long can you fight the courts and keep win something i hope they do, i hope you do. thank you.
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rethink possible. >> discuss let me finish tonight with this, the thing about america that always gives me hope is the way we're able to grow. we didn't always recognize same sex marriage as the majority of the american people do today. we didn't always say it was not okay to put up white only signs at restaurants and gas station restrooms. we didn't always think it was unconstitutional to deny the black man and woman the right to vote.
we didn't always have women as well as men participate in our elections on all of these fronts, we've changed we've become better. the american revolution continues to roll on and today a large battle was won. when you hear the celebrations tonight, i think of where it is being celebrated quietly, in the young boy or girl who now feels so much more to be okay in the eyes of all of us. of the lonely soul who now feels he or she belongs. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, and it's been an incredible 24 hours of democracy on display in the united states of america. tonight the newest and brightest star of the democratic party, texas state senator wendy davis will be here tsc