of them was prompted by senator when she reminded us that the spirit of liberty must lie in the hearts of the women and men of this country. it would be really easy, wouldn't it, to appoint pleutonic guardians who would rule wisely for all of us but then we wouldn't have a democracy, would we? we cherish living in a democracy and we also know that this constitution did not create a tricameral system. judges must be mindful of their places in this system and must always remember that we live in a democracy can be destroyed if judges take it upon themselves to rule as pleutonic guardians.
>> good morning, welcome to a.m. joy. i am back hosting this morning as we honor the life and legacy of ruth bader ginsburg who died friday at the age of 87. a champion of gender equality, a pop culture icon to boot, what she lacked in stature she more than made up for in spirit. thousands gathered overnight to pay their respects. while political leaders honored her trail blazing career as a lawyer and a judge. in a statement president obama wrote over a long career on both sites of the bench justice ginsburg help us see the discrimination on the basis of sex isn't about an abtract ideal of equality, that it doesn't only harm women, that it has real consequences for all of us. it's about who we are and who we can be. her passing does not come
without massive political implications. senator mitch mcconnell has already vowed that a replacement by donald trump will get a vote on the senate floor despite it being an election year and despite the president that mcconnell himself said four years ago when he refused to consider president obama's nomination to replace justice scalia. it would remake the courts and civil rights for decades, full stop, not to mention the implications for this presidential election which could very well wind up being decided by the supreme court. joining me now is minnesota senator amy klobuchar. she's also on the senate judiciary committee and i want to first before we get to the politics, allow you just to give us your thoughts on the legacy of ruth bader ginsburg. >> well, thanks, joy. you really summed it up there.
a hero, an icon, a woman way ahead of her time. you think about the fact that when she started arguing before the supreme court for equal rights, people didn't even think she should make the arguments, that a man should make the arguments and then she changes the law, then she ends up on the court herself, only the second woman that served on the court after andra day o'connor and then on the court she makes these ground breaking decisions like the virginia military institute where she made very clear that you can't just have men admitted to that military academy. so a glorious life and as you pointed out, international rock star who gets a name like notorious rbg? i remember being with my daughter and the justice at an event and we got the picture together and my daughter was in college and she said mom, i got to put this on my facebook page.
i hope you don't mind i cut you out because i want to have a photo with the notorious rbg. this was ruth bader ginsburg. a hero to so many young people. she made justice cool. she did. >> yeah, she did. she did. my kids reacted, you know, to her death as if she was a contemporary. i mean, she really was somebody who broke through the popular culture and you're right. to be associated with great big give smalls, not bad at all. let's talk about the politics now. unfortunately there were a lot of people who wentz on twitter and said let's not let politics intrude, but mitch mcconnell didn't wait. literally in the aim statement he put out appended it by saying oh, by the way, that whole garland rule that's going to change, we're going to give donald trump the chance to replace ruth bader ginsburg. this was the final statement to her granddaughter saying my mes
fervent wish is that i will not be replaced until a new president is installed which means inauguration day. what do you make of the fact that mitch mcconnell said the following trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the united states senate. he released more of a statement saying from the "washington post," over the coming days we are all going to come under tremendous pressure from the press to discuss how we should and l the nomination. for those inclined to not order the vote i urge you to keep your powder dry. >> senator schumer took on as his own which he should have which says the american people should have a voice in the selection of their next supreme court justice, therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president and as joe biden has said, the people pick the president, the president picks the justice, and
the one thing that i keep thinking about is that mitch mcconnell, big surprise he did this, he does this kind of thing all the time. however, the senators like lisa who just recently said it should be after an inauguration of a new president and a number of others including lindsey graham, the point is this, they are independently elected, not by mitch mcconnell. they have to look at their own integrity. they have to look to their own souls, they have to look at their own moral compass each one of these that made the statements both during the debate and many of them recently. they are going to have to make their own decisions and that is going to be their reckoning and they have to think about the future of this country. >> you mentioned lindsey graham because i have to tell you, after four years of watching republicans go from saying that donald trump is a racist and a
coup which lindsey graham said to essentially worshipping him as if he were a king, i don't have a lot of faith in the souls and hearts of these people. right? they're going to do what's politic for them. i want to play what lindsey graham said when it came to garland and what he said he would do if donald trump had an opening at the end of his term. >> i'll tell you this. this may make you feel better but i really don't care. if an opening comes in the last year of president trump's term and the primary process is started, we'll wait toil the next election. and i've got a pretty good chance of being the -- >> you're on the record. >> yeah. >> all right. >> hold the tape. >> knowing that that probably means nothing, what are your
senate democrats prepared to do? what consequences are senate democrats willing to put on the table? will senate democrats consider expansion of the court, putting more members on as democrats would have every right to do, immediately making d.c. a state adding more senators? what consequences are democrats willing to put on the table concrete? >> well, the first thing is to go back to lindsey graham is he's in race right now. jamie harrison is doing incredibly well in that state so i wouldn't discount at all what's going to happen to him if he doesn't come through with his promise that he made after the garland nomination. so i think as i said, the public is out there. you see them at the supreme court. you see joe biden ahead in the polls. you see the kind of voter turnout we're seeing, so si would not discount any of what i've said and i think that is number one, the day after the
death of this icon is that each of these republican senators are going to have to be a reckoning. as for the rules of the senate all of that will be looked at next year and i've looked at all those ideas. they all are worth looking at but i truly believe the number one goal to mourning the loss of this hero is holding people accountable for what they said and from there decisions can be made. >> and the last question before i let you go. i'm holding you too long. there's the other consideration that mitch mcconnell would allow the election to go by to let these senators like cory gardener, like lindsey graham who are in trouble like susan collins, let them skate through the election and then try to push through a nomination in the lame duck. is there anything that democrats could do? because that would also be unprecedented the lame duck
congress to try to ram through a nominee anyway. is there anything that democrats could do to stop them if they tried that? >> yen, all rules will be look at. everything matters here, but joy, i cannot emphasize enough that there are 45 days before an election and it remains what we said the morning yesterday when we had our first early voting in minnesota when we saw joe biden do a terrific job, by the way, in duluth, is that what matters is everyone vote and that we, the public's pressure on republicans is to me to most important thing right now. the republicans who basically stole that seat the last time and now they're trying to do it again and the public must speak out. this love for ruth bader ginsburg in her own words, right, her fervent wish is that the next president pick -- that was the last thing she said to the public. that was it. and so i think that we not only
respect the past, but we look to what she wanted in the future and that's where we have to take our action. >> senator amy klobuchar thank you so much for staying over time with me. >> thanks for having me on. >> thank you. joining me now is msnbc anchor for mbc news. we consider her to be the mentor around here. it's such an honor always to speak with andrea mitchell. andrea. we did a little bit of politics. >> great to be here. >> always, always. i want to take a minute and take a step back. we talked a lot of politics because we had senator klobuchar but i want to take a step back to the personal. you knew ruth bader ginsburg personally. she's an icon to those of us who never met her but knew her as the notorious rbg and admired her dissents as well as her written rulings. what was she like as a person?
>> she was strong and funny and quiet and witty. she had a great sense of humor about herself and about everything else. it's one of the reasons why she got along so well with scalia. they became best friends on the court of appeals when he would try to crack her up on the bench. she shared a love of opera. she said in the "new york times" that collegiate was as much important as on the court. despite their disagreements she carried a bag that said i dissent in later years and she was famous for her dissents as the your quorum later. but it was very important for her to get along with people. in fact, linda greenhouse wrote
in the "new york times" today that when she was first appointed there was some disappointment among fervent feminist icons, activists that she would not be strong enough. little did they realize just how much this is part of her absolute dna. she got it from her mother. she had it in college and law school. law school when her husband got previously ill. they were in school together. he was a year ahead of her and worked day and took, you know, a break later and then would do his studying as well and visit him in the hospital and get him up to speed so he could keep up. and then following him to new york, giving up her position at harvard that she had fought so hard for to go to columbia and having difficulties as a woman there. and then later in life when he was in the service and they moved to oklahoma, she took a civil service job actually before law school and she got
pregnant and had to -- she acknowledged her pregnancy then. she didn't with her second baby because she'd learned her lesson because she got demoted in a government civil service job in oklahoma just for being pregnant. so she fought that battle. you might appreciate this as well. all those court cases she won at the state supreme court level in colorado, that famous gender case and then five out of six supreme court cases from 1973 to 1978, 1973, the year of roe but she won all of these major cases, not the roe case of course but other cases on the court on gender becoming you know, a legendary lit gator before the supreme court before she was even on the d.c. circuit. >> yeah. and you know, earlier today on with ali velshi, they talked about she was intersectional
before intersectional was cool. her dissent in the shelby case where we lost a big church of the voting rights act which is a lot for me because we also lost john lewis this year. there's a lot going on for people emotionally in these losses. she definitely had a sense when she said you don't take away your umbrella because you're dry under it and it's still raining and that was her argument in her dissent. how much did she own and how much did she really think about this idea that she was an icon not just for what she did in terms of women's rights, in term it is of feminism x but across the board i think for a lot of african americans she was the stallworth there in that. did she have a sense of her appeal? >> absolutely. she followed marshall's example the finding really strategic ways of fighting for women's rights by finding, for instance,
male plaintiffs to argue the case before all male juries, all male justices the all male supreme court in those years before sandra day o'connor. she very much believed in rights in all kinds of rights. human rights, affirmative action was a major issue for her and the shelby case when you think about it now how relevant her dissent was, boy, do we need the umbrellas now. look at what's happening? listen to what was said last night. some of her thoughts on all of this. there's going to be a march of women's groups around the country and in front of the supreme court at 8:00 tonight eastern time before the court. already a mobilization of women's groups on this issue. and i think as much as this is going to clearly energize the evangelical base on the abortion issue that it is significantly going to energize the women, the
suburban women, the white women who helped democrats retake the house in 2018 in the midterms. >> yeah. >> this is going to be an interesting divide. i just want to say personally also, her -- her role as a wife and mother was so amazing. just extraordinary marriage, that love affair and the way martin againstburg who was a star lawyer in his own right subordinated his own career to hers to advancing hers and just glorying in her successes. they were just magic to watch. >> yeah. he put her name forward and pushed her to the clinton administration and said you need to notice my wife. she's amazing. it's such a great story. i think i'm going to listen to opera today in honor of her. she loved opera and i dig it too. thank you andrea mitchell our own glass ceiling breaker here at msnbc.
thank you so much for your time. >> you're the one ms. prime time. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. joining me now we're going to keep it going p we've got a lot of great people to talk to and jon meacham, he's the author of "his truth is marching on." you've written about the greats. john lewis is the subject of the book you recently published and now we've lost another. the two bookends of that shelby disaster in the supreme court. >> right. >> what now? because this is -- i mean, the whole idea of ruth bader ginsburg is that she did have that ability to get along with people who she disagreed with but to be friends with them and to sort of create, you know, unity just on the intellectual level. that feels like that's gone. i don't know where we go from here, do you? >> yeah.
vanishingly rare in the best of times, we're not living in the best of times. the notion that there could be principled conversation and debate and i don't want to say that both sides are responsible. i don't want to do a kind of false ekwquivalent si because b and large the age of trump and the people who have enabled trump bear a much stronger burden. it is also true, this might be worth pointing out historically that in many -- there are people who study these things and think about them that begin to ground our current lack of collegiately in the court. ted kennedy goes to the floor and gives a remarkable speech and says robert work's america is a segregated america and
there's this long debate but it was a debate -- and the right reacted poorly to the kennedy rhetoric and so what i think -- what i think we're looking at is some kind of sense where why can't we have conversations that ultimately are principled and are driven by the sense that america is at its best when there's a nation that is united by the common objects of our love. and what justice ginsburg clearly represented was a love of equality and that the promises of the declaration of independence had to be real for all of us. now, i sound overly optimistic saying why can't we be like this again, we are very rarely like that but what justice ginsburg shows us and what john lewis
shows us is that there have been people among us who have embodied those principles in practice. >> yeah. it is a difficult time, jon, but thank you very much. i know you are pressed for time so i'm not going to hold you so thank you so much for giving us some of your time. really appreciate you. cheers. >> thanks, joy. and we are going to keep going. we'll now introduce the senior legal editor at slate. and dahlia, i want to give you the same grace to talk a little bit about ruth bader ginsburg. you covered the supreme court for so long. her place in it historically, she's obviously one of the best known supreme court justices we've ever had. what do you think her key significance is as a legal figure? >> i mean, i think, joy, that andrea mitchell hit on a lot of it. she was a para dox because on
the one hand she was very quiet, very, very retiring. i think her husband marty was the big personality in the marriage and in fact, marty was the one who lobbied to get her on the supreme court. she was too shy to put herself forward. so she had the very reserved retiring side, never one to kind of grand stand and at the same time she became almost despite that this national icon, this beloved bigger than life notorious rbg rock star and i think she sort of pinged back and forth between those two realities, both as a cultural matter, but also at the court. i think she knew she was such a forceful character, don't forget, she was the senior justice in the minority. she was the one handing out dissenting opinions and majority
opinions often by the end of her career. she didn't grab all the big ticket cases to write herself. she graciously handed offensively big cases to other justices. let them shine. and yet, she used her voice in this extraordinary way more and more in the last decade or so she has used her dissents to bypa bypass jurisprudence, to send a missile right into the hearts of young women in college, of high schoolers of people in law school. she almost stopped talking in the little bubble of the court doctrine and just used this iconic image to change the rest of us and so it's hard to see how someone is so -- i keep writing the word dorky, but how she used the preteej aprestige
and that is a para dox. >> it is fitting that she's paired with thursday goode marshall as two of the all time great supreme court justices. but as we know, you know, the courts have become such an extension of our politics, the idea that it's -- that they are a political entity, it just doesn't work when you think about things like the bush v gore decision. when you think about the continued politics around roe. we now have mitch mcconnell already spoiling to grab the seat and this concept of these stolen supreme court seats, the garland seat that was stolen and given to gorsuch, essentially saying the first black president of the united states doesn't have a right to appoint a
supreme court justice in the year. now donald trump says the republican candidate can do it and i don't think there's any sense of shame about that. so we know where donald trump despite his very nice statement about ruth bader ginsburg is coming from. got it. here's joe biden using mitch mcconnell's own words against him in his response yesterday. last night. >> her opinions and her dissent are going to continue to shape the basis for law for generation, but there is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the senate to consider. this was the position of 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 is only 46 days off. >> and you know, democrats, you know, and i think to the relief of the democratic base are not just talking. they're planning a response. democrats have now threatened, they've warned the republican party, if they try to fill ruth bader ginsburg's supreme court case we'll kill the filibuster. some threaten to eliminate the filibuster and possibly even pack the high court if the democratic party takes control of the white house next year. senate democrats are expected to have a conference call to strategize about how they will handle the supreme court vacancy. they're at least thinking it through. it was said to me that democrats would be well within their right to start packing the court because it's no longer a
political -- mitch mcconnell has made it as political as it could pods my be. he said this seat belongs to republicans and only to republicans. do you expect our next conversation about the court to be whether there's 15 justices on it and do you expect then that the filibuster would be gone? >> you have honed in on a thing that i not fully pictured it the way you put it but i think you did it exactly right which is for decades now the republican party has treated the court as its own play thing. it's devoted tons and tons of money, i would note dark money, senator white house has been working on this for a long time, to packing the courts with a certain kind of jurist and i think there's been massive asymmetry because the democrats have not necessarily done that. they've in some sense allowed
the rhetoric of the scalia seat was our seat. and now this ginsburg seat is our seat. rhett tick to go unchecked. i think you're write right that as long as the democrats say well, there's not much we can do, they have the senate. it's mitch mcconnell's toy and they want to play with it then this happened. garland got the cold shoulder. nobody would meet with him for courtesy meetings on the republican side. so i think this framing that the courts just belong to the conservative movement, they belong to the federal society because they're there and the way to debunk it is to scare them. so you're quite right. in this one sense only i disagree with senator klobuchar. i don't think we take it off the table. i don't think we say wait and
see what happens and then we talk about structural reforms where it's court packing, whether it's doing away with lifetime tenure, whether it's any number of constitutional reforms that are being floated. i think we have to say right here right now we are going to make you feel the hurt if you continue to treat the court as though it's yours and i agree with you completely. the motion notion that it's too early to scare them with that kind of language is exactly how we got into trouble in 2016. >> really appreciate your time. thank you. joining me now is jonathan capehart. my friend, we're going to continue this conversation on the politics because we have to talk about ruth bader ginsburg's legacy. i think it's very important but to those who say wait, mitch mcconnell literally didn't wait. in his actual statement, you
know, praising ruth bader ginsburg he said by the way, this is our seat. we own this seat. we own all the supreme court seats and only we, only republicans get to fill supreme court seats. the black president doesn't get to, no democrat gets to. there was a threat when they thought hillary clinton was going to win that they would filibuster hr supreme court picks to keep any democrat from every filling so this is now on the table. democrats need to respond in kind. right right? i mean, do you see any other option? >> no, and anyone who is surprised by the speed or the tenor and tone of the statement from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has not been paying attention since the days of garland. i'm not surprised by mitch mcconnell. i will not be surprised by what senator lindsey graham will do in the future. he is the chair of the senate judiciary committee. i think you played at the
beginning of the show or you have a clip of him telling jeffrey goldburg of the atlantic that he will not entertain a supreme court justice if it comes in an election year and he said keep the tape. we've got the tape and he's going to go -- he is going to go against his word. i guarantee you he will do that. >> yep. >> to continue on the conversation you were having with dahlia, democrats can't just threaten. they have to mean it. they have to mean it when they say we are going to get rid of the filibuster rule if you do this, that you are going to add supreme court seats or justices to the supreme court if you do this and i think there are a whole lot of other things that could be added to the threat list if republicans do what i think we all see them going to do because we know this. republicans care. if there's one thing they truly care about to their core and
specifically senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, it is judges. i took a look and 216 federal court judges have been confirmed in president trump's term. just three and a half years. just this week eight district court judges were confirmed by the senate. there are, i believe, i don't have the site up here any more, but there are i believe 60 more vacancies that are left to be filled and i guarantee you they are going to try to get those justices confirmed. why is this important? joy, i know you know this. but the audience needs to understand this. these -- these appointments, a lot of them, maybe all of them, are lifetime appointments. the people being appointed are young people and by young by judicial standards is early 40s. these folks conservatives will be on the bench, the district
courts the appeals courts, those are the farm teams for the supreme court. republicans have been very clear. >> that's right. >> and it is time for democrats to step up and use everything in their power to ensure that if mitch mcconnell and president trump do what we all believe and know they're going to do, that there will be a price to pay, no matter who wins the election in november. >> absolutely. it's saturday so you can get a 7th day add venntist amen. don't go anywhere i'm going to add david to the conversation. and he's also the coauthor of where the russian roulette" which you should be reading. i think for a lot of democrats the idea of the supreme court is still a little obtuse. it's a little fact as to why republicans care. republicans have very specific reasons for caring. it's about abortion. it's about lgbt rights. they want to roll all those
things back but it's also about corporatism. sheldon whies houtehouse, he do get enough attention. it's also about corporate greed. the aca to a lot of conservatives is not just about the black president. it's about whether or not big corporations have the right to charge people more if they have a preexisting condition. charge women more if they want to or just not give health care to anyone who can't afford it. these are corporate principles and the corporate takeover is as big an idea as people trying to marshallize people on a racial level. >> the court was everything. it does social rights, voting rights, corporate rights. corporate rights of corporations and some of its most controversial decisions historically have been assigning corporations as if they were
human beings. that's how we got in this position in the first place. the lower court ruling heading to the supreme court that basically emasculates obama care even further. so if there's a 4-4 split when this comes up or there is a replacement per mitch mcconal, the aca could be dead. the court is not necessarily about principles now. it's about power, whether it's corporate power, the power of delu inclusion. the great russian chess master, big critic of putin tweeted out a thought that i'm wrestling with. you have a fight between those who only care about power and
those that care about principles and the rule of law. it's not necessarily a fair fight and it's really incumbent and quite difficult for those who want to fight for principles, who want to preserve norms, who believe in institutional values to go up against people who have no shred of shame over hypocrisy. and the democrats, i mean, we talked ability di-- about different types of reckoning, this is a tremendous moment of reckoning of what they're going to do in the face of this vacancy as part of the election and also after the elengs. >> yep. absolutely. here's the who will control the senate question. right? so democrats have a 58 in 100 chance of controlling the senate. republicans have a 42 in 100% chance in control in the senate. so democrats have a likelihood
of prevailing. there's even the question of the arizona seat. so that if kelly were to win that seat, he would be seated november 30th. so democrats have the advantage. the question is how they use the advantage and you covered democrats, you've covered all these presidential campaigns and i wonder if you think democrats have the way to galvanize their base the way republicans have been on this issue. >> it's personal to buttigig. there were a lot of people tweet thg is about roe. this is gone if the republicans get this seat. it's personal for a lot of african americans. you're never going to get the voting rights act back.
there are prnl issu-- personal issues at stake. on aca you saw a lot of people saying oh, my god, my health care could be gone in a month. do you think they can make that an issue enough to drive enough people to the polls? do they have that in them? >> well, hope so. i think the infrastructure of the democratic party has within itself to do that. unfortunately democratic voters up until the tenure of president have never viewed judicial appointments in the way that republicans have since roe v wade was decided but i think you laid it out perfectly, the lgbt community, folks who now have health care, women and a woman's right to choose and a whole host of other issues are seriously on the ballot. kamala harris when she was running for president one of her mantras was fill in the blank is
on the ballot. justice is on the ballot. health care is on the ballot. equality, lgbtq rights are on the ballot and so democrats, candidates for senate, house and the biden/harris ticket and i'm not worried about them but the house and the senate candidates must make it clear to the democratic party faithful and those who are frightened that having a court in your top of mind is an issue that should get you off the sofa, out of the yard and into the ballot box either on election day, voting early or mailing in your ballot but ensuring that your voice is heard at the ballot box because quite literally and quite frankly, american democracy is on the ballot and it was made especially clear with the passing of rbg. >> yeah, absolutely. and david, you know, that is as jonathan said, that is not about
former vice president. there's three cycles in the senate. every two years, the senate races and two of the past three have been bad for democrats because more have been up for election than republicans. this happens ton the best cycle for democrats because there are 20 republicans who are up and far fewer democrats. this is their best shot. it feels like for so many reasons the november election is a tipping point for our democracy and you know, i guess, you know, my question to you is whether or not you get the sense just looking out at the way that people are voting, at the way that people are responding to this election that people get that. >> well, also remember a key point here is that trump's approval ratings are low. often in the low 40s which is a drag on the senate republican incumbents so do not only the democrats have more senate
targets, the senate targets are in a more vulnerable position than they would be historically if they had a decent president. you know, i'm one of these people who cares about the supreme court. i don't understand why others don't. you know, or don't as much. if you're talking about it being a matter of choice, preserving the aca, talk about it with voting rights maybe you can bring people around but i really think the democrats and this m cos from joe biden too. i'm not knocking him, but they need to figure out a coherent message that goes across the various contests from president down to, you know, local races about what is happening here in this country. you know, the supreme court, you know, being taken over by republicans after they broke all the norms with the garland case, with voter suppression it's moving to the sfath not being purely democratic, we're moving
toward political apartide when the majority of americans are not fully represented by the government. there's going to be legitimacyilegitimac legitimacyish issues about that. the democrats need to make that case and tie this all together. we know -- we know that republican voters are motivated by the supreme court vacancies and we know that trump has that little erosion around the edges of his base and this will certainly, certainly help him get that erosion addressed. right? whether it brings out other democratic votes who aren't otherwise going to be there we don't know but the democrats need to find a way to try to make that happen and with a compelling message that cuts across all these issues. maybe they have a shot. >> yep. yep. jonathan and david are going to be back in our next hour and senate democrats you say? well, thank you for the tease.
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elected us. the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of united states supreme court justices. we have this obligation without delay. joining me now is hawaii senator mazie hirono, your reaction to donald trump's statement of immense power. >> here's a person who doesn't believe that the rule of law applies to him, so it's par for the course for him. we start with the proposition, joy, that republicans can't be trusted. this is why here's mitch mcconnell right out of the -- out of the box that there will be a supreme court nomination process. that he's going to shove down our throat and he's certainly banking on his republican colleagues to help him deal another supreme court. that is exactly what he's doing. he's hoping his caucus will
stick with him and i would say they do so at their own peril because some of them are in tough re-election battles, in arizona, no north carolina, in colorado, maine. >> well, so the question then becomes, what are democrats prepared to do about it. right? i mean, the question then becomes you're on the senate judiciary committee. what are democrats prepared to threaten because we know they're going to do it. mitch mcconnell for sure is going to do it. it's difficult to trust that lindsey graham will live up to his word. they're going to go for it. what are democrats prepared to do about it? >> well, as you mentioned, there will be a caucus call, but a lot of us already thinking about what we can do. bha whatever tools we have. what's really important is for everyone out there for whom ruth bader ginsburg meant something, that's all the women, the lgbtq
community, the labor unions, everybody out there that they need to be parallel organizing. i know they're already doing that and everybody better vote because if we're going to talk about reforming the supreme court, we need to take back the senate to do that. in the meantime we are going to explore every avenue to stop mitch mcconnell from stealing yet another supreme court seat. >> and does that include potentially making it clear that democrats will vote on d.c. state hood and puerto rico state hood immediately upon taking power and taking control of the senate that expanding the supreme court as some have said would be a completely legitimate response saying okay, there will be 15 seats on the supreme court now. that's going to happen if he goes for this and in getting rid of the filibuster in the next united states senate? >> all of those matters will be on the agenda but first and foremost we'll have to get back
the senate. this is why for all those who cared about ruth bader ginsburg, what she would have wanted was for everyone to vote and to get everybody else to vote because she was one of the major dissent on the voting rights case where she said is like throwing up the umbrella after it's stint raining. after that when you had over a dozen stays that enacted voter suppression laws. the right to vote was really important to ruth bader ginsburg. if we care about her, we should be organizing, continuing to organize and vote. that happens in a parallel track to what the senate democrats are prepared to do. and we are going to be in the next -- today and thereafter focusing on that. >> do you -- my final question to you would be about senator chuck schumer. senator chuck schumer has been a conciliatory figure. he's tried to be a conciliator with the trump administration to make deals to try to get things done. do you think that he is prepared, do you believe or are you confident that he is
prepared to play hardball with mitch mcconnell on this issue? >> we are all ready to play hardball. we start again with the proposition that republicans can't be trusted to take care of our health care. they can't be trusted to do anything positive about the pandemic. they can't be trusted to not continue to support the corporate interests over the interests of women, workers, our communities. so the republicans can't be trusted, and i come from that perspective. whatever dealings we have, it will be hardball. that's what we have to do. you know what, joy, i am going to be continuing this fight, and everybody else needs to be in the fight with us. >> yeah. senator, we really appreciate you being here. thank you so much for taking the time out. thank you so much. thank you. joining me is former period of planned parenthoody is style richards. she's also a co-founder of the supermajority pac. cecile, i hate that it's this occasion to have to speak with
you. talk a little bit about for the issues regarding women's rights. you know, what ruth bader ginsburg meant in that fight. >> well, joy, obviously she meant everything, and it is an incredibly hard morning. i think we all thought she was immortal. she had survived so much. i'll never forget really what my first beginning of planned parenthood going into a supreme court argument, at that point justice ginsburg was the only woman on the court. here's this, you know, maybe 100 pounds, if that, five-foot woman representing and carrying an entire gender on her shoulders in those arguments. and she did so much in her time. and again, i think everyone now today is focused on not only memorializing her but living on her legacy. you know, i am hearing from women, of course, all across the country that we cannot rest until election day and that her
final wish was that we get a new president to appoint her successor, and we have work to do. that starts with the determination to change. we have got to rise up together. we've got to do that now. we've got to do it safely in all 50 states and show the determination that women have to change what's happening in this country. >> and i don't know if our producers can pull up the march that took place. immediately people powured in front of the supreme court. lots of people there to celebrate ruth bader ginsburg but also to say that, you know, women in this country, that people in this country who care about justice and equality are prepared to stand and fight multigender, multiracial march there in front of the supreme court. i know that there is another march planned, i believe for later today. what are the themes? because we know what this president is. he's had yet another acticusati of a sexual violation, i don't know if this is 22, 23, 24.
what this president is, jet he still has strong evangelical support. issues for women, trans people, lgbt people, black people's voting rights, for indigenous people, there's so much on the ball at, aca could be on the ballot in a month. how do you get the message honed down so people can understand the importance of these senate votes in the court? >> look, joy, i think women understand it. and i know there's been a lot of conversation about who's most motivated now. i think just as you saw when kamala harris was nominated as vice president, the outpouring that i have seen from women today, women whose daughters dressed as ruth bader ginsburg for halloween last year, women who understand what's at stake as you know and the supermajority, impeach will be the majority of -- women will be the majorities of voters, they're the majority of activists. it is really the gender gap is what is keeping this race as far apart as it is.
women overwhelmingly do not support donald trump. and they understand that the united states senate is in play -- i think the most important message out of today is to honor ruth bader ginsburg's legacy. we have 45 days to get this right. this is all about the election on november 3rd, and this election season. so don't get distracted. marching is good, you know, celebrating her is good. but the most important thing is getting women out to vote. >> absolutely. you come from a family that's been in this fight for a long time. your mom, the legendary ann richards, she knew how to do this, right. so just coming from the background that you have, growing up in this movement, can you just give some advice to those who are feeling despair? i think a lot of our text messages were full of a lot of people feeling absolute despair with the passing of ruth bader ginsburg. what advice would you give? >> i think it's incredibly
important that women know they have the power to determine the future, not only of what happens in the presidential race but what happens in the united states senate. we are the majority of voters. so sign up at supermajority.com if you want to get active. join with us and other women's groups in october as we join together and mobilize because this is all on us. it's all up to us. if we look at what ruth bader ginsburg, one woman, did in her lifetime, each of us can do more. and if we do, we're going to beat donald trump in november. we're going to change the united states senate, and we're going to build for a better future having joe biden and kamala harris in the white house. we can do this. >> yeah. absolutely. the well-behaved women rarely make history. this was one woman who refused to behave, and she was absolutely one of the great ones. cecile richards, also one of the greats. appreciate you being here. thank you for your time. >> thank you, joy. everyone -- thank you so
much. please stay with us. we've got reaction from former president bill clinton, former president george w. bush, former president barack obama. we have all of those reactions to the death of this great lady, justice ruth bader ginsburg. we're going talk o talk about t and filling the vacancy that exists on the high court. stick around. coffee up. stick around coffee up. verizon knows how to build unlimited right. start with america's most awarded network. i'm on my phone 24/7.
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♪ note the proliferation of mass in that photo. that is the rye wight way to do. more on the death of icon and justice ruth bader ginsburg who has died at 87. as a trail blazing champion of women's rights, ginsburg dramatically changed the course of history for women in the united states. ginsburg argued multiple cases before the united states supreme court as a young lawyer for the aclu in the 1970s and
successfully challenged legal gender discrimination within the united states. an appointee of president bill clinton in 1993, ginsburg became only the second woman in u.s. history to serve on the u.s. supreme court. during her tenure, she became known for her fiery dissents that condemned the scaling back of voting rights and affirmative action. in recent years, ginsburg became a cultural icon, earning the nickname notorious rbg from her admirers. according to her granddaughters, her final wish was to have her replacement selected by the next president of the united states. already senate leader mitch mcconnell has vowed that donald trump's nominee will get a vote on the senate floor even though mcconnell refused to hold hearings for president obama's supreme court nominee during the last election cycle. senate democrats are set to talk later today, to strategize over the new supreme court vacancy. with just 45 days to go before
one of the most consequential elections in modern history. joining me is former senior adviser to president barack obama, valerie jarrett. she's also the author of "finding my voice" and the chairman of the board of when we all vote. before i bring you in, valerie, it's great to have you here this morning. just want to read a few of the responses, the reactions to ruth bader ginsburg's passing. bill clinton, we have lost one of the most extraordinary justices ever to serve on the supreme court. rinds's life and landmark opinions moved us closer to a more perfect union and her powerful dissents reminded us that we walk away from our constitution's promise at our peril. the man who nominated her for the u.s. supreme court and to the federal bench. former president george w. bush released a statement saying, "laura and i join fellow americans in mourning the loss of ruth bader ginsburg. she dedicated many of her 87 right-to-workable years to the
pursuit of justice and equality and inspired more than one generation of women and girls. justice ginsburg loved our country and the law. laura and i are fortunate to have know this trail blazer and send our condolences to the ginsburg family." he saw her write furious dissents and rulings against him on the iraq war but released a gracious statement. your former boss, valerie jarrett, former president obama released a statement. this was about the hypocrisy that we're already seeing from mitch mcconnell. he wrote, "4.5 years ago when republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-and-down vote on merritt garand they said the senate shouldn't fill an open seat." those are three presidents reacting to the death of ruth bader ginsburg and to the hypocrisy we're seeing. now let's look at donald trump. this was his reaction, his initial reaction when he heard about ruth bader ginsburg's passing last night.
>> she just died? >> yes. >> 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. i'm actually saddened to hear that. >> and know for the audience, that is not us piping in "eltel john's "tiny dancer." they play that at the rallies. "tiny dancer." anyway, your thoughts this morning both on ginsburg's significant and the fight to come. >> good morning, joy. i would say my heart is heavy, but my spirit is strong. she was an indefatigable
champion for justice. i watched and followed her career. some of the highlights of my time in the white house were having the opportunity to attend supreme court hearings and watch the way that she interrogated the lawyers and reading her opinions and perhaps her dissents where she made it clear how important her voice was, not just to win the decision but to communicate with the american people. a good example would be the lily l ledbetter case that went to the court. she wrote a dissent disagreeing with the opinion that stripped lily ledbetter her rights for equal pay but challenged congress to move forward and act. guess what, they did, and the first bill president obama signed was a lily ledbetter fair pay act. she used her voice in a way that championed not just women's rights, the lgbtq community, the affordable care act, voting rights, looking for an even playing field. and the other thing i would
mention, she understood very clearly that the law is not to be interpreted from on high, from a lofty perch. but rather, from the perspective of the lives of people who are laws of fact. and that humanity was clear throughout every opinion she ever wrote. i find it appalling but not surprising that mitch mcconnell would reverse the unprecedented position he took when president obama was in office. just to put a finer point on the point you were making, president obama appointed chief judge merrick garland, well qualified judge of the second highest court of our country in march of his last year in office. nearly ten months before the new president would be sworn in. and so suddenly out of nowhere, mitch mcconnell says, well, the american people should speak up. and now he's reversing his decision. but the people are going to be held accountable i think most are those who are in tough races in the republican senate. if they go along with mitch
mcconnell and 45 days before an election jam through a new supreme court nominee in a way that would be unprecedented in terms of time and not giving enough attention to this important decision, there will be consequences in the polls. i'm so heartened to see the demonstration that you're showing right now in front of the supreme court. between 9:00 p.m. last night and 9:00 a.m., they raised $30 million because of the outrage of what we know is getting ready to happen. so i encourage everybody, wearing my necklace vote, to get out and vote and make sure that there are consequences paid in the event that these senators move forward with the nomination. >> can we just pull up again lindsey graham once again. this is when he was interviewed by "the atlantic" and what he said about what would happen if in fact there was a court vacancy. because valerie jarrett, you make an excellent point. we're talking about march of an election year versus 45 days
before an election. here's lindsey graham back in the day. >> now i'll tell you this, this may make you feel better, but i really don't care. if an opening comes in the last year of president trump's term and the primary process is started, we'll wait to the next election. and i've got a pretty good chance of being the -- >> you're on the record -- >> yeah. >> all right. >> hold the tape. >> and to your point, i got a text from somebody who's involved in one of the super pacs that are fighting lindsey graham in south carolina last night saying they are itching to take lindsey graham down if he even thinks about or dreams about going against what he said in the past. there is a political -- i think there are democrats willing to push and make sure that republicans pay a price. but i want to go back. there's always the woulda, coulda, shoulda, and it's not
100% fair to do it, but when the merrick garland was happening, they were saying president obama should repieccess a point, forc through. do you think then that the fact that democrats believe in norms is maybe what put democrats at a bit of a disadvantage because republicans clearly don't. >> i think that's a short-term perspective. i think what democrats and what americans should do, it shouldn't be limited to the democrat party obviously, is we should uphold our democracy in a way where the rule of law and social norms are its foundation. and so no, i don't think we should be taking short-term steps because that erodes our democracy. and i think the question is going to be, you know, is senator graham good to his word? and public officials should be good to their word. is susan collins -- what kind of position is she going to take? lisa murkowski, is she going to be true to what she said not long ago? these are tests, these are tests of integrity, of character, of
goodwill, and whether they -- these elected officials have the right to be the stewards for our country. this is a good test, and i think you're going to see mobilization across our country putting pressure on those members of the senate, particularly those on the judiciary committee, to not move forward with this nomination should president trump make one. and i'm very confident he will. >> and last question to you, valerie jarrett. you obviously were a senior member of the successful election and re-election and worked in the white house for the first black president of the united states. you are a darn-good strategist. if you were advising the joe biden/kamala harris campaign, would you advise them to do what republicans have done and start putting forward names? and start signaling that they would be open to not having nine but maybe 11 or 12 or 15 members on the court? we know that some of the names that floated around during the
process that wound up with merrick garland. cheryl sherilyn ifel, or anita hill even, that would be a way to set clarence thomas back on his hels, put anita hill on the court. should joe biden be doing something like that? should he be saying do this and anita hill will be clarence thomas' neighbor on the court? >> i sense he already has signaled a very important, historic step when he said he intends to put a black woman on the supreme court. and i think actually right now what we should be doing is not distracting the field with other names of nominees. i think what we should do is just what vice president biden did last night which is to put all of the pressure on president trump and the senate to not take this ridiculous reversal of an unprecedented step that they already took. and i would focus on that. i would focus on winning the senate and using this as a
galvanizing initiative to try to put pressure on those senators who might take a vote in this, you know, very, very short window, of jamming it through, and try to -- first try to put pressure on them not to do it. if they do do it, hold them accountable and make sure we elect them out of office. putting our focus right there squarely i think is where vice president biden is, and where i think he should be. >> valerie jarrett, it's always great to talk to you. see, this is why i have never been senior on a campaign because i would have put out a list to include dr. ford and anita hill and say that dr. ford and anita hill will be the next two nominees. they will be the first two to go for a vote. >> fabulous ideas. >> consider it. >> either one would be superb. >> yes. yeah. put them both on the court. i think that would be a great comeuppance. thank you so much, appreciate you. thank you. joining me now for some perspective, some more historical perspective is msnbc presidential historian michael
beschloss, author of another fantastic book. "presidents of war," a brilliant, brilliant book. okay, michael, talk me down. i mean, we are at a point now where it feels like -- it feels like the country is on a ledge. and losing john lewis, right, and then losing the king of wakanda, and then losing ruth bader ginsburg, it feels like the hell is coming in threes. it's a lot, right? you know, chadwick boseman being the king of -- what do we do now? >> you're so right, and it's only september. i hate to see that either. the best way to look at this is to say that we've got a system that over the long run does the right thing. you know, let's begin with a happy thought which is to rejoice. we have a system that brought ruth bader ginsburg to the supreme court. that didn't happen by accident. and the other thing is, you know, john adams, as you well
know just as well as i do, said that in a republic has to be a government of laws, not of men. now he would say men and women. but he wasn't entirely right. and the founders somewhat let us down. our system is not invulnerable to people who do not do the right thing. let's say that someone else had been the republican leader other than mitch mcconnell in february of 2016. you might not have had a supreme court seat stolen from barack obama almost a year before he was going to leave office. and i think we may be seeing the same thing right now, one more stolen seat that may, historians my think in the future, may belong to the next president if there's a new one after donald trump in november. can i just mention a little bit of history here, joy? >> absolutely. that is lbg, 1968. earl warren had said he was going to retire from the supreme court as chief justice.
lbj should fill the vacancy. he appointed abe fortis, that nomination flamed out on october 1st, 1968. about five weeks before the election. everyone around lbj said, you know, put another nomination, run it through. you know, you'll get it through a democratic senate. and johnson said, of course i'd love to do this, there's no one who knows more than i do how important it is to have a chief justice who's a progressive, but johnson said essentially, i don't have the right to do that, there's a presidential election in five weeks. people should choose. that's exactly what joe biden said last night. >> yeah. and let's go back even further. you know, i think that people are so accustomed to the nine-person supreme court, the nine man for such a long time supreme court. i think people underestimate the extent to which the number of people on the court has been in play as a political issue before, whether it's fdr or even before that. so give us a little bit of that.
it isn't sacrsank. >> no, franklin roosevelt was frustrated by some of the same things we've been hearing about the last day of the supreme court's inability to change. and he said the supreme court should be expanded. his plan was vote -- was turned down by the senate. it was called court packing, by the way, in a derogatory way. so i've been hearing actually the last couple of hours some people saying we should pack the courts. i think let's call it court reform. i think what we are always looking for is something that makes the supreme court and other institutions more responsive. the founders lived in an age when the average age people lived was about 40 years. they don't anticipate that people might live until 90, you'd have enormously long supreme court terms. >> yeah. and the other thing -- and i am
a bit obsessed with the concept, the country was founded by men who presumed that only men like them would govern. not their wives or daughters. it was going to be men like them. so much of what history has done is proven how -- right -- how shortsighted they are, right. i am concerned about the pre-current south african-ization of american politics, meaning that before apartheid ended, a very small percentage of people in south africa, white south africans controlled the 15% controlled the 85%. we're getting very close to a time when 30% of our population will get 70 of the 100 senators. and will essentially have more power than 70% of the country, who will live in about 15 states. that's where we're going population-wise. is it time now for -- if democrats get the opportunity and have the senate and the
house and the white house to rethink the structure of the way that we govern? meaning adding d.c., adding puerto rico as states, expanding democracy in terms of the voting rights act in a very aggressive way? because i'm not sure how we can survive this way if we pre the end of apartheid south african-ize our politics. >> yeah. i think all those things should be explored, and i think it's inevitable that they will be. also something like one remedy is maybe 18-year term limits for supreme court justices so that if donald trump decides to help himself to a supreme court seat this fall, that many historians in the future might think it actually belongs to a next president if there is one, that person will not be sitting on the supreme court necessarily for the next 50 or 60 years. >> yeah. michael, i think you should call me every morning and talk me down. >> okay. we'll talk each other down. sad day, but i'm glad to be
here. thank you, joy. >> exactly. thank you. thank you so much, always a pleasure to talk with you. cheers, have a great weekend. joining me now -- thank you. joining me is former california senator barbara boxer. she's also the co-host of the podcast "the boxer." i love that title as a podcast. senator, talk to me about the senate. because it does feel for a lot of people like the senators on the democratic side and the republican side sort of operate in two different worlds. one is concerned about policy and politics, and the other is concerned strictly with power. do you think that democrats are -- are built for what's to come? i'm talking about senate democrats, to fight what mccottage m mcconnell is about to do? >> well. that's an important question, and i think democrats are going to be ready. it's just a bridge too far. if they go forward and put in this nominee that trump comes up
with, just literally it will be like a few days before we know who the next president is. and you know, if there's -- i served in the senate for 24 years. there were moderate republicans at that time. now you have republicans who are on record and you've shown this to us, quote after quote, whether it's lindsey graham or chuck grassley, there are others who said they would never vote to fill a seat this close to an election. so i mean, if they don't do it, i'm going to use some words that i wouldn't be allowed to use if i was still a senator. you know, they'd be double dealing hypocrites. that's what i wrote down because i was looking -- i talked to my husband last night. what are the words that i would use? they are so clear that they would never do this. and i think that's enough, frankly, to get the democrats to do what they would have to do which is to change the structure of how we do business.
and yes, perhaps add some seats to the supreme court. and do the right thing for the people. the people did not vote for donald trump. if we go back to the popular vote. and you know -- the other point i'd make is the sadness of this moment. he brought it to my household. we were watching you when you said you have an announcement. it's a sad one. i will tell you this -- i have kids, a daughter and a daughter-in-law, got in touch with me. their mom's -- they were sobbing. and i thought about ruth, who i knew, who i loved. and i think what was so extraordinary about her and is so rare is that she was such an intellect, but she had the ability to speak from her heart. and her size, she was five-feet
tall, and had the power of a message of equality. and we are dealing with that. and it hit my -- my daughters. and it has hit the young people. it is -- it's what we're seeing in the peaceful protests. it's all about equality. so the united states senators who were democrats in this situation have got to understand they have to step up to this moment. i think that they will. i truly think that they will. >> yeah. there's so much going on here. i mean, your state is in the midst of a conflagration literally. these fires that are still burning all over the state with no action on climate change for the foreseeable future as long as donald trump is in charge. this fight now which includes the fights over whether the voting rights act will be restored, whether lgbt rights will be maintained, whether women will maintain the right to choose.
so much is on the table in this coming election. as somebody yourself who's a barrier breaker, you know, when you got to the senate there weren't a lot of women there. can you give us just some sort of words of advice on where we should be -- what should we be thinking about going into these next 45 days? >> well, first of all, keep our eye on the prize. there will be a lot of distractions here and there and up and down. we need to get to the polls. we need to march to the polls. every single thing you care about. by the way, i'm talking to both sides. everybody get out there. the fact is, it's all on the ballot. and you know, as i say, it's very easy to get distracted. people are suffering. this has been a terrible year. people dying of covid. we've seen black americans dying in the street with knees on their necks.
we saw this clearly, most of us, for the first time in this kind of way. and now we have the loss of a woman who fought for equality. and one of the beautiful things about ruth is, which i loved and i learned from her, is, you know, she fought for equality for men in certain circumstances, too, where they were denied certain social security benefits. and improving that men deserved equality, of course it meant equality for everyone. and you know, her leadership and i think valerie pointed this out beautifully, the lily ledbetter, i was there for that, barack obama, equal pay for equal work decision. it was because of ruth. she said, you know, we judges, we can do certain things, but you're legislators. so i hear her in my ears right now saying, go to the polls, people. this is what matters. and i want to say really a
message to those of my republican colleagues who are on the record, go and live up to what you said, and do not have this vote until the next president is seated, period. >> yeah. thank you so much, former senator barbara boxer. if you want to take stock of what the senator just told you which is excellent advice, if you're in virginia or if you're in minnesota, you can vote today, early voting has already begun. we're not -- there is no election day, it's an election season. election season has already begun. multiple states are already voting. we saw long lines in virginia and minnesota yesterday. so everyone, please get out and vote. senator, thank you so much, appreciate your time. everybody else, please stay right there. we've got so much more "a.m. joy" coming up. ♪
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you not only make a great justice, you're good enough to be confirmed as secretary of state because state department people never answer the questions fully directly either -- >> may i leave you -- >> if you'd like to answer for fully -- >> just two thoughts that you can think about in between now and our next round. but one of them was prompted by senator mosely braun when she reminded us that the spirit of liberty must lie in the hearts of the will and men of this country. it would be really easy, wouldn't it, to appoint platonic guardians who would rule wisely for all of us, but then we wouldn't have a democracy, would we? we cherish living in a democracy, and we also know that this constitution did not create a tricameral system.
judges must be mindful of what their place is in this system. and must always remember that we live in a democracy that can be destroyed if judges take it upon themselves to rule as platonic guardia guardians. >> all right. well, as fate would have it, we have some more breaking news this morning. the united states has now surpassed a grim milestone. 200,000 deaths from covid-19. we've just surpassed that milestone according to nbc's count of state and local data. again, 200,000 americans and counting have now died in this pandemic. that is news i am not happy to give, but that is the facts. those are the facts. joining me is stuart stevens, senior adviser for the lincoln project, author of "it was all a lie," another book that should be on your reading list right now. stewart, let's talk about both
of these things. you know, this has been a you're when a lot of what we've been talking about has been about death. it's been about losing jon stewart, losing chadwick boseman who for so many kids a superhero. now another superhiero, ruth bader ginsburg. she's been a histoeroic for the court. now over 200,000 lost to the coronavirus because of today. you know, it's hard to understand the republican party at this point, reaction to it. can you understand what their reaction -- what they are right now in this moment? >> republican party's abandoned its role as a governing party. i don't know any coherent philosophy, political philosophy
the republican party can legitimately support. i compare it to a cartel. it exists to beat democrats. nobody asked opec what's tomorrow good or higher purpose of opec, they sell oil. same with narco cartels, they sell dope. i don't see any other organizing principles to the republican party. and it's at this moment, it's monumentally tragic because every three days we have a 9/11 largely and due to the ineffectiveness of the republican party to hold donald trump accountable and do what they were elected to do -- protect americans. >> i want to play a couple of sound bytes. one of them from my producers is senator lindsey graham in 2016. this is 2016. and he talks about the election year of donald trump, of what he would do in the event that there was a president ted cruz or a president, you know, donald trump, or whoever. at this point, i don't believe
we knew who the president was going to be. here's lindsey graham in 2016. >> there is is the last year of lame duck president. and if ted cruz or donald trump get to be president, they've all asked us not to confirm or take up a selection by president obama. so if a vacancy occurs in their last year of their first term, guess what, you will use their words against them. i want you to use my words against me. if there's a republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say lindsey graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination, and you could use my words against me, and you'd be absolutely right. >> okay. and now here's mitch mcconnell three years later in 2019. okay. i'll read it to you. the question was asked him, and
this was with the "washington post," he was asked if a supreme court justice was to die next year, what would you do? mcconnell -- we'd fill it. then he smiles, and the audience laughs. if you were, if the democrats -- if the republicans, if the situations were reversed and a republican president had had their nominee not even get a meeting let alone a hearing for the supreme court and -- and a seat had been stolen from republicans and then this situation happened where a democratic president then had, you know, the opportunity, what would republicans do if the situations were reversed? >> look, we know the answer to that. it's just about power. it's not about any kind of principle or any thought of what presidents are being said. listen, i think this is a monumental political disaster for republicans if they go ahead with this. it is a -- i think you can kiss
susan collins' seat good-bye. whatever she does, she's going to alienate a large percentage of that state and when she's in a very tight race. you know, betting on lindsey graham actually being like a decent human being has sort of been a losing bet for the last few years. i really don't see how lindsey graham eats those words. if he does, i think jamie harrison will be the next senator from south carolina. >> yeah -- >> it is a terrible position that they've taken, and i don't really could wknow why they're thinking about the politics. they're pointing to their own power i think. >> how and when -- when roe v. wade was first decided, there was a delayed reaction from the religious right. they reacted a lot more strongly to the idea that segregated schools couldn't get a tax break than they did initially to roe v. wade. yet, it has being dogma. and now it's become really
possible that they can overturn roe which also would be a political problem because in each state you then have a miniature war over women's fundamental rights. so i'm not sure politically how that helps them. but it is dogma. do you -- do you think that because of that these republicans will go ahead and even if they're blowing themselves up, walk right into that fire because abortion and taking down roe is such dogma in the party? among the base? >> well, i'm of the opinion that most republicans really don't care that much about this issue. they say they do because it's something they've learned to say. you know, not small portion of donald trump's voters were pro-choice voters. i would hesitate were i in the trump campaign, god forbid, trying to turn this into a referendum on abortion. the majority of the country is on other side. the smart political play here is
just for donald trump not to nominate somebody and to wait. that gives him something -- appearance of taking the high road. they don't seem to be doing that, though. i think it's a huge, huge mistake and a huge opportunity for democrats. mitch mcconnell's going to lose the senate if they go forward with this. i don't see any other alternative given what everybody has said. now, they may not have a vote. >> yeah. >> you have grassley, murkowski, you have graham, and you have collins who have all unequivocally said they would not vote in this situation. >> yeah. and is there a fourth? because there -- they would need a fourth. >> i think they'll be out there. i mean, that's actually four right there. murkowski, grassley, collins, and you have graham. >> all right. yeah. >> so i think we'll see how this plays out, but one thing we know
there's no skinsy to anything donald trump said. and the idea that mitch mcconnell is a institutionalyist is one of the great fantasies of our times. we'll see how this plays out. >> yeah, i didn't count graham as the fourth because i don't know if i believe what he's saying. thank you for the correction. appreciate it. stuart stevens, it's always great to talk with you. thank you so much, appreciate your time. and everyone else, please stay with us. we have so much more on the legacy of ruth bader ginsburg and the political fight that we're about to be in and what happens now. happens now. (driver) i don't know what happened. (burke) this? eh, nothing happened. (driver) nothing happened? (burke) nothing happened. (driver) sure looks like something happened. (burke) well, you've been with farmers for three years with zero auto claims. (driver) yeah? (burke) so you earned your policy perk:
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the monument to hypocrisy that would arise from him attempting to fill this position. joining me is president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. great to be here. by the way, i inadvertently killed jon stewart earlier. of course i meant john lewis earlier. sorry, twitter. let's talk first about what you heard hillary clinton say to rachel maddow last night. you know, she's basically saying it's time to play hardball. mitch mcconnell in his statement lionizing ruth bader ginsburg appended right to that statement -- by the way, we're taking this seat. what's at stake -- just lay out for us from the human rights, the civil rights perspective what's at stake in this decision. >> i don't think anyone can o r overstate what's at sake. it's every one of our rights.
it's our democracy. it's -- if you want to get granular about it, anyone who is going to vote to replace justice ginsburg's seat right now is voting to take away health care from millions of americans, to overturn roe versus wade and turn women back into being second-class citizens who don't have autonomy over our body. a vote to end voting rights and racial justice. i mean, we've got -- we're in the middle of an election. people are voting all over the country. and there is no question that you can just take -- you've posted a lot of these senators' words, the republican senators who very clearly in 2016, but even senator graham currently chairman of the senate judiciary committee in 2018 making very clear that his own principled stance about not confirming or moving a supreme court nomination in an election year. i understand that senator mcconnell has been single
mindedly focused over the last 3.5 years on getting judges confirmed. even this past week. not taking any action to have legislation to provide relief to the now over, you know, the millions of people in this country who are hurting, who have lost loved ones because of covid, but confirming judges at a swift rate. so we know where mcconnell's head is. we know where the president is. but voters have power here, joy. and i don't think anyone should understate this. a lot of those gop senators that have made those statements and they're all cataloged, i've tweeted a bunch out, you know, a lot of them are in vulnerable races. this is not a situation where any of us can sit back. everything is at stake. >> yeah. and two states, minnesota and virginia, are already voting. as you said, the senators are on the record. i want to play a sound byte, and by the way, again, to note that more than 200,000 americans have now died of covid.
that is as of today. so that's where we are. i want to play a little sound byte of the notorious rbg. and this was from january 17, 1973. this is a case called frontiero versus richardson. here she is. >> amicus urges a position forcibly stated in 1837 by sara grimke, noted abolitionest, and advocate of rights for men and women. she spoke not elegantly but with unmistakable clarity. she said, "i ask no favor for my sex. all i ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off or necks." >> that's that just feels almost eerily prescient as we are in this era of george floyd. what is the legacy in your view
of ruth bader ginsburg? >> justice ginsburg was a boss. over and over again, she stood up for equal rights. she was often a very lonely voice not only as an ad advocate pressing for equal rights but on the court. when you look at those words -- i'm glad you lifted those up. in the aftermath of george floyd's murder, this court will determine our rights, police violence, criminal justice reform, voting rights, health care access, abortion rights, women's reproductive rights, racial justice. this court, everything it touches on, it affects our lives. and even perhaps, you know, a contested election could result in case going up to the supreme court. we have the power here to show gop senators, put their words right back, senator graham could not have been clearer over and over again, and voters now have to show that they need -- they deserve the power. we deserve the power to choose a president who will then fill
this vacancy of one of the most iconic legendary justices who blazed trails everywhere she went. >> thank you so much for thank here. i think so many people are in mourning just for her greatness. thank you so much. and joining me now, law analyst author of unmaking the presiden presidency. and also justice correspondent for the nation, his most recent piece is ruth bader ginsburg's dying wish, dissent. ben, what did you think happens now and how does the court regain its stature particular with the loss of one of its true greats? >> well, what happens now is a
grotesque political fight that is -- would be easily avoidable if mitch mcconnell were merely will be to observe something like the principal that he stood for as recently as yearsinging a go. and he made it clear in a gogoo lish fashion last night that he he didn't mean to because you in fact he wants this fight. that willfurther diminish the court in the eyes of many and this is a an nugs thinstitutions no different. and whoever ends up gets confirmed, whether in this administration or one that may
follow in january, whoever ends up getting confirmed and however many seats there are on the court, it will be that much harder to be -- for the court to function as we all want to. so i think that it is a very sad decision for the majority leader to have made. and a particularly ugly and sort of fashion for him to announce it that is within a few hours of her death to kind of be rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of taking her seat. >> yeah, i mean that is what struck me too. he almost needed an evil laugh track on the text statement that he sent out. you could almost see him grinning he at the prospect that he seems to really think that this is it our seat, these seats belong to us and we'll do
whatever we have want with them. and so you wrote a piece in a direct fashion what you think should happen next. and so what should democrats do next? >> there is only one play. the court is already i will illegitimate. we've been through this with merrick garland, we've seen that the republicans are willing to change the number of justices on the supreme court when it suits them. tlfsh therefore the only acceptable answer for the democrats is by changing the number of justices should biden win the white house and testimonies take back the senate. that is the only play.
i have a lot of acts why they should act more like the courts of appeals. i think if we had more justices, and i'm saying if we had ten more justice, if we had 19 person supreme court and a 21 person supreme court, what you would see is that these tragedies, the random wheel of death that happens on our supreme court should notal cris. the supreme court should have the power that it does, but the individual justices should not be as critical to the function of democracy as they are. and the way to address that is with
can having an expanded supreme court. bottom line is this is an i w l illegitimate institution and it needs to changed. >> ben, do you agree? >> no, but i do think that there is the threat of expandings supreme court is the tool that democrats have to try to establish deterrence. and the threat of what he is describing may provide deterrence to what mel mcconnel up to. >> and a threat without a follow through is just a threat.
so that is my unrequested political advice. thank you both very much. i want to thank all of our guests. and so more "a.m. joy" tomorrow morning with jonathan capehart. really appreciate the time. please stay tuned for a alex witt. tt looks like they picked the wrong getaway driver. witt. or long time. witt they will, but with accident forgiveness allstate won't raise your rates just because of an accident, even if it's your fault. cut! sonny. was that good? line! the desert never lies. isn't that what i said? no you were talking about allstate and insurance. i just... when i... let's try again. everybody back to one.
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breaking news right now, democrats mobilizing from capitol hill in the next hour, this to talk strategy in the wake of justin ruth bader ginsburg's death. all this as the president also breaking news with a tweet a short time ago vowing to push through a nominee and either is being up an epic battle, this just 45 days before the election. and in her own word, some of the most memorable moments from ruth bader ginsburg's life and career ahead. florida and at the ballot box, early voting going on right now, how the battle might affect votvot voters in realtime. but first r, another unprecedend moment in what seemed unthinkable just a few months