tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 3, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
that's great, keep doing it. please at the show at us and bc prime to your dvr recording schedule, msnbc prime is now with this call show is called from tuesday to friday. the reason we need both those recordings under dvr is that rachel is going to be here on mondays even though her whole team is still producing the show every night at nine eastern. so you need to set your dvr to record every night at nine which means setting into record both the rachel maddow show and starting now, msnbc prime. that does it for us tonight we'll see again tomorrow at seven glassware floors of donald which for the purposes of your dvr, remains the last word with lawrence o'donnell. and we are glad of that and we are glad for your depth of experience, on wheels like this lawrence because these are tectonic shifts, these are seismic shifts. even though we knew this is what the supreme court was going to do, the reality of the fact that it is happening has got to have everybody in this country thinking about what's next and what freedom actually looks like. actually looks like. actually looks like.
actually looks like. actually looks like. ali, i thought i was coming to terms with this when i was working the senate in the 1990s. i expected eventually that there would be the five votes for it, but have to tell, you i was absolutely shocked walking through the building last night holding in my hands a leaked opinion. i had so much trouble believing that this was an actual leaked opinion, since that had never occurred before. but by the time we got on the air after rachael did an hour on it, it was pretty clear. this was the real thing. and so, we went right past that question of, is this the real thing? we don't know if the real thing with the chief justice confirming today. but we have never been through anything like it. and i'm gonna take us through a little bit of the history that joe biden mention today that got us to where we are today. >> i look forward to it lawrence, thank you, have yourself a great show. >> thank you. the supreme court is facing a crisis of legitimacy tonight.
the majority of the court on the verge of issuing the first supreme court decision in history that removes a constitutional right, and that opinion will be opposed by 70% of americans. and at the heart of the crisis of legitimacy of the supreme court is the complete and utter wreckage of the legitimacy of the supreme court confirmation process which for decades has specifically and directly encourage republican nominee to the supreme court to lie in their confirmation hearings. to lie their way onto the court. in his remarks today, president biden said that the current crisis began with the senate confirmation hearings of rock boric, who is nominated to the court by ronald reagan in 1987, when joe biden was the chairman of the senate judiciary
committee. the refusal by republican nominees to the supreme court to tell the truth about roe v. wade in their confirmation hearings began after robert bulwark made the mistake of telling the truth. >> for his wall against connecticut, which established, or adopted a privacy right on reasoning, which was utterly inadequate. and failed to define that right, so we know what it applies to. row against weight contains almost no legal reason. we are not told why it is a private act. there are lots of private acts that are not protected. why this one is protected? we get a review of the history of abortion, and we get a
review of the opinions of various groups like the medic and medical association. and then we get rules. and that's what i object about the case. it does not have legal rejoining and it that proves the right to abortion unconstitutional materials. >> and that is almost word for word what appears in samuel alito's draft opinion overturning roe v. wade. samuel alito was watching that confirmation hearing of robert berke and television and the reagan justice department where he was serving in 1987, with dreams of someday sitting in that chair. in the senate judiciary committee. and it's all supreme court confirmation hearing. and when samuel alito saw the vote count of robert berke's nomination to the supreme court, the senate will count, samuel alito knew he would not ever
make the mistake that robert boric made. robert berke's nomination was defeated on the senate floor 58 to 42. the 58 votes against robert boric included six republicans who voted against republican president ronald reagan's nominee because his views were too extreme. clarence thomas was watching that robert bore confirmation hearing from his job in the reagan administration. and three years later, clarence thomas gave an answer in his confirmation hearing that stunned the senate. i was working in the senate at the time, and i've remembered this answer almost ward forward since the day he said it under oath. it had nothing to do with any to hills sexual assault -- sexual harassment allegations against clarence thomas. which did not become public until after his confirmation hearing was actually considered a complete.
the hearing process had to be reopened to consider any to hills accusations. but it was in that first part of the confirmation hearing before there was a controversy that clarence thomas gave announcer that most senators simply did not believe, and it was about roe v. wade. >> i would assume that it would be safe to assume that when that came down here in law school where recent case laws are discussed. roe v. wade would have been discussed in law school when we were there. >> on the case that i remember being discussed most during my early part of law school was, i believe in my small group was thomas emerson may have been gradual. since the argue that we may have touched on roe v. wade in some way and debated that. let me add one point to that. because i was a married student, and i worked, i did not spend a
lot of time around the law school, doing with the other students enjoyed so much. and that's debating all the current cases, and all of the slit opinions. my schedule was such that i went to classes and generally want to work, and went home. >> judge thomas, i was a married law student, but i also found at least between classes, we could discuss some of the law. and i'm sure you're not suggesting that there wasn't any discussion at anytime with roe v. wade. >> senator, i cannot remember personally engaging in those discussions. >> cannot remember personally engaging in those discussions. that is when clarence thomas
lost his credibility in the senate. the biggest supreme court decision of a generation came down when he was in law school. and it is about an issue that we know to be very important to him. and he claimed under oath that he didn't discuss it. every member of the supreme court who was no voting to overturn roe v. wade pretended, following the quest almost model, to have no opinion on roe v. wade in their confirmation hearings. today, republican senator susan collins, who supports roe v. wade, is essentially accusing trump appointees, neil gorsuch, and brett kavanaugh, one of lying to her. saying that their votes to overturn roe v. wade are, quote, completely inconsistent with what justice gorsuch and justice kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office. here is what they said in their hearings.
>> well, let's go to a more controversial issue. but, along the same lines i've been asking you. i think the case that most people are thinking about right now, and the case that every nominee gets asked about, ravi weight. can you tell me whether roe was decided correctly? >> senator, again, i will tell you that roe v. wade, decided in 1973, is a president of the united states supreme court. it is been reaffirmed, and the reliance and considerations are important. they're on all the other factors that go into analyzing president have to be considered. it is a president of the united states supreme court. it was reaffirmed in casey in 1992. and then several other cases. so, a good judge will consider as president of the united states supreme court, where the extremist of precedent, like any other.
>> have your views on whether rural is settled precedent, or could be overturned? and has your views changed since you are in the white house? >> senator, i said that it is settled as a precedent of the supreme court entitled to respect under the principles of this--. i will we need to keep in mind about roe v. wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years, as you know. and, most prominently, most importantly, reaffirmed in planned parenthood versus casey in 1992. and as you well recall, senator, i know when that case came up, the supreme court didn't just reaffirm it in passing, the court specifically went through all the factors of stare decisis in considering whether
overruling. and that going to pinion that justice kennedy and justice o'connor and justice souter, at great length, went to those factors. that was the question percentage in the case. what does this mean to the 13 year old girl in north carolina who is rape, possibly, by family member, who does not want to have a baby at age 13? whose parents don't want her to have a baby at age 13? whose parents and 13 health want to be able to end this pregnancy? what is a mean to that girl? >> it is a very dangerous decision of this court. the senate absolutely must act to protect the right of a woman, or girl, to make this decision with her family, with her physician, without government interference. we also need to make sure that the senate codified is this constitutionally protected right, to make sure the doctors
and women are not punished when they make this choice in their own private way. and so, this is an egregious decision. it is a decision that harms women. it can harm north carolinians, and it can harm americans. >> sherry beasley, former chief justice of north carolina supreme court, thank you very it is a decision that harms women. was decided correctly? >> senator, again, i will >>
have your views on whether rural is settled precedent, or could be overturned? and has your views changed since you are in the white house? >> senator, i said that it is the senate absolutely must act to protect the right of a woman, or girl, to make this decision with her family, with her physician, without government interference. v. wade becomes the law of the the senate absolutely must act to protect the right of a woman, or girl, to make this decision with her family, with her physician, without government interference. we also need to make sure that the senate codified is this constitutionally protected right, to make sure the doctors and women are not punished when they make this choice in their own private way. and so, this is an egregious decision. specifically went through all
the factors of stare decisis in considering whether overruling. and that going to pinion that justice kennedy and justice o'connor and justice souter, at great length, went to those factors. that was the question percentage in the case. what does this mean to the 13 year old girl in north carolina who is rape, possibly, by family member, who does not want to have a baby at age 13? whose parents don't want her to have a baby at age 13? whose parents and 13 health want to be able to end this pregnancy? what is a mean to that girl? >> it is a very dangerous --
roe was a graciously wrong from the start. it's reasoning was exceptionally weak. roe was incorrectly decided, but that decision was more than just wrong. it stood on exceptionally weak grounds. roe found the constitution implicitly conferred a right to obtain an abortion. but it failed to ground its decision, in text, history, or president. it reads as if samuel alito was taking notes when robert berke was saying exactly that, in 1987. the justices supporting this opinion could not have suddenly decided that roe v. wade is agree justly wrong. those judges are now all supporting a mississippi law that overturned roe v. wade. that will force a 12 year old child in mississippi who was raped by her father or uncle, or neighbor. to have a baby.
a majority of the supreme court supports a mississippi law that would require raped children to have children. 70% of the country believes that that is egregiously wrong. most people in mississippi believe that that is egregiously wrong. but raped children being forced to give birth to children, can now be the new law of the land in the united states of america. and a majority of the supreme court does not believe raped children being forced to give birth weight is egregiously wrong. joining us now, is cheri beasley >> sherry beasley, former chief justice of north carolina supreme court, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank, you lawrence, i'd ask everybody to please go to
let me get first. your reading of this as a former chief justice of the court in north carolina. your reading of this opinion? >> lawrence, thank you so much for having me here today. i have been a judge, i've been a judge, i've been the chief justice of the supreme court. and i have spent my life in service to the people of north carolina for more than 30 years. working hard to respect the rule of law and to uphold the constitution. and a woman's right to make choices about her reproductive health. is a constitutional right. grounded in the 14th amendment and other amendments of the constitution. to make sure that she has the opportunity and the choice to
make decisions about her family, and her body. without government interference. the problem here is that this issue has been politicized. and that there are people who are trying to make a political issue after a constitutional right. even the republicans who are running here in this race. that i'm in here in north carolina. will not take a stand on preserving this right. in fact, they all support a ban or restrictions on this right. even in the case of incest, rape, or the health of a mother being at risk. i'm running for the united states senate. and i will work hard to protect constitutional rights in the very same way that i have upheld them as a judge for. more than 22 years. and as a public servant for more than 32 years. we have to do something, and we have to do something. now >> if you get elective to the senate, you'll be taking a republican seat away from the republicans. adding it to the democrats count.
what -- what is your view now? of the senate confirmation process for supreme court justices? now that we see so clearly how they get through that process. without revealing their thinking, so that they can then reveal their thinking in stunning supreme court opinions? >> you know the judicial, senate judiciary hearings are deeply important. it is important to have a sense of the qualifications of judges. and their ability to listen and follow the law. and the constitution. and to make those decisions soundly. i will tell you. we are where we are now, and it's really important to be thoughtful about this effect that so many women in this country are alarmed by what they have seen. and what they see -- that this right is under attack. we know that here in north carolina, the majority of people here in the state.
and in this country, support the right of a woman to have an abortion. it's a constitutionally protected right. and people here supported. i am working hard in this race, to make sure people understand the magnitude of this election. and as we know that this right is under attack. and that the republicans who are running in this race do not support the right -- the constitutionally protected right of a woman to choose. even in the case of rape, incest, or a woman's risk of health. i am running to protect the rights of the people in this state. and that's what people need to understand. the magnitude of this election in may and november here in north carolina. >> what does this mean to the 13 year old girl in north carolina, who is raped, possibly by a family member. who does not want to have a baby at age 13? whose parents don't want her to have a baby at age 13? whose parents and 13 health want to be able to end this pregnancy?
what is a mean to that girl? >> it is a very dangerous decision of this court. the senate absolutely must act to protect the right of a woman, or girl, to make this decision with her family, with her physician, without government interference. we also need to make sure that the senate codified is this constitutionally protected right, to make sure the doctors and women are not punished when they make this choice in their own private way. and so, this is an egregious decision. it is a decision that harms women. it can harm north carolinians, and it can harm americans. >> sherry beasley, former chief justice of north carolina supreme court, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you lawrence, i'd ask everybody to please go to sherry beasley. com to go for my candidacy. >> thank you. >> and coming up, the rights of women's arizona will change
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they want to ban abortion in every state. they want to bully anyone who seeks or provides reproductive health care. and they want to criminalize and punish women for making these decisions. >> joining us now is arizona secretary of state katie hobbs, she's now running as the democrat to be the next governor of arizona. let's begin with your reaction to the supreme court opinion. >> well, i'm mad. i mean, certainly not shocked, we knew this was coming. but in arizona, people are faced with which extreme abortion ban are we going to be written with.
because the governor signed a 15-week ban into law. but there is a 1901 ban on the books that completely criminalizes abortion and requires prison time. i'm calling on the governor and republican -- to repeal this law. so that there is not a complete and total abortion ban in our state once row is overturned. >> and the--when roe's overturned which is going to be this month or at the latest next month in june. this will immediately change rights in arizona. >> absolutely. the question right now is whether arizonans are other a 15-week ban with no exception for incest which is extreme enough. or this 1901 law that i just mentioned, that completely criminalizes all abortion and requires jail time. that's why i'm calling on the republican legislature and governor to repeal this law. so that there is not, that women still have access to
abortion when they need it. but that's not to say that this -- 15-week ban is also not extreme. >> this repeal by the supreme court does not have support, majority supported any state in the country. it doesn't have more than 30% support in any state in the country. including arizona. what does it mean to arizona voters when they discover, in the next couple of weeks, what supreme court is actually done? >> well, i ran for secretary of state to make sure that the arizonans could engage in electoral process and make their voices heard. because our government is not reflective of our state. and the majority of arizonans support women's access to abortion, access to reproductive health care. and so this does not, this is now the majority of arizona and support. and we have a chance to november to change that. this race for governor is our
last line of defense to ensure arizonans are not under a complete abortion ban. we can do this, i need people to join me, i need people to go to katie hobbs dot org and make sure that we win this race and have this last line of defense to protect abortion in arizona. >> arizona secretary of state katie hobbs, thank you for joining our discussion tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up, tonight with the senate confirmation process of supreme court justice is now fully exposed as something between a sham and a perjury festival. we will be joined by senate judiciary committee member sheldon whitehouse next. why hide your skin if dupixent has your moderate to severe eczema or atopic dermatitis under control? hide my skin? not me. by hitting eczema where it counts, dupixent helps heal your skin from within keeping you one step ahead of eczema. hide my skin? not me.
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direction that this leaked copy has indicated. i would just tell you that it rocks my confidence in the court right now. >> do you think justice kavanaugh lied to you? >> i'm not going to comment on that. >> do you feel misled by some of the candidates? >> my confidence in the court has been ruffled. >> joining us now is senator sheldon whitehouse -- member the senate judiciary committee and shared a subcommittee hearing today on ethics and accountability on the supreme court. senator whitehouse -- >> timing, ha? >> let me see if i understand where we are right now on ethics in the supreme court. chief justice confirmed today that the leaked document is an authentic draft opinion. the chief justice then announced an investigation by
the marshal of the supreme court, and investigation of the leak. and the chief justice remains absolutely silent about the possible investigation of clarence thomas's ruling on cases involving his wife's communication with the white house. do i have it straight that the ethics of the supreme court tonight do not include any consideration whatsoever about clarence thomas ruing on cases involving his wife's communication, but they are worried about the leak? >> the supreme court justices are the only federal judges in the entire system who are not subject to the code of ethics. they hold themselves above it and they believed that each can be judge in his or her own cause of their own ethics. and at the same time, they have ethics rules again optional, they are the judge of whether
they're meeting that standard or not. but the rules themselves are weaker than those four equivalent positions in the executive branch and equivalent positions in the legislative branch. so the rules are weaker for the supreme court and four equivalent positions in the other branches. and they don't hold themselves even to those low standards. so the hearing today revealed, i think a, pretty rotten ethics mess over at the supreme court. that affects a whole variety of ways in which the court operates and recusal is right smack dab in the center of that. >> how about the ethics mess that is on display in supreme court confirmation hearings winona republican nominees are asked about roe v. wade? >> yeah, that's really become performance theater. and it's getting a little bit
sickening. because they all come in and they all say the same solemn statements about how much they care about precedent and how serious they are about storing -- and then they go out and say completely other things afterwards. justice kavanaugh said well, you know, all except precedence unless i think it's seriously wrong. he didn't say that in this hearing. justice roberts said well alex well except precedence unless it's only hotly contested. didn't say that in his hearing. thomas has said he looks the president but only if it's not demonstrably erroneous in his own personal view. he didn't say that in his hearing. and the worst of all is alito. who wrote this opinion. who made the usual statements
about's -- about precedent. and then he said to a laughing federal society audience that stare decisis means to leave things decided when it suits our purposes. he made it a laugh line so it clearly shows victory confirmation hearing just to show to get through to be big donors who put them there at the end of the day. and they scored what they said in this hearings. it is infuriating. >> and there is no hint in this opinion that these judges are just now finding roe v. wade egregiously wrong. if it's as egregiously wrong as they say, then that was apparent to them in law school in the case of clarence thomas. and all of the others in law school. >> and apparent to them in their nomination hearings. in the judiciary committee. and i've heard to them in earlier decisions that they wrote for the court where they didn't spark off like this. i mean, i think people around
the country are justifiably extremely upset and frightened by what this court has done. and part of it is because none of them laid the foundation for this in their public judicial confirmation hearings. they also only said oh roe v. wade very important settle president. and they went out of their way to create the impression that they would honor it. and then of course, that was phony. that was just part of the show. to get on the court and then do with the big donors want. >> and when you look at the opinion, compared to the words that robert berke actually said. in the judiciary committee a 1987 it is essentially the robert pork view of roe v. wade turned into a full, fully written first draft supreme court opinion. and that -- >> he lives again. zombie has come out of the grave and lives and walked the earth again. >> but i submit that as an indication that these justices thought this for a very long time. they thought it is since they
heard that lecture in effect by robert bork in the judiciary committee if not before. >> there is no reason whatsoever to believe that this was some recent epiphany by all of them. i think they've been strategically keeping their intention to undo roe v. wade a secret as they could. until they knew they had the votes and could do the secret handshake and then go out and do their worst. >> senator sheldon whitehouse, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> good to be with you. >> and coming up, the washington post ruth marcus wrote the book supreme ambition about the mission of conservatives to take over the court. that mission has been accomplished. she will join us next. nce. right, frank? i saved 25%. booyah. and now you're relaxing!
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deputy editorial page editor for the washington post. she is the author of supreme ambition, brett kavanaugh and the conservative takeover. and ruth, it appears that the completion of the conservative takeover takes the form of this first draft of the roe v. wade overturning roe v. wade. >> this draft plus -- lawrence thank you for giving the title for the next book. i think it's going to have to be mission accomplished. because that is what we're witnessing. and i think one thing that's really important to point out. you've had so many guests say so many important things about the draft abortion ruling and when the court is heading there. but one thing that's important for your viewers to know is that it's not just abortion. this is a court that has shown that muscular willingness of this really radicalized supermajority now there are six.
not five conservative justices. to transform the law simply because it has the votes. in area after area and what i would say to senator murkowski. is brace yourself, brace for self on a whole bunch of things that maybe are not as important to you as abortion but gun rights, on the ability of federal agencies to issue regulations. on the separation of church and state. on affirmative action next term at the court. this is a court that is in the operation and the mission of transforming the law. >> we have a written statement by president obama and michelle obama today saying, today millions of americans woke up fearing that their essential freedoms under the constitution were at risk. if the supreme court ultimately decides to overturn the landmark case of roe v. wade, then it will not only reverse nearly 50 years of president it will relegate the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues.
and ruth we don't have any statement from former president trump who appointed three of the justices who are doing this. and we don't have any triumphant statement from president george w. bush. about how proud he is of samuel alito. >> well, what does that tell you? politics are, can make for some strangely quiet bed fellows, i guess. when you have a midterm election coming up. >> this opinion going forward, we can expected to come out formally in late may or possibly in june. >> by june. >> late to new. and it will have, unlike most supreme court opinions, it will have an immediate effect in many states around the country. immediately women will suddenly lose a constitutional right. we will lose a constitutional right that has been part of the lives every day of 70% of
americans who have never live in this country without this constitutional right. >> those who haven't lost it already, i would just remind viewers that in the state of texas a law that prohibits abortion after six weeks. blatantly unconstitutional under the current setup that, under the current establish write that the supreme court has found and not yet voted to overrule. that law has been in effect and has been stopping women in texas from exercising their constitutional right to abortion since of timber first. it's really quite unbelievable. and i think that what the obama said in their statement was really important to underline. because this is not a situation of let's leave this issue to, these are sensitive moral judgment so why should judges be making them. why shouldn't we have majorities making them. we shouldn't have majorities
making them because these are individual intimate, intensely personal decisions. that do it have questions of morality that should be up to a woman, should be up to a woman and her partner. should be up to a woman and her physician. they should not be up to state legislature's who are trying to get themselves reelected and they should not depend on what state you happen to be lucky or unlucky enough to live. in >> and when you read the alito opinion, it wreaks of an inability to comprehend what pregnancy means to people in extremely difficult circumstances. whether they be financial circumstances or as victims of rape. there is not one note of consideration of victims of rape or children, victims of incest and rape. >> and he is not the only justice who doesn't seem to get it in that sense. one of the astonishing moments at oral argument i thought was with justice amy coney barrett
and -- had a good clue about what she thinks about abortion rights from some of the writings that she did or letters, open letters that she signed. but she questioned whether abortion right was really necessary now that every state pretty much has a safe harbor rule so you can drop your, after you go through the obviously no big deal hassle of being pretty for nine months and going through labor. you can simply drop off your unwanted child at a local firehouse so no big deal. that was her view of it. one would think that someone who has had five children might understand that being pregnant and having a child and deciding whether or not to give up a child for adoption is a bigger deal than that. ruth marcus thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> tonight's last word is next.
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for the senate race in ohio to replace senator -- tim ryan won an overwhelming victory in the democratic primary. he is currently leading with nearly 70% of the vote. nbc news projects j. d. vance, who was endorsed by donald trump before donald trump publicly forgot his name, will win the republican nomination. he is currently leading at 32% of the vote, which means that almost 70% of ohio republican voters are voting against donald trump's chosen candidate. here is some of what president biden said today about the supreme court overturning roe v. wade. >> and certainly a great deal that we're gonna, after 50 years, decided that we will not have a right for change. . if the rationale of the
decision where to be sustained, a whole range of rights are in question. a whole range of rights. and idea that we're getting to states will be a fundamental shift in what we've done. president biden gets tonight's last word. >> the 11th hour stephanie ruhle starts now , tonight, the seismic fallout in the supreme court with the reverse of roe v. wade for the need for women around the country. democrats are trying to do about it. and what comes next. plus, primary voters at the pole today. as trump's political influences put to the test. we are live in ohio as the 11th hour gets underway on this tuesday night. 11t hour gets underw>>