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tv   MSNBC Prime  MSNBC  June 30, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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>> under the constitution -- >> and laws of the united states -- >> and laws of the united states -- >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> all of the members of the court, i am pleased to welcome justice jackson to the court and to our coleman calling. >> congratulations justice jackson, children in america have a new justice to look up to. and on that note, i wish you a good night from all our colleagues across the networks of nbc news, thank you for staying up late, i will see you at the end of tomorrow. the end of tomorrow it was a historic moment at the supreme court today. >> i, ketanji brown jackson, solemnly swear. that i will support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and -- >> ketanji brown jackson was
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today sworn in as the nation's 116th justice, and the first black woman ever to serve on the high court. her husband, dr. patrick jackson held two bibles on which she swore a family bible, and the court's harlan bible. a court federal appeals judge, jackson replaced justice stephen breyer, who stepped down today after three decades on the bench, justice breyer hired ketanji brown jackson as a clerk in 1999, making it a full circle moment when he administered the judicial oath to her today. a formal investiture for justice jackson is expected in the fall -- we can call her that now, justice jackson. taking her oath today allows her to begin her judicial duties. she arrives on the bench in the wake of several hugely polarizing decisions, issued by the court on abortion, gun rights, and today's ruling limiting the epa's authority to fight climate change. we are going to have much more
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on that ruling specifically, and on the future of the court, and its newest member just ahead. before we get to all of that, do you remember when the donald trump campaign was caught scamming its own donors? i just have to read you the lead from the new york times, the story that broke the scandal open. quote, stacy blatt was in hospice care in september 2020, listening to rush limbaugh's dire warnings about how badly donald trump's campaign needed money, when he went online and chipped in everything he could. $500. it was a big sum for a 63 year old battling cancer, and living in kansas city on less than $1,000 a month. but that single contribution, quickly multiplied, another $500 was withdrawn the next day, then $500 next week, and every week through mid october without his knowledge, until mr. blatt's bank account had been depleted and frozen. his utilities and rent payments bounced, and he called his
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brother russel for help. what he discovered was $3,000 in withdrawals from the trump campaign in less than 30 days, they called their bank and said they thought they were victims of fraud. russell said, quote, it felt like it was a scam. it was. it was a scam. the trump campaign was putting these little check boxes on this online donation portal, that were already pre checked when you went to make a donation, the fine print saying that if you are going to make a weekly donation, well, that was buried beneath all this bold face, all caps verbiage. so, if you did not want the trump campaign to keep on reaching into your bank account or credit card, you would have to see those boxes, read them, understand them and then uncheck them. the then president of the united states raked in millions of dollars, perpetrating this scam on his most ardent supporters. but as it turned out, that was just the beginning. because then trump launched something called the save america pac, ostensibly to raise money to fight the stolen
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election. he raised hundreds of millions of dollars from his supporters to stop the steal except it's not where that money all went. here's how one of the january 6th investigators laid it out in a public hearing earlier this month. >> between the election and january 6th, the trump campaign sent millions of fundraising emails to trump supporters, sometimes as many as 25 a day. they continue to barrage small dollar donors with emails, encouraging them to donate something called the official election defense fund. the select committee discovered no such funds existed. the claims that the election was stolen were so successful, president trump and his allies raised $250 milln, nearly $100 million in the first week after the election. on november 9th, 2020, president trump created a separate entity called the save america pac. most of the money raised went to this newly-created pac, not to election related litigation.
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the select committee discovered that the save america pac made millions of dollars of contributions to pro trump organizations, including $1 million to trump chief of staff mark meadows'charitable foundation, $1 million to the america first policy institute, a conservative organization which employs several former trump administration officials, $204,857 to the trump hotel collection, and over $5 million to event strategies inc., the company that ran president trump's january 6th rally on the ellipse. >> throughout the committee's investigation, we found evidence that the trump campaign and its surrogates, misled donors as to where their funds would go, and what they would be used for. so, not only was there the big lie, there was the big rip off. >> the big rip off -- so, donald trump had been raising all this money, hundreds of millions of dollars, by promising supporters that he can still win the 2020 election, or something.
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but in fact, lots of the money is just lining his and his friends'pockets. now we have reason to worry that some of the money might be being spent in more insidious ways, because here is what the congresswoman you just heard, congresswoman zoe lofgren, who sits on the january 6th committee, told me last night. >> we know that large amounts of money had been spent out of the fund that was announced by the former president. and is being used to pay for lawyers, to various witnesses. the potential for coercion in that case is pretty obvious. >> what the congresswoman is describing there is a neat trick. donald trump raises all this money, supposedly to try to overturn the 2020 election results, then along comes this giant investigation into his attempts to overturn the election. so, donald trump uses that big pile of money to pay for lawyers for all the people who used to work for him who are being subpoenaed by that very
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investigation. you may not be a lawyer. i certainly am not. but you don't have to have a law degree to understand why it might be in the congresswoman's words, coercive for trump to be paying for witnesses lawyers. imagine you are, say, cassidy hutchinson, a white house staffer subpoenaed by the january 6th investigation. and donald trump is paying for your lawyer. whose interest is your lawyer serving? yours? or trump's? and hanging over your head at all times of the possibility that if you displeased trump somehow, he might cut off the money and you will lose your representation. today, one of cassidy hutchinson's former white house colleagues said it was her understanding that win ms. hutchinson first testified behind closed doors months ago, she was represented by a lawyer paid for by trump or his allies. >> cassidy actually came to me and said, there is more i want to share with the committee.
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a couple months ago i put her in -- put her in touch with congresswoman cheney. she got a new lawyer. and that's how this testimony came about. >> she came to you and said she had more? even after she had spoken to them once? >> yeah, what people need to understand is that trump was world was assigning lawyers to a lot of the staffers, who themselves don't have -- >> assigning lawyers? >> i should say, covering the cost of lawyers for people who don't have big legal defense funds for [inaudible] >> paying cassidy hutchinson's lawyer? >> that's my two standing. you'd have to confirm that. but stefen -- had been the white house counsel office. she did her interview, she complied with the committee. but she shared with me, there's more i want to share that was not asked in those settings settings. in that process, she got a new attorney of her own. -- >> the name that the former white house staffer were
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searching for was passantino. stefan passantino was cassidy hutchinson's lawyer until months ago. he's a former trump white house lawyer with all kinds of trump connections. was he being paid by trump to represent ms. hutchinson? we don't know that. we reached out to mr. passantino today and we've not heard back. what we do know is that a law firm stefan passantino runs had been getting regular payments from that very same trump save america pac. here are the payments from trump's save america pac to passantino's elections llc, for the last year and a half, for legal consulting. payments ranging from $10,000 to $45, 000, multiple times a month. to be entirely clear, mr. passantino is a lawyer. it's entirely possible that all this money he's getting from
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trump's pac is for actual legal services rendered that have nothing to do with representing cassidy hutchinson. again, we reached out to mr. passantino but we haven't heard anything back. but you've got to admit, if you are a witness before the january six investigation on your lawyer is getting regular payments from donald trump's quasi-slush fund pac, that creates an awkward situation. it may explain why cassidy hutchinson became so much more forthcoming once she switched lawyers about a month ago. makes you wonder if there are other witnesses who are repped byawuper pac and what they might be willing to say under different circumstances, if they had their own lawyers -- or, at least, lawyers who are not paid for by trump or his allies. i can tell you that fec records show payments from that same trump pac, save america, to law firms representing several other january 6th witnesses. again, doesn't mean those witnesses payments are specifically tied to the representation of those witnesses. someone else might be paying for those witnesses. those witnesses might be paying
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their own bills. we don't know that information yet. but you can understand why january 6th investigators would be very interested in that information. following the money -- especially when the committee has already put forward evidence of witness intimidation by trump allies, messages to witnesses that appear to be veiled threats, reminding witnesses that trump is watching and urging them to, quote, do the right thing. here is what congresswoman zoe lofgren told me about that last night. >> i am not going to comment on which witness those threatening messages were sent to but obviously, if you read them, there is an intent to dissuade a witness from testifying honestly. so, this is a concern. and i just want people who would try an interfere with a witness, who would coerce them or threatened them to know, that that is not legal.
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and we do not intend to just sit by and watch that happen. as to witness intimidation, that's a crime. and individuals who are trying to protect the president are committing a crime. we intend to take the evidence we get of that and not just sit on it. people ought to be aware that committing the crime of witness tampering is a serious matter. and it's not going to be ignored. >> donald trump and his allies like to claim that the january 6th investigation is a ridiculous sideshow that they are not even paying attention to. but it sure seems like, behind the scenes, they are working pretty hard to keep witnesses from saying too much or saying with they don't want them to say. joining us now, barbara mcquade, former united states attorney for the eastern district of michigan. she is now professor at the university of michigan law school and an msnbc legal analyst. barbara, good evening to you and good to see you. thank you for being with us. i just want to keep pulling on this thread. last night, when we had congresswoman lofgren on, she
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told me that some of the money raised by the save america pac has been going to lawyers to represent trump staffers who are being asked to cooperate with the january 6th investigation. now just tonight, brand-new reporting from the new york times, reports that at least a dozen of the january 6th witnesses are either having their legal fees paid by trump 's political organization and his allies, or have received promises that they would do so. so, i have to ask you, as a former prosecutor, what does this all mean? when you hear about these things? is it relevant when you are prosecuting someone and someone other than that person or their family are paying their legal bills? >> it is absolutely something that is of concern. it's lawful for somebody to pay someone else's legal bills. there is not a problem with that, there is not a crime with that. but the lawyer's ethical
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obligation is to represent the client, regardless of who is paying the bills. sometimes you would see these matters come before the court and the court can play referee a little bit to make sure that the client is satisfied with the legal representation and that the client believes that the lawyer is representing the client's best interest. but there is an inherent conflict of interest there. michael cohen has described it. this is how it works in trump world. and when the lawyers being paid by someone else, there is at least a human element of an incentive to please the one who is paying you, as opposed to the one that you are representing. >> the january 6th investigation is not a prosecution by nature, by virtue of what the committee is, how it is constituted and what it is allowed to do. but donald trump and his activities are subject to that investigation. if this were a court case, would that make a difference? would it make a difference if the person paying the bills of the witnesses is the person being investigated? >> i think it is probably problematic in both contexts. because what you want to avoid is some sort of obstruction of
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justice. that the lawyer is persuading the witness not to be as forthcoming as they might otherwise be because they want to please the boss. and so i think in either context it is very problematic. and at its worst, it could be a crime of obstruction of justice. at its best, it is somebody generously paying the legal fees of a person who can't otherwise afford it. but i think it behooves the fact finder, whether it is a judge or, in this case, the members of congress, to make sure that this sees the light of day, that people understand what this relationship is, because i think that transparency is the best way to expose wrongdoing. >> but to be clear, if i am being deposed, if i am testifying before the committee and i am being represented by a lawyer who is paid for by donald trump's super pac, the lawyer i have has got to represent me in my interests. that is their ethical responsibility as a lawyer. >> absolutely right, ali. they can't ask you to pull
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punches or lie or fail to become as forthcoming as you might otherwise be just because someone else is paying the bills. their loyalty lies with the client. >> i want to go down this road of intimidation. one of the witnesses messages that was allegedly sent to [ cassidy hutchinson warned cr> donald trump does read transcripts. i'm not sure what that supposed to mean. is a suggestion there that one of the trump lawyers representing a january 6th witness may have been passing deposition transcripts to former president trump? does that matter? >> i think, number one, we don't know that those would have been accessible to donald trump. so, if he actually would have been reading transcripts, that suggest that he's got some improper access. what i think it tends to mean is, watch what you say, because donald trump is going to know every word that you say. and so be careful, be loyal, remember whose team you are on here, all of those kinds of things. i think that they are really careful not to go so far as to
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say be sure to live for the boss. but they do say things like, we are watching. to very subtly suggest that you are on this team. >> barbara, good to see you. barbara mcquade is a former united states attorney for the eastern district of michigan. and an msnbc legal analyst, always a pleasure to see you, my friend. today this supreme court made a decision that is an impact on the entire world, we will break down that decision what can be done to fight, it next. ♪ got my hair got my head ♪ introducing new one a day multi+. a complete multivitamin plus an extra boost of support for your immunity, brain, and hair, skin & nails. new one a day multi+. we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair.
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office just like me, where do we go wrong. >> and, i don't, know we always try, it we always had every accomplishes one small thing, bring one smile to one strip miner. bring a little bit of happiness, to one large oil cartel. and how we are repaid?
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>> in unmarked 50s and hundreds. >> that was snl in 1983, making fun of a couple of scandal plagued reagan cabinet members, james watt, and the former epa administrator and bird. ann has since passed on, but her legacy lives. on her betrayed just got turned by sane she wore for coats, and smoke two packs of marlboros a day, her government issued car got about 15 miles per gallon. she wasn't epa administrator who worked actively to gut the epa. the washington post remembers her as a firm believer that the federal government, and specifically the epa, was too big, too wasteful, and two restrictive of business. she cut the epa's budget by 22%, and posted that she reduced the thickness of the book of clean water regulations from six inches, to half an inch. under her watch, the agency tried to set aside a 30 by 40 mile rectangle of ocean, due east of the delaware male --
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coast, where considerations would burn toxic waste at 1200 degrees centigrade. she was eventually forced out of the epa, over a scandal about mismanaging a 1. 6 billion dollar program to clean up hazardous waste ups. like i said, her legacy, the desire to cut the epa, that legacy lives on in her now adult son. the supreme court associate justice, neil gorsuch. not only did the supreme court ruled 6-3 against biden's epa today, severely curtailing its ability to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. but gorsuch offered a majority opinion, signaling he would go even further in reducing the agency's powers if he could. today is a sign day for our planet, and a day that is in long in the making, but getting depressed doesn't help anyone, so i want to know what we can do.
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and just like ann burford,, and her son neil gorsuch who have been in this fight for decades, so is this next guest. he is an empty pioneer in environmental activism, he is bill mckibben, he's an environmentalist and the founder of a organization called third act, which is comprised of people overseas to are deterring to change the world for the better, he's also the author of a memoir called the flag, the cross, and the station wagon, bill good to see you again, thank you for being with us tonight. >> a real pleasure to be with you, friend. >> tell me, can you help us understand what exactly this ruling does to the epa? it limits their ability to limit or restrict the negative environmentally negative output of power plants. >> that's right. the epa is filled with experts whose job it is to figure out how to regulate the pollution that comes out of power plants and things. with a supreme court today said, we don't care about that, [inaudible] going to be serious regulation congress has to specifically tell us how much methane or
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you're getting you out of that's the exact same as saying not any regulation at all. in facing the greatest crisis the world is ever faced, this goes a long ways towards removing the chance that the u.s. will step up to its obligations. >> it's a vote very much like abortion, is that some of us have come to think the world is moved ahead, and our views as it comes to environmentalism, that we've discounted the deniers and they don't have a place at the table and shows that not only did have an equal place at the table. and then suddenly a ruling like this comes down that shows that not only did deniers have an equal place at the plate table. they've got a commonplace in the table. they have a leadership role in the discussion. how does this come to pass in 2022, when it seems that most people in the world, at least outside of america, but even in america, which people seem to think that environmental damage is done when there is an absence of regulation --
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>> we'll, ali, i think you have really hit the nail squarely on the head. each of the big decisions in the last week, the one that made it easy to carry guns any place you wanted, the one that overturned a woman's right to choose and now this one that is getting the clean air act -- they are all deeply unpopular. these are all things that, by margins of 65, 70, 75, 80, 90% of americans want done. and so what we are seeing is the payoff of a 50-year effort, that predates even [inaudible] ann--. we go straight back to that famous memo, louis powell, soon to become a justice of the supreme court, wrote in 1971, within months of the clean air act being adopted, saying, business has to get its act together so that we can stand up to this kind of regulation. this is today the thing that the koch brothers are working for.
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that's what's the last decades of organizing and court packing and everything was about. it's going to put us in a real hold. but, and this is important. these things are so unpopular that this should be the springboard for this kind of action. we need now leadership out of the democratic party and out of joe biden to really take this to the american public. i said the other day that he -- joe biden should say, my frame is not going to darken the white house door for the next 132 days until this election. i am going to be out here every day, i like amtrak, i'm going to crisscross the country, now he has a case to make, now we have an election that's not just dominated by inflation. now people understand at the most basic rights in the most basic questions about the future -- not just of our country but our planet -- are at stake.
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so, this is a terrible week. but if the supreme court kicked over a hornets nest, then maybe -- maybe -- something good can be salvaged from it. you >> talk about the clean air act and you talked about business. that's in my wheel house now. something he wrote in the new yorker struck me today. you mention that while the conservatives pushed a rollback of environmental regulations, and has been profit driven since the 19 80s, including the work done by the koch brothers, you mentioned it is more ideological than practical now. because climate change is going to lead to such a financially unstable world. tell me what you mean by that. >> look, the current high-end estimate for economic damage for unchecked global warming, the last number i saw, was 550 trillion dollars by centuries in, which is more money than currently exists in planet earth. we are talking about an issue that's by far the largest human
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beings have ever done. while the supreme court is playing these kinds of ideological games on behalf of the vested interest that want to delay our energy transition for a couple of decades, while they are doing that, the arctic has been melting, the seas are rising, we are seeing fire and flood and drought on scales we have never observed before. this couldn't be more serious and they couldn't be, at some level, less serious. all they are doing is carrying the water for fossil fuel industry. they have gotten their money's worth ever since citizens united, what theyve poured into the system, the return on investment has been staggering. >> bill, good to see you, thanks for the work that you do and like the work they have been doing for decades, you have been doing this work for decades. bill mckibben is an environmentalist, he's the founder of the organization third act, the author of a memoir called the flag, the cross, and the station wagon. we appreciate your time, sir. today was the end of the supreme court term. and put it lightly, as bill
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said, the decisions we got this term were bananas. we will talk to the great dahlia lithwick about all those decisions on the future of the court on the other side of this break.
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when wstarted our business were payin arm a leg for post i remember setting up shipstation. one or two clicks and everything was up and running. i was printing out labels and saving money. shipstation saves us so much time. it makes it really easy and seamless. pick an order, print everything you need, slap the label onto the box, and it's ready to go. our costs for shipping were cut in half. just like that. shipstation. the #1 choice of online sellers. go to shipstation.com/try and get 2 months free. after over 230 years, today at noon it finally happened. with her swearing in this afternoon, judge ketanji brown jackson became the first black woman to sit on the supreme court after justice stephen breyer retired today after nearly 30 years on the high
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court himself. justice jackson said in a written statement today, with a full heart i accept the solemn responsibility of supporting and defending the constitution of the united states, and administering justice without fear or favor, so help me god. justice jackson is joining the nation's highest court in a historically divisive time. a supreme court under siege from the weight of popular opinion, tomorrow will mark one week since the overturning of roe v. wade, that ruled that abortion is not a constitutional right after nearly 50 years of precedent, that said that it was. protests have erupted across the nation, seven states have already banned abortion. several following suit soon. today, as we just heard, the court ruled against the biden administration's environmental protection agency, limiting the agency's authority to regulate emissions, delivering a serious blow to our planet. but not all the decisions today had the liberals in the minority, today the court also
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rejected a challenge to the biden administration's attempts to end trump's remain-in-mexico policy, which sent migrants seeking refuge in the u.s. back across the border to wait to be heard. and, the court declined to take up a legal challenge brought by the health care workers in new york who oppose the states vaccine mandate on religious grounds. justices thomas, alito, and gorsuch, said the court should take the case up, but they were in the minority. well, today ends this year's term, the court agreed to hear one case from north carolina for next term, which could have cataclysmic repercussions. the washington post writes, quote, the supreme court on thursday said, it will consider what would be a radical change in the way federal elections are conducted, giving state legislatures the sole authority to set the rules for contests, even if their actions violated state constitutions and resulted in an extreme partisan gerrymandering for congressional seats. even if their actions violated
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state constitutions. republicans argue that the courts have no right to second guess state legislatures when it concerns federal elections. the buck stops with the legislatures, they say. if the supreme court decides this case in the republicans favor next term, state courts would no longer be a check on state lawmakers when it comes to our nation's elections, and that is something to digest for a moment. because, after what we saw on the 2020 election, with states trying to send fake electors to congress, this could lead to catastrophic consequences for our democracy. or at least extreme partisan gerrymandering across the country next time they get the chance. this case is about north carolina, but if the conservative justices rule in favor of the republicans, it could have an outsize impact. because, republicans control both houses of state legislatures in 30 states. what does the future of this conservative court look like?
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what can we expect next term? i have just a person to ask, joining us now is dahlia lithwick, a senior editor and legal correspondent for slate. com. dahlia, good to see, you thank you for making time for us tonight. -- north carolina, about state yes, this is the thermal nuclear option, this is the thing we are all waiting to see if the court was going to take it up. i think you've described it perfectly. this was more or less the theory that was being pushed by john eastman, and jeffrey clark, and the folks who were asking to set aside the results of the 2020 election. so the idea that the court is now agreeing to take it up, in advance of the 2024 election. we know, by the way, there are
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already four justices who have signaled in various cases that have come before it, there are already four justices who are kind of on board with this. so the idea that the court is teeing this up in advance of 2024, is pretty bone-chilling. >> let's talk about this for a second. the idea is that the courts are there, if they are operating properly, to have a check on when there is legislation that is challenged, because it is deemed to be unconstitutional, what is the logic behind a case like this, what is the logic behind saying the courts can't have a role, even if the states do something that is wrong? >> i think you are making the mistake of trying to find logic. this is a profound misreading of an opinion in bush versus gore, the only garnered three votes. it is a profound misreading of
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the word legislature. this is one of those ideas that comes up from the bowels of -- the far far reaches of the conservative legal movement. it has no actual salient's, it is just really, a totally instrumental way to give state legislatures to the power to override the judiciary. i think that we can talk for hours and hours about with the word legislature means in this construction. the truth is it is just another one of those theories that didn't exist until it did, and now evidently it does. >> you wrote in slate, in her latest piece, about the court this term. you said that, quote, those arguing the brand-new jurisprudence emerging this week is remarkably more cruel, more or overtly theological, and more contemptuous of the regulatory state are all correct. talk to me about what you meant
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by that? >> this term has been like nothing i have ever seen, and nothing that most court watchers have ever seen. it has been both a kind of ends driven maximalist, swing for the fences, go for broke on everything kind of term, and i've been thinking about this a lot in the last week, and it occurs to me that we've been so institutionalized, that we tend to say, oh, there is a new test for gun regulations. there is a new test for abortion regulations, there's a new test for state regulation, they built a new test. today, they built a new test, this weird major questions doctrine, that is going to be going for it how you think about regulatory agencies. we make the mistake of -- as though there is a new test today. there is no new test, the test
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is whatever the court wants, the police always wins, religion always wins, women always lose, the condemned always die. and i think we are just making the mistake of treating this like doctrine. it is not doctrine. it is just a checklist of what this conservative legal movement has always wanted. >> that's a big deal, coming from you. because, you watch this very closely. you are not pessimistic and skeptical about the court, typically. >> well, i am now. >> you are. now there are a lot of people who are in the same position. they weren't before, and they are now. delia, thanks for being with us, regardless of where you stand about, this we will talk to about, those because you're one of our best minds about the supreme court. she's a senior editor and legal analyst for slate. com. the past three conservative supreme court justices were nominated by a president who lost the popular vote, and they were confirmed by senators represented a minority of americans. the current conservative majority on the court is, in effect, minority rule. how do we fix that? that is next.
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to help prevent bleeding gums, try saying hello gumwash with parodontax active gum health. it kills 99% of plaque bacteria and forms an antibacterial shield. try parodontax active gum health mouthwash. when pain says, “it's time to go home” “i say, “not yet”. ♪ ♪ aleve. who do you take it for? at the end of a supreme court term that has upended america's understanding of the supreme court. the legal architecture that we have lived under for the past half a century has been fundamentally changed. and the question is, what can be done about it. brian fallon is someone who has been near the center of power in washington for over a decade. he served as an aide for chuck schumer, as a spokesman for
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eric schumer when he was a -- press secretary for hillary clinton's press -- but after the electoral college handed donald trump the presidency, brian fallon decided to take a different path toward making change. he started by raising the alarm about america's broken institutions. there's one institution in particular that needed radical change, americas courts. in 2018, brian fallon cofounded an organization called demand justice. an organization whose mission was to understand the risks -- posed by the increasingly radical majority and across lower courts as well -- the group has pushed for sweeping changes to institutions sweeping changes to meet the urgency of what they say is a crisis in american jurisprudence. brian fallon has been warning us about this moment we're in now for nearly four years, and he and his organization have been thinking harder than any about how to fix it. joining us now is brian fallon, cofounder and executive
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director of demand justice. brian, it's good to see, you thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> what do you think needs to happen? what needs to happen to fix the supreme court, and what in your opinion is possible with fixing the supreme court. >> well, ali, unfortunately, the events of the last week to ten days, these huge cases involving gun law safety, and the ability for the epa to limit greenhouse gases, this is the combination of a 50-year campaign -- and has frankly caught democrats flat-footed. and it's an issue that as recently as ten years ago, that i was working in the senate, i wasn't fully appreciating the urgency of it. and even during the 2016 campaign, when i worked under clinton's presidential campaign, it was an issue even though merrick garland's the nomination was hanging in the balance, the opportunity was going to be decided by that election. our voters, quite frankly, were not sufficiently motivated to come out and vote based on the supreme court, and that's a
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very dispiriting thing. the events of the last two, few years including the nomination of brett kavanaugh, and amy coney barrett, and the decisions like the overturning of roe last week, is causing the public to take notice. this is the positive thing that has happened. we have seen in poll after poll, that the public disapproval of the supreme court as an institution is at its highest level -- the public is calling out to rein in the supreme courts, power and now we just need our party leaders to catch up to where the public increasingly is about wanting to corral this extreme, out of control supreme court. and the problem that we have is that we have a party leadership, that i very much admire the people i've worked closely to -- and came at age politically at a time where the court was dangerous or politically risky, because was frequently seen as an issue motivating republican voters over liberal voters. but that polls shows that that
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trend has shifted -- and now they -- are saying that -- republican voters are saying it. and so i think we need our party leaders to react to this moment appropriately, channel the outrage we are seeing in the public, and propose real serious proposals to rein in the courts. power >> so, when you talk about democrats being caught flat-footed. in fact, over the last 40 or 50 years, have republican voters been more motivated, or has this been the work of the federalist society and the koch brothers, and the chamber of commerce, and the peppering of conservative judges in local districts and some financing for them so they win elections based on name recognition. were conservative voters all that more motivated about it then democratic voters were? or were conservative organizations spearheading this election of judges and the appointment of judges to lower courts, who subsequently became supreme court justices? >> i believe always both.
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i will believe it was a confluence of sort of, an unholy marriage between conservative elites, namely, corporatist republicans, who wanted to switch the courts to be a bastion for free enterprise, in their terms, to crush labor unions. this was the lewis polman, louis powell in the 1970s, became a supreme court justice thanks to richard nixon, but he was in the early 1970s an adviser to the chamber of commerce. and that was the era of the warren court, or the trial of the warren court in the 1970s. and he laid out in a memo, suggesting that conservative elites needed to start funding nonprofit institutions, needed to start being better represented in the legal academy and start raising a new generation of law students that are trained to think in ways that were in business interests. in the forming of the federalist society, they founded an elite sort of petri dish that would found the next generation of law clerks and judges to think and fashion
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judges that dally lithwick, in the previous segment, we telling you about, there was not based on -- holy fabricated out of whole cloth out of outcome-based reasoning. with a did was pair that with a political strategy. they forged a union with the evangelical movement in this country. they weaponized the roe v. wade issue. the roe v. wade issue is not something right after 1973 that the republican season. it's something that a decade later that they realized they had some political opportunities to mobilize voters at the grassroots level. and also gun voters, and animating the second amendment issue as a way to mobilize voters to the polls. it was really in service of a project that was conceived of by the republican legal establishment elites. so, it was both, it wasn't was on the ground foot soldier set to g, combined with a lot of resourced, deep pockets and establishment types of the conservative legal movement. >> it's important to consider all this, now as we look at the court, and the americans look at it with deep skepticism and
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disappointment. brian, thank so much for joining us. brian fallon is a cofounder and executive director of demand justice. we appreciate your time. coming up next, a small but important victory gives the world a reason to hope, coming stick with us. world a reason to hope, coming and hair, skin & nails. new one a day multi+. stick with us. we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair. for people living with h-i-v, keep being you.
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russian invasion, vladimir putin's troops who are attacking ukraine on many separate fronts, you'll recall. it was sort of an eyebrow raising moment when they decided to use their biggest ship, the pointed's guns at this tiny gradient outcrop in the middle of the backseat called snake island. what happened next is one of those well-known stories of the war to date. because, instead of surrendering as order to, the ukrainian soldiers post on the island told the russians to go f yourself. the excitement didn't last long. russia eventually took control of the island, a plan with the purpose, by the way. by seizing snake island, putin effectively set up a naval blockade, stopping anything from getting in or out of ukraine's biggest port city of odessa.
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this noticeably included food cargo. ukraine is traditionally one of the world's leading suppliers of grain, and sunflower oil. so, for four months, now the russians have occupied the island, blocking anything that tries to move past. and because ukraine had very limited naval capacity, liberating the island has been almost impossible, until today. ukraine announced today, that after a successful artillery and missile attack overnight, all russians are now gone from the island. , costume, no russian troops on the snake island anymore, said the top advisor to president zelenskyy. our armed forces did a great job. more kabul news to follow. russia is denying and says it was a voluntary withdrawal. a quote, gesture of goodwill, to show that they are no longer obstructing the ports. but they left in the middle of the night on two speedboats, leaving behind a column of smoke. so, you tell me. this, of course, is very good
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news for ukraine, but many are wondering how they did it. how is it that after so many attempts, the ukrainians finally kicked the russians off of snake island? well, it turns out they might have had a little bit of help. quote, a new weapon said by the west, made the russian garrison even more vulnerable, especially himars, a rocket system supplied by the united states, which ukraine began fielding last week. probably at the u.s. based foreign policy research institute said russia's abandonment of the island was likely a tangible result of nato arms deliveries to ukraine. ukraine is not asking for long term promises or diplomatic visits. they want weapons and they want them now. and when those weapons are delivered in a timely manner, they can make a difference in the outcome of this war. case in point, snake island. watch this space. that does it for us tonight, we are going to see you again tomorrow, it's time now for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> i can't wait for the snake island movie. >> yes. >> it is quite a story --

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