tv KCCI 8 News Close Up Me-TV February 21, 2016 10:30am-11:00am CST
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] steve: good sunday morning and welcome to close up. mark kende joins us. he is currently a constitutional law professor at drake first of all, i'd like to thank you for being here. let me start by asking what criteria does a president usually consider when deciding on an supreme court appointment and are there any general qualities that all justices share? mark: i think the most important thing is someone of incredible judicial intellect, combined with great integrity, great experience, perhaps a judge. perhaps some one who has been involved in public life. these are the typical criteria that have been in use by presidents over the years. we will see what president obama
steve: what about gender, any other issues? mark: absolutely. i think that gender plays a role right now. right now the disease a discussion -- right now there is a discussion about how many harvard and yell graduates are on the court. to some extent it's a legal decision, but there are certainly political dimensions to it. steve: is that just to make sure that all views are considered? mark: absolutely. candidly, the president wants to nominate someone that he thinks will be confirmed, so the way you have to do that is get it through the senate, a political body, so you have to take that into account because of the politics. steve: justice scalia was known as a strict constitutionalist,
does that mean that others do not do that? mark: it's interesting, he is a strict constructionist. he believed that you should look back at what the framers thought and what the meaning of some of the constitution passwords were -- constitution's words were back in the 18th century. but it was fair to say that he was not the only one using that method. justice thomas and justice alito do that. other justices say that they will look at that but that they will also consider changes in society, changes in attitudes towards people like gay people or racial minorities. saying that we have a living constitution. that's really kind of the opposite approach. steve: the president does have the power to make a recess appointee -- appointment. could this happen?
go forward with this? mark: it could happen. it seems doubtful. he seems to expect the u.s. senate to consider it, which is their job, to go through the confirmation process. my theory is that if at some point the senate became incredibly obstructionist with regards to some nominee, then that is a point where he might step back and say -- do we need to have nine justices for a. of time to make the court the able to complete its job? but until this point he has said it will be a recess appointment, it will be a regular nomination and i expect that this is him talking, the senate will act appropriately and handle it appropriately and not politicize it into us -- situation where they just stonewall.
mark: the senate has indicated that they will stonewall, with the presumable hope that the next president is republican but . but you do have senators like senator grassley, who has backed away from that statement. there is a real question about public opinion. will they tolerate a very obvious example of the senate not functioning when there is already at perception of congress is not being the most functional body in the federal government? steve: all right, thank you very much. straight ahead, the politics of replacing the late antonin scalia. what do party leaders say should happen?
welcome back t steve: welcome back to "close up." the nation is waiting to see who the president will nominate to fill the supreme court vacancy left following the death of antonin scalia. but even more important everyone is wondering what senate republicans will do when they get the president's pick. joining me to talk more about this, is tom henderson, chair of the polk county democrats, and matt strawn, former chair of the iowa republican party i'd like to thank you for being here. you guys show up quite a lot, i appreciate it. tom let's start with you. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and other republicans have said the next president should choose scalia's successor
voters to have a decision on the court. what's wrong with that? tom: well, is unprecedented. the longest time you've ever taken is a little over three months in our nation's history. barack obama will be in office for another 340 days. that would set a new record. besides that, he was elected by a large margin to his current presidency. the voters have had a say, they want him to pick the vacancy. matt: well, of course they do, but first i want to make sure that we honor the legacy of justice scalia, an intellectual giant for many of us as we came up through law school and up through the ranks. for those of us who came up studying his dissents for the most part, the politics of this are amazing. a lot of times i hear from a democrat friends -- they forget that the constitution does provide the guide on this. the president does have the
nomination, but then the senate and legislative branch has the power and ability to provide the consent and that is what we are seeing now. republicans in the control of the senate are saying -- don't forget about us in this conversation. you don't get your way just because you say you do. it is a healthy discussion we are having about exactly what the timetable should look like. we are in the middle of a national presidential race. talking about precedent, in the last 80 years there has never been the supreme court vacancy filled during an election year. i think that precedent should be the guide as long as republicans continue to uphold that constitutional prerogative. steve: isn't president obama saying what you are saying you saying? sounds to me like he just wants to do his duty and put out a nominee. matt: most of what i hear from
more partisan than that, steve. remember, republicans had a majority in 2014. the politics of this, with those senators that were just elected, even in very purple states, they are hearing from constituents who are saying -- we are a divided nation right now. we have seen it in this presidential race gripping both parties. given the split that we effectively have on the court, this should really be decided in the context of a national election where we can have a discussion about what types of nominee we want to see. steve: this might be a stretch, but is this position a little bit of payback for harry reid and the way that he ran the senate during his term there? >> harry reid, chuck schumer, you can go right down the line without democrats treated the george w. bush nominees, but i don't think so. when you look at the timing of this so close to a national election, we should be consistent with historical
in 80 years we have never approved a new supreme court justice this close to an election. tom: except for justice kennedy. 1988. and if you're going to be a strict constructional list, you should look at article two, the senate uses advice and consent with regard to the nominee. nothing about it being an election year is included in article two, if you want to look at that roadmap as part of our constitution. steve: the president basically set out one quarter of his final term on the sidelines, then not putting forth a nominee? >> i would argue that they are putting out the consent. they are saying that this is the decision that should be made when the next president of the united states. steve: something we could go on about forever, so we will move along. there was a new story about how justice scalia and justice ruth bader ginsburg were great friends but admitted enemies
why can't both parties overcome their partisanship when it comes to this very important issue? maybe in the way that ginsburg and scalia did? we're sitting here having a very cut -- very partisan conversation. tom: i'm in on that, how about you? [laughter] matt: i don't know if we was all that problem, but i think that tom and i are good example of this in our community. maybe people can learn from we do. our sons go to school together, play basketball together, we are friends, but -- on the set we have a set of ideals that led him to be a democrat, me to be republican. i think what the public wants to see is people standing up for what they think is right. this is why we need an election to actually sort this out. >> i can vouch for that. you guys seems like you are good friends.
up," everybody. we are talking with polk county democratic chairman, tom henderson, and former iowa republican party chairman, matt strawn. on thursday of last week vice president joe biden said this to minnesota public radio. " i think the president will pick someone to whom republicans already have given the thumbs up and not the most liberal jurist in the nation. nation."so matt what if the someone like loretta lynch, whom the republicans approved to succeed eric holder as the nations a attorney general? matt: well, i think that trying to -- voting for someone for limited duration appointment in the context of a presidential ministration position is different than lifetime appointments to the bench. i suspect he would still have an incredibly long, drawn out process where you would have a full vetting of what she would be as an attorney -- sorry, a justice on the supreme court. republicans are not without risk in t ts as well as i, keep in mind.
majority hangs in the balance. both parties are making a gamble that we will not only maintain that majority, but also maintain control of the white house. steve: on the other hand, is or any chance that they would nominate a conservative in the mold of scalia, or do you think that it could be someone who has been vetted already or someone who, politically speaking, is politically attractive? african-american female? tom: they are not going to nominate someone a republican president michael forward. but i think your question to matt was pretty good. what if they nominated someone who has been acceptable to the republicans in the past. i think that that's more likely what's going to happen. what matt just said is interesting too. the republicans could find some into object to that person, they could say that this person was qualified to be a court of appeals just as but not a
reason to object to it. hopefully in good faith they would take the obama selection and say -- this is a good choice for the court. and then go ahead and put them on the bench. icing that matt thinks that the republicans will be in charge with more vacancies, and that will be their time. steve: what do you think is going to happen, you too? what do you think is going to happen here? matt: when you look at the senate there is a reason that senator mcconnell came out so quickly over the weekend and said that this is something that should be settled after the election. because he understands the politics of his caucus, many of who were just elected. their base wants to see them standing up for the principles. we elected you as republicans to stand up against the kind of justices that president obama put on the bench. but you also have a republican him majority that needs to put some legislative wins on the board.
summer, that's the calendar in which you need to get other activity done. by putting this off until after the election it keeps the senate floor open and hopefully some of the people's business will be done this spring and summer. tom: i'm hopeful that that will be the situation, that they will find time for this particular process as well. hopefully that will be a problem . steve: there has been a lot of criticism of the roberts court. the term judicial activism has been thrown around. what does that term mean to each of you. tom? tom: with regards to whether the roberts court has been an activist court, that would be an interesting question format as well. right now i don't think that roberts has been seen in the best light by conservative republicans because i think it is a court in which they have been seriously trying to be fair
which is why the obamacare legislation was found to be constitutional. it has been an activist court to a certain degree, but that's not always bad for the nation. sometimes we need to forward as a nation, regarding same-sex marriage or obamacare. in some respects it's been a good court in that regard. matt: i think of this ghost of the debate that we should be having as a nation. we are so divided on so many issues. look at the issues in the balance. take second amendment rights. if you are in iowa gun owner, for example. take the heller decision. depending on the balance of what the future of the supreme court looks like, religious liberties, economic regulations, things like that that really can touch the everyday life of a citizen. many look at the legacy that scalia had, where pretty much no matter where you fell on the judicial legal spectrum, if you believed in the evolving
generation of young conservative -- maybe not so young anymore for some of us, but attorneys who came up believing that we should look to the original text of the constitution to guide some of these decisions. we should look to legislative intent. what did legislators put in the law? not trying to divine some sort of inspiration. a lot of his legacy will move on in the court even after he has passed. tom: i will to you this, he didn't always stay with that strict construction philosophy. citizens united was not based on the constitution inappropriate way, neither was bush versus gore. those were times when he had result oriented decisions that he supported. i don't think he was some kind appear rest, like some say. steve: we appreciate it when you stop by to give our opinions. strata hey, -- straight ahead, dennis goldford joins us to look
steve: the sudden death of antonin scalia a and the search for a new justice immediately caused a stir among republican and democratic parties. i'm here with dennis gold ford. --dennis goldford. first of all, you would like to talk about how both parties are reacting to this unusual situation. dennis: unusual because it has been such a long time since a justice died in office. with all due respect to iowa hog farmers, both parties are trying to put lipstick on a pig. they are both looking for some sort of general principle to justify what they want to do, but deep down it's a highly contentious partisan issue. conservative republicans, simply
this nomination to the court. democrats made the same claim about president bush, unfortunately for them in 2007. >> well, the bickering has reached the campaign trail. how big of an issue will this be? dennis: both parties will make it an issue to gin up the base. if both parties are able to do this to motivate their supporters to turn out not just for the presidency but the supreme court as well being at stake, the supreme court has been the site of all sorts of decisions, same-sex marriage, abortion, campaign funds, campaign spending, all sorts of things. so, it is the focus of a lot of political conflict and the republicans will use the threat of her democratic senate to motivate supporters to turn out
democrats will do the same thing towards republicans. steve: political action committees already getting in on the act with ads. one specifically saying that if you want the next president to choose the next supreme court justice, right charles glass -- charles grassley. what do you think of them getting involved right away? dennis: they are just getting involved from the get-go. it is so important, certainly for the ideological sides of both parties. this is almost more important to them than the presidency. you are going to see the relevant interest groups and lobbying groups come in, guns a blazing, no pun intended there, to try to get their way on this issue. it's just that in the reaction that we have seen within hours of the death of justice scalia you can see how intensely partisan and emotional this issue is.
dennis: everyone will appeal to it, but remember that the people who wrote and ratified the constitution sometimes do it differently, but they designed the judiciary to be insulated from public opinion. federal judges at all levels are not elected into office. they cannot be recalled through elections. they are appointed and nominated by the president, confirmed or not by the senate. the whole point was that through the founding fathers they thought that public opinion should have a say in the final decision regarding justices and judges, but they shouldn't make the final decision. steve: we heard what tom and matt had to say about the possibility of loretto lynch, one of the names being thrown around. politically speaking an attractive candidate who has already been vetted. what do you think of that? >> she is, but the argument is
there are a couple of people already on the federal bench, including judge kelly from iowa, who went to the bench with the support of senator grassley on the court of appeals. the level right below the supreme court. but even there the argument can be that while that's an important position, it still a different kind of position from being one of the nine. people in both parties have been entitled to claim that it's a different ballgame. steve: what do you think is going to happen? dennis: a lot more heat than light and a lot more partisan rancor, anger, and bitterness. and it's depressing. steve: dennis, thank you very much. thank you for joining us for "close up." we will be back next
99% of us who do feel stress from time to time, then sit back and listen up. emily gets some tips on how to deal with stress. >> the first thing you need to know is that stress is normal, unless you're a genius, an incredibly gifted athlete, or a music or art prodigy. but i wouldn't call them normal. some stress is actually good for us. it can release adrenaline just when we need it to avoid danger or accomplish a goal. but too much stress can be a problem. it can throw you off your game, even make you sick. so knowing how to avoid being overstressed is something every one of us needs to have in our toolkit. and that's why we're talking today with dr. megan jones. she's a psychologist from stanford university. hi, doctor. >> hi. >> okay, whenever i have to take a big test, i feel lots of stress. what can i do about that? >> well, i think we all feel lots of stress before a big test, but what you can do is