tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC February 14, 2016 6:00am-11:01am PST
thankfully, mary miller banks with chase for business. and with a complete view of her finances, she could control her cash flow, and keep the ranch running. chase for business. so you can own it. good morning i'm ari melber with our msnbc special limp coverage today on the sudden death of supreme court justice antonin scalia. the 79-year-old was not the oldest on the court but he was the longest serving and he died yesterday at 79. now today, we're going to hear directly from his former colleagues, his longtime co-author, and a former clerk, as well as from some of his legal critics in live interviews. even before all those reflections, the debate over his legacy and replacement lit up the entire political world last night. justice scalia was found dead yesterday morning at a resort in west texas. authorities say he died of natural causes. now this morning we can tell you new information, his body
arriving at this funeral home in el paso. we have a report as well on his funeral arrangements. in washington flags flying half-staff at the supreme court where justice scalia served nearly 30 years also half-staff at the white house. political tributes to the conservative justice came in with highly political pledges. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell immediately arguing president obama should simply leave the seat vacant saying quote the american people should have a voice in the selection of their next supreme court justice, therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. now that would be highly unusual. the president immediately rebuffed the senate leader, saying he will fulfill his duty to appoint a replacement, and that congress should fulfill its duty. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so, and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.
>> a lot of new information this morning. nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell coveraged justice scalia's confirmation hearing. she joins us now as well as kelly o'donnell. andrea, obviously everyone interested in what's next. but we are still reeling from this news, especially for folks waking up here on this sunday. your thoughts first about justice scalia's legacy and why for folks who may not have followed the court, why so many republicans on the debate stage last night, put him out as their number one model of what they would like to see on the court. >> and that is what republican candidates have said for decades. because he is the most consequential conservative on the court. he was a larger than life figure. passionate, and witty acerbic. he could alienate sandra day o'connor by really pat ronnizingly criticizing her opinions. but in his dissents, as sharply worded as they were, he was a brilliant writer and orator.
he had great humor and passion and more conservative thinking you could argue outside the court. he did not have landmark opinions other than on guns, the heller case and also on defendants rights, being an originalist, he interpreted the constitution toll mean that defendants did have certain rights that were not enumerated according to even some of his colleagues. his conservative colleagues. that said, his influence, i should say, was so large in the political sphere, and on republican candidates, on judicial nominees, on the whole thinking over all of these decades that he was on the court. his replacement fight is going to be a battle royale as we've discussed already. i've never seen political statements come before even the knowledge of his death, the circumstances of his death, before a state viewing, a funeral. it just was extraordinary that mitch mcconnell and chuck
grassley, the judiciary chairman drew that line so immediately and then the fight was on. pat leahy the democratic ranking member, former judiciary chairman saying there should be a confirmation. once mitch mcconnell drew that line and the president then forced in his tribute, very eloquent tribute to nino scalia as he was known to all of his friends and admirers, that meant that the president had to add a statement saying that he would fulfill his constitutional duty to nominate someone. i think it's going to be very difficult for the republicans to hold this line, obviously it's politically, you know, i should say hot topic. >> sure. >> it was dominating the debate. but for the republicans, let's say the president decides he's going to nominate one of his potential judicial nominees who is middle of the road, who is moderate, who is unanimously confirmed for the d.c. circuit,
let's say. someone like merrick garland or some of the other possibilities, how will the republicans, especially with the senate in play, and independent voters being so critical in purple states to senators up for republicans up for re-election, how are they going to argue that you should not have a full court, you'll have a gridlock court potentially until next june. that's two terms. that is a very hard argument to make. >> right. and it is -- >> during a presidential election year. >> as you're reporting and explaining, andrea. it also leaves republicans in a position of having said no way, no matter who. >> right. >> that raises the congressional questions, kelly, about, well then what is hearings and a confirmation process even look like if the bulk of the majority party is saying, oh, this would all be what, window dressing. i want to play, we showed mitch mcconnell's reaction. here's what hillary clinton had to say about this and putting it in her own political overtones that republicans need to face facts. take a listen. >> it is outrageous, that
republicans in the senate and on the campaign trail have already pledged to block any replacement that president obama nominates. now i'm sure we'll all have a lot more to say about this in the coming days. so let me just make one point. barack obama is president of the united states until january 20th, 2017. >> kelly, it's an applause line. it's also a matter of factual calendar keeping. and she's appealing to, of course, the democratic base, and voters who would love to see president obama name his third individual on the court, and shape it for years to come. and often in a general election when i've covered past cycles the issue of supreme court picks becomes very heated. sometimes in october in those final weeks, because it is something that is a limb more
removed from the average voter yet has such a wide impact on all american lives. this has been a way of hurrying up what is usually part of a much later conversation with the unexpected death of justice scalia. making this a political argument that would some day have gotten here present right now. for mitch mcconnell, taking a very pro-active, and loud step, by saying that it should be the next president's pick, is somewhat different than saying he would absolutely block a nominee. so if andrea's theory of someone more palatable to republicans comes up, they would have a little room to tack on that in the weeks and months ahead. another smaller detail that will be important here is who are the players? chuck grassley of iowa, a longtime, longtime senator, who was prominent during the iowa phase of the republican race we've just seen gone by, he himself is up for re-election. having covered him for years
now, he is also a very detail oriented, i very pragmatic, very particular person when it comes to using the authority that he has as the chairman of the judiciary committee, or in some of the other roles he has as a senator. so expect him to move very carefully, and also, of course, he will be, i would presume without any doubt no daylight between chuck grassley and mitch mcconnell. >> andrea the other piece here is this is a court that has long been dominated by men at the exclusion of even consideration of female candidates. i would note the last three people considered for the court were all initially the appointments were women. harriet miers, though, was withdrawn under absoluteny in the bush administration and president obama put two women up. is that a possible fact if the president puts forward another nominee from a group that,you know, throughout history been excluded, and does that affect any of the politics? >> i don't think so. not as a lame duck president.
i think he has to go way over to the middle, and not think of his own legacy and not think of someone he would pick if there weren't a republican senate. both parties are looking at a 50-50 election. president obama has to think that ted cruz, marco rubio, donald trump could be the republican nominee and would have a 50% chance of being elected. so he has to think not whom he would like himself, or he would like if it's hillary clinton or bernie sanders or some other democrat, he has to think, who could i put up that would so acceptable to the republicans at large, whom they had previously voted for, that you could shame them, because, if i don't get this nominee through it could very well be a clean slate and a republican like ted cruz picking the nominee with a republican senate. so it's only if you've got a democratic senate and the senate could switch if you have a strong democratic candidate and a lopsided election. but, if it's a republican
landslide or republican victory that brings in a republican senate that continues the republican senate, it becomes that much more improbable. >> right. >> that anyone acceptable to barack obama, hillary clinton, bernie sanders, would ever be put on that court. and you could be thinking of four years or eight years and you've got elderly supreme court justices. this is an opportunity he cannot pass up. >> and by that -- >> -- to shame them down. >> and by that mat rick, andrea, we may see folks in the white house counsel's office scouring all the past senate votes. who has been confirmed -- >> they know that already, ari. >> yes, they do, yes. >> andrea mitchell, kelly o'donnell. we are going to have much more on the passing of justice antonin scalia throughout the hour, including what legal scholars are saying about his legacy as one of the most consequential judges to serve on this court. next we're going to go live in west texas where the supreme court justice died just yesterday.
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we are back with our special live coverage reporting on the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia after just about 30 years on the court. he died yesterday in west texas. he was on a hunting trip, we're joined now about two people who know justice scalia personally, as friends and colleagues, lawrence lessig is a harvard law professor who clerked for justice scalia and has said he was one of the quote, token liberal clerks. and brian garner, respected legal scholar who co-authored two books with justice scalia on his approach to interpreting statutes and the constitution. thank you both for being here. you're both friends of justice scalia. brian, starting with you this morning, i know it is a difficult time, and i've seen online you reflecting on and remembering your friend and
colleague. so first your thoughts today. >> well, it's very sad. just ten days ago we finished our two-week tour of asia. we will five days in singapore, seven days in hong kong, doing several events there. justice scalia was in good form. we spent about 14 hours a day together, throughout asia. and we worked out together. we toured together. i hugged him at the airport. my wife and i both did. just ten days ago and told him we loved him. that was nothing unusual. we didn't think that anything was on the horizon. because he was very robust. very strong. and in very good humor. he was -- he was very happy and just loved our trip to asia. >> what do you think he would make of these reactions, particularly this immediate and somewhat unusual political scuffling over his replacement, and whether the president even should replace minimum right now? >> well, i think he probably
wouldn't be entirely surprised. he knows that -- he knew that democracy involves a great deal of intense debate. and he thought that was exactly the essence of democracy. he was the biggest defender, i think, i've ever known of democracy. he believed in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. he did not believe in government of the courts and by the courts. he did not believe in that. and -- >> let's take -- sorry, go ahead. >> and so he understood the rough and tumble of the political process. i think he decried that. i think he wanted a nominations not to be political, but the more the supreme court enters into political questions, and makes itself political, it's little surprise that the nomination process gets so many political pressures when, in fact it should be a matter of
finding the finest jurist, the findest legal mind who is dedicated to the rule of law. it's not to say that a lot of judges are not. but the vision is different if you think judges are getting to make policy. >> let's take that point to lawrence lessig, particularly with regard to the way justice scalia approached many cases. in the area of free speech, first amendment campaign, finance regulation, something you focused on, as well as something that people may not have thought a lot about, his rulings on the risk of a runaway prosecutor and special counsel, which came up, of course, around president clinton's investigations and impeachment, justice scalia, lawrence, was very skeptical of having too much power pulled, as he argued, away from political accountability. yes, that's right. we should remember justice scalia was an originalist who was a conservative. and what that means is that his first commitment, was to interpreting the constitution in a way that was faithful to what
the framers of the constitution believed. that approach doesn't answer every question. where it doesn't answer a question, then a justice falls back on his or her political views and so that's the ongoing struggle that exists with any justice. but what was striking to me work og for justice scalia was that at least in the year that i clerked every single time there was a conflict between what an originalist would say, and what a conservative would do, justice scalia sometimes reluctantly but every single time bent in favor of what the principle of originalism would say. he did this because he had a firm plaef that we should restrict the scope of judges in a democracy because judges are unelected, and supreme court justice justices are unelected for a very long time. >> one can also think of opinions in the voting rights arena when we were discussing last night or bush v. gore a very controversial decision where many critics said that justice scalia was part of
majorities that were interceding. we're going to talk about more of that. we have more time today. what we're going to do is take a quick break, come back, speak with both of you this hour as well as our own nbc justice correspondent pete williams who's been covering this story from its inception. stay with us here, we'll be back after a short break.friends are. seriously, it's, it's really fine. you don't want to be seen with your dad? no, it's..no.. oh, there's tracy. what! [ horn honking ] [ forward collision warning ] bye dad! it brakes when you don't. the newly redesigned volkswagen passat. right now you can get a $1,000 presidents' day bonus on new 2015 or 2016 passat, jetta, or tiguan models. the access informationlows us to from anywhere. the microsoft cloud allows us to scale up. microsoft cloud changes our world dramatically. it wasn't too long ago it would take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome. now, we can do a hundred per day. with the microsoft cloud we don't have
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for free on progressive.com, right? [ laughing nervously ] ♪ [ pickles whines ] i know, it's like they're always on television. what? we are back with live coverage of the passing of supreme court justice antonin scalia. you see there the flags flying half-staff at this hour there at the white house. reaction pouring in to his sudden death this morning. justice scalia was not a swing vote on the court like kennedy nor was he seen as a consensus builder like chief justice john roberts seeks to be. some of his most prominent writings came in his fiery and often outraged dissents. his impact came through his passion and unyielding approach to judicialism called originalism. the idea that you focus on the original meaning of a text or a constitutional clause.
joining me now for more is pete williams who has covered the court and justice scalia for 23 years. good morning to you, on what is, of course, a somber period for court watchers given justice scalia's death yesterday. something some folks were just waking up to today. what is the latest in the story, pete, and what are your reflections on justice scalia this morning? >> seems still hard to believe, frankly, because he was the longest-serving justice of the supreme court. and such a larger than life figure. both on and off the supreme court. such a dynamic human being, outspoken, a very visible presence on the court during oral argument, enlivened the oral argument. the chief justice might say perhaps a little too much. but he'll be greatly missed by his colleagues. now we raise -- now we face the prospect, ari, of some of the major cases of the term being decided by or being resulting in 4-4 ties. now, to be clear, the majority of the supreme court's business
is not close votes. it's not 5-4 decisions. but on the big cases, they do tend to divide ideologically 5-4. now we have an evenly divided ideologically court on many of these questions, and what would happen if there's a tie. a tie means the supreme court decision in essence doesn't count. it leaves the lower court ruling standing, what the supreme court issues is a very brief decision that says, the lower court ruling is affirmed by an equally divided court. there's no precedential value there, it doesn't count for the futu future. what would that mean? for the president's immigration policy the administration's best hope was to get a decision that would allow the president to put this into effect, if there is a 4-4 tie and again we don't know how these are going to come out, but if there were a tie, that would leave the lower court ruling standing that put the law -- put the policy on hold. so the president would not be able to do anything about that. on abortion, it would leave standing lower court rulings that upheld tough restrictions in texas on access to abortion clinics.
and that might embolden other states to try similar tack saying abortion clinics have to be built to ambulatory surgical standards and doctors have to have admission privileges at nearby hospitals. on public sector unions, this was an effort to try to say that if you were not in a union you didn't have to pay any of the dues at all. the lower courts actually ruled in favor of the unions, so if that ruling is left standing that would be a victory for them. and then on affirmative action the court was actually before justice scalia's death already at eight because elena kagan was recu recused. now we get to seven so there won't be a tie vote there. on future issues, there may be another gun case coming back to the supreme court because now there's a split among the circuits about rulings about limiting assault weapons bans. limiting assault weapons, banning assault weapons or restricting high capacity ammunition magazines. other cases yet to come will now be deprived if there's still an
8 vote -- 8-member court and these tie possibilities depriving what the supreme court can do that no other court can do and that is have the last word. >> that would leave, as you say, a lot of the lower court positions in place, regardless of the equities there. if it's a 4-4 split. nbc's pete williams, thank you. as always. up next a special, and what to some may be a surprising friendship between justice scalia, and a favored liberal justice on the court. at ally bank, no branches equals great rates. it's a fact.
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that picture is over 20 years old. and going to the opera together but that kinship did not bring them into line at the office. ginsburg wrote about the need for judges to examine a changing society, one where women and minorities had become equals after centuries, of course, when they were treated as subordinates or even property. now scalia said that progress should be advanced, but by the political branches. that the court's job was much more modest, to interpret the law. indeed, you can read from bryan garner's book that he co-authored with justice scalia where he says justices should look for meaning in the governing next and reject judicial speculation about the drafter's other purposes and the desirability of a reading's anticipated consequences, in other words, bryan, judges shouldn't focus on whether they like the results of a case, but only on were it is what the original text dictates. what does that mean? i'm quoting there from the book you co-authored with justice scalia. >> well that's exactly right. justice scalia believed in
neutral principles for deciding cases. and he believed that judges should not be willful. that is, the judges should not be imposing their own views, their own political views, their own private views, on the law. he strongly was committed to the rule of law and he thought that the most neutral way of deriving meaning from a statute or from the words of the constitution, was not to give it a strict construction, but to give it a fair reading. to give the words a fair reading. what did those words mean to the educated speaker of the language at that time, when the text took effect? >> so you refer to that as quote neutral. that's clearly what justice scalia has said. >> yes. >> so you're accurate. and yet awin, neutrality is hotly debated in politics as in law. and the notion that what people thought, in the 1700s, about
women, about minorities, about gay people to the extent they understood what gay people were, a lot of people would say that's far from neutral. >> if you asked justice ginsburg she would say when the constitution was written, we the people had a very constrained meaning. it did not include people who are enslaved, people who were treated as property. women who had subordinate roles across the races. so she says that the court has to take into account, you know, not the weather of the day but the climate is what she always likes to quote which is to say when society changes, the court has to not act in a vacuum and recognize the fact that, for example, the 14th amendment, although it may have been constructed for freed slaves, also could apply to women's equality. >> and larry lessig, one of the harder questions i've always struggled with in looking at this, you take someone like justice scalia at his word that it's all these neutral principles. we all know in the sense there's
so much fire, so much passion, and many have credited him for that as you did last night, yet that passion doesn't seem to come from merely neutral principles of law. his angst over the extension of rights to gay americans. his description of aspects of voting rights legislation as quote/unquote benefits, which upset some people. that seemed to be a passion that went beyond a neutral principle. >> you know, i do believe that he actually believed that he was being motivated by a conception of what the framers of the constitution believed. so, when he had that conception he defended it strongly. we should be realistic about what a theory like originalism can do. it can't explain every case. and i'm not saying that over the whole of his 30 years on the supreme court every single decision was consistent with originalism properly understood. but what i'm saying is he is
someone who when confronted with a conflict between what he politically would want to happen, and what he believed the theory he was committed to required, at least in every case that i was close to him with, i believe he followed what he thought the theory said he should. so that was the kind of nonpolitical action by a government official that we see so rarely in american government today. and that's, i think, something people on the left should celebrate as much as people on the right. >> let me go to irin with a hard question. i've asked many people about what they like and respect, and honor about justice scalia, as is fitting of someone of his influence, and as we do when people pass away. but i know that the professor in him, and the provocateur in him would also welcome the adversarial question which,what in his record do you think was his worst opinion? or his worst position? >> well, it's interesting. i mean as much as he had this integrity to particularly in fourth amendment cases break with what was the republican party line, i do think that as
charming as he was, he sometimes coarsened the discourse. you mentioned his comment during the voting rights oral argument. he referred to racial entitlements. often the way he spoke about gays and lesbians was not just out of a concern for the legislature being allowed to define their rights, but also just seemed kind of crass and frankly homophobic. one of the most interesting cases in which he and his close friend justice ginsburg differed where he was the lone dissenter in u.s. versus virginia in 1996 where justice ginsburg wrote kind of a capstone of her women's rights career, letting -- telling virginia it could no longer exclude women from the virginia military academy of public institution. and justice school were was the only person to dissent in that and he said this is not the interpretation of a constitution, it's the creation of one. >> in fairness, the fire, and the passion that you talk about in the dissents was not because of strong political commitments
about outcomes, it was about departures from what justice scalia considered to be proper methods of judging. that is, blatant willful judging, judges imposing their own views, as opposed to allowing the constitution to be amended by the people. he strongly believed that political questions should be solved by the people. now he much regretted the fact that it was very difficult to amend the united states constitution. he thought it should have been easier to amend. and he thought that was a mistake that we had made it so difficult to amend. but what we've gone to is a system in which the court, from year to year, amends the constitution, that's something that he strongly disagreed with. >> and professor garner, any other final thoughts on the man he was. you said you were with him as recently as two weeks ago and you worked so closely on these books with him. let us in to a little bit of that process of what he was like to work with. >> he was wonderful to work with. he was disarmingly deferential.
he told me early on, bryan, you're not my law clerk, you are my co-author. and we are equals in these books. and, i thought that was very magnanimous of him. he liked -- he liked a fight. he was kind of an intellectual pugilist. and he would often disagree with me about points. and we would have strong debates. at some points bordering on physical. i'm -- i'm slightly exaggerating there but he liked to rib me. he liked to elbow me when we were working side by side. he was a man of great passion. he was a family man. he was a loyal friend. he was, i think, the most loyal friend i've ever had. and he believed in people, he believed in the goodness of people, and in the power of democracy. he believed in the american people, and the american founders principles. but we talk about the old founders, 200 and some years
ago, also the equal protection clause, and the way we have amended the constitution in such important ways to bring more people in to full political power. >> which is something we're going to discuss further this hour. i want to thank you, bryan garner, as well as professor lawrence lessig. irin we're going to speak with you again. up next how justice scalia's passing will affect the presidential race. that's according to everyone in the ration. we heard from all of them last night and it was fiery. we're going to talk about that. stay with us. merica, people like basketball hall of famer dominique wilkins are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® works differently than pills. and comes in a pen. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once a day, any time. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. (male vo) victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine
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(vo) making the most out of every mile. that's why i got a subaru impreza. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. what is it specifically that you like about judge sykes and pryor that led you to bring them up? >> tremendous record, very conservative record, highly respected, great intellect. all of the things you need to have a great supreme court justice. >> that was from our interview, hallie jackson and myself, talking to donald trump last night after the spin room he cited two judges that he said he'd consider for his new vacancy left by justice antonin
scalia's death last night. other republicans competing over who could be more obstructionist saying they would stop any obama nom night sight unseen. so to review, five of the six candidates last night basically said either the president should leave the nomination to the next president, hopefully them. or, they urged the senate to block the nominee that he might put forth. now, to discuss all of that we have democratic strategist and a former contestant on trump's apprentice, republican strategist and former newt gingrich aid and supreme court correspondent who writes scalia's emphasis on originalism was so influential even liberal judges who dissented in his landmark gun rights decision did so, quote, through the lens of originalism, end quote. dahlia, starting there, nothing very originalist about the republicans saying that the president should not exercise his constitutional obligation to appoint someone here with this big vacancy. >> isn't it weird? it's such a strange distortion of the view that we take
seriously what text says and here we have pretty clear directive that say that the president gets to appoint the supreme court justices, and yet we have every one of the republicans saying in some iteration or other, oh, no, but they didn't mean this president. they mean next president, and it's so weird, because this reliance on maybe norms, maybe squishy traditions, but never, never a forceful argument for why constitutionally this president does not have the right to do what he needs to do is quite braettaking from a party that's devoted to the notion of textualism and originalism. >> absolutely. and there may be some sort of political candidates who say, well they don't care about that kind of thing. but certainly someone like senator cruz, who is now holding this position, has said this. and the thing about running for president is, it's the decisions that you put forward, that's why the running mate is always seen as so important, it's the first binding decision if you win, rather than all the rhetoric. this is a decision they're talking about. i want to go to our republican
on the panel. want to play some bernie sanders reaction because in a funnier, lighter way he also makes dahlia's point about is this some new constitutional rule here? here's bernie sanders last night. >> some of my republican colleagues in the senate have a very interesting view of the constitution of the united states. and apparently they believe that the constitution does not allow a democratic president to bring forth a nominee to replace justice scalia. i strongly disagree with that. i very much hope that president obama will bring forth a strong nominee, and that we can get that nominee confirmed as soon as possible. >> well, if we can do this without projectile sweat, and name calling, first of all, i agree that the president -- he's the president until next january
20th. and he gets to do the things that presidents get to do. i know that's not in the republican doctrine, but i believe that to be true. i also believe it to be true that the senate gets to decide whether a nominee that the president sends up is acceptable to that senate, during that term. >> sure. >> because that's the way the -- >> you work for the speaker though. do you think this is the approach to a serious nomination to say before the name comes out, this person should not be nominated? sight unseen? >> well, sure. we call it politics in america. >> do we? >> i don't know why we're all shocked today. oh, my gosh. if it were reversed exactly the opposite thing. if george w. bush or ted cruz were president, and this were happening, democrats would say the same thing. but let -- there's something else that's going on here that we have to think about and nobody has mentioned to my knowledge, and that is not just the effect on the presidential campaign, which everybody will say, these things have
consequences, i get that. hillary said that yesterday, like she invented it. but the effect that it will have on u.s. senate races, there are 33 u.s. senate races coming up, a lot of states still have time for people to get on the ballot in the primaries, and i think we're going to see very quickly this whole idea spring up among republican candidates, or your view on a conservative person, on the democratic side who would you pick? >> well i think the notion that democrats would be doing the exact same thing as republicans is false. and i can state facts to support that. when justice kennedy was appointed by reagan, it was during an election year, as been pointed out, and democrats allowed that to happen. they were not preemptively calling for a blocking of one sight unseen that did not happen. and then the number one excuse that the republicans are using as to why president obama -- as
to why president obama should not be allowed to move forward with an aminutement is because they're saying he's not going to offer someone who is, is someone who has broad appeal. who has -- who is uniting. right? but that's not true. look at justice sonia sotomayor. she was originally appointed by george herbert walker bush in 1992. so the president has had many appointments of people who are consensus candidates. so the notion that he doesn't offer consensus candidates is simply false. and so i think that this is yet another form of obstructionism at a time when we don't need any more obstructionism. >> i'm not so sure about that. it's fine to keep things -- i don't think there's any rush to judgment. i'm sure the administration has a list candidates. >> only the supreme court of the united states. only the supreme court. >> doesn't mean you have to leave it to tomorrow afternoon. >> sure, there's a process. >> right there is a process. >> i want to be fair to dahlia there are some republicans like jeb bush who talked about this, executive still gets the call.
talk to us more broadly about if the president could get a nominee through, that would be his third to the court. a big part of his legacy. >> yeah. i mean, there's already short lists sort of swirling around the universe, ari. and those short lists popped up yesterday evening almost immediately on the news of justice scalia's passing. i think it's going to be a problem for the gop, who are saying, as trump does, delay, delay, deny, deny, that some of these short listers were confirmed to the d.c. circuit. i'm thinking of very srinivasan. people who were confirmed with votes 97-0. 96-0. so to say that now, this is disqualifying candidate, when all of the republicans voted for them, that's going to be a tricky, tricky line to walk. >> no, it's not. they just vote no. it's easy. i don't understand why is that so hard? let me make this point, too. if you could administer truth serum to bernie sanders and hillary clinton, they would like it to be delayed until they could make this too. but they can't.
>> that's neither here nor there. the other thing is that it does matter -- >> what do you mean it's neither here nor there. >> it's neither here nor there whether some other candidate has a self-interested desire to shape the court more. the real question is you have the court left open long time because of political motives. if they're political motives of either party it's about what about abortion cases -- >> as pete williams has been saying all morning the rule i understand it, three hours of law once in college so i'm way over my head. but as i understand it, that 4-4 tie affirms the lower court. >> it has the -- >> without precedent. >> let me be an annoying lawyer, it has the consequences of affirming but it doesn't have the precedent. >> without precedent. there are a lot of lower court democrat cases that liberals like that that will devolve back to -- >> again that goes to the outcome not the question of whether you want a functioning court. we are out of time. >> okay. >> as the apprentice would say, this segment is fired.
thank you both so much on this busy news morning. up next, we have more on this, including new details on those arrangements for justice scalia's funeral. more after the break. this bale t derailed the ranch. when a wildfire raged through elkhorn ranch, the sudden loss of pasture became a serious problem for a family business. faced with horses that needed feeding the owners were forced to place an emergency order of hay. thankfully, mary miller banks with chase for business. and with a complete view of her finances, she could control her cash flow, and keep the ranch running. chase for business. so you can own it. chase for business. if you have high blood pressure many cold medicines may raise your blood pressure. that's why there's coricidin® hbp. it relieves cold symptoms without raising blood pressure. so look for powerful cold medicine with a heart. coricidin® hbp.
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he influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students. and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the supreme court. >> president obama last night remembering supreme court justice antonin scaliscalia. he passed away yesterday at the age of 79. the longest serving member on the court. here's what we know this morning about the death. he died yesterday. he was at a ranch in west texas where he was on a hunting trip. his body brought to a funeral home in el paso overnight. some of his family members are expected to arrive there later today. picking up on the coverage is dahlia and irin carmon, two
astute court watchers. irin, you heard the conversation having over the course of the hour. you think about the contrast here, this man who is celebrated more widely than washington ideology might suggest. embraced for his vigor, for his vim, for his personality. and yet a man who in his decisions and in his dissent was seen by many as cold to the plight of many people that you would want him to extend that same gregariousness to in his decisions. >> you're seeing a lot of mixed reactions among liberals so far. respect for the man, condolences to his family. condolences to his friends, and yet, he's somebody whose jurisprudence left out in the cold, as you say, many historically oppressed people. i think that when we're assessing his legacy also as a justice, we should think about that as well. he was an american original. it's safe to say that there will never be another person with
those kinds of zingers and sharpness and his kind of strong judic judicial philosophy. he shaped jurisprudence for conservatives and was thwarted from building bridges with other justices. justice o'connor, he alienated her by insulting her intelligence where he wasn't able to get a broader influence in the court. >> and dahlia, there was a time when the court had much more occupational diversity. it is now a place of law professors and practiced litigators. not people who have experience simply working with other people separate from their jd. >> that's true. i think it's reflected in some of the opinions that we find shocking, right? citizens united, where nobody who has ever held an elected office is talking in the court in any of the opinions about what corruption looks like, if you have run for office. time and time again, you see a
bridge that's become quitein insulated and insular. everyone from new york, so it's a very, very, very isolated entity. i think as we think and look forward to some of obama's potential picks, it would be tremendous to have a kamala harris, deval patrick. somebody who came from anywhere other than a federal appeals court or the academy. someone to bring life experience and perspective that really more and more has been winnowed out by the process of confirmation. >> you make such a good point. of course, you make it knowing, as you do, as a court chronicler, on the docket are all these cases about the regulation of politics, about one person one vote. even about upholding or over turning the corruption conviction of the former republican governor of virginia. this is now potentially all 4-4.
alive and well and open questions with justice scalia's sudden absence. thank you for being part of the coverage and thank you for watching this sunday. i have news for you. joy reid picks up the coverage next. more of the impact on scalia's legacy and the confirmation fight ahead. she has al sharpton, william barber, all about this story and a lot more. stay with us. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. amex helped me buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that.
good morning from msnbc world headquarters in new york. i'm joy reid in for "meet the press" melissa harris-perry. we'll cover the legacy and impact of antonin scalia. justin scalia, the leading conservative voice on the high court has died at the age of 79. this sudden death on saturday shook washington and has threatened to reshape the 2016 presidential race. within minutes of the news that scalia had died, presidential candidate senator ted cruz
tweeted that justice scalia was an american hero. we owe it to him and the nation for the senate to insure that the next president names his replacement. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell also punted the v vacancy to the next president saying the american people should have a voice in the selection of their next supreme court justice. therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. president obama spoke last night after learning about justice scalia's deaths. the president, who was in california, talked about scalia's life and about naming a successor. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor. in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. >> also last night, the six remaining republican presidential candidates met in
south carolina for their ninth debate, for republican primary contenders. it presented a rare moment of agreement in a debate filled with personal attacks. >> this is a tremendous blow to conservatism. it's a tremendous blow, frankly, to our country. >> this loss is tremendous. obviously, our hearts and prayers go out to his family. i do not believe the president should not appoint someone. it's not unprecedented. it's been over 80 years since a lame duck president has aported a justice. >> i believe the president should not move forward and we ought to let the next president of the united states decide who is going to run the supreme court with a vote by the people of the united states of america. >> joining me now from washington, d.c. is pete williams, our nbc news justice correspondent. first of all, let's talk about the 80 years question we have heard from republicans. is there a precedent in an election year for the president to simply leave the court short a member? >> well, precedent, of course, i
don't think the historical what's happened in the past frankly makes any difference because remember, justice scalia was confirmed in 1986, 98-0. that's a bygone era. we don't see that kind of unanimity on supreme court nominees anymore. ever since the robert bork nomination. what happened in the past i don't really think counts. there's a lot of different ways to look at it. there have been votes by the senate to confirm nominees in presidential election years. but all the circumstances are slightly different. so it's just a much more contentious political atmosphere here now, and you know, the stakes are pretty high because if barack obama or a democrat replaces antonin scalia, that's going to shift the court's idealogical balance. it's basically 5-4, conservative to liberal now. if he's replaced by a democratic president, it shifts the other way. >> walk us very quickly through what the process is. the nomination would not simply
go to the floor of the senate, would go through the judiciary committee. walk us through that process. >> well, normally, this takes about 67 days. the white house gets a list of candidates. they talk to the candidates. they scour through their backgrounds. they look for any potential landmines in their backgrounds. they see if they're idealogically what the white house wants. the president makes the final decision. he announces the name. it goes to the senate, the judiciary committee looks into the background of the nominee. the nominee then has this torturous visit to almost all of the senators. then there's a hearing in the judiciary committee. the committee votes and sends the nominee to the floor. and then the floor vote. as i say, normally takes about 70 days. this unquestionably will take a lot longer. it's still not at all clear if the senate is going to vote at all on this this year. i can't imagine they would vote before the presidential
election. then depending on whether a democrat or a republican is elected president, they may or may not vote, and they may or may not approve or reskreblth t reject the nominee. all the usual patterns go out the window. >> pete williams, thank you very much. are you hearing any names floated around from the white house? >> way too early for that. >> all right, pete williams, thanks very much. >> joining me now is mark alexander, associate dean for ka academics. and joining me now from los angeles is richard hosen, professor of law and political science at uc irvine. i'm going to start with you first because i have been reading a lot of what you have been writing about this very situation. is there, first of all, i'm going to ask you the same question as pete williams. this talking point is being thrown around that it's unprecedented for a lame duck president to make a nomination in an election year. is it unprecedented?
>> well, the president is not a lame duck. we haven't had the election yet. i agree with what pete said, that times have changed so much. if you compare how many people in the senate voted against scalia with how many people voted against justice alito, there were 42 votes against justice olito. he could have been filibusters and he wasn't. things have become much more politicized. we have a supreme court where all the conservatives on the court have been nominated by republican presidents. all the liberals by democrats. a completely polarized court and congress. don't think we can learn much from the past. >> indeed, and i'm going to come to you on this, mark, because four republicans, right? we have to understand that there could be political consequences to leaving the court vacant for more than a year. could the president, though, nominate somebody who is such a consensus pick, let's say he says orrin hatch would be the pick. walk us through how it works.
>> i'm not sure the president would put someone forward that the republicans would rally around. the battle lines have been drawn. we talked about and pete williams was saying it's 67 to 70 days to get this down. the senate can do this. there's no question they can get this done. the question is whether there's a political will to do what needs to be done. the president has to power to appoint. he's got to do his job. if the senators are saying we're not going to confirm anybody, they're not doing their jobs. so i think the thing is they've got to figure out how they're going to do their jobs if the president does his job. the question of, like, building the consensus, if he puts someone forward, the senate has an obligation to do something in response. >> isn't that the reality, that republicans could probably argue maybe for 30 days that they want to put up an obstruction and prevent the president from put putting a liberal on the court, but how does the republican party sustain for potentially a year the idea that they will refuse to do the advice and consent job that they were
elected to do? how as a political matter would your party maintain that for 11 months. >> very easily. justice scalia has been our go-to man, the one we have trusted as a conservative. we're in a toxic political environment. everybody agrees that. republicans have considered, have scored points at the ballot box by criticizing president obama. this is going to do a couple things to this election. normally, everybody talks about the most important elections and things of this nature. but this is going to motivate both bases in a pretty big way, and a civics lesson for the country. certainly, it's their responsibility, but politics is going to trump everything. we're going to have nominees shortly. it's going to do a lot of things. your bases, it takes volunteers to win the white house, a lot, to get out the vote in the eight or nine states that matter. what it's really going to do is pour big money on both sides into the race. even though some might not care who the president is going to be or the comment from a big donor
is i can live through anybody. a supreme court justice is 30 years. now you're going to watch the vote be moved, volunteers move. the civic lesson is coming. the sausage making in washington on whether they do their job or not -- >> let's put up the vulnerable seats for republicans in the race. i think for democrats, one of the gamuts will be, we're going to go to you, michael bennett in colorado, the important races. we're going to go to kelly ayotte, republican in new hampshire, roy blunt in missouri, richard burr in north care, which is becoming more of a swing state, to the states where the republicans are most vulnerable, to pat toomey, to ron kirk, and say how dare you, pat toomey, stop the country from having a full supreme court? they're vulnerable, right? doesn't this become a political advantage in a sense for democrats running in these vulnerable states? >> what is important is to put the pressure on these individuals, all of them, to do
the work of confirming a justice. and that's the job they have to do. indeed, the politics will be played out in lots of ways. he's right that this is a lasting impact. four years of a presidency or eight years of a presidency, nothing compared to 29 years, scalia served on the court. the thing is he was a lightning rod. you knew where he stood. so on left, right, democrat, republican, whatever kind of way you want to define it, people know this is something that really matters because this guy, they look at him and they say, justice scalia, he was talking about things that mattered to him, that mattered to us. again, whether you agreed or disagreed, he's a lightning rod. people need to stand up and say what are we going to do next? >> give us some of the specific issues in play that are important and did sort of hinge on scalia's vote. >> sure, some of the 5-4 decisions we have recently seen, were looking towards, citizens united, which allowed corporate money increasingly unregulated
money in our elections. shelby county versus holder, which killed part of the voting rights act. before the court right now, a case that could have been the death knell for affirmative action in the area of education. all sorts of area, the court divided 5-4. and right now, they'll be divided 4-4, and leave things in the lower court. justice scalia is not the only one who has left the court. we could see up to three more nominees appointed by the next president. there's so much at stake. >> indeed. i want to thank you, richard, in los angeles. and up next, we'll hear what the democratic presidential candidates are saying about the death of justice scalia and who should pick his successor.
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i know that our thoughts and prayers are with the scalia family tonight. and i'm also thinking and praying for the future of our country. it is outrageous that republicans in the senate and on the campaign trail have already pledged to block any replacement that president obama nominates. now, i'm sure we'll all have a lot more to say about this in the coming days. so let me just make one point. barack obama is president of the united states until january 20th, 2017. that is a fact, my friends. whether the republicans like it or not. >> they believe that the constitution does not allow a
democratic president to bring forth a nominee to replace justice scalia. i strongly disagree with that. i very much hope that president obama will bring forth a strong nominee, and that we can get that nominee confirmed as soon as possible. >> that, of course, was secretary hillary clinton and senator bernie sanders on the campaign trail last night in denver. adding to the flurry of reactions in the past 17 or so hours since we first learns of the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia. it's a death that send an unexpected tremor across the political landscape, stirring debate over his potential successor in an intense presidential year. joining my panel is tara, a business and political marketing consultant, and mark alexander and kaiton dawson. ca tara, i'm going to come to you first. what i heard last night in first
the initial written statement from hillary clinton and bernie sanders were slightly different things. on the hillary clinton side, it seemed to be a definitive, we're going to fight for barack obama to get this nomination. the bernie sanders statement you just heard was we wanted to put forth a strong nominee. i feel like there's a little subtle difference there in terms of the trust that the president will put forth a nominee the base will love. did you hear that at all? >> a little bit, but what i found interesting is this gives hillary clinton an opportunity. because when you talk about the supreme court, one of the things that comes to mind is reproductionive rights and justice. that's an issue where hillary clinton has a clear advantage. that's an issue that gives her an opportunity to generate far more excitement and where the stakes are very high as it relates to the supreme court. so i think that for her, number one, obviously, she's going after the obama coalition. she's going to push that let's insure that the president has an opportunity to make this
appointme appointment, to exercise his constitutional right. there's that. at the same time, if the republicans, which it looks like will happen, will dros the process out, deny the constitutional right, then it gives hillary clinton an opportunity to say, this is what's at stake in this country. roe v. wade being overturned, this is what is at stake. i have the support of planned parenthood and naral. it gives bernie sanders an opportunity if he so chooses. a lot of people felt he is not sufficiently supportive of the president. certainly, he would prefer this president appointing a nominee rather than a republican doing so. >> do we wind up having a fight in part, mark, about what kind of nominee it will be? if the president decides to nominate a liberal to the court, knowing they won't make it, but give the democrats the opportunity to have the fight, or if he tries to get someone confirms and have more of a
consensus nominee, doesn't it create a nomination for another person to win? >> the interesting question is who will he nominate? the political strategy is wondering whether you appoint someone who might be a sitting senator, a greater chance of the camaraderie of the senate whether that person gets through, or someone elected to the court, the d.c. circuit, that person who may have been recently confirmed. you said yes to this person a few years ago, you have to say yes now. that would be a politically sort of an easier route, perhaps. but if you put someone who is a harder fight, that's when i think the strategy of drawing it out gets to be much more possible with the republicans. >> we said during the break, the show between the show, you were talking about the fact this is going to be great get out the vote. this is vot for the democrats and republicans. on the republican side, is a fight of 11 months of trying to fight the president, that will continue to be motivating or at
some point will it disadvantage the democrats? >> we're going to go to a convention and they're going to still be talking about it. i don't think the dragging out process, there will be high points and low points. when they announce, when they start hearings, when they meet with senators. what you'll see is scalia was our guy. he was the go-to guy for republicans. he's who they trusted. he hits all of our issues. that will be who they put up against the nominee. i would say, this is who was there. this is what they want to replace him with. it is a different time and a toxic time, just the fact of what the nature is of an election with maybe hillary being the nominee, whoever our side gets through with the pro wrestling match we're having. it's changed the conversation. a lot of time whz you're in a campaign, every now and then you need the conversation changed. republicans need the conversation changed from immigration to something else. >> do you want donald trump making the nomination? on the democratic side, don't you have a completely different
concept as to what a nominee, that's bernie sanders versus hillary clinton, means down ticket? you do have all of these senate races which become really important, tara. who you nominate to -- who you elect to be the senator in these key states could determine what kind of a supreme court justice could get confirmed? don't democrats have a whole different reason to figure out how to decide between sanders and clinton? >> absolutely, and yes, i think your point is excellent in that this is going to affect the senate races as well. this is not just going to have an impact on the top of the ticket. this now makes the senate races even more critical. and i think as far as the republicans are concerned, their base is fired up. their base is really motivated. i'm not necessarily sure how much more motivated it can become at this point. but i do think for democrats, a lot of times their needs to be a real significant scare to get some of our less enthusiastic voters out. our voters that sort of give up when things always go exact low
how they want them to go. those type of voters can be motivated by this idea of what happens if we have an opportunity to change the face of the course. >> then do you have, then the conversation, put the map back up. there are 24 republican seats up and only 10 democratic seeds. this is the best of the three cycles for democrats of the three senate cycles. do you now have that conversation of whether or not democrats have the luxury of debating which candidate is more pure on wall street versus which candidate is more electable in november. does that become the argument between clinton and sanders? >> if that becomes the argument, that's going to be problematic. i think, though, what -- which is why i think it's probably wetter for president obama to put someone up. if you look at one of the things talked about, appointing someone from the senate. if you look at amy klobuchar, she would be acceptable across the board. she's a woman, people like her. she has bona fide, amongst wide
swa swaul swaths of democratic voters, and she can be introduced in a way that's positive. >> what about going hard and putting up eric holder or an african-american woman candidate, someone to fire up the base? >> that's an option, too, but in terms of making the case that the republicans are being pure obstructionists, which has been the case historically, but actually bringing that front and center again. because the republican base, they don't want any respect shown for the president, they don't want any compromise. the fact they're abandoning the constitution right now, the constitution that they hug, they're abandoned it right now. you can make that argument a lot more clearer if you make that kind of a pick. >> as hillary clinton said, president obama is still the president of the united states. my panel will be back later in the program. up next, more on the death of justice scalia and the looming battle over who will replace him. i take pictures of sunrises.
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for almost 30 years, justice antonin scalia was a larger than life president on the bench. brilliant legal mind with an energetic style, incisive wit, and colorful opinions. he influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students, and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the supreme court. >> that was president obama last night praising the legacy of the late supreme court justice antonin scalia. the president also made it clear he intends to nominate a successor to scalia. but the political battle lines are already being drawn. kelly o'donnell joins me live from the white house. we know what the president said last night, but what is the next step right now as you're hearing
from the white house? >> well, typically, what would happen is the white house council would be helping the president look for nominees. they could try to go from those they have already appointed to the federal bench because they have a recent confirmation with the current or most recent senate, as a guide. so forming a list of the nominees is one important factor. and then it's about what type of nominee. is the president looking to have a pick who could potentially be confirmed if there was enough political pressure on republicans to try to do that by having someone who would be, you know, in many ways acceptable to republicans? or does he go harder left and choose the person who in a vacuum would be the person he would want to be on the court, and then make that the case against republicans? by choosing someone that the president would believe would shape the court in a way fitting his own ideology and beliefs? we've got a way to go before we
have a sense of where the president will come down on this. typically, when there is a vacancy, we have seen it with retirements, there's some lead time. it's been quite a while since we had a vacancy after a sudden and unexpected death. so the urgency of sort of our media cycle may be going far farce e faster than the white house and president can keep up. the president, who will remain out of town, as we understand through tuesday, no plan to change his work on the west coast with a summit he's hosting. so those steps will be slower than many may expect, joy. and then what would happen is is there any calculus that changes on capitol hill? in his statement, mitch mcconnell who sort of laid the groundwork for the republican position, did not say the president should not nominate someone and did not say the process should not begin. but he said the next supreme court justice should be selected
by the next president, which is actually many steps ahead. so we really will have to see what the proster will be when everyone is back in washington, when we have rumblings about the short list of who might be considered and a chance really for the president to speak more clearly. when you look at his remarks last night, one of the first things that a president must do is pay tribute to the supreme court justice who has just died. not get ahead in terms of the politics. the president's words were very subtle about his intentions. he'll have a chance to speak more forcefully about what he plans and what he's looking for in a justice in the days to come. so it will be a fight. that is for certain. but the dimensions of the fight will in a great degree be under the president's control by the kind of nominee he puts forward. >> thank you very much, kelly o'donnell, at the white house. up next, abortion, voting right, affirmative action, all before the supreme court.
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justice scalia's dealt could impact several important cases before the court this very moment. cases now in the hands of eight justices divided equally by ideology. these are not small matters. talking about affirmative action, abortion, voting rights, the future of labor unions. the contraception mandate and affordable care act and the president's executive actions on immigrations. what does a 4-4 court mean for those cases? joining me is akeel reed amal, the sterling professor of law and political science at yale university and author of law of the land, a grand tour of our constitutional public. also, dahlia lithwick, and greg store. i'll start at the table, and let's go through some of the
important issues before the court right now. sort of in order of importance. we know we have affirmative action, the union case. what could it mean for the court to have a 4-4 split right now? >> a tie goes to the disposition below, to the lower court ruling. and so the big one i think is the labor case, because the lower court sided with a labor union that wanted to be able to collect dues from folks who aren't members of the union, but the union is helping to represent in negotiations with the employer. the lower court sided with the union because that's what previous case law of the supreme court had said. there seems to be an oral argument, five justice majority to change all that, but justice scalia was part of that. he's no longer part of that. presumably, then it's 4-4. 4-4 does not suffice to change what the court did below or to change the previous precedent. that's a game changer. justice scalia's demise, when it
comes to labor unions. >> dahlia, let's go to you. do you agree with that and what would be the next big issue by the court that could be impacted by a 4-4 split? >> i think he's exactly right. we came out of argument in the labor unions case saying, well, this really spells out the end of public sector unions. i think akeel is also right without justice scalia's vote, that looks like it could readily be a 4-4. some of the others, in addition to looking at the disposition in the lower appeals courts, you want to look at the cases where it's 4-4 where it might have been 5-3, where justice kennedy might be in play. folks thought maybe he would side with liberals on the abortion case out of texas, folks thought he might side with the liberals in the contraception mandate case. you might not look at a 4-4, but going forward, it's awfully hard to predict what kennedy was going to do and whether he's really, really looking at a
situation where he might jump ship and keep us from having this absolutely hobbled 4-4 term. >> and let's go to the affirmative action case. justice elena kagan recused herself in the case. how could that be impacted? >> that's a little more complicated because you already have a court that was short-handed. what you could end up with now is a 4-3 decision, if justice kennedy stayed with the conservatives. that would mean that the court strikes down the university texas affirmative action program that's at issue there. but it would be an especially vulnerable precedent because once the court gets up to nine members again, you could very easily see another court disagreeing with that decision and overturning it. >> and let's go and talk about what happens to cases that were already argued that were just awaiting decisions to be written and released. what happens to those cases? >> it ain't over until it's over. and so all of those are renegotiated, and if justice
scalia was the decisive vote, then there may need to be shuffling going on. here's where something is genuinely admirable for the court. they give reasons for their decisions. they write those down. as one writes, one things. when someone rethinks, and in the obamacare case, according to the reporting, chief justice roberts may have changed his mind in the course of reading and thinking. so if it hasn't been handed down yet, it's still up for grabs. >> i want to ask quickly about the redistricting case in north carolina where two districts were redrawn. what happens with that? >> again, very hard to know. really, really, looking at a world in which we're trying to guess back based on things that we might have guessed at and project forward based on things we might guess. i think anyone would tell you it's always really difficult to
determine based on what happens in oral argument. particularly justice kennedy. i want to emphasize, people think you can tell a lot from his questions where he's going. he genuinely goes into oral arguments open minded and he genuinely comes out, i think, conflicted. so guessing at any of these cases feels a little bit like a fool's errand because we're trying to figure out, i think right now, in a very, very abstract way, what is going to be very, very concrete when these decisions come down. >> indeed. for those who haven't been following it, the north carolina case was a case of racial gerrymandering. and justice kennedy, the true swing justice, and by the way, confirmed in election year by ronald reagan. my guests will stick with me because coming up next, we're going to talk about who is on the short list. who could be on the president's short list to be the next supreme court justice of the united states. when you've got a house
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constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. and there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. these are responsibilities that i take seriously, as should everyone. they're bigger than any one party, they are about our democracy. >> that was president obama last night answering one of the biggest lingering questions after justice scalia's death. yes, he will nominate someone to the court. the question now is who. still with me to speculate over the short list of nominees, akhil reed amar in new york, dahlia lithwick, and greg store. akhil and i went into a worm hole in the break and we're going to let you into the worm hole with me. talk about justice anthony kennedy and the parallels to what's happening today. >> ronald reagan was an idealogical president.
he won an election and re-election and in his last two years, he faced a senate of the other party. we have an idealogical president. he's in his last two years. he faces a senate of the other party. and reagan wanted at first someone hard core. >> robert bork. >> and bork got borked. what he ended up with is anthony kennedy, the swing justice. one of the few people in washington who sometimes votes with democrats, sometimes votes with republicans. that's not completely unforeseen because he emerged from a bipartisan process, where you had republican president and democratic senate, both agreeing to him, and now the question is can obama come up with his kennedy with a democratic president and a republican senate. >> he's nominated in november of 1987. and then you have on the democratic side, this fight over the democratic nominee taking place where you have a liberal nominee emerge from the process.
but this is happening in february. he was confirmed in february. >> kennedy was. remember that reagan in effect is running for his third term. we call that h.w. in the same way barack obama is running for his third term. we call that hillary, not bernie so much. so the paralil llels are quite eerie. >> we're going to go into a different worm hole, speculate who might be potentially president's nominee. let's say he goes for his robert bork. who would be his idyllic, idealogical kancandidate who wo fulfill the obama jurisprudence. >> i want to be a law student and push back for a minute. i fithink if you look at obama' last two nominees, the qualities he was looking for and he was very explicit about this when he seated sonia sotomayor, he said i want empathy, someone who can walk in the other guy's shoes. when he seated elena kagan, he
said i want a uniter, someone who can reach across the aisle. certainly, if he had his dreamy left-wing bomb thrower, he might pick someone like professor pam carlin, he might pick someone who is really far in the parlance to the left, like goodwin lue. but i think these qualities of empathy, of restraint, of reaching across the aisle seem really important to obama, perhaps because they're qualities he sees and values in himself. >> and greg, let's talk about maybe potential candidates who fit what dahlia has described as sort of the obama doctrine of what he wants. also somebody who might be able to actually get seated, an anthony kennedy type. somebody who maybe has been confirmed before by the senate. give us a few of those names. >> a couple names i have been hearing a lot, start with a judge on the d.c. circuit in washington. he was approved unanimously by the senate only a couple years ago. he's 48.
so he could obviously serve for a long time. he's of indian ancestry. the first asian american on the court. very smart, well respected by a lot of people. more of a compromise nominee is his colleague, merit garland. he's 63, he was considered for the previous nominations when the president nominate d sonia sotomayor and elena kagan. he has been held up as the nominee who might get confirmed in just this situation. whether obama decides to go in this direction remains to be seen. he's somebody who has a chance because he did have republican support back in those previous openings. this is a chance to be confirmed. >> also some senators people have talked about, amy klobuchar, cory booker. >> absolutely. you have to get it through the senate. all nine of the current justices, eight of them were sitting federal appellate judges and the ninth, a solicitor
general, former dean in the harvard law school. but the court that gave you brown versus board of education had leading senators and governors and people of political experience. it was possible to get an amy klobuchar or cory booker, or someone outside of the judiciary all together, some academic life, a prominent dean of a law school. >> and indeed, we have to mention your brother is somebody who has been mentioned. >> he's a prominent dean of a law school. also indian american, as it t n turns out. better looking and smarter than his older brother. >> but not more of our favoritf. thank you. we want to thank dahlia and greg in washington, d.c. and in new york, thank you to the charming and smart akhil reed amar. >> and next, the republicans say that president obama just should not nominate -- say the president should not nominate justices in election years. are they right? spoiler alert, no. ♪
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during the gop debate last night, senator ted cruz claimed that it had been 80 years since a supreme court justice had been confirmed in an election year. which wasn't exactly quite right. >> well, we have 80 years of precedent of not confirming supreme court justices in an election year. and let me say, justice -- >> sorry to interrupt. were any appointed in an election year, or just 80 years -- >> 80 years of not confirming, for example, lbj nominated abe fortas, he did not get confirmed. he was defeated. >> kennedy was confirmed in '80. >> no, kenalty was confirmed in 87. >> he was appointed in '87. confirmed in '88. >> in this case, it's both. if i could answer the question. >> sorry, want to get the facts straight for the audience. i apologize. >> never apologize for getting the facts straight. in february of 1988,
presidential nominee and the nominee of ronald wilson reagan, anthony kennedy was indeed confirmed by the senate, unanimously, and 1988 was an election year. in fact, 17 supreme court justices have been confirmed during a presidential election year. actually, as scotus blog pointed out, there are no instances in recent history where the sitting president has failed to nominate a candidate or the senate has failed to confirm a justice simply because the vacancy occurred in an election year. joining me is ari melber, msnbc's chief legal correspondent. that having been debunked, talk about why that's been such a powerful talking point for ted cruz, for marco rubio, for conservatives this year. >> it's a question of what is normal and normalized. the republicans have immediatelily tried to seize the ground that they will not even look at or consider any nominee from this president, and they want that to seem as normal as
possible. the democrats, obviously, pointed out what you just did in terms of counteravailing precedent. i don't think the old precedent means much. if you go back to the pre-television era, the first nominee seen defeated based on his views, not his credentials, you go to a much earlier and gentile time in the history of supreme court nominations. if you look at the data, republican voting record here has been somewhat more difficult or obstructionist than democrats, but it is accurate to say both sides have pushed back on nominees, and there was of course a gang of 14 compromise. some viewers will remember, that was all about judicial appointments. >> exempted the supreme court. >> how old you want to look at it and whether it's relevant. at that point, democrats were pushing, using more procedural mechanisms to stifle or block
george h.w. bush's nominees. take a step back from justice scalia. there has been a shift in trying to use the advise and consent power of the senate to confirm and insure that people are qualified and proper, and move more into ideology. when you get into ideology, it's a fancy word for politics. that's where we are. >> i wonder if that then allows republicans to extend this idea of leaving the court short by one for a full 11 months because there is going to be an election, not just one taking place, but 24 on the republican side, 10 on the democratic side. for senate seats. and i'm wondering how this winds up rippling through the country as that question of dereliction of duty, essentially, starts to ripping through, particularly the swing states where republicans are up for re-election. >> it could ripple through in a lot of ways. let's remember that the hard core primary base that moilt have been cheering or booing in last night's republican debate doesn't reflect the general election electorate that they're
going to face. it's one thing to say we want to advice and consent and potentially check or even vote down the president's nominee for an important post. it's another thing to say, as a matter of judgment, speaking of judges, as some republicans have suggested last night, they have no interest no matter who the president appoints. you were speaking earlier in the hour about many interesting ideas, potential names, in and out of the federal judiciary, in and out of the legal academy. the notion that the position of the republican party leaders right now in the president campaign and mitch mcconnell and grassley, who chairs the judicial committee is there is no single person who could serve on this court as soon as barack obama nominates them. >> right. >> is, i think, a hard one to defend in the long term when you get out of primary politics. then as we have reported, for folks at home keeping score, this is not just a chess piece. when you remove a member of the court, in this case, not by retirement but by sudden and unexpected det of justice scalia
yesterday. you then have all these pending cases on voting rights, on abortion, on affirmative action, on immigration executive order. the idea that you want all of that to go on for 11 months without a full court is also an open question of whether that's responsible. >> that's getting litigated state by state by state in 34 different senate races. all right, ari melber, thank you very much. coming up next, justice scalia's legacy in the fight over voting rights and the fireworks at last night's republican presidential debate. so much more at the top of the hour. text mom. boys have been really good today. send. let's get mark his own cell phone. nice. brad could use a new bike. send. [google] message. you decide. they're your kids. why are you guys texting grandma? it was him. it was him. app-connect. from the newly redesigned volkswagen passat. right now you can get $1000 presidents' day bonus on new 2015 or 2016 passat, jetta or tiguan models.
at this hour, a sudden and unexpected tremor across the judicial and political landscape in this country. less than one day after the passing of a supreme court justice. hello, everyone. i am joy reid at msnbc world headquarters in new york. sitting in for melissa harris-perry. we're going to talk this hour about how the death will impact
the issue of voting rights. we know there are important cases before the court that are very much impacted by his absence. the question of voting equality, which the justices are set to take up in two cases involving the principle of one person, one vote. now, the plaintiffs in a texas case are asking the court to decide which people should count when distributing political power in the creation of legislative districts. at the heart of the case is a question of whether to draw the lines based on the total population of the district or based only on the number of eligible voters. excluding noneligible voters could dramatically shift the balance of political power from urban to rural areas. in states with large immigrant populations in particular. now, there's a second case brought by a group of republican voters in arizona. it argues congressional districts drawn by an independent commission violate the constitution by giving an unfair advantage to voters of color in democratic districts. just this week, another case
involving redistricting in north carolina arrived before the court. in this case, a three-judge panel agreed with voting rights plaintiffs who aurlged when republicans took over the general assembly in 2011, they violated the constitutional rights of black voters by using illegal racial quotas to redraw two congressional districts in the state. now, unless the supreme court agrees with the state's appeal to block the ruling, the state has until friday to redraw those lines. the supreme court has not yet decided whether to intervene, but another decision made, another decision made years ago by the court's conservative majority, led by justice scalia, will influence how carolinians vote in a few weeks when they head to the polls for early primary voting on march 3rd. now, because for the first time voters in the state will be casting a ballot under the state's highly contentious voter i.d. law, a law that north
carolina was free to enact without any federal oversight after the supreme court gutted the voting rights act in 2013. north carolina's voter i.d. law will be in effect during the primaries. even as the question of its legality remains unanswered, because the trial and the federal lawsuit to overturn the law was just wrapped up last week. and a verdict is not expected before the primary. but the plaintiffs in the case have not given up the fight. the north carolina naacp building on its moral monday's movement yesterday held a large rally where thousands of people marched for voting rights to the state's capitol building. the march was followed by an afternoon of voter training and education in anticipation of the upcoming primary. and here with me now from charlotte, north carolina, the leader of the mum, reverend william barber, author of the third reconstruction, moral mondays, fusion politics and the rise of a new justice movement. here with me in new york is ari
berman, reporter for the nation magazine and author of give us the ballot, the modern struggle for voting rights in america. joining me from washington, d.c. is msnbc's very own reverend al sharpton, host of politics nation. and reverend al, i want to come to you first to talk with us about in the big picture, what is at stake regarding voting rights in this choice for a replacement for justice scalia and the fact that republicans are saying they won't confirm anyone to replace him? >> well, i think that it is very, very, very crucial where we are in terms of voting rights in front of this court. let's remember, this court had just taken out section 4 of the voting rights act, and now, we're seeing them, as you just outlined, having to consider both the north carolina case, the texas case, the ramifications of those decisions will really gear where we're going in terms of voting rights or where we're not going for the next generation or two.
whoever is selected by the president, if confirmed, could tip the supreme court for the next 50 years. you have to remember, joy, we have been under a conservative court for the last half century. if president obama can get a center to left of center nominee in, he can tip the scales for the next 50 years. if he cannot, and we get a republican president and eventually they make the decision, we will be in serious, serious difficulty. so there's a lot riding on this in front and center will be the voting rights of citizens in this country, which they have been chipping away at with this conservative court to where we are in real, real trouble. >> yeah, and reverend sharpton makes a really good point, reverend barber, because that means the next election is really, really important. in your state of north carolina, that's part of what's being
litigated not just in voter i.d., but the two congressional district redrawn by the court. talk about how that impacts voting rights in your state and the country. >> with the death of justice scalia, we must mourn his death, but we have to move away from his philosophy. the fact of the matter is we have seen the nightmare we all predicted after shelby. that you remove section 5 enforcement, and we had an unleashing of things we have nonseen since the end of the first reconstruction. crit critically, we're in a time where we have less voting right than in 1967. this is something the nation should be deeply concerned about. right now, the one issue we're not talking about, neither democrats or republicans have really talked about voting rights and what they will do to restore the voting right act. the voting rights act. they're asking people to vote for them, but they're not talking about what they will do to restorthe voting rights act to protect the voting rights.
that means, for instance, we're coming south. every member of the cbc, their voting districts are at jeopardy. reverend pinckney, who was in south carolina, who passed, his district is in jeopardy because we have, scalia said the voting rights act, for instance, was an entitlement. so the real question is in this election, if you want to deal with race, with black lives matter, health care, we should be drilling down on where do these candidates stand on restoration of the voting rights act, full restoration, particularly in the south. and lastly, joy, what i say to you is, at a time when the black and the latino vote has more potential with progressive white votes to break open the silent south, we have less voter protection than we have had since 1965 and more attacks on the right to vote since the 19th century. that's why thousands of people gathered yesterday, and we were
able to sign up over 5,000 persons for a voluntary army and 3,000 faith communities because the issue of voting rights should be at the center of every discussion in this election. how can you ask people to vote for you but you're not dealing with how you're going to protect the very right to vote. >> indeed, and ari, this was the subjeth of your vote. let's talk about the remaining justices on the conservative side. because reverend barber and reverend sharpton made the point, they're not sack rusink to the court. >> you had five justices on the court who led a broad counterrevolution against the civil rights acts of the 1960s. that was john roberts' role when he was a young lawyer, was opposition to the voting rights act. roberts famously said he wanted to make sure that violations of the voting rights act were not too easy to prove. that's what he did three decades later when he became chief justice along with scalia,
thomas, and the rest of the justices. this has been a key part of their mandate, is to roll back the civil rights laws of the 1960s, which are now under attack. reverend barber made a great point. we had 15 debates now, but no questions about voting rights, even though this is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the voting rights act, and 16 states, including south carolina, which is voting soon, including north carolina, which is voting after that, have new restrictions in place this year. this is a huge, huge issue, but it's treatied as a fringe issue. >> you have clarence thomas who also wanted to delete section two of the voting right ask if potentially another justice were to retire, and republicans had a 6-3 majority, you could see the entire voting rights act fall, right? >> you mentioned the redraw of districts, and that's huge, but there are also challenges in the lower courts.
those are going to come up before the supreme court, most likely, on appeal. then the supreme court has a chance to gut, further gut the voting rights act. john roberts in the reagan department, his opposition was to the remaining part of the voting rights act. this is one reason why this election is so critical. it remains very unsettled right now before the court. >> reverend sharpton, you recently interviewed hillary clinton and senator bernie sanders, the two democrats who are competing for the democratic nomination. are they -- did they talk to you umthd the issue of making voting rights and the restoration of the voting rights act primary in the conversations that they're having with voters? >> no, which is part of the challenge. in fact, we meet the leading civil rights organization heads, we meet with clinton on tuesday, and we meet again collectively with senator sanders on thursday. that's the top of our list. because senator sanders is in the senate. when they sent the voting rights bill back, the voting rights act
back to the congress, after they negated it, we were all sitting there in the oral arguments after they negated the map and said draw new map. i would, if i were bernie sanders, be standing up and saying, let's draw the map. whether they would go with it or not. they have a central position that they could be using in terms of profile to make this the issue. 15 states that never had a change in voting laws are now going to be voting this year for the first time with those laws changed. voter i.d., early voting canceled. so we're talking about a vote coming out and whether there will be a turnout when we're not talking about the turnoff that has happened in some of the state laws and by what the supreme court did in terms of the voting rights act. i think it is not only in our interest, it's in the candidates' interest, and they're ignoring it at their own peril, both parties. >> indeed, and reverend barber,
in terms of your state and the movement you're leading to try to get people to focus on this issue, talk to the country about what the stakes are for voting rights if the voting rights act were to go away, good the entire thing were to be struck down. >> north carolina is our selma. we saw immediately after shelby on the day that shelby came down, one of our senators said now that the headache has been removed. they changed 40 laws, it wasn't just photo i.d. it was same-day registration, ending it. early voting, rolling it back. ending straight ticket voting. they went after 17-year-old s being able to register. this is atrocious. we have had a two-year filibuster, and i would say respectfully, it's good for them to meet with civil rights leaders and those who are in organizations. but what they need to be doing is meeting with rosa, who is 93-year-olds old, who almost lost her right to vote after
voting 61 years. they need to be these candidates talking to people who have lost their right to vote in these states. for instance, thom tillis won our state, but he didn't win. we know 75,000 votes were suppressed. he only won by 30,000 votes. we have a legislature that is unconstitutionally constituted that has been writing laws in our state. the nation needs to understand what you see happening in north carolina is just the tip of the iceberg if we don't fix this and what could be happening across the country. we have a chance now to break open the solid south, and at the very time we have that opportunity, we have less voting rights protection than we have had since 1965. i say to the candidates, come down and have sessions with people, with the people on the ground, in the south. not in the north somewhere. in the south. and deal with the people who are having their voting rights abridged and anililated in this
attempt to stop a third reconstruction. >> ari berman, let's put back up the list of the majority members. thom tillis, who reverend barber mentions is on the judiciary committee who would consider an obama nominee. david vitter, ted cruz, who said there should be no nominee, is on the committee, alwell as john korman. this is in large part a southern committee that will decide whether or not there's a nominee. >> and that's disturbing because we have seen the southernization of the republican party. not just in terms of its membership, but also in terms of its ideology. the rolling back of the voting rights ask. attack on civil rights. these were concentrated on the south 50 years ago, but they have spread to the north. we're having these conversations in wisconsin, and kansas, and ohio. this has captured the republican party. and we said before the death of scalia that the supreme court
was a crucial issue in the 2016 election. many people didn't get that. now we see it front and center. if you care about the issues of voting rights, racial rights, the future of the supreme court is one of the most important issues if not the most important issue in the next election. >> ari berman, reverend barber, and reverend sharpton, thank you. up next, the new opening on the supreme court was the topic of conversation at last night's debate. staying in rhythm... it's how i try to live... how i stay active. so i need nutrition... that won't weigh me down. for the nutrition you want without the calories you don't... try boost® 100 calories.
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saturday. donald trump and ted cruz sparred over what type of justice they would choose. >> i did not nominate john roberts. i would not have nominated him. >> you pushed him yorb you worked with him and you pushed him. why do you lie? >> donald, learn not to interrupt people. donald, adults learn not to interrupt each other. >> you're an adult. >> i did not nominate him. i would have nominated my former boss, mikeluding, and you know how i know donald's supreme court justices will be liberals? because his entire life, he's supported liberals from jimmy carter to hillary clinton to john kerry. >> and joining me now from greenville, south carolina, is gabe gutierrez. the candidates are out there on the trail. clearly, the supreme court has become a major, major topic in this presidential race. are we hearing the candidates work that into their stump speeches? >> yeah, well, joy, they
certainly are this morning on the sunday shows. for example, ted cruz came out and simply said that we should make the 2016 election a referendum on the supreme court. clearly, the campaign is veering in a bit of a new direction after the passing of justice scalia. it was a first topic that came up in the debate yesterday, and there was some rare agreement among the candidates. that debate, as you mentioned, extremely contentious. it was donald trump versus ted cruz, jeb bush versus donald trump. marco rubio versus ted cruz. so many directions here. one of the most heated exchanged came between jeb bush and donald trump over foreign policy. let's take another listen. >> well, donald trump was building a reality tv show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. i'm proud of what he did. >> the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. remember that.
>> donald trump drawing a lot of boos throughout the night, but in typical trump fashion, he shrugged it off, basically saying the audience was full of special interests and lobbyists. very interestingly, the personal who came to jeb bush's defense after the exchange was marco rubio, one of his main rivals. rubio saying he was glad that it was george w. bush in the white house during 9/11 and not al gore. now, john kasich was also in the mix, but he was really trying to stay above the fray, trying to stim with the image of a happy warrior. when he had one of the most memrlg lines of the night by saying this is nuts, and he urged the party that this could be very dangerous for the party if it goes up against hillary clinton, and they're all fighting amongst themselves. now, with the primary just six days away, this is really up in the air. donald trump in the driver's seat, but ted cruz really trying to use his evangelical base to challenge donald trump. the battle for third, however, is very important. jeb bush, marco rubio, and john kasich going for that.
should be very interesting over the next week. also one more thing, as you have been talking about, george w. bush and his wife laura set to campaign with jeb bush starting tomorrow. >> it stays interesting. nbc's gabe gutierrez, thank you very much. up next, more on the life and legacy of supreme court justice antonin scalia. when a wildfire raged through elkhorn ranch, the sudden loss of pasture became a serious problem for a family business. faced with horses that needed feeding the owners were forced to place an emergency order of hay. thankfully, mary miller banks with chase for business. and with a complete view of her finances, she could control her cash flow, and keep the ranch running. chase for business. so you can own it. full of guests on the waye chase for business. and a cold with sinus pressure, you need fast relief. alka-seltzer plus severe sinus congestion and cough liquid gels rush relief to your tough symptoms. to put you back in control. [doorbell]
bench, justice antonin scalia made a name for himself as the intell intellectual leader of the court's conservative wing. pete williams has more on his life and legacy. >> i antonin scalia -- >> the nation's first italian-american justice was put on the supreme court in 1986 by ronald reagan. though he later became a lightning rod for criticism, he was confirmed unanimously, 98-0, after telling senators he had no plans to reshape the law. >> i am not going on to the court with a list of things that i want to do.
my only agenda is to be a good jauj. >> once there, he became one of the most outspoken conservatives, an author of fiery dissents, and a steadfast opponent of affirmative action and hiring and school admissions and of abortion rights. the landmark case of roe v. wade, he said, was wrongly decided, declaring rights that the founding fathers never intended. >> abortion, homosexual conduct, nobud pnobody ever thought they been included. >> scalia said judges should be bound by the laws of the words they interpret. >> we're governed by laws. and what the law is is not what the drafter intended but what the drafter enacted. >> though generally unsympathetic to criminal suspect, he led the court in expanding the rights of defendants to confront their people in court, and he wrote the ruling that said the second
amendment guaranteed an individual's right to own a firearm, the most important gun case ever. he was an advocate for conservative causes off the bench, too, helping to establish the federalist society, who encouraged the appointing of more right-wing judges. he met his wife on a blind date when both were in college. they had nine children, five boys and four girls. two later became lawyers, following their father in a profession he clearly relished. >> i like thinking about the law. i like figuring out the right answer to legal problems. and it's sort of the top of the heap for a lawyer who has those interests. >> in the process, he became one of the most influential justices in the court's history.
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voters cast ballots in south carolina on saturday, the six remaining gop candidates battled over foreign policy, immigration, and conservative principles in the debate in greenville, south carolina. the gloves came all the way off last night, and each politician fought for talk time. the antagonism was palpable when donald trump took aim at the presidency of former president george w. bush. >> the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. remember that. >> let me finish. >> i thank god all the time that it was george w. bush in the white house on 9/11 and not al gore. >> they lied. they said there were weapons of mass destruction. there were none. and they knew there were none. >> then frankly if there weren't weapon of mass destruction, we should never have gone. i don't believe that the united states should involve itself in civil wars. >> he kept us safe. not only did he keep us safe, but no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, saddam hussein was in violation of resolutions.
>> the world trade center came down during the reign of your brother. that is not safe. >> and joining me now are kaiton dawson, former south carolina gop chair. robert chainm, former bush, sr. adviser, tara dowdedd, and former senior adviser to barack obama. i feel totally inadequate. let's talk about last night. robert, i'm going to come to you first because you're joining us for the first time. liar, liar, liar. that's what we heard over and over and over again. that level of hostility had frank luntz, who is the republican pollster exdrord nar tweet, we're going to lose because it's too nasty. >> every person on the stage, including jeb bush, violated ronald reagan's 11th amendment, thou shall not speak ill of another republican. this is south carolina.
70% of the republican electorate are vet. 82% on the republican side supported george w. bush in 2004. that's not what you want to say against another republican. it was a bit of a cluster last night. no doubt about it. >> this is skrour state. george w. bush, i spoke to the chairman of the republican party, had a chance to meet him. he really reiterated how popular the bush family is in south carolina. this was george w. bush's firewall against mccain in the year 2000. when you hear donald trump go after george w. bush on the issue of 9/11, i don't know if we have that sound, but blaming 9/11 on george w. bush, saying he did not keep the country safe, which a lot of probably liberal democrats would love to hear, but no elected democrat has even said that. then slamming him for the iraq war. how will that play among south carolina republicans? >> for disclosure, i was in the mccain/bush war, i was for bush. i was his chairman for the party
for the eight years we were there. what i will tell you about george bush and the difference between george and jeb is different. george bush has about an 85% approval rating in a republican primary right now. he came to visit us eight times as president of the united states. barack obama came back to south carolina once. so george bush not only owed his election to us, he recognized that and awarded us for that. the mistake that trump could make is if he engages bush 43. robert and i know, he is a competitor. now, is he coming to play for the silver medal, bronze medal, or fourth place? i don't know. it didn't help trump's effort, but a lot of trump voters ha haven't seen that clip yet. the ads were late on the floor last night. they cut what they needed. it's what i expected from south carolina. what they do, and the difference between iowa and new hampshire and south carolina. iowa, they expect you to talk about ethanol.
new hampshire, they expect you to come into your living room, and in south carolina, they want to see how you handle the punch. >> the interesting thing about it, though, because i wonder if his base, anything he does could hurt him, but i wonder if donald trump made a general election case for himself that could be helpful to him with your quote/unquote reagan democrats and independents who agree with him on the issues of iraq and 9/11 and george w. bush. >> certainly, it appeared, you never know with donald trump whether it's strategy or him being thin skinned. you don't know whethre it's comg from. i will say, certainly, what he said last night would have resonance with voters in a general election. however, he is still in a primary. i do think, though, to your point, joy, that his base of support, the people who are with him are enthusiastically wholeheartedly with him. that support has hardened. i don't really think this impacts him with those voters.
the people that have consistently written him off, have been consistently proven wrong. however, where he does have issues are with going beyond that hardened base of support within the republican primary. and some of those voters were probably turned off last night. >> mark, let's talk about jb j. this is the state where he's spozed to be making his stand. he did a little better than his team expected in new hampshire. he comes to south carolina with his family name being a plus for a change. did he help himself last night? his strategy seemed to be hit donald trump and then hit donald trump again, and then hit him a third time. >> i think so. i think he can help himself in south carolina. in my election law class, we were talking about this. one of the concerns trump has to have is he's getting 30%, 35%, but not getting more than that. he can win every primary with 30%, 35%, but he will not get the delegates he needs. this is an opportunity for jeb to take the step to move up. the other question is how far kasich is going to move because he placed so strongly in new hampshire.
how is he going to translate? jeb is in a position to do as well as throughout the primary season, definitely has a good chance. >> we finally have something i love, a poll. we do have a poll. cbs news has done a poll. donald trump in the poll is doing what you said, he's doing it here in south carolina, 42% for donald trump. 20% for ted cruz. marco rubio at 15%, kasich at 9%, jeb bush at 6%, ben carson at 6%. poor ben. that actually matches, robert, the drudge poll of last night. >> it does. what's interesting, i was trying to squint down at the bottom to see when the poll was taken. if that poll was taken before yesterday, things change after scalia's death. i think bush actually performed brilliantly last night. he provoked donald trump. donald trump literally went back and seemed almost irrational. by contrast, jeb bush looked presidential. this is real now, folks. for the conservatives watching at home who perhaps are for
donald trump, this is real. it's no longer hypothetical about a supreme court nominee that may or may not hang in the balance. the question becomes as a conservative do you want to put someone who is perceived to be almost as irrational as donald trump who is truly not a conservative, when you look at his issues, where he has contributed his money, at quite frankly, roll the tape in terms of what he said about hillary clinton in 2000 and so forth, he's not a south carolinians now, it's interesting. >> the poll we showed is february 10th through the twelfth. we have a lot more to talk about. scalia on the ballot. we're going to talk about it when we come back. like you mean it now comes with an incredible promise. the always discreet double your money back guarantee. always discreet is for bladder leaks and it's drier than poise. try it. we're so confident you'll love it, we'll give you double your money back
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described himself as very pro-choice, and as a supporter of partial birth abortion. >> you are the single biggest liar. you probably are worse than jeb bush. you are the single biggest liar. >> you notice donald didn't disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for planned parenthood. and donald has this weird pattern. when you point to his own record, he screams liar, liar. >> back with me, kaiton, robert, tara, mark. the smash mouth nature of that debate last night, how does that play with south carolina republican voter snz. >> pretty well. it does. >> they like it? >> well, they are used to it and they expect it. it's not that they like it. it's a hard-hitting place from the revolutionary place to the civil war to right now. we have a lot of northern voters who have moved in to retire. they came out of tough places. you have a lot of south carolinians born and bred there. you have been down there this weekend. it's a contact sport. they expect it. and yesterday it did get out of
hand, but not unsurprisingly. >> there was another moment i have to play from last night's debate. it was probably the most interesting and weird moment of the night. it was when marco rubio and ted cruz, who we sometimes forget are the two hispanic candidates in the race, went after each other on the question of univision and spanish. let's play it. >> first of all, i don't know how he knows what i said on univision because he doesn't speak spangish. second of all -- [ speaking spanish ] >> first, we have never heard ted cruz speak spanish. we understand he doesn't speak good spanish, but he drew from the one phrase he had from eighth grade spanish class. >> was that a cluster? >> i would say ted cruz sounds like me when i speak spanish. what was interesting is ted cruz used marco rubio speaking
spanish as an insult. >> right. >> that was meant to be an insult initially. but then when marco rubio then challenged him and said you don't even understand it, ted cruz's own ego forced him to show off and to provide some spanish to show he could speak spanish. i do think, i was watching and not that it's empirical or scientific, but i was watching twitter and watching very conservative, people who are very conservative on twitter. they did not like the fact, they did not believe that in a presidential debate anyone should be speaking the spanish language. >> that is a question i wanted to ask you, robert. i wonder if ted cruz in trying to be sort of a smarty pants, and show that he can speak some spanish, actually may have done himself some harm in a republican primary. >> as soon as i watched that last night, i cringed. because he did it, one, in south carolina, and number two, in a very condescending way. and marco rubio did a good job of not acknowledging it and going back to his talking points. i do think, look, ted cruz is
not well liked in the senate. i'm not sure he's well liked in the republican party. he's well respected, but there's something about him that rubs people the wrong way, including republicans. i think that whatever you want to call it, vignette last night, is probably going to backfire on him. >> meanwhile, you had the two hispanic candidates competing to who was more opposed to immigration reform. i hear people expressing fear to marco rubio, but i wonder if he provided television commercials for the opposition. >> he's been bouncing around on the issue. tried to do something in the senate and has been beat up on that during the primaries. he's been bounced around on that. i don't know if he can succeed if he is the nominee to make that a strong issue. he's been a lot of different places. >> i want to put up this list of members of the senate judiciary committee. ted cruz is on that committee. he's a member of the judiciary
committee. it's a heavily southern judiciary committee which has a lot of ramifications for things like voting rights. but ted cruz becomes doubly vulnerable. he's the guy who democrats could slam for obstruction, for 11 months, if the committee doesn't take up an obama nominee to replace scalia. >> if woo e're talking about general election politics, you're right. if we're talking about primary politics. it's going to help. its's a double-edged sword. the scalia thing has done it to make voters say wow, i have to elect a prdz not that he's just for me. he's gault to do roly big things. the reset was last night. one of the big conservative groups is going to show up with a million dollars against trump next week. good luck, donald. that buys a lot of tv in south carolina. the race, and i told you, this race can change. 44% in 2012 were semi-undecided. i would contend to you about 50%
of south carolinians are persuadable right now. newt gingrich went from a weak, weak third place to two debate performances and won 43 of 46 counties and wiped the map out. so that makes us 40 for next week. >> i'm going to do a chris matthews. who wins south carolina primary on the republican side? >> trump. >> who wins it? >> trump. >> i think bush may pull this out. >> jeb bush? >> i think he's going to pull it out. >> i'm going to get all these texts from miami. >> trump by a nose. >> who comes in second? >> scalia. >> rubio. >> scalia is the new running mate. >> from the old mclachlan group, the correct answer, scalia. thank you very much, kaiton, robert, tara, mark. great panel. coming up next, a look at the life of justice scalia. the new running mate for whoever the republican nominee happens to be.
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>> we end this hour with more on the big news of the day. of course the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia at the age of 79. he served for nearly 30 years and here's how president obama summarized his long legal career last night. >> he influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students. profoundly shaped the legal landscape. he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the supreme court. justice scalia dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy. the rule of law. >> scalia was a fire brand conservative and constitutional originalist, but he was more complicated. he maintained a close friendship with liberal colleagues like ruth bader ginsburg.
a man who knew scalia well was the president of the ethics and public policy center and clerked for justice scalia in the 90s and the two stayed in touch in the following decades. condolences on the death of your friend and colleague, justice scalia. tell us something that might surprise people. >> contrary to the common caricature of him, he is a warm spirited man who had friendships across the divide. he believed and loved vigorous arguments, but always respected the intellects of those he was arguing with. it was wonderful to watch him think and see his mind wrestle with ideas until he had that moment of clarity. he had a wonderful and joyful laugh. a wonderful man and a great judge. >> and the grandfather of 28.
you spoke with our producers here on the show and said you couldn't separate the man from scalia the justice. you can elaborate? >> his greatness as a public figure is rooted in who he was as a judge. to be sure, he wonderful personal qualities as well. he was a joy to be around, but at the heart of his public greatness is his fidelity to the constitution, his adherence to judicial rule and development revival of originalism. he's a tremendous influence on two generations of law students now and his legacy will be enduring. he as sewn principals that people will recognize as wise and sound the same way they
recognize morrison versus oleson. on the independent council statute was right on. i think we will see again overtime even those who disliked him because of the issues of the day will come to recognize his greatness. >> we know one of the other features of his life was his vibrant and ostentatious catholicism. >> he was a man of deep faith. a man who loved the church, loved his family. i think it's important to recognize that the main influence of his faith on his judging was that he shouldn't lie. he recognized that the role of the judge was not to impose catholic morality, but rather to read the constitution as it is and that's, for example, his position on abortion was not
that is view the catholic view on abortion, but he sees issue after issue where he recognized his role as a judge and obligation as a judge was to speak truthfully about the constitution and not to impose his own personal policy or religious views. >> we know that one of the things that people always found curious was his close friend with ruth bader ginsburg and his language and coming up with verbal queues. talk about that side. >> he loved words. he loved language. he knew several languages and could draw from them. i remember as a clerk giving him what i thought was a good draft and clever phrases and seeing him make the phrases sharper and better. it was a wonderful process to be part of. he is a master craftsman.
we may not see his combination again for quite a while. the good thing is that he groomed plenty of people, men and women, who understand originalism and are willing to follow in his path. >> the friendship with ruth bader ginsburg, they both liked thinking and writing and language. >> and opera. >> he brought the term argle barringle back. >> that is the show for today. i'm joy reed and coming up, alex whit talks about the impact of the death of justice scalia and the grades for the republican candidates from last night's smash mouth debate.
this this country. less than a day after the passing of a supreme court justice. i'm alex wit in new york. it is a moment of historical consequence, both timing and nature. antonin scalia's death silences a conservative voice and once stirs a successor against the backdrop of a presidential election year. it presented a rare moment of agreement in a debate filled with personal attacks last night. >> this is a tremendous blow to conservatism and a tremendous blow to our country. >> our hearts and prayers go out to our family. i do not believe the president should appoint someone. it has been over 80 years since a lame duck president a pointed a supreme court justice. >> i believe the president should not move forward and we ought to let the next president decide who will run that supreme court with a vote by the people of the united states of america.
>> this all sets up a potentially unprecedented battle for the rest of his time in the white house. this is the place for politics. it is high noon in washington, d.c. and we are about to give you a live look at the white house and the capitol building. flags are flying at half-staff and all federal properties following the death of antonin scalia. his death is setting off arguments from left and right about who gets to pick the next nominee. we are covering all the angles. we have reaction from the candidates on the campaign trail. kelly o'donnell is at the white house with word from the president. pete williams joins us from the d.c. bureau with a good afternoon or good afternoon to you all. let's start with you and talk about the cases before the court. how likely are they to be
affected? >> quite likely because on many of the most important cases, the cases that are the most controversial to the basketball, the court is divided 5-4. now it's 4-4, conservatives versus liberals. if the cases that are pending on abortion and affirmative action and the president's immigration policy and those closed questions, if they are decided by tie votes which is a prospect with only eight justices, the supreme court's decision means nothing. the lower court ruling would prevail. it doesn't necessarily mean there going to be ties, but there will be some and if a tie vote means it never happened and whoever prevailed below will be the winner, the president's immigration policy will remain in trouble because the lower courts have blocked it.
restricting access to abortion clinics would remain on the books. that's the prospect we face if there only eight justices which is apparently the situation we are going to face for many months to come. >> when the court would reconvene with a full nine justices sitting, could these cases be represented? >> not the same cases though. remember there will be a technical decision from the supreme court. the lower court is affirmed by an equally divided court. that's the end. it doesn't count is sets no precedential value. the issue can come back. not the case, but the issue can come back when there nine justices. >> here is what president obama said about replacing justice ska li a. here's that. >> i plan to fulfill my responsibilities to nominate a
successor in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. >> what is the reality here? isn't it the republicans who control the process this year? >> they do because they are in charge of the senate and only the senate can confirm this kind of presidential nominee. the president gets the first say in this by going through the process of making his selection. i think there is a question at the moment if the president had a short list prepared given he is in the final year of his term and already placed two justices on the supreme court. how prepared on the white house to come up with a name and what will they calculate in terms of the type of nominee they want to offer? someone who would be purely in the wheel house of the president's point of view of the court or would there be an attempt to offer a name with the
hope of attracting some republican support, however unlikely that might be. are knows do have the ability to control the process in terms of how the nomination would go through. some very well-known steps before there would be a vote. the first indication of the republican position came from mitch mcconnell who put out a statement who said in part after praising the life of justice ska li a the american people should have a voice in the selection. therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. that leaves open a bit of the detail and that is classic mitch mcconnell to put down the first marker and not to show his firsthand of cards. that does not indicate whether they will try to block it at the committee level or try to run out the clock over a long period of time or bring it to a vote
and deny that vote. those are different steps th ss we will get into and certainly the case that republicans have a lot to say about how the president's choice will be going forward. we roll have a real clash coming up. >> you mentioned the two appointees by this president. if a 30 were to happen, president obama would be the first president since ronald reagan to fill three seats on the court. i know you covered these battles before. would a prolonged battle be a problem for republicans? >> in certain instances, yes. the number of republicans that were up for reelection themselves for the same race for the presidential candidates and if they come from states that are more swing states where there lots of democrats in their constituencies. this could be a problem and could change the dynamic of the races. if enough of those were to be in play and democrats reclaimed control of the senate, something
they very much want to do, this battle could really have long reaching implications. definitely there will be instances where senators will be under a great deal of pressure. >> with you covering the justice department for 25 years, you have been there for the majority of scalia's decades. i want your perspective of what his legacy will be. >> his gregarious nature and intellect and oral argument on the bench. the things that you saw in public of a very outsized character. truly a character. in terms of his effect on the law, he guided the court in several ways. away from the idea that you can look to so-called intent of what the drafters must have been thinking when they put a law together. he said that doesn't count.
you have to look at the words. he moved the court on that. secondly in an area where he has been a champion of defenders saying they have a right to confront accusers and even people who do laboratory analysis for crime labs. the judges can't sentence based on factors that weren't found by the jury. his most important decision was saying that the second amendment provides a right to own a begin for self defense in the home. the single most decision ever on gun rights. >> given your coverage there, i thank you for your insights. kelly o'donnell as well from the white house. the other political headlines, george w. bush is set to make his debut with his brother, jeb. they will be in south carolina tomorrow night. bush is among four republicans campaigning ahead of saturday's primary. john kasich will be in michigan as will bernie sanders and
hillary will have a full day in nevada where she and sanders are today holding three campaign events in las vegas. marco rubio and ben carson are in south carolina hours after the republican debate in greenville. new reaction today from rubio and trump, doubling down on comments made on who they think is to blame for the 9/11 terror attacks. >> i have nothing against george bush. when jeb bush gets up there and said my brother kept us safe. the world trade center during his time in office came down. >> don't blame george w. bush, blame a decision made earlier, when the opportunity presented itself. >> i heard pundits saying this was the nastiest debate yet.
tell us what happened. >> the insults were flying and the future of the supreme court is front and center in this presidential election, but this got personal and turned into an all out brawl in a state known for rough and tumble politics. on a less crowded stage, the ninth republican debate started with rare agreement. >> i do not believe the president should appoint someone. >> several candidates wanting to block president obama. >> it's called delay, delay, delay. >> things got ugly. >> this is a man who insult his way. >> ted cruz has been telling laws. >> trump blasting jeb bush. >> the world trade center came down during your brother's. remember that. >> donald trump was building a reality tv show, my brother was
building a security apparatus to keep us safe. >> he came to bush's defense, slamming trump. >> i thank got all the time that george w. bush was in the white house and not al gore. >> the florida center clashed with ted cruise and at one point he took issue with something rubio said in a spanish language interview. >> i don't know how he knows what i said on univision. he doesn't not speak spanish. >> [speaking foreign language] . >> he called the billionaire's past liberal opinions on abortion. >> you are the single liar. probably worse than jeb bush. he is a nasty guy. >> donald has this weird pattern. when you point to his record, he screams liar, liar, liar. >> john kasich.
>> this is just crazy. this is nuts. >> while most on the stage fought each other, ben carson fought for attention. >> so many people said to me you need to scream and jump up and down like everybody else. is that really what you want? what we just saw? i don't think so. >> the gop primary is in just six days. the primary is a week after that. as you mentioned, president george w. bush and former first lady laura bush expected on the trail tomorrow. there is the battle between donald trump and ted cruz and third place between bush, kasich, and rubio is very important. >> for sure is. listening to the clips you put together, that was something else. thank you very much. you can hear more from rubio, trump, and kasich on "meet the press" that will repair here at
2:00 p.m. eastern. you heard from the candidates. let's hear the grades. did it pay off for the hopefuls? what was antonin scalia like behind the scenes? we will hear from one of his former clerks. >> the longest successful confirmation process in the last four decades was clarence thomas and that took roughly 100 days. there 340 days until the next president takes office so that is plenty of time.
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i'm proud of what he did. he's had the gall to go after my mother. >> the world trade center came down during his presidency. >> that was jeb bush and donald trump in south carolina. there was name calling and insults flying around. gavin jackson is in columbia, south carolina. jeremy peters is an msnbc contributor. i will reach out to you and i want your assessment. did anyone get an a? >> jeb bush had the performance that he was looking for. i don't know if i would call it an a. donald trump was back on his heels, but predictions about how this helped or hurt trump are useless because every time we tried to assess whether or not he came up or down is proven to
be completely wrong. i think his voters because they are so not interested in ideology and care only about the strength he projects. to convince people he is the fighter they think he is, he did just fine. >> did they diminish the substance and damage the gop at all? >> the damage to the gop overall, it was a saturday night debate. i'm not sure how many people were paying as close of attention as we were. i think this has been a nasty primary. it's hard to imagine any one event taking people over the edge and saying that's it. this is too ugly for me. this is a primary that voters have been flocking to donald trump, the most uncivil, profane candidate in recent history.
i don't know that that hurts. >> i can tell you, certainly a ranker's debate. i'm curious about the tone and how you think it will play in south carolina. i expected to hear elton john's saturday night's all right for fighting during the debate. >> i think we knew it would be a slugfest. i don't think south carolinians will be too worried. we have seen these debates already. the tone that we have seen over and over was no different. that audience was pretty outspoken. they were anti-trump there. you could with the boos. the same for ted cruz. there was a lot of animosity for him as well. i don't want to say that is indicati indicative, but polls have shown how they feel so far.
>> but you talked about the boos that were directed to donald trump. was that because of substance or his tone? >> he to be last night. that was him and the audience defending jeb bush and the honor of the family. that family has deep ties here. obviously that was something that donald trump needed to attack to shore up support. at the same time i don't think that tone will get rid of the voters. >> let's count the word liar. used 22 times.
let's listen to this exchange. >> you are the single biggest liar. >> this guy lied, let me tell you. this guy lied about ben carson when he took votes away and just continues. today we had robocalls saying donald trump is not going to run in south carolina where i'm leading by a lot. vote for ted cruz. this was the same thing he did for ben carson. he will say anything. nasty guy. >> how do you get to this point and who is to blame? >> what you are seeing is the manifestation of a lot of dislike for ted cruz. you saw this two debates ago when he was riding high in iowa. everybody piled on and you saw it again last night. there was no love lost for ted
cruz and his colleagues in washington. i was thinking about something interesting playing out on the ground that is going to shift this race in south carolina more than we are talking about. that's the battle that cruz and rubio are engaged in. behind the scenes for evangelical support. you saw it in the closing statements when he was talking about god and the need to restore this idea of marriage between one man and one woman. he has been hitting that a lot. even more so than he did in the iowa caucuses. that will be at the margins of what could push this race towards marco rubio if he succeeds. >> do you think he has wind at his back? >> definitely. i think last night was a big moment for him especially this past week. really leaning into the poor
debate performance and he delivered on that promise to those people on the campaign trail. he was going to move forward. last night we saw him do that. he called ted cruz a liar and trying to get that momentum there to use in the second. trying to go to the second spot. it makes it a good vote. i talked to a lot of supporters and they love him for that. they love him for his vigor and last night we saw cruz on a good defense and obviously marco rubio are are doing a good job.
. >> i want to ask you about antonin scalia's passing and how you think it will affect the campaign. >> the idea of nominating a justice is such an ob distraction. especially on the right. i would nominate scalia or thomas. this is actually true. this is going to be the forefront of the republican race. at the forefront of the democratic race. my question and what i don't know is whether or not this galvanizes the right or the left more. republicans have been better at supporting someone to the supreme court, but i think that might have shifted because no way liberal voters will want to see the clock roll back.
>> what was antonin ka lia like to work with? hear from a former clerk, later on. over half a grand when they switch to progressive. so i'm dabbling in new ventures. it was board-game night with the dalai lama. great guy. terrible player. ♪ go paperless ♪ don't stress, girl ♪ i got the discounts that you need ♪ it's a balancing act, but i got to give the people what they want -- more box. any words for the critics? what can i say? critties gonna neg. [ applause ] the what?! [ laughs ] whyto learn, right?e? so you can get a good job and you're not working for peanuts. well what if i told you that peanuts can work for you? while you guys are busy napping, peanuts are delivering 7 grams of protein and 6 essential nutrients right to your mouth. you ever see a peanut take a day off? no. peanuts don't even get casual khaki fridays. because peanuts take their job seriously. so unless you want a life of
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>> he spent time with 35 to 40 guests and part of a quail hunt and a dinner in the resort. retired from the dinner a bit early according to guests. he said he was tired and wanted a good night's sleep the next day. at 9:00, they knocked on the door and he did not respond. perhaps he was doing that and he came back after the first excursion on to the property when the owner of this property went into the presidential suite and discovered that scalia had passed away. he immediately called the area hospital when he was told there was nothing they could do. he called the marshalls who had been trfling with him and were not on the property, but nearby.
they remembered there was no foul play and scalia died of natural causes. he was moved from the ranch to a funeral home in el paso. the family expected to fly in sometime today. there was no information about a memorial or funeral service. >> have we heard an official statement from his family and his wife and nine children as well? >> no, alex. nothing official at this point. likely one of the reasons why is they are in transit trying to get to texas. i can tell you from mr. poindexter, one of his sons was supposed to make the trip with him and did not. he pulled out at the last minute because of issues he had at home. >> that is a heart breaking
detail right there. is that how you say it? >> let's bring in brian fitzpatrick and a former law clerk. first of all, what was it like working for justice scalia? >> it was the greatest honor of my is what it was like. he was a brilliant and kind man. he liked to have a good time. he was very funny and charming. he was confident and liked to hear views from his law clerks and others. he liked to debate and mix it up. i learned a great deal about the law and how to be a good writer. it was an honor. >> despite his largely conservative views, he would often hire somebody, a law clerk who would be on the far opposing left side. he liked to battle. he liked to practice before he would get in front of the supreme court. >> he loved debating and loved it because he was confident that
he was right. every once in a while we would be able to tell him something he had not thought of already. if there was a year that didn't happen, it was up to us, the rest of us to take the devil's advocate. he wanted his views tested. >> how about the legal legacy. what will that be? >> it will be huge. i'm biased because i loved the man and i worked for him, but most fair minded people will say he is one of the most if not the most influential justices in history. he was more than a justice and a group of cases. he was the father of a movement that tried to change how we think about the role of the judge and democracy. he believed they should follow the law as it was understood by the people who wrote it and shouldn't read their own preferences into it.
that has taken on a life of its. it has been influential in the legal profession with policy makers and lay people. his legacy will live well beyond his life. >> given his 30 years on the court, a lot has been written about him and much yet to come, but i know you served as special council for supreme court nominations. you worked on a number of nominations including those of chief justice roberts and lito. >> the first part of the process is the president has to consult with the united states senate. the senate does not like it when the president does not seek their views. the approximately will have to spend some time if he wants to go forward with a nominee, he
will have to find out who they think will go back to the white house and they run those names through the wringer. they look into the background and what have you. >> is there one place for which a d.c. circuit court has contributed. >> it has been a popular place to find justices. that's where they look to find a justice. i get the impression that there is something of a view forming that we had too many from washington and the corridor and it's time to find people from other parts of the country. i'm not sure if they'll go there
again. >> i'm very sorry for your loss. >> the political fight that lies ahead following the death of antonin scalia. we will hear from both sides on the place for politics. >> this next election needs to be a referendum and the people need to decide and i'm glad that the senate is agreeing with what i called for. we should not allow a lame duck president to capture the supreme court in the waning months of his presidency. ♪ this is a body of proof. proof of less joint pain. and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both
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and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost. now try new boost® compact and 100 calories. >> news of the death of antonin scalia became a focal point of the night for the republicans and democratic opponents. >> someone on this stage will get to choose the balance of the supreme court and it will begin by filling this vacancy there now. >> the senate needs to say we are not going to give up the
u.s. supreme court for a generation by allowing barack obama to make more liberal appointee. >> it is outrageous that republicans in the senate and on the campaign trail have already pledged to block any replacement that president obama nominates. >> it's called delay, delay, delay. >> they understand that the constitution is not a living and breathing document. it is to be interpreted as originally meant. >> it appears that some of my republican colleagues in the senate have a very interesting view of the constitution of the united states. and apparently they believe that the constitution does not allow a democratic president to bring forth a nominee to replace justice scalia. i strongly disagree with that. >> let's bring in jimmy
williams, host of decode d.c. and jennifer ruben whose latest article is about the impact of justice scalia's death. as a conservative, what was your reaction when you heard justice scalia had died? >> it was shock. he has been a giant in the legal field. he has an iconic quality in the conservative movement because of his intellect and wit. he revived and really established an entire legal approach to judging. i was stunned. it's a huge loss. he was a vibrant member of the court for decades now. the loss will be severe. >> given your position as a conservative columnist, do you agree with those who say the poss should not move forward? >> i don't think they are saying he shouldn't send one forward. he can send whoever they like and they are free to vote it
down. they are also free to delay the process. that is the separation of powers. there is no president in an election year for the appointment. in 1968 lbj nominated a person with ethical problems and he was not confirmed. in the fall he did not choose to push through a nominee and that fell to richard nixon who came through to warren burger. with justice kennedy, he was not the president's first choice. the democrats prolonged and blocked justice kennedy who was nominated in 1987 through the confirmation process into 1988. that was because the democrats had rejected the president's first choice. >> you heard that and how historic might this turn out to
be and what are the implications? >> let me just say for the court, my heard goes out to them as well. a death is never something one welcomes. if he lies in state, i will pay respects even though i disagree with every opinion he wrote. this is a political fight and they have the right to nominate and the republican-led senate has the right to bring him up and decide yes or no. they were voted out and sent for a democratic-let senate and he was rejected. he got a vote. the point here is that mitch mcconnell who in 2005 said every
president deserved the right to nominate and get a vote on any of his nominees for the judiciary. i wonder what has changed in the last nine years. that being said, the president should nominate and the senate should give that person a fair hearing and send that nomination to the floor and if you don't want to vote for that person, vote against them. if you don't, you are not doing your job. >> whether or not this person will send them forward is moot. he would intend to do so and he planned on it. you write one can only say the passing of the star sparks a careful process. how likely is that and will it make a race that is chaotic more so. >> a girl is allowed to dream, right? donald trump is not a serious
person. we saw that vividly. i hope on both sides with the democrats and the republicans that people do take a deep breath. the presidency is not a trivial matter. it's not a cartoon or comic book. it's not a place where people have not thought about the big issues of the day. it has enormous consequences. liberals love justice scalia when he was talking about the fourth amendment. i don't think my colleague opposed every word. he was an originalist and he took seriously the rights of the accused and the rights of those who were under arrest. his legacy was not in keeping with the agenda of conservatives. he was an originalist and that pleased conservatives and sometimes it department. i fear that perhaps the electorate will be more serious.
>> you want to respond to that? the protections to some degree there. >> let me say let's go to what's going happen. the democrats have no rights whatsoever. they voted for kennedy and even if they were to report out this nomination, whom ever that is, had has to get on the calendar. that takes a vote. republicans in charge of the senate will not allow that to happen. they hold no cards in this debate except for political. i will suggest that the president of the us can get on the plane and put gas in it and go across the country. this is good for democrats and republicans and a hard fought election year.
the demographics are ignited and they'll be riled up and that will be what's happening here. >> you worked in the senate. i want to hear how much the democrats can do. >> there is nothing the democrats can do. they have no options at all. all they have is guilt and history on their side. jennifer said about no justices being nominated and voted on in election years. taft did it. hoover did it with cardoza. fdr did it with murphy and reagan did it with kennedy. they did it with brennan in 1957. maybe obama can do that. >> you got a great a. you recalled all that interesting stuff right there. i will give the last word to you. where does this go? >> jimmy is right. they can vote down whatever
nominee and committee and he can choose not to take it up. i would suggest that president obama does not have much capital. he is not a popular president right now and not popular in swing states. other swik states in the election. this will be important. this may be more important in terms of the individual picks that the parties make. this is going to be decided by the next president. they want to make that pick. >> this was a great discussion. i thank you both for it. >> with less than a week until the nevada talk us, the voters who could make it or break it for hillary clinton and bernie sanders. think of it as a seven seat theater... for an action packed thriller.
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scalia who was found dead and had been judge for 29 years. >> six days to go buyer the state's democratic caution of caucus. she is in las vegas where she has been talking about the economic struggles. >> we can't rebuild the middle class where we can't get back in the labor movement. i will enforce labor laws and stand up and use the bully pulpit with organizing because if we don't get back to a strong american labor movement, we will not have a resurgence of the middle class. >> in nevada, a clinton supporter. glad to have you here. i know that hillary clinton pushed hard for organized labor and barely won that state. what do you think is different this time in nevada? >> i was with her yesterday in a
big labor rally and he has a lot of members from the service industry which is very big and a great employer here in nevada. also from the building trades. she has gotten endorsements from the grades. she knows how important it is and she is speaking in a pragmatic get back to work and make this economy work for you, a way i think they are listening to. >> how about the latino vote. is it fair to say the caucus depends on the voters? >> they are an important segment of the population. i have the largest hispanic population and fast growing asian pacific island population. they care a lot about immigration reform and clinton has been on that issue for a long time. she has not come to it lately and talked about how she will expand and that is playing well. >> that is popular there.
what about the state of nevada that permits same-day voter registration. how will that affect turn out? these are people as you know who has been supporting bernie sanders. >> i think it works both ways. some may turn out to register and you may have a large number of hispanics. it's a great way to bring more people in the process and help us because they will be registered and will now have the names and can keep them engaged. >> what are about advertising? as i understand it, sanders began in early december and january. he opened 11 offices in the state. clinton has seven. has she been campaigning aggressively enough in your state or has she been boosted, if you will, by the presence of her husband who has been there several times? >> president clinton is very popular here, but you have to remember that nevada went for
secretary clinton in 2008 by the popular vote. she knew this was an important state and she was on the ground last april. she brought in a great team. she has about the same number of offices all-around the state. this week not only is she here in southern nevada, but going to reno. she is going after every single vote and meeting with veterans and endorsed by dreamers. that operation is tremendous. >> thank you very much for your insigh insights. the gop is on. did it help the candidates stand out? the new details surrounding the passing of justice scalia. what it means for an already contentious washington.
half-staff. the far reaching passing is one of two major stories including the unfolding firestorm over the high court vacancy. the impact of last night's rough and tumble debate. a moment of rare agreement and more of donald trump's trademark ranker. >> it's a matter of principal. >> you are probably a worse liar than jeb bush. >> i'm alex wit here in new york. this is the place for politics. the death of justice scalia. here's what some candidates had to say and how the vacancy on the court should be filled. >> clearly he was a brilliant man. a very colorful man and outspoken man. i happened to respect people who
are willing to serve their country. >> we need a conservative person. certainly we have great people. we lost one of the greats. i would like to have the person tailored to be just like scalia. he was a great judge. >> my litmus test for a supreme court justice is whether he or she will faithfully apply the law. he was a lion of the supreme court and one of the greatest justices in history. >> here's the bottom line. i don't trust barack obama on the appointment of justices. we will have an election and there will be a new president and i believe it will be me. we will look for someone who most resembles scalia. >> we have pete williams on the impact his death may have on important cases before the high
court. >> jay gray with the biggest details and more on the branch where he died. pete williams, let's talk about the cases and how they are likely to be affected. >> two things to talk about. cases that have not yet been announced and they will cast a vote. those votes will not count. the only votes that count are those of the justices that are on the court when the decision is announced. the votes often change and opinions get changed. that's the first thing. secondly we have a number of the most controversial issues of the term. let me talk about what would happen if there is a tie vote. i'm not predicting that, but you have the possibility of a tie vote when you have eight justices on the court instead of
the usual nine. if there was a tie vote on the abortion issue, the supreme court would basically be punting the lower court ruling and that ruling upheld and the care standards and admitting privileges to nearby hospitals. the immigration policy, the that would leave that in place. the public sector unions. they ruled in flavor and a tie would be a victory for the unions. they continue to collect a certain union dues. on affirmative action, now it's at seven. one of the justices they were recusing.
>> it could be a 4-3 split and that could go forward. >> that will go against the university of them and hard to predict. >> i top the get your thoughts having covered the supreme court for 25 years and ghachb this justice sat on the court for almost 30. your impressions of the man. the man behind the scenes and what you know about the way he was behind the scenes and what he put forth for all of us to see. >> we are looking at the sequence of still pictures and that captures his personality. he loved to joke and sometimes on the bench and sometimes during oral arguments. legal scholars sometimes analyze argue ams and there was never any contest. he always did. passionate person about his belief in how the constitution should be interpreted they
thought that was wrong. a powerful intellect. his opinions were vivid. they described them today to take no prisoners. he could be stings in his criticism and he had close friendships with the more liberal numbers. ruth bader ginsburg was not someone who voted with him often. >> kelly, how much can how much can they do here with a republican-controlled congress? >> the power of the presidency is certainly that can have a big impact. mr. obama is out in california for this president's day weekend. she on the golf course we are
told by those who are with him in the small group of reporters as it is known. the president was also playing golf yesterday when he was informed of the death of justice scalia and he scrambled to the place where we have a podium and set up so he can make remarks and he addressed the pool traveling with him and by extension all of us. he talked about his family and diography and turned to the issue of his own game plan. it was very sparse in terms of what the president said and he was trying to pay tribute. he had his plan to use his authority to fill the vickancy. here's the president from late yesterday. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nam nate a successor in due
time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. >> the senate will go through the process which is sort of a multistep process of interviewing a nominee through a detailed and very thick packet known as the questionnaire as part of the committee where a nominee submits a lot of information and even those who have gone through this and lots of personal interviews. before a public hearing and that can go on for days with the nominee and others in support or perhaps raising questions about the questions. ultimately to a vote. the question will be will republicans go through all of those steps. the president wants to see that happen. in the short-term, really all of
the decision making will be in the white house where the president and top advisers will contemplate a list of those possible candidates for the position. the mold of what he will want that nominee to bring. will it be someone who will attract republican support making it more difficult to block this move or will it be someone that if the democrats were in charge that he would be able to get in. he has about ten or 11 months. >> it's as if you know who the guest was. a law professor at harvard university. as someone who knows president obama dating back to your
professor, what is the calculation of what he would like to nominate. they have to be someone who stands the best chance of being confirmed by the senate. >> thank you for asking me to be on this program. let me say this first. i want to say how much i am sorry and send my condolences to the family. a great man. i disagree with most of his decisions, but he was one who really stuck by the book and he like i believe in the constitution and the bill of rights. i think that president obama will pick a person who i think has the spirit. he will pick a moderate, not a liberal. he will pick somebody that congress will pass and that means the senate. they are controlled by republicans. i suspect that and i hope that he will choose a woman that will
take that position, women have been so absent from the supreme court. i think that is going to be helpful. i really appreciate the fact that justice ruth bader ginsburg had a terrific relationship with justice scalia. they were often on the opposite sides of issues, but the reality is that she went traveling with him and she was seen on a camel with him. how important it was to do that. i think the justice who also was a former student of mine had the same view. she wanted to see him do things. she learned from him. she will say that over and over again. everybody learned from him.
he was not the most conservative justice on the supreme court and the people should be aware of that. i think that it's going to be important to see what happens. i think that president obama is going to pick a woman. i suspect they will have a hard time having the person with the members of congress. >> before my next question, i also love the story about elena kagan being taken out skeet shooting by antonin scalia. given your pedigree. a lot of people fight to get into your classes. i do want to ask you, sir, if a moderate is the person who this person puts forward, do you think republicans will actually try to block that nomination because it is coming from president obama? >> i think they will try to block it because it's coming from president obama.
they say that this is at the end of 2016, and president obama only has a few months left in order to get any candidate approved. it will be very difficult. he's been able to get and i think he will have a difficult time going forward, but this is a strong president and i think that he has the nerve to pick somebody who he thinks will do the best for the country. >> i was speaking about this with pete williams, one of the major cases for the supreme court and whether or not it's time to end affirmative action. this is part of the admissions process. it is something that justice scalia clearly wanted to eliminate. we have justice kagan recusing herself or expected to be a swing vote. how do you see this case playing
out? >> it is going to be a tough case. i am a product of affirmative action. i am happy i went to college and happy that i went to law school and now teaching because of the diversity. just like the justice, i think it's important for the first time the president of the united states is appointing somebody like justice scalia when he was appointed in 1986. as an italian, how important it was as the first italian on the supreme court. it's going to be important when he thinks about that and how he will replace them. the reality is that i think this is going to be a court that is going to be sharply divided on a lot of issues. the issue of affirmative action is a simple question. will students of color who have met the qualifications who are able to be in a position to
succeed be allowed to attend college. i think they should. that's going to happen at the universities around the country and around the world. >> how about the president's executive action on immigration. that's the case that the supreme court decided to review. considering immigration is such a big issue during this election, how do you think the candidates will follow president obama's supreme court nomination and how will they fold that into the immigration debate? >> it will be very difficult for him. first he lost both the house and the congress as i mentioned before. and the reality is that i think that you heard donald trump talk about him and not bring in immigrants. we are a nation of people from around the world. i think it's great that people from africa and asia and india and all of the countries have found the united states a place
to make home. they have come to the colleges and worked in our stores and worked in the businesses. they should have the opportunity, i think as a voter in the united states, they should have an opportunity to do as people have done for centuries. that is make america its home and make it a place where people from all races, all political points of view, all experiences can come to the united states and be part of this great country. >> harvard law professor, thank you so much for your insights. >> greating the debate. who scored and who lost. did donald trump's comments go too far? >> i'm proud of what he did. >> the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. remember that. >> let me finish. >> a leading strategist said if that trump attack against george
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at 20 minutes past the hour, this is a new video from texas, the 30,000 acre secluded resort where antonin scalia passed away. we will check in with the guy you see in those votos. jay gray has the latest details on scalia's death. as we countdown to saturday's primary in south carolina, the debate gave us a glimpse of how it could get this week and at one point, marco rubio and ted cruz began arguing in spanish.
>> marco went on univision and said he would not rescind president obama's illegal amnesty on his first day in office. >> i don't know how he knows what i said on univision because he doesn't speak spanish. >> [speaking foreign language] . >> and if you were keeping count of how many times they accused each other of being dishonest, they used the word lie, liar or lying 22 times. here's donald trump in an exchange with ted cruz. >> you are probably worse than jeb bush. you are the single biggest liar. this guy lied about ben carson when he took votes away from him in iowa and just continues. today we had robocalls saying donald trump is not going to run in south carolina where i'm leading boy a lot. vote for ted cruz. this is the same thing he did to
ben carson. this guy will say anything. nasty guy. >> joining me now, government reporter for the state and msnbc national joy reed with a welcome to you both. what happened there? >> that entire debate was sort of interplanetarily strange. shouting and screaming between the candidates. some did actually go in with a strategy. jeb bush had a strategy to get trump. hit trump, hit trump and he did stick to that. you can see they have a mutual need to extinguish each other. they had the core issue of immigration. strangely enough, he walks into the trap because he couldn't resist them speaking spanish that i'm not sure helps him in a
republican primary. >> you write that trump and sanders are drawing on passions that have been flaring since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. why then now? why are their campaigns hitting home for so many voters at this moment in time? >> the political experts i talked to said that it's not the first time that voters have been responding to these types of appeals. you saw it in 2012. maybe even back to 2008. the way the appeals panned out was in car more conventional senses. this year you have trump, an outsider and sander who is is not your typical candidate. they show clinton nearly 20 points ahead as we switch to that side.
>> there was another poll out yesterday that showed her ahead 38 percentage points. either way you look at it, they have a big and it will be appealing to african-american voters. we haven't had a lot of polling since the early primaries. hopefully in the next couple of weeks or days, we will find out more where south carolina democrats are. >> you wrote about warning signs for clinton in south carolina. what are they in your mind and how do you reconcile them? 19 points up on bernie sanders. >> if you look at the poll, 59-40. bernie sanders was at 2% in the polls. he was able to climb up to about 20% from last year to last month. he is literally closing that gap
by big chunks against hillary clinton. i think what you are seeing in the african-american community, what i experienced on the sground a lot more receptiveness to the sanders message. at much higher ages and older ages than what you expected. not just the under 30, but the under 50s. that seemed to be the cutoff where people were listening to the message. seniors who formed the core of support and are listening to their grandkids and being open to the idea of bernie sanders. they are not reading bernie sanders as anti-obama. they are reading him as an extension and someone who will finish the big ideas of the obama years. hillary clinton runs a risk when she attacks bernie sanders to attack the idea of big change. what i heard over and over again, we want more and bigger change. that is the message that bernie sanders is carrying.
it's resonating much more. that's a lot closer than he would be. >> that's the point that you would make. 9/11 figured into one of the debate's most heated moments. we will play the clip. here it is. >> obviously the war in iraq was a big fat mistake. the war in iraq, we spent $2 trillion and we don't even have it. iran is taking over with the second largest oil reserves in the world. obviously a mistake. >> while donald trump was building a reality tv show. my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. i'm proud of what he did. >> the world came down during your brother's reign. remember that. >> hold on. let mow finish. >> this argument, isn't it typical of democrats to make those points?
>> you never heard an elected democrat go after in as strong of terms as you heard donald trump. even from elected democrats. they definitely agree with him and a lot of democrats watch. they agreed with donald trump. he said he had lots of friends who died. the voters are not loyalists. i don't think that message will turn them off. the bushes are very popular in the state of south carolina. it will be interesting to see how the comments play. >> did this argument here, do you think it did more to get
that last powell. he is doubling that of ted who is the close evaluate follower in second. >> i think that jeb bush is obviously banking on his family's legacy in south carolina helping him as we move towards the primary. donald trump had really strong poll numbers throughout this whole campaign. even though he was booed at several points in the debate last night, the question is who were the people in the audience and are they people who are more tuned into politics and more connected or are they the people who are making donald trump a success in this campaign. i think that that's going to be the big question saturday. us trying to figure out who is coming out in support of these candidates. >> we are going to see. thank you so much. >> ted cruz said something about the vacancy that will probably
worry the religious right. >> you are one justice away from a supreme court that would undermine the liberty of millian yons of americans. >> is cruz overstating the case? is religious freedom at stake? a cruz supporter joins us next. bl out of the town or in for the night, at&t helps keep everyone connected. right now at at&t, buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones. like the samsung galaxy s6. buy one get one free.
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include the name calling and personal attacks. one of the most heated displays was between donald trump and ted cruz by the death of justice scalia. >> i did not nominate john robbers and would not have nominated him. >> you pushed him. you worked with him and you pushed him. why do you lie. don't lie. >> don't interrupt me. >> you pusheded him. >> adults learn not to interrupt. >> yeah, yeah, i know. >> steve with a welcome to you. what did you think of that exchange? >> it dem crated once again donald trump's irrational inconsistency and it's frightening to think someone like that could be in the white house. the stock market and the world's economy is fragile and emotional. i can't imagine the impact donald trump would have on the market place and people's desire for stability and forward guidance. it's disturbing. >> how about what senator rubio
said. he called cruz a liar over what he called the false attacks. does senator cruz have to battle a credibility problem? >> he memorized the constitution verbatim and lectured to rotary clubs and chambers of commerce on the constitution. he put himself through prince and harvard to defend that constitution. as the general of texas, ted cruz wrote over 60 legal briefs on key issues including nine supreme court decisions. the decision that senator cruz wrote a critical brief defended the second right of every american to keep and bear arms in their own home. this is a man who made the constitution his life's work. that's a man we want appointing individuals and not the other guy, trump, who said last night
he thinks eminent domain is a wonderful thing. the fact that trump thinks that a government bureaucracy can take someone's property because they think it will create a couple of jobs is a dangerous position. even moderate democrats won't go along with that. >> i don't think people question the intelligence of senator cruz. when he was at princeton. he won the debate championship twice. that's hard to do. he wouldn't know that from a roll of toilet paper. >> are they painting a negative picture that tarnishes not only senator cruz, but all the gop candidates. the tenor of things. >> yes, they are and donald trump is driving that narrative. he sounds more like a left wing liberal democrat. his attacks were disgusting and
showing what he was made of. he is taking 1400 jobs and going to mexico. if he was a supporter and believed in the economy, he never mentioned the effects of the united steelworker's union. he crushed jobs and businesses in this country. he turns around and said he will use the presidency like a dictator and go after one company with punitive attacks. that is not what america is about. it's essential that the primary voters stop this guy from being the nominee. >> if you look at the voters who are at the latest polls in the state of south carolina, you have donald trump leading your candidate by double. 42-20%. what is it about his message that is not getting out and what showing do you think they have
to make to say already, south carolina was a success. >> senator cruz has to stay on message. remember iowa. we won with the most votes boy a republican candidate boy a significant margin of 6,000 votes. senator cruz outperformed in new hampshire. the people are smart people. over the next week, they will tune into this more and look at this debate. they will look at the vulgarity used and his assault on the bush family. he acted far more like the third party leftist. ted cruz will win and on to nevada where i expect another victory. >> appreciate that. >> plenty more ahead for you this hour. a super pac is spending big money to derail donald trump's campaign. who is spending the big bucks? high stakes in las vegas.
how can the gaming industry be a key factor? >> inside the texas range where antonin scalia spent his final hours. (stranger) good mornin'! ♪ (store p.a.) attention shoppers, there's a lost couple in the men's department. (vo) there's a great big un-khaki world out there. explore it in a subaru crosstrek. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. this iin my 20s,ers saw me. i was super irresponsible with credit cards. shopping, going out all the time... i knew it was time for experian. they gave me tools to see what helps and hurts my fico score. so i could finally get serious about managing my credit. now lenders see me for who i really am. someone who would never rack up a lot of debt. and... someone who would never follow a band on tour.
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they went on a blue quail hunt around noon and met with the group that was 35 or 40 people. he was looking forward to the rest of the weekend here. that did not happen. he said he was tired and wanted to get a good night's sleep. he went to the suite that overlooks a beautiful pond. they excursion and he was not available. they thought maybe he was tending to that. 11:00, the owner of this property went back to the suite and that's where they found him. they were traveling with them staying on the property. a priest was called in, a devout catholic. his body was moved nearly 200
miles to a funeral home in el paso. his family expected to be there later today. >> i wanted to say that the research that i did, this is a ranch that was established in 1857. mr. poindexter created it as a resort. this is home to the likes of antonin scalia on the right and mick jagger. this seeps to be authentically old texan. is that your assessment? >> it is down to every detail. we talked about the presidential suite. that is a one-room facility with a bed and a restroom. that's about it. very much authentic. >> let's get more on the campaign hours from now. hillary clinton and bernie sanders will be in las vegas as part of the final push in nevada. an msnbc analyst and host and he
knows nevada politics all too well. good to see you. >> when we consider clinton and sanders being neck and neck, what do you think the caulk is goi going to boil down to. >> it's all turn out, but it's something that 120,000 voters. people registered on the same day. the numbers will be big and they get up to 30,000 voters or not. in hillary clinton's camp, they might be new voters who are supporting bernie sanders and excited by the prospect of bernie sanders. the other thing is what will be the percentage of minority voters. hispanic and african-americans will have the turn out.
those populations are favored to go for hillary clinton. as much as she can drive up minority turn out and that's what the campaign needs to do. they are saying that the turn out will be mostly white which is going to happen, but is it 60% or 70% or in the clinton lowering expectations, 80%. new and minority voters are key. >> no coincidence that clinton and sanders campaigning in vegas with this being a union heavy state. where does it stand when it comes to the unions that represent the workers in the casinos? >> the culinary union endorsed obama early in 2008, but clinton divided and conquered and managed to win those sites and won the popular vote, but obama got the delegates. culinary stayed out of it, but
there is bad blood with the clinton campaign. what kind of pressure is coming downright now to participate. hillary clinton had a big union rally yesterday as you mentioned. they are both in town today. bernie sanders is at a high school and clinton going to a community dominated by senior citizens. interestingly, hillary clinton canceled events in florida tomorrow. she is staying in nevada and going to rural nevada and northern nevada after spending the morning in las vegas. they are worried about nevada. that should have been and was seen as a lock for her. >> all too brief since we are pressed for time. as an analyst, we will see. >> stopping donald trump with a super pac spending millions. it is cloaked in mystery. was engineered...
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an already chaotic presidential race has new player, a new pack devoted to keeping donald trump away from the white house. the our principles pack is flooding south carolina with phone calls and tv ads like this one. >> she was going to look to impeach bush and get him out of office which i think would be a wonderful thing. >> the world trade center came down. >> well, katie packer is a founder of the pac. she joins me with a welcome as a republican why not trump? >> my concern with donald trump is that he is not a
conservative. i think that republican primary voters have long had a tradition of nominating candidates that subscribe to some basic beliefs, things like a belief in the second amendment, a belief that government run health care is not right for this country, a belief in lower taxes, a whole host of issues that donald trump has not held true to, that he sort of flip-flopped on and has taken heart core democrat positions on. i don't think he is a true conservative. i question whether or not he is a republican. we try to showcase donald trump in his own words so people can start to ask tough questions. >> your pac has been taking some credit for trump's second place finish in iowa but did win big in new hampshire and is leading in south carolina by more than 20 points. do you think he really can be stopped? >> i think he can be stopped. one thing we found in iowa was when we exposed voters to the
truth his negatives went up and he slipped in the polls. we saw him up by five to eight points on the saturday before the caucuses to coming in second. i think if we had more time that might have been worse. new hampshire is a little different state. it is much more liberal electorate. we didn't play as hard there. we did a couple of things but trained our sights on south carolina because we think south carolina primary voters are much more in line with republican primary voters and they would be receptive to our message. >> what does the race look like if you are successful and trump is knocked out? >> well, i think that from my standpoint we would have a whole host of candidates that are conservative republicans and you could start to have a real debate over legitimate issues. right now we are talking about things on cable news that have to do with poll numbers and profanity and insane ideas like building a wall and making mexico pay for it which mexico
has said they will not do. and so we are sort of in the silly season. i think certainly with justice scalia's death it has brought a seriousness to the debate and discussion and i think republican primary voters will start looking at this race much more seriously now splmpt dw this pac has yet to name any backers. why and when can we expect a big reveal? >> we'll release them when the reports are due which is next week. that takes some time to gather that information. we have a lot of support certainly after iowa. we had people come to us that wanted to continue to support this effort. as soon as we have that pulled together next week when the reports are due those will be disclosed. >> can you tell me who if not trump your backers are backing? >> our backers come from across the spectrum. we have folks involved in this that are backing virtually all other candidates. there isn't a favorite. the consensus is that donald
trump would be dangerous for our country and party and does not represent the core republican values that we hold dear. >> many thanks for your time. appreciate it. that is a wrap of this hour. up next "meet the press." rs wer. rs wer. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. amex helped me buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at open.com
this sunday morning, the this sunday morning, the sudden death of justice antonin scalia and the rarest of events, a vacancy on the supreme court in the middle of a presidential election. how the fight over his replacement could paralyze the senate and all of washington. we'll hear from four republican presidential candidates, donald trump, ted cruz, marco rubio and john kasich. plus, that wild republican debate last night. >> you are a principle -- >> you are the single biggest liar. >> when you point to his own record, he screams liar, liar, liar. >> i think we're fixing to lose the election to hillary clinton if we don't stop this.