tv PBS News Hour PBS June 24, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: the supreme court decided against striking down affirmative action today, opting instead for a narrow ruling that sends the dispute back to a lower court for a second look. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we get analysis from marcia coyle on that and other rulings today, plus a debate about what the high court's limited decision on affirmative action means for the future. >> ifill: then, n.s.a. leaker edward snowden remains on the run. from hong kong to moscow, to who knows where next, margaret warner looks at how the u.s. is trying to track him down. >> brown: ray suarez has our coverage of opening statements in the trial of george zimmerman, charged with second- degree murder in the shooting
death of florida teenager trayvon martin. >> ifill: and judy woodruff talks to two authors who are tracking the shift of power from washington, d.c., to the cities and states, launching a "metropolitan revolution." i think when you have coalitions of mayors, civic leaders, business leaders all coming together and showing that change can really happen on the ground, that is a powerful example for washington. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...
>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> bradley: it wasn't an outright endorsement of affirmative action nor an outright rejection. instead, the u.s. supreme court threaded its way between those positions today. newshour correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. reporter: the upshot is the court said the university of texas may continue to use race as a factor in selecting some of its students... for now. the justices did say a lower federal court used the wrong standard to dismiss a challenge to the texas system of affirmative action admissions. writing for the majority justice anthony kennedy said the use of race should be used only if no alternatives would produce the benefits of diversity. the texas university fill most
of their slot by guaranteeing admission to the top 10% of every state high school class. that later was lowered to 8%. race then is used as a consideration in admitting the rest o of thent body. under that system abigail fisher, a white honor roll student was denied admission in 2008. in washington today she called the supreme court decision a victory. >> of course we're happy with it. but they gave us everything that we asked for. and i'm very confident that u.t. won't be able to use race in the future. it's been a great journey and a very great learning experience. >> reporter: university of texas president bill powers said he also was encouraged. >> there were a number of directions that the justices could have turned in today's ruling. and this 7-1 ruling represents a positive outcome for this university, for the state, and for the nation. >> reporter: today's decision leaves a number of key questions unanswered in the long litigated
field of affirmative action. and it marks the first time in a decade that the justices have weighed in on whether it's constitutional for universities to use race when deciding who they admit. in 2003 the high court voting 5-4 allowed the university of michigan law school to factor race into admissions. the texas case now returns to a federal appeals court in new orleans. >> brown: marcia coyle was-- as always-- in the courtroom for the decision, and joins us now. welcome back, marcia. >> thanks, jeff. brown: now to pick up on qualmy's report. one way of looking at this is that the court decided not to rewrite affirmative action at this moment, right? >> that's correct, jeff. i think both sides take something away from here. one, those who were concerned that the court was going to backtrack on affirmative action, that did not happen. so it's a victory in that sense. and then on the other side on ms. fisher's side the court did vacate the lower-court ruling that upheld texas' use of
affirmative action. the court did not say that the program and use of race was wrong, but it told the lower court to go back and take a much closer look at it. so in a sense both sides live to fight another day. >> brown: to help us understand what that means, remind us about the 2003 decision. >> okay. brown: where do things stand right now? what is allowed. >> okay. diversity in higher education, the court has held since its decision in 2003 is a compelling interest, governmental interest. today the court reiterated that that still stands. however, the court said two things. one, we know that whenever any government entity classifies someone or something by race, that the government's use of race has to undergo the constitution's most exacting review, what we call strict scrutiny. that's really a two-part test. justice kennedy wrote today
first that the first part is, does the government entity have a compelling interest in using race? he said yes, diversity in higher education is a compelling interest, but the university... and the university owes some degree of deference when it makes the judgment that it needs to do that. however, the second part of the test is that the use has to be narrowly tailored to achieve its objective. that's where the lower court fell down on the job justice kennedy said. justice kennedy said the court has to make the university show two things under that. one, that every applicant is being considered individually and that race is not the defining character. two -- and this is really critical -- that there are no workable race-neutral alternatives. >> brown: that part is clear enough, right? but then you have a decision like this. then people, everybody is reading the tea leaves. were their signals or
interesting points either in justice kennedy's or any of the other decisions or writing, not the decision but their writings that might provide a way forward or looking at where we go next? >> i think, first, you should know that justice kennedy was in dissent in the 2003 university of michigan case. he felt the majority opinion, written by justice sandra day o'connor, did not apply strict scrutiny especially the narrow tailoring part of the test the way it should have. so today he's in the majority. his view of strict scrutiny prevails. it's going to be somewhat tougher test for the universities to get over or to succeed in passing. so i think going forward, universities and even here at the university of texas is going to have to work hard to show there are no race-neutral alternatives available. >> brown: but on the other hand the principle of diversity as a worthy goal stands.
>> yes, it does. and i think some of the organizations that are opposed to affirmative action will feel that they have another opening here in order to challenge other university programs that do use race as a factor. >> brown: the last thing on this. it goes back to the lower courts, right? >> yes, it does. it's going back to the u.s. court of appeals for the fifth circuit which oversees texas. and the court there will have to apply justice kennedy's test to see if the university can pass it. >> brown: also today, a couple of important decisions on workplace discrimination. both went in favor of employers. >> that's correct. there were two decisions. the court split ideologically 5-4. the conservatives were in the majority. one decision was written by justice alito and the second one was again written by justice kennedy. what they did, basically, in those cases was to raise the bar
on what employees have to do in order to prove discrimination under title 7 which is our nation's major job bias law. one of the decisions involves the definition of who is the supervisor. >> brown: yes, i remember that. we talked about that when it was argued. that's one anybody can understand who works in a workplace. who is the boss? who technically can hire and fire some. >> that's right. that's what justice alito said. he said that a supervisor is somebody who has been empowered to make a tangible employment decision like hiring and firing. and the court rejected the equal employment opportunity commission's test for that, which was somewhat broader. it would involve coworkers who could direct your daily activities. then the second case involved retaliation claims. and the court there imposed a higher standard of proof on employees who had been retaliated against because they either complained about discrimination or supported somebody else who was
complaining about it. >> brown: and these cases would fit into what is clearly being seen as a larger pattern for this court, siding with employers. >> i think so. i think the court has generally read retaliation under title 7 broadly. but in this case, there have been a lot of complaints from businesses, retaliation cases are the fastest- growing category of discrimination cases. the court's conservative majority generally does not interpret our civil rights laws generously. >> brown: finally in our last minute here, the court also agreed today to hear another case for next term, but this one a politically potent case, right? >> yes. really interesting case. the court said it would decide whether president obama's recess appointments to the national labor relations board are constitutional. they were challenged by a bottling company out of the state of washington, backed by the u.s. chamber of commerce. they claimed that the senate was not in recess when these
appointments were made. that's what the court will focus on, the scope of the recess appointments clause in this constitution. >> brown: this happens to be president obama, but this is something that this applies to many presidents. >> oh, it does. yes, and it applies to more than the national labor relations board. in fact, at the same time he appointed the head of the new consumer financial protection bureau and there are lawsuits around the country making these challenges. it was accepted pretty much acknowledgedded the court would take the case. >> brown: that one for next term. rest of this week we still have big ones to come. >> the court is back tomorrow. brown: marcia coyle, we'll have you back, no doubt. thanks. >> thank you. >> ifill: we'll have more on the affirmative action decision later in the program. also, still to come on the newshour, edward snowden on the run; george zimmerman on trial for murder; and a new book on how cities are transforming our democracy. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan.
>> sreenivasan: immigration reform cleared a big hurdle this evening in the u.s. senate, with votes to spare. the test involved a motion to debate an amendment aimed at picking up republican support for the broader bill. it calls for spending $30 billion over ten years to double the border patrol and build 700 miles of fencing. the amendment divided republican ranks. we're going to put in place very tangible triggers, triggers that cannot be moved. you can't move the goal post because of interpretation. they're there. they're concrete. if we need them, people have the pathway to be the kind of productive citizens that they would like to be. >> the legal status, the social security card, the right to work anywhere in america is given within two months. of the passage of the legislation. you're making promises ten years down the road that i'm saying are not likely to ever happen. in fact, i don't think they will happen.
>> sreenivasan: supporters of immigration reform are pushing for a final senate vote by friday. it turns out that i.r.s. targeting of groups for intensive reviews was broader and lasted longer than first reported. the agency's acting head, danny werfel, announced the discovery today. he said agents screened not only for the name "tea party," but also for "israel," "progressive," and "occupy" when groups applied for tax-exempt status. werfel said the screening was still going on last month, before he suspended it. wall street had another long day, amid worries over china's economy and rising interest rates. the dow jones industrial average lost more than 139 points to close at 14,659. the nasdaq fell 36 points to close at 3320. flooding in northern india has now claimed more than 1,000 lives. that word came today with search teams in a race against time in mountainous uttarakhand state. on sunday, soldiers struggled to construct a rope bridge over a raging himalayan river to help evacuate thousands of people still stranded. monsoon flooding and landslides have wiped away hundreds of homes and washed out roads over the last week.
former south african president nelson mandela lay in critical condition today at a hospital in pretoria. word came over the weekend that his health had deteriorated as doctors treat him for a lung infection. we have a report from rohit kachroo of independent television news. >> reporter: here to see her father, she is joined by her mother winnie. what looks like the daily routine that has formed over 17 days. but inside here, things have changedded. the famous patient was said to be seriously ill. his condition is now even more serious than that. as well as the daughters and granddaughters who came to see him, the defense minister ultimately responsible for his health, this family matter is a matter of state too. the president also went to see him last night. a rare glimpse of emotion as he recalled his visit.
>> he appeared asleep. and we were there, looked at him, saw him. and we then had a bit of a discussion with the doctors as well as his wife and we left. i don't think i can be put in a position to give further details. i'm not a doctor. >> reporter: the ailing icon here on his 94th birthday was taken to hospital with a lung infection. optimism about a speedy recovery has disappeared. but from his family today, there is still hope. >> we are hoping that my grandfather will recover steadily. he is under good care, under the supervision of nurses and doctors. >> reporter: the transcribe uwes are gathering. many from children who have known nothing but democracy but who understand the importance of
this man and these moments. >> sreenivasan: president obama is scheduled to visit south africa later this week as part of a three-country tour of the continent. ten car bombs rocked baghdad today, killing 40 iraqis. they added to the 2,000 deaths in sectarian strife since the beginning of april. today's attacks targeted shiites as they marked the birthday of a revered imam. other bombs struck at districts with a high population of sunnis. in lebanon, fighting raged for a second day between army units and followers of a hard-line sunni cleric. the clashes in sidon were the latest spillover of violence from neighboring syria. tanks drove through the streets as soldiers fired at sunni militants holed up in a mosque complex. security officials said at least 16 soldiers and 20 militants have been killed. former italian premier silvio berlusconi has been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute, and of abusing his power. berlusconi is 76 years old. a court in milan sentenced him today to seven years in prison and banned him from ever holding
public office again. the sentence will not take effect while berlusconi pursues an appeal. high-wire artist nik wallenda has set his sights on his next challenge, now that he's walked a tightrope across part of the grand canyon network. he did it sunday evening on a two-inch steel cable, 1,500 feet above the little colorado river gorge in northeastern arizona. it took just over 22 minutes to cover the quarter-mile, all without a safety harness or net. wallenda now says he wants to walk a wire between the chrysler and empire state buildings in new york. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: for more on the court's affirmative action ruling today, we talk to two experts who have been following the case, and the issue, closely. lee bollinger is the president of columbia university. he's played a leading role in two major court cases on affirmative action. and gail heriot teaches at the university of san diego school of law, and is a member of the u.s. commission on civil rights.
welcome to you both. starting with you lee bolinger, how do you interpret this very narrow ruling? >> well, i think the first thing to note -- and it's really important -- is that the court and seven justices affirmed the gruder case and also the pall opinion in bacchi. every time the court does that, it creates another precedent. under the doctrine of starry desighs it that makes affirmative action in higher education all the more secure. we don't really know what the decision means in terms of additional proof. the court was quite big. it's important to realize there were both conservative and liberal justices that agreed to that. we'll just have to see what the meaning of that is. >> ifill: they didn't knock it down. so that's good news. what do you think? >> as justice scalia points out, the petitioner didn't actually challenge gruder in this case. that's an issue for another day. i agree this is not an earth-shaking opinion.
ms. fisher did win the case. the case will be remanded back to the fifth circuit. but essentially what the court did was clarify when it was willing to deaver to academic expertise and when it wasn't willing. the fifth circuit had interpreted the previous decision to require it to deaver not just on whether or not diversity is a compelling purpose but also whether the particular policy involved was narrowly tailored to serve that purpose. >> ifill: let me ask you both about some of the terms of art which we heard marcia coyle describe. strict scrutiny and narrowly tailored. lee bolinger, when they say strict scrutiny in this case, are they talking about... is the burden on colleges or universities or is the burden on the court that sent this case, the fifth circuit? >> these are technical terms of the equal protection clawtion, and i think the key thing for people to know is that when
universities -- and let's be clear, i mean, all the universities and colleges all across the country for several decades have been trying to achieve racially and ethnically diverse student bodies as well as geographically, internationally, just all kinds of diversity because it's believed that that the best educational environment. so as they do this, the supreme court has said, "we believe this is consistent with the 14th amendment. but it's also important for you to provide evidence that you've considered alternatives or that other alternatives don't work and also that the particular admissions process that you have is actually linked to the educational benefit that you want. so there is a sense that universities will have to provide more evidence, perhaps more evidence, to support the programs. that should not be a problem. the underlying principle is secure and sound. that's the most important thing. and universities are capable of providing that evidence.
>> ifill: gail heriot, even though the court didn't rule on this, we saw justice thomas had a pretty strong concurrence. he agreed with the outcome but disagreed they didn't go even farther. do you see this going farther now? >> i thought justice thomas' opinion was by far the most interesting part of the court's actions today. the thing that justice thomas talked about was the research that is now indicating that affirmative action is backfiring. racial preference is actually doing the opposite of what they are intended to do, that we would have more african-american physicians, more african-american scientists, engineers, lawyers, college professors or research in each of these areas if only students attended the schools where their academic credentials put them towards the center of the class. it's really not a good thing where your academic credentials
put you to the very bottom of the class. such a person is less likely to major in tough subjects likening nearing, mathematics, science and go on to medical or law school. >> ifill: justice ginsberg who is the one dissenting justice had the completely opposite opinion. >> i mean, this is called the mismatch thesis. it's, i think, widely discredited as perhaps too strong a term. >> way too strong. the way this works is that admissions offices look at g.p.a.s, standardized test scores, they decide on a pool of candidates whom they know can do the work. they then look for all kinds of things. they look for geographic diversity for a long time. they look for different experiences in life. we have 500 veterans at columbia today. we take into account the fact that there have been experiences
that these individuals have had that really add to the richness of the educational experience. race and ethnicity are simply two among many. and the students who are admitted at universities across the country are well qualified and capable of doing the work. so it's a great success story actually of several decades of universities and colleges bringing different groups of people together. it's important to remember that we have still a very segregated k-12 system in the country. over 0% of african-american students still go to schools that are more than 90% black. so this is important. >> ifill: let me ask you both, starting with you gail heriot, since 2003 since the case we were talking about the university of michigan case that has lee bolinger's name on it the public's mood has shifted on affirmative action. should that be taken into account? should that be significant? >> i think it's true that the public view has become even more
against racial preferences than what it was before. although in truth, these polls have been taken since the bacchi case. it's always been the case that the public is quite strongly against racial preferences. the place where you see support for racial preferences in admissions is mostly among college administrators like dr. bolinger, mr. bolinger. getting back to the mismatch research, it's really gotten to the point where it's quite extensive. and there is absolutely nothing that rebuts the four major studies showing that in the area of science, mathematics and engineering, that racial preferences are doing more harm than good. the research is little bit less developed in the other areas. >> ifill: lee bolinger? well, let me answer the question you asked about the popular support and its relevance. it depends entirely on how the question is asked. so if you ask should certain races be given preferences in
admissions? a majority of people will respond no. but if you ask whether colleges and universities should try to build diverse student bodies, racially and ethnically and consider race, a majority will support that. this is also the constitution. for many years since brown versus board of education, this country has worked on its past on 200 years of slavery and 100 years of jim crow laws. we still have a ways to go on that. that has been the ideal and brown versus board of education was not decided by popular vote, and it's really the constitution, the 14th amendment that we're talking about. >> ifill: we will leave it right there. lee bolinger, president of colombia university and gail heriot, university of san diego school of law, thank you both. >> thank you. s. >> ifill: the court will be handing down additional decisions tomorrow. you can follow those developments on scotusblog, which you can find on our home
page beginning at 10:00 a.m., as well as coverage of still- pending challenges to the voting rights act and same-sex marriage. >> brown: and now to the search for edward snowden. the "south china morning post" reported today that the former u.s. intelligence contractor said in an interview that he originally accepted a job at booz allen hamilton in order to have access to the national security agency's surveillance programs. a diplomatic storm is now brewing over snowden's whereabouts and travel. margaret warner reports. warner: this scene on a cuba-bound flight from moscow was empty today. the whereabouts of its supposed ticket holder, edward snowden, unknown. the intelligence contractor who disclosed secret u.s. surveillance programs hasn't been seen since reportedly landing in moscow sunday evening after fleeing hong kong. white house officials said they
believe snowden is still in the russian capital. president obama wouldn't say whether he contacted president putin on the matter. >> what we know is that we're following all the appropriate legal channels and working with various other countries to make sure that rule of law is observed. >> warner: today a spokesman for putin denied any knowledge of snowden's movements. traveling in india, secretary of state john kerry urged the russians to do the right thing. he had a warning for russia and china. >> you know, it would be deeply troubling, obviously, if they have adequate notice and notwithstanding that, they make a decision willfully to ignore that and not live by the standards of the law. then there would be, without any question, some effect and impact on the relationship and consequences. >> warner: american officials voiced exasperation with how snowden managed to get out of hong kong. on june 14, the u.s. justice
department had formally charged him with espionage in a secret indictment. and the next day asked hong kong to arrest and extradite him. the state department reportedly revoked his passport this weekend and according to the white house notified hong kong. today the chief executive of the autonomous chinese territory said the extradition request did not meet legal standards. >> there was no legal basis to stop mr. snowden from leaving hong kong. >> warner: in beijing a spokeswoman for china's foreign ministry insisted the decision was entirely hong kong's. but in washington today, that answer didn't fly at the white house. >> we are just not buying that this was a technical decision by a hong kong immigration official. this is a deliberate choice by the government to release the fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant. and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the u.s.-china relationship.
>> warner: as to how snowden managed to travel without a valid passport, wicky leaks, founded by julian assang, says it helped provide a refugee document that cleared the way. assang spoke from london where he's been holed up in the ecuadorian embassy for months fighting extradition to sweden on sexual assault charges. >> every person has the right to seek and receive political asylum. those rights are enshrined by agreements of which the united states is a party. >> warner: assang said snowden too has applied for political asylum in ecuador and other countries. ecuador confirmed that and said it is considering his application. for more on the legal issues surrounding snowden's fugitive travels i'm joined by david laufman, a former department of justice prosecutor and c.i.a. analyst. he now works in private practice. mr. laufman, welcome.
>> thank you. warner: so explain how this could happen. i mean here's a guy that the united states has been trying to get for ten days. how was he able to leave hong kong, even after, according to the white house, hong kong had been informed about the quote status of this travel documents, in other words, that they were no longer valid. >> there's a few possibilities. one is that hong kong permitted him to travel on his u.s. passport notwithstanding the fact that the u.s. told hong kong that had it revoked the passport. another possibility is that he was issueded some kind of travel document, either a refugee document that enabled him to get on a plane from hong kong to moscow. >> warner: that is what wicky leaks who has jumped into this case is insisting. saying he got some sort of a refugee travel document issued by ecuador. what is that? >> it's a document recognized in international law that a third country can issue to someone who is either a stateless person or who has been found to have some
refugee status to enable them to get to some place where they can be in a protected status. >> warner: so the "new york times" had an interesting story did about how hong kong actually facilitated his departure, gave him security on the way to the airport, knew full well he was leaving, was very happy he was leaving. despite the fact that the u.s. had made an extradition request, explain the international law here. i mean, was china violating this treaty by doing this? how binding are these treaties? >> well, the treaties are binding. the question is does the treaty apply by its terms? so were the offenses mr. snowden was charged with criminally in the united states extraditable under the u.s.-hong kong treaty is sort of the first level of analysis. and it remains unclear as to whether espionage-relatedded offenses or the left of classified information were crimes under hong kong law. only if they were crimes under
hong kong law would it have been under a legal obligation to extradite him. with ecuador if the character of the conduct is of a political nature, then the sending country, hong kong, for example, is excused from its obligation to extradite. >> warner: in fact, aren't there a lot of cases in history in which fugitives, despite having been indicted in their home country, despite extradition treaties, live on the lam for decades overseas? >> there have been cases like that including in the context of an espionage case. the most prominent of which probably was a case involving a man named philip agee in the early 1980s who left the c.i.a. publicly disclosed the names of undercover c.i.a. officers and agents, went on the lam overseas. the state department revoked his passport. he went on an odyssey of existence culminating in cuba where he died several years ago.
>> warner: did he only go to countries who had bad relations with the u.s. >> he was in west germany for a period of time i believe. but ultimately countries have substantial discretion as to whether to extradite even if there are treaties in effect because of the sovereignty associated with their own host government law enforcement. >> warner: so now the administration, the president, the secretary of state, are putting big pressure on the russians to expel him, make sure he can only come back to the united states. what leverage does the united states have in that case? >> the only real leverage we have in the russian government is political. there is no extradition treaty between the united states and russia. we are bring to go bear the full force of our diplomatic pressure with the russian government, law enforcement contacts, diplomatic contacts, intelligence contacts, to persuade the russians that it's in the interest of u.s.-russian relations for the russians to detain him and to deport him to the united states under a pending u.s. arrest warrant. >> the white house spokesman made a good point did about
reciprocity that there have been cases in which the u.s. has honored russian. is that often an operative principle? >> it can be because there have been times when, you know, we may receiving russian extradition requests in cases that we may think are on the margins. we may believe it in the interest of the u.s.-russian relationships to make the extradition. >> warner: what is at stake for the united states in this? in apprehending him? >> well, i think for the obama administration standpoint the most critical thing at stake is the potential closure of additional classified information by mr. snowden who reportedly remains in possession of three or four laptop computers and terabytes of data that he obtained from his access to classified system. from the standpoint of preventing the occurrence of any further harm, the most important urgency is is to take him off the streets, so to speak, and deprive him of the ability to further disclose classified information. secondarily to bring him back to the united states and bring him to justice.
>> warner: it's not known whether... i mean, if someone is this good a computer hacker, he might well have set up some back door... i mean, he well have conveyed the information if not to someone but in a form that he's apprehended. >> we have no idea what he has done with the, you know, the classified information he's in possession of, the digital copies of information. anything could have happened over the last several days. >> warner: if the russians let him go, the countries he's mentioned want to go to are ecuador, cuba and venezuela. the u.s. has put latin american countries are notice, you should not accept him. it's the same kind of... the same caveats apply that whatever the treaties may be, these are political decisions? >> there's always a political element to whether a country extradites sometimes the political element lags behind the legal piece n this case politics will be driving legal judgments to a large extent. if he goes to ecuador there's a
u.s. extradition treaty with ecuador. it requires that whatever he was charged with here also be a crime in ex-with a dore. there's the political offense exception i described before. and then there's the whole politics overlaying the u.s.-ecuador relationship which is fraught with tension over u.s. involvement in latin america. >> warner: not to mention cuba and venezuela. well, david, laufman, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: next, the trial in the death of trayvon martin got underway with opening arguments today, 16 months after his shooting stirred protests, anger and debate. ray suarez has the story. suarez: george zimmerman walk into a courtroom in sanford, florida, this morning for the start of his long-awaited second degree murder trial. the six jurors, all women, listened as each side laid out its case in the shooting death of 17-year-old trayvon martin. prosecutor john guy.
>> trayvon martin, 21 days removed from his 16th year, was face down in wet grass laboring through his final breaths on this earth. and that defendant at that same time was upright walking around preparing. preparing to tell law enforcement why it was he had just profiled, followed and murdered an unarmed teenager. >> brown: defense attorney don west answerd on behalf of zimmerman. >> this is a sad case, of course. as one of you our fellow jurors commented during the jury selection process, a young man lost his life. another is fighting for his. there are no winners. here. george zimmerman is not guilty
of murder. he shot trayvon martin in self-defense after being viciously attacked. >> suarez: on february 26 of last year martin, unarmed, was returning from a convenience store when zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, grew suspicious and followedded him. he called police along the way. >> are you following him? yeah. we don't need you to do that. suarez: an altercation ensued. martin was shot and zimmerman left the scene with injuries to his head. in the days following, zimmerman gave his version of events claiming self-defense. >> i had my firearm on my right side hip. my jacket moved up. and he saw it. i feel like he saw it. he looked at it. he said you're going to die tonight [bleep] and he reached for it. but he reached... like i felt his arm going down to my side and i grabbed it. i just grabbed my firearm and i shot him.
one time. >> suarez: in court today prosecutor guy questioned the veracity of zimmerman's statements about what happened. >> he told the police that it was just after he hung up with the nonemergency dispatcher that night that trayvon martin approached him, confronted him, said a couple of words to him and then punched him and knocked him to the ground. just moments after that. ladies and gentlemen, that did not happen. >> suarez: the defense in turn called into question some of the witness testimony jurors are likely to hear. >> you'll find, i think in this case that there are well meaning and honest people that, based upon limited information or preconceived notions or biases, mean well but just somehow get it wrong. >> no justice. no peace. >> suarez: the case gained national attention and sparked protests far and wide last year about race, justice, and when it's reasonable by law to stand
your ground. police ultimately charged zimmerman 44 days after the shooting. the trial is expected to last two to four weeks. and zimmerman faces life in prison if convicted. for more we're joined by greg for more we're joined by greg allen, a correspondent for npr. he's covering the trial. greg, did we learn anything today about the cases the prosecution and defense are planning to put on before the jury that we didn't already know from the pretrial motions? >> well, i think so, ray. you know, we haven't heard that much from the prosecutors since last year when they charged trayvon martin with second degree murder. you know, they've not spoken outside of court. they made all their cases inside of court. even in discovery and some of the motions they filed you only got inklings about where they were going with this. john guy laid out the case pointing out in his view that george zimmerman is a vigilante, profiled trayvon martin and that he was actually trying to rid
his neighborhood of people that he thought didn't belong there. that was the motivation here. they believe that's enough for second degree murder. >> suarez: at issue is is 10 to 15 minutes between the time george zimmerman starts following trayvon martin and the time he shoots him. did defense and prosecution present very different versions of what happened during that short period of time? >> you know, i would have to say i don't think so. it's almost more a matter of interpretation and how you read what happened there. you know, the big question right at the center of this case is how did the fight start? who confronted whom? you know, who jumped who? where did it start? what we heard from george zimmerman and from the defense attorneys, his defense attorneys said that he was jumped by trayvon martin. donald west today said that trayvon martin sucker punched george zimmerman. on the other hand you have the prosecutors who say it was george zimmerman who pursued trayvon martin all the way down there. they believe that he's the one
who actually sparked the confrontation. they have a witness, a young woman who was on the phone with trayvon martin who they think will bolster that case. that's really the place where them kind of differ about what happened there. >> in the evidentiary hearing certain items, even certain language was ruled out by the trial judge. what won't the jury be hearing and seeing in the coming weeks? >> well, in terms of language, i think the prosecutors were happy that the judge did not rule out or did not stop them from saying that george zimmerman profiled trayvon martin. they can say that. they made that case today. they were also allowed to use the word vigilante. there were some words they weren't allowd to say. they can't say racially profile. the prosecution said they weren't going to use that anyhow. the biggest thing the jurors won't hear is the testimony from audio experts, people that the prosecutors had lined up who suggested that a voice heard yelling quor help on a 911 call actually belonged to trayvon
martin. that kind of testimony was ruled out of bounds by the judge. she said it was not scientifically credible and she put it aside. if we hear testimony from audio experts, it will be from the defense side who will testify that it is impossible to say using science who was heard yelling for help on that 911 tape. >> suarez: they won't hear that particular call of a neighbor calling for police back-up, but they did hear a lot of george zimmerman's call, didn't they? >> yes. they will actually hear the tape. we heard the tape twice today in court. in fact it was the defense that played the tape of the 911 call. i'm sure many people have heard it. it's very chilling. you hear someone in the background yelling for help while this woman is talk to go the dispatcher. the call abruptly ends with a gunshot. what we heard donald west told the jury, and you'll hear it 10 or 15 times at one point. his thought is that the more you hear the tape the more comfortable you may get with it. it may not be so chilling on repeated versions when you hear it over and over again.
but the question is who is heard yelling on that tape? we will hear lots of testimony on that just not from ex-pers. >> was there anything unusual about the salty language that was heard in open court today during the opening arguments and even a joke by the defense team? >> it was kind of an interesting opening argument, opening statement today. from the prosecutors, as i say, we haven't heard a lot from them over the last year. john guy, the assistant state attorney, came out with a very strong, very concise opening statement. i would say it was rivetting as someone who has followed this case for some time. he started by quoting directly from george zimmerman and something he said in a call to a police dispatcher that night when he first spotted trayvon martin. he said these punks they always get away. of course in court john guy did not use the word bleeping. he said it a couple times. he said he made this to let you
know what was in george zimmerman's heart that night that he shot and killed trayvon martin. he connected that statement that george zimmerman made in the first call to the police dispatcher with the gunshot which happened several minutes later saying this is what was in his mind when he shot and killed trayvon martin. on the other hand as you say we heard from the defense attorney donald west. his opening got off a little slower to a start today. went on very long. i think he made a real misstep when he made this joke, a knock, knock joke to jurors. he said the joke is knock, knock, who's there? trayvon martin. if you say who's trayvon martin, then of course you get on the jury. he said that joke. it fell flat. i think he apologized for it later saying that the problem was with the delivery. clearly he stumbled getting started today. but ultimately i think he laid out a very expanse i have been opening statement that will reflect their case as they go forward. >> suarez: n.p.r.'s greg allen, thanks for joining us.
>> my pleasure, ray. brown: finally tonight a good >> brown: finally tonight, a "good news" revolution of sorts in cities across the country, as local officials search for new ways to innovate and make urban centers more livable. judy woodruff has our book conversation. >> woodruff: cities are increasingly the places people want to live. two-thirds of americans today reside in metropolitan areas which in turn account for three-fourths of the nation's economy. but government has traditionally operated with the model of washington, the federal government on top. the states next and cities having whatever is left over at the bottom. now, however, as urban areas are being forced to grapple with most of the tough oaft problems including jobs, housing, transportation and the environment and because washington is viewed as stuck in partisan gridlock and not able to respond quickly, cities are starting to take matters into their own hands. that's the premise of a new book. it's called the metropolitan
revolution. how cities and metros are fixing our broken politics and fragile economy. we're joined now by its coauthors. they are bruce katz, a vice president at the brookings institution and founding director of the brookings metropolitan policy program. and jennifer bradley. she is a fellow at the program. welcome to both of you. >> thanks for having us. . woodruff: to both of you, the phrase that caught my eye in the very beginning of the book, you said cities and metropolitan areas are on their own. bruce, at one point you write they realized that the calvary is not coming. what does that mean? >> absolutely. i think cities and metropolitan areas first understand they face super-sized economic and competitive challenges. they look to washington and see a place mired in partisan gridlock. but the good news is that mayors and philanthropists and heads of corporations and universities, they're stepping up and they're doing the hard or the hard work
to grow jobs. they're investing in infrastructure. they're making manufacturing a priority. they're equipping workers with the skills they need. change happens where they live. these are powerful places and smart strategic leaders. >> woodruff: jennifer bradley, was it the case that cities used to be able to count on the federal government to fix things? >> i think what happened is that cities and metros have realized that the federal tbovment is an unreliable partner. and they understand that they themselves have power. so they don't have to wait for the federal government to decide they're going to increase a particular program. metros are seizing the power that's always been there sort of latently. they're just taking to it the next step, whether that's houston and immigrant immigration, denver and los angeles transit systems or new york and trying to super charge their innovation economy. >> woodruff: i want to ask you about some of those examples in a second. bruce katz, you say this is the result of something bigger than the dysfunction here in
washington. and even bigger than the great recession we've been through. you talk about it being a structural shift. explain what you mean. >> i think it absolutely is a structural shift. if you look at our demographics we like many countries around the world are going to see the aging of our population. what that means for our national government is they're going to have to shift enormous resources to caring for the aged. medicare. immediate... medicaid. social security. what that may do is crowd our other investments in infrastructure, in education, in research and development. and city and metropolitan leaders are looking at a very competitive world and saying you know what? we're going to have to step up, compensate, work with our private and civic sectors, get stuff done. >> woodruff: jennifer bradley you were starting to give us some examples. give us one or two examples of where this is happening. where local people have taken control of this situation. >> absolutely. in our book we talk about a lot of places where the metropolitan
revolution is happening. one, for example, is new york city. where the mayor and the local economic development corporation decided after the great recession that they needed to diversify their economy. they decided to launch an international competition to bring a top-level graduate school in science and technology and engineering to the city. the city spent about $130 million to do infratruck steur improvements. they're going to get $2 billion in immediate investment. and over the long term, they're going to have a stronger and more diverse economy, about $30 billion in economic activity. tens of thousands of jobs. and an economy that is resilient and equipped for the 21st century. they're inventing an entirely new industry in new york. we think that's a great example of the revolution. >> woodruff: you also write, bruce katz, you write about a number of other cities. you talk about cleveland, detroit and houston. and i guess, you know, my question is, these cities are trying to do interesting things
but they're also cities that are facing big problems of poverty, lack of education for so many people. are these cities going to be able to do all of it? >> cities are not governments right? they're networks of leaders. mayors for sure, county leaders for sure. governors in many places but also heads of businesses. business associations, heads of universities, heads of philanthropy. they come together, they form networks. they try to sort out what's our distinctive vision? what's our special position in the global economy? and then what is our game-changer? whoa jennifer just applied the applied science in new york city, that's a game-changer. investing in manufacturing, supporting your manufacturer, that's a game-changer in northeast ohio. transit clearly is a necessity for the 21st century so they're not waiting for washington. they're basically coming together across party and jurisdictional lines saying how do we make our place more prosperous. >> they still are going to need some federal resources and state
resources, aren't they? >> the metropolitan revolution is certainly led by metros. it doesn't let the federal government off the hook. in our book we talk about how los angeles pressed for a change in federal funding for transit systems. that's an example of ow metropolitan areas are leading the way. they're not waiting for the federal government to come up with a new plan or program. they're going to the feds with a coalition of other metro leaders and saying this is what we need from you to move our economies forward. >> woodruff: and how are they avoiding getting caught up in the kind of partisanship that you write about and we are very familiar with here in washington because it seems to swallow up everything we doo. as you note, it's taking place in a lot of states too. >> absolutely. when jennifer and i visit cities across the country, i have to tell you, it's hard to know who a democrat is and who is a republican. who is a liberal and who is a conservative. these are people who are passionate about their place. they want their place to be as competitive as it can be. in a very fiercely competitive
environment. so they're basically focusing on the fundamentals. good infrastructure. obviously good schools. but also helping the universities work more closely with their companies so they can innovate, crack the code, on the next generation of products and services. >> woodruff: so the political labels don't matter at all in these places? >> the political labels matter so much less than getting stuff done. i think when you have coalitions of mayors, civic leaders, labor leaders, business leaders all coming toning and showing that change can really happen on the ground, that has a powerful example for washington. we hope it's one that washington will follow. you know what? even if it doesn't, cities and metros aren't bound up in all the dysfunction happening here. they can still move forward. >> woodruff: one thing ha the viewer watching this should know about this or listen to go this, that's really interesting but somebody else is doing that. what should people know about? >> i think this can happen all across the united states.
because the top 100 metros, the stats you put up earlier, that's only an 8th of our land mass, two thirds of our population, three quarters of our g.d.p. on everything that matters -- innovation, human capital, infrastructure, there's 75, 80, 85, 90% of the national share. these are powerful economies. they're bigger than national economies. in many respects. and now they're stepping up and saying, you know, if washington can't lead, if our state is adrift, we need to be the vanguard of policy and innovation. this can spread across the united states. we're more powerful. we are rich in leadership. we need to step up. >> if i could just follow up. what we want people to take away is that if their place isn't doing it, there are a lot of lessons there. they should be doing it. if the leadership is not providing something in metropolitan areas citizens to step up and say why can't be as great as portland, as los angeles as detroit or new york on these issues.
>> woodruff: jennifer bradley, bruce katz, the book is the metropolitan revolution. we thank you both for being here. >> thank you. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. the u.s. supreme court decided against striking down affirmative action, opting instead for a narrow ruling that sends the issue back to a lower court for a second look. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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