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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  June 29, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT

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>> from washington, the the mclaughlin group, the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds the best talk. >> down with doma. >> my basic view is regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation, when it comes to how the law treats you, how the state treats, you the benefits and the rights and responsibilities under the law, people should be treated equally. and that's -- that's a principle that i think applies
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universally. and the good -- good news is it's an easy principle to remember. >> gay marriage gets a double green light this week. the supreme court upheld same sex weddings in california and struck down the defense of marriage act, doma. doma was signed into law by president bill clinton 17 years ago. marriage declares doma is a marriage between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman with a woman. legally, prior to this ruling, doma denied federal benefits to state married homosexuals, including tax breaks that are extended to heterosexual couples. because of the 5th amendment to the constitution, quote, no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, unquote. if marriage is defined as
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heterosexual only, that is between a woman and a man, then a homosexual union is unconstitutionally stripped of the rights to cross gender married couples. the majority of opinion said this places same sex couples in of being a marriage. it de means the couple that the constitution protects and humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples, unquote. anthony spoke for the descent. side swiping kennedy in the process. to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demeanor humiliate those that want other arrangements. to hurl such accusations casually de means the institution. >> question, what is the practical effect of this
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supreme court ruling? mortimer zuckerman. >> it's going to open up a struggle in so many different states now, 30-odd states that do not allow this kind of marriage and it has made this legal. you are going to see a major effort to gain this support for same-sex marriages. it's opened the door completely and this is not going to end for quite a while. it will be a big struggle. >> practically speaking, we're -- the federal level, we're talking about benefits and people being able to access insurance and excused from paying estate taxes. it's about money. if you're looking at this immigration bill moving down the pike in congress, this would permit folks in same-sex relationships to sponsor green cards. there are practical effects of this. it won't cause every state in the union to legalize gay marriage. it brings the subject up and gets people moving and talking about it. but on a practical level, it's
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about what benefits people can be entitled to if they are married there the federal government, not the state government. >> how many say permit gay and lesbian marriages. >> 13, including -- including california and the district of columbia. this bends the arc of justice in the right direction which is a phrase that the president always likes to use. i think it's clear where the courts and the country are heading. it may take a while because there are 30 states that have not taken this step. politically, i think this is going to energize the left. this was an issue that used to energize conservative voters. evidence of what a dramatic change we have had in our culture that the acceptance of gay marriage has come about so relatively quickly in the last couple of years that i think it's breath taking. >> michelle, will these states
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have to conduct their own internal voting to determine whether change should be made in the constitution, these 13 states? >> well, the 13 states that have legalized gay marriage are completely on constitutional grounds. here is the problem that we're going to see from a legal perspective and what i believe is going to cause us to go further. i agree with eleanor. i think this is a step in the right direction. here is the problem, though, and this is why people in same- sex relationships are still technically second tier citizens under the law despite the ruling this week. if you live in the district of columbia and you are legally take part in a marriage and you move to a state where gay marriage is illegal, what happens? people have given, for example, the example suppose you're in a state where gay marriage is not legal and you're in a car accident. do you have the ability to bring a unlawful death suit? are you involuntarily divorced
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because you are in a state where gay marriage is illegal? we're going to see it argued over and over again. >> there will be a lot of lawsuits ask discussion. but the president speaking in a country where homosexuality is criminal eyed. he said he was speaking as a president, not a lawyer. he felt if you were married in one state and you moved to another state, the federal government would recognize that marriage. >> 30 states have banned gay marriage. you cleared that up. now, this state legislature is going to have to be involved in changing the law? >> well, you're -- i believe you're going to see state legislatures across the country deciding what they think are the best for their communities. if you read the supreme court decision -- >> what's going on during the interim between when they have their convention and change their law and the ruling of the high court? >> between now and that time, you begin to see more and more
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lawsuits. for example, the example that i just gave you, if i'm in a same- sex marriage and i move to where it's illegal, i think you're immediately going to see lawsuits because the states are going to say we don't recognize this and there's an argument -- >> doesn't the supreme court ruling overrule -- >> no. it does not. >> it does not? >> absolutely not. >> you're going to see people in states where gay marriage is not allowed flying to -- >> pushing for it also. >> but flying to states to get married in other states. then you're going to have arguments that whether you fly to a state and get married, do you have to stay there. >> i think you have to establish resident. excuse me. if you fly back to the state, will it be recognized. >> those are the kind of minutia that will drive the conversation. >> over time it won't matter. overwhelming, young people don't believe it should be -- they believe marriage should be legal in every state in the
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union, i think. over time, this will change things. people's attitudes have change. eventually it will filter out and -- >> in 1996 -- >> how long do you have to wait? there was a time that interracial marriage was considered illegal and against community standards and the question how long do you have to state? and members of the community should not have to wait for the pace for the members of the supreme court to decide. >> the war has been won, but not all of the battles have been fought. >> exactly. >> public opinion has changed quite remarkably. >> exactly. >> in '96, that was 17 years ago, gallops showed that 68% -- so you've got a consensus of the american people, same-sex marriage should not be legal. and only 27% said it should. in june of 2013, cbs poll showed a narrow majority now favors it. 51% in the united states said
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gay and lesbian marriage should be legal while 44% said it should not be. >> in 1996 president clinton signed the defense of marriage act in the middle of the night. he didn't want anybody to notice. he did that to overt a worst legislative state. >> the fact that the supreme court came down in this way will give momentum and support to those people who want it legalized in other states. >> do you think this will become a constitutional matter? what probability would you give it one way or the other? >> no, i don't think it will be a constitutional matter. it will be a state by state matter. it may go to the courts again, but it's a state by state area that's going to be where this is all going to be fought out. >> will the supreme court rule that there's an overarching constitutional right to mary a person of the same gender. >> the supreme court didn't want to do that because, you know, with roe versus wade,
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they decided something and a lot of states kept fighting and we're still fighting about it. so i think they think it's better to let it run through all of the legislative chambers and work it out on the state level. i think it's a more narrow restrained ruling, but it still has the major force of a moral push. >> on a 100 scale, what's the probability that the supreme court will have to rule on whether there is a constitutional right to marry someone of your own gender. >> low. 20s. >> because the states are going to do this. overwhelming, young people support it. they're going to be the people who are the deciders in the future. >> will the supreme court so say. >> i think eventually this is an usual you that will go before the supreme court and they have to make a decision. not any time in the near future. eventually this is a case -- that question is something that the supreme court will have to address. >> are you a lawyer? >> yes. >> i'm with you.
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>> issue two, into africa. >> on behalf of myself and michelle, our children, our entire delegation, we want to thank you for the incredible hospitality that you have shown us today. >> for the first time since 2009, president obama is back in africa. mr. obama's itinerary where mr. obama speaks directly to business leaders. no coincidence that it's where new chinese leader made his recent high profile african stop. in addition to the first lady and their two children, mike froman will be riding along on air force one. a key purpose of trip is to establish ties. to accomplish that, business leaders will join in the trip at some point. this may be the largest u.s. trade delegation to visit
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africa since the late commerce secretary ron brown took hundreds of business people to africa during the clinton presidency. >> question, is president obama vying for influence with china in africa. >> first of all china's trade in that region is 200 billion. ours is half that. it makes sense for us to be there and get in on the game, as the president and chief advisor said. i think it's important for us to go down and address this and bring the business leaders along. i think that makes the trip seem a little more worth while. but the trip has a hefty price tag. i hope we get good trade deals out of it. >> do you know who africa's biggest trade partner is. >> china. >> 200 billion. >> up dramatically from the $1 billion in 1997 on china's part. >> are we competing with that? >> we have to.
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>> what is our trade volume with avenue ra? >> $95 billion. >> compared to 200 billion by china in 2012. >> former president clinton and george w. bush did tremendous work in africa. and i shout out to president bush who is actually in africa at the same time that cares about global health. his commitment is terrific. it was more about helping africa. this president is trying to turn around and say it's trade that makes the difference. and it's essentially africa and us. but africa, it's an emerging market, every bit as strong as asia. >> you're talking about w, right? >> w. >> africa is an emerging market. it is nowhere near the strength of asia. but it is a major market. it should be a major market and we should be doing better with it. china naturally has that because their goodsare at a
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lower price point and they are able to be afforded by the economy of africa. >> which nation is africa is becoming anti-chinese by reason of the volume of the chinese trade now undertaken with africa? do you follow me? one of those nations really doesn't like it and they want it stopped, all of this chinese trade. they feel it's changing the nature of their own nation and africa. have you seen any of that? >> if i were to guess, i woventure to guess it would be south africa which has the strongest economic system. >> i would guess it would be south africa. >> it starts with a z. >> zambia. >> right. you can't get elected to the presidency over there if you are sympathetic to the high trade that china is having with zambia. >> china is trying to scarf
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that up. i think they need protection of their natural resources. heck, we want their resources too. >> let me add one other thing. the other component to the trip and the reason that he picked the three countries that he picked is they are all stable democracies. they had new elections and one of the points that he is making is strong stable democracies can benefit economically and do a lot of good for the people that they govern. >> okay. what about the people in united states, is the president succeeding in making the case for developing trade for reasons of economics, the economics of corporations with africa? is he making the case to americans? >> sure, in a broad sense. yes. not really. it's not a strong issue in this country, i think. >> why? why? in view of the natural riches that exist in mining over there. >> there are natural resources that we can explore without
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question. but our major markets are much more important to us. europe and canada is more important market. so i don't think that africa is going to emerge at this point. >> they import 22 billion from us. so there's a mismatch there. does that mean anything to you? >> of course. we're going to have a trading advantage with avenue ra for a very long time. they are not at the stage economically in terms of their development where they can produce goods that we want to buy. natural resources, yes, but manufactured goods, no. >> or even get them out of the country. so you're seeing things come out of the import, export bank that will help -- have infrastructure that enables them to get product out of the different countries. >> we give them about $500 million a year to fight aides, by the way. that's a continuing program.
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issue three, turn snowden over. >> my continued expectation is that russia or other countries that have talked about potentially providing mr. snowden asylum recognize that they are part of an international community and they should be abiding by international law. and we will continue to press them as hard as we can to make sure that they do so. >> edward snowden is the national security agency contractor turned whistleblower. mr. snowden was employed in hawaii. and he fled from there to hong kong, where the u.s. sought to have him returned. hong kong officials declined to deport snowden because they say one of the two conditions for so doing was unmet. snowden this week turned up in russia where he has taken refuge at the moscow airport. president obama has turned up the pressure and threatened repercussions if they are further rebuffed. though the tables may be
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turning. on tuesday the russian prime minister gave snowden the brushoff. mr. snowden is a freeman. he is located in the area of the airport and he has the right to fly in any direction that he wants. and as the president of russia said, the sooner that happens, the better, unquote. so says russian's foreign minister. more colorful in demanding the exit by saying i would rather not deal with such questions because it's like sheering a piglet. a lot of squealing and little wool, unquote. wiki leaks is in the act, giving snowden financial aid and legal aid. where next? snowden says his trip will end in iceland or ecuador. but iceland says snowden has yet to submit a asylum application and can only do so
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once he in the question. it could take the country up to two months whether or not to grant asylum to snowden. he may be stuck in transit zone limbo. >> what is the best interest for president obama, to capture snowden and put him on trial or have snowden go into exile and hope that he fades away? i'll ask you. >> well. i think the president did very -- did his best to sort of deescalate the whole crisis saying he wasn't going to scramble the jet going after some 29-year-old hacker. actually he is 30 now. i think a much more important story emerged later this week and that is that the former deputy chair of the joint chief is the focus of an investigation about the leaking of the information about the virus. now, this was president obama's favorite general. now, is what he did any better
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or worse than what snowden just did? i think we have to really -- >> is the virus is the virus that inhabited the iranian reactor. >> that's right. >> it set back their nuclear program. >> it was set up there? they acknowledge that? >> it was the u.s. or the israelis who did it. then it appeared in the media. >> then it evaporated. >> well, the story evaporated. it was a powerful tool that the country used. >> and the administration launched a leak investigation. >> how is the president going to handle this general. >> i think he's going to handle him the way that he has handled all of these other things, not getting engaged and keeping it at arm's length so it doesn't look like his problem. >> i think going back to snowden, this is a problem for the president. he needs to get snowden back.
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there is a problem from a foreign policy perspective and how we look at the muscle of the united states government for hong kong to have just allowed him to leave the country the way he did and for russia to basically say we don't have an extradition treaty with you and although you have extra indicted people back to russia, we're not going to help you. >> time to place the bets. how do you wager? will president obama get snowden into custody or will he slip loose and find asylum. >> he will get him into custody. >> he will get him. >> i don't think he will get him. >> really. >> i think he will get him. >> i think he will get him and he has to get him. issue four, voting rights ruling. >> it was signed into law by president lyndon johnson. the voting rights act of 1965. widely considered to be one of the most effective pieces of civil rights legislation passed in the last 50 years. the act prohibits states from
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imposing any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or enacting any standard practice or procedure that denies any u.s. citizen the right to vote on the basis of race. after the enactment, states could no longer deny african- americans the right to vote. segregation had been the law of the land. civil rights workers were murdered. african-american churches and the homes of african-american leaders were routinely bombed. under section 5 of the act, states and localities with a history of discrimination must seek preclearance of changes in voting rules that could have an impact on minorities. on tuesday of this past week in a 5-4 decision in shelby county versus holder, the supreme court struck down 4 of the act that provided the formula that governed which jurisdictions were required to have voting changes precleared. the court's majority held that
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section 4 was unconstitutional because it is based on outdated statistics. in 1965, mississippi only had 6.7% of blacks registered to vote compared to 69.9% of white. today, roberts noted 76.1% of african-americans are registered to vote in mississippi, compared to only 72.3% of whites. updating the formula used in section 4 would render that portion of the law constitutional. it is now up to the congress, the u.s. congress, to revise the formula. civil rights organizations argue that by striking down section 4 of the act, states may enact voter suppression measures threatening the rights to vote of communities of color across the nation and eroding much of the civil rights progress made since passage of the act in 1965. >> question, is the court right
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that the formula for applying the voting rights act needs to be updated? and if so, will congress pass new legislation doing so? >> no. i think the court was absolutely wrong. i think that they have castrated the voting rights act of 1965. you know, what we haven't seen a lot of in the discussion about this act over the last week is the fact that there was a mechanism in the law for you to be opted out, to sort of opt out of the law if you could prove that you had not engaged in any discriminatory election practices over the last ten years, you could apply to the department of justice and be taken off of the bad person list, the bad state list in the south. alabama never applied. and the reason they didn't apply is because recently, within the last ten years, two counties in alabama just called off elections because it was pretty evident that population changes were going to change the constitution of their local
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city councils. so no, the supreme court was absolutely wrong. voter discrimination is an absolute problem in the united states today. >> do you think that updating section 4 would be in the public interest? i'm reading that stacy says that revising section 4 could work well for admitting hispanics and asians. >> you could revise it without striking it down as being unconstitutional. should section 4 of the voting rights be expanded? absolutely. are southern states the only problems that we find problems of discrimination? absolutely not. you don't strike down the whole act as being unconstitutional. people need to remember when we heard arguments over the case in the winter, the justice made it clear that the voting rights act was akin to a racial entitlement. he has discontain for the act and they struck it down. >> look, the thing is really
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extraordinary to me in all of this is the transformation that we have seen on the screen here of the proportion of african- american that's are voting then and now is astounding. the major cities that had major incidences are run by black mayors. there is a transformation and i think they were responding to it. i'm not saying it's accurate but that is the great achievement of america. >> does it pull hispanics and asians in. >> it gives the green light that we saw in the last election. texas responded immediately after the ruling came down. >> the egyptian economy is on the verge of bankruptcy to import only three to five months of food and then they will be completely broken. >> state senator wendy davis in texas with her 11-hour filibuster begin to turn the state baby blue. >> yeah. great tv, by the way. >> voting rights act house will
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not respond with corresponding legislation. >> given what happened with the supreme court on the voting rights act this week, i believe that we are going to see some major, major problems in the south. but that eventually the south will become important. >> i'm predicting that your book, michelle, moving america towards justice will be a best seller. bye-bye.
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it's been a week of historic rulings by the u.s. supreme court. major victories for gay rights advocates with the striking down of the defense of marriage act. as well as california's ban on same-sex marriage. plus roominulings on affirmativ action and the voting rights act raised questions. president obama calls for sweeping action on climate change with mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions. >> i don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real. we don't have time for a meeting of the flat earth society. >> and bay area commuters brace for transit

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