tv The Mc Laughlin Group CBS February 21, 2016 11:30am-12:00pm EST
it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there. are you taking a zumba class? >> from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. john:issue one, resting supreme court. justice scalia: i say nonsense. reporter: was it political? justice scalia: gee, i really don't want to get -- get over it. it's old by now. the principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the florida supreme court had put together violated the federal constitution, that wasn't even close. the vote was 7-2.
antonin scalia, catholic italian- supreme judge for over 29 years, known for his quick wit and sharp prose, left 2016 dead. a year to decide the composition of the u.s. executive and legislative branches. justice scalia rejected social policies such as abortion and homosexuality. but he was a keen defender of free speech, individual rights -- notably gun ownership -- and opposed to unreasonable government searches and seizures. and justice scalia was known for his opposition to supreme court liberals on issues relating to climate change, the death penalty, unions, affirmative action and immigration. president obama may nominate a replacement for justice scalia in the coming weeks. predictions on mr. obama's choice included names such as sri srinivasan, patricia
harris, alberto jordan, loretta lynch, paul watford and jane kelly, among many others. still, republicans say they'll oppose any liberal nominees. question -- should republicans approve president obama's nominee? yes or no, pat buchanan? pat: no, they should not approve it, john. first, about antonin scalia, he is an originalist, he's one of the great supreme court justices and he is really the father almost of a school of supreme court, you know, theology, if you will, which argues not for conserving, say, the decisions of the warren court, but going back and seeing if they're consistent with what the founding fathers intended. with regard to president obama, he is certainly going to appoint someone and whoever he appoints should be treated with respect. not the way bob bork was or clarence thomas was, but they should be rejected on a simple grounds. president says i'll be a transformational figure and the
no, you are not going to transform the court. we'll let the presidency be decided in the election, the congress decided in the election and the direction of the supreme court will be decided by the american people, mr. president, not by you. go ahead and send us your nominee but we'll not confirm. eleanor: that's a wonderful political speech but a bunch of hooey. the president is elected to a four-year term. there's nothing in the constitution says after three years you give up your right to nominate someone. the congress, the senate, may well do what donald trump suggested, delay, delay, delay. but i think if this president comes up with a well qualified individual -- and i'm sure he will -- that that person deserves a hearing and deserves a vote. you mentioned clarence thomas. he is on the court. he got 52 or 53 votes in a democratic controlled senate. they didn't filibuster him or block him.
hearings and i expect there will be some tough confirmation hearings. i'm with sandra day o'connor, former justice who is greatly admired on both sides of the political aisle who says, simply, let's get on with it. that's what we should be doing. john: don't forget that during the 1987 election, president ronald reagan nominated the ultra conservative who? pat:bork. john: robert bork, who was rejected. justice kennedy was confirmed instead. question -- august 1960, the democratic controlled senate passed a resolution, expressing the sense of the senate that the president should not make recess appointments to the supreme court. what about that? tom: the idea here is going back to the thurman rule and that you -- last year of a presidency where the majority in the senate is held by the opposite party, that you should not appoint someone. i think president obama will
pat that that person deserves respect in terms of how they're treated but i think you look at the uniqueness of justice scalia in terms of both his prose and also reasoning in terms of constitutional interpretation. i think he's very different, actually, in terms of if, for example, justice kennedy's position had been vacated, there i think you would see a lot more willingness by republicans to entertain the idea of a replacement under the president's leadership. i think here, though, that the right course of action necessarily is to wait and see who wins the election and then on that basis the next president will make an appointment to the court. scalia is that unique to american jurisprudence. john: if no nominee is confirmed this year and trump wins the presidency, who should he nominate? i ask you. clarence: well, that's a wonderfully subjective question for you to ask me, john. he should nominate somebody i know he's not going to nominate. let's get serious here, which the republicans are not doing.
whole process and this is the longest, i think, on record, that an out-party has been requesting that the president hold over until the next administration and both parties do do it but this is getting ridiculous, now. we're saying that obama's a lame duck as far as the supreme court is concerned. i agree, if it comes to that, let the people decide. and i hope the people decide in favor of rationality and fairness and that the backlash against the republican game-playing will result in a democratic president who will shift it. originalism, i do not like originalism, i do not want to judge today's behavior by the era of muskets. it's a big loss for conservatives. i understand why they're fighting for it. pat: let me tell you what the problem is, let's be honest. the supreme court is no longer simply a judicial body. it's a legislative body. they discovered a right to abortion in the constitution,
it has become legislative. it has become legislative. it has become executive as well as judicial and i think it's time that the american people decided which way the court should go. eleanor: what i love is the confidence that republicans appear to have, that donald trump is going to be elected. they could be -- this is a big gamble they're making. president obama, in order to get the votes to get somebody confirmed, would have to nominate somebody who's well within the parameters of mainstream political thought, not someone so far to the left, someone perhaps that the senate has already confirmed by over 90 votes. so if they pull that off and hillary clinton is elected president, you're going to get a much more radical, progressive, liberal, choose your term, from the republican's point of view. so this is a big bet they're making. i think let the process go ahead and let's see who the person is and i think the control of the senate rests on how the
they could really lose the senate over this. >> i agree. john: if no nominee is confirmed, this year, and trump wins the presidency, whom should trump nominate? pat: let me tell you who handled it best, ed mease, department of justice, after sandra day o'connor, for mrs. reagan. he had two nominees, robert bork and antonin scalia. both were vetted completely, brilliant justice, nobody disagreed, they were brilliant judges and great traditionalists. that's what they ought to do, go to the justice department, find the very finest, most brilliant conservatives like a scalia in the court system and nominate them. eleanor: what was that comment you made about mrs. reagan's justice department nominated -- pat:mrs. reagan was the one who
reagan agreed with it. john: issue two, pontiff, prophylactics and trump. pope francis returned to the vatican following visits to cuba and mexico. while traveling he observed that condoms could be justified in regions afflicted by the zika virus. but the pontiff insisted that abortion can never be justified. the pope believes condoms can help stop the suffering caused by microcephaly, abnormally developed heads in babies, which scientists believe zika can cause. the pontiff also said that republican presidential candidate, donald trump is quote/unquote "nonchristian" in his stance on immigration. question -- is the pope right? i ask you, clarence?
that trump's attitude of building walls instead of bridges is not christian did not startle me. it's the kind of thing that ministers say, that a liberal, progressive minister would say, off-the-cuff conversation. and it was something that trump reacted to, of course, as he often does, with thin-skinned, overreach, and this suddenly becomes a feud between the pope and trump, which i suspect will help him politically in states like south carolina but when he gets to the belt where there are more catholics, it could be a detriment. we will see. eleanor: what was important that the pope said was sending a message to all the priests in latin america that it's ok to counsel women and men that prophylactics are ok and this is a virus that has terrible consequences for the unborn and
significant message that he sends. pat: well, let me go to the question of, i think what the pope said was a terrible mistake. first, you said he's liberal progressive. he's argentine, he's anti-capitalist politically. he's not speaking -- he's not speaking as pope on faith and morals. he engages in politics and when he does there's an element of anti-americanism, anti-capitalism and to intrude into an american election was a terrible mistake on his part, i think, and i think that donald trump should have answered him. i would not have used the term "disgraceful" but i think he should have answered him and said, look, there's walls around the vatican. every inner city in europe has walls. tom: very quickly, on the condom point, absolutely, very good, important, the medical benefits of that are obvious. the moral benefits are obvious in terms of making sure when
kids have the best chance of being healthy, but on the politicization point, i think the pope is wrong because as much as trump is a narcissist who floats around with different ideas and changes his mind every day, the pope has a responsibility to provide that theological leadership to the church. and i don't think talking about walls does that and there's a dichotomy in how he doesn't condemn enough -- clarence: how does this -- tom: there's a political element that goes beyond theology. eleanor: i thought he was speaking generically. it's better to build bridges than walls. trump took it personally. if the glove fits, if you glove doesn't fit, you must acquit. pat: to call him unchristian,
judgment about the moral character and religious beliefs of someone he never met and doesn't know. clarence: it is in the bible to be open to the stranger. et cetera. it's very welcoming. pat: nehemiah talked about building walls. clarence: that's what debates are about. tom: he doesn't talk about countries like cuba and venezuela, that are essential walls of communism and socialism that imprison people. there's a problem with that. clarence: cuba, as a people, but not the government. eleanor: in the political context of the south carolina primary, trump versus the pope, trump won. pat: he visited cuba and mexico. there's a reason why people are running away from cuba and mexico and trying to get into the united states and why the united states can't take everybody on earth and needs to build a security fence or some kind of wall to protect our country. john: let's not forget, either, that the vatican, in rome, is surrounded by wall. should those walls be taken
pat: those walls were there to prevent various invasions -- muslim invasions and other invasions. one of the popes, as you know, john, had to deal with attila the hun. would you like to have a wall to protect yourself from him? clarence: i have been across the bridge in front of that. the vatican has a bridge in front of it. they have walls and bridges. that's what the pope was saying, it's better to build bridges than walls and that was a very benign statement in my view. eleanor: and the audience he spoke to in mexico, he really is a beacon of hope for a lot of people who feel they're marginalized in this world so i think that's his message overall. he's not going to decide the political election in this country. he made as many enemies among catholics, namely, you, as he might have made friends. pat: he's not an enemy. he's the religious leader of my church, but he ought to be talking about the next world,
secretary for western hemisphere affairs, roberta jacobson, testified last year before the senate on u.s. policy towards cuba on which mrs. jacobson plays a key role. >> comprehensive changes in our economic relationship will require congressional action to lift the embargo and the president has urged congress to begin that effort. john: jacobson's negotiations culminated with the reopening of the u.s. embassy in havana that infuriated republican senator and presidential candidate marco rubio, whose parents were born in cuba and lived and worked there for years and now senator rubio is hitting back. secretary jacobson has been appointed as the next u.s. ambassador to mexico. but senator rubio is using a senate procedural process to prevent a vote on her appointment. still, senator rubio's actions are expected to fizzle, since mexico is america's third
why has senator rubio placed a hold on jacobson's nomination? i ask you. clarence. clarence: looks personal to me. i don't see a constituency for him on this. i understand why his family is upset. i know many cuban-american families with similar situations but let's face it, are we going to blame this woman for a policy that was her job to try to enact and she succeeded? we're moving in the right direction on cuba. she helped us to do it and marco rubio appears to be standing to thwart progress needlessly. eleanor: to quote justice sceel when asked about bush v gore, get over it, it's so long ago. the cuba policy has been decided and marco rubio is preaching to a very small choir and may play well in the primaries but if he is the candidate, it's not a winning position. tom: quickly.
and i share them about our policy towards cuba, especially this rush to go there with the president in terms of a authoritarian nasty regime but the policy has been made. it has been. i'm biased because my father was a foreign service officer but i think far too often we have a great diplomatic corps and we politicize on both sides that we send stupid people who are not qualified who have given a lot of money. when we have f.s.o.'s doing their job, we should send them. mexico is an important country. rubio should not do this. john: should rubio lift his hold on jacobson and allow nomination go to a vote, yes or no? pat: it's got to do strictly with politics. eleanor: yes, and now that he's got other things to think about, like the presidency, he may not be so consumed with being a pain in the neck in the senate. tom: i think he should lift it but criticize the policy on cuba. clarence: you are right, the protests will fizzle.
street. >> this resolution is to use the same power of moral clarity, the same power of shaming, the same power of speaking the truth to shine a light on the oppression in china. john: senator ted cruz wants to change the address of china's embassy in washington. last friday, the u.s. senate approved mr. cruz's bill to change china's embassy address from 3505 international place n.w. to 1 liu xiaobo plaza. the bill aims to honor mr. xiaobo, an activist imprisoned by china's communist government while calling for political freedom. while the republican led house of representatives is likely to support the address change campaign, president obama is
should congress change the address of china's embassy? eleanor? eleanor: no. the republicans have run this up the flag pole once before. a couple of years ago and the chinese said, if we changed the street here, they would change the street by the american and have come up with good ideas. edward snowden street, 911 street. i think diplomacy is -- better things to do than this. pat: this shows you the lack of seriousness in the congress of the united states, in particular the republican party who are free traders. last year they gave the chinese communists $365 billion trade surplus, $4 trillion in the last 20 years which the chinese have used to build up their military, their navy, become a mighty and
these guys are interested in changing names on reno road in washington, d.c.? it is frivolous. and i blame the republicans. they're the free traders. for all i care, they can name it chaing kai-shek boulevard. john: before you're too high on the high horse, listen to this. there is precedent. in 1984, senator alfonse d'amato introduced a bill to rename a section of 16th street outside the soviet embassy andre sakarov plaza. that's the name, for the russian dissident and physicist. the bill passed and reagan signed it into law. pat: last i saw it, it was 16th street next to the university club where i work out. john: what about that? there's precedent. pat: it's frivolous, grandstand
john:we'll be right back. john: prediction, the federal reserve will resume its gradual increase in interest rates at its mid june meeting. by then, the economic data will show the u.s. economy is in decent shape. yes or no, pat? pat: more likely the fed will move in the other direction. eleanor: the rest of the world is hurting so not necessarily
tom: no, but i think consumer spending in the united states will prevent recession in the immediate term. clarence: no, but i'm hopeful for the future. john: what is that, yes or no? clarence: the answer is no. john: predominantly no? clarence: the answer is no. john: a simple no? clarence: yeah, a simple no. ignore the rest of my wisdom.
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