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tv   State of the Union  CNN  March 24, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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can't back up her criticism and trivializes a huge problem, irresponsible spending by the federal government. two words, not good. >> o'reilly for sure criticizes president obama. i think it is fair to stay the unsubstantiated story by "the daily caller" accusing menendez has been discredited but the conservative website hasn't retracted the claim. one admitted to taking money they said they had the wrong hooker and now they say three women acknowledged being paid to lie about having sex with me den nez and his office says this was a smear job. a top law enforcement official reported that a local lawyer said someone claiming to be from the daily caller offered $5,000 to find women to lie about
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menendez. the caller says that is not true and i find it hard to imagine but the website founded by tucker carlson says it is not independently verified the identities of the women involved in the dominican probe and remains unclear with one prostitute retracting her claim. at this point the daily caller cannot prove the story was true it owes the senator and its readers an apology. imagine running a newspaper key i don't see in buenos aires and getting a call from a subscriber wanting to cancel his subscription. it is the pope because he relocated. he said the call caused him to break down in tears. if you missed our program check us out on monday to search for
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reliable sources in the itunes store. we are back next sunday for a critical look at the media. state of the union with candy crawley is right now. gun violence strikes close to home. today colorado's governor mourns the shooting death of a close friend, the same day he signs broad gun control legislation including a ban on magazines that carry more than 15 rounds of ammunition. >> high-capacity magazines have potential to turn killers in to a killing machine. >> gun owners are threatening a recall effort. and plus called to duty. then buried in paperwork. after ten years of war in iraq and afghanistan, a bureaucratic battle front awaits returning soldiers. >> no veteran should have to wait. >> and many do wait and wait. our exclusive interview with eric shinseki.
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then the supreme court set this week to hear arguments on two cases that could change the way the law treats same-sex marriage. two key players join us, pamela harris and austin nimocks. i'm c i'm candy crawley and this is "state of the union." this week, the colorado governor found himself professionally and personally back in the middle again. first he learned that a good friend, colorado state prison tom clemens was gunned down in his own home. it was learned soon thereafter that a person of interest in the clemmen's murder was an excon, the long troubled son. he died in a shootout with authorities following a high-speed chase and is a suspect in the clemens killing.
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authorities suspect his involvement in the shooting death of a pizza delivery man in denver. wednesday, as the tragically coincidental story unfolded the governor signed legislation aimed cutting down on gun violence. the governor is joining me from colorado. thank you so much. busy and troubling week for you, i know. let me start with this shooting of your chief prisons official. we are learning there maybe a link and possibly this was part of a hit ordered by a white supremacist group out of prison that was perhaps retaliation by prison officials to break up this white supremacist gang and there maybe others on a hit list, including yourself. can you tell me what you know about that part of the investigation? >> the investigation is still ongoing. they hate me to talk about it,
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but we are trying to follow every possible lead. we know that he was connected to a white supremacist group. we are trying to get all the information we can on why he did what he did. we can't see clearly what his motive was. >> so there is the possibility of, connection and that perhaps it was a hit ordered outside of prison. your security has increased because of concern about that, has it not? >> well, somewhat. we always have security and they picked it up a little bit. but i'm not terribly worried about it. i mean the whole week was -- i sort of felt like i was caught in a nightmare that i couldn't wake up from. that all of these things kept happening to people that i loved and they didn't seem to be connected in any way. to me, the emotional toll is
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much deeper than worrying about security. >> i am going to assume, of course, that you have spoken to mr. clements family, he being a close friend of yours. have you talked to the father of this suspect as we said has been killed because i know he was a close friend of yours as well. >> i have known evan's father 30 years. when i first came out as a geologist we worked at the same company and have always stayed friends. he's one of the most hardest working, honorable people i have ever known. a wonderful person who -- i mean from the beginning his son seemed to have this bad streak, a streak of cruelty and anger. and yet jack -- they did everything they could. they worked with evan again and again, but to no avail. he had a bad, bad streak. >> have you spoken to them?
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>> oh, yeah. i talked to him the night we found out that all the signs seemed to point to evan. i gave him a call and he was -- he already knew. and he was just distraught. i mean he was more upset than i have ever seen him. it was interesting to see his wife, who is one of the most wonderful people. they were a remarkable couple and she, of course, spent a couple of hours with her on wednesday, deeply distraught and tom clements killed one of the greatest people i ever worked. one of the elder statesman of all of our cabinet but to have two people i love so deeply be connected by this, it's inexplicable. >> it is. i want to move to the broader picture of the gun control measures that were in the works prior to obviously this week and the murders, et cetera. let me ask you about that and
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ask you to put it in a national perspective. what we have learned about gun control now, gun control measures now going through. congress is that there is little room for, or little chance that an assault weapons ban would actually pass the administration, including vice president biden who's been out there pushing for a ban on some of these assault weapons. here's a little bit of what he said in new york city recently. >> for all of those who say we shouldn't and can't ban assault weapons, for all of those who say the politics is too hard, how can they say that and tell me that you can't take off the streets these weapons of war? >> the gun legislation that you signed this week in colorado, a hunting state, has been described as one of the toughest gun laws in the country and yet you didn't include a semi assault weapons ban at all.
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are the politics just against it, or do you think it wouldn't do any good? >> i think we focused after the shooting last summer in the movie theater, we really focused on mental health and then universal background checks. colorado has some of the best elk, deer hunting. it's a state where we have a long tradition of relationship with guns and hunting and that traditional approach from father to child. we tried to look at, if we want to tighten up a little bit, universal background checks that clearly make a significant difference. that's where we put our initial focus. >> do you think that the congress is wrong not to go after an assault weapons ban, or do you think that the politics are there that would, quote, sort of protect the politicians who feel that folks are not with them on this? >> there is just a lot of -- i
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think the feeling right now around assault weapons, at least in colorado, is they are hard to define what an assault weapon is. there are a lot of questions whether the ten-year federal ban in existence made a difference. when i went out and spoke in grand junction yesterday which is four-hour drive west of denver. go over the mountains and out to the far west part of the state there were 200 protesters that were upset over universal background checks and banning high capacity magazines. i went and talked to them. it is a tough sell and they are worried about government keeping centralized database which i assured them wasn't going to happen. that this was the first step in trying to take guns away. i met with the organizers and leaders of the protest and tried to hear them and we had, i think, a blunt, honest dialogue. in the end, they asked could
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they pray for me. they put their hands and we all prayed. they deeply believe that their guns and the second amendment are critical parts of american life. and their integrity, honesty and conviction, you can't challenge that. i think in the end when they are praying that i'm protected and that my leadership is lifted up and supported, i recognize we're not so different. we just have to make sure we get to the same fact. i try to convince them to recognize that the large magazine capacity -- large capacity magazines is an inconvenience but a lot of people in urban areas think 30 to 40% of police officers killed in the line of duty are killed from high-capacity magazines. >> i'm sure the debate will continue to go on in capitol hill and in your state. thank you so much for joining us
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today. >> you bet. pleasure. politicians always promise the best care to american war vets, but they don't always deliver. >> every day the secretary comes in and says i'm going to break the backlog and then the next guy comes in and says i'm going to break the backlog. it hasn't happened yet. the critics say he hasn't done enough to eliminate the mounds of paperwork keeping vets from their disability benefits. quily with air channels to let boo boos breathe. [ giggles ] [ female announcer ] quiltvent technology, only from band-aid brand. use with neosporin first aid antibiotic.
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politicians repertoire. fundamental to how america views it is often calls a sacred promise. >> we will keep faith.
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investing in world-class care including mental health care for wounded warriors. supporting military families. giving our veterans the benefits and education and job opportunities they have earned. >> still so much of that sacred promise is unfulfilled promise. by the end of this month, more than 1 million claims for disability benefits will be pending at the veteran's administration. of those two-thirds backlogged for 125 days or more. on average, processing of veteran's claim takes 260 days, some drag out for years. veterans came to capitol hill this week to demand action, but lawmakers say the problem lies with the veteran's administration and a failure to computerize records. >> i'm still baffled that i can send a package anywhere in the world and get on-line and track it through ups and know where it is and who signed for it and i have veterans two years later wondering where their file is, who saw it and what is going on with it. >> one claims list in north carolina was so weighted with
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paperwork the building was in danger of collapsing. when we return, eric shinseki in his first sunday interview. [ female announcer ] band-aid brand has quiltvent technology with air channels to let boo boos breathe. [ giggles ] [ female announcer ] quiltvent technology, only from band-aid brand. use with neosporin first aid antibiotic. only from band-aid brand. there's a reason no one says "easy like monday morning." sundays are the warrior's day to unplug and recharge. what if this feeling could last all week? with centurylink as your trusted partner, it can. our visionary cloud infrastructure and global broadband network free you to focus on what matters. with custom communications solutions and dedicated support, your business can shine all week long.
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. there are 21.5 million war veterans in the united states and chances are good you know or are one. earlier i spoke with v.a. secretary general eric shinseki. joining me now, general shinseki of the head of the v.a. your first sunday interview. we appreciate you giving it to us and on an incredible issue. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to talk about the backlog. knowing that in october of 2009, you have been in the v.a. for
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less than a year, 164 in the backlog. it is now 630,000. what is wrong? >> candy, first of all, no one should have to wait for their claims to be processed. let me make sure we understand what we are talking about here. for iraq and afghanistan veterans they have been granted five years medical care to which they have access at v.a. they present and will be enrolled. >> how long does that take? >> they present and they have the proper identification and they are immediately enrolled. so for compensation, which is the disability claims, which is the backlog, that, indeed, is ten years of war, requirements have gone up.
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more complex claims because of the seriousness. >> multiple claims by one person have gone up. >> that's correct. complexity issue and our paper process has been for decades. this has been decades building. and we need to go digital and we're in the process of doing that. we also compound this backlog when we make decisions, as we did in 2010, to grant agent orange service connection for vietnam veterans, gulf war illness service connection for those who went to desert storm and then our increase of claims through combat ptsd. we said for the first time if you have been in combat and have verified ptsd. >> i understand the job is complicated and we are coming off two wars but this administration and you knew that coming in that two wars were
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going to end. we talked about changing from paper to digital for these claims for the five years you have been head of the v.a., for the five years the president has been there. the backlog has gotten worse on something that was pretty foreseeable in a lot of ways knowing these wars were going to end. it is acceptable to you that 70% of the claims have been pending over 125 day days? >> no veteran should have to wait for claims. if there is anybody impatient here i'm that individual and we are pushing hard. >> why do the veterans themselves get a sense that the v.a. is an penetrable democracy because again after five years it seems like that's enough time to streamline the process. >> veterans in the last four years, candy, have joined us in unprecedented numbers.
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940,000 veterans enrolled for benefits than four years ago. the fact is that veterans are coming to us and being enrolled. we produce a million claims a year and have for the last three years. so when we talk about an inventory of claims of 875,000 claims, of which about 600,000 are backlogged, just just the am we put out the door indicates this is not a static number. a few will go longer ethan we like but this is a lot of work being done. this is more than a few. as you know there have been a lot coming to washington, this backlog is insane. it just -- and it's not fulfilling what this country said, how they, you know. i don't know a politician that doesn't say we have to take care of these men and women when they come home and yet if there's
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a -- iraq, afghanistan veterans association, i tarted this tumblr feed about stopping the backlog. i wanted to read two quick entries. there are a lot of them. i'm a marine veteran suffering from depression. i've never sought treatment. why should i. the average wait is 273 days. stop the v.a. backlog and you can save my life. another one, v.a. expects pending cases to grow and pass 1 million by the end of march. mr. president and congress what is your plan. what do you say to the hundreds of veterans who say i'm been sitting here 200 and more days and can't get any help. >> let me use the marine veteran you talked about to be sure we understand what we are addressing here.
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in mental health we are open for business. they have five years of v.a. health care. >> how long does that take? >> they present themselves with proper identification and they are enrolled and begin treatment. >> that day? >> if it is an emergency condition within 24 hours they will be seen. if it is an initial appointment if we have time to schedule them within two weeks they will be scheduled. >> what do you need, mr. secretary? i don't know a veteran that doesn't speak so highly of you and your service but this is not a lack of caring but a lack of something. does the president need to be involved here? we have a situation where the defense department and v.a. on different systems so it takes a while once you get out of the service to go through the v.a. what can the president do? what do you need in order to make this happen more quickly? >> well, it is very clear, veterans are a top priority with
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the president and eliminating the backlog is in the front of his mind. >> do you need more people, processors, accountability, what do you need? >> if you look at the budgets, for v.a. 40% increase in our budget when other departments have gone through belt tightening. someone once told me show me your budget and i will show your value. i think very clearly from the president that growth in our budget reflects where he places the value. >> i want to point out to you something that comes from jeff miller, paub can from florida said talking about the backlog. >> without better workload or surge capacity planning, i am fearful that v.a. is simply one national mission away from complete collapse and utter failure. >> and, again, i think it sounds like the president's heart's in the right place, your heart's in the right place, but something here is not working.
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and if a country promises people go fight for us and we'll fight for you. >> sure. >> we see the increase suicide rates, we see these enormous backlogs that get worse instead of better, and yet you have an increased budget. so i'm just trying to figure out why this isn't working. >> well, we have put in place a robust plan to end the backlog in 2015. that's been our commitment. and we have today an automation tool that we didn't have two years ago. it is called the veterans benefits management system. it has already been fielded to 20 of our regional offices. we will be in all 56 regional offices by the end of this year. and this automation process is going to give us a production, you know, a ramp we've not been able to produce to this point. >> and we're still not, you know, we're looking at 2015 is your goal. that's a long time for a vet.
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>> well, we've put three million claims out the door. if you have an inventory of about 875,000, a million claims decisions going out a year, you know we're taking care of business. there are going to be a few that are complex enough to run longer than we would like. >> but it's not a few, is it? there's so many backlogged. so many that have been waiting. the center for investigative reporting obtained documents like in new york, pittsburgh, indianapolis, the average processing days for first-time filers is 600 days. so that's not a few cases either. >> well, we can go and take those numbers and drill down into them, but again our commitment is we're going to end the backlog in 2015. this has been decades in the making, ten years of war. we're in paper. we need to get out of paper. and other agencies.from d.o.d. we have commitments that in 2014 we will be electronically processing our data and sharing it.
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>> i want to ask you one question about jobs. and that is as you know the veterans jobless rate is higher than the average population. have you done enough to help those veterans? and what do you think the problem is? >> well, we all look for the opportunity to increase veteran employment. i think the latest employment numbers do reflect some impact. >> about 9.4 now. >> that's correct. the president has been forward and leading on this. i think you're familiar with the joining forces initiative out of the white house led by the first lady and dr. jill biden that promised by the end of 2013 100,000 new jobs for military spouses and veterans, they passed that in 2012. and i think we're up in the neighborhood of 175,000 and continuing to grow. we hire veterans inside the
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federal government. one-third of my agency are veterans. and we're looking to push that to 40%. but this is an area -- >> there's many more outside obviously that need help. i want to ask you a final question. by playing back something you said in 2008 when you were nominated. >> they deserve a smooth, error-free, no-fail, benefits assured transition into our ranks as veterans, and that is our responsibility. not theirs. >> have you lived up to that responsibility? >> the commitment hasn't changed, candy. i took this job to make things better for veterans. i don't know them individually, but i know them as a group. i've served with many of them. and the commitment hasn't changed. and we're going to fix this. >> and, again, for you and for the president it's not a question of commitment. it's a question of results. and the question is have there been enough results over a five-year period to satisfy you?
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>> no veteran should have to wait for claims as they are today. we have a fix for this. we're open for business. and we will end the backlog in 2015. >> general shinseki, we appreciate you coming by. we hope you will come by more often as such an important issue for the whole country not just the veterans seeking their benefits. thank you. >> thank you, candy. a point of clarification on the veteran urn employment rate, it is 9.4% amongest post-september 11th veterans. the overall veteran unemployment rate is 6.9%, that is lower than the national rate. next two re veteran groups will join us with their reaction to secretary shinseki.
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reaction now i from what we just heard from general shinseki. you just listened to general shinseki. what's your response? general? >> first of all, we a i appreciate you bringing attention to this issue. an the v.a. backlog problem is not a new problem. it is a problem the american league has been dealing with for
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decades. we have service officers with a vested interest in the claims. we are understanding we are seeing the problems firsthand. it's not a report from washington or an opportunity for the secretary to testify where we realize the problem exists. we live and breathe the claims process every day. the american legion helps veterans submit their claims to the v.a. we have known the problem for decades and we are here to help the secretary and president to help and understand the problem so that american and women know they can if get the benefits they earned for their service to this country. >> the same thing we have been hearing me personally for five years, same thing for decades. if you read the transcript of the general's interview, it is virtually the same thing he said in 2009 and in testimony in 2010, '11 and '12. although there are legions of people who are willing to help
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the v.a., i don't think they have a handle on the problem. and the numbers clearly show that with 600,000 in the backlog. do you, it seems to me that you can't just claim the current v.a. it is all the past v.a.s as well. is this a stham needs to be blown up from the inside? this is a problem that existed and it has existed. this is an opportunity for the secretary and the administration to take hold of this issue and solve it. you do that by identifying the reality of the problem. the realities runtd here in washington but the regional offices and you sit across from the desk of a veteran waiting for their claim to be developed.
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we need to understand where the disconnect is where the veteran goes to develop their claim. once that is solved we can work on decreasing the backlog. >> this is not just the beginning of the war in iraq and afghanistan. this is the third v.a. secretary to try to tackle the problem. they didn't start in ernest until 2009. let's talk about what the average vet is looking for. if i'm post 9/11 veteran and will wait on a national average 300 days if i'm in a major city 600 days. what impetus do i have to seek care and benefits that i need? >> does it include people that decided never mind the system is too messed up for me to bother and they fade to the general population, even if they need help. what is your perception of the base problem? is it just there is a wild disconnect between what washington wants and what they are getting in the regional
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offices? >> it is more than one problem. the v.a. backlog we perceive as one big problem. but it has various solutions. we need to understand what the problems are and where they exist and work on individual processes to improve it. but the american legion has looked at the process. v.a.'s fully developed claim process. veterans have success stories on their claims being adjudicated in six months because of the process fully developed claims. the american legion has sat there and they want to see how they are relating to the regional offices. we are seeing successes in regional offices where our personal communicate directly with the v.a. personnel so the claim can move smoothly through the process. >> there are a lot of good tools the v.a. is developing but they are tools and pilots. there's no magic bullet. not going to be a magic law that solves this. what we have been advocating is we need the president of the the united states to establish a presidential commission. this isn't about the v.a. but
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has to do with d.o.d. not having their medical records electronically. >> they gave up on a plan so the d.o.d. would have a streamlined way to get records to the v.a. they gave up on that. >> right. you are never going to get a fully electronics claims process when 60% of the records are on paper. they are asking them to step in and take leadership. >> you are right. it does seem the president would say, look, d.o.d. and v.a., get this together here. i promise, like so many other politicians that we would help to take care of them. when i asked general shinseki the president is fully committed. >> he mentioned the electronic process that will exist five years down the road for veterans to develop their claim. the success of that electronic
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process is fully dependent on the communication level of from d.o.d. to v.a. in terms of electronic medical records. when they announced they were going to abandon the plan because they have a new plan the veterans community needs to be reassured the new plan actually are successful so that we can say that it is going to improve the backlog. >> because the lack of the coordination adds, you know, a year and a half or so to the whole process. from the time you get out to the time you bet benefits. two months ago it was rolling out in the spring. six months before that it was rolling out in the middle of last year. the veterans community, we keep hearing the vachl say we are working on it. we're on track, we're on track. so we wait for them to get it together. we are starting to feel like charlie brown with the football.
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at this point, my shebs are fed up. veterans across the country are fed up waiting 300, 400, 500 days for benefits they have earned and tired of waiting for the v.a. to get their act together. we need the president to step in and lead and fix the problem. bring the brightest minds from the insurance industry, defense, veterans community from private industry to actually identify the problems that the v.a. frankly can't seem to identify themselves. >> we have less than a minute left. we want to ask you the question starting with you, peter. you heard the secretary talk about this robust plan that will have the back willing taken care of by 2015. you heard him say this will be digitalized by the end of the year. do you believe it? >> we have hope because the communication level from the secretary has been outstanding with the american legion. we have an opportunity to meet with the secretary once a month but we need the secretary to take advantage of listening to the stakeholders. it is one thing to have a
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commission with outside advisers but you need to listen to your stakeholders and the organizations that have this for years. i don't see how the v.a., secretary shinseki hasn't met with us for 2,000 days. it is not about us but the veterans seeing the problem get worse and no visibility on when it will get better. >> thank you for coming in and talking about this issue. we want you back again. >> thank you very much. >> when we return, the supreme court takes up same-sex marriage. ♪ ♪ ♪ the new blackberry z10 with blackberry hub and flick typing. built to keep you moving. see it in action at
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a 14-word law that long since legal filings and now a date with the supreme court. california's proposition 8 reads only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in california california. there are many ways the high court could rule but whatever the decision expected this summer the impact could reach far beyond california state lines. supporters of gay marriage are hoping the ban on gay marriage will be overturned as unconstitutional in fe justices rule there is a fundamental right to marriage all state bans
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on same-sex marriage would be overturned. in the argument this week, they will push for a narrower ruling restricting the impact to just california and leaving individual states to decide for themselves. all eyes will be on justice kennedy, considered to be the swing vote between the nine justices. advancing gay rights kennedy wrote a majority opinion for both. next up, california attorney general pamela harris and a member of the team defending prop 8's ban on same-sex marriage with the supreme court. ♪ i am stuck on band-aid brand ♪ ♪ 'cause germs don't stick on me ♪ [ female announcer ] band-aid brand has quiltvent technology with air channels to let boo boos breathe. [ giggles ] [ female announcer ] quiltvent technology, only from band-aid brand. use with neosporin first aid antibiotic.
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people are already lining up at the supreme court in an effort to get seats for tuesday's historic arguments on same sex marriage. joining me california attorney general kamala harris and austin nimocks of the alliance defending freedom, a nonprofit christian advocacy group. thank you both for being here to try to kind of make sense of the possibilities in front of the supreme court. and we know that people are making arguments at many different levels both for and against proposition 8, which was california's voter ban on same sex marriage. but i want to kind of bring it
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down to what may be at least the most far reaching issues. and the first is to you, this particular argument for those who want to overturn prop 8 is that this is like civil rights. that this is the civil rights movement moved to the gay and lesbian community. why is that not the case? >> well, we understand historically that keeping the races apart is wrong. what marriage is about is bringing together the two opposite halves of humanity for a deep social good. that's why as president obama himself said, there are people of good will on both sides of this issue. what we need the supreme court to do is not try to short circuit this debate. we need to keep the debate alive. americans on both sides of this issue are deeply invested in this debate. we don't need a 50-state solution presented by the supreme court. when our democratic institutions are capable of handling the issue. that's what the court will decide. whether it's going to impose a
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redefinition of marriage among all americans or whether we're going to be allowed to continue to work on this together state by state. >> so not a roe v. wade decision is what's being argumented, don't make a decision that then sets the stage arguing four years to come. >> look, candy, this case -- the case before the united states supreme court both in terms of proposition 8 is really about fundamental right. >> and the defensive marriage act which is the defensive law that defines marriage as between a man and woman. >> correct. the united states supreme court since the 1880s has 14 times described marriage as a fundamental right. so when we're talking about this issue going before the court, we are talking about fundamental notions of freedom, of justice and liberty. >> and fundamental right, that means you think within the constitution there is a fundamental right for anyone to marry regardless of gender. >> when we talk about fundamental rights as it relates to the constitution, we are talking about those rights that
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we as a nation designated as being some of the most sacred of all the rights we can have. and 14 times the united states supreme court has described marriage as a fundamental right. >> so what do you -- what's reasonable to expect when you look at the number of things that are being argued by very amicus briefs on sides and people say here's another reason to uphold prop 8 or say it's unconstitutional, where is the realm of possibility do you think in what might ultimately be decided by this summer? >> well, i think the court's going to be hopefully concerned with its role in this process. you know, we have a massive political debate in this country going on right now about same sex marriage. and there are people on both sides of this issue. the constitutional question presented to the court is dramatically different and that's where the court needs to intervene and impose a 50-state solution upon everybody. and fundamental rights are those that are deeply rooted in our nation's history and tradition. same sex marriage is not deeply
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rooted in our nation's history and traditions. >> i would assume that you would argue that equality is and this is a matter of equality. >> this is a matter of equal protection under the law. and as it relates to a fundamental right, the court will hold that under the highest level of scrutiny. and in this case what we are arguing and what i think most people believe and i know that the majority of americans believe it, the majority of californians believe it, the majority of catholics in this country believe it which is that same sex couples should be afforded equal status under the law as those that are not. >> let me ask you, i want to show our audience some of those polls. this happens to be a cnn/orc poll, and from 2008 to 2011 the polling on this has completely turned around. so now 53% of americans say, yeah, same sex marriages should be recognized as valid. 44% say no. so with the country going that
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way, is that something that folks should take into consideration? >> i think it's worthy of consideration as far as the political debate is concerned, especially general harris, is the only polls that matter are the ones that happen on election day. when we're talking proposition 8, we're talking about californians going to the ballot box twice in a nine-year period and voting to uphold marriage between one man and one woman. that's our most fundamental right in this country is the right to vote and right to participate in the political process. and we don't need the supreme court to take that right away from americans of good faith on both sides of this issue and impose its judicial solution. we need to leave this debate to the democratic process, which is working. >> i want to bring you in on this because in case folks are confused why the state attorney general in california, you don't want to uphold proposition 8 which is californians voting twice, as you mentioned, to ban same sex marriage.