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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  March 16, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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june. i'm told that is a key moment here because when we get into july, we get into the august ves and then we're in full onslaught presidential votes. we will see movement by the end of june or probably have to wait for the next president no matter what. >> all right. manu raju, thank you. wo wolf, if it's that the americans want hearings but we'll see how much they want. >> we'll see if there are any hearings or meetings at all, if merrick garland is even invited in for a courtesy call, a cup of coffee, if you will, which will be indicative if they go forward. let's bring in our panel, chief political correspondent dana bash, senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and legal historian mr. brinkley.
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>> lewis powell was 64 when nominated in 1962. in the modern era of the court, that's the oldest nominee that's been confirmed. i think his age is certainly part of the politics of the situation. it's an implicit statement to senate republicans confirm my 63-year-old nominee now during president obama's year in office for prepare for hillary clinton to nominate somebody who may be in his or her 40s. that's the tradeoff that senate republicans are facing. it certainly seems at the moment that they are happy to just kick the can down the road, think that a republican may be elected president, something that has happened. they have put their line in the sand about this nominee. so this is a very interesting
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ceremony coming up. but the idea that merrick garland will be on the supreme court anytime, perhaps ever, seems remote. >> that's a fair point. dana, you spent time looking at the various contingencies out there. it seems extremely doubtful after all the public comments, since antonin's sudden death, that they are going to change their mind at all. this is going to be a nice ceremony but it probably won't be much more than that. >> that would be an about-face of epic proportions at this point. and talking to the republicans up until the time i came on with you, it doesn't seem like there's any desire to change. in fact, one senior senate republican, who i just spoke with, said that their take on it is that the president knows he has no chance, which is why he nominated garland for a couple of reasons. one, as manu mentioned, chuck grassley voted against garland
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back when he was coming to the senate for a confirmation on the bench where he currently is. but not just him, mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader also voted against garland. so you have those two -- that kind of precedent. in addition to the fact that they are already pointing to some important cases that make republicans very upset on detainees and on guns that, from their perspective, even in the best of worlds, even in not an election year, that would have made him, they insist, a tough -- an energetic debate about his nomination. i don't see any movement on that and, as i said earlier, i spoke to lindsey graham, a senator on the judiciary committee who said that he has said to the president, even if he picked me, lindsey graham, i would lead the charge against me because you are the one who picked me in an election year. so i think that sums it up. >> and douglas brinkley, one of
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the points that has been illustrated in terms of the republican senate's unwillingness to hold hearings, a few weeks ago when the democratic leader leaked the name of brian sandoval, republicans were like, we don't care if it's going to be a republican governor. we're not holding hearings. so a progressive moderate like merrick garland is not a surprise that they are still not willing sg no. they are not willing. and merrick garland is a very fine choice by president obama. it's one that is sort of understandable on a number of levels. i think jeffrey toobin said that by picking somebody in -- >> guys, i need to interrupt. president obama is stepping to the stage. >> everybody, please have a seat. of the many powers and responsibilities that the constitution vests in the
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presidency, few are more consequential than appointing a supreme court justice, particularly one to succeed justice scalia, one of the most influential jurists of our time. the men and women who sit on the supreme court are the final arbitrars of our law. they safeguard our rights and ensure that our system is one of laws and not many. they are charged with the essential task of applying principles put to paper more than two centuries ago to some of the most challenging questions of our time. so this is not a responsibility that i take lightly. it's a decision that requires me to set aside short-term expediency and narrow politics so as to maintain faith with our founders and perhaps, more important importantly, with future generations. and that's why, over the past several weeks, i've done my best
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to set up a rigorous and comprehensive process. we've reached out to every member of the senate judiciary committee to constitutional scholars, to advocacy groups, to bar associations representing an array of interests and opinions from all across the spectrum. and today, after completing this exhaustive process, i've made my decision. i've selected a nominee who is widely recognized, not only as one of america's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness and excellence. these qualities and his long commitment to service have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both sides of the aisle. he will ultimately bring that same character to bear on the
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supreme court. an institution in which he is u fe ne uniquely prepared to serve. today i'm nominating merrick garland to join the supreme court. [ applause ] now, in law enforcement circles and in the legal community at large, judge garland needs no introduction. but i'd like to take a minute to introduce merrick to the people whom he already so ably serves. he was born and raised in the land of lincoln, in my home town of chicago, in my home state of illinois. his mother volunteered in the community, his father ran a small business out of their home
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inherenting that work ethic, he became valedictorian of his high school and graduated from harvard and put himself through harvard law school by working as a tutor, by stocking shoes in a shoe store and in what is always a painful moment for any young man, by selling his comic book collection. it's tough. been there. merrick graduated from harvard law and the early years of his legal career bear all of the marks of excellence. he clerked for two president eisenhower's appointees, first for judge henry friendly and then for supreme court justice william brennan. following his clerkships, merrick joined a highly regarded law firm, practice focused on
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disadvantaged americans. within four years, he earned a partnership. the dream of most lawyers. but in 1989, just months after that achievement, merrick made a highly unusual career decision. he walked away from a comfortable and lucrative law practice to learn to public service. merrick accepted a low-level job as a federal prosecutor in president george h.w. bush's administration. he took a 50% pay cut, traded in his elegant partner's office for a windowless closet that smelled of stale cigarette smoke. this was a time when crime here in washington had reached epidemic proportions and he wanted to help and he quickly made a name for himself going after corrupt politicians and violent criminals. his sterling record as a prosecutor led him to the justice department where he oversaw some of the most
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significant prosecutions in the 1990s, including overseeing every aspect of the federal response to the oklahoma city bombing. the aftermath of that act of terror, when 168 people, many of them small children were murdered, merrick had one evening to say good-bye to his own young daughters before he boarded a plane to oklahoma city and he would remain there for weeks. he worked side by side with first responders, rescue workers, local and federal law enforcement. he led the investigation and supervised the prosecution that brought timothy mcveigh to justice. but perhaps most important is the way he did it. throughout the process, merrick took pains to do everything by the book. when people offered to turn over evidence voluntarily, he refused, taking the harder route
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of obtaining the proper subpoenas instead because merrick would take no chances that someone who murdered innocent americans might go free on a technicality. merrick also made a concerted effort to reach out to the victims and their families, updating them frequently on the case's progress. everywhere he went, he carried with him in his briefcase the program from the memorial service with each of the victims' names inside. a constant, searing reminder of why he had to succeed. judge garland has often referred to his work on the oklahoma city case as -- and i quote -- the most important thing i have ever done in my life. and through it all, he never lost touch with that community that he served. it's no surprise, then, that soon after his work in oklahoma city, merrick was nominated to
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what's often called the second highest court in the land. the d.c. circuit court. during that process, during that confirmation process, he earned overwhelmi overwhelming bipartisan praise from legal experts alike. republican senator orrin hatch, who was then chairman of the senate judiciary committee supported his nomination. back then he said, in all honest tea, i'd like to see one person come to this floor and say one reason why merrick garland does not deserve this position. he actually accused fellow senate republicans trying to obstruct merrick's confirmation of playing politics with judges. and he has since said that judge garland would be a consensus nominee for the supreme court, who would be very well supported by all sides and there would be no question merrick would be confirmed with bipartisan
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support. ultimately, merrick was confirmed to the d.c. circuit. second highest court in the land with votes from a majority of democrats and a majority of republicans. three years ago, he was elevated to chief judge. and in his 19 years on the d.c. circuit, judge garland has brought his trademark diligence, compassion and unwavering regard for the rule of law to his work. on a circuit court known for strong-minded judges on both ends of the spectrum, judge garland has earned a track record of building consensus as a thoughtful, fair-minded judge who follows the law. he's shown a rare ability to bring together odd couples, a symbol unlikely coalitions.
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and this record on the bench speaks, i believe, to judge garland's temperament, his insistence that all views deserve a respectful hearing. his habit, to borrow a phrase from former justice john paul stevens, of understanding before disagreeing. and then disagreeing without being disagreeable. that speaks to his ability to persuade, to respond to the concerns of others with sound arguments and air-tight logic. as his former colleague on the d.c. circuit and our current chief justice of the supreme court john roberts once said, anytime judge garland disagrees, you know you're in a difficult area. at the same time, chief judge garland is more than just a brilliant legal mind. he's someone who has a keen understanding that justice is about more than abstract legal theory, more than some footnote
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in a dusty casebook. his life experience, his experience in places like oklahoma city, informs his view that the law is more than an intellectual exercise. he understands the way law affects the daily reality of people's lives in a big, complicated democracy and in rapidly changing times. and throughout his juris prudence runs a common thread, a dedication to protecting the basic rights of every american, a conviction that in a democracy, powerful voices may not be allowed to drown out the voices of every day americans. to find someone with such a long career of public service, marked by complex and sensitive issues, to find someone who just about everyone not only respects but genuinely likes, that is rare. and it speaks to who merrick
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garland is not just as a lawyer but as a man. people respect the way he treats others. his genuine courtesy and respect for his colleagues and those who come before his court. admire his civic mindedness, mentoring his clerks throughout their careers, urging them to use their legal training to serve their communities, setting his own example by tutoring a young student at a north d.c. elementary school each year for the past 18 years. they are moved by his deep devotion to his family. lynn, his wife of nearly 30 years, and their two daughters, becky and jesse. as a family, they indulge their love of hiking and skiing and canoeing and their love of america by visiting our national parks. people respect merrick's deep and abiding passion for protecting our most basic constitutional rights. it's a passion i'm told that
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manifested itself at an early age and stories indicative of this, it's notable. as valedictorian of his high school class, he had to deliver a commencement address. the other student speaker that day unleashed a fiery critique of the vietnam war. fearing the controversy that might result, several parents decided to unplug the sound system and the rest of the student's speech was muffled. merrick didn't necessarily agree with the topic for the day but stirred by the sight of a fellow student's voice being silenced, he tossed aside his prepared remarks and delivered, instead, on the spot a passionate and impromptu defense of our first amendment rights. it was the beginning of a lifelong career as a lawyer and a prosecutor and as a judge devoted to protecting the rights
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of others. and he has done that work with decency and humanity and commonsense and a common touch. and i'm proud that he will continue that work on our nation's highest court. i said i would take this process seriously and i did. i chose a serious man and an exemplary judge, merrick garland. in all my conversations with both parties in which i asked their views on qualified supreme court nominees, this includes the previous two that i had to fill. the one name that's come up repeatedly from republicans and democrats alike is merrick garland. now, i recognize that we have
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entered the political season or perhaps these days that never end. a political season that is even noisier and more volatile than usual. i know that republicans will point to democrats who have made it hard for republican presidents to get their nominees confirmed. and they are not wrong about that. there's been politics involved in nominations in the past, although it should be pointed out that in each of those instances, democrats ultimately confirmed a nominee put forward by a republican president. i also know that because of justice scalia's outside role in the court and in american law and the fact that americans are closely divided on a number of issues before the court, it is tempting to make this confirmation process simply an
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extension of our divided politics. the squabbling that's going on in the news every day. but to go down that path would be wrong. it would be a betrayal of our best traditions. and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents. at a time when our politics are so polarized, at a time when norms and customs and political rhetoric and courtesy are so often treated like they are disposable, this is precisely the time when we should play it straight. and treat the process of appointing a supreme court justice with the seriousness and care it deserves. because our supreme court really is unique. it's supposed to be above politics. it has to be. and it should stay that way.
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to suggest that someone is qualified and respected as merrick garland doesn't even deserve a hearing, let alone an up or down vote, to join an institution as important as our supreme court, when two-thirds of americans believe otherwise, that would be unprecedented. to suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity, with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the american people, might be treated as one republican leader stated as a political pinata, that can't be right. tomorrow, judge garland will travel to the hill to begin meeting with senators one on one. i simply ask republicans in the senate to give him a fair hearing. and then an up or down vote.
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if you don't, then it will not only be an abducation of the senate's constitutional duty, it will begin a process that is beyond repair. it will mean everything is subject so the most partisan of politics. everything. it will provoke an endless cycle of more tit for tat and make it increasingly possible for any president, democrat or republican, to carry out their constitutional function. the reputation of the supreme court will inevitably suffer. faith in our justice system will inevitably suffer. our democracy will ultimately suffer as well.
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i have fulfilled my constitutional duty. now it's time for the senate to do theirs. presidents do not stop working in the final year of their term neither should a senator. i know that tomorrow the senate will take a break and recess for two weeks. my hope is that senators take time to reflect on the importance to our democracy, not what's expedient, not what's happening at the moment, what does this mean for our institutions, for our common life? the stakes, the consequences, the seriousness of the job we all swore an oath to do. and when they return, i hope they'll act in a bipartisan fashion. i hope they are fair.
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that's all. i hope they are fair, as they did when they confirmed merrick garland to the d.c. circuit, i ask that they confirm merrick garland now to the supreme court so that he can take his seat in time to fully participate in its work for the american people this fall. he is the right man for the job. he deserves to be confirmed. i could not be prouder of the work that he has already done on behalf of the american people. he deserves our thanks and he deserves a fair hearing. and with that, i'd like to invite judge garland to say a few words. [ applause ]
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>> thank you, mr. president. this is the greatest honor of my life. other than lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago. it's also the greatest gift i've ever received, except -- and there's another caveat, the birth of our daughters, becky and jesse. as my parents taught me, my both words and deeds, the life of public service is as much of a gift to the person who serves as it is to those he is serving. and for me, there could be no higher public service than serving as a member of the united states supreme court. my family deserves much of the credit for the path that led me here. my grandparents left the pale of settlement at the border of western russia and eastern
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europe in the early 1900s fleeing anti-semitism and hoping to make a better life for their children in america. they settled in the midwest, eventually making their way to chicago. there, my father who ran the smallest of small businesses, from a room in our basement, took me with him as he made the rounds to his customers, always impressing upon me the importance of hard work and fair dealing. there, my mother headed the local pta and school board and directed a volunteer services agency, all the while instilling in my sisters and me the understanding that service to the community is a responsibility above all others. even now, my sisters honor that example by serving the children of their communities. i know that my mother is watching this on television and
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crying her eyes out. so are my sisters who have supported me in every step i have ever taken. i only wish that my father were here to see this today. i also wish that we hadn't taught my older daughter to be so adventurous that she would be hiking in the mountains out of cell service range when the president called. it was the sense of responsibility to serve the community instilled by my parents that led me to leave my law firm to become a prosecutor in 1989. there, one of my first assignments was to assist in thes couthe prosecution of a violent gang which took over a public housing project and terrorized the residents. the hardest job we faced was persuading mothers and grandmothers that if they testified, we would be able to
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keep them safe and convict the gang members. we succeeded only by convincing witnesses and victims that they could trust that the rule of law would prevail. years later, when i went to oklahoma city to investigate the bombing of the federal building, i saw up close the devastation that can happen when someone abandons the justice system as a way of resolving grievances and instead takes matters into his own hands. once again, i saw the importance of assuring victims and families that the justice system could work. we promised that we would find the perpetrators. that we would bring them to justice and that we would do it in a way that honored the constitution. the people of oklahoma city gave us their trust and we did everything we could to live up
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to it. trust that justice will be done in our courts without prejudice or partisanship is what, in a large part, distinguishes this country from others. people must be confident that a judge's decisions are determined by the law and only the law. for a judge to be worthy of such trust, he or she must be faithful to the constitution and to the statutes passed by the congress. he or she must put aside his personal views or preferences and follow the law. not make it. this has been the cornerstone of my professional life. and it's the hallmark of the kind of judge i have tried to be for the past 18 years. if the senate sees fit to confirm me to the position for which i have been nominated today, i promise to continue on
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that course. mr. president, it's a great privilege to be nominated by a fellow chicagoan. i am grateful beyond words for the honor you have bestowed upon me. [ applause ] >> merrick garland nominated by the president of the united states to be his supreme court justice speaking very emotionally. there you see his wife and daughter in the rose garden. senator patrick leahy and harry reid, the democratic leader going over to congratulate them. jeffrey toobin, the president said he's one of america's sharpest legal minds. he's got a really strong reputation out there, doesn't he? >> he really does. you know, merrick garland is not well-known in the united states
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but he's very well-known in the washington legal community and in the broader community that follows these sorts of issues. and the one thing that you can see about this nomination is that it really does take the issue of qualifications off the table. there is certainly no one in the united states more qualified to be on the supreme court than merrick garland. the question is, politically, does he offer the president anything in particular as we head into this election season and is there anything about his nomination that will get the republicans off their position of no hearing, no vote. that seems unlikely to me but certainly when it comes to garland's qualifications himself, you know, it is really a close question. >> and let's go to pamela brown now. pamela, as jeffrey was just discussing, the political benefits of a merrick garland
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nomination seemed rather slim compared to all the pressure that was on president obama to pick somebody from a minority group that might rally voters to the polls. president obama in the past, when asked what he's looking for, what qualification he's looking for in the supreme court nominee, talked about empathy. that was not cited as one of the main reasons to pick merrick garland today. >> that's right. a lot of people thought the president would pick someone who can rally the base in an election year, particularly because the thinking is that the person is never going to get con firp fi firmed by the republican-led senate. some groups have already come out and expressed their disappointment with this pick. but what is clear to me, jake, this is not about the election. this is really about president obama's legacy. and the sense i get is that president obama really believes that merrick garland has the
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best chance of being confirmed compared to some of the other more diverse candidates he was looking at. and as you heard in the president's speech, he really tried to play up the fact that merrick garland is a consensus candidate. he talked about how he was able to get other judges to agree to his legal opinions, how he's liked by both sides of the aisle, how senator hatch has come out and praised him, how he's close to chief justice roberts on the high court. that was really a focus of the president's speech and also i thought it was interesting that the president focused on sort of the boot-strapping story, you know, the fact that merrick garland's dad had a small business in their basement and that merrick garland paid his way through college being a shoe clerk and how he tutored kids in elementary school here in d.c. i think by doing that, the president is trying to appeal to this notion that he wants someone who has life experience
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outside of the classroom but not necessarily, jake, the definition of empathy that maybe others were hoping for here. >> all right. pamela, wolf? >> you know, dana bash, the president of the united states said it very simply, he said, i simply ask for republicans in the senate to give him a fair hearing and an up or down vote. what are the chances that is going to happen? >> slim to none. closer to none. as we were watching that ceremony in the rose garden, our deirdre walsh, producer on capitol hill, e-mailed out that she talked to mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader in the hallway this morning and he reiterated his vow to not even meet with merrick garland. so never mind the hearing. the ceremonial idea of meeting with senators and nominees, that kind of always happens. it's just usually protocol. they are not even going to go there and they've said that ever
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since this vacancy happened because of the argument that they makeover and over again. they simply do not believe, they say, that a president in this heated of an election cycle, who is a lame duck, should be able to nominate somebody. so that's that. i will say that the part of the president's -- two parts of the president's remarks that i thought were interesting, one is him sort of name-checking orrin hatch who was for a time the chairman of the judiciary committee and did support merrick garland back when he was coming through for the bench that he is currently on. that obviously is an attempt to try to maybe shame orrin hatch into changing his mind and supporting garland for the supreme court or at least urging a hearing. unlikely that that's going to happen. the other thing that i thought was not an accident was the president noting that the congress is going to go on recess for two weeks starting
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tomorrow, meaning, if there was sort of a pop-up video there, that would be, we're doing our job, congress. why aren't you doing yours? that, i think, was very intentional and very interesting. >> i want to play a clip, dana. this is orrin hatch back in 1997 speaking about merrick garland. >> based solely on his qualifications, i support the nomination of mr. garland and i urge my colleagues to do the same. to my knowledge, no one, absolutely no one disputes the following. merrick garland is highly qualified to sit on the d.c. circuit. his intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned. >> so that was then, dana. but this is now. i guess things change. the president was very clear. he said, "i fulfilled my constitutional responsibility to nominate someone for the supreme court. now it's up to the senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to have sort of a
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consideration and an up or down vote". but you're saying that's unlikely to happen? >> that's right. and it again goes to the point that republicans have been making since this all happened, which is, it's not about the nominee. it's about the president nominating somebody, anybody to the highest court in the land for a lifetime appointment when he is on his way out the door. and, of course, democrats and the president himself said, like, wait a minute, i've got a whole year left here and congress and the senate in particular, you do as well. i should also note that what that also shows, that clip you just played from orrin hatch, is that supreme court nominations are always intense. there is always a big fight but they are not always highly, highly partisan. you know, even in recent history with president obama's nominees, you have had a lot of republicans vote for sotomayor, for elena kagan because they have believed that it is a president's obligation and it is
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their opportunity to put somebody on the supreme court. that's what the constitution says. but those very senators who have voted "yes" for some obama nominees, they are still saying that in this partisan atmosphere, with less than a year left in office, it's just not the right time for him. >> of course, republicans are quick to point out that when president obama was in the u.s. senate, he voted against john roberts and he voted to filibuster samuel alito. douglas brinkley, let me bring you in. obviously a lot of back and forth about whether nominees in an election year, there's been a hearing. there's never been a situation like this one, though. >> there hasn't been. yes, president obama checked the box and nominated merrick garland but, no, we are not going to be able to get a hearing between this spring in the middle of this volcanic
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election cycle. republicans would rather wait it out until at least november. what will be interesting to see, can merrick garland sustain becoming kind of a sympathetic, martyr-like figure. he very well might. it's hard to argue that he shouldn't be on the supreme court. he's got all of the credentials. just oklahoma city bombing alone, which i have studied in depth, he did this extraordinary prosecution there. 168 people were killed and 680 wounded. he moved in and in a methodical way went after timothy mcveigh and the others and kind of a major figure in that and also went after the unabomber, meaning he's tough on terror and a brilliant mind. they will ignore the fact that obama chose him. >> it's likely thatthe best chance that merrick garland has on getting on the court, just based on the political reality teas, not his qualifications, is
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if hillary clinton is the nominee or bernie sanders is the nominee and wins, that between that lame duck period, between the election and inauguration, if merrick garland would be confirmed then because republicans in the senate are so fearful of the much more liberal, much more young nominee likely to come. >> this is a lifetime position. a supreme court justice can stay on the bench for 30 years, if not longer. so that individual could have an enormous impact. i want to go to our congressional reporter manu raju up on the hill. you're getting more reaction. we heard orrin hatch and what said back in 1997 and what he said about merrick garland but now he's saying something different, right? >> right. now he's saying that times have changed. he still thinks highly of judge garland but he thinks right now, as other republicans are saying, this is not about judge garland and his qualifications. this is about whether or not the president in this lake dumb
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president is weighed out and the senate should act on the nomination. he's firmly on senator grassley and mcconnell's side of not moving forward. i've learned that the judicial crisis network, a conservative outside group will be launching a $2 million ad buy in the coming weeks. they have already gone on air to give cover to blue state senators in tough re-election races in saying that -- praising them for standing firm against the president and also criticizing the nominee. so you're going to see certainly a two-front war for republicans. on one front, the republican senators will say, we should not move forward with anyone whatsoever. let's not even debate the qualifications. and then on the outside, you're going to see some attacks about the merits of that nominee. that's the way the republicans can push back against what will be a very furious democratic response against those senators who are up for re-election because democrats believe that
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is the one way they can get this dynamic to change if those senators are up for re-election and begin to cave, technically chuck grassley of iowa. right now republicans are not showing any bend whatsoever but it will come to a head in the coming weeks. >> to at least have hearings and see if there's going to be a vote. manu, thanks very much. jake, the stakes are really enormous right now for liberal justices, for conservative justices with the passing of antonin scalia, the next supreme court justice could swing that balance very, very significantly on a whole host of critically important issues. >> and usually in a presidential year, the why the of a next president will appoint one, two, three, supreme court justices, that's usually just a theoretical argument but now we actually have a vacancy and it's very real, i imagine, for both conservatives who want to talk about religious liberty and for liberals who want to talk about
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abortion rights. this is going to be a major campaign issue. >> we'll have extensive coverage throughout the day here on cnn. we're also getting a whole lot more reaction right now to what has happened here in the united states on the race for the white house. big wins last night for hillary clinton, for donald trump, extensive coverage on that coming up right here on cnn. pet moments are beautiful, unless you have allergies. then your eyes may see it differently. only flonase is approved to relieve both itchy, watery eyes and congestion. no other nasal allergy spray can say that. when we breathe in allergens our bodies react by
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profound impact on our country. so, of course, of course the american people should have a say in the court's direction. it is a president's constitutional right to nominate a supreme court justice and it is the senate's constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent. as chairman grassley and i declared weeks ago and reiterated personally to president obama, the senate will continue to observe the biden rule so that the american people have a voice in this momentous decision. the american people may well elect a president who decides to nominate judge garland for senate consideration. the next president may also nominate somebody very different. either way, our view is this. give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.
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let me remind colleagues of what vice president biden said when he was chairman of the judiciary committee here in the senate. here's what he said. "it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way and it is action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over." that is what is fair to the nominee, he said, and is central to the process. otherwise, it seems to me, chairman biden went on, we will be in deep trouble as an institution. others may threat, he said, that this approach would leave the court with only eight members for some time. but, as i see it, chairman biden said, the cost of such a result, the need to reargue three or four cases that will divide the justices 4-4, are quite minor
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compared to the cost that a nominee, the president, the senate and the nation would have to pay for what would assuredly be a is nominated by the president. chairman joe biden. consider that last part. senator biden said the cost of the nation would be too great, no matter who the president nominates. president obama and his allies may try to pretend this agreement is about a person, but as i just noted his own vice president made it clear it's not. ed biden rule reminds us that it remains about a principle and not a person.
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about a principle and not a person. it seems clear that president obama made this nomination not -- not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election. , which is the type of thing then chairman biden was concerned about, the exact thing chairman biden was concerned about. the biden rule underlines what the president has done with this nomination would be unfair to any nominee, and more importantly, the rule warns of the great cost the president's action could carry for our nation. americans are certain to hear a lot of rhetoric from the other side in the coming days, but here are the facts they should keep in mind. the current democratic leader said the senate is not a rubber stamp, and he noted that the
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constitution does not require the senate to give presidential nominees a vote. that's the current democratic leader. the incoming leader did not even wait until the final year of george w. bush's term to essentially tell the senate to not, he said not, to consider any supreme court nominee the president sent. the biden rule supports what the senate is doing today, underlining what we're talking about is a principle and not a person. so here's our view. instead of spending more time debating an issue where we can't agree, let's keep working to address the issues where we can. we just passed critical bipartisan legislation to help address the heroin and -- >> it is about a principle, not a person. the heard right there from mitch
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mcconnell reiterating severalally what was known going in hearing from the top senate republican that the senate republicans at least as of day are not going to consider the nomination of merrick garland to the supreme court. this means a lot, obviously in the direct of the supreme court, in washington and beyond, especially when you take it in the context of the presidential election, so let's discuss this now with mary catherine hamm, senior write for "the federalist." and formerly ben cashes an campaign manager and charles blow ander ro ee eer and errol . he keeps says over and over again it's about principle, not the person. they have obviously called it the biden rule in order to stick it to the vice president and why they feel like they're on safe ground to not consider this
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nomination. are republican voters going to buy that goods forward? >> i think that's why senators on the republican side framed it that way from the beginning so they could say safely it wasn't about the person, because we said it earlier. gop base voters certainly want them to stand strong. i think both sides can make decent arguments here, right? as you heard mitch mcconnell making the argument. he can use the words of then senator joe biden and then femme senator, now president obama. it's amusing to watch the two of them stand up and ask for fairness when then-senator obama voted to filibuster alito, and joe biden pioneered one of the most unprecedented methods in judicial obstruction ever. it's called borking. so welcome to your world, guys. >> charles, the president may have a lot of reactions to what
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the senate majority leader said, but surprise can't rightly be one of them. they had telegraphed what they were going to do, so the question remains what will the president do? how much is he willing to fight about this? will he make this a daily issue? >> i think he'll make it a consistent issue, can you bomb to this constantly and say this person is hanging out there, you know, month three and he still has not gotten a hearing, they still have not met -- and i heard before that they weren't even going to meet with him, let alone have a vote. not even meet with him, giving him the common courtesy. and this is a quirk, there is no timetable. nothing says the senate has to within a certain period do something. so it has always been kind of a gentlemen's agreement, this is how we're going to do it, and they're saying we're not going to do it now, and they're throwing it back onto the current administration. you heard them constantly saying
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over and over the biden rule. one to put it back on the administration and say you created this, we're not doing something new, and we're going to follow this particular standard. >> yeah, you called it a gentlemen's agreement. gentlemen no more between the white house and congress. it hasn't been for a very long time. let's move forward now looking ahead after a big night last night, a very billing night for donald trump and hillary clinton. huge races with huge implications. let's talk about that now. barry, big night for team trump, big night for your guy looking in the immediate future, if i could -- >> can't we just relish the moment? >> no, it's all about looking ahead, forward motion here. this is a debate scheduled monday. this morning donald trump said he didn't know about the debate, and he's not going to that debate. really? >> he's speaking to apac on
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monday night, and you can only choose to be in one place. i don't know why they chose monday night for the debate. you know, bad scheduling. >> do you think it's smart, though? a lot of folks i've seen tape speeches to a pac. somebody could be worked out if he wants to show up to the debate. do you think, one, he is truly going to femme stick with this? when he did not show up for the debate in iowa, a lot of -- >> this is the 14th debate, i think? >> 13th, i believe. >> i don't know, i lost count around ten, but anyway, i don't think it matters much, to tell you the truth. you and i have discussed this, but you know, none of these debates have moved numbers. everybody knows who they're voting for on the republican side these days. the undecides are very small, you know, it's kind of an exercise in futility, if you will, and so, you know, i would
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rather hearing his foreign policy speech in front of a pac, very frankly. >> p barry not concerned, we'll mark you down in the nonconcerned category. hillary clinton at least on 4 for 4, maybe 5 for 5, and not a lot of people saw this coming. it looks like she might win all five. what changed after michigan. she lost michigan. what changed? >> she was greatly outspent in michigan. the sanders campaign put a lot of time, money and effort into michigan, and it paid off. he does not have and did not have the resources to do something equivalent in ohio, though he did make an earnest, hard effort. >> but in ohio, too. there was nowhere northeasterly. he specify spent multiples of the clinton investment in michigan, and frankly he has a
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message. it doesn't sell everywhere. county by county throughout ohio, he had problems in like the cleveland area. i think he only won a handful of the counties where you have a big university. so he has to expand his base. it's the same problem he's had for a weeks. the clinton machine is exploiting those weaknesses. >> mary catherine, john had a great weekend with hillary clinton. >> thank you. >> compliments where compliments are always due. listen here. >> your message to governor kasich is get out? >> well, i think any candidate, if you don't have a clear path to winning, it doesn't make sense to stay in the race. i would note every day john kasich stays in the race benefits donald trump. >> that's not going to happen in the short term. john kasich is in. what do the other guys not named trump do? >> welcome to the problem that's
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been the proper with beating trump. plurality. -- i think ted cruz safely makes the argument that he should be the guy even if the calendar is not demographically friendly to him, which it's not. another interesting point on the sprk, republicans are looking down the barrel of a possible hillary clinton presidency or a likely nominee of donald trump, who is a bit of a wildcard. ted cruz would be a very safe choice, and you would know he would pick someone safely right of center. justice am rosa, he's put out a couple names, but it would be hard to trust that. barry a yes or know question, outright, are you as the trump campaign glad to have two people remaining? or would you rather it be one on one? give me an honest answer. >> i think one

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