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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 27, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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>> if you missed any of what donald trump had to say this its noon, you can see in entirety on c-span.org. news coming out of the white house. president obama is set to announce that the u.s. hopes to keep 9,800 troops in afghanistan following the end of the war later this year. this is planned on -- is contimbent following the upcoming elections. president obama is expected to talk about this later at the white house. he'll be in the rose gardens. we'll have those remarks at 2:45 eastern on c-span. be sure to join us at 8:00 for a look at the financial crisis. ben bernanke told a room full of congressional leaders, quote, unless you act in a matter of days, the financial
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system and the world will be brought down. chris dodd is joined by barney frank. here's a brief look. >> we did something unpopular that staved off disaster. here's the disadvantage politicians are at vis-a-vis economists. economists can write articles and do analyses in which they invoke the counterfactual. they can talk about why this was a good thing because they can talk about the counterfactual, what would have happened. politicians are not allowed to use the counterfactual. any elected official goes up there and says, look, i understand you're upset but it would have -- i saved it from getting it a lot worse. it was so frustrating. i had a slogan which jim segal's brother printed up which i was disswayed from
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using in 2010. it said things would have sucked worse without me. [laughter] that was my political -- but the problem was we got all of the negative political vibes from the tarp and very little public. that's why it was still very tough to get the bill through. >> and just a brief portion of their recent discussion on the 2008 financial crisis. be with us tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span for that complete program. >> if you go back and look at coolidge, he was a conservative hero and his tax rate was a gold standard tax rate that we saw in the video, 25% was what he got, the top rate and he fought like crazy. it started, remember, with wilson in the 1970's so that was an epic battle. when you look at what the socialites said about coolidge in washington, how cool he
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wasn't, he wouldn't meet with them. they were probably from families that endorsed different policies, especially alice roosevelt longworth. it's let's get 'em go after bully pulpit president. here was coolidge prissy and cool. she said he looked as those he'd been weaned on a pickle. coolidge's silence was cultural. he was from new england. farmers don't wave their arms a lot because cowboys may kick them. -- because cows may kick them. he was a shy person. but also had a political purpose. he knew if he didn't talk a lot people would stop talking. and of course a president or a political leader is constantly bombarded with requests and his silence was his way of not giving in to special interests. and he articulated that quite explit italy. >> amity shlaes will take your
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questions. in depth live for three hours sunday at noon eastern on -span 2's "book tv." >> we'll have president obama live on the proposal to hold over troops in afghanistan until 2016. that will be live at 2:45 eastern. right now, though, a discussion on the conservative movement and the republicans' legislative agenda from today's "washington journal." washington journal continues. host: we want to welcome back to the table ramesh ponnuru. let me show you the headline from the wall street journal on may 21. gop primaries taming the tea party. is that what happened? entireit does show the -- the entire primary season shows republicans are not in the
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middle of a civil war. the party has long-running and manageable actions. .e partiers are disorganized it is a tendency rather than a kind of organized faction area when folks affiliated with that faction are running credible candidates and smart campaigns to win as they did in nebraska, and when they are not, they do not win. what about the ones here who represent the tea party i'll be out -- ideology on capitol hill and the influence they have over the public policy debate? this --noticed that precisely because it is a disorganized movement, jessica ackley who belongs and who does not shifts over time. a lot of the folks elected in 2010, some people say they are not he partiers anymore and they have abandoned the movement. other people say, they just never signed up for a particular interpretation of what the tea party means. i would say the
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general sense we need to have -- that we need to have a republican party more committed to shrinking government and spending and tackling long-term debt problems, those things are issues on which tea parties -- he partiers have had enormous success. the tea party as a whole has move in that direction. host: is tea party influence declining on capitol hill? guest: i would not say that. isould say the tea party being folded into the republican party generally. that is the sort of thing that is happening to the new group that tried to come into the republican party. it happened with the christian right in 0870's and 1980's. there are some tensions when you have got a new group of people with slightly different priorities and different ideas, but overall, parties are very of vision. the political parties are very of agent at managing the problems and adjusting to them.
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class what does that mean for the agenda? what does it mean for the agenda heading into november, the general elections and after that as well? there is a question that cuts across the tea party divide. there are republicans who think we do not need to have a can of if agenda and the opposition to resident obama and his agenda will be enough to carry them through the election. that is probably a little bit more on the establishment side of things. there are folks on both sides who say, we need to have an alternative, we need to show people. this is where i'd identify myself. we need to show not only that the presidential agenda is wrong for our country, but that there is a better way. mcconnell was recently at the american enterprise institute causes conservative metropolitan forum. after his i marry win.
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primary win. this is what he had to say on what the gop focus should be. >> it should also be admitted that our rush to defend the american entrepreneur from daily recommendations that pursues any enterprise that is profit making with suspicion. the average voter is not john -- it is a good impulse, to be sure. revolve around aging parents, long commutes, shrinking budgets, and obscenely high tuition bills, these homes to entrepreneurism are a practical matter, largely irrelevant. the audience is probably a lot smaller than we think area -- think. i was there when senator mcconnell made those remarks and
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i thought they were spot on. the story of the heroic entrepreneur who is stifled by regulations and taxes is very important. it is a story the free market party has to tell. conservatives need to do -- to be aware it is not a story that identifyost americans with. we heard in the convention in 2012 a lot of talk about job creators. that is fine. most americans are not job creators. they are jobholders. in recent years, they have been job seekers. host: there is a headline. may 21. "conservative jeff manifesto help republicans draft republican voters." -- middle-class voters." in that tax overhaul that benefits middle-class parent, modified student loans system, opposed immigration overhaul, borders only secure, opposition
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to same-sex marriage and abortion. what you think of the manifesto and is this the right focus? guest: the manifesto he was writing about recently is something i have been deeply involved in. is about reforms that could limit the government and help the middle-class. the idea of the book is to show that conservative ideas are not just philosophically sound, something conservatives spent a great deal of time doing. it is also to show that applying conservative ideas would use -- yield practical benefits on a range of issues. we actually do not like so much about the immigration question, for example, in this, the conservators to the book have different views on the issue. i certainly have my own views on it. the main idea is that we cannot keep feeding these large areas to the left,ll see
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making policies more -- a liberal concern and we will not advance ideas on it or think or how to do this. apply insight to the way higher education policy is run, you can the it is an area ripe for arm. -- reform. host: we're talking with ramesh ponnuru. weigh in with your comments. steve, you are on the air. theer: i want to ask gentleman about the theo conservatives. i discover them recently and found out they may be a cerebral alternative to the new right. i deliberately did not even joke evangelical new right. i did like mitch mcconnell's view on john. i will hang up.
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i believe the caller was referring to theo conservatives, a term that has sometimes used to describe religious conservatives, essentially. folks whoseong been conservatism is deeply influenced either religion. there are different degrees of emphasis and they are part of a larger conservative coalition. host: does the manifesto address their concerns? onst: speaking for myself these issues, the issues that tend to come up are things like the right to life. i am a strong lifenent of the right to of unborn children. the republican party and conservative movement are generally in the right place on those issues. the book is contemplating on. -- concentrating on areas where we need some filling in of the gaps. issue is same-sex marriage.
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polls show is popular with the american people. gallup, same-sex marriage support reaches a new high of 55%. is the party into and with the american public? guest: there is no question that support for same-sex marriage has been rising rapidly in the last few years. i do think there is a tendency on the part of a lot of people to overestimate the extent to which the republican party's political problems are a result of social issues. people lump them in together when there is no evidence that abortion is moving in the same direction as insect marriage. if anything, the public have moving in a more pro-life direction in the last 20 years. i do not think the main problem for the republican party has been same-sex marriage. obviously, as public opinion changes, politicians stanch his -- stances will change. that is the way things work. the big problem for the republican party is that it is perceived as being exclusively about promoting the interest of big this is an rich people and is not seen as advancing the
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economic interest of most people. that is the problem most needs tackling. host: on the issue of abortion, here is gallup again here at u.s. is split on abortion. 47% pro-choice, 46% pro-life. that is right. i believe that gallup found the number of people who prioritize that issue, more are pro-life and fewer are pro-choice ear that is very consistent finding. the question about the parity they found between pro-lifers and pro-choicers, that is a recent development. if you go back to 1995, 56% of the public would have said pro-choice and 33% would have said pro-life. there has been a movement toward pro-life. host: on twitter -- there are 330 million people in this country and two major political parties and political tendencies.
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parties and both major philosophical tendencies will be coalitional in nature. askins -- ofnk conservatism as a disposition toward traditionalism and ethics, free markets and economics, a kind of natural -- national interest-based of foreign policy. different people will have different degrees of embassies on these things. to the extent i think there is an umbrella idea, i think it is that we want to conserve the political inheritance we have received from the founding fathers, which is actually the subject of my chapter of the book we are talking about. on twitter -- people think about it differently. after the primary kentucky, they supported mitch mcconnell saying
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, "the principal challenge is to -- guest: that is the sort of thing that people who launch in the primaries often say. i think what happened in kentucky illustrates what i was talking about in terms of the disorganized nature of the tea party movement and the fact that the only spokesman for it are the self-appointed postman. whatever anyone thinks about groups, that i think charlie do a lot of great work, they created this candidacy as the tea party candidate, but i think it is clear most republican voters who think of themselves that's -- that,
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mitch mcconnell. host: independent caller in north carolina. caller: thank you for taking my call. this conservative, i do not understand how the demo has let these republicans it away with it. about, they hate the government, they would like to cut government and spending. as soon as they get in office, you look at george bush. he blew government bigger than any other president and created a homeless or the department and all this other stuff. hundreds of audience -- he spent all this money, nondiscretionary ending, and once they get into office, they're worse than the democrats. are notople conservatives, especially the tea party. they do not want to conserve what we have now, but they want to go back to the old days. host: give me an example. caller: look at the voting rights.
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they do not want to extend that. they claim they are very conservative on spending, but when it comes to -- i will give you an example. the american people do not want to have unemployment benefit. a lot of people are out of work. conservatives did not want to do it. income -- iney got trouble, what do they do? john mccain -- the first minute or so of timothy's comment was something that actually a lot of tea partiers complain about -- he complains about agree with. republicans have spent too much money when they were in power. then he turns around and wants them to spend more money. on the question about going
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back, i would say that on the voting rights act, where a lot of republicans are, it is not about going back there it it is about recognizing that times have changed and that emergency provision from 1965 may not be propria today. an issue in this in court case, treatedurisdictions be differently that because of 1965 or should we update those as? colorado, republican caller. caller: i am from illinois. sorry about that. is the attempt of this party by jeb bush called the new republicans. these newer brand.
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how do we see the new brand as we continue on in the nude election -- the new elections? host: do you like it? caller: i think it is something else. you need to focus on neoconservatism and paleo conservatism. right now, conservatism indianized aids, the mainstream idea is that neoconservatism, which is very much what george w. bush and his administration were showing. guest: when people talk about rebranding, it sounds to me like slapping a fresh coat of eight on the same product.
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i think what we need are new ideas. a conservative philosophy, but addressing the problems of today. of the problem with conservatism politically over the last four years is there agenda, that we stuck with the agenda of the late 1970's and early 1980's, without recognizing the world has changed, partly because the agenda was successful area host: going -- successful. host: going back to the manifesto, it is labeled to help middle-class voters. is that a problem? guest: that was the new york times description. it is a big thing. 85% of the country considers itself to be middle-class. the problem is something you
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have seen very start we. the political problem. you see it in the x the old dirt in the last event selections, there have in a variance in the election. in both cases, president obama has done much better than republican candidates. and that is a deep-seated problem, whether the republican with the rich. host: what do you do to change the perception? guest: you make the case that your agenda will help all it is not just an indirect way. we are going to help your wages rise faster with the health care solutions, that we are going to provide tax relief for families three spend and tax that it, that we are going to make higher
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education more -- when you have enough of those sorts of ideas, you can chip away at that perception. looking forward to 2016, a news poll had a question for those at the polls. the 2016 republican primary caucus in your state was being held today, for whom would you vote? 14% jeb bush. 11% paul ryan. a -- 10% chris christie. guest: a lot of them have bits and pieces of it. none of them have the whole package. it is a wide open primary race. i do not think it is important to pick out one of these people and make them the candidate for the new agenda. what is important is to influence the entire party and
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the entire country for more of them to take the agenda forward in that fashion. caller: i would like to mention -- many tea party members they do not remember ronald reagan saying we are moving away from a -- moving toward a service-based economy. that is where america started going down the tubes. we lost our manufacturing base. we lost our tax revenue for that and income taxes for that. people lost their jobs because of that. that was surveyed it is a conservative tenet that was pushed out. i've recently seen joe scarborough on his shows they outsourcing -- the wait it was supposed to. these people backtrack ideas they push, promote, and then
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they fail miserably for our country and then they try to act track -- backtrack. host: democrats have done the same when it comes to trade. caller: yes, president clinton did sign but that was a republican bill that was pushed. -- he was a business friendly democrat, trying to appease his. -- business. host: do you push for the transpacific partnership? caller: i do not. we should be taking care of america and american jobs and i think it is, if they had any sense of loyalty, would feel the same way. before you let me go, i would ann to say and coulter -- coulter was the one who was coming around with a statement that immigrants were doing the jobs americans do notthat was se
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chamber of commerce, cheap labor, wages for everyone else. that was something republicans were saying all the time. i recently heard, and it really made me upset -- i heard a guest just last week, out and say democrats are the ones saying we want immigrant labor because they are doing the jobs americans do not want to do. that was ann coulter running around saying that 15 years ago, and i think conservatives pushed tenets that fail and they backtrack from them all the time. host: all right, david. go to c-span.org and watch the interviews we have done with tom richmond gutierrez on the issue of immigration, -- with congressman gutierrez on the issue of immigration. concern isour
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manufacturing, the problem has not been trade. the problem is we have gotten so much production -- so much more productive at it. manufacturing employment is down because fewer people can produce more things. that to me is not something that government policy can or should try to change. on immigration, i don't believe that the phrase he is talking about originates with ann coulter, who is a pretty strong opponent of increasing legislation that we are talking about. contrary to what the caller said, you will find proponents of what is called comprehensive immigration reform in both parties who will say the exact phrase he is complaining about, that these are jobs americans will not do. i take it he is coming from a place where he does not like the idea of this increased immigration, and i have some sympathy for that. i don't see the point of doubling immigration levels the way the administration has projected to do. i don't see the right problem to
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which that is a solution. host: we go to georgia, democratic caller. things thee of the gentleman from michigan had to say -- i kind of agree with his statements. however, i am calling because of the abortion issue. you recently stated that a poll thoseit is kind of even, who are not in favor of abortion. but if you ask that same if youn another way -- agree to a woman's right to choose -- then the results are totally different. everybody is not pro-abortion. no one wants to kill a baby. however, there is a point in time where a woman does have the andt to choose what she can cannot do with her body. host: ok, claire, we will leave it there go. -- we will leave it there who.
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yes, there is a sensitivity to the way that question is worded, or suggesting there are conflicting impulses, that there is a great deal of ambivalence. it is certainly true that you have a strong majority -- 60% to 70% of the country -- that does not want a flat national ban on abortion. it is also true -- i think gallup does the best job of this -- always, never, rarely, under richard him since his. usually 60% of the country say never or richard of stanzas -- --it, and they smote say never or circumstantially allow it. a tweet, "what can the gop do to woo back women voters?"
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guest: i think political analysts pay too much attention to gender as a basis for political decision-making. race ofean -- the somebody, the degree of religion, whether they are a regular attender of church or synagogue, their income, all of these things make a much bigger difference in whether -- in how people vote than gender does. campaignave a winning with a 10-point gender cap -- gender gap, or a losing campaign. host: is that true even when it comes to the debate over equal pay? guest: that is something where i think republicans need to say we are in favor of equal pay, we are in favor of the legislation that is already on the books on this issue, and we are in favor of increased enforcement of it if there is some evidence that that has fallen down.
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but the fundamental idea that $.77 on the dollar is what women make thanks to employer discrimination -- you look at the data, that is not the case. host: what about minimum-wage? "the detroit free press" -- voters want to raise minimum wage but they do not agree on how much or how to make it happen. this is an issue where it is not really a -- guest: this is an issue where not everybody is -- except for me. i think it is a mistake. when you have a weak labor market, raising the minimum wage by 40% would be a mistake. it would suppress job growth. that does not mean we should just stand pat. we should look at alternative ways of increasing wages across the board, and not just the minimum wage but everywhere.
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we have had a wage stagnation for a long time in this country, and we need to tackle it with a number of steps him and one of them is taking greater measures to keep health care costs from rising than we have so far. host: rainbow city, alabama. republican, are you there? caller: yes. my comment is i would like to see a president that says once he gets a bill, to mark everything with a yellow marker that is pork, completely pork. send it back to congress and say i will not sign a bill that has pork. host: mr. potter wrote? -- mr. ponnuru? ivan, i'm sorry, go ahead. caller: get it back to them
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until they clean everything because there is so much pork. going to usere not pork and stuff like that, but they still use pork. guest: the trouble with that is that if a legislator or president supports it, they will say it is not pork. but that kind of thing -- earmarking -- has really declined over the last few years because of popular opposition to it. the problem in my mind is i think we focus a little too much on that because the fundamental causes are spending problems -- the difference between our spending commitments and -- that is not a pork problem, that is a problem that has to do with how socialnd how fast security and medicare and medicaid are growing. a fight is happening in public between senator richard burr, the ranking republican on the senate veterans affairs committee, and some veterans
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groups. the senator sent an open letter to the veterans groups saying, why aren't you getting tougher on the administration and the leadership of general shinseki? but this poses a danger for republicans. the veterans groups tend to view the v.a. as sort of there's, and that is one of the reasons it never gets reform, because they are just completely vested in the way things are. and when people make barely minor efforts at reform, they tend to -- even reforms that would help most veterans -- they tend to squeal about it and raise a lot of opposition. whatnot imagine, even with senator byrd is saying, that it to be a senator versus veterans groups. i am pessimistic that there will
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be any great structural reform coming out of this. >> in the new york times this morning, they say republicans in the house are pushing for -- will introduce legislation this week to get any better unable to obtain ava appointment within 30 days option to go outside the system at the department's expense. this is something the administration announced over the weekend. they are open to the idea in the short term as well. guest: i think it is a good idea. i would like to see eventually a more sweeping form of the v.a., but i am not holding my breath. --t: mapleton, in illinois independent. caller: something you said earlier as it relates to immigration and minorities. i am an american-born mexican from california him and one of the bigger mistakes conservatives make is they lack the sincerity. there's nothing worse,
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condescending or insulting, to act like you're somebody else or you know what their issues are when you do not. it is very easy to spot, and i want to caution you that cubans, mexicans, and for reagan's -- and puerto ricans are different people. we make up a different block. you need to understand and have people on the ground who really know latino people rather than act like you know. that was just a bit of advice. and i do want to read your manifesto to see if that will be the same kind of evaluation of people when you do not really know something and you act like you do. , where it is immigration reform rank for you on your priority list? caller: i have a very unique experience. my mother actually divorced our father and married a mexican national. he was a fieldworker, so i saw him and his whole family come in in the 1960's, so i saw
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firsthand -- i went into law enforcement and was arresting those people and soon we'd --pped deporting them under what we have here, california, if you know anybody in california, it has been completely taken over. it is moving eastward, so it is something that is going to happen and people are going to have to look at it and they will have to realize you cannot go back. that train left the station a long time ago. host: so where does it rank on your priority list? ahead of jobs, the economy, spending cuts? caller: i am an american, so i always look out for my own people, and i think we should have stopped immigration many years ago, secure the borders. guest: i think his opening comment is well taken, that we do tend to sort of blend in people from very different
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backgrounds under one group, and it is not just hispanics. we were talking about mexican-americans, human americans, what am alone americans, but also asians. differences, different histories, different religions, different languages, and people do tend to lump them all together, or us all together, i should say. from twitter, "how can the republican party have an agenda in 2016 when the party is fractured?" guest: that is a perennial problem for the opposition party, a party that does not have the white house and has no formal leader under the party. 100 you need to have is the flowers bloom and have different people promoting different ideas and see what sticks. we are trying to host: start that process up. to startwe are trying that process up.
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brenda, you are up. caller: republicans do believe in choice. however, if the question were phrased, "you you want your tax dollars to pay for others' abortions or anybody's abortions ," it would be a whole different issue. with equal rights being so important, ask yourself, what about the rights of the father's choice to protect his unborn child? there are all kinds of policy questions surrounding abortion where there are pro-life majorities. late term abortion is one, taxpayer funding, but whether there should be some sort of parental consent. those are issues where there is a majority. on the other side, there is a pro-choice majority of the question is going to be, should people have been raped, be able to have an abortion.
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both sides of the debate can run into the trouble with public opinion. lucie, florida, democratic caller. good morning, bob. morning.ood i love watching your show. i have learned so much from it. thank you for being able to listen to my viewpoint. ,y wife is -- immigration wise she feels everybody is a new citizen, and she loves it. most is whenme the , and wee over illegally have to stop it. have them go through the .aperwork
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father was in world war ii, my grandfather in world war i. make him go into the military for so many years, and then give them citizenship. -- america is still the greatest country in the world. one last thing, i really wish we would go after the funds that are owed to us by russia during world war ii. host: we will leave it there and stick to immigration. guest: it is funny that the book we are talking about does not deal with abortion and immigration, and this -- these are patent issues where a lot of callers have opinions. i think were immigration -- i think immigration has been a good thing for this country, so i disagree with the previous caller who said we should stop it. it is more important to move basis forskills
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immigration, and it is very important to encourage assimilation. until i have a neighbor -- and immigration policy -- that is both the interest of the people already here and the interests of the immigrants themselves, because we want people to be able to come here and fully participate in american politics, the economy, and culture and think of themselves and be thought of by others as americans. it seems to me you group be selecting for a that might be more likely to be economically successful, and you should encourage them to learn english and so forth, and the same time you have two -- it is hard to assimilate. host: "the wall street journal" put this chart together, looking at the primaries that are coming , june 20 four, august 5. what are you watching for here? guest: on the republican side, the chief senate primary that is still outstanding under the income and challenges, is
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senator cochran. the statem and senator, chris mcdaniel. host: ramesh >> a live picture from the white house rose garden where reporters are gathered this afternoon to hear from president obama. we understand he is going to offer a proposal to hold troops over in afghanistan until 2016. all troops are expected to return to the u.s. later this year. from the a.p., senior administration officials say the president intends to keep about 9,800 u.s. troops in afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year and withdraw most of those forces in 2016. here's the president. >> good afternoon, everybody. as you know, this weekend i traveled to afghanistan to thank our men and women in uniform and our deployed civilians. on behalf of a grateful nation for the extraordinary
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sacrifices they make on behalf of our security. i was also able to meet with our commanding general and ambassador to review the progress that we made. and today i'd like to update the american people on the way forward in afghanistan and how this year we will bring america's longest war to a responsible end. the united states did not seek this fight. we went into afghanistan out of necessity after our nation was attacked by al qaeda on september 11, 2001. we went to war against al qaeda and its extremist allies with the strong support of the american people and their representatives in congress. with the international community and our nato allies and with the afghan people who welcomed the opportunity of a life free from the dark tyranny of extremists. we have now been in afghanistan longer than many americans
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expected, but make no mistake, thanks to the skill and sacrifice of our troops, diplomats and intelligence professionals, we have struck significant blows against al qaeda's leadership, we have eliminated osama bin laden, and we've prevented afghanistan from being used to launch attacks against our homeland. we've also supported the afghan people as they continue the hard work of building a democracy. we've extended more opportunities to their people, including women and girls, and we've helped train and equip their own security forces. now we're finishing the job we started. over the last several years, we've worked to transition security responsibilities to the afghans. one year ago afghan forces assumed the lead for combat operations. since then they've continued to
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grow in size and in strength while making huge sacrifices for their country. this transition has allowed us to steadily drawdown our own forces, from a peak of 100,000 .s. troops to roughly 32,000 today. 2014, therefore, is a pivotal year. together with our allies and the afghan government, we have agreed that this is the year we will conclude our combat mission in afghanistan. this is also a year of political transition in afghanistan. earlier this spring, afghans turned out in the millions to vote in the first round of their presidential election, defying threats in order to determine their own destiny. and in just over two weeks they will vote for their next president. and afghanistan will see its first democratic transfer of power in history.
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in the context of this progress, having consulted with congress and my national security team, i've determined the nature of the commitment that america's prepared to make beyond 2014. our objectives are clear. disrupting threats posed by al qaeda, supporting afghan security forces and giving the afghan people the opportunity to succeed as they stand on their own. here's how we'll pursue those objectives. first, america's combat mission will be over by the end of this year. starting next year, afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country. american personnel will be in an advisory role. we will no longer patrol afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. that is a task for the afghan
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people. second, i've made it clear that we're open to cooperating with afghans on two narrow missions after 2014. training afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al qaeda. today, i want to be clear how the united states is prepared to advance those missions. we e beginning of 2015, will have approximately 98,000 u.s. troops -- let me start that over. just because i want to make sure we don't get this written wrong. at the beginning of 2015, we , l have approximately 9,800 9,800 u.s. service members in different parts of the country together with our nato allies and other partners. by the end of 2015, we will have reduced that presence by
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roughly half, and we'll have consolidated our troops in abble and on bagram air -- kabul and on bagram air force. by the end of 2016, our troops will drawdown to a normal embassy presence in kabul with a security presence like we've done in iraq. now, even as our troops come home, the international community will continue to support afghans as they build their country for years to come. but our relationship will not be defined by war. it will be shaped by our financial and development assistance as well as our diplomatic support. our commitment to afghanistan is rooted in the strategic partnership that we agreed to in 2012, and this plan remains consistent with discussions we had with our nato allies. just as with our allies have been with us every step of the
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way in afghanistan, we expect that our allies will be with us going forward. third, we will only sustain this military presence after 2014 if the afghan government signs the bilateral security agreement that our two governments have already negotiated. this agreement is essential to give our troops the authorities they need to fulfill their mission while respecting afghan sovereignty. the two final afghan candidates in the runoff election for president have each indicated they would sign this agreement promptly after taking office. so i'm hopeful we can get this done. the bottom line is it's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in afghanistan and iraq. when i took office, we had nearly 180,000 troops in harm's
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way. by the end of this year, we will have less than 10,000. in addition to bringing our troops home, this new chapter in american foreign policy will allow us to redirect some of the resources saved by ending these wars to respond more nimblely to the changing threat of -- nimbly to the changing threat of terrorism while addressing issues around around the globe. i think americans have learned that it's harder to end wars than it is to begin them. this is how wars end in the 21st century. not through signing ceremonies, but through decisive blows, transitions to governments, security force who is are trained to take the lead and ultimately full responsibility. we remain committed to a sovereign, secure, stable and unified afghanistan. and toward that end we will
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continue to support afghan-led efforts to promote peace in their country through reconciliation. we have to recognize afghanistan will not be a perfect place, and it is not america's responsibility to make it one. the future of afghanistan must be decided by afghans. but what the united states can do, what we will do is secure our interests and help give the afghans a chance, an opportunity to seek a long overdue and hard-earned peace. america will always keep our commitments to friends and partners who step up and we will never waiver in our determination to deny al qaeda the safe haven they had before 9/11. that commitment is embodied by the men and women in and out of uniform who serve in afghanistan today and who have served in the past. in their eyes, i see the
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character that sustains american security and our leadership abroad. these are mostly young people who did not hesitate to volunteer in the time of war, and as many of them begin to transition to civilian life, we will keep the promise we make to them and all veterans and make sure they get the care and benefits that they have earned and deserve. this 9/11 generation is part of an unbroken line of heroes who give up the comfort of the familiar to serve half a world away, to protect their families and communities back home and to give people they never thought they'd meet the chance to live a better life. it is an extraordinary sacrifice for them and for their families, but we shouldn't be surprised that they're willing to make it. that's who we are as americans. that's what we do. tomorrow i'll travel to west point and speak to america's
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newest class of military officers to discuss how afghanistan fits into our broader strategy going forward. and i'm confident that if we carry out this approach, we can not only responsibly end our war in afghanistan and achieve the objectives that took us to war in the first place, we'll also be able to begin a new chapter in the story of american leadership around the world. thanks very much [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2014] >> the president wrapping up here in the white house rose garden and some reaction already coming in from a number of republican senators. senators mccain, graham and ayotte had this to say in a statement. the oshtrear date for the full withdrawal of troops is a monumental mistake. this is a shortsighted decision
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that will make it harder to end the war in afghanistan responsibly. today's announcement will embolden our enemies and discourage our partners in afghanistan and the region. house speaker john boehner released a statement that reads in part, it's been my long-standing position that input from our commanders about the conditions on the ground should dictate troop decisions and not an arbitrary number from washington. i'm pleased that today's decision supports our military's request for forces, but i look forward to hearing more specifics on how the proposed troop number will adequately cover the defined . ssions and house committee chair buck mckeon said --
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those threats still exist. we leave when the afghans can manage that threat rather than political deadlines that favor poll numbers over our security. coming up tonight at 8:00 eastern, it's a look back at the 2008 financial crisis as it began to spiral out of control. federal reserve chair ben bar nanky told a room full of congressional leaders, unless you act in a matter of days, the financial system of this country and a good part of the world will meltdown. that's one story told by former senate banking chair christopher dodd with discussion on the dwange law. he's joined by -- dwange law. he's joined by -- dodd-frank law. he's joined by former chair barney frank. here's a look at that discussion. >> we did something unpopular that staved off disaster. here's the disadvantage politicians are at vis-a-vis economists. economists can write articles and do analyses in which they invoke the counterfactual.
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they can talk about why this was a good thing because they can talk about the counterfactual, what would have happened. politicians are not allowed to use the counterfactual. any elected official gets up there and says, look, i understand you're upset but it would have -- i saved it from getting a lot worse. so frustrating, i actually it said, things would have sucked worse without me. [laughter] the problem was, we got all of the negative political vibes rom the tarp and very little public. that's why it was tough to get the bill through. >> a brief portion of the recent discussion on the 2008 financial crisis. be sure to join us tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span for that complete program.
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>> one of the stories that resonated with me was the moment when they're dithering about whether or not they need to inject sea water into unit one. the clock was ticking, they were just down to the wire. the plant superintendent would who would have to make the final call knows it's desperate. they need to get water in there very quickly. meanwhile, everybody wants a say. and the officials and japanese government officials are all just kind of hemming and hawing. he gets an order from one of his supervisors that the government hasn't signed off on this yet. he's got to hold off. well, he's already started.
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and so he basically calls one of his staff people over and says, ok, i'm going to give an order but ignore it. and so he very loudly proclaims, so everybody in tokyo can hear, halt the sea water injection, when in fact they didn't. to me that was a human element in that story. in which in japan, where ignoring the rules and kind of acting on your own is not rewarded, here was a moment where a guy knew that if he didn't act, things would go even more worse than they were going. >> more about the tsunami and resulting meltdown at the fuke nuclear power plant -- fukushima nuclear power plant. part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> a live picture of the u.s. capitol on this tuesday
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afternoon. across the plaza from the capitol is the supreme court and today the justices unanimously ruled that secret service agents are entitled to qualified immunity and should be shielded from a lawsuit filed by protesters who say their first amendment rights were violated in 2004 when two secret service agents forced them to move away from a hotel where president george w. bush was dining. justice ginsburg in her opinion for the court wrote this case is scarcely one in which the agents lacked a valid security reason for their actions. the oral argument from march is about an hour. >> case 13115, wood vs. moss. >> mr. chief justice, may it please the court. the nipet circuit held that individual secret service agents to be kelled -- could be held personally liable for their on the-spot decision -- n the--spot decision to move demonstrators near president
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bush. >> let me ask a question. so were the pro-bush demonstrators. the pro-bush demonstrators were across the street pretty much at a diagonal to the president. and they were permitted to remain there the entire time. they had a throwing distance of a bomb or a shooting distance as well. >> your honor, the pro-bush demonstrators were differently situated from the anti-bush demonstraters in several fundamental respects. with respect to the weapons range, there was a two-story building between the pro-bush protesters and the -- where the president was dining. it's in stark contrast to the open alley that led down precisely to the six-foot wooden fence behind which the president was dining. which is where the anti-bush protesters were. at the first move, when the president arrived for dinner, -- pro-bush protesters were
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the anti-bush protesters were between third and fourth and the alley that led right down to the restaurant patio was right there. they were at the head of the alley. so they were very differently situated from the pro-bush protesters. >> i don't understand the government to be making the argument, and i can't understand why it isn't making the argument that it doesn't tter whether there was any intent to suppress anti-bush demonstrations. that in this area, as in traffic stops, we don't consult subjective intent. if a mrs. man stops somebody -- policeman stops somebody, oh, you stopped me only because i was coming back from an ty bush demonstration, we wouldn't -- an anti-bush demonstration, we wouldn't listen to that argument. we'd say, did you have a broken
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tail light or not? if you had one, we do not inquire into the subjective intent of the officer. why is it any different here? >> i don't believe we are avoiding the argument that you suggest. i think with respect that we have -- our position is that it is not clearly established law that if there were an objectively reasonable -- >> you don't even have to get into that. you don't have to get into clearly established law. it's a very simple case. if you say was there objectively a reason to move these people? if there was, if you had an alterior motive that was unconstitutional, we don't inquiry into it. >> we agree with that -- inquire into it. >> we agree with that. in terms of clearly established law, if we think along the lines what have this court said with respect to retaliatory arrest, if there is an objectively reasonable basis for the repositioning, such as a valid security rationale, it's not clearly established
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that the presence would be enough to take -- >> do you agree with that? because you have these hypotheticals in the last page of the brief. where you say that a complaint could survive a motion to dismiss if the secret service members had, you know, announced, had admitted that they had an intention to discriminate. or if they had told the local police that. so i took what you were saying there to say, if there is evidence of a very clear nature that it was all about animous and nothing about security, then the complaint would survive. >> i think that the way we reconcile the two positions is the following. if there is no objective legitimate security rationale and it is animous we agree it would be clearly established law that the officer could not -- the agents could not have taken the actions. however, if on the record there is an objectively reasonable
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security basis, then we don't think it's clearly established that even if the individual officer didn't take the action for that reason and took it for animous, it's not clearly established -- >> but would you oblige us by answering justice scalia's question? what do you think the law is or ought to be? the only motive for the secret service action is one based on viewpoint discrimination, but that nonetheless there was an objective reason that could have justified the action, what should the outcome be there as a matter of law? forget clearly established. >> we don't think they've stated the constitutional violation in that context. however, what the court did in -- >> i don't -- what does that answer mean? >> that means there is no constitutional violation. any time ay that at there is an objective basis for
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the secret service to act, to move a protester, the fact that this wasn't the motive at all, but that it was viewpoint discrimination is irrelevant? is that your position or is it not? >> that is our position but i don't think that's what we need to written this case. >> i know that. but the -- to win this case. >> i know. that but i think the reason these questions are being asked, my impression is exactly what justice scalia said in respect to a fourth amendment case against a police stop. my impression also is that where you have a first amendment case, and it's not against the policeman, against secret service, this court has not said that. and my -- am i right about that? and the reason that your position, if i am right, is relevant is because i think maybe we shouldn't say that for the first time in a case where the government hasn't even argued it. and what is the answer to what i just said? am i right on part one and am i
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right on part two? >> your honor, you are right on part one. the court has never held it. the closest the court has come is where what the court said is in the case of retaliatory arrest it was not clearly established, the court didn't reach the constitutional question, the court said it was not clearly established that where there was objective probably cause for arrest, retaliatory animous was not relevant. we think a number of the same factors that motivated the court could motivate the court here as well. were they to reach that question and i'll explain why in a second. but we do not need to win on that question. >> should the court reach that question and my hesitation would be that it is one thing to talk about ordinary policemen, it is another thing to talk about first amendment matters where we are engaged with a kind of special protective force. there are certain residences there that make a person
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hesitate to ex tend into that area and so -- extend into that area and so what is the government's view? >> i've been asked a couple of things so i want to be clear. the question of what is our position is the position articulated by justice scalia. the question of what we need to win it's qualified immunity. the question of whether the court should reach the constitutional question, i think our answer would be no. that parties haven't breached it as your honor said, that the normal course would be to do what the course said and say it is not clearly established. >> i can't understand why you didn't brief it then, in that case. talking about things that we haven't held in the past, we haven't even held in the past that there is a cause of action for a first amendment violation, have we? >> no, and we agree with that. but the argument was not preserved so we have not presented it here. >> is that a relevant -- well, what is your position on that? is it pertinent in analyzing
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qualified immunity that there's no private right of action for the asserted constitutional violation? >> we do believe, your honor, that the court would have jurisdiction to reach it cause it's a logically ant seedent question. >> i don't mean what the court could consider. i want to know whether or not -- the question is simple. can you only -- can you not violate the constitution if there's no right of action against you? or do you look and say, whether there's a right of action or not, it still violates the constitution? >> i think that the court's hesitant to recognize the factors that go into -- that gave the court he's tans to extend it to first amendment claims are irrelevant here. we didn't raise this argument because it wasn't preserveble, but we believe the very same facts that are would give the court pause are the ones that would cause the court to reverse the ninth circuit -- >> if you were called to brief
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the secret service, what would you say in response to this question? do we have any duties under the first amendment when we are protecting the president with respect to crowds and people that are close to him? do we have any first amendment duty? >> we would, first of all, as the policy -- i know -- there's a policy that would generally prohibit the secret service from doing that in personal policy. >> they say, we want to know what the law is, will you please tell us what the law is? >> i would say that the law is not clearly established. this court has never held -- >> that's why we've invited you to lunch so you will tell us. [laughter] >> we may yet get clarity. >> you are arguing that it's not -- >> we would tell -- i think i would have to say in candor, your honor, that in part, because of some of the discussion we're having, that we think the better view of the
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law would be if you have an objective scurebt rationale for the action -- security rationale for the action, that it would not be rendered unconstitutional. but that's not clearly established. >> do you think it's not clearly established that you cannot discriminate solely, i say solely, no security reason, no nothing, you can't discriminate solely on the basis of viewpoint? >> that's correct. we agree with that. >> that's constitutionally established. >> i think that is different from the hypothetical that justice scalia -- >> no, no, no let me. you agree that's clearly established. what you don't think is clearly established is a mixed motive case. that's the difference. so the question here is, is this a mixed motive case or not? the other side i think is saying it's not. that there was no valid security reason, no objective
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security reason for this move. >> our response to that is we would agree that's clearly established. if no reasonable officer could believe there was a security rationale and it was home on the basis of animous, that would be clearly established. >> why do you accept the discrimination of that as a mixed motive case? if you agreed with my hypothetical, the point is it doesn't matter what the officers' motive was it. does not matter. if there's an objective basis for a traffic stop, even if his sole motive was discriminatory, the stop is nonetheless valid. it's not a mixed motive issue. >> i took her to be asking me a different question. if there is no objective security rationale, then we agrees that clearly established and we agree this complaint fails because they have failed to satisfy -- >> don't just call it mixed motive. >> what she was asking was i
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thought something different which is that -- whether there -- sort of -- [inaudible] i want to be very clear what our position is here. to get out the position on qualified immunity. it is not clearly established that taking viewpoint discrimination into account in a security situation violates the constitution. it is not clearly established that if there is objective security rationale, even if you act animo sumbings s, that ould violate the constitution. >> this question about the issue that you've been addressing in response to justice scalia's question, in the fourth amendment context, where it is -- the inquiry is purely objective, we have case law on what is reasonable suspicion, what is problem cause. if you apply that -- probable
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cause. if you apply that to a first amendment case where it's asserted that there is a security -- there may or may not be a security concern, would it not be necessary for degree of fy a suspicion or probable cause that the secret service would have to have before making -- before moving people for security reasons? i imagine whenever the president is out in public, there is some degree of risk. you want no risk, you know, keep him in a bun -- bunker. at some point the secret service has to make a decision about how much information they need before they can -- they should move people or change a route or something like that. so the courts would then have to set that standard. >> i think it would have to be a very differential standard and i think that that is proper under this court's case law.
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the way the court addressed this issue which think is quite parallel to how it would address it in this first amendment context. what the court said then was, first, the existence of probable cause in that case is likely to be an issue in every -- in virtually every case. we think in this situation the existence of a legitimate objective security rationale, in part because that's what the agents do and in part because of statute that requires the agency to protect the president , a legitimate security rationale is likely to be in every case, first. second, what the court said was that it's very difficult to distinguish animous from the proper use of reliance on protected speech because the court has recognized that it is valid at times to take into account the nature of one's speech in making arrest and ther security decisions. this court has roadwaysed -- recognized that the physical security of the president occupies a special place in our
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constitutional structure and that the secret service has a special role to play. >> would you say that under your view of the case, that there is a first amendment interest that protesters have but that it is virtually unenforceable in the context of crowd control? >> no, we would not say that. we think there are -- >> because it seems to me that if this complaint doesn't survive, nothing will. >> i'd like to address that in a couple of different ways. first of all, there's a very big difference between whether there's a bivens action stated and whether there are other ways to enforce constitutional rights. so it is possible and there have been suits that have sought relief before things like political con inventions. those would be unaffected. second -- conventions. those would be unaffected. second, there are situations in which plaintiffs, and there are pending challenges now, which have challenged secret service policies. for example, a secret service
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policy that certain supports for signs from the parade route, that's being challenged now in the court. and if there are bevens claims, we think -- bivens claims, we think there are allegations that would survive but we do recognize that this would -- that a ruling on qualified immunity here would cut back on damages claims against individual agents but we think that's appropriate in light of he difficulties they face. >> it seems to me you want to win this case but not too big. [laughter] in light of the arguments waived below and the arguments not made here, you want us to find for you but on the narrow possible ground. i would think it is in the interest of the united states and the secret service to say there are no bivens first amendment actions but you don't make that argument. likewise it would be in their
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interest so to say this is just like a traffic stop. it doesn't matter whether we had a bad motive, so long as there was an objective reason. but you don't make that argument here either. i really can't understand what the government's trying to do here. >> your honor, we are doing our best to make the arguments we have before the court. we think that the qualified immunity standards that we have articulated and the position on clearly established law we have taken is sufficient for this court to decide the claim. although as i've tried to say, we agree with both of the propositions that your honor has said and in a properly preserved case we would -- >> suppose that we change the facts here and that both the pro-bush demonstrators and the anti-bush demonstrators were in the same place. and they were at the foot of the alleyway so there was an objective security rationale. but that the secret service members, and they were in all respects the same except that they had different signs, some
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signs say the president is great and some signs say the president is terrible. and the secret service members had only removed the ones with the signs that said the president is terrible. so what would your analysis of that be? both under the clearly established but also i want you to to get to what you think the law is there. >> under clearly established, your honor, i think we do think that that would make a plausible case that the agents acted without a valid security rationale because they -- because they moved the -- >> i think you're changing my hypothetical. let me explain my hypothetical. i put them both at the foot of the alleyway because that meant that both have a straight shot, you know, that they can throw a grenade into the patio. which is i take it what the nature of your objective security consideration is. that's true of both of them. but you only move the ones that
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say the president is terrible. >> we would say, your honor, first on clearly established, it is not clearly established that the agency couldn't do that. but we recognize that the court is concerned from -- about that situation, where an agent has a security rationale but acts solely on the basis of animous, that would support that kind of interference. but i'd urge the court to think about the flip case, which is an agent who has an objective security rationale -- >> tell me what your answer to that is. >> the answer is it would not be clearly established. >> and do you think it would be unlawful? forget clearly established. >> the government's position is , though we haven't briefed it in this case, the government's position would be the one articulated by justice sca scalia. but we recognize that is not something that the court has yet held. >> i don't i think that's a response to the hypothetical. justice scalia's height
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thetcal, there is an objective for stopping the car. i understood my colleague's question to be, there is no objective security rationale. >> i'm sorry, i had understood it differently. i thought you were saying -- >> i'm saying both can throw a grenade into the patio area but in fact you only remove the people who have the anti-president signs. the security situation applies to both equally. >> there is an objective security rationale understand in that situation we would say that, a, it's not clearly established, but we believe that the better answer is the one from justice scalia. because there's an objective -- >> i thought the question was, there's no differential security rationale. in other words, maybe it's not the question my colleague asked. i'll ask it. [laughter] let's say you have to move the president in an emergency situation, you've got two options.
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go through the anti-bush crowd or go through the pro-bush crowd. you've got to do it right away. is it a justified security rational al to say that we think it's -- rationale to say that we think it's more likely it will be problematic if you evacuate the president through the anti-bush crowd than through the pro-bush crowd? >> we don't i think that would be unconstitutional. >> so the viewpoint itself constitutes a security consideration? >> that's what this court said in reichle. there are times. >> so your answer to justice kagen is that it would be proper, if you have only 15 minutes, limited amount of time, to move the people with the adverse -- with the signs that criticize the president? >> that's correct. we think that -- so your answer to justice kagan is there's no violation if they move just the bush protesters. >> that's correct. if i could just say a word -- >> i don't know -- i thought what the chief was going to say, there's no differential
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reason to move one or the other. let's assume you have an equal amount of time. you can get everybody moved. and you just are choosing to move the bush -- anti-bush demonstrators. >> your honor, i understand that this is an unattractive hypothetical for the government's position and if i could explain why nonetheless i think it's the right answer, because the flip side is if you have an agent who has a legitimate security rationale and is going to move against somebody who's hostile, who's showing messages that are hostile to the president, you don't want that agent to hesitate. that's what this court said in hunter. the court said in hunter, there are times when we don't want a reasonable official to hesitate before he acts and nowhere is that more important than when the specter of presidential assassination is in order. i want to be crystal clear. we don't need that. i think i said that before. we don't need that to win it.
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just has to be clearly established. >> the secret service goes to the local police and says, you know, doesn't talk about grenades at all and really just says, we have got to get these anti-president people out of here because they're annoying the president, let's do it right now. that's what they do. >> i think that at some point you would cross over into a position where you would say there is a real question about whether there's an objective security rationale -- >> i mean, there is one in a sense of, as we look back, we can see that there's an alleyway and somebody could have a grenade. but there's evidence that that's not at all what was in the heads of the secret service members. >> i recognize that that is, as i said, i think that is the hardest case for us and i recognize that's why you posed it, i urge you to think about it from the flip side.
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if you adopted the rule that your honor's question would -- not attributing to you, but might lead one to adopt, that the result is an agent who has a legitimate security rationale but is operating against people who are expressing a viewpoint and must hesitate. i think it's important in this context to remember that what we have are secret service gents who are making on the- on-the-spot judgments -- >> we understand that. i think you're being picked at for that for this reason in my mind. everyone understands the importance of guarding the president in this country. everyone understands the danger. you can't run a risk. at the same time no one wants a guard that's above the law and we have examples of history of what happens when you do that. so everyone is looking for some kind of line that permits the protection but denies the
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guard. and if you have anything to say about how to get to that general objective, i would love to hear it. from either side. >> very briefly. then i'd like to reserve. i think the simplest way to reserve it is actually to -- to resolve this is to hold that it's not clearly established that it's a mixed motive case, it is not clearly established that the situation justice scalia posed would be unconstitutional. and that the plaintiffs have not allege what had they would need to allege under clearly established law, that it was the sole motive for their actions and there was no objectively reasonable security rationale. i'd like to reserve the balance, your honor. >> thank you, counsel. >> mr. chief justice, may it please the court. the plaintiffs have pled a clauseble claim.
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we've done so for three reasons and we pled it as a sole cause. this was solely the cause, not a security rationale, but the sole cause of the move here was the viewpoint being expressed. >> if all that had been was the move to fourth street, it would have been an equal distance from the pro-president demonstrators. >> i think that would be a more difficult case for us to prevail because we wouldn't have one of the prongs on which we rely which is the disparate treatment as one of the factors we rely on -- >> then would you say -- you uld then note -- [inaudible] -- they moved them just the one street over so they wouldn't be
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in a position to throw a hand grenade to the patio. >> i think as a practical matter we would likely not have as tenble a case as we do. if in fact the only reason for the move was the officers' intent to move the anti-bush demonstrators further from where they were so they could be heard less loud, that would in our view state a claim for relief. is it would be a more difficult claim -- it would be a more difficult claim because we're trying to establish intent and we're trying to establish intent from the interferences from the various facts that occurred that evening. >> counsel, do you acknowledge that the issue here is whether the law was clearly established , do you agree with that? >> i think we believe the law was clearly established. >> i'm not saying you believe it. if you find it wasn't clearly established, do you lose, is what i'm saying? >> [inaudible]
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>> now how can it be clearly established if we have never held that there is a bivens cause of action for a first amendment violation? how can you possibly say that the violation here is clearly established? >> i think you can find from this court's decisions and its viewpoint discrimination -- ings like rosen berger rosen burger, where the court has clearly made it clear that the viewpoint discrimination is a pernicious form -- >> it is pernicious but is there a bivens action for it? the constitution does not create a cause of action for this. 1983 doesn't cover this. we invented it really out of nothing. and we have not extended that to first amendment violations. up to now. >> up to now. that argument was not made below. nor -- >> regardless of whether it was made below, it certainly goes
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to the argument that was made below and here, that the violation here was not clearly established. >> i think it's different to say whether or not there's a remedy for the violation, as to whether the violation whereas clearly established. the violation was clearly established, whether or not there's a remedy for that is a different question. >> let's say something happens back in the patio area, you're the head of the secret service detail, you have to evacuate the president right away, to go through the anti-bush crowd or the pro-bush crowd, right now, quickly. [laughter] i'm serious. make a split-second decision. which way do you go? >> i think which ever way provides the clearest -- >> they're both the same. that was one of your propositions, that there's no way to distinguish there. it's too lafmente you've taken too long -- late. you've taken too long to decide. [laughter] it's a serious point. >> but that's not the position the agents were in on october -- >> i know. but we're trying to decide
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ether viewpoint can be factor, we have to decide. guns are going off, explosions, which way do you go? >> i truly don't know the answer to your question. because -- >> really? >> i'm not a security expert. i don't know where the guns are coming from. >> you're the farthest thing from a security expert. [laughter] if you don't know the answer to that one. [laughter] >> that's actually not much of an answer for lots of reasons. but the most, if you don't know, how are we supposed to know? >> that's not the issue that's presented to this court for decision today. this is not a case in which the secret service made a split second judgment on which evacuation route to take with the president. >> with respect, my point is that we do have to adopt a general principle and if we say viewpoint can never be a consideration, then you have to say, when there's an emergency going on, it's just as likely there will be a problem if we
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go through the pro-bush demonstrators or the antiones which seems to me to be on its face implausible. >> in the context of an emergency, there may be a different rule than there would be in the context of a considered decision to take viewpoint into account in making a decision which is what we have alleged here. >> so you think -- well, there may be situations in which viewpoint alone may be a security consideration. >> there may be. and i think if there were individuals directly in proximity to the president, not, you know, 90 feet or 80 feet away, but directly, could the secret service take into account, i think that's what this court said in reichle. is that the court can take into account words said in the proximity of the president. or in that case the vice president. >> do you concede that looking back, in hindsight kind of way, that there is an objective security rationale here, that they're standing at the foot of the alleyway, that could you throw a grenade into the patio area? do you concede that just
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looking at the situation and not thinking, not taking into account any evidence of what was in their heads, that there in fact is an objective security rationale for moving people from this area? >> i think if the concern was that uth of the alley and the police guarding the alley were not sufficient to protect the alley and protect against that kind of incursion, the more simple solution in this case would have been to move people slightly to the east or west where they had buildings between them and the president. >> the question is -- there's so many different theories floating in this case. i've had a hard time trying to figure out what you want me to decide, on what theory you want me to decide. is your allegation that the secret service agents were motivated in part by security reasons and in part by bad
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viewpoint reasons or is your theory the secret service was motivated only by viewpoint and zero by security? >> it's the latter. >> it's the latter. ok. so then if it is the latter i think you're hearing the government saying, yes, that is clearly established that they could not in fact be motivated nly by bad viewpoint reasons and zero by security and therefore you have stated a claim. if your complaint does say what we both just agreed you want it to say. >> i don't think the government has conceded that. >> maybe they didn't. then i would have to decide, is it the case that if the secret service was motivated not at all by security and 100% by
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viewpoint, does that state a claim that leaving all that out of it the next question would be, which i haven't heard argued yet, which is i why i raise this -- which is why i raise this, what more do you have to do than state a claim? five years ago i would have thought nothing. if you have an absurd claim, i'm not saying it's absurd, but if it were absurd, a district court could deal with that. they would deal with it by giving you five minutes of discovery. summary saying judgment. or, are you kidding, be careful. or they have five or six different weapons. now, that is what you're arguing i think. that then along comes ichbal. it's a long way of focusing you on that quest. >> this court said, to be
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plausible, has to be something more than possible. but plausibility is not probability. the way we establish intent is through the admission to a local law enforcement or to someone else that the agent acted for an impermissible reason. what we do to establish spent is plead facts from which -- intent is plead facts from which intent can be inferred with we believe we've done. that both with respect to the disparate treatment, with respect to the time that elapsed from the president's decision to dine, from the time he sat down and then 15 more minutes until the decision was made to move the demonstrators. >> ichbal says a little bit more than that. not that you just have to allege facts. just quoting here from page 681, the court goes on to consider the factual allegations in the complaint to determine if they plausibly
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suggest an entitlement and they go on to say that given more likely explanations, they do not plausibly establish this purpose. so based on just your complaint, we have to determine whether there are more likely explanations and we have in your complaint the idea that you're at the front of the alleyway, it's a six-foot wooden fence, we certainly can look at those and decide not simply whether you've pled the cause of action but whether it's more plausible than those other justifications. >> i think once we meet a certain threshold of plausibility, unless the competing interference is to compeling to make our claim implausible, that it involves at the pleading stage such a great burden that no plaintiff could ever satisfy it. the secret service or any dividend could always articulate some -- deft could always articulate something --
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>> sorry to take you back to this. in this case, do you concede that a reasonable officer, even if not these officers, these officers might have had a terrible motivation, but that a reasonable officer could look at this and say, look at the distance between the alley and the outdoor patio, you can throw an explosive in there, that's thank seems really bad, let's -- that seems really bad, let's get these people out of the way. could a reasonable officer have said that? >> could a reasonable officer have said that? that given the proximity, certainly that's a possible conclusion. i can't say that's an impossible conclusion. but the answer to that -- it doesn't. because the answer to that is taking response consistent with the secret service's own guide lines which is to not take viewpoint into account, to be respectful of those first amendment rights of people demonstrating on public streets in the center of town. >> but uconn seeded that there would be -- but you conceded
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that would be a security interest in the hypothetical that justice kagal raised. once you can see that, then you say, but the security interest washed away because in fact it was viewpoint. >> i think there's a distinction. could there be a security interest? yes, there could hypothetically be one. was there one? we say there was not for the reasons articulated in our brief and for the constellation of facts that we have alleged in our complaint. >> i'm not sure i understand that. because it seems to me there either is or isn't a valid security interest. now, whether they acted because of that valid security interest is of course a different question. and you might say, well, there was a valid security interest but that's not why they acted. but as to the first question, i
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mean, there either is one or isn't one. and we say, what would a reasonable police officer think of the security interest here? what would a reasonable police officer do? would he clear this area or not? >> the question is whether proximity alone of a peaceful group of protesters is enough to create a security. and in hindsight you could look at that and conclude that. i respectfully disagree that that means there was one on the evening in question. that's a factual question. was there in fact -- >> you say in your complaint e defendant's claim that the secret service agent told the police that the reason for the secret service's request or direction was that they did not want anyone within handgun or explosive range of the president. to the extent the agents in fact made such an assertion, the assertion was false. and the defendant and police
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defendants knew or should have known that it was false. so you think it's false, they think it's true, that's called a dispute of fact. and the normal circumstance is that the judge has various weapons at his disposal, legal apons, to try to prevent courts' time being wasted, officers' time being wasted and others' time being wasted on factual allegations that are unlikely true. that was true before ichbal as well as after. that's your position. >> yes and no. i think unlikely maybe the -- may be the wrong word. in this case it was said, it doesn't -- it's not a question of whether the case is likely to be proven true. the question is, you have tried enough? clearly that preceded ichbal but ichbal didn't purport to change that calculus. ultimately we're still at the
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pleading stage. we believe we have pled enough facts to create a basis for the interference of intent. >> what about under the situation? you don't plead any evidence of direct intent, any direct evidence of intent on the part of the officers. but you have two groups. one's pro and the other is anti. and the officers put one group one place, the other group another place. the distance from the president to the two groups is not the same, one is somewhat closer, one is what farther away. the things that are in between the group and the president are different. maybe in the group that's further away you might think the things are -- they -- one might think there are fewer obstructions, maybe there are more obstructions on the other side. so you plead that the placement of the anti group was less favorable than the placement of the pro group and is that enough?
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>> we acknowledge that's not enough. we do need to allege personal participation and intent. >> you plead intent. if you pled intent based just on the disparate impact, would you in violation of rule 11? >> i don't think we'd be in violation of rule 11. i don't know that underic balance that that would be -- under ichbal that would be enough. i think you need other evidence from which you can infer intent. we have other evidence. the one is the time that elapsed from the time the decision was made which suggests and supports the interference that it wasn't a security-based determination but in fact was based on a viewpoint an news to -- animous. >> we're talking about 15 minutes. between when and when? >> we're talking about the time the president made the decision
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and the initial security arrangements were made, approximately at 7:00. then the president sat down at approximately 7:15 and then another 15 minutes elapsed before the decision is made to move the demonstrators. >> they first cleared the alley, right? >> yes. >> and then the movement that you're concerned about. doesn't it make sense, just hype thetically, if you're the secret service agent, you suddenly have this challenge dropped in your lap at the last minute, you say, ok, here's the thing. first thing we have to do is clear the alley, right? because that's right up against where he's dining. so you take care of that. you clear the aly. then after you have more time to assess the situation, you say, now we have to get these people who are at the foot of the alley, we have to move them . in other words they had to act not in an emergency situation but reasonably quickly. and they did it step by step. >> and we understand that's the competing interference that the government has offered here. we respectfully disagree that on the facts that we'valed that that's so compelling that it
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renders our allegation implausible. >> but it doesn't have to be so compelling. it simply has to be more likely. is the quote from ichbal on 681. and it has to be an obvious alternative explanation and that's enough, no matter what you'valed. >> we rely on -- you've alleged. >> we we lie on plausible doesn't means probability -- plausibility doesn't mean probability. if the contention is that if there's a more likely explanation, ours is then -- then we're being held to a probability standard that this court said we weren't being held to on a pleading standard in which we would suggest to the court is not consistent with rule eight, with the shortened plain statement of the claim. we haven't had an opportunity to develop a factual record here. >> how do you do that? >> i want to follow up on just what the chief justice said. imagine what he just said is the real case. you have a client, imagine, who's quite sincere, absolutely sin veer and really feels --
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sin veer, and really feels he was brad -- sincere, and really feels he was badly treated, but suppose that the facts are just what he said. then suppose that ichbal were not the law. orget ichbal for the moment. what weapons does the district judge have, which i have so blythely been assuming, to prevent a waste of time by the secret service, a demoralization of the service leaning in the direction of being overly careful and therefore risking the president, what procedural weapons does the present law absent ichbal give him to dispose of the case quickly without disturbance if the true facts are what the chief justice said? >> i think there has to be some opportunity to develop a factual record and the trial
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courts have ample authority to control discovery under the rules of civil procedure. >> so discovery is your answer. of course it is. the first thing you're going to do is file requests for admission, you're going to file discovery requests to the secret service. and the district court's going to have to allow some of that, if he's allowed your allegations to go forward. >> i think the court would have to permit us to conduct in some discovery of the agents. do they admit certain facts or deny them, should we have an opportunity to take brief department tigses -- depositions of the agents? i think those are appropriate steps. the rules already limit discovery to a certain degree. >> the first thing you'd want to know is whether this was established policy. the first question would be, what is your policy with respect to moving demonstrators
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at a presidential event? what do you do? i can see the secret service saying, well, that's kind of a bad thing to make that public because there are people out there who want to kill the president and if you go through your discoveries and say, this is how we look at that situation, this is what we do, that gives people a guideline for how to breakthrough the security arrangements. >> the trial courts, the district courts have also ample authority to enter protective orders. there's been no assertion that the information that would be required here, and we don't know because we haven't gotten to that stage, i think it's premature to get to that stage, whether there are any claims of secrecy that would limit what we could or could not do in the context of discovery, but those are matters that could be best addressed by the district court in the first instance and the normal and appropriate means that district courts use all the time to address sensitive information when it's presented as part of a lawsuit in federal court. >> then what happens if a district court does allow discovery of things that the secret service thinks is -- are
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confidential? how far should demonstrators be away from the president? how high must the fence be before we think that it provides security against a thrown object? what if the district court allows discovery of all that? what are they supposed to do? they file a petition with the court of appeals and have the court of appeal -- try to persuade the court of appeals to review a discovery order? >> i think that ultimately is one remedy and it's a remedy provided for in our system whenever we have an issue in which sensitive information may be involved. in connection with the federal lawsuit. it's not an answer to say that simply because there might be some information that the secret service would rather not share that that should stop us in our tracks to begin with. those are the kind of determinations that a district court should be trusted to make in the first instance and which district judges make every day in this country.
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>> the judge seemed to think it was very important that when the president got into the motorcade to leave -- [inaudible] -- so leaving aside what happened when the group was moved, would you take the position that not moving them ck before the president left was a violation of their first amendment rights? >> we have not taken that position. we have not asserted that there was an obligation to hold the president in position so that the demonstrators could be moved back to their former position. our position is they shouldn't have been moved in the first place because there wasn't a valid security reason and that's the reason they were move -- and the reason they
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were moved was solely becaused -- because of the viewpoint they were expressing. the fact that that's not a separate claim that they warranted as fact, but it was an indication that they were removed from the area where the president would be passing, in our view that supports the interference of viewpoint discrimination. >> the question of mixed motive or improper motive, if we can get back to that for just a minute, assume that the law, and this is the wren case, is as follows. if there is improper motive for an arrest, but there was an objective basis that would have made the arrest and that did make the arrest reasonable, there is no violation of the constitution, assume that's the law and forget clearly established, forget ichbal. assume that's the law. it seems to me that for you to prevail you have to say, we should make a first amendment exception because the first amendment is so important, or that there has to be in another context an amendment for racial
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profiling. so that the rule that i have just stated has to be qualified in some way. it seems to me you almost have to say that in order to prevail in this case. >> i would suggest to you that wren is the exception. that wren the fourth amendment context that says that there's an objective basis, i think that's reflected in reichle. but as the court ichbal noted in the fourth and fifth context, the court has held that intent is the basis for liability. intent to violate those constitutional rights. >> i'm not sure, if you stop a car because you think the participants in it were coming back from a protest against president bush, is that a fourth amendment case or a first amendment case? if that's your allegation. the only reason the car was stopped was because of the viewpoint that these people had. is that a fourth amendment case
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or first amendment case? >> that would be a first amendment case. >> you think so long as you make that first amendment allegation it doesn't matter if you have a broken tail light? >> i think for the terms of the first amendment claim, it wouldn't matter, if the circumstances demonstrated and created a by asition for that interference of intent -- basis for that interference of intent. >> was there anything to prevent someone from leaving one of these groups and going over to the other group? >> there was, after the president made the decision. the allegations in the complaint state that the local law enforcement restricted movements between the two groups after the security perimeter was established. >> somebody couldn't have walked away and taken a different route and gone to the other group? the police would have stopped them from doing that? >> is it possible they could have taken a large enough circle around there? i think thagse a theoretical possibility. but the police did in fact stop movement across third street.
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one of the fact, that we haven't addressed -- factors that we haven't addressed today is the secret service's actual policy and practice that we've alleged in our complaint and that plausibly and conventionally supports the interference of intent here. we've alleged not less than 12 other incidents during the first four years of the bush administration which secret service agents were involved in viewpoint suppression activities. now, we haven't proven those but we're at the complaint stage. that also, along with the official policy of the bush white house to suppress dissent of the presidential appearances, also supports the interference that these officers were acting for a viewpoint suppressive reason. >> i suppose you would then seek soffer discovery with respect to those 12 other episodes. because you're saying those were viewpoint discrimination hour can you decide until you know the facts on those? we would say if they bear
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out -- >> the same thing we talked about earlier. with respect not to just your case but the 12 others. >> >> to the extent that the secret service denies those allegations -- >> you wouldn't seek limited discovery, would you seek unlimited discovery. [laughter] you might get only limited discovery. but -- >> i'm not sure i would seek unlimited discovery because then i might be overburdened with material that would have no relevance to the case. what we would seek is information sufficient to draw conclusions about those events and whether they are sufficiently similar to support the interference we would seek to establish in this case that these agents acted with the intent we'valed they acted with -- we've alleged they've acted with. the sole intent. >> thank you, counsel.
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>> thank you, mr. chief justice. a couple of points. first, i think justice kagan in response to your hypothetical in hindsight there may have been a valid security rationale , because if it was true in hindsight it was certainly true at the time in the kind of rapid decision making that was called for as the chief justice alluded to. i think at that point the case is over in our favor. second, the kinds of discovery that my friends on the -- >> could i just clarify a factual matter? there are two alleyways. there was one on third street that the president went into. and then there's one by the patio dining room. what access was there between fourth street and the patio? because i thought that the alley was on california street, the entrance to the alley was on california street. >> the entrance to the alley is
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on california street. that's the one where the anti-bush demonstrators were. the alleys that the motorcade went through which son third street, which is neither -- which is on third street, which had neither group of protesters, because police will blocked off traffic north of california street, so no demonstrators could get there at all. . if i could return to the discovery point, it's the nightmare the secret service fears. it's what qualified immunity is designed to prevent. when there is a legitimate security rational, discovery into what the agents were thinking, what the secret service's policies were is exactly what it shouldn't be. it's what hunter didn't want, is agents hesitating before they did their job. suppose the original set up the motorcade is coming down, each side has access,

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