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tv   Washington Journal Carl Hulse  CSPAN  July 1, 2019 9:33pm-10:31pm EDT

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your cable or by satellite provider. book "confirmation bias: inside washington's war over the supreme court, from scalia's death to justice kavanaugh". good sunday morning. thank you for being with us. on the sundaynews morning. the president traveling to south korea crossing into north korea briefly, meeting for nearly an hour with chairman kim jong-un. guest: that was a big moment for the president. the symbolism is what they were seeking. this is something that has been in the works for this trip. it may look impromptu, but it is not impromptu. it was a big step. the president really wanted this. he's got problems in iran, and he needs to make sure his other problems are under control. it looks like they are going to talks. the i guess it is a small version of
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nixon goes to china. host: peter baker is writing this morning, president trump stepping across a low concrete market 3:40 six local time and walked 20 steps to the base of a building on the north korean side for an encounter on television, and unprecedented camera-friendly demonstration of friendship intended to revive talks. president trump escorted by chairman kim back over to the line to south korea. the two briefly addressed journalists before slipping inside of a building known as freedom house for a private conversation. the president said he would invite mr. kim to visit him at the white house. the president did not bring up a denuclearize north korea. he did talk about a new round of negotiations at the ministerial level. thet: he is minimizing rocket tests they had earlier this year. saying those really weren't
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much. you can see he is really determined to get this going. this was the president seeing this as a potential big foreign policy cu. he thinks he has a relationship. far as they knew everyone they had negotiated with previously was still alive because there had been earlier reports that one of the negotiators was punished. big movement here. a success for his trip. he had some other rough patches during this trip. i think this is a big moment for the president. host: the other major story, talks to restart as trump and president xi jinping of china pause the tariff war in a news conference in osaka, japan. [video clip] tosident: with respect china, we agree today we would continue the negotiation, which
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i ended a while back. we will continue the negotiation . we agreed i would not be putting tariffs on the $325 billion that i would have the ability to put on if i wanted. advanced,rly depending on where you want to look at and where you want to start. pretty advanced. we did discuss numerous other things. we mentioned huawei. i said we would have to say that until the very end. one thing i will allow, a lot of people are surprised, we send and sell to huawei a tremendous amount of product that goes into the various things they make. i said that that is ok. these are american companies that make product that is very complex, by the way. highly scientific. in some cases we are the ones that do it, the only ones that
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can do it, the only ones with the technology. what we have done in silicon valley is incredible, actually. no one has been able to compete with it. i have, pretty easily, i have agreed to allow them to continue to sell that product. so american companies will continue. the companies were not happy they could not sell, because they had nothing to do with what was potentially happening with respect to huawei. host: what happens next between the u.s. and china? the talks continue. you will see the hill react to ei part of this. the senate intelligence committee continues the phone company a security threat. that is one thing that congress will be talking about. is he making a national security mistake trying to get these talks going?
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host: clearly the devil will be in the details. guest: it always is. there's a lot at stake for the president going into the election. the farmers are having a tough time in the u.s. with rain. they're having a hard time planting. the uncertainty surrounding exports. this is a key constituency for the president. he knows he needs to get this right, and get it right pretty fast. host: carl hulse is available online at your new book "confirmation bias: inside washington's war over the supreme court, from scalia's death to justice kavanaugh". you write the following, the court opening has given conservative christian voters and skeptical republicans a reason to back trump despite his well-documented character flaws in their own doubts about him. to the white house and inexperienced and unpredictable man. now his presidency was about to
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become a reality in the supreme court would be among the first institutions to yield the impact. guest: the impact of the republican blockade of merrick garland had is not understood by a lot of people. this is a crucial element of his reelection campaign. no one foresaw it. mitch mcconnell probably wasn't thinking about it the night that justice scalia died that this would be a benefit to president trump, but it was. republicans, conservatives, evangelicals, they consider the future of the supreme court much more seriously in their making election decisions than democrats in the past. , roy blunt,cancy the missouri republican in my book said, that vacant seat was golden. it really drove people towards trump. he knew it. there is a part of the book night-- i think it is the hillary clinton is accepting the
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nomination in philadelphia and trump is appearing in iowa. he says if you love me, that's great, vote for me. if you don't like me, you still have to vote for me, judges, judges, judges. it was a big factor in the election. host: justice scalia died suddenly. it was not expected, he was not in poor health. this is what leader mitch mcconnell issued in a statement a few hours after his death was announced. today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as americans. the american people should have a voice in the selection of their next supreme court justice. therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. the president at the time was barack obama. [video clip] president obama: tonight we join his fellow justices in morning ngis remarkable man -- mourni
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this remarkable man will stop obviously, today is a day to remember justice scalia's legacy. i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. they will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill this responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. these are responsibilities i take seriously, as should everyone. they are bigger than any one party. they are about our democracy. they are about the institution to which justice scalia dedicated his professional life in that it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned. in the bookite that they were scrambling to get a jacket for him because he was playing golf? under scully's death was
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-- justice scalia's death was unexpected. they were scrambling to get a jacket. you should just issue a formal statement or do it on camera. they decided to do both. part of the reason was because the new cycle is heating up so much on this because of senator mcconnell's decision. there's a lot going on, and was going on very quickly. host: normally if someone passes away you pay tribute to that person that day and deal with the politics a couple of days later. why did mitch mcconnell issue the statement so quickly, and what prompted him to do that? guest: we are used to these events and we talk about the politics amongst ourselves, but the public appearances let's remember the man first. mitch mcconnell statement around 6:00 p.m., i was taken aback by how quickly he moved to the politics. there was a reason for it. there is reason the president got out so fast, too.
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that night in south carolina there was a republican primary debate. a few people have dropped -- had dropped out, but there was still quite the republican lineup. mitch mcconnell talking to his aides, including a very astute political operator who was one of mcconnell's top advisers, said if you are going to keep this seat open, which you are planning to do, you need to do it quickly. there is a debate tonight. ted cruz, former supreme court clerk, a guy with a lot of knowledge about the court. if he says we need to hold the seat open, there could be a backlash because ted cruz's colleagues are not that fond of him and they don't want to be seen doing ted cruz's bidding. that is why that statement came out so fast. host: how open was mcconnell's staff to you? guest: senator mcconnell was the first person i interviewed for this book because i knew i
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needed to have his story before i could go far. other people were fairly cooperative. senator mcconnell, and we have had several discussions over the years about the merrick garland situation. we had one extended interview of him laying out his activities that day. the senator himself is very open. host: he was in kentucky, asked if there was another vacancy in 2020. said, we his water and are going to fill it. he has been inching towards that. at the time he made the emphasis of we have to wait for the presidential election, let the people decide. he had been inching to this. they change their story little where they are saying the difference then was it was a democrat in the white house and a republican senate. they have to go back to the 1800s to find where you would fill a seat like that.
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at the time no one was understanding over the party divide. i talked to lindsey graham who is now the chairman of the judiciary committee. you are chairman, will you fill a vacancy next year if one occurs. he said, i need to talk to mitch mcconnell about that. i said, he has made his choice clear. lindsey graham said, i will have to think about it. i hope we don't have to deal with that. to avoid theing issue altogether. they may. unless there is a life ending event for another justice. life ending, that is in an interesting way to put it. host: i don't want to put too many hypotheticals on the table, but let's assume donald trump is reelected and the republicans keep control of the senate.
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let's assume a 2020 the end of his second term with mitch mcconnell -- let's assume in 2024 at the end of his second term with mitch mcconnell still -- guest: he would totally fill it. mitch mcconnell is about winning and getting his way. he would do what he needed to do to do that. if the court, if there were four more years of president transit administration, it is almost hard to imagine there wouldn't be some sort of vacancies. that was the interesting thing about the debates. how much mitch mcconnell became the villain in the debates, especially the first debate. i think it is dawning on folks that the white house is one thing. if mitch mcconnell remains majority leader he will have his way. he has shown what he can do to democratic presidents. host: the book is called "confirmation bias."
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is the line for republicans. (202) 748-8000 if you are a democrat. you can send as a tweet @cspanwj . ,e have a lien for independents (202) 748-8002. has it become hopelessly partisan? how do you answer that? guest: the partisanship is very pronounced now. you saw in the decisions in the last couple of days. the gerrymandering decision was 5-4, straight republican -nominated judges versus democratic-nominated judges. chief justice roberts is very aware of the political winds swirling around the court. he takes steps to ease the partisanship. the census question was kicked back to the lower courts with justice roberts joining with the
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four democratic nominated justices. if they would have done the gerrymandering case and the to the advantage of the republicans, democrats would have been outraged, but there's not much they could do about it. in the past there was always a republican nominated judge, kennedy or suter, who would side with liberals or a more conservative liberal who would side with the republican nominated judge. right now you have a pretty much strict five-for republicans versus democrats. i think it makes that public think that the court is pretty much just another arm of america's political system. host: why justice gorsuch first and justice cavanaugh second? hest: justice gorsuch, emerged during the consideration -- my book goes into the list
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and how trump settled on these justices -- as a person who writes powerfully about tearing conservatives call tearing down the administrative state. inducing the power of the bureaucracy. you saw some decisions inch up to that. they still need another vote. he was, at least from outside washington, too. don mcgahn looked favorably on him. another thing that happened durin on the night of justice scalia's death is don mcgahn got on the phone with child and said be careful at the debate, don't politicize -- got on the phone with trump and said be careful at the debate. don't politicize this too much.
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was a little too washington at that time for the president to talk about. it would have been a tough sell as the first pick for the president. he is a washington guy in the bush die. he came out of the bush white house. worked on the ken start investigation. even president trump saw it was a little too closely aligned to the bushes. it was. his mother was the epa administrator for ronald reagan. got involved in some scandals and had to leave. i think that stuck with justice gorsuch and his view of the washington system and bureaucracy. host: one point from the book june want to get to calls, 27, 2018 justice anthony kennedy's retirement was announced by the court in the trump administration. he had already been at the white house. the visit was kept secret.
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get the opportunity to fill a second supreme court vacancy in less than two years in office. guest: that was quite a day. we were thinking, what is going to happen? we thought justice kennedy was going to stay. it turns out he had already made clear to don mcgahn, not the , but don mcgahn, the white house counsel, that he was quitting. don mcgahn set in motion this cloak and dagger motion to get justice kennedy into the white house to tell president trump he was leaving. host: cloak and dagger how? guest: justice kennedy did not want to call don himself because they were worried about leaks. he had a high-ranking former clerk of his who is a high-ranking official at the justice department at that time -- she met him for lunch at a smithsonian restaurant, told him about his plans, and said make this clear to don mcgahn.
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that person called mcgahn. on the day of the retirement don mcgahn gets a car the white house and secretly picks up justice kennedy. only then did he tell people at the white house that the opening was imminent. host: austin, texas. thank you for waiting. caller: i wanted to ask if mitch is he stacking all of the courts with far-right judges? i heard that is all they are doing in the senate, and i can't verify that. host: thank you, judith. guest: he is definitely stocking the court. it is in the eye of the beholder judge.a far right this is part of the strategy that has been enacted since donald trump took office. president trump, you will hear him talk, barack obama, what a gift he left me.
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100 vacancies. why did he do this? 100 judicial vacancies. the reason is because republicans had blocked obama and the democrats from filling the vacancies. theas not only benefited supreme court level, but he has gotten over 125 onto the appeals and district courts. these people will be shaping policy forever. they are very conservative, more conservative than the bush appointees they are replacing in some cases. the supreme court may get all of the visibility and discussion, but what is going on at the lower courts is big. not a lothere is no going on legislatively in the senate, mitch mcconnell is devoting a lot of time to appointing judges. they enforced a rule change a couple of month ago that lets them do it faster.
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you are seeing a steady assembly line of conservative judges, and democrats can't do one thing about it. writefact yearbook, you the courts were not an extension -- not an extension of the arena politics that had engulfed the other branches. decadess over three that culminated in an incendiary threeover supreme court nominations into two years, tearing the senate apart. guest: everyone has their judges in the senate over what happened with judges and supreme court nominees over the years. clarence thomas who was confirmed. the democrats filibuster appeals court judges. harry reid changes the rules. mitch mcconnell changes more rules. this has led to a real break down, and it threatens the
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confidence of the public and the court if they see it as a strictly partisan branch of government. host: you have been with the new york times for how many years? guest: i started as a regional reporter in 1986. this is my 35th year in washington. next scholar from louisiana. james comer republican line. caller: this is probably the happiest segment of "washington journal" i have ever heard. merrick garland's shutdown was mitch mcconnell's greatest moment. when he allowed the next to go upright before the election will be his second greatest moment. your guest is right. they will be an unbelievable amount of republican conservative justices appointed at the court. with the unserious candidates that the democrats have, there no chance they will
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win the election. it will be 8-1. it is a sad day for democrats. is why talk about the eye of the beholder. it is the title of the book, "confirmation bias." depending on what side you are on you see it through different lens. each side has things they are angry about. will right in that you hear a lot of discussion in the presidential campaign about the court.more than we have, heard in the past certainly from democrats. you're hearing documents talking but we need to expand the court, term limit the court to offset this conservative influence that will probably be growing. i think that is going to be a big back story. host: you write, they said it was also in turmoil, badly torn by decades of bitter war. a destructive running battle over the court since the
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mid-1980's. washington was in for a shock. the consequences would roil leading government institutions for generations. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, gentlemen. congratulations to our president for trying to promote peace instead of more, in less bloody wars. my point to your guest is the public, i believe, and i like his comment, we will never forget the democrat in the media circus who declared brett kavanaugh guilty until proven innocent. so-called politicians, like mr. cory booker, who angrily kavanaugh with these unproven allegations and compared himself to spartacus. the fake news media for hyping
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these unproven allegations with liars like michael avenatti that bad taste, i believe, in the american people's mouths. guest: i agree there was a lot wasitterness and that a poisonous hearing. it affected judge kavanaugh's life going forward. he gets confronted in public. michael avenatti, the republicans who worked this nomination for senator grassley, they think that was a crucial part of the nomination. it really helped them get kavanaugh over the finish line. the michael avenatti allegations were too far, too much. the republicans embrace them. there were republicans who worked on this who said if it was just miss ford, cavanagh
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would have a hard time. it was when the allegations got expanded so far that they lost credibility that helped the republicans. there will be a hangover from that hearing for a long time, just as there is from the clarence thomas hearing in 1991. joe biden is having to deal with the way he conducted himself. he was the chairman of the committee. people sometimes think the republicans must have been running the senate, how else could clarence thomas through. then they look at the current environment. that supreme court nominations have a long half-life going forward. host: you talk about the hangover. let's go to 2018 and remember to of the more iconic omens. we carry all of them on c-span as part of our video library. christine blasey ford, currently living in the d.c. area outside
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montgomery county maryland, recounting what happened to her, allegedly, when she was a high school student. [video clip] >> i'm here today not because i want to be. i'm terrified. i'm here because i believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while brett kavanaugh and i were in high school. i have described the events publicly before. i summarized them in my letter to ranking member feinstein and again in a letter to chairman grassley. i understand and appreciate the importance of hearing from me directly about what happened to me and the impact this has had on my life, my family. host: a portion of the opening statement. don mcgahn is with brett kavanaugh, the nominee at the time. what happened? guest: brett kavanaugh does not watch the testimony. host: he does not watch any of it? guest: as far as i'm aware.
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mcgahn.what he told don he arrives to prepare for his own testimony. republicans are nervous. that was incredible performance. what is going to happen? trump is in contact with mitch mcconnell. he says it is only half time. and ifahn is in office, i'm not mistaken he ins up in tom tillerson's office. they had a tv problem, so they were in the conference room, i presume. kavanaugh shows up. -- with all of the justices and nominees, there is clerkse of former around them advising them and supporting them. one person suggests maybe you need to be conciliatory. don mcgahn says you are out of here and clears the room except for he, kavanaugh, and kavanaugh's wife. who, by the way, went to leave
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the room but don mcgahn told her to stay. justice kavanaugh said something to the effect, what do i need to know? you need to reboot the room. tell your story, push back. this is what your work has been for, and this will be decided in the next few minutes what will happen to you. they had had litigators in the white house to prepare him to push back. orrin hatch, a longtime former chairman of the 80 had said to mcgahn, at some point kavanaugh is going to have to show his metal and push back. that is part of the reason why you saw him go in so hot. not only a famous moment they on saturday famous night live. [video clip] effort whole two-week has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up
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anger about president trump the 2016 election. fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. revenge on behalf of the clintons. millions of dollars in money from outside, left-wing opposition groups. this is a circus. extendsequences will long past my nomination. the consequences will be with us for decades. host: brett kavanaugh. we should point out also that he went on to get confirmed by the u.s. senate. guest: there were still big events to come. host: it is reminiscent. as clarence thomas said, high-tech lynching. he seemed to be out of that same page. guest: that speech was to the republicans on the committee, not the democrats. he needed to keep them in line.
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that is why lindsey graham speech was so important. if you join with democrats in tearing down this man, you will have committed a disservice. because of the rules changes they could do it on their own. this was his attempt to get back. it backfired with the democrats, of course, because that gave them more fuel to say he didn't have the judicial temperament to do this. the republicans rallied around. i agree with what he said, the consequences will live for decades. i think it is the last line in my book. brett kavanaugh are on the same page there. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a question for mr. hulse. given the dysfunctionality of the politicalization of the process,ourt selection i wonder what his opinion is of the use of a structural change like a term limit for supreme court justices.
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secondly, not having read his book, i wonder if he gets into the issue to the extent which broadcast media, the entertainment industry, and reality tv aspects of our society have played into this increased politicalization and polarization of our country? guest: i will take the second question first. i totally believe that social our 24 hour news, which i am involved in, of course, have added to the polarization of the country. people have a chance to vent. things go viral that are not true. i think it is a big problem. i do think there will be a lot of discussion about change in the court. you can change the court legislatively. the membership numbers have gone back and forth. you can do this. it is going to require a
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democratic house, democratic atate, democratic president this time. you are also hearing people talk about this. it came up in the debate with jay inslee, we need to get rid of the filibuster. need people have said we to make this change. the first thing that would have to happen is democrats get control of the senate, eliminate the filibuster, and force a big the you can imagine what that is going to do in terms of the explosiveness. talk about partisanship and polarization. this is part of the problem with the courts right now. the legislative arena is so polarized and partisan everything is being done generally speaking by one party or the other. the judges around the country are being asked to decide these political issues, and everyone wants their own team on the bench to make those decisions.
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it has really gotten quite treacherous. host: our guest is the author of the book "confirmation bias." we have a radio audience as well. please describe the cover. which wasis red, chosen by the publishers. constitution,ed indicative of what is going on in terms of the rules changes and the way things are playing out that are so different from what the founding fathers would have envisioned. there is a quote at the beginning of the book from alexander hamilton. they struggled with how to come up with this system of putting presidential appointees in there. he says something to the effect this is the best system we could come up with to fill the seats. it has gotten pretty tricky. the situation puts another
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hypothetical. let's say there is a democratic president and a republican senate, which is not, by any stretch, out of possibility. onators now pretty routinely high profile nominees vote against the other party's nominee. that is what their voters expect. sayheard kristen gillibrand she most opposed president trump than any of the other candidates. allsaid she votes against of the administrations nominees almost uniformly. how do you get any nominee through a republican senate? mitch mcconnell, as the week was addedg down, he another loop to the 2020 -- whether he would move ahead to 2020. what about 2021? he was asked of a democratic president was in and one of the liberal justices left, would you fill the vacancy? he said, for course we would
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have to consider it. it is not lyrically sustainable to delay a nomination that long. we will look at it, but that doesn't mean we would vote for it. there is trouble ahead, unfortunately. host: good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for having me on your show. i would like to comment on one of the callers said something inut president trump is over north korea to promote peace. he went to russia to do the same, i guess. why is it that he has to go behind the scenes? didn't want no one in the room with him and vladimir putin. i think donald trump is working toa puppet from putin overthrow our government and make a mockery out of our democracy.
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host: you want to respond? guest: he did have a public meeting with putin that did not go very well for him from our perspective because he seemed to make light of the idea of russian interference in the election. shared a that they joint feeling that they wanted to crackdown on journalists. somewhat in the journalism business, i found that disturbing. presidentthat the continues to downplay russian interference in the election. he is the last person in washington taking that position. everyone else considers that serious. he doesn't want to give too much credence to that because that undermines his position. he has gotten into the fight with president carter who has called his presidency illegitimate because of the russian interference. it is a continuing issue for the president and his relationship with putin. host: we were at the event with former president carter.
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we carry it live on our website. you can type in former president carter and it will come up. ofe than 250,000 hours programming in our video library. guest: i have to commend you on that. that library was a huge asset to me writing the book. i was constantly going back and looking at things that were only on c-span. thank you for that. it helped me quite a bit. host: this is one of the more fascinating parts of your book, you are right, when it came to , bannon, andn other conservative thinkers cared about touchtone issues such as gay rights, abortion, and religious freedom, but were more concerned with tearing down the government's regulatory structure. guest: abortion is an issue on the right and an issue for the courts, but don mcgahn and steve bannon, who was helping him at time, where about decreasing
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the power of federal agencies. you hear this when you hear about chevron presidents. i know that is a legalistic term. there has been a gradual shifting in their view over the years to the agencies, which they call power centers. the agencies have taken it upon themselves to right and -- write and implement ambiguous federal statutes. they want to take that power back away from the agencies. there were a couple of decisions that the court this term got that much closer. justice alito said we are going to get one more vote and really go after this. it is little understood, but this is the real push. host: jeff from indianapolis. democrats line. caller: thank you for taking my call and for having this man on
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today. he is very informative. in my history following the court, i think we all know the court has gotten poisonous when it comes to the nomination process. -- nominee by ronald reagan. one reasonfollow is why bork's nominee was so toxic was because of his participation in the saturday night massacre when nixon was president. i don't know if you know this or not. fired the if he special prosecutor? guest: i don't know if there was an explicit promise, but it was a factor in president nixon looking favorable on rob report -- robert bork that he was
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willing to do that. that energize democrats against him. i think robert fork is such a fascinating person. -- robert bork is such a fascinating person. did is het heae considered himself to be intellectually superior and wanted to have this debate. that change the confirmation process forever. he was defeated. he insisted on a floor vote and was defeated. what has happened since then is that the nominees don't want to answer any questions because they realize if i say some that is going to give ammunition. in one sense the questioning and attacks have got very polarizing and partisan, but the justices are not saying much. host: we also have a paper trail. that that in part lead to
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justice souter being nominated? guest: that has been, as with other people, too. cavanaugh had a huge paper trail. the republicans figured out a way to hold back, and they held back a lot of the documents. host: the authority of the supreme court comes from the willingness of the republic and branches of the government to accept its decisions. the court has no army to enforce its rulings and is reliant on congress and the executive branch to hold up their into the constitutional bargain. guest: it is like a magic trick. the court issues an opinion and we follow it. consider it to be the proper thing to do in the will of our government. sometimes police powers have to be used, such as in the desegregation of schools, to enforce it. the danger in the court is if it loses public confidence and political confidence on capitol
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hill, then maybe their rulings will have less weight and become less relevant. our institutions are being tested right now. from new jersey, republican line. caller: good morning. i have a few comments to make. first, you have a bunch of clowns running on the democratic party. they are disgusting. democratic party is disgusting on what they do. they spit in people's faces, they attack them, and everything. you don't see republicans doing things like that. number two, i want to tell all of the african-american democrats, the democratic party has used you as slaves for your whole life. host: response? guest: no. host: evansville, indiana.
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good morning. caller: i would like to make a couple of statements to the one trump is asaid puppet behind the scenes. for one thing, we don't know what goes on behind the scenes. i do remember obama saying on his second term, i will have more flexibility when i get reelected. i want that brought out. we saw that happen. i am neither republican nor democrat. divided byy has been the media, more or less. to the democrat side, i give respect to all of the presidents, regardless if they were republican or democrat, but we have never given so much disrespect to this president
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that has done so much for this country so far. i really think it is a shame that people do not give respect to this president. there has never been a president put down like this president. they attacked his family, too. host: let me take his point. i guess it is a cliche, but can you put the genie back in the bottle or has the system forever been changed? guest: i always disappoint people because they want me to say we can put the genie back into the bottle. i don't think we can under these circumstances. there is discussion about, they should go back to the 60-vote threshold on judges. there used to be -- of the procedure was there where it would take 60 votes to get a final vote. host: the force bipartisanship. least.for a consensus at that would make the president
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consult with the senate, the senate offer some advice. it was not a sure thing, but there would be some conversations will start there probably would not be a filibuster, but it puts some leverage in the hands of the minority. i think that is why president obama went with merrick garland. there were a lot of people in the democratic party, in the base, who thought that was a bad choice. older judge, fairly moderate, but pretty reliable in terms of supporting the government in terms of its policies. say: didn't senator hatch nominate mary -- nominate mary garland? guest: he said that in 2010. housebook i say the white purposefully kept merrick in casein reserve for he had to try to get a nominee through a republican senate. he went with merrick garland.
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some people think that was a mistake. that garland did not excite the grassroots enough. the republicans at that point backed down. got in andthe trump nominated neil gorsuch democrats threatened to filibuster, and mitch mcconnell eliminated the filibuster for supreme court nominees. some people thought that was a mistake and democrats should have held their fire for the next one when it changed the court.of the to me, people say let's go back to 60 votes, let's back up. that is not going to happen. people don't give up power they've got. now we've learned the senate rules can be changed by simple majority vote through procedural tactics. what is to say, we will agree to do this when we are in, but you'll will change the rules when you get in? i don't see it happening. host: not only did leader
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mcconnell blocked the nomination, they didn't even have a confirmation hearing for merrick garland. guest: they were worried if they started hearings, events get momentum, merrick garland testifies and is seen as a legitimate nominee. of course, merrick garland was a legitimate nominee will stop he is one of the top jurists in the country. everyone agrees. mcconnell made it clear that the interview of merrick garland he is not a moderate. he is someone who looks moderate but will always decide the democratic way. what he didn't want to do in the hearings -- members ended up meeting with him. susan collins met with him. he didn't want eric garland to get momentum. this guy looks reasonable. there's nothing wrong with him. one thing i've heard from people who have read the book what stuck out to them is merrick garland was treated poorly. florida, fort lauderdale,
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good morning. caller: a couple of quick points. the subject.ff jimmy carter should be ashamed of himself. as a former president he could not have done more to undermine our confidence in our system than what he did. i really wanted to talk about the supreme court. johnson truly put forward a plan to increase the size of the supreme court to at least i think the number of circuits. how we end up doing it over several administrations. that would make each supreme court vacancy less of a threat to either side and take some heat away. why is no one looking at this? guest: i think people are looking at these plans. it takes a long time for this sort of thing to happen. the point about doing it over
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several administrations, because you can't immediately do it, but i think it will take decades, probably, to get real structural changes. it is because the court has become so important as the decider of our political disputes. the court handles a bunch of cases no one pays attention two that our business cases. they do those fine. it is the big ones that they are polarized on. host: amy, georgia, good morning. caller: good morning. i am a 48-year-old african-american woman. in the 1960'smade and the 1970's, i think that the court that we have now and what has been happening on the courts for the past 30 years is like a backlash to those decisions. i want to know if your guest believes that we are living through a backlash to the voting
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rights, civil rights movement, and roe v. wade. guest: i actually agree a little bit. our politics are cyclical. one cycle is a response to the previous cycle. i think there is a little too that. i think now when you're seeing abortion fights break out in the states, because of the current makeup of the court the states see this as a possibility of getting something to the court to overturn roe v. wade. one thing that will probably really energize democrats and make them think more seriously about the supreme court is overturning roe v. wade. this was a big part of the discussion for the cavanaugh hearings. susan collins saying that she was convinced brett kavanaugh had convinced her that he would not overturn roe v. wade. he said that he was very decisive. that precedents should be given weight. the court has shown a new
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willingness to overturn precedents in a lot of areas. host: lake from alabama. quick question or comment -- blake from alabama. quick question or comment? caller: i want to ask the gentleman from "the new york times," when president obama nominated eric garland i was stunned. fully onealready third of the judicial was jewish. it didn't seem like that was balanced enough. he nominated a fourth jewish judge. is there no non-jewish democratic potential justices left to be nominated? actually have a big influence on the supreme court. host: they have the majority. guest: don mcgahn is a devout catholic, your upcoming guest was not there is a lot of catholic influence on the court, too.
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host: the court taking up the docket issue, what will they look at? guest: a potentially explosive issue. they will decide if the president has the power to establish this program through executive order. it is one of the reasons why the republicans were determined to stop obama. executive orders. they wanted a supreme court to stand up to those executive orders. this is a big part of chuck grassley's opposition. of thes there any sense relationship between the chief justice and the newest justices? story.there is a great they embarrass neil gorsuch during his confirmation hearing, releasing an opinion that overturned something -- another opinion that he had written . there is a little bit of hazing. someone who knew from the inside new that that had been
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intentional. if you're coming over here, we play rough. host: what intrigued you the most? guest: one thing that people don't pay enough attention to this issue, that i think is so determinative of our politics. it is great history. politics ing washington, all events are connected. stuff happening now is connected to the stuff that happened 40, 50, 100 years ago. i find that fascinating. you have to know what happen in the past to know what is happening in the present. host: "confirmation bias: inside washington's war over the supreme court, from scalia's death to justice kavanaugh". one quick question about the meeting that took place today in north korea. how significant is this for donald trump? guest: i think it is significant. it shows his willingness to take literally the extra step. i think you will get some
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credit. he wasn't traveling around north korea, but even to cross the line and try to make the meeting and relationship work, i think you have to give him some credit. host: his daughter ivanka said experience was, in her words, surreal. do you think we will get another summit? guest: probably. host: carl hulse with the "new yo ♪ announcer: c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact to. coming up tuesday morning, we discussed the 2019-2020 supreme court term with our guest from the constitutional accountability center and a guest from the heritage foundation. and publisher,
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nathan gonzales, will join us to talk about the early outlook and ratings for the senate and house elections.l be sure to watch live at 7:00 eastern on tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> as the cold war historian, cold war historian, historian of communism, my friends wrote me and said, what do you want to tackle this issue -- marriage and family? you are jumping into the culture wars. do you really want to do this. announcer: this author will be our guest on in death on sunday from noon to 2 p.m. eastern. his latest book is "the divine plan." other titles include "takedown," and "the crusader," as well as books about the spiritual lives of ronald reagan, george w. bush and hillary clinton. join us with your tweets and facebook questions.
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watch "in-depth" with author kangor.n on sunday on book tv. and be sure to watch next month with author lee edwards. watch book tv every weekend on c-span2. on saturday night, vice president mike pence addressed for the faith and freedom coalition gala. its chair, ralph read, no start wednesday that the group length to spend at least $50 million in get out the vote efforts in 2020. this is about 25 minutes. [applause] [applause] [no audio] [applause] [applause] vice pres. pence: thank you all.


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