tv Washington Week With Gwen Ifill PBS March 18, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
>> a supreme court nominee and a field.n presidential what both of these fields tell you about the state of our tonight on "washington week." >> i have fulfilled my constitutional duty. senate toime for the do theirs. >> the gauntlet, thrown down in as thee garden, president nominates merrick garland to the nation's highest court. greatest honor of my life. >> and washington braces for an unprecedented fight. >> republicans think the people deserve a voice in this critical decision. the president does not. message from the american people to senate republicans is simple. do your job. >> will the president's nominee get a hearing let alone a vote? on the campaign trail, hillary clinton and donald trump sweep.
closer tomoving securing the democratic party nomination and winning this election in november! [cheering] >> we're going to go forward. and we're gonna win. more importantly, we're going to win for the country. >> marco rubio is swept out of the race. after losing his home state. john kasich plot their way to a contested convention. to gainht we continue delegates and continue our march to 1237. >> we are gonna go all the way to cleveland and secure the republican nomination! side, bernieocrat sanders declares he is not quitting. think we've got a path toward victory! can bring out large turnouts, we're gonna win this thing. week, pete the williams, justice correspondent for nbc news. chief white house
correspondent for the new york times. national tumulty, political correspondent for the washington post. >> award-winning reporting and analysis, covering history as it happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by... >> we're committed to strong. we're committed to sure. we're committed to smart and light. bold. and in a world of enduring needs, the men and women of boeing are proud to build and deliver critical capabilities for those who serve to protect our nation its allies. and that's an enduring commitment.
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contributions from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from moderator gwen ifill. >> good evening! well, we've been waiting for a shoes to drop. and several hit the floor this week. we start with the tale of garland, a you'rist with such an impressive resume that even republicans say they have no problem with him, personally. but this nomination is personal in a different way. the president himself acknowledged, even as he was introducing garland in the rose garden. in and an npr interview yesterday. a you cannot point to me circumstance in which democrats open, when aeat republican president was in simply because they didn't like the possibility that ofwould change the makeup the court. >> but republicans say precedent is not the point. to senator orrin hatch
on the news hour. >> we ought to put this off until after the election, so sides and weboth get it out of this -- what really is a toxic presidential process. >> he said that toxic thing about five times. butoptions, meet the guy not hold hearings. hold hearings but not confirm him. lame duckt for a session after the election. or don't do anything at all. first, tell us about merrick pete.d, >> well, it's hard to imagine a democratic nominee that would be acceptable to republicans than merrick garland. he's well-liked, well-respected of thebably that's one reasons the president nominated him, because he knew it would be republicans lot of to oppose him. born in chicago, harvard law. a prosecutor in the oklahoma city case. went to oklahoma city. i think that's a very important what makes merrick garland the person that he is. because if you look at his beings, he tends to deferential to federal agencies but tough on criminal defendants. duality.at sort of
he's been on the court of appeals. the now the chief judge of washington, d.c. court of appeals for 19 years. let me tell you what a careful man he is. the roses speech in garden, he served i've served for 18 years. butas three days shy of 19, he said 18. that's the kind of careful person he is. confirmed in 1977. he had 32 republicans voting for of whom are still in office. so he's -- >> and he's been on the short list for a long time. 2010, you were on this program, at this table, and you said he was on the short list even then. was, when the president considered sonia sotomayor. and again when the president considered elena kagan, he was left at the altar, both times. the president liked him in the previous two sessions. that's the impression that we've gotten. i just think that this was the time. he's the right man for the job, meaning that politically he's the best fit. he never really questioned whether he'd be a good judge or
not. >> let's talk about precedent, peter. petes -- tell us about the president, what it is the republicans are doing. it's never happened before. >> not like this. certainly been instances where one part has on nomineesstalled of the other president's party, in an election year. but nothing like this, where they've basically tried to hold out for an entire year, not in anyway.imes 19th century stuff we could go into. >> or not. >> or not. is in fact unprecedented in that sense. this is what merrick garland was intended for. president did consider him in '09 and '10. in case of emergency, break glass candidate. the president didn't need an because heandidate, had a democratic senate. he went with kagan, who would be daring and presumably more appealing to the liberal base. garland was always sort of the
choice, because they did have republican support in the past. this is the moment they've been waiting for. when you have a republican president -- will he be confirmed before the election? doesn't look like it right now. the president is pushing for it. talkingple are really about is, could he be confirmed in a lame duck session after the election? >> you played that sound from orrin hatcher in the beginning. he has retreated from what he said. he did come out and say, you know, the option of a vote after the presidential election was could goought maybe he for. since then, he's had a little talk with the leadership. >> the leadership pointed out the congress would be lame duck as well. did that change his mind? >> no. but they're all on board right now, although kirk, who is facing a tough re-election is from illinois, did say that garland deserves a vote. >> he said they should man up and vote. >> that's right. >> karen? >> especially there's some fear of republicans that, especially if donald trump is at the top, that they could the senate, that
hillary clinton could be elected. case, if we the were looking at, in december, a president elect, clinton, what would be the chances that she too would go with judge garland? a great question. in fact, in some ways, the most important question. survive nomination beyond this administration? i think that's why you hear republicans making the noises making a lame duck vote, because if hillary clinton were to win, he would be get.est option they would >> in fact, senator flake said as much. i thought i had it here. yes, i do. a said, i would rather have less liberal nominee like merrick garland, the nominee she hillary clinton, if were president, would put forward. that's what they're all thinking. >> okay. bit. go back a little i want to give you a little history. this is joe biden, then a delaware, speaking on the senate floor in 1992. >> it would be our
problematic -- pragmatic conclusion that that once the is under way,on and it is, action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. that is what is fair to the thenee, and essential to process. >> important point. there was no opening on the court at the time. and this was orrin hatch, of merrick favor garland on the senate floor in 1997. >> i believe mr. garland is a nominee. i know him personally. i know of his integrity, his legal ability, his honesty, his acumen. he belongs on the court. >> another important point. garland was then up for a court heappeals judgeship, the one holds now. what is different? >> the republicans have talked a about that biden speech. >> they call it the biden rule. theitch mcconnell called it biden rule. if you look at the entirety -- this was biden speaking after debacle.
he was trying to say, how can we get the nomination process back track? what he said, in a presidential election year, i would urge a to nominat nom somebody in the heat of the campaign, but if theoes, what he said was judiciary committee should not schedule hearings until after season is over. he didn't say no vote. he said let's wait until november. >> in that case, he was talking in june of an election year, as no nominee to be made. this is march. there's a longer period of time. said, you're misinterpreting what i'm saying. >> it's never happened before. never in washington. >> and by the way, a republican president then and a democratic senate. now we have a democratic and --nt >> depends where you sit. >> the ranking republican, to the floor and said there's no election year exception. so things do change. the ideological makeup of the court, if justice bylia were to be replaced
justice garland? >> that's really what this is all about. the republicans feel so strongly here, because you're replacing the sort of fire plug of -- the supreme court, with any democratic nominees, who is going to move the court to the left. ideologically split 4-4 now. 5-4 theoing to make it other way, than it was with scalia, and that's why the toocrats don't want him replace antonin scalia. >> at least 11 republicans are saying they're willing to at meet the guy. they love his wife and children. but that doesn't necessarily mean it's moving them away from the goal. >> there's a real debate inside well, itrvative -- does, in a way. but a debate on the republican the, how much do you make fight about the process? just let the voters decides. aboutch do you make it merrick garland and his own particular merits or drawbacks? end up, if they do
deciding that they want to confirm him after the election, want a they don't hillary clinton appointment that might be worse, they don't want beat him up so much that they can't walk him back. he has a record that's more complicated -- >> why hasn't anybody raised any questions about that record? i don't know that there is his soal policy stands or -- biggest one is gun rights, where he was involved with a case that ultimately was aitten by scalia that found second amendment right for individuals to own a gun. you do hear -- opposeddn't say he was to that. what happened is a three-judge panel in washington said there is an individual right to hold a gun. he said, we ought to reargue the whole panel. you would think, if he endorsed it 100%, he wouldn't have said that. a proceduralas reason. and also, it was in a sense bucking what the -- what everybody thought was the court's rule. >> perhaps it's complicated issues like that, the reason why hearings.
>> ha ha! >> but i would -- >> what a concept. >> it is a concept. on to're going to move the 2016 campaign. for two candidates, the path to the presidential nomination became much more clear this week, with five more states under her belt, hillary clinton now accumulated 1,614 delegates, more than half of needs.e and donald trump has accumulated 559 short of the total he needs. for some reason, these numbers have not scared three other candidates out of the race. john kasich, who has won only his home state of ohio, is a contested convention. >> politics is so crazy. you never know what will happen. going to look at somebody who could actually be president of the united states, who has a record of accomplishments, not just talk. secondly, they're going to ander about who can win general election, who can win ohio. >> ted cruz longs for a with trump.ace-off
>> now is the time for , forlicans to unite independents to unite, for libertarians to unit, for all of who want a brighter future for our nation, to come together and stand as one! hopes hisnie sanders grassroots appeal will make him impossible to ignore. now, weroud that up to have won nine states. 850 delegates. [cheering] help, onth your tuesday, we're going to win here in arizona. [cheering] >> okay. that's bernie's delegate math. here to do a little delegate math for us. guys has a shot? >> it is now mathematically impossible for john kasich to the convention with the number of delegates he needs. he would need to win something of the remaining delegates. johnere is our friend,
dickerson, said we'd actually have to add states to the union. then there is a narrow path for ted cruz. he would have to win something remainingf the delegates. but there is, you know, a path for him, which is why you saw something very significant happen today, which is that the 2012 republican nominee, mitt romney, who ohio,r this week was in campaigning with john kasich, utahnced that in the caucuses next tuesday, he will be casting his vote for ted cruz thinks everyone who wants to stop trump from here on out needs to be voting for cruz and every single -- >> okay. you have to explain this to me. you're right. this week he was campaigning with john kasich. tell me, what is the reasoning here? you just vote for the strongest guy in every state, who is not named trump? vote for the only person who is left standing between donald trump and the nomination,
which is also why you had former presidential candidate and senator lindsey graham giving this kind of weird, semi whorsement of ted cruz, only three weeks ago, he was at one of these press dinners in making jokes about, you know, the possible murder of ted cruz. and by this week, he was saying, i'll be at that fundraiser for him next week. ironic and it just tells you how crazy this year is, that of all people, ted cruz has become the last hope of the republican establishment. it's neither cruz -- if neither cruz or kasich is likely, let's say, to get the before the con -- convention, what is the scenario going forward? do they hope to see happen at this convention? >> it's interesting, because many years -- as many years as i've been covering politics, had to do any research into exactly how you become a delegate. but it's a really complicated
process. and it's generally going to happen between -- even though primariesall these and caucuses, very few of the actual delegates have been picked. to be allre going these fights in the states over the next couple of months. >> but the number has been picked, right? numbers have been picked. but the people who fill the chairs on the convention floor have not. when those people get to the convention, they will be almost -- almost all of them be bound on the first ballot to vote however their state voted. if for some reason donald trump presumably doesn't have and it goes to another ballot, they are essentially free agents. depending on the machinations of all these states, they would turn out to be sleeper cells fore other candidates. >> but before primaries, conventions the often pick people who are not the front-runner on the first ballot. can we imagine that happening today? be the reaction? trump has already told us what he thinks the reaction would be. there wouldedicted
be riots. but it would be a real dilemma think that who donald trump at the top of the ticket would be a disaster for not justlican party, in the presidential race but potentially costing all the way down the ballot. they are going to have to sort of decide whether that is the worst alternative or turning backs on a plurality of their own voters would be -- >> but if ted cruz has to get 80% of the delegates from here forestall that, doesn't seem like it's going to happen. the first ballot would elect trump. >> but it could be that he gets enough that trump doesn't get half of it. to the get the majority. he doesn't have to have the majority. >> ah. okay. underdoes that mean that the surface, while we're watching states, watching primaries, there's a secondary for individual delegates, picking people who might not be for you now but later?e for you >> and, for instance, south
carolina, donald trump won all 50 delegates of south carolina. but those delegates are going to picked at a state convention regulars, who loyalties are really, you know, to people like governor nikki and senator lindsey graham, who have had their tussles with donald trump. going to be -- this drama is going to be playing out on two, three, four levels. the only -- is this the most viable or the only stop trump strategy, or is there really a viable stop point?trategy at this >> the convention is really and truly the only one. every other trump strategy -- the stop trump has only succeeded in making donald trump stronger. >> let me ask you briefly about bernie sanders. path, other than big turnouts? >> bernie sanders, the democrats do things differently. of the republican primaries are going to be winner take all. the democrats do all their
primaries proportionally. which means that bernie sanders upgoing to keep picking delegates. he's got an enormous fund-raising operation and he's message. so there's really not a lot of incentive for him to get out of race. he says he can win california. he says that the map is going to start -- i first met, covering the jesse jackson campaign in 1988. children.ry small >> i was covering it for my elementary school. yes. >> ha ha! collectingas delegates even after he stopped winning, so that when he got to he had a really big place to be. he had a platform. capacitye fund-raising that bernie sanders has will also just keep him going. again, there's really not a lot of incentive while, toor whit quite a get out of this race. >> okay. and it keeps on rolling. we have to go a few minutes early, again this week, to give you the chance to support your in turnation, which
supports us. but the conversation continues online on the "washington week" othert extra, where among things, we'll preview the president's historic trip to cuba. while you're online, have a fun!e test your knowledge of current events, sports and culture in the "washington week" news quiz, at pbs.org/washingtonweek. state, i'm michigan sorry. keep up with developments with the pbsdruff and me on newshour. we'll see you here next week on "washington week"! good night!
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hello and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. coming up, the health implications of raising the smoking age to 21. plus what teenagers think are today's most pressing issues. we take you inside a unique video project. and cool art, or should we say cold art. drawings inspired by snow. first we take a look at a series of sexual misconduct cases at uc berkeley that has raised questions about whether the university tolerates such behavior. in the past several months at least four faculty and staff members have either resigned or were fired over sexual harassment charges. they include astronomy professor jeff marcie. chowdhury, dean of