tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC July 9, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
court justice. in these final hours, outside lobbying has reportedly ramped up. "the new york times" says according to people familiar with the discussions, the president was working the phones for input on two judges who are getting the greatest focus of attention. brett kavanaugh and thomas hardiman. senate majority leader mcconnell has reportedly weighed in, hinting to the president that judges kethledge and hardiman will present the fewest obstacles to being confirmed. as mark murray outlined in today's first read, the anticipation is overshadowing some unflattering headlines that are shrouding the west wing now. there is the now botched negotiations with north korea. secretary of state pompeo characterized his meeting in pyongyang as productive. but the north korean regime accused the trump administration of pushing a quote unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization and called it regrettable. there's also the issue of the
migrant children who remain separated from their parents. most notably, those under 5, the government is taking longer than expected. we'll get you an update on that as well. joining us now with the latest from the white house is nbc news' hans nichols. where are we? the president has promised and reiterated that 9:00 p.m. tonight is when he does the big reveal. could you think he's made a decision? >> i have no idea, ali. i've got to be honest about that. what we do know is they're starting to plan the post-decision optics and what the strategy will be. former senator jon kyl, a staunch conservative, who will be shepherding whoever the nominee is through the senate. we saw that last night. it was a successful cooperation they ran with the former senator from new hampshire. ayot could speak to moderates, females. what jon kyl brings is an institutional knowledge of the senate and what conservatives want to hear. the question on this choice i have is the challenge going
forward for the president and whoever his choice is, isn't necessarily going to be with conservatives. it's with moderates and conservative democrats. jon kyl doesn't necessarily have relationships, especially with those democrats, because they're new to the senate and he was from a previous generation. >> what is the -- we know he's going to be the sherpa. what's the white house expecting of him? >> well, they want him to make sure and that he's prepped on the internal side and all the meetings go well. whenever you have a judicial nominee, supreme court nominee, you pay a lot of house calls. these are somewhere between informal and formal where they sit down with united states senators and have a conversation away from the cameras about what the judicial philosophy would be. most of the supreme court nominees are very careful not to give any indication of how they will rule. and that's what gives you -- makes some of these choices so interesting is there's such a short paper trial with amy coney
barrett, if she is the choice of the senators behind closed doors. >> if we get word on who the president has chosen earlier than 9 p.m., we will of course bring that to you. let's start with thomas hardiman. his story line is he's reportedly intriguing the president. he was firstness family to attend college, graduating from georgetown, helping pay for his education by driving a taxi. he was one of the potential choices to fill justice anton scalia's seat before the decision went to the now justice neil gorsuch. hardiman serves with the president's sister in pennsylvania. he's seen as a strong supporter of gun rights. then there's raymond kethledge, the candidate trump reportedly referred to as dull. the michigander is a former law
clerk to justice kennedy. he's been applauded by conservatives in recent rulings against the irs and the equal employment opportunity commission. and there's brett kavanaugh, a yale law school graduate, the only ivy leaguer among the president's final choices. he also clerked for justice kennedy. he spent 12 years as an appeals court judge in washington, d.c. also, he served as a close aide to george w. bush for five years, a point in some quarters is shaping up to be a mark against his nomination. he is reportedly the favorite of white house counsel don mcgahn who is running this selection process. then there's amy coney barrett. she's the youngest, 46 years old. she clerked for justice scalia as well. but she's only been an appeals court for eight months. she was appointeded by president trump. much of the criticism against her involves her past comments which seem to question the legal
precedent of controversial cases like roe v. wade. now in 2003, texas law review, in a 2003 texas law review article, she wrote that the public's response reflected public rejection of the idea that legal precedent, quote, can declare a permanent victor in a divisive constitutional struggle. to talk more about these front-runners and their potential on the court, joining me now is jeff rosen, the ceo and president of the national constitution center. he's also a law professor at george washington university law school and elliott williams, principal at republic policy firm the raven group, previously served as deputy assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the department of justice during the obama administration. jeff, let's start with you, what are we looking at right now? we've got these four finalists. we believe that to be the case. there are rumors that the president has narrowed it down to two. how do you handicap these four? what should we be thinking about? >> well, handicapping of course is tough, but we know that
senator mcconnell has told the president that the easiest confirmations would be kethledge and hardiman because they have less of a paper trail and they might be sort of less contested. amy coney barrett and also brett kavanaugh have strong paper trails and really the strong -- the question -- the million dollar question here is roe and precedent in general and what is the approach of each of these judges. the truth is not all judicial conservatives are the same. it's not easy to tell which would be more likely to overturn precedent than others. amy coney barrett's strong criticisms of roe do signal her out. >> elliott, you have written, though, that one way or the other there is going to be a shift to the right. there's going to be errant cases, outliers, but the bottom line is this is a shift to the right because all of these final
contenders do sit to the right of chief justice john roberts. >> and moreover, the list from which this group of people came from was a campaign document by the, you know, by donald trump when he was running for president. the goal was to whip up people ultimately at rallies and, you know, wisconsin and so on. and that has driven the nominations process. so obviously, you know, when you're talking about republican primary voters being the individuals who are driving the process for whom a supreme court nominee's going to be, naturally the center of the court is going to shift to the right. and so much is at stake with this nomination right now. you're talking about even if roe v. wade is not overturned, dramatic restrictions. you're talking about lgbt rights that came up. this is a court that has demonstrated in this term they're willing to strike down precedent so this could potentially be quite a big shift for the court and it's troubling -- >> let me just interrupt you for a second, guys, thanks very much. chuck schumer is talking about
this nominee, or potential nominee on the floor of the senate right now. let's just listen in. >> -- that president trump would select a nominee that isn't hostile to our health care law and health care for millions and millions and millions of americans. who isn't hostile to a woman's freedom to make her own health care decisions. we can be sure of this because president trump during the campaign asked leonard leo, the founder of the federalist society, to assemble a list of possible supreme court judges for him to pick from. mr. leo is not only aware of candidate's trump preference for a supreme court that would reduce roe v. wade, he himself spent his career in pursuit of it. and that's not just my view. according to edward waylon, one of the most prominent legal conservative activists and scholars and bloggers said,
quote, no one has been more dedicated to the enterprise of building a supreme court that will overturn roe v. wade than the federalist society's leonard leo. no one has been more dedicated to overturning roe v. wade than the very man who chose the list of 25. that's what we're up against here. and that's why america is on te tenter hooks, so worried about any choice from this list. let me repeat again. mr. leonard leo is the man who assembled trump's list of potential supreme court nominees and no one, no one, has been more dedicated to overturning roe v. wade than leonard leo. now, normally in the senate, we have a process of advise and consent on the supreme court. in the old days, the president
would consult with republicans and democrats in the senate on a qualified judge. and then after careful deliberation, nominated jurists that could get bipartisan support. what we have here is the exact opposite. the president has gone to two far out of the mainstream, hard-right groups, the heritage foundation and the federalist society, and asked them, not the senate, to advise and consent on a supreme court nomination. whomever the president selects tonight, if that nominee is from the preapproved list selected by leo and the heritage foundation, everyone ought to understand what it means for the freedom of women to make their own health care decisions. and for the protection for americans with pre-existing conditions. those rights will be gravely
threatened. mr. president, now, we're going to hear a lot this summer about precedence. the traditional question on these matters has been will the nominee defer to precedent. nominees will be asked if they respect settled law. this is known as the principle of stare decisis. the nominee always answers that yes, he and she will respect and defer to precedent. and senators nod their heads, having received this rickety, vague assurance that the nominee will not rock the judicial boat and turn the clock back decades. but for two reasons, this standard, settled law, stare decisis, is no longer an adequate standard by which to judge nominees. why? well, first, we have ample example from the past several
years of judges who have sworn in their confirmation hearings to respect precedent and then reversed their stand once on the court. for example, in his confirmation hearings, then judge gorsuch said, quote, precedent is like our shared family history of judges, it deserves our respect, unquote. last week, just last week, now justice gorsuch voted to overturn 41 years of precedent in the janis decision, relying on flimsy and fabricated legal theory. it was so flimsy, in fact, that judge kagen wrote in dissent that the majority overruled precedent, quote, for not spepgsal or special reason, because it never liked the decision. justice roberts, another person who swore he would obey pre
precedent. he said he called balls and strikes as he saw them, rather than interpret law. rather -- sorry. justice roberts said he would call balls and strikes as he saw them. that he would interpret law rather than make -- of course it was justice roberts who was then responsible for overturning 40 years of precedent in the citizens united decision. that so set back our politics. that so deepened the swamp that so many americans despise by allowing huge amounts of dark money, unreported, to cascade into our political system. on two of the most important rulings in the history of the roberts court. a cumulative 81 years of precedent were thrown out of the window. despite the earnest promises of
justices roberts and gorsuch at their hearings. so when they say they'll obey settled law, you can't believe it. you can't believe it. because it just hasn't happened in this new conservative court. that is so eager to make law. not interpret it. and there's a second reason maybe even more important. why the principle of, quote, i'll follow settled law, no longer works. and that's president trump. we already know that president trump's nominee will be prepared to overturn the precedent of roe v. wade. nfib versus sobelius. we know that because president trump has said so. when the president has a litmus test for his nominees, and only chooses from a preapproved list of nominees designed to satisfy
that litmus test, it is certainly not enough for a judge to prove his or her moderation by invoking stare decisis. stare decisis and respect for precedent have become an almost meaningless bar to set for a supreme court nominee. at this critical juncture, u.s. senators and the american people should expect an affirmative statement of support for the personal liberties of all americans from the next supreme court nominee. >> we're listening to schumer. we'll monitor that. i've got geoff rosen with me. we have reporting in from cnbc, gentlemen that says president trump has decided on who he will nominate. according to a person familiar with the matter. we do not know who that is. if either of you do, please chime in. >> i'll keep you posted.
>> all right, so he's now landing on one person, obviously that was what was going to happen. geoff, to the point earlier that hans nichols was making, that his sherpa is going to guide this person through the process on the senate, and to the point that mitch mcconnell was making that two of them will be easier and two of them will be harder to get through the senate, does the president face any real difficulty with his nominee in the senate? is there any particular chance his nominee doesn't actually get the nod? >> well, susan collins has said if she believes that a nominee won't support roe, then she would have serious questions. both republicans and democrats will be looking hard at that question. that's why senator schumer's comments were so interesting. and really insightful. it's true that for the past 30 years, all nominees, both liberal and conservative have generally endorsed the idea of stare decisis without being tested on it. but judge michael ludic who was
considered briefly for the supreme court a few years ago says there's a notion of a super precedent. that even a conservative judge who disagreed with roe might decide to confirm it because it's been reaffirmed. that's really the central question in these hearings. not only for roe but also for afirmtive action and the death penalty and all the cases where justice kennedy was with the liberals. it's very hard to tease out what a nominee thinks about this issue. susan collins' concern suggests there maybe will be real concerns and that's going to be the central focus of the hearings. >> writ large with concerns about roe v. wade, about gay marriage, about affirmative action, there's really a range of opinion. i've spoken to a number of people, mostly conservatives, who say roe v. wade is settled opinion and we must not worry about that. i spoke to somebody about gay rights last week who said i wouldn't be alarmed about this at all. how should people be thinking about this? if the court shifts to the
right, and i understand there are outliers outlining cases. and justice kennedy on social issues was not what some people expected him to be. how should people think about the things that in the last 5 to 25 or 30 years, in the case of roe v. wade, longer, we've taken it as established law? >> let's make something clear, something is established law until the supreme court says it's no longer established law. and justice gorsuch wrote a book on precedent and had no trouble overturning the janice decision which gutted labor unions. the court is certainly at its liberty and discretion to overturn what they want, when they feel so inclined. justices who already passed a litmus test for being people who would be likely to overturn roe v. wade or restrict it dramatically, we should be a little sensitive about this question of cases being hard to overturn because they're really not. >> right. okay, guys, thanks very much for your annalysis and input.
jeff rosen, the national constitution center. also a law professor. elliott williams is the deputy attend -- or was the deputy assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the department of justice during the obama administration. be sure to tune in to msnbc for special coverage of president trump's supreme court nominee announcement tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern. if we get any word of this earlier, you'll know about it. coming up next, divers in thailand are preparing for another round of rescues from the cave where they've now freed eight boys trapped for over three weeks. we're live at the hospital where the rescued are being treated.
right now, it's just after 2:00 a.m. in thailand. divers are preparing for another round of rescues to free the four remaining boys and their coach trapped in that cave. so far, divers have gotten eight boys out of the cave. thai officials say they need a total of three days to get everyone out. a lot of that is contingent on the weather. the rain is in the forecast. the boys who have gotten out of the cave are in a hospital right now under quarantine after being underground for about two weeks. nbc's matt bradley is outside the hospital where the rescued boys are being cared for. matt what do you know now? >> well, what you're mentioning about the weather, ali, that's been constant this whole time. it's monsoon season here. so bad weather, rainy weather, that's just always in the forecast. and so far, the d-day weather
they were talking about two days ago here in thailand, that's kind of held. there's been a lot of rain, but it's just consistent with the kind of monsoon season we've seen. so right now we're waiting for about 20 hours before we're going to be hearing, again, about this third round of rescues. that's when rescue divers are going to be going into the cave and trying to extract those last four boys and that soccer coach that 25-year-old man who was the guy who led them into the cave to begin with more than two weeks ago. now what we're hearing here at the hospital is that those eight boys who have been rescued so far, they're doing remarkably well. they're actually feeling good. they're talking. none of them have needed any real invasive or advanced medical care. nothing really beyond just immediate first aid upon leaving the cave. a lot of them are demanding food. they want fried chicken. they want fried rice. those requests have been denied by doctors because of course -- sorry about the noise here. you can't really eat solid food like that, especially spicy food
or fried chicken, if you haven't eaten anything solid in the last 16 days. so we're hoping in the next couple of days, these very strong, very brave young men are going to get the fried chicken they've been asking for. >> i understand that. let me ask you two questions. why do they need all this time between these rescues? they're so successful so far and they must feel really energized. what's all this time in between? why are they doing four at a time? >> well, they're doing four at a time before and that's because they have only a certain number of divers. there's only a certain amount of space in the cave. and it's not just about the space. it's also about the amount of oxygen. some of the problems, these cavities where they can actually get out of the water and remove their masks, those are running out of oxygen. that's one of the reasons why we have these long pauses between each cycle. they're going in and they're replenishing the oxygen supply in the oxygen tubes that are hanging in these various parts of the cave. and they're also going through and tightening and refitting
that guideline that these boys and the divers have been using to try to guide themselves out of the cave. every one of these really dangerous missions, they have to go in and refit and recheck and also rest. so yn there's on so, you know, there's only a couple of divers, 18 of them, and it's the same "a" team being used every time. they have to rest, they have to sleep between each different adventure. >> thank you for your reporting on that. i hope we get to talk to you when the final five come out and everybody gets released from treatment in hospital. matt bradley. eight of the boys rescued so far are at the hospital. they're in a special ward. as matt said, they're in isolation. for fear of infections. on top of other angles, including hunger. dr. natalie a zar joins me now. look, they're young boys, remarkably resilient.
but two weeks out of your norm is -- never mind the mental angui anguish, it's tough on the body. >> it's tough on the body. look, yes, their age is an advantage here. if you think about the oxygen issue alone. some experts who are consulted said look if you were an older individual and you were exerting yourself getting to an oxygen depp privation of 15%, can be serious, but the kids can tolerate this. >> if you're a climber, you will often train yourself to exist on a smaller amount of oxygen. >> absolutely. let's also talk about the risk of something bad happening from hypothermia. older age and very, very young, they're kind of in that sweet spot where they're presumably healthy and don't have underlying medical conditions. we just got word in that is being verified. that the four boys who were rescued today appear to be in better condition than the ones who were rescued yesterday, which is incredibly encouraging. they are being evaluated in the hospital as we heard. you know, the initial things
that you're looking for when they come out wiare the things that are life threatening immediately. temperature, oxygenation, that kind of thing. then the subtler stuff. dehydration, malnourishment. the good news, it sounds like, none of these boys, again this is speculative based on the feedback we're getting, nobody's been really seriously infected, you know, with anything or nothing more that couldn't be handled with some iv antibiotics and supportive care. >> what do you make of what their mental state is going to be? is ptsd a danger? >> absolutely. natural disasters certainly pose a risk for ptsd. what's interesting about this, is that the boys are sort of right at that age where some of the signs and symptoms of ptsd would be similar to what we would see in adults. >> right. >> according to experts, again, the likelihood of these symptoms emerging is greatest in the first few months after the trauma. but can happen any time in their life. so there is no doubt in my mind that they are going to be
monitored very closely now and in the next few weeks and months and maybe even years. >> so ptsd is very common. i r are we getting better? are we good at treating it? do we have mechanisms whereby we can ameliorate it? >> i can't speak to mechanisms locally for them. there are a lot of factors that go into -- not everyone in the same trauma will develop it. there's personal susceptibilities, what resources somebody comes to the table with. certainly i would say recognizing there's a likelihood this could happen and intervening earlier. there's a scale, right, how horrible was the trauma. you know, you don't want to be too subjective about that. a history of chronic abuse versus a natural disaster. the evidence would say the natural disaster is less -- going to be less severe. again, i don't want to, you know, qualify ptsd -- >> i know what you mean --
>> -- based on what we can learn from experts. >> we are getting close to the finish line on this. let us hope we are able to have them all come out. this is amazing. natalie is our nbc news chief medical correspondent. coming up next, just extended tomorrow's deadline for the u.s. government to reunite over 100 migrant children under the age of 5 who have been separated from their families at the mexican border. plus, this just in, trump administration has responded to the poisoning of two british citizens, one of whom died over the weekend. the national security council statement reads, concurring with the uk's assessment that russia is responsible for the marsh chemical weapons account in salisbury. we stand with our allyings in condemning the use of chemical weapons. president trump will travel toll londonen this week and will meet with theresa may on friday. after that, he'll meet with russian leader vladimir putin. you're watching msnbc.
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all of the roughly 3,000 kids separated under the administration's zero tolerance policy to be reunited. lawyers for the department of justice admit that just 54 or about half the kids under 5 will be reunited by tomorrow. nbc's national security and justice reporter julia ainsley has been following the latest. she joins me now. what's the reason that the justice department gave and why did the judge give them the extension and until when? >> well, the justice department, ali, has been asking for more time since friday when they filed, saying it was too onerous for them to find parents outside of i.c.e. custody. they'd been reported, released into the united states for a variety of reasons. making it really hard for them to meet this july 10th deadline for these children under the age of 5. of course there's just a little over 100 of those children in total. so the question remains how they're going to reunite the other 2,900 children by july 26th. but for today, the federal judge
in california said he understood there were some complicated in reuniting these children but he seems to think the government might be acting in good faith to try to bring them together and he's asked for a list by tomorrow of exactly how many children they've been able to reunite, how many remain outstanding and the status of all those parents. he's asking them to come up with a new deadline by tomorrow they think they will be able to meet. >> they do think there's some deadline they can meet. there's 40 some -- 40-odd kids remaining. because there's some issue of some of them have been released in america and the government claims they're not quite sure who they are and some have been deported already. what do they do about those? i think together we're talking about roughly 40 kids. >> yes, 48 kids actually. so they would -- these are kids in hhs custody. some of the parents have been deported. they say about 9 have been deported. 9 have been released into the united states. others have some questions about whether or not it's an actual parent, whether they have a criminal history that could presued them from being reunited
and being a safe parent. a lot of things they're trying to work through. friday, we heard 19 deported. 19 released. so both of those have been cut down to 9. it seems they have been able to match more people just over the weekend than they thought they could. the reason why the judge is being lenient i think can be drilled down to a comment he made on friday where he said he didn't want the government to just appeal his decision to reunite all of these parents. he wants to make sure they're acting in good faith, they're taking all of the steps to really bring all these people together and do research. he doesn't want an appeal that could delay reunification. he is being somewhat lenient on the time line. >> thanks very much. julia ainsley, nbc news national justice reporter. coming up, why you and i are going to bear the brunt of president trump's trade fight with china. as manufacturers pass the spike in production costs to consumers. be prepared to pay more.
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call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now - and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. with my bladder leakage, the products i've tried just didn't fit right. they were very saggy. it's getting in the way of our camping trips. but with new sizes, depend fit-flex is made for me. introducing more sizes for better comfort. new depend fit-flex underwear is guaranteed to be your best fit. president trump's trade war appears to be in full swing. you might actually start feeling the impact soon. here's where things stand. the u.s. has imposed tariffs on $37 billion worth of chinese goods, $13 billion worth of canadian goods, $8 billion in goods from the european union, $3 billion in goods from mexico and $2 billion in imports from japan. except for japan, all of those
countries have imposed retaliatory tariffs equal to the same amount of goods subject to u.s. tariffs. here's how you end up feeling the pinch. according to the 2011 report by the san francisco federal reserve, at least 20% of your furniture and other household items are made in china. and more than one-third of your clothes and shoes also come from there. as a result of the new tariffs, americans could end up paying more for things like remote control batteries, tool sets, usb drives and other things. cost of many home appliances like fridges could go up by as much as a quarter. joining us to take a look at this and how this all plays out in the economy is diane swan, the chief economist for the audit, task and advisory firm grant thornton. an old friend of mine. it's great to have you here. our viewers see you all the time in chicago. we know from talking to the farmers that vaugh hillyard has been out talking to, they'll be hit right now. your biggest market disappeared.
>> right. >> china's -- >> hogs. >> right, hogs, wheat, lobster. this is not a later thing for them. and in some case, those products will actually become cheaper for americans because the market's gone. so we might eat cheaper lobster and all that kind of stuff. in the end, the farmer's getting hurt now and ultimately the consumer, the companies won't be able to prevent passing the increased costs of imported goods over. >> this is a tax, a tariff is a tax. >> that's right. >> it's not like a tax, it is a tax. >> correct. >> so the reality is we're already seeing it in the pipeline for producers. steel and aluminum tariffs. just the anticipation of them. those prices went up. now the government saying, owe, they went up too much. that's what happens when you have uncertainty. they start to go up more rapidly, crimping profit margins, which means many people that should be getting wage increases in the manufacturing sector because their firms are having to pay more for their costs cannot get wage increases
either. even if it's not showing up in their five products yet, it will eventually. >> this is a double manny. let's say you're a manufacturing worker, a farm worker, your pay gets crimped at the same time your stuff -- >> if it get cut. >> at the same time the stuff you buy gets more expensive. >> over time, these things tend to multiply. i think of them as corosive like a leaky pipe. you ignore it for a while. maybe you repair it a little bit. until it bursts and you have a catastrophe. that's how these trade effects happen. they compound over time. a good example is of course the uk. the uk has not even decide to brexit or not. but it's a cautionary tale for us in the u.s. what you've got is already consumer confidence, investor confidence is down. they're paying more inflation. they're paying more for their
goods. all of it, now shifting to continental europe instead of london. investing in london, especially in the financial services industry. it's happening already. i think what's also important is these trade situations, we have actual tariffs, but the uncertainty about what additional ones we'll have. what will the road be going ahead. how do companies navigate not having a road map in front of them of where they should produce and where they shouldn't produce? >> so those investments and those fact trees and those jobs may go somewhere where there's greater certainty. >> exactly. undermine being the very premise of what these tariffs were supposed to be about. >> made the point last week that trade is so much more of our global economy than it was 25 years ago. you get a trade war now, it does actually affect things. great to see you here in new york. look forward to hearing you talk more about this. the chief economist at grant thornton. let's go to the floor of the
united states senate where mitch mcconnell is speaking about president trump's supreme court pick. >> -- and other disadvantaged groups. that was about justice souter. and in 1975, john paul stevens. they said he lacked imparchality and opposed women's rights. that's what they said about john paul stevens. so these far left groups have been at the same scare tactics, mr. president, for over 40 years. the consistency is really quite amazing. decade after decade. nominee after nominee. the far left script hardly changes at all. anyone and everyone, republican president nomination supreme court is some kind of threat to the republic. according to the hysterical press releases that inevitably
follow. no matter their qualifications, no matter their record, no matter their reputation. it's the same hyperbole. the same accusations. the same old story. tonight, president trump will announce his nominee to fill the current supreme court vacancy. we don't know who he will name. but we already know exactly what unfair tactics the nominee will face. they won't be new and they won't be warranted. we can expect to hear how they'll destroy equal rights or demolish american health care or ruin our country and some other fictional way. justice kennedy's resignation letter barely arrived in the president's hands before several democratic colleagues began declaring their blanket opposition to anyone at all,
anyone, that the president might name. one democratic senator stated she would resist any attempt to confirm any nominee this year, quote, it doesn't matter who he's putting forward. doesn't matter who. earlier today, just today, another democratic senator issued a press release declaring preemptively that he plans to oppose whomever the president nominates tonight, no matter who they are. another of our democratic colleagues offered this assessment. we're looking at the destruction of the constitution of the united states as far as i can tell. it's hard to keep a straight face when you hear stuff like that. justice kennedy just announced
his retirement and they're talking about the destruction of the constitution? please. please, give the american people some credit. this far left rhetoric comes out every single time. but the apocalypse never comes. america is far beyond this far left mongering. this kind of fearmongering. they've tried over and over again for 40 years. senators should do the same. we should evaluate this president's nominee fairly. based on his or her qualifications. and we should treat the process with the respect and dignity that it deserves. the judiciary committee will hold hearings. and then the nomination will come to the full senate for our
consideration. one more round of 40-year-old scare tactics will not stop us from doing the right >> all right. that was mitch mcconnell talking on the floor of the senate about the nominee who has not been named. we do have reporting from cnbc that the president has chosen the person he is going to nominate. we had a short list of four people. the president has made a choice. we don't know who it is. it will be announced at 9:00 p.m. eastern today. it is important to emphasize who is compiling the list from which the president has chosen supreme court nominee. i want to zero in on two organizations we heard senate minority leader chuck schumer mention moments ago. >> the president has gone to two far out of the mainstream hard right groups. the heritage foundation and the
federalist society and asked them, not the senate, to advise and consent on a supreme court nomination. >> okay. the federalist society and the heritage foundation. during his election campaign, then candidate donald trump promised to only nominate supreme court justices approved by the two conservative organizations. both of them have amassed vast power and influence over the conservative agenda during recent decades. in a june 2016 interview, trump publicly guaranteed that the federalist society would have a hand in the nomination of judges. >> i'm appointing -- you saw the 11 names i gave. and we're going to have great judges, conservative, all picked by federalist society. >> to be clear, this isn't the first time the president has outsourced the nomination process. the executive vice-president of the federalist society, the new yorker magazine commented on this saying, quote, during the administration of george w. bush, leo played a role in the
nominations of john roberts and scam you' samuel alito. what is unusual is that president trump appears to be relying solely on these highly partisan organizations to shape our country's judicial system which, after all, is one of the two major checks on presidential authority according to the constitution. the other, of course, is congress. here to talk about the implications of all of this with me now is attorney danielle mclauchlin. author of the federalist society, how conservatives took the law back from liberals. danielle, thanks for joining me again. good to see you. >> good to see you, ali. >> to what degree is this new? i know we've had presidents who have appointed people who they know personally, in some cases with whom they've had some personal association, but that's not really donald trump's world. he doesn't come from the world of law or a long time in politics so he is doing what i guess would be expected of a republican president at this point.
these organizations that have come to be relied upon for this. >> yes. so, up until the presidency of george bush, george w. bush, the american bar association, which is a fairly centrist organization of about 400,000 members across the country, were really the sounding board for presidents, white houses, departments of justice that were preparing short lists for supreme court nominees. as you mentioned. so, trump's reliance on federalist society is not new. we did get alito and of course john roberts the chief justice from bush ii and he had enormous reliance on the federalist society. this is something they have been working on for decades. this is something i've written at length about and leonard leo, who has taken his second leave of absence this time for president trump, is really pulling the strings here in a way that is quite -- i don't think the american people really understand the influence of this relatively small organization. with many ideas that are outside the mainstream of legal thought.
>> talk about the degree to which you can rely upon a nominee by these conservative organizations. we certainly spent a lot of time talking about how kennedy didn't deliver the way he was expected to on certain things. justice kennedy is not the liberal everybody seems to paint him as. >> sure. >> there were things he didn't side with the conservative majority. does that happen a lot? >> it doesn't. i think an even better example is david suitor who is george h.w. bush's appointee. he sided with the liberals and planned parenthood versus casey, which is the sort of ruling precedent on abortion. from that case the undue burden standard came to be and i think that's where a conservative court would work to strip away the abortion right or chip away in a significant way. he also -- yeah, he was much more liberal than bush the second thought he would be. he was even more significant. another case he was involved in was kilo versus the city of new london which seems like a boring
imminent domain case. for conservatives who care deeply about property rights, they were outraged a republican appointee would side with the folks who were in favor of imminent domain as opposed to against it. >> there were people who come on and say, don't everybody get so upset about this because one supreme court is on the bench, they can or do or sometimes will change the way they think about things. there's a lot been made of the fact the president says he won't ask supreme court justice nominees or hasn't asked them about how they will vote on roe v. wade or how they were thinking about that. senators obviously will ask them a little bit more. they tend not to give straight answers to these things. >> yes. >> but what's the reliability that a conservative appointee is going to be all that conservative in their ruling? >> well, the fact we have a group hand selected by the federalist society, americans should be confident these will be conservative people in practice. we have a couple nominees who have been on the bench a long
period of time or were doing legal writings whether in academia or in the white house. brett will be someone very much in favor of religious liberty. we can be confident these people will be conservative. >> thanks very much, danielle mclaughlin, author and attorney, author of the federalist society how conservatives took the law back from liberals. we'll be back after this quick break. the line between work and life hasn't just blurred. it's gone.
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all right. that's going to wrap up the hour for me. i'm going to be back right here tomorrow 11:00 eastern with stephanie ruhle then at 3:00 p.m. eastern. thanks for watching. "deadline white house" starts right now. /s >> hello, everybody. it's 4:00 in washington. i'm peter alexander and i'm in for nicolle wallace. the president has made his pick for the supreme court. he is of course keeping that name close to the vest. just hours away from this big made-for-tv reveal. here's what we can tell you right at this hour. a source with firsthand knowledge of the president's thought process telling me heading into this day of the top four contenders, two front runners had emerged. judges brett kavanagh and thomas hardiman, appeals court judges. though my sources stressing that no one, at least heading into this morning, had been eliminated. that now changing. the reality show president