The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/28/13
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Thank you very much.
Thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour.
I`m not kidding. We have some expected breaking news to report at
this hour. Same-sex marriage is breaking out all over the state of
California, as we speak, 23 days early. Just a short time ago,
unexpectedly, a federal appeals court in California issued a one-sentence
order unexpectedly clearing way for same-sex marriages to resume in that
state immediately. And it caught everybody off guard.
You`ll remember it was Wednesday morning that the United States
Supreme Court in that 5-4 decision ruled that the proponents of
California`s ban on same-sex marriage, Prop 8, those proponents of that ban
had no legal standing to bring their case to the Supreme Court. The ruling
that they didn`t have standing, that decision, effectively killed the
marriage ban in California.
But the big question after the Supreme Court`s ruling on Wednesday
morning was, OK, now that Prop 8 is legally dead, when does its legal death
come into effect? When can same-sex marriages especially resume in
California? When can people start getting married?
Well, the court that is one level below the U.S. Supreme Court is the
federal appeals court and the federal appeals court in the ninth circuit
which includes California, they put out a statement saying that the
timeframe for the Supreme Court ruling to dribble down to them effectively
so they could make it official and formally change the law and let people
start getting their marriage licenses, they said that timeframe would be at
least 25 days. Why would it take so long? I don`t know.
But California`s attorney general, Kamala Harris, asked the appeals
court to go faster. She asked the ninth circuit to lift their hold against
same-sex marriages in California immediately. She said, do not wait this
25 days that you say you are going to wait. Attorney General Harris
essentially asked the courts to get out of the way. The decision`s been
And then tonight in a surprise, they did. The Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals issued this very brief one-sentence order. “The stay in the above
matter is dissolved effectively immediately.” Effective immediately as in
immediately? As in not like legal immediately which means next year but
like immediately – yes, right now. No more 25-day wait. No question
about how and when same-sex marriages resume in California.
With that one-sentence ruling, Prop 8 is done. And just moments
after that court order came out, Attorney General Kamala announced on
Twitter, “On my way to San Francisco City Hall. Let the wedding bells
Then about 15 minutes later, she tweeted this. “About to marry Prop
8 plaintiffs, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier. Wedding bells are ringing.”
Kris Perry, of course, and Sandy Stier, were two of the public faces
of this fight. They celebrated this ruling at the Supreme Court on
Wednesday morning and then they raced back to California that night. We
talked to them in California that night after they got back.
But look where they are tonight. Look. This is just a little while
ago at San Francisco city hall with California Attorney General Kamala
Harris standing there on the right standing there by their side. And then
filling out all the required paper work, Kris Perry and Sandra Stier
finally got to realize the moment they`ve been fighting for all these
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Do you, Chris, take
Sandy to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love and cherish from this day
KRIS PERRY: I do.
HARRIS: And do you, Sandy, take Kris to be your lawfully wedded
wife? To love and cherish from this day forward?
SANDRA STIER: I do.
HARRIS: Let the rings exchanged and the vows declared symbolize your
commitment, sincerity, and affection, and may your love never falter.
By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the state of
California, I now declare you spouses for life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You know it`s good when the officiant raises their arms in
triumph. Just like that. Prop 8 is history. Just like that. Marriage
equality has become a reality once again in the most populist state in the
San Francisco City Hall, we are told, is staying open until 8:00 p.m.
local time tonight to keep marrying people all night. People who did not
know before this surprise today that today is the day they would be able
Now, you might remember the other two plaintiffs in the California
prop 8 case that went to the Supreme Court. Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.
Here they were celebrating at the Supreme Court after the ruling on
But look, here they are tonight at city hall in Los Angeles, racing
down to city hall to get their marriage license. Paul Katami and Jeff
Zarrillo are expected to be married this hour at city hall in L.A. by the
This process has moved along much faster than anybody expected, but
two days after the Supreme Court`s historic ruling on Wednesday, same sex
marriage s now resumed in the state of California.
And joining us now is Kamala Harris. She`s attorney general for the
great state of California and she`s had a very busy night already.
Ms. Harris, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
HARRIS (via telephone): It`s great to be back with you, Rachel.
MADDOW: So, give us a play-by-play of how this came about. We were
expecting a 3 1/2 week wait. All of a sudden, it happened.
HARRIS: Oh my God. It was extraordinary.
You know, I was sitting in my office in a meeting with a group of
folks, and then someone knocks on the door, passes me a note, the ninth
circuit is going to announce something. So I just continued with the
meeting because, of course, other things are going on but nobody could
really focus. And another note got passed to me and the ninth circuit
Then, of course, just all hell broke loose.
HARRIS: Then I learned that they wanted me to perform the marriage
and we wanted to do it right away. So I left my office, which is up the
street from city hall, and a group of us walked down the street to city
hall and the crowds were starting to form and, you know, people were still
a little curious. You know, we all kind of walked in there like
gangbusters. I think people figured out something was going on, but the
word hadn`t really spread.
Then while they were getting their license, so we were in the clerk`s
office while Chris and Sandy were getting their license. Someone informed
me that the Los Angeles clerk was unsure about his responsibility. So, I
said, get him on the phone for me. Then I had a nice little chat with him
and informed him that he was to begin marriages immediately, which meant
And then we went and had the ceremony. It was an incredible,
incredible sight and incredible experience.
MADDOW: We got a formal note, formal press release from the Los
Angeles County clerk saying, in very specific terms, “At 4:07 p.m., I
received direction by cell phone from Attorney General Kamala Harris to
begin immediately issuing marriage licenses.”
Am I to believe that he thought he wasn`t supposed to and you had to
tell him, no, I directing you, I`m not asking you, I`m telling you?
HARRIS: It was a moment that required a little clarification, and I
was happy to.
MADDOW: Speaking of the clarification, as we understand it, you
know, the court was explicit in saying, you know, it`s going to be at least
25 days before this happens. You made a request of the court that they
move faster. Why did you know that you could do that and why did they
think it would take 25 days if it wouldn`t?
HARRIS: Well, Rachel, I think credit really must at this point be
given to the ninth circuit, because they did not have to move as quickly as
they did. But, yes, that was our point that it was within their power to
lift the stay before the 25 days and, yes, I urged them to do that. But
they did it really, I mean, they did it so swiftly.
I think it`s a very clear indication of the fact that when justice is
delayed, justice is denied. And each day is not equal. And 25 days for
these families, for the children of those families, for the elder relatives
of those families, is a very long time.
And so, all applause and thanks to the Ninth Circuit for making that
point clear when they moved so swiftly.
MADDOW: Kamala Harris, attorney general for the state of California,
with tens of – I guess hundreds of thousands of people flooding into San
Francisco this weekend for pride. If you end up stuck at city hall
marrying people all weekend, you`ll be forgiven for spending your weekend -
HARRIS: I`m actually going to be a grand marshal in the parade.
I`ve been asked. I`m very excited. It`s going to be a great, great, great
weekend in San Francisco.
MADDOW: Congratulations. I know this is a big win for you. Thank
you, ma`am. Have a great weekend.
HARRIS: Thank you. Take care.
MADDOW: Thank you. Kamala Harris, attorney general of the state of
OK. When we return, we think two of the plaintiffs in the Supreme
Court prop 8 case maybe, we think they are maybe going to get married live
right here. The first ever live RACHEL MADDOW SHOW wedding. No pressure.
I don`t know if it`s going to work, but we`re going to try to make it work.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: This is a little weird, but barring something unforeseen, we
are all about to witness a very significant wedding. Two of the plaintiffs
in the Prop 8 case that restored marriage equality in California are going
to tie the knot in just a second, and I think we get to see it on TV.
Hold on. Stay tuned.
MADDOW: Late this afternoon, a California federal appeals court
ordered that same-sex marriages in the state of California should resume
immediately. It was a surprise ruling. Everybody thought there was going
to be a 25-day delay but it just started and started right away.
In the next few moments, we are expecting to witness the marriage of
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo at Los Angeles City Hall. Mr. Katami and Mr.
Zarrillo were two of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case decided by the
Supreme Court on Wednesday morning. Their co-plaintiffs, Kris Perry and
Sandy Stier, we just saw were just married tonight, married by California`s
attorney general, Kamala Harris, at San Francisco City Hall.
Right after the court`s decision two days ago, Paul and Jeff
explained during an interview here on MSNBC that they were inspired to do
something, to do whatever they could in response to the passage of Prop 8,
which was the gay marriage ban in California. They were inspired that
night on election night they were going to do something. They said they
felt the jarring contrast between the pride and hope at electing the
nation`s first black president and the same time same-sex marriage rights
in California being revoked by a popular vote.
Now, 4 1/2 years later, 4 1/2 years after both that shock and that
decision by that couple, they are about to say their vows before Los
Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and also maybe us.
Joining now as we await that is California Lieutenant Governor Gavin
Newsom. Nine years ago in 2004, only one month into his term as the mayor
of San Francisco, it was Gavin Newsom who defied state law when he told the
county clerk`s office in San Francisco that he wanted them to start issuing
marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We saw that again today but the
order this time came from the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Lieutenant Governor, thank you very much for being with us.
GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR (via telephone):
Great to be here, Rachel. Thanks for having me on.
MADDOW: Am I right you are in transit between Sacramento and San
NEWSOM: You can`t make it outside. My friend, Antonio and Kamala,
are there nearly nine years and I wanted to be there in the moment. But
this sort of proves the point how surprised all of us were –
MADDOW: I`ve got to tell you, while I`m talking to you. We`re
watching what seems to be the impending marriage of Paul and Jeff, two of
the named plaintiffs in Prop 8. The mayor is there about to convene the
ceremony. We will go to that as soon as it starts.
I just want to ask how it feels that this is all now suddenly
happening in this unexpected way.
NEWSOM: Yes, well, it`s pretty extraordinary. I mean, it`s
affirmation of love at the end of the day. Love is triumph and
persistence. I mean, just remarkable commitment and resolve of people all
across country that stepped up and stepped in and weren`t bystanders on
this journey that we`ve all been on and frankly for over 20 years, Rachel,
not just since 2004. And the Massachusetts decision and what happened in
So it`s a powerful reminder of what`s right in this country and the
principles that we all strive for in perfecting this remarkable place that
we call home.
MADDOW: Mr. Lieutenant Governor, thank you for being with us. We`re
going to now have a live wedding on TV. We got to go. Thank you, sir.
MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), LOS ANGELES: More joyful than I am
today. This is a special moment.
Before you stand, Paul and Jeff, filled with love for each other, let
me just say how happy we are for the two of you. Your relationship is an
inspiration to us all. Your bravery in the face of bigotry has made
Thanks to you, ceremonies like this will be celebrated with joy in
California and across the country. You have waited, you have hoped and you
have fought for this moment alongside so many other couples, families, and
Today, your wait is finally over. By joining the case against
Proposition 8, you represented hundreds of thousands of couples in the
fight for marriage equality. You represented America and fight for
marriage equality, in the fight for dignity and liberty for all. Through
the ups and downs, struggles and the triumphs, you came out victorious.
And based on what you told me the other night as we enjoyed that
evening taking in the victory, and how you`re looking at each other today,
you`re just as in love today as you were when you met 12 years ago.
I couldn`t be more honored to stand here today to join Paul and Jeff
in marriage during these, the closing moments, of my administration. And
so let us begin. Take it in. Just take it in.
We are gathered here today for the purpose of uniting in matrimony
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. Now, the contract of marriage is most
solemn and is not to be entered into lightly, but thoughtfully and
seriously with a deep realization of its obligations and its
responsibilities. Marriage is also a promise made in the hearts of two
people who love each other and that promise will take a lifetime to
Now, within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of
life`s most important relationships. And so, Paul, do you take Jeff to be
your lawful wedded spouse?
PAUL KATAMI: I do.
VILLARAIGOSA: Jeff, do you take Paul to be your lawful wedded
JEFF ZARRILLO: I do.
VILLARAIGOA: Do you each promise to love and comfort one another, to
honor and keep one another in sickness and in health, in prosperity and
adversity, and forsaking all others, be faithful to each other as long as
you both shall live?
KATAMI & ZARRILLO: We do.
VILLARAIGOSA: I don`t know about you, but I got goose bumps.
Now, the wedding ring is an outward invisible sign of an inward and
spiritual bond which unites two loyal hearts and endless love.
Paul, please place this ring on Jeff`s left finger and repeat after
I, Paul –
KATAMI: I, Paul –
VILLARAIGOSA: – offer this ring as a symbol of my love and
KATAMI: – offer this ring as a symbol of my love and my devotion.
VILLARAIGOSA: Let it always be a reminder of my vows to you.
KATAMI: Let it always be a reminder of my vows to you.
VILLARAIGOSA: Jeff, place this ring on Paul`s left finger and repeat
I, Jeff –
ZARRILLO: I, Jeff –
VILLARAIGOSA: – offer this ring as a symbol of my love and
ZARRILLO: – offer this ring as a symbol of my love and my devotion.
VILLARAIGOSA: Let it always be a reminder of my vows to you.
ZARRILLO: Let it always be a reminder of my vows to you.
VILLARAIGOSA: And so, behalf of the state of California, let me
pronounce you married.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MADDOW: Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo legally married in the state
Congratulations to these guys but also to everybody who unexpectedly
found themselves taking the plunge this afternoon and tonight in the great
state of California, which is thought to be something that was 25 days off,
thanks to a pronouncement to that effect from the ninth U.S. circuit court
of appeals. But that appeals court decided it`s in effect immediately, so
people have sprinted to city hall.
This is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles finishing up his
terms mayor of that city on a very, very high note.
We`ll be right back.
VILLARAIGOSA: So you`re married?
KATAMI: We`re married.
MADDOW: Programming note, even if you do not usually watch “Meet the
Press”, you may want to watch “Meet the Press” this weekend. David Gregory
has scored an exclusive interview with Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi
on “Meet the Press” this Sunday as the House prepares to take up the big
immigration bill. But he has also got Texas State Senator Wendy Davis.
Yes, the Wendy Davis of Wendy Davis fame will be on “Meet the Press” on
Also I will be. I will be on “Meet the Press” as well this weekend,
hopefully with hair looking better than that. I`ll be there along with
NBC`s Pete Williams and Michael Eric Dyson, also my old friend Ralph Reed
from the Christian coalition, and my estranged but beloved uncle, Jim
DeMint, former Republican senator and now the head of the Heritage
Foundation. I wonder what we`ll talk about.
Sunday morning, NBC, “Meet the Press.” Check your listings for the
And also, another programming note for you. Tonight here on MSNBC at
10:00 p.m. Eastern, you`re going to want to check out our live special
we`re doing on the George Zimmerman trial. If you missed the trial
coverage today or the rest of this week on MSNBC, tonight this special is
your chance to catch up on it. It has been an absolutely riveting trial.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: When the Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage this week, you
know who was Johnny on the spot? The U.S. military. The secretary of
defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff did a press
conference right away.
The Pentagon is looking forward to implementing this decision. The
Department of Defense will move very swiftly, quote, “It will be a decision
implemented in every way as it should be.” They put it in writing.
The Defense Department intends to make the same benefits available to
every military spouse, regardless of sexual orientation, as soon as
possible. Quote, “That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.”
When the Supreme Court was hearing this case, the Pentagon could not
weigh in on its own behalf in the case because the Justice Department plays
that role for the government. But a group of high-ranking military
officers including former secretaries of defense wrote the court to say
that experience as military leaders after “don`t ask, don`t tell,” their
experience as military leaders in a military that has openly gay people
serving in it, that experience gave them strong feelings about what the
court should do.
Quote, “The military and civilian leadership long have recognized the
physical and emotional wellbeing of service members` families is critical
to the military`s efforts to ensure and increase morale, readiness,
cohesion and ultimately the operational success of our armed forces.
Research, experience and common sense dictate that individuals preparing
for deployment or will have been deployed to areas of actual or potential
fighting should have as few distractions as possible, making sure that
loved ones are not suffering any more than humanly possible by the absence
of someone stationed in the military is a mission-critical objective.”
Bottom line according to senior military officers, quote, “There is
no military justification for this discrimination.” Now, during the oral
arguments in the DOMA case, the solicitor general of the United States
stood up to argue to the court why the federal marriage ban should be
struck down and this was the very first thing he said when he stood up
before the court.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD VERRILLI, U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: What section 3 does is
exclude from an array of federal benefits lawfully married couples. That
means that the spouse of a soldier killed in the line of duty cannot
receive the dignity and solace of an official notification of next of kin.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was the opening line of the government`s case for why
the marriage ban should be struck down. This was not a case about the
military, but the fact that there are openly gay soldiers now becomes a
very powerful driver of public policy. Because it`s hard to say that if
the military wants to treat its soldiers equally, the military should be
forced not to. They should be forced to discriminate against some soldiers
and their families because of local laws.
That is an idea that seems ridiculous enough on its face, that even
the lawyer who was arguing for the marriage ban used that same argument to
try to make his case.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PAUL CLEMENT, ATTORNEY: We don`t want somebody if they`re going to
be transferred in the military from West Point to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma to
resist the transfer because they`re going to lose some benefits. It makes
sense to have a uniform federal rule for the federal government.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: Right. Conservative lawyer Paul Clement wants the uniform
federal rule for the federal government to be gay people can`t get married.
Instead the justices agreed there should be a uniform federal rule but that
gay people can get married.
These landmark gay right cases this week are not about the military
specifically, but the fact that we have openly gay troops it turns out is a
driving force against the idea that gay people should be discriminated
against anywhere in our country. That`s already been seen, right? The
military`s own desire to not discriminate among its soldiers and their
families has helped drive us to where we have come thus far. Does it also
help drive us the rest of the way? Because if you`re in the military and
stationed at MacDill Air Force Base just south of Tampa, right on Tampa
Bay, in the great state of Florida, if you`re one of the 15,000 service
members on that base, when you are on that base, your family will not be
discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. Every family in
the military will be treated the same.
But if you take one step off that base, you are a second-class
citizen now? You can`t own property as a married couple the way the other
service members` families can? You can`t file your state taxes together
the way the other families can? All these other aspects of second-class
citizenship because Florida discriminates, still, even when the military
and the federal government do not anymore.
Is the military going to have to offer first dibs access to on-base
housing for same-sex couples in military families? For the military
families who some states will not treat as equals? Are military bases in
places like Kentucky and Florida and Texas states and all these other
states that don`t have equality, are military bases in the state going to
become islands of civil rights, places of refuge?
The military is doing everything in its power to treat its service
members equally but not allowed to treat them truly equally or ensure they
have equal rights because of the interference of the laws of some U.S.
states. That seems not sustainable.
Is the military now in the position to be a further catalyst for
change, driving more states so that it can treat its service members
Coming up next for “The Interview” is somebody who knows.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CLEMENT: We don`t want somebody if they`re going to be transferred
in the military from West Point to Fort Sill in Oklahoma to resist the
transfer because they`re going to lose some benefits. It makes sense to
have a uniform federal rule for the federal government.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: Paul Clement arguing before the United States Supreme Court
that we ought to keep the federal ban on gay marriage for just that
purpose. The court agreed with him on the idea of the difficulty of having
a non-uniform standard, but they made the decision opposite to what he was
asking them to do. Those decisions, those Supreme Court decisions this
week, ended up putting the U.S. military, members of the U.S. military,
right in the middle of this now patchwork of legal rights for gay and
lesbian couples that we`ve got around the country.
Will the military now be forced to discriminate against some of its
soldiers and not against others depending on where a base is located?
If the military is put in that difficult of a position, will the
military now be put in the position to at least implicitly drive more
states toward equality?
Joining us now for “The Interview” is Clifford Alexander. He was the
secretary of the United States Army under President Carter and chairman of
the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under President Johnson.
Mr. Secretary, thank you for being with us again. It`s a real honor
to have you here.
CLIFFORD ALEXANDER, FORMER SECRETARY OF U.S. ARMY: Thank you so
much. Glad to be with you, Rachel.
MADDOW: So, the Pentagon says it is eager to enforce these civil
rights rulings so it can stop discriminating against some service members
and their families. Do you think it is unusual to have the Pentagon
speaking to clearly and so quickly on this matter?
ALEXANDER: I think it is good that they spoke clearly. I do think
that the efficiency that is within the Pentagon will see to it that the
rules are carried out as they should be carried out. I also believe that
it would be a good idea if the civilian side took a hint from the Pentagon
in terms of the efficiency of carrying out the many rules and regulations
that effect people that shouldn`t negatively.
I think there are over 1,000 of them within the federal government
now. So it would seem to me that it would be very good for the White House
to send some orders out to each of the cabinet members with daytime charts
on them that say I want to report as to what it is you`re doing about such
and such. I want it within a few days, not a few weeks, not a few months,
and I want it changed so that it is equitable.
MADDOW: We have –
ALEXANDER: I don`t think – excuse me.
MADDOW: I`m sorry to interrupt you, sir. I was going to say we have
seen some motion in that direction from the federal government today, some
initial direction to federal agencies. But I do think there`s going to
continue to be a patchwork both in terms of federal accommodation but also
in terms of what the practical life is for people living in states that
don`t recognize rights that the federal government recognizes.
ALEXANDER: I do think your point is well taken about the states, 38
states that do not represent – really will recognize these rights. But
taking that under consideration and there should be well beyond the courts
lots of pressures, I think particularly by the media, to talk about the
differences in treatment of people.
Talk about why it is we have a military. It is to give us
protections, to give us liberties, to give us all human beings, no heart
what matter what their sexual orientation may be, give them each and every
one of us our protection and our rights.
We don`t have that today. We have more than we did before the court
acted in this case, but don`t have where we ought to be. But in the
meantime, there are still many things that the government can do.
You said they`re starting to give directions. They need to think of
it in a more sense of urgency. Not just give a direction, but give a
direction with an order at the end of it that says as of a certain point,
I`d like to see that this regulation is changed appropriately for it to
meet the facts.
What we have so much, I think, in the government to is the kumbaya
moment. They love what they`ve seen. They`re excited and they`re happy,
as we should be. With a little bit more of justice before us.
But there is not enough of the follow-through that I think the
military does better than our civilian people do, and I think that is a
responsibility of the people in the White House to get it started and the
cabinet secretaries to continue it and the agency heads to continue it as
well. And I think it is the responsibility of the media to check on it
every day. Not just your program, as you do, but the rest of the media,
MADDOW: I`ll send them a memo and see if they listen.
ALEXANDER: Would you –
MADDOW: Let me ask you about previous experience with the military
being in advance of parts of the rest of the country on civil rights
matters. We have had experience with that as a nation where the military
was desegregated, for example, or there were things that were being offered
in a meritocratic way that were not reflected where U.S. bases are located
in the states.
Are there lessons from that history we should be thinking about
ALEXANDER: My wife is a wonderful historian and wrote a book called
“Homelands and Waterways.” In that book, during the civil war, navy people
were integrated in their service, integrated.
Then there was a period after that in the `20s when black people
could not hold positions in the U.S. Navy. More recently with the Truman
order and in some of the other changes that have been made more recently,
there is much more equity within the military and on a consistent basis
than there has been.
There are still problems in the military about the administration of
justice for people who are minorities, and that, again, is reflected in the
civilian society as well. But when you look at overall the military does
appear to be a beacon. It is a beacon that occasionally flickers, but it
is a beacon.
I do think that what we can do in the military is with the military
to realize why we have a military. Why we have, we are protecting the
rights of people. We want to see that they`re fully exercised in all
situations which I hope would give our elected representatives in state
legislatures and city councils the good sense to change these ridiculous
laws that don`t allow for marriage as it should be throughout the country.
But it is a continuous fight. I mean, I know that there is another
area there that the Supreme Court came out, in my view, on the wrong side,
and that was on the Voting Rights Act, where, again, we really do have to
be vigilant about what this court is doing. This court, remember, is made
up feckless, in my view, members of that court who from day on to day out
think much more of things than they do of people.
And when they did what they did with the voting laws, it`s going to
require something that is constant on the part of the media, I think, and
on the part of legislators, and on the part of the White House to
continually remind the American public that this precious thing we have is
I notice that in one of the opinions by the chief justice, he talked
about h he`d look at all these elected black people all over the place.
I would only remind him that today there is not a single black
elected official in the United States Senate and there has not been a
single black elected official in the Senate since Barack Obama left it.
Now, that isn`t exactly full inclusion, and I don`t think you can
point to various parts of this country and pretend that somehow we have
solved all of our problems. There`s no such thing as post-racial, by the
way. That`s an American illusion. What it is is an improvement in many
areas of our society, and a need for vigilance on the part of all of us
about the rights of our fellow human beings.
MADDOW: Clifford Alexander, secretary of the United States Army
under President Charter, chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission under President Johnson – sir, it is a great honor to have you
here. Thank you so much.
ALEXANDER: Well, thanks for having me again. I appreciate it.
MADDOWE: Thank you.
He is a man who knows of what he speaks. He was President Johnson`s
civil rights counsel. He was there in person when the Voting Rights Act
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: The Fourth of July is no time soon. It is not until next
Thursday. But if you`re a legislator, happy Fourth of July because it`s
already started for you.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House of Representatives convened on Friday
June 28th at 9:00 a.m. And pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 19,
the House convened, the House adjourned at 12:39 p.m. until Monday, July
8th, 2013, when it will meet at 2:00 p.m., thank you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: I want that job.
The House has gotten home. The Senate has gone home, and they`re not
just gone for the weekend. Because there is a Fourth of July holiday one
day toward the end of next week, they`re all gone for now, and for the
weekend, and for all of next week, and even the week after that. They`re
not going to be back until July 8th at the earliest. It is good to be
king, or at least to be D.C. royalty.
That`s just the feds though. Politics proceeds a pace in the rest of
the country, including a big stressful cliffhanger deadline on Sunday at
midnight this weekend. Congress may already be at the beach, but Ohio
Governor John Kasich is going to be sweating at home.
When John Kasich first was elected in 2010, he was a shoot from the
mouth kind of guy, looking for a fight wherever he could find, really
relishing a kind of swagger, of being in charge and letting everybody know
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Have you ever been stopped by a
policeman who was an idiot? I had this idiot pull me over on 315.
Listen to this story, he says to me, he says, he says, “You passed
this emergency vehicle on the side of the road, and you didn`t yield.” And
the last thing I would ever do is be to pass an emergency, “Are you kidding
He says, I understand it, give your silence, goes back to the car,
comes back, gives me a ticket, you must report to court. If you don`t
report to court, we`re putting a warrant out for your arrest.
He is an idiot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That`s how John Kasich started off as Ohio governor. Like
maybe he was going to hold a press conference or maybe he was going to pop
you in the mouth right there!
And it`s not just the way he talks, he immediately moved to strip
union rights in Ohio, and he did. And Ohio took it right back, absolutely
destroying the bill that stripped union rights. They put up SB-5 for a
recall, they defeated it by 22 points.
John Kasich had come in as this marble mouth, half cocks Tea Party
radical. But that SB-5 brushback I think made him realize he was going to
have to put on his big boy pants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASICH: If you`re going to bring back massive change that causes
great unrest, I have learned this. You know, we won – you take a look at
our record, you go out deep sea fishing, you catch a lot of sharks. Once
in a while, the shark eats you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was January 2012, and in the year and a half since
then, John Kasich wants to be seen as less his Tea Party self and more as
Wall Street self. He`s trying to play down some of the things he used to
very obviously relish, because the Beltway press loves that kind of spin
the way that rats love cheese, John Kasich has finally started to earn
himself the kind of fawning D.C. press he`s always wanted.
Politico today batting their eyelashes at John Kasich, in this
article that fawns all over him, calling him quietly competent. Well, on
Sunday night, at 11:59 p.m., John Kasich faces a deadline for whether or
not he`s going to signs his state`s new budget. But it`s not just a
decision about whether to sign or don`t sign, he has to make an up or down
decision on every single line in the budget, because he has a line item
veto, which is why this what happened yesterday at his state capitol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Line item veto! Line item veto! Line item veto! Line item
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Those Ohio women yelling “line item veto” at John Kasich,
because even though they know he is going to sign the budget overall, there
is some stuff in that budget that they`re going to make him famous for if
he doesn`t X it out line by line, he is the last chance in Ohio to X this
stuff out before it doesn`t become law. It`s this huge omnibus list of
rape and abortion provisions that the Republicans put into that state`s
budget at the last minute without ever debating any of them. They were
just put in as Republican amendments of the Republican budget, before
Republicans passed it on the party line, the only person who gets the
thumbs up or thumbs down, this big long list of abortion list is Governor
John Kasich himself.
This is not just your standard menu of Republican anti-abortion
legislation that they`re doing everywhere now. They`re being innovative
right now. There`s money in the budget for rape crisis centers in Ohio.
Ohio has not done this before with state funding. It maybe they`re doing
it now because of the high profile Steubenville, Ohio, rape trial. We
don`t know for sure.
But they are giving state money to rape crisis centers, and they`re
giving that money with an accompanying gag order. So if you take any of
the state money, Ohio Republicans will intervene in the type of counseling
that rape victims get at rape crisis centers. The state will intervene in
the counseling that rape victims get. They will intervene in the
instructions and information that the victims are allowed to be given to
gag the rape crisis counselor from being allowed to tell a rape victim that
she can get an abortion.
That is what John Kasich has to ruminate on this weekend. How does
he feel about rape victims and what does he want to do for them after they
have been raped? Because the legislatures decided that the state should
give them some help and getting through their crisis, getting some
counseling, but also that state should intervene to block them from getting
information that frankly they would like to have after they have been
So, have a nice weekend, Governor.
You will also be considering all the other myriad rape and abortion
thinks that the Republicans put into the state budget, that led the Ohio
anti-abortion movement to excitedly call this the most pro-life budget in
Ohio history. Is the budget really the place for this stuff?
Ohio Republicans think so. In the budget, they have inserted a
measure to defund Planned Parenthood. A measure for a forced ultrasound.
You may not want it, your doctor may not want you to have it, but Ohio
Republicans insist you have it and that you pay for it.
Ohio doctors will be forced to give you a speech about the forced
ultrasound, whether or not they agree with the speech and think it is in
the best interest of their patient. Republicans in state government will
give Ohio doctors a script that they must read.
And there is more, Ohio`s Republican budget will also establish a new
requirement that clinics have to have transfer agreements with local
hospitals. And it would also ban public hospitals from establishing those
agreements. So, it creates a new thing that clinics have and also says
they cannot have it.
In case it not clear enough, the whole point is just to shut down
abortion clinics in the state.
The budget also – remember, this is a budget. For some reason,
Ohio Republicans decided it was also a budgetary matter to redefine the
words pregnancy and fetus in Ohio state law. They want to define pregnancy
as beginning even before implanting it in the uterine lining.
Lots of contraception works to prevent things from implantation in
the uterine line. So, it would essentially say, you want an IUD, that means
you want an abortion. And of course there is a mandatory ultrasound before
you can get an abortion.
So, if you want to get contraception that you may have had for your
whole life in Ohio, maybe as your existence as an adult woman in Ohio,
welcome to your mandatory vaginal probe at the insistence of the state,
even just to keep your IUD. Seriously?
Actually nobody knows if that is what they mean. It does seem to be
a logical extension of what Republicans just put in the budget, it never
really got talked through or explained all that well because it was never
debated. They just added this stuff. They never talked about it. They
passed it and threw it to John Kasich.
Have a nice weekend, sir, your call. You can decide on each of these
as an individual line in the budget that you must OK line by line. Again,
the deadline for John Kasich is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night. Set a Google
alert. Also, take your blood pressure medication.
And in North Carolina, where the Republican legislature passed a bill
forcing school health teachers to lie to 7th graders about abortion this
week, the state government wants to direct teachers to teach that abortion
is a health risk that keeps women from carrying future pregnancies to term.
And that is not true. According to American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologist, according to doctors, that`s the untrue thing. But North
Carolina signed that bill to make health teachers say it.
And today we learned that Governor Pat McCrory says he will sign it.
When he was elected in November, he said he wouldn`t sign any new anti-
abortion bills into law. But today he said he will sign the lie to seventh
graders in North Carolina.
Also today, in Alabama, the Republicans there already passed and
already signed into law, and would like to implement another of these this
catch-22 TRAP laws that would shut down almost all the clinics in the
state. It`s designed to shut down all but the last two clinics in Alabama.
The law would be set to go into effect on Monday, which means the clinics
would start to close their doors on Monday.
Well, today, a federal judge in Montgomery issued a restraining
order, blocking Alabama from implementing the law. He said the law
threatens a permanent destabilizing effect on the provision of abortion in
the state, as clinics will constantly struggle under threat of closures or
seizing services to maintain a medical staff that`s classified under the
law. Such pressure could render the abortion practices in Alabama, a
Sisyphean effort. Remember the myth of Sisyphus? With the guy pushing the
He also says, quote, `Women seeking an abortion will face a
substantial new obstacle in obtaining one and therefore stand to suffer a
deprivation of constitutional rights as well as the numerous health risk
attendant to delaying abortion.”
Alabama`s Republican attorney general, Luther Strange, said he was
disappointed in the ruling. The only bright line he sees is it`s only a
temporary restraining order and the clinics are still in danger of being
shut down once the law is fully litigated.
For now, at least, that Monday deadline for Alabama`s clinic shutting
their doors, they have a temporary reprieve.
On Monday, 2:00 p.m. Texas time, though, yet another battle in the
war on women, that Republicans insist you do not say they are waging will
take place in Texas. Texas Republicans will try again to pass the state`s
omnibus anti-abortion bill which will reduce the number in the states from
42 to five.
This is the same bill that Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis
filibustered into the headlines this week, whether the Texas Republicans
wanted it or not, that all starts on Monday. The pro-choice rally in Texas
on Monday starts at noon. Texas Governor Rick Perry`s special session
starts at 2:00.
As Washington sleeps, or whatever it is they do when they`re not
working, this battle is raging right now, raging in the states. And it
does not take weekends off.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again Monday.
The MSNBC special on trial of George Zimmerman starts right now.
Have a great night.
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