Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 27, 2018 Guest: Amy Klobuchar, Jim Manley, Stuart Stevens, Ron Klain, Faiz Shakir, Sherrilyn Ifill, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Nina Totenberg, Nancy Northup
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to thank Justice Kennedy for the years of tremendous service.
HAYES: A Supreme Court earthquake.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement.
HAYES: The Supreme Court`s swing justice announces his retirement. Tonight, as Democrats vow to fight.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016.
HAYES: Can they use Mitch McConnell`s tactics against him?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.
HAYES: Plus, the massive implications Kennedy`s retirement will have for reproductive rights and beyond. And last night she shocked the world. Tonight Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins me live.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you put it into words?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NEW YORK: nope.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. If Robert Mueller eventually reveals that Donald Trump was actively conspiring with Russia to sabotage the 2016 election, if we find out from the President`s tax returns that he`s been laundering money through his real estate projects, if when all is said and done, the rank criminality that is currently surrounding this president turns out to be even worse than we already know it will all have been worth it to the Republican Party and a conservative movement because of this day. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the frequent swing vote on the bench on certain crucial matters has announced his retirement and the man who will choose his replacement tipping the political balance and shaping the high court for decades to come is Donald J. Trump, a president elected with a minority of the votes, a president currently under investigation for collusion with a foreign adversary and obstruction of justice, that presidents lasting legacy will be this Supreme Court.
And this will of course be his second appointment after Senate Republicans hijacks the previous vacancy by refusing to even hold hearings for the nominee of President Barack Obama. Mitch McConnell infamously argued although did he really believe the argument, no of course not, that a Supreme Court could not be filled in an election year. It was an obviously preposterous and invented argument. Today, 131 days until the midterm elections, McConnell predictably will plow ahead.
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MCCONNELL: The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent on President Trump`s nominee to fill this vacancy. We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy`s successor this fall. It`s imperative that the President`s nominee be considered fairly and not subjected to personal attacks.
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HAYES: My goodness. Yes, no personal attacks, considered fairly absofreakinglutely. The question now is how Democrats will respond. How much will they fight against the President`s nominee being confirmed to the court before voters have their say at the polls? How much will they fight the nominee of a president who is actively subject of a federal criminal probe when aspects of the investigation itself may be decided by the Supreme Court? Will they fight to uphold what is now forever the Mitch McConnell precedent?
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SCHUMER: Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: We should postpone any hearings for the next nominee until the new Congress because that is exactly the position that Mitch McConnell took when he held up the process for Merrick Garland.
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: I believe in the golden rule and I think everyone should be calling Mitch McConnell and telling him to do unto others as he has done to himself and that we need to make this decision after this election.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: We should expect that he be consistent if he wanted the voters to weigh in on the Supreme Court in 2016, we should allow the voters to weigh in on the Supreme Court in 2018.
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HAYES: I`m joined now by a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee set to hold hearings on the President`s new Supreme Court nominee if they have hearings any more. I don`t know, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Senator, you do understand right of course, I understand this argument and obviously if there`s a rank hypocrisy but Mitch McConnell and all those folks don`t care at all about that.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: First of all this is a historic moment like we`ve ever seen, Chris, and I know you understand that so instead of just thinking about what they care about, I want to think about the American people. First of all, you look at the decisions, 5-4, 5-4, 5-4, decisions about refugees, decisions about who can marry, decisions about safety at work. These cases affect real people in their lives and that`s a case we`re going to have to make. Because you`ve seen people organized like ever before, they`re going to have to understand the implications of this appointment and how much it means and that`s where we are right now on this. We`ve got to make the case to some of our Republican colleagues if in fact, the President put someone fourth who is an ideologue instead of someone who`s an independent thinker. We want someone that respects precedent. You look at well, you know, Justice Kennedy at times could be very conservative, at other times he showed this incredible spark of independence like when he wrote the decision for marriage equality or the vote he took affirming Roe v. Wade.
HAYES: So I guess the question is like it looks to all of us who are watching this like this is -- all of this is pure political power right? That there`s -- no one is really making arguments or persuading here, it`s like they use pure political power to block Merrick Garland despite the fact there is no actual precedent for that. They will now use all the political power they can marshal to get whoever it is confirmed and try to overturn Roe among other things. The question is like what power do the Democrats have to stop it?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, we have the power of the people. There is an election coming up and I believe strongly that we`ve got to hold them to the McConnell rule and that is the rule that you don`t have a vote on a Supreme Court Justice during an election year. That is number one. The second power that we have is that some of our Republican colleagues, very few Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, you look at John McCain`s vote on that health care bill, when they see a nominee, there have been times where they have either quietly said we don`t want this person or they voted against them, and it is our job and you`ve seen a number of nominees in the Judiciary Committee that have fallen apart that have been taken off the agenda. So I guess I could just say this is impossible but I`m not going to do that, Chris. It is too important. I just think when you look at the political power of the people out there in the country right now, what they care about, this idea that with a situation where you`ve got one party that blocked another nominee and said you can`t do it in an election year and then they could potentially put someone through that will change the rights of women across America, that could change the rights of you under your health care to allow you to get insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, that case is coming up from Texas, those are all things that are going to be for the court and it`s our job to make that case to the American people.
HAYES: You just mentioned reproductive rights and we don`t know who the nominee is but we know the vetting process that`s happening and we know the ideological tradition that person will flow out of. Do you think if there is a vote this summer or in the fall it is -- it is fundamentally a vote on Roe?
KLOBUCHAR: It is unclear. It depends on who the President nominates. And I think part of our job here is to make that case and to get some of those Republicans to have a spine and to call up the President and say and there are a number of them that wouldn`t want to overturn Roe v. Wade and they have to make that very clear that they want a nominee that`s going to respect precedent. And I know that`s different than what he has said but we do have one, the power of the upcoming election and people have to remember that that all these rights are at stake. And then we have secondly the power of persuasion and the own power that we have as elected Senators to whoever he nominates to ask question after question after question to get out the answers to show what kind of person this is. And again, we have no idea who is going to nominate but we can do everything in our power to try to influence that decision.
HAYES: All right, Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you for making some time.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Thanks for having me on, Chris. For more on the massive fallout from Kennedy`s retirement, I`m joined by Senate Veteran Jim Manley, former Chief Spokesman to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Strategist Stuart Stevens, a never-Trump who ran Mitt Romney`s 2012 presidential campaign. And Stuart, let me start with you. I mean, this is the -- this is the bargain that folks who don`t like Donald Trump in your party in the Republican Party and the conservative coalition have made basically, look, yes he praises neo-Nazis, yes he refers to 11-year- old El Salvadoran children fleeing you know, horror and violence as vermin but we got Gorsuch and now we`re going to get the court. Does that argument work?
STUART STEVENS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look I think that the argument should be just for the most quality justice that can be nominated. I think actually the Gorsuch nomination was one of the better moments in the Trump presidency. It was a fairly dignified process. I think that he was recognized to someone if you didn`t agree with him was still qualified to be on the court. So I think this is actually potentially a hopeful moment where you could have someone nominated, gets respect across the aisle, this doesn`t mean that you can get unanimous support across the aisle. But it could work -- it could be -- you`re going to have a conservative on the court. I mean, it`s like the James Bond series, you can have good movies and bad movies but James Bond is not going to die at the end and there`s going to be a conservative on the court and I think the focus should be less on the process and more on the quality of that person.
HAYES: Jim, what do you make of this as someone to work with Harry Reid and watching this all play out and watching McConnell come out of the well of the Senate and say what he said today?
JIM MANLEY, FORMER CHIEF SPOKESMAN TO SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID: Sheer utter disgust at the hypocrisy of it all. You know, the reality is as you yourself has said, he made up a phony artificial rule that never existed before to block President Obama from you know, getting his Supreme Court nominee. What do I make of it? I make of the fact that he`s not going to listen to the will the people. He can`t be persuaded and he`s going to plow forward. I expect that Trump is going to nominate the most extreme person possible, that`s traditionally the way with the way Republicans have gone and they`re going to try and jam it through the Senate and the math is going to get really, really tricky. As you know and your viewers know, you know, even if you hold all the Democrats together and that`s a big if, you`re going to have to pick up a handful of Republicans. And I am so old, I`ve given up on believing that someone like Senator Collins or Senator Murkowski is going to do the right thing.
HAYES: Well, but why?
MANLEY: They failed to stand up to the internal pressures repeatedly before in the past and I don`t expect anything change this time around. They are going to come under enormous pressure not only within their own caucus but also from all the high-minded and heavy spending interest groups to vote for whoever the President selects and I just don`t believe that they`re going to be able to stand up to it. You know, like Stewart, I hope you know, I hope spring is eternal, but I`ve based on what I`ve seen so far you know, I don`t think it`s going to happen.
HAYES: Stewart, you know, it struck me today that today was a sort of perfect example of the sort of transformation of the Republican Party or the sort of full Trumpfication of it which is that Anthony Kennedy which you know, is a man is nothing if not toweringly morally vain who would most certainly be -- almost certainly be like a never-Trumper like writing his you know Jeff Flake-esque speeches about like, oh I don`t like this rhetoric and that rhetoric. Fundamentally, like what he did today would say that guy over there, the one who was just calling immigrants vermin, like that`s the one I want replacing me and that tome just is a symbol of the fact that like it is in some ways a united party the GOP. It is a united movement and caucus at this moment.
STEVENS: Well, you know, I think it will be striking to compare whoever the next nominee is with one who was appointed by really a conservative giant of our time President Reagan and I think that contrast is going to be very interesting. Look, I think in these moments where you have a lot of lack of civility and a lot of process and norms getting challenged that the way to deal with that is to try to focus on trying to make things as normal as possible, try to make them as open and as dignified as possible. And I really think that something about the Supreme Court might just make that possible. We`ve had very ugly nominations in the past that I don`t think anybody look back at and felt good about. So I just hope that this is a process that reflects our better angels rather than the worst and I have no idea which way here to go. I`m like Jim, you know, I`m shocked all the time. But I think there is a chance if there`s a really quality nominee that that person can be recognized to someone who should be on the Supreme Court whether or not you agree with him.
HAYES: Right, but part of that -- I mean, that that is always this question right? It`s like with the reason these battles are pitched, is because there`s huge substantive issues at stake and everyone sort of runs around particularly the biggest issues sort of pretending that we don`t know how they`ll come down when people sort of do, like we got all the 5-4 cases on the voting, rights? And today`s Janus opinion on the public opinion employee union like yes if you`d asked me is Alito going to rule against public employment -- public employee unions of course, he is. Like that`s the reason that these fights are so brutal, Jim, is because their fights about the stuff at stake.
MANLEY: Yes, and not to belabor the point, but what I find interesting, I mean, actually very troubling is that Republicans have always taken Supreme Court nominees and judicial nominees much more serious than Democrats have. For years Democrats have nominated moderate mainstream, largely mainstream judges in order to try and get them confirmed. Republicans oftentimes pick the most extreme nominee possibly and try and jam it through. And I hope like Senator Klobuchar said earlier, this is going to serve as a wake-up call for folks in November. But unfortunately, you know, that`s going to be too late for this nominee because McConnell is going to move by the fall to try and confirm whoever the President nominates.
HAYES: All right, Jim Manley and Stuart Stevens, I thank you both for joining me.
STEVENS: Good to see you, buddy.
HAYES: You too. Next, today`s news sets the biggest fight for Democrats. What will they do to prevent President Trump from appointing a Supreme Court Justice before the election? What Democrats can do? What they`re willing to do after this.
HAYES: The betting odds in the wake of Justice Anthony Kennedy`s bombshell announcement that he will retire is that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most ruthless political figures in all of Washington will succeed in getting the President`s nominee jam through the Senate. But we should be clear, it is by no means a done deal. It is an election year, Republicans hold a razors thin majority in the Senate, one of the most explosive issues in American politics, a right to illegal abortion is now hanging in the balance for everyone to see. Here to assess what the battle will look like are three people who really know what they`re talking about, Ron Klain former Supreme Court Law Clerk and former Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, also worked on nominations while in the White House, Faiz Shakir National Political Director of the ACLU and a former Top Adviser to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Sherrilyn Ifill, President NAACP Legal Fund -- Legal and Education Fund who has litigated cases before the Supreme Court. All right, Ron let me start with you. You wrote a piece a few months ago I think basically said Republicans think the next Supreme Court nomination fight will help them, that`s wrong what`s your case?
RON KLAIN, FORMER CHIEF COUNSEL, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Here`s my case. Justice Kennedy was not the swing vote on the Supreme Court for 31 years due to some kind of Immaculate conception, it didn`t happen by magic. It happened because a super popular Republican President Ronald Reagan named an eminently well-credentialed Judge Robert Bork who had been unanimously confirmed by the Senate to the Supreme Court and Democrats fought like hell. They fought an uphill battle and in the end, they held their people, they won over six Republicans and they beat Bork and President Reagan had to put Tony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Democrats have to fight just as hard, even harder right now. Fight as if the Constitution was at stake because it is. If they make this about Roe, if they take this fight to the public, they take this fight to Susan Collins, of Lisa Murkowski, they can beat Trump`s nominee.
HAYES: Sherrilyn, you`re nodding your head.
SHERRILYN IFILL, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR-COUNSEL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: Yes, I`m nodding my head because this is no time for you know, leaning back and reclining and in doing milquetoast politics. This is really about the future of our democracy. This is very serious. This is about the most serious moment I`ve seen in our democracy in a very long time and it`s time for every American to wake up. It comes you know two weeks after this country has been roiled by this crisis involving migrant children. I think many Americans are recognizing now what is truly at stake, that we truly are hanging on the precipice. And so I think just counting the numbers, that`s not strategy. Strategy is not counting up and saying while there are 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats, that`s not how it works. Strategy is about how you mobilize people to understand what is at stake.
For African-Americans in this country, this is about our children and our grandchildren and whether the doors that were reluctantly open for us with the blood sweat and tears of our forebears who came before the Supreme Court and demanded that the words of the 14th Amendment which you know we celebrate the 150th anniversary this year would be true, that is how many of us were able to attend the schools we`re able to attend, purchase the homes we purchased, marry who we want to marry and so forth. And we recognize what is at stake for our children and our grandchildren. So the question for Americans who are looking at this issue is what would you do for your children and your grandchildren? And if you can`t pick up a phone, if you can`t stand outside an office, if you can`t demand that Senators take seriously this constitutional advise and consent authority, then you are abdicating your responsibility as a citizen, as a parent and I think that`s the message that has to be conveyed. This is what`s at stake.
HAYES: Faiz, you know, I`ve noted -- my question to you is about the cultural predisposition of Senate Democrats who you worked among. So Amy Klobuchar extremely, extremely accomplished member the United States Senate with an extremely accomplished resume and a real knowledge of the law and fair-minded individual was just on. And she said look, it depends on who the nominee is basically. Mitch McConnell put out a statement one hour after Scalia had died, one hour saying nobody, no one, no nominee for President Obama will get a hearing and it just to me illustrates the radical asymmetry between how these two sides think of the problem.
FAIZ SHAKIR, NATIONAL POLITICAL DIRECTOR, ACLU: There`s reticence there but I`d say this circumstance is different. The playbook has been laid out for Senate Democrats. They`ve already gone through it one time. The Affordable Care Act literally posited the same issues that are going to be -- that are going to be presenting themselves, access to abortion, access to Planned Parenthood clinics, access to birth control. If you cared about them just in the context of healthcare, for the love of God, if you care about them whether they exist in perpetuity for generations because that is now the question. There`s literally a national referendum that is about to occur on whether women can have access to reproductive health services. We`re about to think about criminalizing women who are raped and seek access to abortion. Where we have women all across the country who are thinking should I go horde birth control pills because I`m not going to have access to them? When women started marching on January 21st, this was what it was all about. I think the game that is going to be so different here, Chris. I think it`s going to be run by the people out there and that the votes in the Senate are going to reflect that.
HAYES: You know, that`s really interesting point, Ron, because in some ways when I`m here -- what Faiz is saying, what Sherrilyn is saying and what we`ve seen and we saw with the ACA fight is that the pressure was all coming from outside in. I mean, obviously, Senate Democrats in the ACA see a fight hung together which is another key part of this. Can Chuck Schumer keep this caucus together on this vote?
KLAIN: I know he will fight very hard to do so. I hope he can. But in the end, you`re right. It has to come from the outside. And let`s just be very direct about it. It really comes down to Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. They say they are pro-choice. If they vote for any person on Trump`s list, they are voting to end a woman`s right to choose. We know that because Donald Trump has told us that. He said in the campaign. If he got two votes on the Supreme Court, he will reverse Roe vs. Wade. He would end a woman`s right to choose. We have to put that right in front of Collins and Murkowski. They have to be more worried about getting re- elected than about getting primaried by a Trumpite. That`s the political choice that`s out there. That`s what our forces have to bring to this fight.
IFILL: Yes, Chris, I`m not a political so I you know, concede that I don`t have all of the numbers. However, I don`t want to put it down to these two Senators. I think we are in a moment that in which every Senator has to confront himself. And I understand the power that Mitch McConnell has. You heard him in the clip you played at the top of your segment. He said we will confirm President Trump`s nominee this fall. He hasn`t even looked at who the nominee is or what the qualifications are of that nominee. He`s already announced that he`s going to confirm that nominee. That`s an astonishing proposition for the Senate Majority Leader to say. You know, President Nixon advanced two candidates in two years. You may remember this, Haynsworth and Carswell. Both of whom were dinged you know in the Senate Judiciary Committee and in the full Senate because they were so imminently unqualified.
This is 1969 and 1970 when President Nixon lost two Supreme Court nominees because he selected people who were incompetent and who could not have done the job and who were in fact proven to be racist. So this is a process that is a constitutional process designed to protect this country for generations to come. And to have the Senate Majority Leader telling you, that`s why when I hear this raw power that as a matter of raw power he`s going to ensure the confirmation of whoever the President puts forward, every Senator should balk at that. Every Senator should recognize that individually they have a constitutional obligation to advice.
HAYES: And not only that, Faiz, Sherrilyn makes a key point there as well which is the difference between blocking and getting someone through. I mean what McConnell -- what McConnell had to do with Garland was basically make have one conversation which was Chuck Grassley and that was don`t have a hearing and Grassley agreed and between the two of them, they could block it. Here, they got to go through the process. They can`t just short- circuit it the way they did with Garland.
IFILL: That`s where the Democrats have some power that they haven`t yet used because it`s not clear to me that on the Senate Judiciary Committee the Democrats have to allow a quorum to be created to even have hearings. There are all kinds of things they could do if they`re willing to recognize how important this is but we shouldn`t let the Republicans off the hook either because they`re Republicans. They have a constitutional authority to do their job and the people who are out there in America can make them do their job if they choose to do.
SHAKIR: Yes. I think that there`s going to be an argument for doing to McConnell exactly what he did to us retribution. What I would argue is that there`s an argument for waiting because the American people need to make a verdict on one of the core civil rights and civil liberties of our time. Certainly, Roe v. Wade access to abortion is one of them, the LGBT rights is up there. If that is out there for the American public, there should be thoughtful deliberation about that question because as I said this is going to be a national referendum. Really the right is at stake and there`s an argument to wait to ensure that the American public have a voice in this to see where they are on this.
HAYES: All right --
IFILL: But --
HAYES: Go ahead, Sherrilyn.
IFILL: There`s one other thing we haven`t mentioned. The president who will nominate this person is under a cloud. You mentioned this at the top of the segment, Chris. A president who is under investigation, his campaign is under investigation, high-level officials in his campaign are under indictment. We don`t know what`s going to happen with the Mueller investigation. It would be tragic for the President to nominate somebody, have that person go through and then have the Mueller investigation reveal itself to actually implicate the President. So this is another reason why. This is not the same as President Obama nominating Eric Garland -- Merrick Garland. We`re in a different situation and we should pause for that reason.
HAYES: Ron Klain, Faiz Shakir, and Sherrilyn Ifill, thank you all for being with me tonight.
IFILL: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, how Donald Trump`s next choice in the Supreme Court could change the future of reproductive rights in America. What the Kennedy retirement means for Roe v. Wade next.
HAYES: As of today, there is most likely a five majority -- 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court to preserve a constitutional right against forced pregnancy. That is very, very likely to change, however, with Justice Kennedy`s retirement.
Kennedy has enraged anti-abortion activists for years, as did David Souter and Sandra Day O`Connor. And the vetting process in the White House and especially the Federalist Society, which has been handling a lot of judicial vetting for the White House, will be carefully screening to establish where a prospective justice will be on the issue, even as they protest they are, of course, doing no such thing.
Which means, a confirmation vote for a new justice will effectively be a vote on whether to overturn abortion rights. Nina Totenberg is an NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nancy Northup is the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
And Nina, let me begin with you, how crucial, how important, how central has Kennedy been to the court`s current abortion rights jurisprudence?
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: Well, he and Justice O`Connor were critical. And then when Justice O`Connor retired, Justice Kennedy became critical. And for a while, he seemed to wait and sort of see how bad really a lot of the restrictions on abortion rights were. And in the end he came down very firmly saying that what Texas had done, and this is in the case a year or so ago, what Texas had done was in fact detrimental to the health of women. It did not do what it claimed to do, which is help the health of women.
And I think he was quite clearly concerned that especially poor women have access to abortion. With him gone, I wouldn`t guarantee that Roe versus Wade is reversed, but I would pretty much guarantee ta access to abortion would become rather difficult, and that the deck would be stacked pretty much against women getting information that allows them to make choices about how to handle their reproductive health.
HAYES: That case, which is the whole women`s health case, which struck down a suite of Texas laws, sort of restrictions on clinics that`s in 2016. He`s part of a 5-3 majority. And then the big one, Nancy, the big one that sort of is the post-Roe holding that preserves Roe is Casey in 1992 where he`s part of a 5-4 majority there.
To Nina`s point, I mean, there`s a kind of death by a 1,000 blows ways in which abortion can be restricted. And we`ve seen a lot of that, actually, in the federal courts even with this current majority. How do you interpret the effect of today`s decision on the area that you spend all your life working on?
NANCY Northup, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Well, I`m terrified by the news today that Justice Kennedy is retiring. As we`ve talked about, he was the in the majority of two of the most apportion rights cases: Planned Parenthood versus Casey and the case two years ago today, the Whole Women`s health Case, which is the Center for Reproductive Rights brought.
And to have him retiring and the president having promised he`s going to appoint.
NORTHUP: Promised that he`s going to appoint justices who would quickly reverse Roe versus Wade, means that the whole fight is going move, as you`ve talked about tonight, to the Senate. And we have to be worried both that a justice would overturn Roe versus Wade, but also, as Nina was alluding to, that they will, you know, gut it so badly that almost any law would be upheld.
If the court had upheld that Texas statute, 75 percent of the clinics in the state would have closed. Women would not have had access, having to drive miles and miles and miles for many hours to get access.
And so whether it`s gutted or reversed, it`s critical to American women that they not have someone put on the Supreme Court court who is going to take away rights from more than 45 years recognized since Roe versus Wade.
HAYES: Nina, how do you think about this process in terms of the kind of ideological vetting? Because there`s this kind of game that everyone does which is that, well, of course no one will say how they`ll rule, and I don`t know, and I`m just a judge, and I call balls and strikes, but everyone understands what`s at stake and what they`re fighting about.
And in this case, the president has explicitly promised what the outcome of the votes of the justices he appoints will be which is fairlyunprecedented.
TOTENBERG: Well, we can see who his potential nominees are. The first list he put out was so well received by the, for want of a better expression the Christian right, social conservatives, that list was so well received that he did it a second time during the campaign. And it`s been expanded every so slightly.
However, so we see what kind of judges are on this list, some of them are actually very distinguished judges. But they share one thing in common, they are so far to the right of Anthony Kennedy there is no comparison. And it`s not just abortion, it`s lots of other things. Some of them that Kennedy would have agreed with and some he would not have.
HAYES: How do you understand this debate now that we`re going to have and Roe`s and abortion`s centrality to it?
TOTENBERG: Well, I think the debate we`re going to have is we want to make sure that the nominee answers the question on where she or he stands on Roe versus Wade. And there`s nothing inappropriate about that question. This game that keeps getting played that they don`t need to answer questions about Roe versus Wade, but another jurisprudence is fine to answer questions about. It`s settled law. It`s perfectly appropriate to ask a nominee, what is your view, do you believe the constitution protects the individual right to make the decision of ending a pregnancy as recognized in Roe versus Wade?
And that aquestion should be answered.
NORTHUP: Actually, the nominees these days don`t answer questions about anything.
HAYES: Right, they have shrugged back from...
NORTHUP: They won`t even answer questions about their own conduct sometimes, off the bench conduct. And so until and unless I think some Republicans on the Judiciary Committee and some Democrats, if the shoe is on the other foot say I`m not voting to confirm you unless you answer this question. And the last person I remember saying that was actually Arlen Specter, Republican -- moderate Republican from Pennsylvania who wanted an answer about -- it was not about Roe. And he just simply said to then Justice Rehnquist, I`m not voting for you for chief justice unless you answer this question. And he eventually answered the question.
HAYES: That`s a good point of leverage.
Nina Totenberg and Nancy Northup, thank you very much.
TOTENBERG: You`re welcome.
ahead, senator bernie sanders joins me to talk about the massive implications of kennedy`s resignation, the importance of the vote, something one of his former campaign organizers mastered last night in her stunning primary win, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is here at the table just ahead.
HAYES: The brand new star of the Democratic Party is a 28-year-old woman named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat a ten-term congressman, the fourth ranking Democrat in the House, someone talked about as a possible speaker in the future, in last night`s primary.
Ocasio-Cortez first grabbed my attention back in May when she released this pretty amazing campaign ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR HOUSE: Women like me aren`t supposed to run for office. I wasn`t born to a wealthy or powerful family. Mother from Puerto Rico, dad from the south Bronx. I was born in a place where your zip code determines your destiny.
Every day gets harder for working families like mine to get by: the rent gets higher, health care covers less, and our income stays the same. This race is about people versus money. We`ve got people, they`ve got money. It`s time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same, that a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn`t live here, doesn`t send his kids to our schools, doesn`t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us.
What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare for All, tuition tree public college, a federal jobs guarantee and criminal justice reform. We can do it now. It doesn`t take 100 years to do this, it takes political courage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That progressive message, which pointedly did not include any mention of the president, propelled Ocasio-Cortez to victory. But after a day like today, the question is -- is that still a viable path for Democrats?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will join me here in just a moment. Don`t go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s right here. She`s looking at herself on television right now.
How are you feeling? Can you put it into words?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Nope. I cannot put this into words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is what shock, genuine and real honest shock, looks like in the upset win for Democartic nominee for congress in New York`s 14th district in the Bronx and Queens. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, a 28-year-old former bartender, community organizer, Bernie Sanders supporter, working class New Yorker, as she calls herself, and Democratic Socialist, a woman who ran one of the most incredibly impressive campaigns honestly in recent memory.
To pull off the biggest upset in congressional politics since Tea Party candidate David Bratt defeated Republican`s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
She defeated Congressman Joe Crowley, a ten-term incumbent, the number four Democrat in the House. Ocasio-Cortez refused corporate money and was outspent by Crowley five to one, but in the end, it wasn`t even that close. She garnered 57 percent of the vote If she defeats the Republican in November in her heavily Democratic district, she will become the youngest woman ever elected to congress, a reminder of the power of a grassroots campaign and how much elections matter.
Joining me now, Democratic nominee for congress in New York`s 14th District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Well, that was something else.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: It really was, wasn`t it?
HAYES: So here`s the thing I found fascinating, like what -- you had a game plan very early and stuck to it. It was a very strategic campaign. And I saw it unfold as a watched it, because I`m a Bronx native so I pay a lot of attention to New York politics.
What was the game plan? What was your theory of the case of why you could have won?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: You know, from day one I have been an educator in this community, an organizer, and I knew the people who lived here. I knew our community. And I knew that in this election, our main task was to educate and expand the electorate. And, you know, folks say that that`s the hardest thing to do to get people to turn out to an off year midterm primary, but I knew that if you could really inspire and educate people and stick to the issues and do the block by block door knocking and phone calling that you can get it done. Old school meets new school digital.
HAYES: So did you do -- do you door knocking yourself?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, absolutely. I`ve knocked on a bunch of doors in the district.
HAYES: I mean, one of the ironies here, this is a little bit in the weeds, but I think it`s fascinating is that like New York has this totally screwy primary system that is designed to decrease turnout so that machine party candidates and incumbents can win, because they figure they`re the only people who are going to show up. And it literally came back to shoot them in the foot.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, well, it`s this thing -- you know, there are kind of notorious political machines. You have the Illinois, you have the like the Chicago political machine that Barack Obama famously kind of, you know, contended with. But they are turnout machines. Those are people that can -- know how to turn out 40,000 people for a given candidate you know with a snap of the finger, but New York relies on voter suppression and voter depression, as we joke about. And what it does is, you know, it means that sometimes a congressional race can be decided with less votes than a city council.
HAYES: I mean, turnout in your district yesterday was like 12 percent, I think, in some it was 10, 5 percent in the uncontested ones. So it was -- 12 percent is higher than it would have been if you were not in that race for sure.
Let me ask you about this label -- you call yourself a Democratic Socialist. You`re a member of DSA. There`s so much interesting debate what that term means in the year 2018. What`s it mean to you?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: To me, you know -- and it is I think it`s a big tent term. And for me what it means is that in a modern and moral America, a modern, moral and wealthy America, where we have the capacity to ensure that every American can have health care and education and access to dignified housing, we should be able to try to do that as a society by whichever means we can.
HAYES: That`s it?
HAYES: I mean, that`s an agnostic read of the term.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, you know.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: But I think at the end of the day, it boils down to the basic elements that are required for an economic and socially dignified life in the United States at a very basic means. We should aim to guarantee those things. I don`t think any person in America should die because they`re too poor to live.
HAYES: When did it come to you - when did you have the idea like I`m going run for congress? Like what was the...
OCASIO-CORTEZ: You know, I was nominated to run by a phenomenal organization called Justice Democrats. And so I am actually one of 60 candidates nationwide just like me, candidates like Iona Presley, Amar Campo-Najar (ph) out in California, Kanella Ng (ph) in Hawaii. And so I was actually just getting off of the camp at Standing Rock two years ago and I received a phone call from Justice Democrats, and they were seeking essentially non-corporate candidates with a history of community service to run in the 2018 midterm elections to try to get money out of politics.
HAYES: And there you are, probably soon to be Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I hope you`ll come back to the show.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Absolutely. I hope to be back. Thank you so much.
HAYES: Don`t go away. Senator Bernie Sanders on today`s massive news out of the Supreme Court and why elections matter right after this.
HAYES: On an extraordinary day when a Supreme Court vacancy creates the likelihood the court will shift even farther rightward, possibly shaped for decades, by yet another president who lost the popular vote, a reminder, as if we needed one, of how much elections matter.
Joining me now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Chair of the Senate Democratic Outreach Committee.
and first, let me start with your reaction to the announcement of the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. Do you think Democrats should even consider the nominee or should they pledge to vote no now?
SANDERS: Well, I don`t think you vote no before you know who the nominee is. But I suspect the nominee will be just another right wing disaster. And our job is to mobilize the American people who overwhelmingly, among other things, do not believe that we should overturn Roe versus Wade, who believe that our gay brothers and sisters are entitled to be treated with dignity.
And all of those rights and all of the advances that we have made over the years are now increasingly in danger because while Kennedy was certainly not a liberal or progressive in any sense of the word on some issues, he was decent and voted to protect human rights.
HAYES: What is your read? Last night Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who we just had here at the table, won her primary. Your organization, Our Revolution, had endorsed her. She was a Bernie Sanders organizer.
Ben Jealous won in Maryland, also someone I think you had endorsed.
There is a lot of candidates you have endorsed throughout who have not won, who have lost to candidates -- you`re already nodding your head. I`m stating a fact.
So I`m asking you how you understand where the sort of primary of the Democratic Party is at right now.
SANDERS: It`s not a question of winning and losing. You can win 100 percent of the time by backing candidates with 50 points ahead in the poll and can outspend their opponents 10 to 1.
What Alexandria is about is exactly what the political revolution is supposed to be about. A year ago she was a waitress, then she got involved in politics. She ran on a progressive agenda -- medicare for All, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, making public colleges and universities tuition-free. Ben Jealous did the same, took on the entire Maryland establishment and is now the Democratic candidate for governor.
The point to be made here is that when you have candidates -- in both instances, Chris, these are first-time candidates. First time they`ve run. And when you have candidates fighting for a progressive agenda, working at grassroots organizing, knocking on doors, which is what both of these candidates did, you know what, you could take on the establishment and you can win elections that people never dream you`d could.
You`re not going to win it every single time. Great people have lost. But this is an example of what politics, real grassroots politics, is about. And I think we`re seeing this all over the country.and it`s a great thing.
HAYES: You know, there is this question about sort of mobilizing right now and tactics. There has been this kind of discussion about the legitimacy or acceptability of certain tactics, the -- not serving someone in a restaurant, heckling someone in a restaurant. I saw an interesting quote you gave that you thought it was bad idea. You did not approve of the restaurant owner...
SANDERS: That`s not exactly what I said.
HAYES: Senator, let me finish the question. The quote appeared that you said that you thought it was bad idea. And I`m curious what your feeling is about this kind of direct action or verbal confrontation that we`re seeing in so many instances?
SANDERS: Look, what I want to do is win. I want to move this country in a radically different direction than Donald Trump is. And I`m not sure that yelling at somebody in a restaurant is the way to do it. The way to do it is exactly the way Alexandria did it, it`s the way that Ben Jealous did it, it`s getting involved in grassroots politics. It is supporting president - - it is supporting progressive candidates. It is mobilizing people, and it is winning elections. That`s hard stuff to do.
Alexandria ran a brilliant campaign. She had a lot of support from people who were volunteering to help her. Ben did the same. That, to me, is what the future of progressive politics is about.
HAYES: What`s interesting to me is what I hear from you I want to win and I don`t think that`s the way to do it in the first part of that answer which I think is the shared view of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and a whole bunch of people who run for office who think like -- the voters won`t like this. It`s going to turn them off.
And then there is people who hear that and say I need to do something because of the crisis the country is in.
SANDERS: Well, if you need to do something, and god knows this country is in a terrible crisis,what you need to do is defeat one party rule right here in Washington, that means we`ve got win the House. We`ve got to win the Senate. We`ve got to get a new president in 2020. That`s hard stuff. It`s harder than just yelling at somebody.
It means Alexandria was involved in that campaign months after month. I suspect she had hundreds of volunteers knocking on doors. And the end result is you`re now going to have a fighting congresswoman from the Bronx who is going to be one of the progressive leaders in congress. That is what we`ve got to do.
You know, so people want to vent their anger in this way or that way, fine. I don`t stay up nights worrying about it. What I`m saying is what we have got to do is mobilize people in a productive, effective way. And that is to win elections so that we can end the disaster that`s taking place here in D.C. right now.
HAYES: Quickly, are the Senate Democrats ready for the fight that is going to happen right now over the Supreme Court nominee?
SANDERS: Well, we just learned about Kennedy`s decision today. And I`ve not yet been in any meetings. But I think what we`ve got to do is a couple of things. I think we have got to rally the American people around Roe versus Wade. Overwhelmingly, the American people support Roe versus Wade. And we have to make it clear that everything being equal, a Trump nominee is going to overturn that decision. And that means mobilizing millions of people to put pressure on the Republicans.
HAYES: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you very much.
SANDERS: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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