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anti-abortion law TRANSCRIPT: 6/29/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Chris Murphy, Jennifer Nuzzo, Adam Schiff, Dahlia Lithwick, Eddie Glaude Jr.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: And with his signature, the flag will become the latest Confederate symbol to be toppled following weeks of nationwide protests. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for being with us. And "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Dereliction of duty. Multiple reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee on what happened and what the President did.

Then, new alarms from public health officials as an out of control pandemic rages and the Trump campaign is caught removing Coronavirus warnings.

Then, Dahlia Lithwick on today`s Supreme Court earthquake, as the chief John Roberts joins liberals to protect abortion rights. And in Colorado, Exhibit A for why public opinion is moving on police violence, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The first duty of a government, of any government is to protect its people. We form governments to protect ourselves so that we can, to borrow a phrase, secure the blessings of liberty to flourish as free people. And so a huge amount of what is supposed to occupy a President`s mind is the question of protecting people.

But we just do not get that from this president and we never did. It is not even enough to say that he`s failed protecting people. It`s a dereliction of duty everywhere you look. He`s actively endangering people.

Just yesterday, the head of the President`s Coronavirus Task Force Vice President Mike Pence went to visit a church in Dallas, Texas, a state that has seen a massive spike in cases. He was indoors in a big crowded room. And while he was wearing a mask, the event included a performance by a choir of more than 100 singers, none of whom were masked while they sang.

The CDC now has explicitly told us this is a very high-risk scenario in a report about a choir practice in Washington State where just one person with Coronavirus infected 87 percent of the group. But the administration just ignore the science and put hundreds of people at risk for why, why?

In fact, back in May, the White House force the CDC to remove guidance telling houses of worship to limit choirs that religious services, and that Pence`s event in Texas comes on the heel to the President`s trip to another virus hotspot, Arizona, where he spoke in a megachurch to a crowded room of mostly maskless supporters.

And it comes less than 10 days after that infamous Tulsa Oklahoma rally where even with the arena far from full, you still had thousands of people gathered in an indoor space cheering and screaming in a city that had just seen a spike in cases and in violation of every single recommendation for safety, again, from the Trump administration`s own CDC.

And while we never know cause and effect exactly, particularly the moment, it`s hard to figure out what the exact impact of that rally looks. Look at this. Yesterday in Oklahoma, they tested 352 people for the Coronavirus and every single test came back positive. Today, they test another 178 people and all those tests came back positive too. Now, if you can`t do the math in your head, that`s 100 percent positive rate. That`s extremely bad.

And over the weekend, The Washington Post published shocking video showing people directed by the Trump campaign itself, removing stickers from chairs in advance of that Tulsa rally. The stickers read, do not sit here, please. Those stickers were there to keep people socially distanced, to keep them safe. And the President had the stickers actively removed because he wanted it to look like a packed house. He wanted people actively crunched together in the midst of a dangerous pandemic, safety be damned.

Things are getting to be so dire that even the President`s own Health and Human Services Secretary is out explaining how irresponsible all this is.


ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN The window is closing. We have to act and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need to social distance. We need to wear face coverings if we`re in settings where we can social distance, particularly in these hot zones.


HAYES: Act responsibly. Yes, tell that to your boss. This kind of reckless disregard for lies the American people, the willingness to sacrifice them for good optics, short term news cycle victories. It`s why on a Friday, I called on the present resign because Americans lives and health are at stake. They just are.

The President`s response to the virus has been among the worst in the world, if not the worst. He is not fulfilling his first duty which is to protect people. Here`s a chart showing new confirmed cases per million residents. Again, look at our curve. We have utterly failed. Europe, Canada, and Japan have all gotten the virus relatively under control. Here, it is raging.

We are seeing the pandemic spreading all across the country. New cases are on the rise in at least 32 different states. And when it comes to per capita deaths from the virus, we are now far outpacing Europe and Canada and not to mention countries like Japan.

I`ve long wondered what it would look like if this danger, the Coronavirus, this danger to Americans was not coming from an invisible virus but from an actual concrete enemy. So would the reaction be different if it was al- Qaeda attacking nursing homes day after day and not the Coronavirus? Would the President do more to protect people? I would certainly think so.

You see stories like the one that broke Friday and has been since developing, you wonder, the story that Russia secretly offered Afghan militants bounties to kill us troops, and the President knew and did nothing. There`s reporting the bounties resulted in the deaths of American soldiers and multiple outlets have reported the President was briefed on this. There were discussions on what to do and that no action was taken.

In fact, after he was reportedly briefed, Trump was out there doing Russia`s bidding, inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the U.S. trying to get Russia back in the G7, moving to withdraw U.S. troops from Germany, all in line with Putin`s strategic objectives.

Today, the White House in what they appear to think is their best chance to make this better is saying that actually no one told the President about the Russian bounties on U.S. troops. In fact, get this, three days after the first news reports, they`re still claiming he still has not been briefed. Hey, I don`t know, maybe you guys could brief him now or over the weekend, tonight. Maybe you can give them a copy of the newspaper.

The core fraud, the core treachery of the flag hugging America first president is if he has failed the basic most cardinal duty to protect Americans and he has sold out American safety and security at every turn. To Russians, to business interests who want to reopen, now even shockingly somehow to the virus itself. If this is what your government does to protect you, what good is it exactly?

I`m joined now by Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat of Connecticut who`s a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And I want to start on the second story there, which has been building over the weekend. Your understanding of what happened with Russia and what the President did or did not do and what the meaning of it all is.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): So I think we have to rewind a bit here. At the beginning of the Trump presidency, open-source reporting told us that Russia was starting to get more aggressive in Afghanistan. They were allegedly reportedly starting to funnel weapons directly in through intermediaries to the Taliban. They were getting more involved in the political process, something they weren`t doing to that extent under the Obama administration.

The reports from this weekend, though, suggests Russia has been playing an entirely different game, that they are actually paying bounties for the heads of American soldiers, that they are paying out cash to Taliban operatives if they kill American soldiers. If that is true, it is a level of engagement in the Afghanistan theater that we have not seen previously, and it demands a response.

And what the New York Times says is that as you mentioned, the Trump team talked about this. They reviewed options including asking Russia to stop. And even that was deemed too hot for Trump`s taste. We didn`t even ask them to stop. And that does beg the question, what on earth could Russia do to us that this administration would actually take seriously?

HAYES: That question of the response, you know, struck me as not an easy one, right? So, in this case, if you have that intelligence, and if it is actually verified, right, this is one of those tough governing challenges, right? We`re not going to go to war with Russia. We`re not going to, you know, try to arm other militias that might be fighting the Russians. Maybe you can mobilize international efforts, put sanctions on them although they`re being sanctioned all over the place.

So it`s not easy. They`re not some button to press. But it`s precisely those kinds of hard problems that are what presidents are for, and just seem -- just completely be on the capacity three and a half years into this of this particular administration.

MURPHY: Well, and once again, as you reviewed, we sent the exact opposite signal, right. We could have tried a number of different means to affect their decision making in Afghanistan and save the lives of brave young American soldiers. But instead, we invited them back into the G7. We engaged with him on multiple occasions without even mentioning the fact that we apparently knew they were putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers.

And so we effectively greenlit their assassination campaign against American soldiers, which is, of course, in many ways worse than doing absolutely nothing at all about it.

HAYES: Right. You are from a state that is -- was very, very hard hit by Coronavirus in the initial -- the initial phase in March in April, among those trio states, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut that was a sort of Epicenter, probably the worst outbreak in the world, those three states together.

What is the conversation on Capitol Hill right now among you and your colleagues and everyone in the U.S. government as we watch this start to go sideways, as we watch states starts to walk back, as we see case records being set in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and these shrinking group of states that maybe things are still trending in the right direction but who knows if that`ll hold?

MURPHY: Yes. We have less than 100 people in the hospital today which is a record low. We have positive test rates of under one percent. And we were a hotspot just two months ago. What we did was pretty simple. We closed up our economy and kept it closed until our rates got low enough. And we developed a mask wearing culture that was apolitical. Republicans and Democrats wear masks in Connecticut.

And so, what`s so dangerous is that knowing what needs to be done in order to control the affection in places like Florida and Texas, they are unwilling to copy our success. We were the guinea pigs. We showed the rest of the country how you actually do this right. And it`s unforgiveable in many respects, that these other states are not going to follow our example.

We wanted help to fund our response as we were trying to figure out what worked and what did not. Now those states are going to be asking for help from the federal government while at the same time they refused to implement the steps that we know could get the virus under control.

HAYES: Final question for you. Is there -- I feel like in some ways we`re back -- we set the clock back to late February, early March where you could kind of see what`s coming and I just feel like there`s a gap between what`s bearing down on us in the urgency. Do you, Senator, and your colleagues, Democrat and Republican alike, understand that extraordinary action will have to be taken if we see cases raised up again.

And I`m not even talking about governor shutting down their states. I`m talking about the members United States Senate passing more rescue relief, extending unemployment benefits, extending programs to help small businesses because if those states shut down again, everyone is in a lot of trouble.

MURPHY: The answer your question is no. Right now, Republicans are actively frustrating efforts in the Senate to pass any kind of relief efforts to the state. Actually, just an hour ago, we asked to bring up legislation before the Senate to get an additional amount of relief to states to help them build out new anti-pandemic infrastructure and that effort was objected to by Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants.

And so, it looks as if we`re going to go on break for two weeks over the Fourth of July, having invested absolutely zero new dollars into these states that are seeing the virus expand. Those states, at the same time, are refusing to take the public health steps that would actually contract the virus.

And we`re heading towards catastrophe, states unwilling to do what evidence tells them is necessary to contract the spread of the virus and a Republican Congress unwilling -- in the Senate, at least -- to pass legislation that will help those states. God save us all.

HAYES: Senator Chris Murphy, thank you so much for making a little time for us tonight.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: For more in the state of the virus and the outbreak, I want to bring in Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo. She`s an epidemiologist with Johns Hopkins who helped build a new data visualization tool to illustrate the impact of various states policies to contain the virus. Doctor, thank you so much.

Let`s start with where we see big outbreaks and we`ve seen some steps today which I think are notable. So, you have Arizona Governor Doug doozy closing gyms, theaters, bars, and I believe restaurants if I`m not mistaken. Bars have been closed in Texas. They`ve been closed in Florida. They`ve been closed, I think, in seven counties in California. There is some mobilization happening. Is there still a window to get this under control in states that are seeing very big outbreaks?

JENNIFER NUZZO, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Yes, there`s absolutely a window. And I`m really glad to see that the states are taking those measures to deal with the case growth that`s really stunning in its acceleration. I think this will be important to try to limit those places where we know that`s particularly risky for the disease to spread.

HAYES: I mean, I guess the question is, is that enough, right? I mean, one of the lessons I learned covering this in March is that once you have an outbreak, the first thing you should do is get in a time machine to two weeks ago and change your policies then, right? Like we know that when you start to see -- you start to see the data, you`re behind the curve.

Are you confident that the slope of the curve, maybe younger people means that we can still avoid essentially what would be a massive shutdown as the last resort for some of these places?

NUZZO: Well, it remains to be clear whether we can avoid a mass shutdown. I very much hope so. I think people would be very upset to find themselves once again in that situation. But it`s really up to people in addition to what you know, the governors of the states are doing.

I mean, people can make decisions about where to go. Just because it`s open, doesn`t mean you have to go. And if you do go, you should use for cautions. You should wear a mask, you should wash your hands, you should stay at least six feet apart from other people. And there just may be some environments that are just not worth it risk wise.

So people want to avoid additional shutdowns and closures. That`s very much what they need to do. We will see what impact these measures will have. In addition to these sorts of closures sort of managing the pandemic by executive order, the states also need to build public health capacities like expanding testing.

The percentage of tests that are coming back positive in each of these states that we`re really worried about is stunningly high. That means these states will need to do a lot more testing. They`ll also need to make sure that anybody who`s positive stays home so they don`t affect others. And then they`re also going to have to make sure that they have the ability to contact tracing. And that means finding people who may have been exposed and having them stay home until we know for sure they`re not contagious.

That`s going to be -- take hard work and a lot of investment and dedication by the states. But if they want to keep their economies open, it`s absolutely essential.

HAYES: You know, one thing that`s striking here, the commonality of bars, a lot of -- a lot of governors and some public health people said that they think this has been a big site of spread. This is New York City council member who chairs the health department Mark Levine who says the evidence is mounting. New York City simply cannot ignore it. We cannot open bars, restaurants for indoor services currently planned for July 6th.

And I have to say, as someone who loves bars, loves going to bars, likes drinking with friends, loves my local neighborhood bar, it is dawning on me that this is a high risk place and like maybe this is just not going to be a possible thing to have open during the pandemic. What do you think?

NUZZO: Yes. I think there are some environments that are particularly challenging. If you`re indoors and if you`re crowded next to other people, and in bars, often the music`s loud and you have to shout, those are great conditions for spreading a virus.

If there`s any way to kind of move it, beer gardens outside where you can keep the distance and, you know, people wear masks when they`re not drinking or something along those lines, that`s a better approach. But I think we do have to take a hard look at some of these indoor crowded places where it`s really hard to prevent the spread of the virus.

HAYES: If you got a call from a governor today, say Governor Ducey in Arizona or Governor Abbott in Texas, or even Governor Newsom in California, they said, look, we`ve been using some of your tools and we`ve been relying on you. What what`s my -- what`s the last moment that I could hit the brakes on this thing and stop something that looks like New York? Like what should I be looking at in my time for of my policy decision making? What would you tell them?

NUZZO: I would tell them don`t wait to the last moment, really start now. And some of these measures that they need to put in place like enhanced testing and contact tracing, they should have started that weeks ago. That`s something that they very much need to hit the gas on.

In terms of additional closures, again, you know, acting early to keep the case number from spiraling out of control will limit the impact that the growth in cases will have and make it easier to do these targeted interventions like testing, tracing, and isolating that can help prevent future shutdowns.

So the key lesson here is to act early, get things under control so that you don`t have to have additional shutdowns.

HAYES: All right, Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo who has been doing amazing work along with their colleagues on this, thank you for your time tonight.

NUZZO: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Up next, the White House holds a private Republican-only briefing in the reports of Russian bounties placed on American soldiers. Well, House Intelligence Adam Schiff on what questions he wants answered and what the President knew after this.



HAYES: Multiple outlets are now reporting and NBC News has confirmed that Russia secretly offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill U.S. troops. And American intelligence officials have known about it for months. Intelligence officials told New York Times and the A.P. that President Trump was briefed about the situation. The President denies that he knew anything about it.

At least one troop death resulted from the Russian bounties according to the Times and The Washington Post. Trump has explicitly gone after a country like say Iran for this kind of behavior, warning Iran just a few months ago against using its proxy forces to attack American troops.

But when it comes to his friend Vladimir Putin, the President is nothing but smiles and warm conversations and invitations to join the G7. It`s the kind of story where the ads just kind of write themselves.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform, and Trump is silent, weak control. Instead of condemnation, he insist Russia be treated as our equal. Instead of retaliation, he invites Putin to America. When Trump tells you he stands by the troops, he`s right. Just not our troops.


HAYES: Joining me now for more on this story, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He, of course, is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. I want to start first, Congressman, with -- obviously you can`t get into anything classified, but just your -- how much this jives with what you know, or your assessment of the -- of the sort of contours of the overall story of these as they`ve been told in the press?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, you`re right. I can`t get into any classified information. But you know, look, the Russians and Putin in particular view the world in zero sum terms. Anything that helps the United States is bad for Russia and vice versa. They have nothing but malevolent intent towards the United States. I think that also concerns our troops wherever their station.

And so, we need to get to the bottom of these reports. I`m going to be briefed at the White House tomorrow. I`m asking that my entire committee be briefed by the Intel agencies and indeed the Speaker wants the whole house briefed as is perfectly appropriate. But is this another situation where the President either was told and just rejects it or his people are too scared to tell him because it contradicts this narrative of Vladimir Putin being his buddy.

You know, I watched the interview with Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, where he not only denied it, but he used profanity to deny it. And you know how that impresses Donald Trump when someone denies something strongly. After all, in Helsinki, when he was choosing between what his intelligence agencies were telling him and what Vladimir Putin was telling him, he made a, you know, particular point about talking about how strong Putin`s denials were as if that`s somehow a good index of the truth.

So we need to know, was the President informed about this, were options presented to the President about this, or are they simply afraid to present the President with anything he doesn`t want to hear?

HAYES: There was a strange briefing that happened today, of course, that you weren`t included in. The White House briefed eight House Republicans on the Intel. The Democrats are scheduled tomorrow. I don`t -- maybe I`m missing something. Maybe this is fairly standard operating procedure for this kind of thing, but I can`t recall something like that. What is going on there?

SCHIFF: It`s not standard operating procedure, at least it certainly shouldn`t be. Those briefings should be done in a bipartisan basis. Now, I did have some communication from the White House today and I expect tomorrow we will get a briefing of some of the Democratic National Security chairs. But it really ought to be done in a non-partisan way with both parties represented.

It`s important, frankly, that we hear the same information. That`s why, you know, these briefings, you know, we try to do these all in a bipartisan basis in our committee. At the moment the Republicans are boycotting the briefings that we are doing. But it`s really, you know, beneficial, frankly, to make sure that neither party is getting a different take from either intelligence leaders or the White House.

HAYES: Wait, the Republicans are boycotting the briefings in our committee right now?

SCHIFF: They have been, yes. And we`re not quite sure why. They don`t have much of an explanation for it. But we`ve had important briefings on national security issues. We have another one coming up this week. And for whatever reason, they`ve decided on mass, they`re not going to attend and so they`re ignoring the work of the committee.

HAYES: Wait a second. A boycott doesn`t work unless you articulate the reason for your boycott, so that the people you`re boycotting could concede to your demands. What you`re saying is they`re boycotting your committee briefings but not telling you why?

SCHIFF: Yes. We`ve got no explanation. I saw one of the members try to explain that they don`t think that it`s secure enough. But these briefings are unclassified material. In fact, some of these briefings are open hearings, and they`re still not even attending, even the open hearings for the public.

So, I`m not sure how to explain it. I think it`s very childish. But the more fundamental point, whether it`s the work of our committee, or it`s a briefing from the White House, is really ought to be done on a nonpartisan basis so that all the members are operating from good information.

HAYES: What -- I mean, what is the next step here? If this -- I mean, if -- there`s two pressing matters here, right? Like did the President know about this, this administration about this and do nothing, and in fact, as Senator Murphy said, essentially get a green light to bounties on the heads of American servicemen and women, and also what to be done now. If in fact that that that has happened and what the -- what the implications of that are. What is your -- what is your feeling about that?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, I think what we need to do is we need to get an explanation a briefing from the Intelligence Community leadership, what are they know these allegations, what kind of confidence do they have, and what they may or may not know about these allegations? And have there been policy debates within the administration about what they`re planning to do if they`re going to sit on their hands because this president can`t stand up to Vladimir Putin.

Congress needs to take steps to protect our troops and to protect our national interest. You know, we have seen time and time again, this President put his own personal interests above those of the nation. This may be another example of the president doing that, or maybe another example of Intelligence Community or other leadership simply afraid to confront the president.

They -- you know, we`ve already seen how there`s a reluctance to brief the President on Russian interference in our election. He doesn`t want to hear it. He thinks it`s all a hoax. Is this an extension of that denial of reality by the president?

HAYES: Congressman Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Thank you so much for your time.

SCHIFF: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Next, America 2020, police in riot gear to put pepper spray on a peaceful vigil for a young man killed after being detained by police. That unbelievable scene and what lies beneath after this.


HAYES: On Friday, we brought you the story of Elijah McClain, 23-year-old black man who died after he was detained by police last year in Aurora, Colorado. McClain was a massage therapist who tough himself how to play the violin and the guitar. He was a vegetarian who loved animals. He also had anemia, so he sometimes wore a sky mask to keep himself warm.

Last August, he went to the convenience store to buy iced tea. And on his way home, a man called 911 because Elijah McClain was wearing that ski mask and waiving his arms.

I have to warn you, the body camera footage from when the police confronted McClain is disturbing. In that confrontation, he told police, quote, "I am an introvert, please respect my boundaries, but I am speaking. I am just different."

Instead, the retrained him on the ground and used a choke hold. When the paramedics arrived, they injected him a strong sedative. On the way to the hospital, McClain had a heart attack and he died a few days later.

Elijah McClain`s last words are haunting from this person who was clearly not a threat in any way, but was being treated with this horribly violent force.

And that exact dynamic played itself in Aurora, Colordo at the site of a protest and a vigil in honor of McClain on Saturday. People congregated to pay tribute, to call for accountability for his death, and to play their violins in his honor.

And then Aurora police basically recreated the dynamic of his death. Police in riot gear came in the crowd and look what happened.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no, no. No! No! No!



HAYES: Police claim they advanced when people pushed down a fence and tore plywood off store windows, threw water bottles at officers. The Aurora mayor has now called for a special meeting of the city council tomorrow.

But when you see that video, those folks in riot gear descending on a peaceful protest, it is not some isolated incident. We keep seeing that thing time and time again in the wake of George Floyd`s death and protests, over and over, police deploying levels of force and coercion and violence completely excessive to the needs of the moment.

And all that is having a day by day cumulative effect on the public`s opinion on policing. It turns out batoning and tear gassing protesters is not going over well. And we are going to talk about that ahead.


HAYES: The tradition of nonviolent direct action from Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr. to today is rooted in the idea that peaceful, disciplined protest provokes counter-reaction, overreaction, from the system and that the inevitable reaction from that system displays its own moral bankruptcy for all to see.

That, of course, was what happened in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960s when fire hoses and police attack dogs were used on children and adults marching peacefully, it`s what happened in Selma, Alabama, legendarily, when peaceful marchers, like Congressman John Lewis, were beaten and tear gassed grossing Edmund Pettus Bridge in front of reporters and cameras. Those images were broadcast throughout the country, showing Americans that the system defending such action was evil.

And there seems to be a similar effect today as the national protests against police brutality continue as we keep seeing examples of just ghastly police overreach, like we saw in Aurora, Colorado on Saturday.

And those videos, one by one, are having a real effect on public opinion on policing and race. Back in 2015, just 32 percent of U.S. adults thought police violence against the public was a very serious problem. Today, that is up to nearly half of U.S. adults, according to an AP poll released earlier this month. The reason for that jump is the changing views of white adults. In 2015, only 19 percent of white adults thought policing was a very serious problem. Today that number has more than doubled.

The big question, however, is how deep the change is and what it actually means. Joining me now to discuss that, Eddie Glaude. He`s the chair of the African-American studies department at Princeton University. And Eddie, it is always a pleasure to talk to you.

First I think I`d like to get your reaction to the sort of thesis here, which is that there is a sort of connection between these moments of the system reacting in this way, the images that people have seen and captured on cell phone video, and this movement in public opinion, what do you think of that?

EDDIE GLAUDE JR., PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Well, I think it`s right. It seems to me reasonable to conclude that some folks hold the view that to see this sort of violence actually runs counter to our set of commitments, to democracy, right, but there is no necessary relationship between drawing that conclusion and then drawing the conclusion that you support the policies to remedy the problem.

And let me say it more clearly, that is to say that we have been seeing a steady decline since the `60s in an overt racist views, but that decline hasn`t been, shall we say, parallel with commitments to remedies to anti -- to discrimination, to inequality. So America has become more anti-racist in its stated commitments, but not in its commitment to policy. So we need to see that gap, historically, and we might see that gap in this current moment, too.

HAYES: Well, that to me is the big outstanding question, right? So we have -- you know, we do have -- The New York Times had a good write-up in changes on public opinion, particularly among white voters, they make this point the great stall point out the civil rights movement was white people not being able to talk to other white people about whiteness. That has to happen before anything can change. I think that`s maybe true or maybe not. I think it is contestable.

But your point about the fundamental kind of like material policies and remedy, it does seem to me there is a combination so far of support for symbolic measures, and also more significant ones. I mean, you have cities talking about moving hundreds of millions of dollars from, say, funding police to funding other programs. There has been, you know, Minneapolis they voted to essentially get rid of the Minneapolis Police Department as it`s currently constituted.

Where do you see things on this sort of spectrum between rhetoric, symbols and concrete policy?

GLAUDE: Well, I think the difference in this moment is the kind of -- I think there is a general sense among a large segment of the population that America is broken, right, that 40 years, 50 years of a particularly economic and political philosophy has actually collapsed, it has produced deepening precarity among workers, it has generated amazing inequality in terms of wealth, the continued issue -- you know, the continued issue of racial discrimination as black and brown folk have to deal with this ideology of white supremacy and have to raise their children in the midst of it, right, that`s all in the solution right now.

Then you combine, Chris, the fact that we all feel vulnerable because the pandemic is killing folk, right? Then you get this opening. But the issue is what will happen in the concrete, in its details?

And, you know, I was thinking about this as we were running up to this segment, I was thinking about DuBois`s short story "The Comet," written in 1920, published in Dark Water. A comet hits New York City, wipes it out. There is a white woman and a black woman. Suddenly in the midst of the tragedy, they don`t see whiteness, they don`t see blackness, they try to figure out how to survive. But the moment normalcy begins to show its head, boom, everything returns to normal.

So we`re vulnerable right now. We`re seeing all of this. But we have to really ask ourselves the question, is this the occasion for fundamental change? And that`s not going to happen unless we do it, it seems to me, unless we actually remain committed to a better and more just America.

HAYES: Well, and there is some ways, right, the sort of strike while the iron is hot idea here is that maybe you can enshrine some of these changes permanently, right? I mean, if you can get things to happen in this moment -- Mississippi is an interesting example here. I believe you`re a son of Mississippi. And that state is -- has held on to the Confederate flag as part of its state flag for a very long time and now appears finally, finally in the year 2020, which my god the war was lost in 1865, is going to remove it from the flag.

And I wonder what -- the significance of that and the idea that you -- that is something that will concretely endure past this moment if they can get it done.

GLAUDE: Yeah. You know, I mean, the result of activists on the ground who have been working really hard in the state of Mississippi to get the stars and bars, thing off the flag. And it`s also big business, SEC said that they wouldn`t hold championship events in Mississippi if they continued to have this Confederate symbol on the flag, so we need to read it for what it is.

But I want to just say this, I think we`re in a moment. We can`t pre-judge it. We have a possibility of fundamental change. But we need to keep our ears open, because there is a question that`s always asked in the moment in which the backlash, the counter revolutionary moment happens, and the question is what else do -- what else might the Negro want, a version of that question. And when you hear that question, what else do you want? Then you know we have reached the limit of a certain understanding of what transformation can happen.

We need to ignore it. We need to hear it, but we need to ignore it and continue pushing forward for much broader, much deeper transformation of the country.

HAYES: Well, someone that sort of pushed at those edges throughout his life and his writing is, of course, the legendary and great James Baldwin. And Eddie Glaude has a new book called "Begin Again: James Baldwin`s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own." I happen to have an advanced copy, which I have been making my way through and enjoying tremendously. That comes out tomorrow and you should definitely check it out.

Thank you, Eddie.

GLAUDE: Thank you, Chris. I appreciate you, man.

HAYES: Don`t forget that tomorrow we`re hosting a special town hall event. I will be joined by the mayors of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and New Orleans to talk about the calls for change happening in their cities, how they`re navigating the tensions there, pulled in different directions often.

If you live in one of those cities and want to ask your mayor a question, please send us that question at, make sure you join us for All In America: At The Front Lines of Change tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Next, another stunning Supreme Court decision, now handing abortion rights advocates a surprise win, although maybe not all that it seems. Why Chief Justice Roberts sided with liberal justice and what it means after this.


HAYES: Today could have been the day that Roe V. Wade was essentially, effectively gutted in America, a moment that anti-abortion forces have been building up to for decades, because rather than directly try to overturn Roe, though they`re also trying to do that, they`ve been right to limit actual access to abortion on the local level. That`s been their strategy. And in Louisiana, that meant passing a law that puts so many restrictions on doctors that it would leave the state with only one single abortion clinic.

Now, this was not a new strategy, Texas tried to do basically the exact same thing in 2013 with their own law, restricting access to abortion, that went all the way up to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court struck it down in 2016, with justice Anthony Kennedy casting the deciding vote and basically saying, no, you can`t have this law and still have Roe V. Wade, effectively, ruling the country.

This time around, though, Justice Kennedy is gone, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh is in his place, and so conservatives figured they could count to five. They could just essentially rerun the Texas case, swap in Louisiana, now we`ve got our guys in there and we can get a more favorable result. And yet somewhat remarkably, Chief Justice John Roberts, who thought the Texas decision was, in his words, wrongly decided back when he was on the court when it was decided, just cast the deciding vote against the Louisiana law.

His reasons for siding with the liberals against his fellow conservatives on the court was basically, look, we decided this case a few years ago, we can`t just turn around and undo it, quoting from his opinion, the Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion, just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons; therefore, Louisiana`s law cannot stand under our precedence. The result in this case is controlled by our decision four years ago invalidating a nearly identical Texas law.

Joining me now to talk more about this decision, Dahlia Lithwick, who hosts the podcast Amicus and writes about courts and the law for Slate. Her latest piece, which is excellent, is titled Roberts isn`t a liberal, he`s a perfectionist who wants to win.

And Dahlia, I was chuckling at that part of the Roberts plurality here where he basically gives the paragraph version of the case that anyone paying attention knew. Like, he basically says like, right, this is just the Texas law that we struck down, so we can`t do it. But of course, everyone knew that going in. It was such an incredibly manifest power play to sort of think that, well, we now have five.

Were you surprised that he came down the way he did?

DAHLIA LITHWICK, SLATE: I was surprised only insofar as it was hard to tell, Chris, at oral argument exactly what he was doing. And there seemed to be at least some appetite on his part, when the case was argued, to do this, maybe Louisiana is different kind of analysis, which is what Justice Alito does in dissent and Justice Kavanaugh does in dissent.

I`m not surprised that I sort of feel like this is a long string of cases in which Justice Roberts more or less says, people, don`t be stupid. And I kind of class that in this: just don`t be stupid. Bring me a good case and I`m yours, just don`t do it this way.

HAYES: You know, so that`s what I find so fascinating here is your sort of unified theory of Roberts judging in your piece, which is the Census case, when he sides with the liberals where he says, look, you guys have the power to do this, but you can`t be like obvious lying idiots. And then basically says the same thing in the DACA case, which is like, you literally just have to give a reason to do this, like it`s a low bar, but you just somehow come under it, that he`s sort of frustrated by the sort of slipshod hackishness of some of the cases getting up to the court.

LITHWICK: Yeah, and I think that`s the part we should take really seriously, Chris, is that imagine if these cases were well lawyered and, you know, we were saying this last year after the Census case, like, imagine if the Justice Department had taken the extra 12 minutes to do this correctly. Imagine in DACA if they had taken a few minutes to put together a better pretext. Imagine the next case that comes along that isn`t quite literally a carbon copy of the case out of Texas from four years earlier, that`s what is really terrifying.

HAYES: Right. And that`s -- and you think that the groundwork has been laid. And obviously, in all of these decisions, he sort of said some things to basically signal to future conservative litigators, like, here`s where I`ll be onboard if you can bring me this.

LITHWICK: Yeah, no, it`s perfectly clear. I think in my piece today, I said, he basically turned over the napkin and like gave you the directions. Like, guys, if you want to do this, this is what an undue burden is, it`s not hard.

But I think you`re right. I think he, at the end of the day, really does care about the prestige of the court, the dignity of the court. He does care, believe it or not, about stare decisis and sort of not quickly changing trajectories.

But I think he`s also really a conservative`s conservative. And he`s very, very plain about this in his opinion. I thought Whole Women`s Health was wrongly decided, still do, just bring me a better challenge.

HAYES: Well, and so on the stare decisis point, I thought the Kavanaugh part of this was fascinating, right, because we all have to pretend that you and I have talked about this. We talked about this during Kavanaugh`s confirmation, I think we talked about it during Neil Gorsuch, where we have this like, this sort of collective self-willed stupidity that is foisted upon us by the Federalist Society conservative legal establishment that like we all have to pretend that these people, like we don`t know what they`re going to do. We don`t have like very obvious agendas and fully- formed views on this.

And one of the things with Kavanaugh was like stare decisis, you know he`ll respect precedent. And this was just such an obvious test of it, it`s basically the same law four years later. It`s very hard to strike it down if you really believe in stare decisis. And Kavanaugh did what basically everyone expected him to when he was confirmed.

LITHWICK: Yeah, he did the sleight of hand that is essentially what the Fifth Circuit did when they got this case on appeal, it`s what Justice Alito did. Somehow, Louisiana is different. These were bad doctors. They didn`t in good faith try to get admitting privileges. Maybe we should just sort of let this play out and all the clinics close and we can figure out if maybe that was going to happen.

But really, really important point here, Chris, six opinions written today, all written by a man, not a single woman wrote today. There are three women on the court. And I think at the end of the day, all of these men writing about women`s bodies, it`s like -- it makes you long for the good old days of Casey.

HAYES: Here`s -- here`s what Susan Collins, a -- someone who calls herself pro-choice and an advocate of abortion rights, had to say back in 2018 about Kavanaugh, right, about precisely this line of cases that goes back to Roe and then crucially Casey, that upholds it in the early 1990s. This is what Collins said. Take a listen.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) MAINE: What Judge Kavanaugh told me, and he`s the first Supreme Court nominee that I`ve interviewed out of six who has told me this, is that he views precedent not just as a legal doctrine, but as rooted in our constitution, and he reveres our constitution. I asked him, is it sufficient if five current sitting justices believe that Roe should be overturned? And he said "no."


HAYES: Tough to square with Kavanaugh`s dissent today.

LITHWICK: Her statement today was that he didn`t write the line Roe v. Wade is overturned, therefore he told her the truth. So, there we are.

HAYES: Right, exactly. Right. That`s the bar for everyone.

Dahlia Lithwick, it`s always so illuminating to talk you about the court, even in the darkest of times. But today was not the darkest of days on the court. Thank you very much.

LITHWICK: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.