tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 13, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT
doing so by statute with the intent of altering the composition of the court for short term political gain. that's what fdr wanted to do. notwithstanding the fact that he had an overwhelming super majority in both houses of congress, fortunately, fdr's idea he pushed in the fall of 1936 didn't make it anywhere. it didn't gain progress. it met enough opposition with both houses of commerce being overwhelmingly controlled by his political party, that it stalled. quite mercifully. joe biden himself as a u.s. senator, as a member of this body in a proceeding of the committee in 1983 gave a rousing speech that i recommend to all, talking about that very thing. acknowledging that the
constitution doesn't require it, but a respect for separation of powers really ought to lead to a sticking to the number nine. don't pack the court. in recent days, i have seen some of the media, some in this body try to redefine what it means to pack the court. some suggested court packing takes various forms, can mean confirming a lot of people. this may not be something that some like, but this is not court packing. it is something with great danger to do immense political and constitutional harm to our system of government, in part because it would set up a one way ratchet.
once you create a position, confirm someone to the position, absent death, retirement, impeachment, removal, that position remains in place. so if, for example, future congress and white house were to decide to get together and pack the court and increase the number, say, to 11, and say it is democrats that do that, and we've got joe biden now as a presidential candidate who is refusing to say whether he would do it, there's a reason he is not saying whether he would do it. there's only reason you refuse to answer the question, if you're wanting to be able to do it, but you don't want to take the heat for the fact that you're thinking about doing it right now. so if they do that, where does it lead? inevitably leads to the point the next time republicans have control of both houses of congress and the white house,
they would increase it as well. you would end up increasing it incrementally. before long, looks like the senate in "star wars" where you have hundreds on there, i don't know what the total number would be, you increase it at all, change the number of all, you do so for partisan political purposes at all, you delegitimize the court. and you can't delegitimize the court without fundamentally threatening, eroding, impairing some of our most valued liberties. you can't do that without inevitably threatening things like religious freedom. protected by the constitution because they're unpopular, and yes, in that respect the constitution is sometimes counter democratic. sometimes described as fundamentally undemocratic. it is the whole reason to have a
constitution, to protect us from the impulse of a majority that might be bent on harming the few in the name of the many. that's why the law is so important. that's why the position for which you're being considered is so essential. that's why we have to do our job to make sure the only people that get the job for which you have been nominated fit the bill. you, judge barrett, are someone in whom i have immense confidence, immense trust. and i look forward to voting to confirming you for that very position. >> thanks, senator lee. we'll take, let's come back at 12:45. we'll start with senator whitehouse. everybody takes the 30 minutes, seven and a half hours, we'll take a break for dinner tonight
sometime later on and a short break. are you doing okay. ? three hours of outright? we'll come back 12:45. right now we're on schedule to be here until 9:00. we'll do whatever the committee wants. we're in recess until 12:45. >> i am john king in washington, thank you for sharing your day with us. watching judge amy coney barrett leaving the senate judiciary committee room. three hours has been taking questions from senators in the hearing. judge barrett, president trump's pick to replace the late ruth bader ginsburg on the supreme court of the united states. justice barrett would shift the court. if she's confirmed, 6-3 conservative majority, defining judicial legacy for this president. that's why you have giant cause for alarm with democrats, worried she may throw out obamacare or abortion rights. a fascinating discussion. some about her legal views, some of it, politicians giving
speeches. that's what happens at supreme court hearings. some of it is about her views, what does she think of the affordable care act, what does she think of roe v. wade and subsequent abortion rights decisions. some of it is about the timing. president trump trying to get the court changing nominee confirmed in days before a presidential election. let's discuss what we've seen so far with the great panel, dana bash, jeffrey toobin, knee a ma leak a henderson. first and foremost, this is a political conversation, the challenge for judge barrett not to lose republican votes. she doesn't need any democrats, she can't lose republicans and be in a couple of weeks justice barrett. even from accounts from democrats, they may not like the answers, but think she has been impression i have, handled herself well, not made any mistakes. >> absolutely. i am hearing the same from democrats. what she has done is try to follow the lead of people who
have been nominated before her, even by democratic presidents. she even cited alain a kagan, ruth bader ginsburg, although she said she didn't want to give hints, forecasts or previews of what she's going to do on the bench. ironically, ruth bader ginsburg said flatly she is for abortion rights, that she's in the vernacular pro-choice and that's obviously not something amy coney barrett would give in at all. she said judges can't wake up one day and say i have an agenda, i like gaununs, i don't like guns. if you are hoping that a judge or judicial nominee in particular for the supreme court goes before a committee like this that they are, they walk the line as carefully as possible. the other thing i will just note which is going to be an instant
meme, john, the fact that she had no notes. she was asked by i think john cornyn to hold up the note pad in front of her, it was blank except for the united states senate stationery on it. that's it. that's going to be impression i have to republicans and democrats, not that everybody didn't think she was smart but because she was that confident in how she was going to express herself. >> let's be honest. number one, if you can roll back the clock, not so close to election, roll back further to another republican president in another age, i have been in washington long enough, judge amy coney barrett would get 70 votes or more in the senate because of her qualifications. we don't live in that age, joan. democrats are trying to make that point. saying president trump igs on the record saying he wants the supreme court to overturn roe v wade. he is asking the supreme court to throw out the affordable care act. president trump in picking judge amy coney barrett has said he needs a ninth justice on the
court because this election could lead to court challenges that make it to the supreme court. president trump saying on record any election he loses, an election clearly been rigged. one of the questions, in exchange with pat leahy, he is trying to say did you promise the president anything. >> senator leahy, i want to begin by making two important points. they have to do with the aca and with any election dispute that may or may not arise. i have had no conversation with the president or any of his staff on how i might rule in that case. it would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case and how i would rule. i also think it would be a complete violation of the independence of the judiciary for anyone to put a justice on the court as a means of obtaining a particular result. let me be clear. i have made no commitment to anyone, not in the senate, not
over at the white house about how i would decide any case. >> by the books answer there, joan, and by the books answer that of course has more gravity if you will, the question has more gravity because of the way this president conducts himself and makes clear he expects and demands loyalty. >> that's absolutely right. he has run against the affordable care act, since its inception has been arguing against it, and he suggested that he was choosing someone who would both be begins that and might help him out if an election dispute came before the justices. and she seemed to want to make clear obviously she made no promises, but senators had a reason to press her, especially on the affordable care act because she in the past had written critically of supreme court rulings that upheld the act. she said that chief justice john roberts' rationale for upholding the aca in 2012 pushed the
statute beyond plausible meaning. they wanted to ask about that. they wanted to ask why she said in 2015 when the supreme court again upheld it, why she thought the dissent had the better view. they were legitimate questions, but she said as a judge she is not precommitting to anything. it is a relevant question for them to have. on the overall recusal, i want to note an answer i was sort of surprised she gave. i wasn't surprised she said she would assess the situation when it came up whether to recuse from a particular case, she said she would consult with her colleagues, said that was the usual practice. i frankly don't know that that is the usual practice for justices to take to the full court about whether to recuse. as you know, john, it is in the hands of individual justices whether they will sit out a case. supreme court justices are not bound by federal ethics law but
generally do follow them, but it is in the individual justice's hands. >> jeffrey, let's continue on aca a minute. you're the justice here as chief legal analyst. justice jeffrey toobin. the democrats know they can't trip her on a basic question, how would you rule. they're getting more granular. the challenge of the affordable care act before the high court, many believe they can throw it out, gut it as unconstitutional. there's a term severability, if there's tennell em elements of of law, do the other nine. listen when that came up. >> a doctrine called severability, sounds like legalese, but is it okay with the statute, could you pluck that part out, let the rest of the statute stand or is that provision which has been zeroed out so critical to the statute that the whole statute falls. so really the issue in the case
is the doctrine of sever ability, that's not something i talked about with respect to the affordable care act. honestly, i haven't written anything about severability that i know of at all. >> so you have no thoughts on the subject? >> well, it's a case that's on the court's docket and the canons of judicial conduct prohibit me from expressing a view. >> jeffrey toobin, did you take anything from that, the broader conversation, about the specifics of the court challenge she could hear literally in the first week or two on the job or more broadly about her philosophy? >> first of all, mr. king, i would appreciate if you call me your honor. >> your excellency! >> i thought she gave a very good and clear definition of what severability is. can you pluck a piece of the legislation out without having to get rid of the whole thing. in doing so, i think she
minimized the significance of the case because at other points she said well, the case is not really about pre-existing conditions, it is not really about lifetime limits on benefits. it is about that because if you find as the trump justice department has urged the court to find that you can't pluck out this piece, you have to get hri of the whole piece of legislation. the case being argued november 10th, if the trump justice department gets its way, the whole aca is gone. all pre-existing condition protections, staying on your parents insurance until 26, all of that is at stake in that case and i thought she was trying to sort of say the case isn't that big a deal. it is that big a deal. >> it is that big a deal. nia, we have a remarkable collision. she has a compelling remarkable
personal story, family of seven, two of them adopted. she makes no secret of the fact she's conservative, she's a catholic, she's pro-life personally, it is a compelling personal story against a compelling political moment in the fact that democrats do not want to give this president a third supreme court pick, especially because we are three weeks from a presidential election, and add in that the republican majority before donald trump was in washington blocked president obama from getting a pick in the final year of an election, so you have this collision of without a doubt an impressive judge, whether you agree or disagree with her views, whether you worry what she might do as a member of the supreme court, that remarkable story, in any other time would be a different conversation. because it is this president at this moment, this is armageddon in washington. >> that's right. and democrats both privately and publicly admitting that it is unlikely they're going to be able to stop her going to the supreme court. i think amy klobuchar yesterday said what democrats obviously
want to fight, they want to highlight the issues they want to highlight, the porngs of the aca, particularly during the pandemic. so you see a lot of campaigning of lindsey graham talking about south carolina. he is in a fight in south carolina, all the money on the race on the other side. it is a very unusual moment for the country, three weeks before election day to be replacing rbg who is a legend on the left with someone who basically says she's in the mold of scalia, even though she tried to back away from that, that's likely what her judicial record was in the past and will likely be in the future. it was interesting to see her hold up a blank piece of paper, but it is in keeping with what she's trying to present herself as, a blank slate that people can't predict what she's actually going to do when in
fact she is there because conservatives want somebody to rip out the aca, want somebody to overturn abortion rights in this country. so it is sort of an irony there. then you see republicans also, i think mike lee, do you have anything to do with the fact that people do have health care? anybody that gets health care through the aca, should they be worried about your ascent to the supreme court, well, she does have something to do with it. she will likely rule on that if confirmed, which looks likely. that case comes before the supreme court a week after election day. so there is a sort of disingenuousness going on. republicans want her to act in the way they want her to act and overturn abortion, overturn the aca. she's acting like no, she doesn't have anything to do with that. >> dana, you were about to jump in. >> sorry, nia. she talked about the fact she
distanced herself from the label of female scalia, i thought that was another key moment, not just because she's trying to differentiate from the person she clerked for, her mentor, but also because even though that's how she was described for many years in conservative judicial circles, it is kind of inherently sexist. why can't she just be her own person. and that's basically what she was saying. so i think it had multiple, landed in multiple ways when she said that she is judge barrett, would be justice barrett, not the female anybody. >> i'm not sure that i would agree with that because, you know, it is very unusual for a justice or a nominee as amy coney barrett did at the white house at the famous infamous super spreader event where she said i follow justice scalia's judicial philosophy. he was a controversial figure on the court. >> right.
but that's different than called the female anybody. >> okay. yes. certainly that. but i think most justices, one justice who is pretty uncontroversial is justice robert jackson that served in the 1940s and 1950s. the liberals and conservatives can agree on him, he offered something to both sides. to say you follow justice scalia's philosophy is a distinctive thing, and a something that tells you a lot about what kind of justice she's going to be. and that's the kind of justice that donald trump wanted to put on the court. >> also tells you she understands the outside legal operation that this president has accepted, to pick his judges, vet his judges for him, the federalist society which made clear that's what it likes on the court. go to capitol hill, phil mattingly trying to keep track of the math, whether or not it changes. if it doesn't, judge barrett will be justice barrett and all of the politics playing out in
the election year, final election weeks, confirmation hearing. phil, what have you learned so far? >> reporter: couple things to keep in mind. one, the nomination to this point of time is on cruise control for mitch mcconnell. he has the commitments of 51 republicans that support this nomination, and as long as those republicans stay healthy, which has been in question over the course of the last ten days or so, they're very on track to get the nomination through. nothing that i have seen in talking to republican officials in the course of the last couple of hours this morning will change that. if anything, it made republican senators even more enthusiastic about the nomination. pick up, john, on one thing you guys were talking about, where amy coney barrett separated herself in terms of the being the female antonin scalia. democrats went into the hearing saying they would look at his dissents. if she's a carbon copy of him, should give them a sign or signal in terms of how she might rule on certain issues she made clear as most supreme court nominees do that she will not
comment on during the hearing. doing that out of the gate was helpful to some degree when those questions are almost certain to come. the other interesting element is how democrats approached this. you saw yesterday what they were trying to do. you covered this town as long as anyone. democrats saying that unified them, that many of them that long is a rarity on capitol hill, and they made clear they're going to continue that throughout the course of the day. expectation is that you have the upper tier of the ranking member, dianne feinstein, rich durbin for the granular questions coming about specific cases, like you talked about earlier, trying to draw out. you're not getting specific answers or responses to big picture items democrats most want amy coney barrett's views on. perhaps you can dig in on past cases and draw out a little more. i think one other issue i heard from both sides, you can expect some questions about going forward, more about her judicial
philosophy. she explained it, talked about time with scalia, explained her version of that to chairman lindsey graham earlier today. i think you'll get more questions about that. obviously democrats and republicans differ sharply on how they view the issues and judicial philosophy should operate here. i think one thing i close with, john, then let it get back to you, keep an eye throughout the course of the day about how democrats dig in. i mentioned it. i think granular nature, you touched on it as well, granular nature of questions will grow the next several hours, and again, nobody expects them to trip her up to a point she can't be confirmed. there's no sense of any cracks in republican unity for the nominee now. but i think democrats to their point made through the day yesterday, this isn't about blocking a nomination. they understand they don't have tools to do that. this is about trying to bring forth conversations about issues they think can help in three weeks, can help them as the issue of the courts becomes more front of mind as it has the last
couple of years. >> so we're having a great washington conversation now as we bring the conversation back. democrats know they doen't have the votes. you shouldn't like the president for doing this, vote against the president. if you worry about obamacare, send a message to republicans by voting. that's part of the democratic argument. how does it play out across america. the country divided should this be done before the election or should the senate wait. and if president trump loses, let joe biden make the pick. part of that, is can amy coney barrett make the compelling case to the american people. listen here, remember her story. seven children. two of them adopted black children. senator durbin asked had she seen video of the death of george floyd at police hands.
>> having two black children, myself en-year-old adopted from haiti, this was erupting, it was difficult for her. we wept together. in my room. then it was difficult for my daughter julia who is ten. i had to try to explain some of this to them. i mean, my children to this point in their lives have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence. for vivian, you know, to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the son she might have one day of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation and it is a difficult one for us like it is for americans all over the country. >> dana bash, senator durbin was asking that question and questions like that to try to explore her views on race, explore her views on gun control and other issues. any issue aside, if you're trying to make the case this person doesn't belong on the court, that's a pretty
compelling story she's telling the american people. >> and in fact, she went, i don't think it was during that line of questioning but somewhere else, brown versus board of education, that was kind of the one precedent that she was okay. with and was very clear in saying, i think she called it a super precedent, that will not be changed, should not be changed. you're right. on those issues, on others, what she tried to do because she has the personal story that allows for this, was to say i'm not just the kind of conservative boogie woman if you will that democrats are warning about. i'm a mom, i'm a wife, i've dop -- i have adopted children, those are very much part of who she is, which in another section, somebody was talking to her about the fact that yes, she can believe what she wants to
believe about being an originalist, looking at starry dies is, all those things, but at the end of the day a judge or justice is a human that brings certain things from his or her background into the decision-making process, whether they want to admit it in a confirmation hearing or not. >> and it is part of the play book. if appointed by a democratic president, you quote the republican nominees before you saying i can't call balls and strikes, talk about specific cases, if appointed by a republican president as judge barrett is, nia, she talked about judge kagan said, justice ginsburg said. she said it is not the law of amy, it is the law of the american people. trying to say i'm calling them like i see them. i have no preconceived notions. democrats are deeply suspicious about that, but she's answering the questions just as she should. >> she is. this is the play book we've seen from justices over the last couple of nominations. it wasn't necessarily like this
in years past. because things are so partisan at this point, we have justices or nominees come before the american people and essentially say they don't have a past, that they're going to rule in the way they rule based on the circumstances, and they don't come with preconceived notions. they are essentially partisan, doesn't matter whether or not they were nominated by a republican or democrat. americans know better at this point based on the past justices we've seen. and you know, this is the point. donald trump made it very plain that the point of nominating this particular person was because of how he thinks she would view on any number of issues in the past. that hasn't necessarily worked out well for republicans, you think about somebody like suit error roberts who is a disappointment to some republicans, but in this person, in barrett who again likened her
judicial philosophy to justice scalia, late justice scalia, they feel pretty good and democrats are likely nervous about what her presence will mean on the supreme court. >> john, can i make an observation about this idea that your prior views or political views have nothing to do with your judicial views? give me a break. this is just not believable. the idea that the fact that she signed ads against abortion rights has no influence on how she will view abortion cases, i mean, it is ridiculous. i mean, this is why she was chosen. as donald trump said over and over again, i will appoint justices to the supreme court who will vote to overturn roe vs wade. what he meant is he will appoint justices to the supreme court who will vote to overturn row
versus weighed. that's why she's there, that's what she's going to do. the idea her views on abortion are some mystery is, if i may be impolite, a joke. >> we will see, 15 senators to come, including the democratic vice presidential nominee, kamala harris. questioning will resume any minute. we'll take you back to the hearing live when it does. the panelists know, an interesting afternoon. tomorrow, still to come. a quick break. keep our eye on the confirmation hearing, get you back as soon as it begins. one of the coronavirus vaccine trials, one of the vaccine trials the president tells you will come up with a vaccine any day now, put on hold. it was 1961 when nellie young lost her devoted husband. without him, things were tough. her last option was to sell her home, but... her home meant everything to her. her husband had been a high school football coach and it turned out, one of his former players came up with an answer.
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as soon as it resumes. quick lunch break. meanwhile, let's get to other headlines. johnson & johnson is pausing phase three trial of the coronavirus vaccine candidate because of unexplained illness. what happened? >> we learned from a call this afternoon or just today that this is all very new, the unexplained illness. astrazeneca learned of it sunday, two days ago. they're not sure if the participant received the vaccine or the placebo. they said it is still being looked into. let's look at an astrazeneca statement. what they had to say is serious adverse events, a fancy way of a participant getting sick are not uncommon in clinical trials. the number of adverse events can be expected to increase in trials involving large numbers of participants. what they're trying to say, this is from johnson & johnson, what
they're trying to say is look, when you vaccinate a bunch of people, including in trials, someone is getting sick. if there's any thought the sickness might be related to the vaccine, they pause the trial. we are told by experts this doesn't happen that often. it happens, but is not how most trials go. most trials don't have pauses. certainly when you see an illness that could be caused by the vaccine, right thing to do is pause the trial. >> and elizabeth, confusion there, easy to understand. this is johnson & johnson. the mix-up is astrazeneca had to do the same in its trial. what's the status of the other vaccine trials? >> exactly. i was talking about johnson & johnson. there are four trials started in the united states. first one johnson & johnson is
paused. astrazeneca also paused, more than a month, while the fda considers whether they should continue despite illnesses that happened in their trials. moderna started july 27th, and pfizer started july 27th and are still going. there are also trials happening in other parts of the world as well. >> ee liz belizabeth cohen, tha that update. see if they get off the pause button. president trump attacking the nation's top infectious disease expert, dr. anthony fauci, tweeting tony's pitching arm is far more accurate than prognostications. the president referring impolitely to first pitch at a washington nationals game in july. the pitch went quite wide of home plate. president trump dismissing threat of coronavirus at his rally in florida last night. >> the guys and the beautiful women, everybody. i'll give you a big, fat kiss.
i went through it, now they say i'm immune. i feel so powerful. >> cnn's kaitlan collins joins us live from the white house. a lot to talk about there, i will let you take the lead. number one, the president mocking the virus at his first rally and mocking tony fauci, interesting strategic play. spending millions on a new campaign ad featuring dr. fauci, and the president is attacking his credibility. marketing people would tell you wrong call. >> reporter: i think it is clear why the president is going after dr. fauci, it is because on sunday if you saw the ad, dr. fauci put out a statement saying he didn't consent to being used in the ad, believed his words were taken out of context and said bluntly for a federal health official he was talking about work of other health officials in conjunction with him on coronavirus, not the president's work per se when it comes to the response, which we know how voters judged that which is poorly so far. the president is attacking dr.
fauci while his campaign is running the ad, using dr. fauci's likeness in attempt to appeal to voters because they know how popular dr. fauci is. it is interesting that the president even has dr. fauci in an ad because they've had a heated relationship for months, and a lot of it has come down to the fact that dr. fauci called out some of the unscientific, inaccurate things the president said time and time again from big to nuanced things. something the president has been saying since he got covid-19, that he is immune, point blank, to saying he can't get it any longer, saying he is immune for a lifetime, when obviously the actual science is out on that. it is more knnuanced with more caveats, what dr. fauci said in an interview with cnn yesterday. >> he has an immune response in him that very likely would protect him from being reinfected, but we've got to be careful about that because we're starting to see a number of
cases that are being reported of people who get reinfected, well documented cases of people who were infected, after a relatively brief period of time, measured anywhere from weeks to several months, come back, get exposed, infected again. >> reporter: the president has been going after dr. fauci for months, complaining how his approval rating is stronger than the president's. what's different is you're seeing dr. fauci push back in a way he hasn't before. before he chalked it up to politics, was hesitant to criticize the president in interviews. that's changing now. he wants the campaign to take down the ad featuring him saying he never endorsed any political candidate, that we should know if people wonder where this can be, dr. fauci said he is not walking away from his position. he is a career official. it would be incredibly difficult if not impossible for the president to fire him. that's the dynamic. what's amazing is seeing it play out in the public eye as elizabeth was talking about,
debating where vaccine trials are going or the future of the pandemic in the u.s. is going. >> election day is three weeks from today. trend line of the pandemic headed the wrong direction. thank you. live from the white house. one of the things the doctor would like is a plan from the president to deal with the fact that 33 of 50 states on this day are now reporting more new infections now compared to a week ago. the president on the campaign trail mocking the virus growing across the country. quick break for us. when we come back, the confirmation hearing for judge amy coney barrett resumes any moment up on capitol hill. hi sabrina! hi jen! hi. so you're the scientist here. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? it's true jen. really?! this prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. impressive! aveeno® healthy. it's our nature.
we'll take you live to capitol hill in a moment. the lunch break for judge amy coney barrett. that lunch break about to end. we'll take you there when it happens. long lines at polling places in georgia, one day after early voting began in that battleground state. this is fulton county. one precinct the wait was two to three hours. the secretary of state says 127,000 cast ballots on the first day of in person early voting. early voting under way this morning, hours after an appeals court reinstated governor abbott's order that limits use
of absentee ballot drop boxes to one location per county. several groups filed lawsuits, challenging the order which they say will unfairly burden large counties and create health hazards at this time of the pandemic. kristin holmes is following this story for us. this is a big state with sprawling counties. >> reporter: that's right. you talk about civics groups, fighting the decree from the governor, they're talking specifically about harris county, third most populous county in the entire country. ed lavandera drove to the one singular drop box there was, noted some residents had to drive more than an hour. >> hearing on capitol hill is resuming. forgive the interruption. take you back to the senate judiciary committee hearing. >> go through with the people that are watching this now, the conversation that you and i had
when we spoke on the telephone. you were kind enough to hear out a presentation that i made and i intend to ask questions in that area but doesn't make sense to ask questions if i haven't laid the predicate for viewers that are watching this. so i guess the reason i want to do this is because people who are watching this need to understand that this small hearing room and the little tv box that you're looking at, the screen you're looking at, are a little like the frame of a puppet theater, and if you only look at what's going on in the puppet theater, you're not going to understand the whole story.
you're not going to understand the real dynamic, what is going on here. you certainly won't understand people outside this room pulling strings, pushing sticks, causing the puppet theater to react. so first, let me say why do i think outside forces are here pulling strings? part of it is behavior. we have colleagues here who supported you, this nominee, before there was a nominee. that's a little unusual. we have the plig rolitical driv the process through at break neck speed in the middle of a pandemic while the senate is closed for safety reasons and while we're doing nothing about
the covid epidemic around us. we have some awkward 180s from colleagues, mr. chairman, you said you're in this. our leader said back when it was garland versus gorsuch that of course, of course the american people should have a say in the court's direction, of course, of course said mitch mcconnell. that's long gone. senator grassley said the american people shouldn't be denied a voice. that's long gone. senator cruz said you don't do this in an election year.
there's a lot of hard to explain hypocrisy and rush taking place now. my experience around politics is when you find hypocrisy in the daylight, look for power in the shadows. people may say what does all of this matter, this is political par lore game, no big deal. there are high stakes here we have been talking about here on our side. i'll tell you three of them here. roe vs wade. ohbergfell and the obama cases. here's the gop platform. the platform of my colleagues that say a republican president will appoint judges to reverse roe, obergefell and the obama
cases. if you have a family member with an interest in some autonomy over their body under roe vs wade, ability to have a marriage, friends marry, have a niece or daughter or son marry, someone of their same sex, and millions of americans that depend on the affordable care act, you've got a stake. it is not just the platform, over and over again. start by talking about the affordable care act. here's the president talking about this litigation that we're gearing up this nominee for for november 10th. in this litigation he said we want to terminate health care under obamacare. that's the president's statement. so when we react to that, don't act as if we're making this stuff up. this is what president trump
said. this is what your party platform says, reverse the obamacare cases. senator after senator, including many in the committee, filed briefs saying that the affordable care act should be thrown out by courts. why is it surprising for us to be concerned that you want this nominee to do what you want nominees to do. one quick stop, a lot of this has to do with money. this is an interesting comparison. national federation of independent businesses, until it filed the nfib versus sebelius case had the biggest donation ever of $21,000. in the year it went to work on the affordable care act, 10 wealthy donors gave $10 million. somebody deserves a thank you.
so let's go to roe vs wade. same thing. the president has said reversing roe vs wade will happen automatically because he is putting pro-life justices on the court. why would we not take him at his word? the republican party platform says it will reverse roe. why would we not comment on that and take you at your word? senators here, including senator hawley, said i will vote only for nominees who acknowledge that roe vs wade is wrongly decided. and our pledge to vote for this nominee. do the math. that's a really simple equation to run. republican brief in june medical said roe should be overruled. don't act surprised when we ask
questions whether that's what you're up to here. and finally, out in the ad world that you spared yourself wisely, judge barrett, the susan b anthony foundation is running advertisements saying you are set, you are set to give our pro-life country the court it deserves. she's set. she's set. and roe, obamacare cases, and obergefell, gay marriage. national organization for marriage, says in this proceeding, all our issues are at stake. republican platform says it wants to reverse obergefell. and the republican brief filed in the case said same sex relationships don't fall within any constitutional protection.
when you say stakes are high on this, it is because you said stakes are high. you said that's what you want to do. how are people going about doing it? what is the scheme here? let me start with this one. in all cases there's big anonymous money behind various lanes of activity. one lane of activity is through the conduit of the federalist society. it is managed, was managed by a guy named leonard leo, has taken over the selection of judicial nominees. how do we know that to be the case? because trump said so over and over again. his white house counsel said so. so we have an anonymously funded group controlling judicial selection, run by this guy, leonard leo. then in another lane we have again anonymous funders running
through something called the judicial crisis network, which is run by carrie severino, doing campaign ads for republican judicial nominees. it got single $17 million in the garland gorsuch contest, another single $17 million donation to support cavanaugh. perhaps the same person spent $35 million to influence the makeup of the united states supreme court. tell me that's good. and over here, you have an array of legal groups also funded by dark money which have a different role. they bring cases to the court. they don't wind their way to the court, they get shoved to the court by legal groups, many of which asked to lose below, to get quickly to the court to get their business done there. and then they turn up in a
chorus, orchestrated chorus in nicki. i had a chance to look at this, i was in a case as an a.m. cuss, consumer protection board case, and in that case there were 11:00 a. 11 briefs filed, every one by donors trust. that's a gigantic identity scrubbing device for the right wing so it says donors trust is the donor without who the real donor is. doesn't have a business plan, doesn't do anything, it is an identity scrubber. and this group here, the bradley foundation, funded 8 out of 11 briefs. that seems weird to me when you have amicus briefs coming in, low flotillas, funded by the same group but nominally
separate in the court. i attached this to my brief as an appendix. the center for media and democracy saw it and did better work. they went on to say which foundations funded the brief writers in that case. here's the bradley foundation. for 5.6 million to those groups. here's donor's trust, 23 million to the brief writing groups. the grand total across all donor groups was $68 million, to the groups filing amicus briefs, pretending they were other groups. it is not just in the consumer financial protection board case. you may say that's just a one off. here's the anti-labor case. a long trail through the court, through other decisions, and source watch and propublica did
work on this. here's the bradley foundation, they totalled giving $45 million to the 15 groups that filed amicus briefs pretending to be different groups and both lawyer groups in the case. funded by donors trust and bradley foundation. this is happening over and over again and it goes beyond just the briefs. it goes beyond the amicus presentations. the federalist society, remember this group that is acting as the conduit and that donald trump said is doing his judicial selection, they're getting money from the same foundations, from donors trust, $16.7 million. from bradley foundation, $1.37 million. from the same group of
foundations total, $33 million. so you can start to look at these and you can start to tie them together. the legal groups. all the same funders, over and over again, bringing the cases and providing this orchestrated chorus. then the same group funds the federalist society over here. "the washington post" wrote a big expose' about this, made leonard leo hot, like a burned agent. so he had to jump out. he went off to do anonymously funded voter suppression work. guess who jumped in to take over the selection process in this case for judge barrett? severino made the pop. once again, ties right i