tv PBS News Hour PBS September 23, 2020 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
♪ judy: good evening, i am judy woodruff. indicted. an officer involved in the police killing of breonna taylor is charged with endangering others with gunfire, but no one has been charged with causing her death. then the high-stakes -- justice ruth bader ginsburg lies in repose at the supreme court as the senate prepares for hearings for her replacement. we talk with democratic senator dick durbin about the fight ahead. and one on 1 -- former trump national security adviser h.r. mcmaster discusses america's place in the world and the security of the upcoming election.
mr. mcmaster: we need leaders to make sure that they are not part of the problem, that they are not creating opportunities for our adversaries. judy: all that on more on tonight's pbs "newshour." announcer: major funding for the pbs "newshour" has been provided by -- ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf -- the engine that connects
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this program was made possible by t corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. than you. judy: two big stories dominate e news tonight, the high-stakes battle builds over the future of the u.s. supreme court, and criminal charges are filed in the shooting death of breonna taylor in louisville, kentucky, but not for the killing itself. the announcement has angered many in louisville and elsewhere in a case that has become a rallying cry for racial justice. reporter: a moment more than six months in the making. >> i know many in louisville and across the commonwealth and country have been anxiously awaiting the completion of our investigation into the death of miss breonna taylor. reporter: kentucky attorney
general david cameron announcing that one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting death of breonna taylor would face criminal charges, not for her death, but for recklessly shooting into a neigoring apartment. >> after hearing the evidence from our prosecutors, the grand jury voted to return an indictment against detective hankison for three counts of wanton endangerment, for placing individuals in danger of serious physical injury or death. if found guilty, the accused can serve up to five years. reporter: hankison had already been fired the summer. officers cosgrove and mattingly were not charged. >> the decision before my office was not to decide if the loss of miss taylor's life was a tragedy. the answer to that question is unequivocally yes. my job as the special prosecutor
was to put emotions aside and investigate the facts. reporter: those facts show that officers announced their presence when executing a search warrant overnight at breonna taylor's apartment. her boyfriend kenneth walker who said he never heard officers identify themselves feared a break-in and fired his licensed weapon. one officer was shot in the leg. officer hankison fired his gun 10 times, endangering taylor's neighbors. mattingly and cosgrove hit taylor six times. it remains unclear which officer fired the fatal shot. >> mattingly and cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by kenneth walker. reporter: she is in her apartment. she is in the sanctity of her home. benjamin crump spoke with
reporters in arizona today. >> we have been dealing with systematic racism and oppression that finds police killing us outside the courtroom and the system killing us inside the courtroom. reporter: on tuesday, mar greg fischer announced a state of emergency, citing the potential for unrest. police canceled any days off. federal buildings were boarded up. fischer address the public earlier today. >> i urge everyone to choose peaceful and lawful protests. reporter: earlier this month, the city announced a $12 million civil settlement with tamika pa lmer, taylor's mother. palmer called for justice in her daughter's name. >> it's only the beginning of getting full justice for briand. it's time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more. reporter: this evening,
protesters continued to march through downtown louisville where a curfew goes into effect tonight. other cities are preparing for marches in breonna taylor's name. even as those protests continue in louisville, police warned they may use chemical agents if protesters do not disperse by the curfew. breonna taylor's ster posted a picture of herself on instagram with breonna saying, sister, i am so sorry. let's get some reaction from an author and law professor, paul buer of georgetown law school. he is author of the book "chokehold: policing blackman." welcome back to the "newshour." the fact that the only criminal charges to come out of the investigation and grand jury are not related to breonna taylor's death at all, what is your reaction to that? mr. butler: i think homicide charges against all three officers would have been appropriate.
imagine if three gang members had broken into a house in the middle of the night and were met with a gun used by the homeowner , a legal gun, in self-defense. in response, the gang bangers shot up the whole complex. i think those gang bangers would be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter. when police officers do the same thing, it is still a crime. reporter:reporter: let me ask you about those charges. we heard the attorney general say that this shooting by officers mattingly and cosgrove was justified because kenneth walker fired first, and they were responding and were therefore justified. he said that barred him from pursuing criminal charges. you say it does. is that a difference in legal interpretation? why the difference? mr. butler: i think there is a credible self-defense claim, and it is one the jury should have
decided. if the suspects had been anybody other than police officers, it's a case that would've been prosecuted for a jury to decide. the evidence suggests the officers continued to fire after they were no longer in danger. someone called 911 to report gunfire. 68 seconds into at call, you can still hear the gun fing. the law in kentucky is you can't claim self-defense if your actions put innocent people in danger, which is exactly what the innocent -- what the police data. breonna taylor posed no threat to these officers. she was shot six times. the person who fired the gun was not harmed at all. reporter: what do you think happened here today, professor butler? do you think the grand jury could have seen evidence you don't know about, or do you think they considered the evidence differently because we
are talking about police officers? mr. butler: the lure of grand juries is they do whatever the prosecutor wants. i think there is some truth to that idea. in kentucky, the prosecutor is the legal advisor. she is the only person in the room with the grand jury, and the grand jury does not know what wanton endangerment or reckless homicide means. the prosecutor explains that to the grand jury. this isn't a process that is very transparent, but what we do know is e prosecutor seems to have credited all of the police officers' statements. there is a dispute about whether thpolice knocked and announced, that is telling breonna taylor and her boyfriend they were police officers. one witness said they did announce. according to "e new york times," no other witness among
the 12 they interviewed her to that announcement, and that is important because the officers were in plain clothes. as far as breonna and her boyfriend knew, they were the subject of a home invasion. when the boyfriend calls the police after they leave the house, he dials 911, and he says, there's been a home invasion. he has no idea that the people who just killed breonna taylor were police officers. reporter: the fact remains that a 26-year-old woman a sleep in her own home was woken up and shot and killed by police, and there are no criminal charges as a result. as we are hearing from protesters and others reacting, that on the face of it seems unfathomable. as attorney general cameron said, is this just a tragedy, and that's that? mr. butler: we know there are important reforms that have come from this case, so among those reforms, a requirement of the
settlement agreement is there has to be more supervision when police seek search warrants. there are incentives for police officers to live in the city. most police officers in many big towns live in the suburbs, but when the people you patrol are your neighbors, you tend to do a better job. importantly, officers in lexington will be required to wear body cameras. i do think it is important that when individual people cause harm, they be brought to justice, they be punished for the harm they caused. that is what the criminal process is about. while important reforms will come from the civil legal system , i don't think it is adequate, and it is not adequate to breonna's family. rerter: in the few seconds we have left, what would you say to the many people out there who say this is another example of black americans who are disproportionately affected by violence by police officers not
getting justice? mr. butler: i would say they are exactly right. what the prosecutor said today is that when three police officers barge into your house in the middle of the night and shoot you six times, that is not a crime. i think that is a legal, prosecutorial way of saying black lives don't matter. somemes, the problem is systemic. this isn't systemic. this is a problem of bad apple cops. we don't need reform. it's against the law to do what they did in my opinion, and yet these officers are now above the law. reporter: that is professor paul butler of georgetown university joining us. thank you for your time. ♪ stephanie: i am stephanie sy with "newshour" west.
we will return to judy woodruff after the latest headlines. tonight, a louisville, kentucky police officer has been shot. the details are sketchy, but it happened as protests for justice for breonna taylor group. ahead of a curfew, officers fired flash bangs to clear crowds. the governor called up 500 members of the national guard. local protests are occurring at this hour in other cities big and small across the country. in the days other news, long lines of people passed by the u.s. supreme court where justice ruth bader ginsburg laid in repose. the solemn procession was in contrast to the high-stakes fight over replacing ginsberg. president trump says he will name his nominee on saturday afternoon. we will look atll of this after the news summary. top u.s. health officials voiced careful confidence about a coronavirus vaccine at a u.s.
senate hearing. dr. anthony fou she said he is hoping for a reliable vcine by december. he said people will still need to use masks. >> we feel cautiously optimistic that we will be able to have a safe and effective vaccine, although there is never a guarantee. we feel strongly that if we have a combination of adherence to the public health measures, together with a vaccine that will be distributed to people in this country and worldwide, we may be able to turn around this pandemic. stephanie: republican senator rand paul argued that so-called "herd immunity" is working, and that is why infections have fallen in new york. fauci responded, if you believe that, you are alone. johnson and johnson announced final stage testing for a single dose of vaccine. other u.s. candidates call for two doses. , kratz in the u.s. house
offered a sweeping reform bill aimed at president trump's repeated abuses of power. the bill would limit the ability of the president to issue pardons, strengthen the ban on foreign gifts to presidents, and better protect whistleblowers, among other things. two committees in the gop-run senate have issued a report on hunter biden's work for a gas company in ukraine. it alleges that his involvement opposed to the appearance of a conflict of interest for his father, then vice president joe biden. the biden presidential campaign dismissed it as an obvious effort by senate republicans to influence the election. the acting u.s. secretary of homeland security faced his senate confirmation hearing today to become the permanent secretary. chad wolf denied shaping intelligence assessments to favor president trump'sgenda. he also said officials are investigating claims of unwanted hysterectomies on migrant women at a georgia detention center.
>> some of the facts we have seen do not backup those allegations. if there is a kernel of truth to y of that, you can guarantee i will hold those accountable and will take decisive action. stephanie: wolf also said he had no role in awarding government contracts to his wife's consulting firm. in belarus, president lukashenko was sworn in for his sixth term after weeks of protests that his reelection was rigged. top officials applauded as he took his oath of office in minsk. the ceremony was not announced before hand. police used water cannons on protesters in several cities. russian opposition leader has been discharged after a month in the hospital in berlin. he had been treated for poisoning with what german experts say was a soviet nerve agent. doctors say he could have a complete recovery. back in this country, california may become the first state to ban sales of new passenger cars
and trucks that use gasoline. the proposed rule announced today would take effect by 2035. it is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35%. used vehicles powered by gas could still be sold. chicago bears great gale sayers died today after battling dementia. starting in 1965, he became one of the most electrifying runners in nfl history and later the youngest in ductee -- inductee into the football league's hall of fame. sayers' bond with brian piccolo gained fame in the movie "brian's song." still to come on the "newshour" with judy woodruff, democratic senator dick durbin discusses the fight to replace justice ginsburg. former national security adviser h.r. mcmaster speaks to us about his time in the trump white
house. the latest on the 2020 campaign from outside the washington beltway and more. ♪ announcer: this is the pbs "newshour" from w eta students -- weta studios in washington. judy: at the supreme court today, eight justices gathered alongside family and friends of ruth bader ginsburg to remember her life and the many years she spent on the bench. yamiche alcindor has our report. yamiche: a somber day at the supreme court. dozens of former law clerks for justice ruth bader ginsburg lined up to see her remains in the building she served in. inside the courts great hall, a gathering of family and close
friends. the flag-draped casket was laid on the funeral beer first used after president abraham lincoln's assassination. a rabbi open with remarks honoring ginsberg as a trailblazer and champion for women's rights. >> to be born into a world that does not see you, that does not believe in your potential, that does not give you a path for opportunity, or a clear path for education, and despite this, to be able to see beyond the world you are in, to imagine that something can be different -- that is the job of a prophet. yamiche: to the side, the courts remaining eight justices, together for the first time since march, paid their respects. in simple terms, chief justice roberts eulogized ginsberg. chief roberts: tough, brave, fighter, a winner, but also thoughtful, careful, compassionate, honest. yamiche: reflecting on her
ability to break through ideological barriers. chief roberts: many have seen the famous picture of justice scalia and justice ginsburg riding atop an elephant in india. in the photograph, she is riding th a dear friend, a friend with divergent views. there is no indication that either was poised to push the other off. yamiche: it is a spirit of collegiality that has vanished from the hal of congress. democrats blasted republicans for rushing to fill ginsberg's seat before the election. senator minority leader chuck schumer -- >> there is no, no, no precedent for confirming a supreme court justice between july and election day. yamiche: majority leader mitch mcconnell rejected accusatns of hypocrisy. he already has the votes to push through the confirmation. >> there is one right path before us. it does right by the judiciary, the senate, the yet-unnamed
nominee, and the american people. it is a fair hearing, a fair process, and a fair vote. yamiche:epublican aides say hearings could start as soon as october 12 with a potential floor vote by halloween, all of this even without president trump naming a nominee. still at the white house today, he was confident the process would move quickly. he noted his reelection could hinge on having nine justices on the bench. >> this scam that the democrats are pulling, it's a scam. this scam wille before the united states supreme court. just in case it would be more political than it should be, i think it is important to have a ninth justice. yamiche: tomorrow, he plans to pay his respect to ginsberg, and on saturday, he plans to unveil his pick. meanwhile today, former vice president joe biden said again he will not be releasing his own list of potential nominees.
back at the court, ginsberg's casket was on public view for most of the day. all day, huneds, including lawmakers, stood in line to say goodbye. the late justice will lie in until tomorrow. a private burial is planned next week at arlington national cemetery. for the pbs "wshour," i am yamiche alcindor. stephanie: as memorials continue, the political fight over when to confirm her replacement is in full swing. lee sedation a is here with a view from capitol hill. lisa: senator dick durbin of illinois is the second highest ranking democrat in the senate. he joins me now from capitol hill. thank you. let's get into the story. senate republicans say they were elected, and that is why they controlled the senate and white house. why shouldn't they be able to vote and hold a confirmation of a supreme court justice?
sen. durbin: you have a little bit of a memory. four years ago, they argued the opposite. when there was a vacancy in the closing year of the obama presidency, it was mcconnell and all of his republican senators who were pleading to the heavens saying, you can't ask us to fill this vacancy in the last year of a presidency. let the people speak, and let the new president decide. it's a different script th year. and you ask yourself, what is the hurry, well, some of them might have doubts about the reection of donald trump. some others may think this is our chance to kill the affordable care act by putting another friendlyustice on the court. some of them may have other plans, but they are setting everything aside, coronavirus relief, economic relief, everything aside to get this done. lisa: our viewers have great memories, and i have to raise in 2016, you were urging a
different course. you were urging a vote on mayor garland. let's play some sound. >> the constitution is clear. a vacancy on the supreme court, the president is obligated to send a nominee. the senate has a responsibility to advise and consent to that nomination, and that is where the process has stopped and fallen apart. lisa: i hear you talking about a new precedent set by republicans, but in all of this talk about precedent, why not just say you don't want a nominee from the other party? sen. durbin: it isn't that, to be honest with you. i would like the other party to be consistent. what they are saying is this is situational. if it doesn't help us, we aren't going to fill the vacancy. if it helps us, we will fill the vacancy. you can't build a mutual reect on that kind of premise, but the bottom-line question most americans are asking is, why are you taking this up instead of
the obvious things facing our country like the pandemic and dealing with the economy where so many people are suffering? why is it that this has priority over all those things? that is a legitimate question for voters across america. lisa: i have been speaking with some senate democrats who tell me they are interest in expanding the supreme court if this nomination goes through and if you are successful in winning the senate. i know you said it is too soon to talk about that, but could you address it? shouldn't voters know if democrats are considering something like that? sen. durbin: i am not considering it, and there are some ideas out there, speculation, mainly from political theorists. we have a job to do, and tha job over the next five or six weeks is to prepare the american people for a new president. i think they are ready. they understand when it comes to protecting their health care, to make sure you are not discriminated against because someone tested positive for covid-19 or has some other
pre-existing condition, those are the issues people care about. these other things, speculation about the future of the court, important, but not now. lisa: president trump has put on his list of people he is considering for the supreme court. sen. durbin: i think he has announced he is not going to do it. trump is the first person to put out a list of approved people. the federalist society has to give them a stamp of approval. they make the trump list, which continues to grow by the day. i don't think joe biden should do that. ierved on the judiciary committee with him. i know the kindf people he has backed for key spots on the judiciary. when he gets the opportunity to fill the supreme court vacancy, it will be a quality person. lisa: hearings we expect to happen in the judiciary committee, and i spotted you talking with the ranking
democrat, dianne feinstein. can you help us with strategy for democrats? who will be the top democrat handling hearings on this nominee, and will you attend hearings, or will democrats boycott? sen. durbin: dianne feinstein is the ranking democrat. we have worked together over the years, and we met several times today on the phone and floor talking about how to approach this. she has reached out to the other members of the senate judiciary committee for their input, doing exactly what we want her to do. in terms of where this is headed, in terms of the hearing, we are waiting for a final announcement on the actual hearing date. i'm told it might be the middle of october. we hope there is going to be information given to us. we are talking about a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. we use to take the time to really analyze and investigate the people who were seeking those positions. i hope we don't short-circuit it. lisa: you mentioned the coronavirus earlier. i know i'm talking to businesses
who are worried they might not make it another month. relief is frozen in congress. what should democrats be doing to get those talks restarted? sen. durbin: it was a little over a week ago the president in one shining moment said, we've got to come up with a bigger covid relief package, bigger than what senator mcconnell has offered, and i thought, finally, the breakthrough we have been waiting for. let's get something done. there was no follow-up whatsoever. that is what it is going to take. nancy pelosi past of the heroes act four months ago, and nothing significant has come out of the republican side since. it's time for us to sit down and get serious. a lot of people are waiting for this congress to act. lisa: senator dick durbin, thank you for joining us. sen. durbin: thanks, lisa.
judy: now to retired army general h.r. mcmaster, president trump's former national security advisor. he was an active duty three started general -- three-star general when tapped to replace michael flynn after he quit the position amid a controversy over his dealings with russian officials. mcmaster served during a turbulent 2017 and resigned early in 2018. he also retired then from the army after a 38-year career. he has written a book "battlegrounds: the fight to defend the free world." it is less retrospective of his year-plus in the whiteouse and more of a strategic analysis of the world. general mcmaster, welcome back. it is so good to have you join us. let's talk about a few of americas adversaries, russia. we have reported that president trump is resisting intelligence that president putin is trying
to interfere with u.s. elections. how did you deal with that resistance when you were in the white house? gen. mcmaster: i think it is important to give president trump best analysis across departments and agencies. it was a difficult year with russia when i was in the job as national security advisor, and russia acted out in a number of ways, disrupting our elections in 2016 and waging a sustained campaign of disinformation and propaganda, political subversion against us, and what russia wants to do, they want to pull us apart from each other. they want to divide us on issues like race, gun control, immigration, and pit us against each other, and diminish our confidence in who we are as a people, our democratic institutions and processes, and all the while they are doing this, they deny it. it's important for president trump, for all of our leaders to
acknowledge this disruptive activity. just today, there was news that putin claimed that his main opposition figure navalny may ve poisoned himself somehow. judy: going back to your year in the white house, what did you see the president do with regard to russian interference? gen. mcmaster: he did quite a bit. i think we ought to be much more confident in our electoral process. we put into place new organizations to secure our election infrastructure, but to also counter russian disinformation and propaganda. we kind of took the gloves off our cyber force in our ability to connect a good offense with a good defense in cyberspace, and i think importantly, we imposed costs on russia beyond what putin may factor in when he makes these decisions. judy: yet we continue to see incidents like the navalny
poisoning. he was poisoned with a soviet-created a poison. it doesn't seem to be working, does it? gen. mcmaster: you never know what you are deterring, but it doe't seem to be working. what putin is determined to do is drag everybody else down. russia has problems. their economy is only the size of texas's economy. covid was rough on russia. there's the collapse of oil prices. we have to get rid of this hope that suddenly putin is going to be more responsible. i don't think it is going to happen. judy: as we said earlier, you were a general, three-star general when you served in the white house. there have been numerous reports that president trump has disparaged military officers. he has been quoted as calling soldiers killed in action "losers." did you ever hear him say anything like any of that? gen. mcmaster: no, i didn't,
judy. obviously, i cannot comment on these reports. i can't imagine anyone saying that, but i wasn't there. judy: china. yesterday, the u.n. secretary general said it is dangerous for the u.s. and china to have what he called a "great fracture." what do you think are the consequences if the u.s. and china continue on this clear split that they are engaged in right now? gen. mcmaster: i think it is important to recognize that the onus for this is on the chinese communist party. it sounds like a free world china problem to me. i think it's time for all of us to work together to convince xi jinping that you can have enough of what you aspire to be without pursuing these aggressive policies at our expense. what we are recognizing now is, we have to compete. we have to reenter arenas of competition we vacated a sound the flawed assumption that china
was going to play by the rules, that as they prospered, they would liberalize their economy, and eventually, they would liberalize their form of government. they are doing the opposite, and we see how they are stifling human freedom. they are engaged in a campaign of cultural genocide. judy: you've said in this book that you did not want to write a tell all, and yet we are now seeing a cascade of criticisms coming from an array of former trump administration officials, in particular former defense secretary james mattis, calling the president "unfit," saying he has no moral compass do you agree with that? gen. mcmaster: as you mentioned at the outset, i joined our military at age 17, and i think what is most dangerous is if military officers, maybe even retired military officers, get dragged into the morass of partisan politics, and what i am trying to do with this book is
say, while we are at each other's throats, these crucial challenges are not going away. what i hope the book will do and what i would like to do in the discourse that the book generates is to transcend this vitriolic partisan environment. let's begin some discussions. what can we agree on, and how can we work together across the political spectrum? judy: when some people look at the fact that you are not critical of him, they are coming away with the assumption you are comfortable with his being reelected. are you right? gen. mcmaster: i write about this in the preface, judy. this isn't the book that most people wanted me to write, including family and friends and agents and publishers. i think it would be a disservice. i don't think america needs another tell-all book, another palace intrigue book. besides that, i was in a position of privilege. as national security advisor,
it's a unique position of government. you are the only person in the foreign policy establishment who has the president as his or her only client, and if you are going to give the president the benefit of best analysis, of best advice from across the government, you have to be trusted in that position. to violate that trust would be inappropriate for any national security advisor, but certainly for one serving on active duty. what i worry about is, will any president in the future again trust the national security advisor? if you don't have access as a president to that wide range of analysis and perspective, it's a disservice to the country. judy: what about just answering this question, whether you are comfortable with president trump being elected? will you vote for him? gen. mcmaster: this is going to be surprising to people. i took the example of george marshall across my whole career.
i never voted. i encourage people to vote. i think military officers should vote. but i was very studious about keeping the military completely separate from partisan politics, and even washed up generals like me ought to try to steer clear of partisan politics. judy: let me finally ask you this. president trump is saying that he believes the election the unfair and rigged if he loses. what does that say to you about his belief in our democracy? gen. mcmaster: i think that is a mistake. i think what the russians want to do, they want to, as i mentioned, they want to diminish our confidence, our confidence in our democratic principles and institutions. we ought to be strengthening our confidence. judy: you are saying it is not helpfuwhat he is saying. is that right? gen. mcmaster: that's right. judy: we are going to leave it
there, general h.r. mcmaster. the book is "battlegrounds: the fight to defend the free world." thank you very much. ♪ judy: t supreme court nomination fightas already consum capitol hill and upended the election that is underway in many states. or correspondent is here with an update on how voters are reacting to the vacancy at the court and other issues. report: for that, we check in with gary abernathy, a columnist for "the washington post." he is based in hillsboro, southwestern ohio, and sarah smart, a journalist who lives outside tow peak at in northeastern kansas. welcome to you both. sarah, i want to start with you. as judy said, the expected
nomination for a successor to justin ginsberg is already consuming washington, but as we know, what consumes washington doesn't necessarily consume the country beyond. kansas has got a senate race to be decided in this election, an open seat, picking a replacement for retiring republican pat roberts. is this moving voters, or is this likely to have an effect on voters either in intensity or how they vote? sarah: i think if there is anywhere that current events surrounding the supreme court could move the outcome of the senate election, it would be kansas. it's an extremely close race, as you said, which is remarkable in that kansas hasn't sent a democrat to the united states senate since 1932.
currently, the democratic and republican candidates are in a statistical tie as of polling done in august the democratic candidate has out raised the republican candidate as of second quarter numbers. that is not to say this is a very tight race and very much in the mold of joe biden's campaign. the democratic candidate is running as a centrist. she is hoping to appeal to folks who are not far-right. they might be moderate republicans and democrats of all stripes, and therein lie a lot of voters who would be concerned about this current vacancy and the senate's power and relationship to the bench as we approach the election. reporter: gary, how about you? do you think this will make any difference among voters in ohio? gary: yes, i do. sarah, good to see you. first of all, let me say that even in southwestern ohio where
i'm at which is very conservative trump country, there was a sense of sadness over justice ginsburg's death. even though most people here didn't agree with most of her rulings, they had a great respect for her as a person and her long fight with cancer, and there was a sadness that greeted her passing. on the politics of it, people are motivated now. early notions that may be trump shouldn't fill the seat and the senate shouldn't go ahead with the nomination process and the hearings and confirmation really were angering people. they feel like trump was elected for all four years, and until the end, despite what happened in 2016, that argument, he's got a job to do, and they see it as a chance to add another conservative to the court. if they need any extra motivation, and most trump voters don't need extra motivation -- they are very devoted, but this gives it to
them. this reinforces the importance of whether a donald trump or joe biden holds the oval office. reporter: going back to you in kansas, the other issue that has been dominate in washington has been the covid pandemic. we juspast a threshold of 200,000 u.s. covid deaths. how are your neighbors and friends in kansas viewing this? are they still worried about this? are they worried about the financial effects of the previous shutdowns? how are they viewing this now? sarah: i think to some extent the response to the pandemic is politicized and can be predicted along party lines, but by and large, the majority of kansans are aware there is a health crisis afoot, and it dovetails with an economic crisis. kansas is a state, as with other
midwestern states, cases are on the rise. we had an easier time early in the pandemic when major coastal areas were suffering their first hit, and we are in that moment right now in kansas. earlier this week, governor laura kelly and her weekly briefing lamented that we passed a make or break moment in terms of an ability to contain the virus as a state, and she pointed to republican legislators basically curbing her attempts at a statewide mask mandate long ago. meanwhile, we are a non-medicaid expansion state, and that coupled with the aca coming up to the supreme court in november makes for a perfect storm that is quite perilous for citizens of this state, residents of this state. reporter: gary, your governor in ohio mikdewine was one of the more aggressive ones early in the pandemic, moving away from in person voting for the primary
in your state. how is the pandemic being viewed among your neighbors in hillsboro? gary: in hillsboro is different from a lot of other places in ohio. what mike dewine did was popular, particularly, ironically, more among democrats , not popular with a lot of republicans, especially conservatives in southern ohio, and it was interesting to note that when president trump was in ohio yesterday, when he introduced governor dewine, there were a lot of boos, which caught even trump offguard. he said, don't worry. he's opening things up again. the idea of closing anything backup is not popular in this part of the state. a lot of folks didn't feel like it needed to be a one-size-fits-all applied here as it was across the whole state . in some of the urban areas,
people understand that, but in some of the rural areas where people were able to social distance more and it didn't spread that badly, being ordered to shut down hurt a lot of small businesses. they are still not happy about that. reporter: gary abernathy in ohio, sarris marsh iohio, sarris martian kansas, thank you very much. ♪ judy: finally tonight, ruth bader ginsburg had made legal history in academia starting in her 20's and worked her way through the legal ranks and became a supreme court justice at age 60, but when she was in her 80's, something new happened. she became a pop culture icon. jeffrey brown hasur look for our arts and culture series. jeffrey: appropriate for the age of social media, the cultural
stardom of ruth bader ginsburg began in 2013 with a tumbler account, the notorious rpg, a take on the well-own rapper the notorious b.i.g. it was a creation of an nyu law student inspired by a powerful ginsburg dissent defending voting rights. >> justice ginsburg's words were this beacon of hope and a call to action for those of us who cared about those issues. jeffrey: she would co-author a "notorious rbg" book. the power of the cultural symbol, she says, spoke especially to young people. >> particularly young women don't have that many examples of older women who have achieved the sort of status she had achieved, but more so who had experienced discrimination herself and then turnedrod and actually thought that discrimination. i think the intergenerational aspect of the notorious rbg
phenomenon was something i've always been extremely proud of. ♪ jeffrey: once unleashed, the legend of rbg only grew. >> here to comment is ruth bader ginsburg. jeffrey: solidified in the larger cultural landscape by kate mckinnon on "satuay night live." >> that's a third-degree gins bern. the phenomenon was captured in a 20 documentary "rpg" codirected by betsy west. >> it was so incongruous in some ways. here is this tiny, shy, elderly woman, very retiring, serious person, and yet there was something true at the core of notorious rbg. she was standing up. she was strong. she was powerful.
>> everyone wants to take a picture with me. jeffrey: the joke doesn' work unless there is a kernel of truth. >> exactly. that is what made it funny and gave it the power to launch her as a superstar. jeffrey: t-shirts, tattoos, and bobblehead dolls. real-life babies and an eight-year-old dressed as her superhero. the documentary was followed by a film dramatization of her life on the -- her life "on the basis of sex" with felicity jones as ginsburg. ginsburg herself seemed to enjoy the ride. >> pretty good. jeffrey: allowing stephen colbert to join in her famous workout routine. >> working out with an 85-year-old woman. jeffrey: which, by the way, the documentary revealed was done while she watched "the newshour." that she had fun with pop culture tied to rap is a,
alough it was not her genre. >> have you ever considered being a rapper? [laughter] >> i don't think i have that talent. jeffrey: she says betsy west saw the rbg character as a way to reach more people. >> she saw it as an opportunity to spread her message, her ideas about our constitution, about equal rights, about the 14th amendment. here was a way to spread that message to a lot of people who really don't pay much attention to what is going on in the supreme court. jeffrey: ruth bader ginsburg was not only loved by the culture. she loved it. she was a lifelong and constant theatergoers, often greeting cast and crew backstage. her greatest passion was opera, shared by her fierce ideological opponent and friend on the court antonin scalia of. >> she was in that sense our greatest friend.
jeffrey: artistic director of the national washington opera, a longtime friend of ginsberg's. >> rbg was notorious for her love of opera. i think it was the thing that gave her relief from her incredible pursuit of so many important issues, but also she was very outspoken about the arts in general and particularly opera. there is no way that opera would reach the amount of people that it tries to reach without having a spokesperson like her explaining why these stories and the music and characters were so important today just as they were at the time things were composed. jeffrey: she became a subject of opera in the 2015 work "scal ia, ginsburg," then a participant when the justice appeared on stage. >> there is a small speaking
role in the second acthere there is a marriage contract being brokered, and i asked her if sheould like to do it. she willingly said yes, but she asked me, could i rewrite the text? i said, if that is your only condition, sign on the line. she rewrote the text, and it was very funny. jeffrey: in recent days, homages and reflections have poured in from other cultural figures. natalie payne's lead singer of the band the chicks. >> i just love how she just never stopped, you know? she lived a great life and lived a genuine life and made a huge impact on democracy. i've got her sticker on my oven. [laughter] she is an icon for sure. jeffrey: an icon and role model
for many, and it has continued since her death with new signs of her impact touching the cultural life of america 2020. tehe collar she loved to wear, now added to the fearless girl statue in new york, and a large mural painted on a washington, d.c. wall, a gathering spot to remember rbg. i am jeffrey brown. judy: you've got to love every bit of it. just love that piece. thank you, jeff. tomorrow night, we will present a primetime pbs "newshour" special. here's a glimpse of what we will be bringing you tomorrow following the "newshour." >> ruth bader ginsburg chang the law. >> she has compiled an historic record. >> she changed the court. she changed america. >> she was the moral beacon. >> we look back at her life and
ahead at the battle to replace her. >> fill that seat. >> this fight has just begun. >> "rbg: her legacy," 8:00, seven clock central. online, the latt episode of our podcast "america interrupted," a conversation with three coronavirus survivors. they talked with correspondent stephanie sy about their own experience battling covid-19, what got them through their hardest moments, and what they hope others will learn from their stories. you can find it on our website pbs.org/newshour. that is the "newshour" for tonight. i am judy woodruff. join us online and here. for all of us here at the pbs "newshour," thank you and please stay safe. announcer: major funding for the pbs "newshour" has been provided
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♪ ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] announcer: this proam was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> this is pbs "newshour" west. from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪ lidia: buon giorno. i'm lidia bastianich,
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