tv PBS News Hour PBS June 23, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
judy: good evening, woodruff. this supreme court strikes down a new york y'all -- new york law that restricts who can carry a gun, and it will have ripple effects across the nation. then, day five, the congressional january 6 committee explains how former president trump tried to use the justice department to overturn an option and what will stop it from succeeding. >> it had great consequences for the country and could very well
have spiraled us into two crisis. judy: and 15 years later, the anniversary of a title ix law, the biden administration proposes expanng protections for lgbtq people and survivors of sexual assault. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you plan. that's the planning effect, from fidelity. ♪ >> the kendeda fund
carnegie corporation of new york supporting innovation and the advancement of international peace and security. and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
judy: the supreme court has struck down a law that place restrictions on who can carry a gun. in so doing, the court expanded the constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home. the ruling has far-reaching implications across the country. and, as john yang reports, it comes as recent mass shootings have renewed theebate over gun safety measures. john: criticism of the ruling came quickly from president biden. pres. biden: i think it is a bad decision. i think it is not reasoned accurately. but i am disappointed. john: from new york governor kathy hochul. >> this decision isn't just reckless. it's reprehensible. it's not what new yorkers want. john: but gun rights activists like tom king, the head of the new york state gun owners group that challenged the law, praised the decision. >> we are not the problem. the problem is the criminals and the wrongdoers in the state. and the politicians have to learn that and they have to get off their butt to do something
to solve the crime problem in new york state, not the gun problem, because there wouldn't be a gun problem if it wasn't for the crime. john: the justices split along ideological lines, the six conservatives in the majority, the three liberals dissenting. the decision turned on the new york law's requirement that gun owners demonstrate a special need to get a perm to carry the weapon in public. justice clarence thomas wrote the majority opinion: "we know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need." the court said states could still ban guns in places like schools and government buildings and restrict carrying a handgun based on objective standards like background checks and training. in addition, the court established a new test for determining whether gun legislation is constitutional. marcia coyle is chief washington correspondent for "the national law journal."
marcia: the court now says, going forward, what's most important is history, history under the constitution surrounding the second amendment. government will have to show that the regulation that they want to enact or have enacted is consistent with the historical tradition of the nati's regulation of firearms. john: dissenting, justic stephen breyer, who's retiring this summer, noted the nearly 300 mass shootings reported so far this year. "when courts interpret the second amendment, it is constitutionally proper, indeed, often necessary, for them to consider the serious dangers and consequences of gun violence that lead states to regulate firearms." marcia: justice breyer's concern here with that test is that history doesn't always answer or provide an answer to the modern problems that governments face and that technology presents.
john: the ruling takes on greater significance as massacres in uvalde, texas, and buffalo and heightened worries about big city gun violence, have renewed calls for stricter gun laws. even as the court issued its decision, the senate worked on bipartisan gun legislation. senator republican leader mcconnell of kentucky. >> the american people want their constitutional rights protected and their kids to be safe in school. they want both of those things at once. and that is just what the bill before the senate will help accomplish. john: as lawmakers on capitol hill and across the country search for ways to address gun violence, the supreme court has taken one option off the table. for the "pbs newshour," i'm john yang. judy: while today's ruling is expected to affect only a handful of states, those states, california, hawaii, maryland, massachusetts, new jersey, new
york, as well as washington, d.c., are home to nearly 90 million people, or more than a quarter of the country's populations. three other states have similar laws, but the justices' majority specificly said that this case will not affect them. they are connecticut, delaware, and rhode island. joining me now is the attorney general for connecticut. he's william tong. mr. tong, welcome to the "newshour." we saw in this majority opinion justice clarence thomas saying essentially that the american people have a right to bear arms that cannot be superseded by some requirement imposed by the government. what do you make of that argument? wiiam tong, connecticut attorney general: yes, this is a radical, reckless decision that puts at risk people, children across the country and commonsense gun laws in states like connecticut and other similar states across the country. after uvalde, after we lost 21 people there, after buffalo,
almost 10 years after we lost 26 people in sandy hook, the justices should have stood up and said that states have police power, longstanding police power to protect public safety, and to pass commonsense gun laws. and they went the other way and created an entirely new test that people are struggling to understand. judy: well, we see now clearly a majority of the court has spoken. we just mentioned a moment ago the states that are directly impacted by this. what do you expect those states to do now? we know every state has a different language in the law. but what do you expect we're going to see? william: we expect to see an onslaught of litigation, lawsuits filed by people like the nra, the gun lobby, people, activists who are trying to dismantle commonsense gun laws. after we lost 26 people in sandy hook, we passed some of the strongest gun laws in the nation. they are clearly constitutional, but that won't stop the
activists and the nra from coming after connecticut. judy: can you give us some examples, attorney general tong, of the kinds of laws that are now on the books in some of these states that are going to have to be reworked somehow? william: yes, so our assault weapons ban, our high-capacity magazine ban, our red flag law, the domestic violence gun w, our ban on ghost gs, all of these laws are now at risk. and that's the problem with this historical analog test that justice thomas puts forward, that we have to find that the law is rooted in history and tradition. well, what does that mean? the problem is, when the second amendment came into being in 1791, we didn't have semiautomatic and fully automatic rifles. we didn't have weans of war on our streets. we didn't have the ar-15, and our children weren't targeted in our schools and being massacred. judy: and i just want to go back to justice thomas' argument,
because, again, what he's saying here is that, if you look at other amendments to the constitution, not just the second amendment, but it's not the case, he argues, that the government can impose restrictions on what is an essential right that americans have. so, he makes that argument. he is speaking for the majority, six out of the nine justices. william: yes. the problem is that flies in the face of longstanding supreme court precedent. if you look to the two prior cases, the heller and mcdonald cases on gun laws and gun rights and the second amendment written by justice scalia and justice alito, two of the most conservative justices of the last 30 years, in both of those cases, those justices said that states clearly have the power and the authority under our police power to pass commonsense gun laws to keep people safe,
period, end of story. justice thomas now purports to go in a new direction, which is why i call it reckless and radical, and which is why we're concerned it threatens commonsense gun laws across the country. judy: but, as we now know, the supreme court has a different makeup than what the court was when those previous decisions were handed down. attorney general tong, you mentioned a moment -- you said a moment ago there going to be a lot of lawsuits going to be a lot of challenges. t the supreme court has spoken on this. i mean, how does it work that ere are challenges when you have an overwhelming majority coming down, as they did in this case? william: well, the supreme court spoke, frankly, on the narrow issue of whether new york's laws regarding the carrying of firearms are constitutional. and they found that that law was too vague and discretionary, frankly, and wasn't based on objective standards. now, we n't agree with that. we support new york. we supported new york in that case.
but even though that decision, this decision narrowly focused on the new york law, the import of this new test, this historical analog test potentially speaks to commonsense gun lawsn connecticut, massachusetts, new york, and across the country. and that's why we expect activists, the nra, the gun lobby to now mine this opinion, as they always do, look for a language that may give them an opening to attack constitutional laws, laws that have stood up to challenge like those in connecticut. judy: and let me finally ask you about something else. and that is this bipartisan gun deal working its way through the congress right now. it looks like it is going to have the votes to be passed and signed by the president. how much difference do you think that will make in addressing gun violence in this country? william: it will make some difference. and we're very proud of senator murphy and senator blumenthal here in connecticut, but we have to do more. our children are getting killed
in school. our children are at risk. and people say that we politicize this issue. how does it politicize this question, if all we're trying to do is keep our children safe? how is that a political question? it's not. judy: the attorney general for the state of connecticut, william tong, we thank you. william: thank you. ♪ judy: in its fifth public hearing, the congressional committee investigating the january 6 capitol attack detailed its findings of how former president donald trump pressured the department of justice to overturn the 2020 election results. three of mr. trump's top justice department officials, the acting attorney general jeffrey rosen,
the acting deputy attorney general richard donoghue, and assistant attorney general steven engel, all recounted how mr. trump wanted the department to undermine and overturn the election and how, when that effort failed, mr. trump nearly installed a loyalist who would carry out his demands. here's donoghue. >> and for the department to insert itself into the political process this way, i think would have had grave consequences for the country. it may very well have spiraled us into a constitutional crisis. and i wanted to make sure that he understoothe gravity of the situation. judy: congressman adam kinzinger, one of two republicans serving on the committee, led the presentation today. in his opening remarks he had a message for his part >> i want to take a moment now to speak directly to my fellow republicans. imagine the country's top prosecutor with the power to open investigations, subpoena, charge crimes, and seek
imprisonment, imagine that official pursuing the agenda of the other party, instead of that of the american people as a whole. and if you're a democrat, imagine it the other way around. today, president trump's total disregard for the constitution and his oath will be fully exposed. judy: "newshour" congressional correspondent lisa desjardins and our white house correspondent have been watching this hearing today. and they join me now. so, laura, i'm going to turn to you first. so much of this hearing today, most of it was about the pressure that then-president trump placed on the justice department to try to get tm to do what he wanted them to do, which was overturn the election. tell us how that case that the committee was making, the facts they put forward built the case that they were making. laura: we heard today from top officials within president trump's -- former president trump's justice department about
that pressure that you just mentioned, judy, about the fact that he wanted them to declare the 2020 election corrupt. we learned that trump's chief of staff mark meadows asked the doj to investigate whether italian military satellites were manipulating voting machines. and we also heard from trump's acting attorney general at the time, rosen. and rosen said that virtually every day between late december to early january, trump was talking to him and calling him and trying to have conversations with him. and here's the litany of requests that trump made to rosen. >> so, the common element of all of this was the president expressing his dissatisfaction that the justice department, in his view, had not done enough to investigate election fraud. but, at different junctures, other topics came up at different intervals. so, at one point, he had raised
the question of having special counsel for election fraud. at a number of points, he raised requests that i meet with his campaign counsel, . giuliani. at one point, he raised the -- whether the justice department would file a lawsuit in the supreme court. at a couple of junctures, there were questions about making public statements or about holding a press conference. one of the later junctures was this issue of sending a letter to state legislatures in georgia or other states. and so there were different things raised at different parts of -- or different intervals, with the common theme being his dissatisfaction about what the justice department had done to investigate election fraud. laura: the dissatisfaction
didn't stop there. president trump also preed -- in a december 27 conversation, he pressed rosen's deputy, donoghue, to also investigate these allegations. and donoghue told the committee that trump brought forward an arsenal of allegations. and when asked by congressman kinzinger if any of them were credible, donoghue said, no, they weren't. judy: and, laura, other than the former president himself, a central figure in all of this testimony today was jeffrey clark, that lower-level justice department official who was pushing the former -- former president trump's line about a fraud in the election. tell us what we learn more today about his role in all this. laura: jeffrey clark is a really fascinating figure here who was not present at the committee hearing at all today. and he is a former -- well, he's an environmental lawyer. and he then became the head of the civil division within the justice department around 2020.
and he was key in trying to convince trump to install him as the head of the justice department, because he told trump that he would essentially be a yes-man and was willing to do all the things that trump was asking the justice department to do, and to replace rosen with himself. now, we heard about the big meeting that happened on january 3 in the oval office witformer president trump with his actg attorney general, rosen, the deputies, as well as jeffrey clark. and, in that meeting, trump asked, what would happen if he replaced rosen with clark? and here's what donoghue, the deputy a.g., at the time said would happen. richard donoghue: he said: "so, suppose i do this. suppose i replace him, jeff rosen, with him, jeff clark. what would you do?" and i said: "mr. president, i'm going to resign immediately. i'm not working one minute for this guy, who i had just
declared was completely incompetent." and so the president immediately turned to mr. engel. and he said: "steve, you wouldn't resign, would you?" and he said: "absolutely, i would, mr. president. you leave me no choice." laura: donoghue went on to say that, also, hundreds of department of justice officials would go on to resign if trump tried to install jeffrey clark atop of the justice department. and one final important point about clark here, judy, is that he went before the committee in private deposition, and he pled the fifth over and over again, so as not to incriminate himself. judy: it appears he didn't answer any of the -- any of the committee questions. lisa, i want to turn to you now. we learned more today about the role in all of this of several members of congress, didn't we? lisa: we heard a lot of accusations and witness testimony about roles of members of congress. and this speaks to exactly what laura was reporting about. how did someone who was lower level in the justice department, jeffrey clark, be poised to
become attorney general at this important moment? and in that, we heard testimony again from the former deputy attorney general richard donoghue. he had this fascinating bit, judy, where he said -- he talked about a phone call he was on with president trump. and during that phone call, mr. donoghue took notes on a pad near his phone, because he wanted to record all the allegations that the former president was making. and i want to show you a graphic of one of the things that he said the former president trump told him. he told him that he -- that he was asked by the president, "just say the election was corrupt, and leave the rest to me and republican congressmen." so, therefore, president trump is implicated in this evidence republican congressmen in this idea of overturning the election, calling it corrupt, whether it was or not. we had a little bit more evidence about who he was talking about, at least in part, or who the committee believes is involved, representative scott perry of pennsylvania, republican.
he is also currently the leader of the house freedom caucus, known for its conservative values and for really trying to affect what happens on the floor of the house. i reached out to representative perry's office. we haven't heard back yet from him. but the idea was that perry himself is the one who raised -- helped raise jeffrey clark as a potential to change the top of the justice department, so that it could help president trump. here's an exchange that we heard today, adam kinzinger, the congressman, going through some of the text exchanges between representative perry and then chief of staff to president trump mark meadows. here's what he laid out. adam kinzinger: meadows responds with: "i got it. i think i understand. let me work on the deputy position." representative perry than texts: "roger, just sent you something on signal. just sent you an updated file. did you call jeff clark?" mr. donoghue, representative perry called you the next day,
on december 27. who told him to call you? richard donoghue: my understanding is the president did, at the outset of the call lisa: and so that's the idea that a member of congress was actually getting involved in what this committee sees as plots. we are waiting to hear from these members of congress specifically. one other thing we heard today that was very notable, this committee raised evidence, testimony from those in the white house that said six members of congress had asked for pardons specifically for themselves, and that another representative, jordan, had asked about whether pardons would be issued. representative jordan has issued a statement tonight saying that is absolutely not true. he called it 100% fake news. but we have asked these other representatives, scott perry, one of them. mo brooks, louie gohmert, matt gaetz, marjorie taylor greene, and andy biggs are the ones that the committee testimony today said asked for pardons for themselves in relation to the 2020 election, and what they had said, again, very serious accusations, especially from one -- from members of congress
against the other. so we're waiting to hear for their -- from their response. judy: yes, ande heard white house -- former white house aides and advisers making some of those statements. and, finally, lisa, this was the last hearing that we know has been scheduled. but we are now told there are going to be more hearings in the future. what do we know about that? and looking back on what we have learned so far, how do you put it together? lisa: we expect more hearings in july. we do not yet know how many. we don't know when. and one source told me that they're still deciding that, that they have a mountain of evidence to go through. and, in fact, they are getting more evidence now. one example, representative mo brooks of alabama, i just mentioned him as someone who was in the hearing today, testimony saying he'd asked for a pardon. we now know, tonight, reporting that mo brooks has actually been subpoenaed, and we here agreed to testify coming up. so that's the kind of testimony that i think this committee wants to get in-house and then see what they do with it next. representative lynne cheney -- liz cheney said at the beginning tonight that there is much more to say.
we expect to hear more from trump white house officials specifically, she said. and what have we concluded here? what do we take away from these past few weeks of hearings? well, some bigger points here, i think, judy, when we were talking about it as a team, from what they're looking at, is that president trump, according t this committee, repeatedly tried different ways to try and overturn the ection. here is what we heard from the committee. one of those, of course, was dealing with the department of justice, and exactly trying to change the leadership there to help him, another pressuring vice president pence. we heard an entire committee hearing about that. in addition, working on trying to force state officials or pressure state officials to change the actual election count in their state. and then we also heard about slates of electors and efforts to try and present and have fake sets of electors which did not matcthe states' votes be presented here in congress. so, you see the committee here is laying out a case that it wasn't just one incident, from their point of view, of the
president, former president, trying to overturn the election, which i suspect they would argue was more than enough to make a case, but that it was many, that he was trying every which way he could to try and manipulate the u.s. democratic system for his own political gain. judy: a lot of evidence so far, and, as you say, the committee is saying there is much more to come. lisa, laura, thank you both. judy: and to further discuss today's hearings, i'm joined now by journalist andrea bernstein. she's co-host of the "will be wild" podcast, and she is a frequent npr contributor covering former president trump's legal troubles. and attorney michael zeldin, host of the "that said with michael zeldin" podcast, he served in the department of justice during the reagan and the first bush administrations. and we welcome both of you to the "newshour." andrea bernstein, i'm going to ask you first. i mean, what comes across? we have heard it again just now from lisa and from laura and
what we have seen in the sound and heard in the hearing. this was a relentless campaign of pressure that the former president put on his own justice department to change the result of the election. andrea: so, at the end of this hearing, adam kinzinger, a republican, gestured to the three witnesses, former top trump appointees at the department of justice, and said, because of these individuals, the president's coup attempt -- excuse me -- the president's coup failed. he called it a coup, which is really a stunning thing to sort of have before us, that we have come to this point in our democracy. and the hearing today, which focused on this dramatic meeting on january 3, where president trump wants to overthrow these top three men in the justice department, so he can put in jeffrey clark, a lower-level individual who appears to believe in the conspiracy theories and in the false allegations of voter fraud, to
send letters to state legislatures across the country, telling them not to send the valid electors to washington. so this meeting is happening. clark is almost appointed. there's two hours of what was described as heated discussion. and then, finally, president trump gives in because he can't -- he doesn't think he can get it done. and when you think about the -- where this hearing happened, the day before is the 67-minute call with the grgia secretary of state, brad raffensperger, that we heard in the earlier hearing this week. on january 3, according to documents and testimony that have been introduced in the investigations, the proud bo had a well-developed plan to attack the capitol. the next day, january 4, trump berates his vice president, mike pence, to try to get him to acquiesce to not accepting the electoral college vote. judy: yes. andrea: and then, of course, we know what happened on january 6. judy: and, michael zeldin, i mean, as someone who has worked
at the justice department, as we mentioned, two administrations, this is a president who was told repeatedly that what he was looking at, there was no basis to believe there was enough -- any fraud of any significance that had taken place. yet he continued to push his own justice officials to do this. is there anything like that you have heard of in american history? michael: no. again, this is unique to the president of the united states in this moment in time. and the thing that i always listen to this evidence to hear is whether or not they can prove knowledge and intent, that is that the president of the united states, former president trump, acted with knowledge and intent to obstruct an official proceeding and to defraud the united states. the evidence presented today was pretty compelling of that. there was a conversation that rosen recounts where he says -- the president says to rosen, you aren't going to do anything about this, sending the fraud letter, this fraudulent fraud letter. and rosen says to him, that's correct, because,
constitutionally, it's required not to do anything. that is, if we do what you ask us to do, if we do what you ask us to do, we are violating the law. and yet the president insisted, and he was going to install clark, whose house yesterday was raided by the fbi. judy: that's right. michael: -- as the attorney general. pretty stunning stuff. judy: stunning. and, andrea bernstein, i think, again, you have to come away from listening to all this deeply struck by how close the country came to this happening, that the president, former president trump, was on the verge,n fact, there was some informal actions taken of naming jeffrey clark, completely unqualified, as far as we know, to be the attorney general. andrea: absolutely. in fact, representative kinzinger at one point put up a screen shot of a series of communications between mr. clark and former president trump. you can see the president's
calendar where, that day, before this meeting, clerk has already described on white house materials as the acting attorney general. i mean, i have spent a lot of time reading up on this meeting. it's been described in depositions and written testimony and e-mails. but the impact of hearing it described, i am stunned by how close we really came to this moment where somebody was going to be the attorney general of the united states, the top law enforcement officer, to carry out this plan of thwarting the will of the voters. and that, i do think is sort of where the committee has left it for the -- if this were a tv series, this would be the midseason pause, where it's a real cliffhanger. what is going to happen next? what else are they going to bring us that takes us from the day of this hearing, which -- this meeting -- judy: right. andrea: -- which was january 3, to january 6? judy: and what is not a cliffhanger, though, michael zeldin, is that these are all republicans who are doing this testifying.
these were top officials appointed under president trump who were testifying today that they could not go along with what he -- with his scheme that he was trying to do. so, for republicans who are watching this, it's clear -- and the committee day after day, it's been republicans making this case. michael: exactly. and if we go back in time to tuesday, one of the other elements of this doj pressure campaign was the testimony of the united states attorney for georgia, mr. pak, who quit in the face of trump's relentless pressure campaign agait the department of justice in georgia to, again, declare fraud and just let him and his corrupt friends perpetrate the big lie. so it is all coming together. the testimony of yesterday -- or tuesday and today creates this intertwining of activity that leads us to believe that there is evidence that they obstructed the workings of government, and in an effort to defraud it.
judy: and, again, so much of the material, the information coming forward, these are members of the president -- former president's own political party. they were supporters of the former president. michael: exactly. and in law, they say you make an argument to take the wind out of the sails of your opponent. well, here, the people who are making that wind out of the sails argument are all people who have said that they worked for trump, they voted for trump, they hoped he would be reelected. but when it came down to it, truth and oath mattered more than his presidency. and that's an important lesson. it's a profile in integrity. judy: michael zeldin, andrea -- andrea: yes, i think what we really see here is government in action, oversight in action. this is what it looks like. judy: this is what it looks like. andrea bernstein and michael zeldin, we thank you both. andrea: thank you. ♪
time to bury the dead. yesterday's earthquake -- digging a mass grave. neither the west on the afghan government -- the taliban government, a spokesman took this photo of the devastad district where he grew up. >> all of them have died. there's no one left. >> the u.s. has frozen some of the afghans assets and once again restricted women's rights. you and eight in part funded by the u.s., began arriving.
>> they have delivered some help, but it's not enough. we do need a lot of support from the international community. >> the current government did their best. there are funds that we could use to help victims at this critical time. >> officials admitted today there is little hope of finding anyone else alive. >> meanwhile, russian forces in eastern ukraine gain more ground in their advance, but $450 million worth of aid. ukraine and neighboring moldova. the coordinator for the trump
white house, dr. deborah birx, said today the former president and top aides -- he told a congressional hearing administration create a false sense of security even as the death rates jumped in asia and europe. >> creating the sense among the american people that this would act and basically have deadly -- and have the fatalities equivalent to flu created a sense among the american people that this was not going to be a serious pandemic. >> the centers for disease there is evidence of local transmission of monkeypox. cases were first reported among people who had traveled abroad. the cdc has recommended vaccines for those who may be at risk. meanwhile, the world health organization could declare monkeypox a global emergency tomorrow. pope francis today ordered the publication of volumes on pope
pius 12 treatment of jews during world war ii -- coming amid criticism that pope pius did little to save lives during the holocaust. a judge in florida has approved a settlement of more than $1 billion -- those who lost relatives in the disaster at surfside. it will come from insurance of property firms suspected of contributing to the collapse. they do not admit any wrongdoing. for the first time, trumpet earned best in show last night at the westminster kennel club dog show in tarrytown, new york. he is the first bloodhound to take the prize in the event's history. still to come on the "newshour":
the fda puts an end to juul brand vaping products as part of a crackdown on nicotine; we examine the biden administration's proposal to expand protections for students 50 years after title ix; plus much more. >> >> this is the pbs, from w eta studios and from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: after a two-year review, the u.s. food and drug administration announced today that it will ban all vaping and e-cigarette products sold by juul. it is part of a series of more aggressive moves by the fda to target vaping and smoking. william brangham has the details. william: judy, the fda first began scrutinizing juul in 2019, when its fruit-flavored vaping pods ads and marketing strategy prompted accusations that the company was specifically targeting young people. those flavors were eventually
removed, and juul is no longer nearly as dominant in the market as it once was. but it is still a biplayer in vaping. and now the company is blocked from selling any products. this comes just days after the fda said it was considering setting a strict cap on the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. joining me now is someone who has long pressed for these kinds of moves. matthew myers is the president of the campaign for tobacco-free kids. matthew myers, great to have you back on the "newshour." let's talk about this juul ban first. what do you make of this announcement? matthew: this is probably the most significant action fda has taken to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic. we need to remember that juul, more than any other company, was largely responsible for the meteoric rise in youth e-cigarette use between 2015 and, until recently, 2020. what we saw was literally
doubling of the number of kids addicted to nicotine, levels that we haven't seen in 20, 25 years. william: but we know -- so juul is now banned, but its other competitors can still sell tir products, and some of those products are as popular, if not more popular, than juul. so does just targeting juul have a real impact? matthew myers: fda isn't just targeting juul, we hope, we know. the decision today is about juul, but fda has pending before it applications from the other major companies who continue to market products that are appealing to and addicting our children. what will be critical is whether fda follows through with the other companies, largely that are marketing flavored products, some of them with extraordinary levels of addiction -- of nicotine, to ensure that all the products that are fueling the e-cigarette epidemic areulled from the market. if fda is consistent in its
decision-making, it will do so. and we still have time to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic before it becomes a generational problem. william: juul has said that they're going to appeal this decision by the fda. but -- again, i know you're not with the fda or representing them here, but do you have any understanding as to why juul in particular was targeted? was it something about their products? was it about their prior behavior? what was it? matthew: well, first, i think it's important to understand that juul really wasn't targeted in this case. every company has had to apply for authorization by fda to continue marketing their products. today is just juul's turn. but juul is unique. juul literally was the company that made e-cigarette use by kids fashionable and an epidemic. they did so by introducing a sleek product that appealed to kids, used flavor to deliver nicotine in unprecedented levels, and then took a lesson from the tobacco industry playbook about using images
that, by and large, mostly appealed to adolescents, both boys and girls. it worked. that's why the decision today is so important. you're right, though. if we're going to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic, fda has to apply the same standards to all of the other companies and removell of the flavored products that appeal to kids. william: the vaping industry decried this move by the fda against juul today. and they argue, our products are incredibly useful for adults to wean off cigarettes and other tobacco products and that curtailing their use in the marketplace is a bad public health strategy. what is your response to that? matthew: you know, unfortunately, the e-cigarette industry has done everything to resist responsible regulation. so, 10 years after they have been in the marketplace, we know two things. one is, they have largely attracted children, and, two, the evidence is still inadequate
to conclude that they're helpful to adults quitting. every study that has looked at the population impact of e-cigarettes in the united states has found that it has led to a meteoric rise in youth use, but no demonstrable impact on the percentage of adult smokers o quit. thus, they talk a good game, but, unfortunately, they have decided to maximize the profit off the youth market. william: separately, this week, the fda floated the idea that it may someday try to introduce a very strict limit on the amount of nicotine that is allowed into cigarettes. can you help us understand, from a scientific perspective, why that is important? why is limiting nicotine in cigarettes important? matthew: well, it's probably the most important action fda or any other federal agency could take to reduce the number of people who die from tobacco use. and we have to remember, in the united states still, close to
500,000 people die every year from tobacco use. virtually all of them began as kids. and most of them were addicted before they were old enough to purchase the product legally. kids will experiment with dangerous products. it's the nicotine that addicts them, and that it is the nicotine that causes a lifelong smoking addiction. what we know is, you can reduce nicotine levels to minimally addictive levels. and if you do it right, smokers won't compensate, and a huge numbers of smokers will quit. fda estimates that, if this were to go into place, 33 million fewer children would become addicted to tobacco and, in the first year alone, five million adults would quit. understanding that smoking kills over half of all long-term users, just imagine that public health gains. william: all right, matthew myers, president of the campaign for tobacco-free kids, thank you very much.
judy: fifty years ago today, title ix became law and forever changed the landscape of education and athletics in this country. its impact on improving gender equity has been enormous, but parts of it are also the subject of debate. we're going to look at this in two parts. geoff bennett will look at new rules proposed by e biden administration today. but, first, amna nawaz starts us off with a look at the legacy of the landmark legislation and ongoing efforts to level the playing field. person: first lady of the united states, jill biden. amna: in washington on wednesday, a celebration to mark half-a-century of progress, featuring first ladyill biden and tennis icon billie jean king. >> title ix is one of the most
important pieces of legislation of the 20th century. it does a lot. it speaks to the importance of gender equity in this country and stands as a benchmark of global significance. amna: president richard nixon signed title ix into law in 1972, banning sex-based discrimination in schools. two years later, democratic congresswoman patsy mink of hawaii, an author and leading advocate of the bill, reflected on the deep-rooted challenges it addressed. fmr. rep. mink: so long as any part of our society adheres to a sexist notion that men should do certain things and women should do certain things, and then begin to inculcate our babies with these notions through curriculum development and so forth, then we will never be rid of the basic causes of sex discrimination. amna: today, the late congresswoman was honored with a new portrait unveiled in the u.s. capitol.
amna: the law that mink helped create was intended to achieve gender equity in the classroom and it has had a major impact in education overall. it's been especially revolutionary in sports and athletics from elementary schools to colleges. today, girls participate in high school sports at 10 times the rate they did 50 years ago. in 2020, some 220,000 women competed in college athletics, up from about 32,000 in 1972. one sport that saw an impact quickly, soccer. title ix paved the way for the ncaa's first women's national championship in 1982. from that came the 1985 formation of the u.s. women's national team, which now has won fourorld championships in the last quarter-century. yet, for all its success, title ix is far from perfectly implemented.
that's according to a new usa today investigation called "falling short at 50." rachel axon is part of that reporting team. >> our reporting showed schools could improve across basically all areas where they can be measured for title ix compliance. just getting on the field is hard enough. when we talk about proportionality, 87% of schools not providing enough opportunities to women. without meaningful enforcement, or people being aware of the ways these schools are falling short, they're able to still have these problems and, in many cases, not be compliant with the law. sue: it was the right time for me. amna: last week, at her retirement press conference, wnba legend sue bird looked to the fure of title ix in america. sue: i would love for there to be a day where we'd, of course, celebrate it as part of our history, but we don't have to talk about it in a way where we're talking about schools getting sued because they're not giving women opportunity. amna: and, today, the biden administration proposed new rules for how schools must treat sex discrimination under title ix. if approved, the regulations would reverse trump era rules that limited the scope of sexual assault investigations on campuses.
the proposal would also codify protections for transgender students. for the "pbs newshour," i'm amna nawaz. geoff: and for more on those major changes proposed to the landmark law, i'm joined by moriah balingit, education reporter for the washington post. it's good to have you with us. and the biden administration, as you know, in proposing these new rules today, they're effectively tossing out the title ix rules introduced back in may 2020 by then-trump education secretary betsy devos. and those were controversial because, among other things, they reduced school's reporting responsibilities regarding sexual misconduct, and they strengthened the rights of the accused. so, in what significant ways does this proposal, this new biden proposal, depart from the current regulation? moriah: so one of the most significant things is that it offers schools a lot more flexibility. the devos rules were very prescriptive.
so, for example, they required live hearings for -- to adjudicate accusations of sexual assault, which meant that everybody had to be in the same room. or, in the case of, after the pandemic, everybody had to be in the same zoom room. and it created an atmosphere of intimidation for some people who were reporting, and they were concerned that people would not report because they did not want to go through that process. the proposed rules today allow schools to do that if they want to, but it does not require them to do it. geoff: and, for the first time, lgbtq students would have federal protections under title ix. looking at the way the law was written back in 1972, there's no exicit language that touches that topic. so how would they have new rights? how would that work under this new proposal? moriah: well, as you know, title ix prevents discrimination the basis of sex. and there's long been a debate about whether that covers sexual
orientation and gender identity. and the administration wants to make very clear that it does cover both of those pics. so that means that schools are not permitted to discriminate against transgender students or lgbtq students on the basis of their gender identity. so they have to address things like harassment. they have to accommodate students in bathrooms as well. geoff: and yet, moriah, there's nothing in this set of proposals, at least not yet, dealing with the rights of transgender students in sports.
what accounts for that delay? is that a political consideration, given that there's a conservative push across the country? eighteen states now have formalized laws preventing transgender students from participating in sports. moriah: yes, it's not clear why they made the decision to wait on that particular aspect. certainly, i would say that it's one of the most controversial. and, as you said, yes, there's tright banned transgender students from participating in school sports. it is very complicated. it's going to require a lot of nuance and perhaps a lot more thought. and, certainly, i'm sure that there's a fear that, if the republicans take the house and senate in the fall, that they can overturn this with the congressional review act. geoff: so what happens next? there's a public comment period. there will certainly be pushback. there may even be legal challenges. what's the expectation for what's coming in the weeks and months ahead? moriah: well, i certainly expect to see more backlash from conservatives. that's what we saw, for example, when obama issued guidance protecting transgender students. and, right now, it's just the start of a long, very tedious process to make these rules. so they will solicit comments. the last set of rules got over
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