tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 17, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
committing acts of war against a country in this case syria with whom we have diplomatic relations? shouldn't we have to make a decision here? shouldn't the elected congress be making it? or should we let people in washington do what they feel like doing? and that's "hardball" for now. thanks we s for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. thank you for joining us. tonight on "all in" the supreme court is about to hand down decisions on some huge, important issues. tonight, a look at how gay marriage, affirmative action, even the right to vote, are all on the table. also, tonight, we'll look at how governor rick scott of florida might be our new leader in the race for america's worst governor. and did you have a great father's day? i will tell you why things are much better for today's dads and the social movement we have to
thank for that. we begin tonight with this image of president, russian president vladimir putin sliding a big blingy ring on to his finger. you may be wondering what about this picture is so special? after all, you're probably used to seeing more exciting pictures of putin because he has become something of an icon for his many talents and skills from shirtle lesless horseback ridin naturally shirtless fishing and looks impressive when he's dressed, too, doing judo or on a motorized hang glider or tagging a tranquilized polar bear in the arctic or examining a five-year-old tiger or participating in arm wrestling contest or riding a harley trike to a meeting between russian and ukrainian bikers. vladimir putin is a man of many, many talents and he is based on his jewelry a super bowl champion. vladimir putin sliding not just any big blingy ring on to his finger but an awe thentive super
bowl ring that belonged to frequent u.s. political donor and new england patriots co-owner robert kraft who met with putin in 2005 as a group. today robert kraft's super bowl ring valued at $25,000 lives in the kremlin. that story of how a super bowl ring got from the finger of robert kraft on to the finger of president putin is a metaphor call way to look vladimir putin in his eye and get a look at his soul as george buw. bush once d. president obama's one-on-one with vladimir putin at the g-8 summit in northern ireland. new remarks by mr. kraft who recalled the loss of his beloved ring last week. the 2005 meeting with the russian president saying, "i took out the ring, showed it to putin, he put it on and he fwoez goes, i could kill someone with this ring."
he kraft went on to say when he reported the incident to the george w. bush white house, he got a call back saying "it would really be in the best interest of u.s./soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present. i really didn't want to. i had an emotional tie to the ring. it has my name on it. there was a pause on the other end of the line and the voice repeated it would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present." despite kraft's emotional ties, he said he was told, sending out an effusive statement in june of 2005 saying i showed the president my most recent super bowl ring. upon seeing the ring, president putin a great knowledgeable sports fan was taken with its uniqueness. i decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration i have for the russian people and leadership of president putin. kraft told the story a number of times sometimes with slightly different details including in 2012 on cnbc when he said the
ring wasn't stolen exactly. >> this is a story we should know and the president should probably know, right? you were there. you can confirm that putin stole his -- >> what? >> -- super bowl ring. >> what? >> i'm not sure he stole it. >> he still has it. >> he has your ring? >> from my third -- >> how did that happen? been on loan for seven years? >> been on loan for seven years. >> and didn't get it back. >> what? >> well, that's a story. we got to run to a break. maybe after the break we'll tease it up. >> we'll get rid of our missiles if you get rid of yours. >> oh, okay. sure. how's that super bowl ring? >> after his comments last week which garnered so much attention vladimir putin's spokesperson responded saying, "what mr. kraft is saying now is weird. mr. putin saw and heard how mr. kraft gave this ring as a gift." kraft offered a classic nondenial denial saying "it's a humorous anecdotal story that robert retells for laughs. he loves his ring is at the
kremlin." notice in that statement he did not say he intended to give the ring to putin. he just said it's humorous that he did because it is humorous. it is very humorous. and he's glad it's there because, well, maybe because he was forced by the bush white house to be glad it's there. after spending a good part of my weekend chasing down this story, which seems ridiculous to be true, i'm now personally pretty convinced this incident as described by kraft last week did transpire. vladimir putin did straight-up jack robert kraft's ring from him just because he could. why is this relevant? because this is how vladimir putin rolls. earlier today in all of his strong man glory, the same vladimir putin sat across from president obama for a two hour one-on-one meeting, the very, very difficult issue of the civil war in syria came up. difficult because it is a civil war that is escalating and one in which russia and the u.s. find themselves on opposite sides. the russians supporting the
regime of bashar al assad, their veto power, along with china to block u.n. sanctions against the syria government. something putin argued yesterday did not breach any rules or laws. in defending his side, during a press conference with david cameron yesterday, putin brought up a video, one we've talked about a lot, that surfaced last month showing a syrian rebel apparently eating the lung of a government soldier. >> you will not deny the fact that one hardly should back those who kills their enemies and eats their organs and all that is filmed and shot. do you want to support these people, do you want to supply arms to these people? >> of course the obama administration just last week said it would be supplying arms to the syrian rebels. all of that, that is the context of these two men sitting down face to face looking each other
in the eyes and knowing that both are arming opposite sides of a bloody, horrifying deadly proxy war that is only growing in ferocity and intensity. both came out of the meeting acknowledging they were on different sides of the conflict, promising to push both sides toward peace negotiations. if you think being on opposite sides of a brutal proxy were might make for a fairly awkward meeting, you would be correct. look at what happened when during their joint press conference after that meeting, president obama attempted something like levity. >> we compared notes on president putin's expertise in judo and my declining skills in basketball. we both agreed that as you get older, it takes more time to recover. >> you could almost feel the iciness emanating from vladimir putin. syria right now is a barrel. people from all over the region
and world are stuffing more and more gun powder into. today two of the people responsible for the gun powder stuffing had to sit down together and talk about it. it's been a while since we were in a proxy war with russia. that seemst to be where we're headed right now. nbc news chief white house correspondent chuck todd is in ireland with the president. km chuck, i have to show you this photo floating around the internet this afternoon here in the states of president obama and vladimir putin both looking frustrated, disinterested, fo forlorn, the nature of their relationship right now. you were in the room during this press availability. what was it like? >> reporter: well, i wasn't in the room. that was pooled press. i don't want to mislead people on that front. but, look, it was clear they made an effort to try to not look as if there was some sort of huge divide between the two. remember, they actually got
together about six months ago in cabo during the g-20 when it was in mexico and it was a very, very icy pairing between the two of them. so this one it seems like they took pains to show that there was some jockularity between the two, the president joking about judo and basketball, and putin admitting, he's trying to make me relax. the fact of the matter is they have a bunch of disagreements when it comes to the issue of syria. i thought what was the most important thing that happened today is what putin did not say, chris. he didn't say the same things that he said when he was with david cameron in london. fact he decided to ratchet back the rhetoric a little bit shows whatever happened there seems to at least have convinced putin that the united states isn't trying to overthrow the assad regime, they just want assad out of there which is what the obama administration took pains to make clear both publicly today and to putin. >> so is it your sense, the
folks in the white house, view today as basically a victory insofar as they came away with putin not saying something like what he said with david cameron yesterday? >> reporter: you mean the fact that putin didn't make a cannibalism reference? >> that's exactly right. that's a win. >> reporter: that's a win right there. he didn't talk about somebody eating somebody's organ. i mean, i guess in that case it's a win. they feel cautiously -- i wouldn't even call it optimistic. they're just not pessimistic. they feel like they spent a lot of time only talking about what they agreed upon. what we were told, they set aside the real differences when be comes to syria now and seems to put this emphasis on just get everybody to the table, no assad, but the assad regime can say this is all about the longer conversation the obama administration wants to have with putin which is to say, look, we noknow you -- you no
longer have a foothold in the middle east. we don't want that. we simply want assad gone and some sort of political solution. >> nbc news chief white house correspondent chuck todd reporting from ireland tonight. thank you. >> reporter: you got it, chris. joining me now, katrina vanden heuvel, longtime boss at "the nation" and steven cohen, professor emeritus of russian studies. and author of the book "soviet faiths and lost alternatives:." steven, where are we in terms of the tensions between these two countries? it doesn't feel like it's going in an excellent direction right now. it has been bad for a while. now we're talking bad plus lots of weapons flowing into a volatile region. >> she used to be your boss at "the nation," now she's my boss at home. this is the situation you put me in?
leaving aside guys who steal super bowl rings and american presidents who arm people who eat human organs, we are either in or on the verge of a new cold war with russia. that's the reality. the opportunity represented by these photos of these two leaders together is this. that the combination of what happened in boston, the evidence that the kind of terrorism that's afflicted russia can afflict us, plus the syrian crisis which afflicts russian national security and american national security, has brought these guys together in what might be the last historic opportunity to get out of this cold war. we've missed four opportunities for partnership with russia since the soviet union ended more than 20 years ago. if they can work with this question of international terrorism, an existential threat, and with syria, that would be an enormous step forward. but let me end by saying that the obstacles are towering.
>> and part of the problem, ka care katrina, part of the problem we view putin which is exemplified by a thuggish authoritarian figure and something good that no good can come. >> i hate to use terms like thuggish, it's too simplistic. i think beyond that we have to step beyond one word that is used rarely in our political lexicon these days is tip ploemsy. these two countries need to negotiate because there is no military solution to the humanitarian crisis in syria to throw more weapons into a country awash with weapons without doubling down on a political negotiated settlement. and both countries have an interest in it in. the real failure in our country is there's been no accountability for those who drove us into iraq, the neocons and liberal interventionists believe our credibility is at stake. >> right. >> and that response to nuclear, chemical weapons should not be a
militarized one. nonproliferation demands a nonmilitarized solution. >> if diplomacy is the answer, everyone right now, they're at the g-8. it's like, okay, this is escalating. this is getting bloodier. this is getting worse. what is the off ramp? that's the question. that's the thing i want to know as an american citizen because the idea of this quicksand of conflict in syria is terrifying. what is the off ramp, stephen? >> at the meeting, both said they had different perspectives on syria, but they had equal concerns about what was happening and they'd look for a solution. but the two perspectives, the no narratives about what's going on in syria are the real problem. and it really begins in egypt. not in syria. with the so-called arab spring. the american narrative, all these events, from egypt, to libya, now to syria, is this is about democracy. this is an era of democratic -- remember, russia's part of the islamic world.
russ russia's narrative is, no, it's not about democracy. it is about the destabilization of the most volatile region in the world which is bringing closer and closer to power terroristic jihadist movements. and you, the united states, are embedding this mortal danger to us and yourselves. let me quote somebody with whom i often disagree. i studied with him once and we've argued a lot, but he was quoted in "the new york times" yesterday of saying he didn't understand what obama was doing. talking about getting militarily involved. and then he went on to say this is is not a struggle in syria about democracy. it's a struggle for power. is that something we want to be involved in? until we have that debate in this country, that discussion, your shows and others, whether the russian narrative has merit that is not about democracy, it's about something else, then we're not in a position to make wise policy decisions. i don't think obama's had that discussion. at least not with the american people. >> it's been true that the way
in which the arguments on this have been framed have been very much in this kind of liberal humanitarian interventionist mindset. katrina vandal heuvel from "the nation." stephen cohen. thank you both. florida's death row inmates are exonerated at an astonishingly high rate, so you will never guess what republican governor rick scott just signed into law. i'll tell you next. it's monday. a brand new start. your chance to rise and shine. with centurylink as your trusted technology partner, you can do just that.
to become the worst governor in america. last week we told you about pennsylvania governor tom corbett's decision to cut almost $1 billion from his state's education budget last year. which forced the city of philadelphia to close 23 schools. then there was michigan governor rick snyder, getting him to release state funds last month to the buena vista school district could re-open was like pulling teeth. florida governor rick scott made a big move back into contention for worst governor in america by signing two terrible bills into law. there's the bill that blocks local municipalities from putting forth paid sick leave legislation. by signing it, scott rendered moot a potential 2014 vote in orange county over whether to require that many businesses offer paid sick leave to workers, or, in other words, with the stroke of his pen, rick scott delivered the kill shot to the paid sick leave proposal that would have forced companies with more than 15 employees to provide workers with, "one hour
of sick time for every 37 hours they work to a maximum of 66 hours annually." instead, rick scott sided with the likes of walt disney, darden restaurants, the folks who own olive garden and red lobster, and florida chamber of commerce because as scott sees it the bill is essential to ensuring a business-friendly environment that supports job creation. according to a study done by the drum major institute for public policy, since san francisco became the first city in the country to implement a paid sick leave law, job growth there has consistently been higher than in neighboring counties without such a law. the other bill governor rick scott signed into law on friday is called the timely justice act of 2013. what it does is add a ticking clock to the execution process. forcing the governor to sign death warrants within 30 days of a review of a capital conviction by the state supreme court and the state would be required to execute the defendant within 180 days of the warrant. florida, a state which leads the country in death row inmates who
are exonerated or later acquitted after retrial, with 24 such cases, has now increased its chances of executing an innocent person. seth penover was on florida's death row for 13 of his 18 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. he was exonerated in december. >> god forbid i was still there and this law would have came to effect, me actually coming to death row on a new sentence, i'd probably be dead. >> joining me, mark mcclain, a defense attorney who represents inmates on death row. explain to me what the impetus is for this legislation. many states in the yun runion a going in the opposite direction in terms of fewer -- >> i'm not exactly sure what caused the legislature this year to decide this was such a big problem. perhaps more than anything, it's politics. i mean, i think that there were
legislators who felt that this would be a way to make a name for themselves and they pushed this legislation. it certainly wasn't the court's idea. to some extent it's really trying to strip the court of some of its power and also the governor. it's really the legislature trying to get into the death business. >> you know, you hear a lot about how long the appeals process for the death penalty takes. and in some ways often people want to abolish the death penalty will wruz use it as an argument. what is wrong to try to expedite this process? why is this a bad idea in florida? >> the thing to keep in mind is the death penalty is a government program. it's like the internal revenue service, social security, medicare. it's a government program by which the government has the power to execute a citizen. and what we know from what's happened in the past 20 years, i
worked on two cases in the early -- in 2000, 2001, where i actually got to walk with two individuals off of death row. juan melendez and rudolph holton. juan melendez had been on death row for 17 years. he walked out the front door. he was a free man, exonerated after 27 years. rudolph holten, same thing after 16 years. we know this happens. and we know that there's been mistakes made. we know now with dna evidence, there keeps being advancements in dna. you can get better results now than you could before. we also know that the fbi has come forward and acknowledged that they made mistakes in past. they had bullet lead testimony given in the case i'm handling where they matched a bullet with the victim to a box of bullets the defendant had access to and said, well, this can't be a coincidence, he must have done it. and now the fbi has acknowledged that there's no science behind that evidence. there's also the same thing
going on with hair evidence where they match a hair and say it's microscopically similar to the hair found with the victim so the defendant must have done it. and now that's under review. so science keeps advancing and things that were accepted before are no longer accepted, and if you don't have a death sentence, you're still able to litigate this. you're still able when the new information comes forward -- >> right. >> -- to do something about it. but with a death sentence -- >> there is no going back once that's happened because it is over. capital defense attorney, martin mcclain. thank you so much. when we come back, how many dads do you think were thanking feminism on father's day yesterday? i'm going to show you why more of us should be. this day calls you.
one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. anti-depressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not for children under 18. people taking maois, linezolid or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. to support strong bones.
i want to share something with you. three little sentences that will get you through life. number one, cover for me. number two, oh, good idea, boss. number three, it was like that when i got here. >> hey, this is good stuff. >> told you. come on, you're going to learn how to shave. >> yesterday was father's day. my second as a dad. the first one where i actually got to spend all day with my daughter. since i've taken this job, i've discovered this amazing thing called the weekend, which i now have free. we went to the new york botanical forwardgarden in the .
yesterday, a local street fair and the park. it was pretty blissful. one of the most remarkable things about fatherhood, that i did not fully comprehend before i became a father, is the genuine joy i get from hanging out with my kid. you could have tried to explain this to me before i became a dad and i wouldn't have quite gotten it. i now look forward to spending time with ryan the way i looked forward to playing a little league game when i was or going to a great concert when i was 21. the thing i want to do with my time is hang out with my daughter, hang out with my wife, spend time together as a family. as i was going to bed last night thinking about what an awesome father's day i had, because i got to spend more time with my family, i remembered this incredible study that pew had done. what you see there is how mothers and fathers spent their time nearly 40 years ago. fathers spent most of their time working, very little time doing housework and even less time with their kids. only 2 1/2 hours a week on average. moving up toward present day, it's still an unequal society,
but it is a vastly more equal one. the time fathers spend with their kids has nearly tripled since 1965. the numbers from the 1960s show us the complete divide in roles of parents of the prefeminist era. men two outside the home and earn money. women look after the children, do housework. this was how mothers and fathers spent their lives. the great demand of social revolution that was feminism was to equalize those roles. to push them more in line with each other. and today we think about the feminist revolution as being largely defined by women, transitioning to work outside the home. mothers spend an average of 21 hours per week at work, up from eight hours per week in 1965. another recent pew survey showed in four out of ten households, women are the breadwinners. it's a concept so foreign to many in the male power structure that it made conservative heads explode. >> when we're watching society dissolve around us, ron, what do
you think? >> you're seeing i think, systemically, larger than the political stories we follow every day, something going terribly wrong in american society and it's hurting our children. >> lou, i'm so used to liberals telling conservatives that they're anti-science, but i mean, this is liberals who defend this and say it's not a bad thing are very anti-science when you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and other animals. the male typically is the dominant role. the female, it's not antithesis or competing, it's a complementary role. >> bottom line, it could undermine our social order. >> the evidence, though, tells us these dudes should calm down. the pew studty shows us the opposite of feminism killing the family unit and our social order. the amount of time both parents spend with their kids is double what it was in 1965. so while the primary takeaway of feminism and how the movement affected women's lives, the
other side of it is the tripling of time dads get to spend with their kids. it's an incredible transformation both for men and their kids. a huge net benefit in human happiness. and i think about walking around my neighborhood in new york seeing new dads with kids my age, pushing bikes, kids in strollers or hanging off them in a baby harness contraption. we've been blessed with a twist of a society whose structures were broken apart before we became dads. this is the great gift of feminism to men. it took the sledgehammer to the parts of patriarchy including a vision of fatherhood in which dads were expected to be distant, sewtoic removed creatus from their kids' lives. we have a social model that encourages fathers to be equal parents and nudges them toward spending more of their time doing something that is going to make them happier. spending time with their kids. so to all the dads out there, happy belated father's day. and to all the mothers,
grandmothers and daughters and feminism agitators, thank you for helping to make it possible. we'll be right back wit with #click3. vo: traveling you definitely end up meeting a lot more people but a friend under water is something completely different. i met a turtle friend today so, you don't get that very often. it seemed like it was more than happy to have us in his home. so beautiful. avo: more travel. more options. more personal. whatever you're looking for expedia has more ways to help you find yours.
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and a 30-tablet free trial. i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ wife ] sorry. [ male announcer ] but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. on any new volkswagen. everybody has different ideas, goals, appetite for risk. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses.
read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. the roberts court holds the face of millions of americans in its hands. a viewers guide to the impending supreme court decisions that could change history coming up. first i want to share the three awesomest things on the interpret beginning with the latest boldfaced name to weigh in on the nsa's prison program. i'm talking about alabama's own mary margaret mccord, a contestant in last night's miss usa contest. it was difficult to top utah's, but mccord gave it a shot for the crowd at planet hollywood las vegas. >> i think the society that we live in today, it's sad if we go to the movies, airport, the mall, we have to worry about our safety. i'd rather someone track my telephone messages and feel wherever i go than feel like
they're encroaching on my privacy. >> we haven't seen a contestant this enthusiastic for spying since the super secret miss nsa contest that nobody knew about until the other day. unfortunately, miss mccord did not take the crown. no word yet on whether the co-owner of the miss usa competition donald trump will be holding a press conference to complain about gotcha questions. the second awesomest thing on the internet, game five of the nba finals. the heat versus the spurs in san antonio. danny green has been going off all series and was on the verge of breaking ray allen's record for three pointers in a final series when he ran into his locker room at halftime last night. as you can see, a tiny ninja jumped out in front of him. as one concerned spurs fan tweeted, "the heat's little ninja got caught sneaking out of the spurs' locker as danny green was running back to the locker room." in fact, that young ninja happens to be one of tim duncan's kids. duncan seemed to be celebrating father's day with his family
perhaps having a mass child roaming the halls of the at&t center is part of family tradition. the third awesomest thing on the internet todayed. i mean devastating. a truly stunning fall from grace for a beloved figure of the american breakfast. this man isn't who he says he is. one writer from the blog "food beast" discovered the cold truth. cap'n crunch has been lying about his service. his blue coat displays three stripes. taking a closer look at the rank insignia of naval officer, the true captain of the sea wears not three stripes, but four. a commander wears three stripes. i don't suppose commander crunch produces same kind of sugar induced awe as captain does. regarding today's rumors, "of course i'm a captain. it's the crunch, not the clothes that make a man."
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any one of which could have long lasting and wide ranging effects on millions of americans. the fact that four could be released any day now means when the frenzied news does come, it will be easy to miss out on the full importance or to let one good result block out some truly ghastly ones. before it happens, it will happen soon, here is the viewers' guide to what's at stake. voting rights. one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in our nation's history and which still connects in practical term to this very day to persistent state by state effort to suppress the vote. key part of the voting rights act, section 5, the part with real teeth could be struck down. affi affirmative action. will public universities to be able to use race as a factor at all in admissions? to achieve equal access to some of our country's most vital public resources, state universities. it is in serious risk of being fully invalidated by the supreme court. same-sex marriage.
12 states and district of columbia recognize same-sex marriage. if doma is upheld by the supreme court, all those legal marriages in all those states will continue to get a giant go to hell from the federal government denying scores of legal benefits to the couples. the court will decide the constitutionality of california's proposition 8 in which voters of that 8 decided by referendum to take away marriage equality from fellow californians who had been granted that right by the state court. the roberts court still has all of these cases. my hunch is if you are justice roberts and what you want to do, hype thetly, is get rid of affirmative action and get rid of section 5 of the voting rights act the best way to do it would to make sure those cases are announced on the same day as, say, a huge victory for gay rights because then all of a sudden the news coming out of the court is a complicated thing for people to work through, which is part of the reason we're going to start working through it right now. joining me now, is former director of litigation for the naacp legal defense fund where
she worked 0 on voting rights. ken, professor at nyu school of law. and nan, let me begin with you. we've got this ritual now in newsrooms around america on supreme court announcement days, this morning was up of them, everyone gathers around, and everyone is trying to plan their day around possibly monumental history shifting news and the last few days we haven't gotten news of the biggest cases. we've gotten some other cases. is there a way that you are interpreting this other than my extremely cynical reading of a roberts court trying to stack them all together on one day to confuse liberals who are trying to sort through it? >> well, typically the court reserves the last day of the court's meeting actually to release its most important, critically important opinions. so it's not unusual to have to
wait until the end and we've got three more dates where the court will be announcing decisions. but i do believe you're right, and that is a very cynical thing could happen on the last day of the court's term and that is the court will give with one hand and take with the other. >> right. >> and i think it remains to be seen, but i have a feeling your scenario is the right one. >> let me ask you this. you worked on the litigation for the affirmative action case versus fischer. explain in layterms, what's in stake in fischer? what happens if it goes either way? >> we should care a lot, and i hear the note, i'm going to strike the note of hopeful optimism. this is the case about the consideration of race in higher education admissions and really what we're talking about is diversity. the importance of having in our
constitutions of higher learning the opportunity for people of different racial backgrounds to come together and experience one another as peers. right? this opens up pathways to leadership in business, in government leadership. and so it's critically important that the court keep open these pathways and not strike down the use of race in higher education. >> and what we have seen the court, the supreme court do, over a period of time is essentially weaken just how much affirmative action the public universities can do. the standard they can use, the amount that they can use race, has been narrowed and narrowed and narrowed. the reasons they could use race have been narrowed and narrowing and narrowed. am i wrong in saying if affirmative action before was a four-legged stool, that it's basically standing on one leg right now and if it gets knocked out here, it's basically the end of affirmative action in public universities? >> well, i think we have to be pretty optimistic that the court is not going strike down the decision which was the 2003
opinion -- >> upheld it in limited ways. >> the limited consideration of race. i think if we focus on the specifics of the university of texas plan, which is at issue in the fischer case, what we'll see is that the university of texas really, you know, followed the dictates to the letter and if the court is being honest and faithful to the decision, the -- >> the court says these public universities, says you have to check the following boxes if you want to use race as a factor and texas went about, texas is the state, ironically, whose system is being challenged who dutifully went down and said, we're going to check these boxes. they checked all the boxes and yet amazingly a challenge to that system made its way up to the court and we're going to find out about it there. i want to ask you about the defense of marriage act. what are the stakes there? we know this is a pretty awful piece of clinton-era legislation. we know it's caused a lot of pain for a lot of people around the country. what are the stakes? what happens from day one to day two if it's upheld or if it's struck down? >> right. so i think that story is best
told, actually, through the plaintiff, e.d. windsor in that case who was with her partner for 40 years and that they were married at the end of one's life, and in the eyes of the state of new york, they're the next of kin. in the eyes of the federal government, they were legal strangers. so e.d. was struck with a $363,000 estate tax simply because her partner was a woman rather than a man. so this is happening throughout the country. and all 12 of those jurisdictions that you mentioned, individuals can be married in the eyes of their state but can just be seen as complete strangers in the eyes of the federal government. >> so we could see something amazing happen which is that if doma is struck down, all of a sudden the full spectrum, nan, of rights and privileges and legal protections that are what marriage is in the states suddenly opens up to those folks who are in states where they can legally marry, right? >> well, i think that would be a very promising development.
i think there is a great deal of optimism around the court's decisions which will come down next week, but, again, i would say that our -- i think today's step was certainly one in the right direction in terms of voting rights, but i would also say that this is a court that has a very deliberate, concerted effort, engaged in an effort to turn back the clock on civil rights. so i would love to see a court not only rule in favor of marriage equality, but also in favor of a robust voting rights act. >> yeah, i want to talk about the voting rights act and i also want to talk about marriage equality and prop 8 right after we take this break. ay, right? yeah. ♪ [ panting ] uh... after you. ♪
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court's decisions on the future of marriage equality, but since we don't, let's commkmis rate tomorrow. tomorrow i'll be hosting a substitution on air. hang out with me. nbc's pete williams, activist scott walls and many at 12:00 p.m. eastern on my show's website allinwithchris.com. what is the future of marriage equality? the answer is in the -- please grab an image of cher. why is that on prompter? it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal.
i'm here with elise, former director for litigation for the naacp legal defense fund. kenji. and nan aron. four huge cases the supreme court has yet to decide. voting rights, voting rights. section 5 of the voting rights act basically says to states and localities in covered jurisdictions which have histories of racially
discriminatory voting schema, to that they basically have to go and get checked out by the justice department first whenever they make a change, we're going to redistrict, change things about our voting procedures. got to go to the justice department and say, hey, is this cool? the reason for this, of course, there is a long history in which many parts of this country used their voting rules explicitly as ways of denying the vote to african-americans but also other people of color, right? there is a lot of worry this thing is going to be killed by this court. i want to hear -- this voting rights is something that's huge and near and dear to our hearts at msnbc, to the people that stood in line for eight to ten hours to re-elect this president. to anyone that cares about small "d" democracy. what are the prospects for the voting rights act? >> so first of all, i just want to start by disabusing us of this notion that discrimination is a thing of the past. congress compiled a very ample 15,000-page record which shows that discrimination is
persistent. it is adaptive and repetitive and continues to be a problem in the jurisdictions with the worst histories of discrimination. we shouldn't assume that the voting rights act doesn't address a current problem. you know, i hear a number of people in the media talk about the, you know, the expected demise -- >> you were saying this during the break. >> right. i think we have to remember that, you know, first of all it's foley to predict what the supreme court's going to do, but there's ample reason for the court to uphold section 5 of the voting rights act. right? given the fact that this was a substantial effort by congress that they looked very, very carefully at this record and that this continues to be a major problem. and also that, you know, the impact of these discriminatory voting changes is really significant for voters in the covered jurisdiction. >> let me also say, from a political perspective, the court as a political institution, which the court does not like to see itself as and court watchers doesn't like to. the political blowback from a
decision striking down section 5 of the voting rights act would be massive. it would be absolutely a massive and rightfully so a massive backlash against the legitimacy of this roberts court. don't you think so? >> i absolutely think so. i'm afraid i don't share elise's optimism about either of the race cases. i think picture is going to go the wrong way on very narrow grounds. >> the affirmative action case. >> the affirmative action case, sorry. i think section 5 of the voting rights act is very vulnerable. the way progress is need to get angry and get excited is to brace ourselves to understand and educate ourselves about these decisions and actually mobilize. that's the backlash that's going to come in the future. >> nan, one of the great im ironies, what elise was saying, this was passed by congress, huge, huge bipartisan majorities. a huge record. hundreds of hours i believe of hearings on this. right? congress in its capacity, the first branch, the legislative branch passed a law. you want to talk about judicial activism.
the specter of this kcourt comig in and invalidating a law passed by a majority, this would be an act of judicial activism in recent memory. >> i think that's right. in this instance, the whole world will be watching what the court does. this statute is really the crown jewel of our civil rights laws. voting is such a fundamental right in this country, and we just saw in the last election a concerted effort by many people around the country. >> exactly. >> to deny millions of people of color. people will watch this. >> and be braced for response. kenji, very quickly on perry. people feel very optism about the defense of marriage act being struck town. less so on perry. >> i'm optimistic. i think it's going to be a narrow california-specific decision. that tees up the final question which is why are the gay rights cases moving in one direction and affirmative action cases moving in the other? >> that is a fascinating
question for us to pursue as these decisions come down. elise. kenji from nyu school of law. nan aron. that's "all in" for this ev evening. "the rachel maddow show" begins. thank you for joining us thus hour. in 1952, the democratic party nominated add l ed adlai steven. for his running mate, the democrats that year picked john sparkman. alabama senator. a man who would probably earn you a lot of money if you ever got the opportunity to put his name in the form of a question on "jeopardy." john sparkman, yeah, he was the vice presidential nominee of one of the two major parties in 1952 but now essentially totally lost to history. that was the democratic side that year. on the republican side that year, the presidential nominee was ike. general dwight david eisenhower. and his running mate was this handsome fellow.