tv Washington Journal Brian Fallon CSPAN October 7, 2019 7:13pm-8:01pm EDT
be governing intrastate traffic in my analysis of the architecture, there is no intrastate traffic on the internet. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> go shopping and see what's now available at the c-span online store. including our all-new campaign 2020 t-shirts. sweat shirts and hats. go to www.c-spanstore.org and browse all of our products. >> it's opening day of the 2019 term of the spring term. we are joined by - - to discuss efforts at federal court reform. viewers may recognize you by your work in the obama administration. what is demand justice? spring we laune of 2018 to try to enliven the aggressive grassroots and awaken them to the crisis we believe is recurring in the -- occurring in
the federal judiciary. probably the longest legacy that donald trump will have will be his lasting imprint that he left in terms of the judges he has nominated. he has confirmed 150 federal judges, including two supreme court justices quite famously. it is not just the number of the judges at the historic nature of how ideology clean extreme -- how ideologically extreme they seem. point is we can win at the ballot box at 2020 and defeat donald trump and win back the senate and yet all of the priorities may well be facing certain power because we have a judiciary that is hostile to the progressive ideas because trump will have any -- so many trump style judges that will be with us.
host: how you activate the grassroots and how are you funded? lobby andtry to oppose some of trump's most extreme judicial nominees. we were highly involved in the cavanaugh fight last year. we are active right now in trying to defeat some of his more extreme lower court judicial appointees like stephen manatt she who is a lawyer -- and we are also in the democratic politics for the purposes to try to ensure there is conversation about the judiciary and the courts within the democratic natural primary -- presidential primary. linton --or hillary hillary clinton after antonin a's death where the
republicans refused to name. we want to make sure that doesn't happen again. we are showing up at presidential halls and asking candidates about who they would nominate to the bench and what types of perform proposals they would entertain to structurally reform the supreme court and we want to make sure this is a topic that gets a lot of attention and discussion on the left throughout the 2020 election. host: how do you do your work and pay for it? guest: we have an education and civic engagement arm that is a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c) four that engages in lobbying to get senators to oppose some of trump's judicial nominees. we are funded by a variety of donations and a lot of foundations. host: you can join the conversation. we are talking about manned justice -- demand justice.
is (202)nt to chat, it 748-8001 four republicans, (202) 748-8000 four democrats. -- plenty to talk about with the opening of the supreme court 2019 term. we are going to talk with john, a democrat. caller: good morning. how are you today? host: doing well. guest: i am glad you have someone who is as smart as you on. the question i have for brian is mcconnell pullh the garbage that he pulls and he is not held accountable for what he did? go, can you you
describe that? caller: by holding the seat open until trump came president so he can fill it with somebody who should not be sitting on their and then brett kavanaugh got up there and everybody just, for some strange reason, loved this that camethe things out of what he did and nobody heed about and ever but celebrated this man? has been a complete lack of accountability on the republican side in terms of the flouting of norms and abuse of process with the trump judicial nominees. the good thing is, we are starting to see some accountability and consequences attached to that. if you look at the brett kavanaugh book that happened a year ago yesterday, you have a
bunch of senate republicans for whom their support for brett kavanaugh is going to be a huge clinical liability. and sheis susan collins famously gave her floor speech where she announced her support for brett kavanaugh and then in the days right after that, there was $4 million raised into an account that will go towards supporting her opponent. he saw a rally yesterday in portland, maine by activists were still upset a year later for her support for brett kavanaugh. also for cory gardner in colorado and even mitch mcconnell in kentucky. he is in a hospitable environment. you are seeing a lot of money flow in -- grassroots donations to his opponent in large part because the country is fed up with his cynical approach to politics. a lot of candidates on the
republican side, mitch mcconnell may become a referendum question they face and his support as majority leader may be a liability in their campaigns. host: in maine your group dropped a new ad. how much are you spending on television advertising the cycle? it is: it is -- guest: unclear. in may we will spend $6 million candidate who says that post brett kavanaugh vote she cannot run anymore as the moderate she said herself to be. a couple of months ago, in maine, she hosted a fundraiser with leaders of the federal society, which is an outside special interest group that helps create the pipeline of judicial candidates that donald trump has been putting forward
and leonard leo hosted fundraiser for susan collins one year after she supported brett kavanaugh for the supreme court vacancy. that is an un-tidiness to which is not sitting well with maine voters. this term, there is an abortion case the supreme court cited to take up last week. susan collins, when she decided to vote for brett kavanaugh, she said she was confident he would uphold roe v. wade. now she has a lot riding on how brett kavanaugh rules in the upcoming case with this louisiana abortion law. host: is the supreme court a winning issue? he wanted to put it in the ballot and he wins in 2016 and now you're talking about the cavanaugh hearings, the said didn't flip after the brett
kavanaugh hearings. guest: you did see a huge backlash between suburban, college-educated women. the constituency was not well represented in the states where they happen to have senate races in 2018 but in a lot of house districts, the backlash contribute into the gender gap in support for democrats for house. you will see the map in 2020 that the voting constituency will loom large in states like colorado where cory gardner is on the ballot and in maine. is no doubtre republicans had the upper hand when it came to motivating their voters based on the supreme court as an issue. exit polls who said that supreme court was an issue, donald trump won them by 15 points. that is what we are trying to
correct. the republicans have had a good head start and have been mobilizing, especially evangelical voters on their side. been efforts to get roe v. wade overturned. on the left, we thought of the courts as our friend and an institution to advance progressive values and now the pendulum is swinging back. the supreme court is our topic and our guest is ryan fallon and we are talking on the opening of the 20 night teen term of the supreme court. yesterday the justices attended what is known as the red mass in washington, d.c. they most attended -- most of them attended together. the justices will be on the bench today. it is the opening date of the
new term. frank is in portland, ohio, republican, you are on next. how come california, maryland, ndc that's to predict -- and d.c. gets to predict to the rest of the world how we live? think what the caller is referring to is there are a few cases that are some of the more prominent ones where some of the lower court rulings have emanated out of the ninth circuit, which includes the west coast and california. the fourth circuit includes the mid-atlantic region. daca case.s the the present -- president famously tried to undo the daca
policy and there have been consistent rulings at the lower court level saying that the president's decision to do that was arbitrary and showed animus toward the dreamer community, but they didn't do it the right way. the supreme court is going to the topther administrations defense of the daca. tried to overturn this will loom large in the term and put the supreme court in the center of 2020 political season. we have the abortion case they decided to here and we talked case.the daca you have a case in the first week that will deal with lgbt protections in the worst place -- in the workplace. some people would say that the some has no right to hear
because new york's he has tried to revisit a policy that it implemented to basically move a case. seemsnservative majority to want to hear it anyway and what a lot think it will be to try to constrict gun safety. you could have these all front and center in the supreme court term and we have not gotten to the possibility that we might have a case involving the affordable care act because there is a challenge to the affordable care act emanating out of the fifth circuit that depending on the timing could reach the supreme court this term. term forinteresting court watchers and c-span viewers. michael is next from illinois, independent. good morning. caller: i have a technical question for mr. fallon. remember thati
franklin roosevelt wanted to becausehe supreme court they were blocking some of the new deal. i am wondering what the technical approach would be to expand the supreme court. do you have to make a law or is it some other process that would this situation, such that you could expand it to 15 or whatever you want number wise? they have always been political anyway so we might as well admit to it and pack the court and when you get in, do it. lastith the democrats, one point -- they are worrying about daca and attacking gun rights. i am on a razors edge of voting
for warren or trump again, which i voted for him in 2016 and i don't want to vote for him, but you are forcing my hand. i would be curious about your technical analysis of this. host: brian fallon? guest: that is an interesting set of options to be waiting for 2020. the caller is right that there have been efforts taken to change the number in the supreme court. there is nothing in the constitution that locks it in at nine. throughout history, the number of seats in the supreme court has varied -- during the civil war grew to 10, when andrew johnson became president, it shrunk to seven. it has toggled to various numbers of seats at various points in history. it can be changed by a simple act of legislation. fdr proposed,
expanding the number of seats in the extreme -- supreme court. it became moot because after many years of a conservative majority upending and overturning key portions of the new deal, was the so-called switch in time that saved nine, where one justice and up with the more progressive justices instead of upholding and turning over and roosevelt's push to expand that became a moot point. increasingly in the 2020 cycle, you are seeing democratic candidates open for changing the supreme court. for term champion limits. our group thinks that would eliminate the gaming of the system where justices turn the retirement strategically to ensure that the president of their party can nominate their
successor. other candidates have expressed openness to adding seats or changing entirely rather than it be a fixed justices for life or have it be a rotating court. my group supports adding seats and we have been joined by a large number of prominent democrats and progressive organizations that are said the same. host: how many seats do you want? tost: i think that is open discussion and we have to be open because we cannot let -- to go back to the question asked by the earlier caller -- we can't just let what happened in 2016 happen unchecked. that was a gross theft of the supreme court seat. people in our side need to get conscious of the fact that if we could have a democratic president in 2020 but if the senate remains in republican hands, there is not a chance
that mitch mcconnell will give a nomination for the supreme court that the democrats put through and why would he? matter, if we want to d incentivize mitch mcconnell ntivize what-deince he did, that can't happen again. host: an op-ed in the north mississippi journal about adding seats to the supreme court. this is what was said. rather than force the hands, republicans have worked within the institution. democrat and those who are but themay be upset last president who attempted to pack the court, it was a bad idea then and still a bad idea. those who believe in an independent judiciary will not let it happen. guest: that is completely hypocritical.
the republicans were fully willing to change the number of seats and they changed it to eat. to eight because they refused to look at merrick garland. obamauring the administration, grassley wanted to decrease the number of seats to the most important court secondary to the supreme court because he wanted barack obama not to be able to name one. level, and arizona and west virginia, they undertook steps to manipulate the number of seats and people serving on state supreme court's in those states. this is an issue where republicans have played by one set of rules consistently and democrats have looked the other way mp complacent. changeup is trying to
the democrats. host: west virginia, republican, good morning. caller: thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak. and i been listening think i would like time to respond to a bunch of things i have heard. host: give us one or two. caller: he just mentioned about the democrats being bribed but as far as appointments, you can go back to when they packed the courts, toward world war ii. this gets intot the deep state concept, where subservientrobably to various big corporation conglomerates or oligarchs
owning majority of shares in control corporations and set the campaign funding for a lot of these long-standing members of both democrat and republican parties. try and remember that when trump came in, he tended to follow --ice of many experienced which turned out to be deep state people -- in the appointments that he made. i think theuest: supreme court as a branch of government is one that escapes scrutiny from the public for a long time. you have seen low approval levels for the current president. you see historically low approval levels for congress in some polls in terms of favorability. the court has remained above the fray for many years because growing up we all learn about
the court in civics lessons as political body. in the current composition with the 5-4 conservative majority that has control over the court, we are seeing it behave more and more politically. court headed to where the is going to become an issue of controversy, much like it has in other parts of our history. you had politicians running against the supreme court because it continued to strike down acts of congress and state legislation intended to help workers and provide labor protections. you had people like teddy roosevelt running against the court fdr also. i think we are heading to that. host: a text from mark in kentucky -- how was it obama was
to electn his efforts supreme court justices and trump has been successful. guest: there are some things we can control and some things we cannot. one thing the trump administration has been good at emulatehould seek to their streamlined efficiency at identifying candidates for judicial vacancies and sending them to the hill as quickly as possible and creating a pipeline where we don't dither. there is a lot of criticism in the early years of the obama administration, the act of qualifying good nominees was slow to happen. we should not read again that in 2021 if we regain power. there are other things that were outside of his control and when donald trump took the oath of office, he inherited a hundred judicial vacancies.
the reason he filled so many seats is because republicans were so successful of keeping those open during barack obama's presidency. they did it with the help of a lot of democratic politicians on capitol hill. is ae senate, there guarded process of how nominations are considered, especially for district court judges and trial court judges at the lowest of of the federal bench. or is a process where they confirm with home state senators and the way that home state senators presumed their own way. they have this arcane custom called the blue slip, were both home state senators work to return the blue slip to indicate positive support for the nominee and only then with the committee chairman move forward with the nomination. in keeping with the bad faith approach him of the senate republicans would make a habit of not returning blue slips for
people who barack obama nominated who were from red states. for six of the eight years when barack obama was president, the chairman had the power to look the other way and proceed with -- withama's nominees barack obama nominees or he could kowtow to the others like ted cruz. theall the years he was judiciary committee spokesman, none of brock obama's nominations were taken. been reciprocated when the democrats took, the republicans have decided they don't care about senate courtesy and are not honoring blue slips anymore. so people who had kept the policy in place are made to look full and barack obama's legacy is a lot less than what it could've been in terms of
judicial nominees he got confirmed. host: did used to work for chuck schumer? guest: i did. host: is he at fault? guest: i was there for six years and i would include myself in the people who got complacent about the issue of judicial nominations. was in strategy meetings where we would plan out the next senate calendar and i was among those who would always side with devoting floor time to what i would call "showboat." we knew mitch mcconnell would filibuster a proposal on say increasing minimum wage or extending overtime benefits where we thought there was media value of bringing it up and showing the republicans would filibuster and showing the democrats were trying to get an republicans were trying to block it. in retrospect, that was a waste of time. looking at have been
judicial nominations rather than the showboat's on measures that would've been important if they would have passed. rather than trying to get political advantage momentarily in the press are trying to make each mcconnell look bad for blocking a proposal that was doomed, it would've been more productive to debt -- to devoting that time to judicial nominations. host: next color, go ahead. caller, go ahead. mentioni would like to that you should never allow somebody to lie in your broadcast. the previous speaker died when that the whistleblower was a registered democrat. how did he know he was a
registered democrat when nobody knows who he is? -- beef with that. the feedback.iate do you have a question for brian fallon? ander: i am watching listening very carefully. he answered my question while i was waiting. thank you. host: claudia is in north carolina, a republican. good morning. caller: i wanted to say thank you for this format. i am happy to see real people calling in and giving opinions. fallon,listening to mr. i really should say that i do support president trump and i do
support conservative values. much whatw pretty conservative is because we live in a country where that has been the norm. what i think is interesting or confusing is i am not sure that he is defining what he means by progressive values. i don't mean this mean or anything, but if progressive policies are the new green deal that is really quite confusing or roe v. wade, where abortion is concerned, that it appears that children can be born and then they can -- full-term, and then they can be decided where they want them to live or not. i guess i am confused about
whether or not i would go for regressive values. host: what are progressive values? guest: i want to be responsive point.caller's one area where we could agree on things is that we would disagree about progressive versus conservative values one thing we should all mutually expect from the court are respect for precedent. there is the whole notion that gets talked about a lot and that is the idea that the justices on the supreme court should not be overturning cases in nearly willie and there should be illy-willy.n another thing that we especially whatcent years is
conservatives have long cherished in court is the idea of judicial restraint. that is to say we don't want judges that legislate from the bench or who exercise too heavy a hand. if congress passes something, the justices should largely air on the side of deferring because congress is the elected branch that represents the people. under johne court roberts has drifted away on those two precepts. in terms of respecting precedent, you've had three majority hashe 5-4 overturned its own precedents that were 25 years old or older. breyere prompted stephen to write a descent saying, if the court is going to be overturning its own precedents, what is next?
that is where we got the warning that perhaps roe could be a next thing on the chopping block. was written where it said it is not about whether something has stood the test of time. we shouldn't commit ourselves to how long a precedent has been on the books or really matters is if i disagree with it. that is a low standard for overturning precedent in the supreme court and used to get them dismissed as activists judges. now it is the conservatives who ie acting as activists judges would make the case that couldn't we just agree that the supreme court should be deferring to the elective branches of government? it should not be behaving as judicial activists? if we could agree on that, she
would agree. host: on clarence thomas, couldn't they use that as thinking for the second amendment? guest: the decision that came out that antonin scalia wrote, it said that the second the members as right to bear arms but left open the possibility that there could be common sense restrictions on that fundamental right. as long as we can all agree to live by what antonin scalia sent -- set on the opinion, we could find common ground. most of the gun safety is not going to try to relitigate whether they're trying to bear arms but the second part where it said let's focus on issues like expanded background checks, banning weapons of war, like assault weapons, because that should fit in with the carveout that antonin scalia of had about -- antonin scalia a had
about safety. we are going to try to hollow out that second half and the new york case that they seem to want to hear, it could be the trojan horse opportunity where they come in and say that theoretically congress could pass gun safety legislation but we will strike down everything they might consider. they basically would hollow out the idea that you couldn't and act common sense gun safety restrictions. people like myself could fully live within the spirit of what antonin scalia a was writing -- butnin scalia was writing, we are unsure the court will approach that in good faith. host: rodney is a democrat. good morning. caller: i just want to say a few things about the supreme court. i always thought it was a racist system. there hasn is --
never been a black men -- black woman. does the guest see a time where there may be a black lady elected to the supreme court? guest: i would hope so. one of the people on barack obama's short list for the merrick garland appointment was a judge here in d.c. there are a number of qualified individuals right now that are not just on the federal bench, but also out there practicing as public interest lawyers. you had the head of the naacp legal defense fund who would be a terrific nominee as the next mccracken president. you have michelle alexander who wrote the book, "the new jim
w."w the next democratic resident should make a priority of not gender diversity but racial diversity and not just hiring from corporate lawyer backgrounds. host: also vying to be the nominee come is or someone you're supporting in particular who is best on reforms? guest: we have not endorsed candidate and i'm not sure that we will but we are trying to encourage as many of the candidates to speak to this issue and some have spoken more than others. pete buttigieg was the first one put out a proposal to structurally reform the supreme court to 15 and change how they are appointed. a proposal was put out to endorse term it's to 18-year terms. elizabeth warren is someone who has spoken out about the need to appoint a more worker-focused
lawyers come working in labor law, to the supreme court and federal bench to counter the influence of the corporate minded judges that donald trump has appointed. those are some candidates who have spoken to this issue. virginia, they supported 18 year term limits and each resident would get to submit to and that would eliminate partisanship at least. .ou can join us via text you can call in like a susan did, and independent. -- an independent. caller: your guest is full of it. he does not want to legislate from the bench but wants to pack supreme court. give me a break. he believes in abortion and abortion on demand. delta -- daca is an
executive order, not policy. guest: let's take the issue of abortion since the caller brought it out. i think maybe we could find common ground if we stuck to what the supreme court has already said. in the spirit of not having it act in an activist way but on her past rulings. the case that was just decided last week that they would here in louisiana shows the bad faith of the current conservative majority on the supreme court. the law that is at issue that the supreme court will hear is nearly identical to a law that texas passed by the supreme court in 2016 and a case known as "whole women's health."
louisiana said that a woman has the right to get an abortion if she wants to but for the sake of her safety, we are just going to add a layer of complexity where we will this we are going to require that any physician performing an abortion has to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. when the fact-finding happened and the court case was argued in the texas instance, culminating in the supreme court's ruling in 2016, they said there was no compelling interest for the sake of the woman to insist on this. they said it was a backdoor way to force the closure of abortion clinics in texas. on that basis, by a 5-4 margin, the court struck down that law. the only thing that has changed with this louisiana abortion case is not the facts of the underlying proposal. it is just the composition of the court. kennedy has been
replaced by brett kavanaugh, a more conservative, more antiabortion justice. now these red states think they will have a more friendly audience if they bring a case like this back up. that is what they have done and they have reason for confidence because last term there was a decision in the interim about whether the supreme court will let the law go into effect while they waited for the case to work up through the system. brett kavanaugh said he would have been content to let that log go into effect and force the closure of all but one abortion clinic in louisiana even though the law at issue is flagrantly in violation of a supreme court precedent from just three years ago, 2016. people like myself have been saying that brett kavanaugh is full of it on abortion have that ruling to point to from last term. that is why a lot of us are worried this decision to take up this louisiana case this year is that the court is
prepared to overturn his own precedent. host: do you think congress should overturn brett kavanaugh -- impeach brett kavanaugh? guest: i do. we had a rally yesterday to mark the one-year anniversary of his confirmation. there is a lot of basis for reopening an investigation into brett kavanaugh, but the main argument i would make is we never had the full investigation that we ought to have had before he was confirmed in the first place. thatact that he is there, he was confirmed, makes him an illegitimate justice considering that congress, the senate purposely did not seek out documents from his time working in the white house that may have shed light on his views on these hot button issues and also we now know, based on the new york times report, the fbi was so constrained and how it did the follow-up background check that it was not allowed to do interviews of corroborating witnesses that could have
corroborated the accounts of accusers like deborah ramirez. our call on the house democrats, who now have the power of the gavel on the house side, is to do the fact-finding. do the investigation that the senate republicans looked the other way on. washe fact-finding the fbi not permitted to do because of the white house's meddling and do it in a formal impeachment inquiry. host: time for just one or two more calls of brian fallon. vermont, independent. >> thank you for taking my call. i had a question about the balance of power and the supreme court position in that, where today it seems the executive , through executive order, issue basically what are like laws. who knows if an executive order comes through that we all have to wear polkadotted underwear, the extent of that power.
they seem to be able to go to war. we essentially have a king like structure. congress seems to hand too much power to the executive. , was wondering if the court which if you follow the constitution, does not really say congress can hand this power off to make laws, a.k.a. executive orders, if it would depend on a court of the future to reverse the power and give it back to congress versus having as a convenient scapegoat during a political season to point a finger at versus having something on your own record. host: thanks for the call. guest: i have the opposite concern. i worry the judiciary has taken role in oured democracy and has the potential to undermine the will of the people, being what counts inngst -- the supreme court
its current role exceeds the vision of the founders in terms of the role they intended for the judiciary to have. sideld rather air on the -- err on the side of letting the elected branches of government -- deferred to them in their wisdom. we have elections to vote those people out rather than have a system where we have nine people that are serving for life basically ruling by judicial via. -- fiat. the current situation with the court is one that is designed by the republican party. goal for asell's long as he has been majority leader's to make government as dysfunctional as possible, to make the senate not be productive. confers an outsized role on
the courts to settle disputes ngress is incapable of settling. daca case case -- will be subtle because congress cannot get its act together, which forced barack obama to undertake the daca policy in the first place. i would rather have this debated on by congress and voted on by congress. if the people do not like what they did, you have the ability to vote them out. let's not leave these tectonic plate questions in the hands of nine unelected judges. host: the group is demand justice.
>> on wednesday we'll visit the battleground state of pennsylvania. ♪ ♪ >> campaign 2020, watch our lye coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail and make up your own mind. c-span's campaign 2020, your unfiltered view of politics. ♪ ♪ >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been
providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> host: and michael o'rielly is one of five commissionerses on the federal communications commission, and he is our guest this week on "the communicators." welcome back. commissioner o'rielly, it's only been about an hour since the court decided the net neutrality case. want to get your reaction. >> in fairness, i'm still digesting the decision from the court, but i'm generally pleased. they seem to have found the righten landing pots. there are a couple places i