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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 21, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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. and good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. with the passing of a legend has thrust supreme court politics to the center of a presidential race with less than two months until election day. only eight days until the first trump/biden debate. over the weekend, we saw an unprecedented outpouring of spontaneous m spontaneous memorials every before seen for a member of the high court. as many people sang and prayed and left flowers at the courthouse steps as well as across the nation. this as democrats are bracing for an uphill battle to stop mitch mcconnell from using i had majority to steamroll a confirmation hearing before an election and even a floor vote after the election in the lame duck senate. this hour i'll speak to some of the people close to justice
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ginsburg about her life, legacy, and all of the rest of the extraordinary culture raur ral became. but now we begin with the idea of replacing her just a few days before the election. with obamacare, voting rights, affirmative action all of that on the line. joining nebraska me now, pete williams, nbc clal capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt, and nbc white house correspondent peter alexander, co-host of kwkt weeke weekend today. pete, you've broke nt news how the honors will begin for justice ginsburg for her lying in the supreme court. >> it's another one of these different traditions now because of the pandemic. the court building has been closed to the public since march. we know when oral argument begins in two weeks it will again be by teleconference. so this will also be different because of the pandemic. andrea, let me use the picture behind me to show you how it will work. the casket will arrive at the
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base of these stairs outside the building. there will be pal bearers, honorary pal bearers. then the police will carry the casket up the stairs, inside the building into the great hall where there will be a private ceremony attended by members of justice ginsburg's family, her close friends and other members of the court. now, normally, for example, in the similar situation for justice scalia after he died, the casket would remain there and then members of the public could file through. i'm going to move back here just again, so don't worry about that. members of the public could file through the building. now what they're going to do is bring the casket back out under the portaco. that's the portaco, this porch, if you will, with the columns outside the court so that the casket will be right under those columns. and then members of the public will be allowed to pay tribute.
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now, i don't know yet, we don't have the details about whether people will be able to come up those stairs and come near and then go back down or just come to the front on the plaza or what. but, that's the accommodation that's going to be made. now, that public viewing and that public tribute will be on wednesday from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. in the evening. and then again on thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and the only other detail we have, andrea, is that the burial will be a private ceremony next week at arlington national cemetery. >> well, as you know, the jewish holiday intervenes as well, pete. >> right. >> so there can't be a burial in her faith next weekend either because of sabbath and so there are a lot of things going on here. kasie hunt, you will remember when john lewis lied at the
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capitol in state people could come to the bottom of the steps but not up the steps because of the pandemic. >> it was unusual, andrea, and certainly not how any of us wish to mourn. let's, of course, not forget that everyone is dealing with this in their day-to-day lives not being able to gather for n ra funerals and here it is playing out on a grand scale. we have learned that after ruth bader ginsburg lies in repose at the supreme court, as pete just laid out, she is actually going to lie in state at the capitol. she's log to lie in state at statute wary hall. not the way many other extreme figures do. it's extraordinarily well. we think taft may have been the only one. our research teams are working
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on this but he was president at well. i think it speaks to the stature that she has, the esteem by which she is held by so many. and i think it's unlikely there will be criticism of this move, but it is in some ways unusual. but people will have a chance to do this at the capitol as well, andrea. >> and, kasie, i want to come back to you in a moment about the plans by mitch mcconnell to try to ram this through, controversial plans for sure. but, peter alexander at the white house, initially the white house was saying that this could come -- that the nominee of a new -- a nominee at least to try to replace justice ginsburg would come as early as tomorrow, before wednesday they said. but then the president went on this morning and said, no, they were going to wait and be respectful of the funeral service or at least of her lying in state and in repose. >> yeah, andrea, that may be the best occasion that the strategy is still being formed. we heard those compeegt titing
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timelines from the press secretary and the president. president trump said his plan is to announce that name friday or saturday of this week. he says he wants to do it in all due respect to the services. they want to wait for the services to be over for the late justice ginsburg. but in terms of respect, the president is not respecting ginsburg's dying wish as conveyed to npr by her own granddaughter that she wants the next president to determine who will fill that see the o sethat seat. the president blaming democrats, accusing them, nancy pelosi, chuck schumer of coming up with that out of thin air. we know that's not true having heard directly from the granddaughter on this very topic. and, frankly, from the court as well. but the bottom line is the president is now explaining why he views the urgency for this pick, why he wants it to happen before -- why he wants a vote to happen before the election. here's what he said early this morning on fox and friends. >> the bottom line is we won the
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election. we have an obligation to do what's right and act as quickly as possible. we won the election and we have the right do it and we have plenty of time. >> right. >> we have a lot of time. >> but listen -- >> it's not like we're -- >> do you think -- >> i think the vote -- the final vote should be taken frankly before the election. we have plenty of time for that. >> obviously there have been a lot of senate republicans facing fierce criticism, accusations of hypocrisy of saying one thing in 2016 after garland was nominated by president obama nearly eight months before the 2016 election. so a lot of republicans facing scrutiny on that. some republicans saying they want to wait until after the election. susan collins and lisa murkowski among them. the president noting them, the two of them in effect by name, some of his criticism he's tries to make sure that other republicans don't follow suit. >> and, kasie hunt, picktion up picking up on that, we've seen
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those two. we haven't heard from mitt romney or cory gardner who's in a tough race in colorado and he may try to postpone it. that's one of the arguments for delaying the vote, holding the hearing, if that's what mitch mcconnell forces to happen. he's got lindsey graham, the chairman of the committee, but delaying the vote to try to protect some of those endangered republicans who are up for re-election. >> that's right, andrea, the calculation seeming to be that it's to their benefit to try to get republican voters maybe people who are not donald trump voters who have been turned off by president trump, who are religious voters, conservatives who care about the court, keep them engaged by keeping this process front and center throughout the election season. but save those republicans who are trying to hang on to seats in places where they have to appeal to independents to win, save them the tough decision about having to actually face a vote on the senate floor. i'm thinking particularly of susan collins and cory gardner.
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they're running strategies different from some of their cloogs li colleagues. so that is the thinking here. remember, mitch mcconnell cares most about two things, one, his majority, and, two, a conservative supreme court. if he were to lose the majority and we were past the election, he wouldn't have anything really left to lose and that goal of a conservative court wouldn't be intentioned with anything else, andrea. >> thanks so much, kasie hunt, pete williams and peter alexander. and joining us now is mazie hirono, the hawaii democratic sfwhoor serves on t senator who serves on the democratic committee. thank you for joining us. what is the strategy to try to get three or four lfs y-- you r need four assuming you don't have the arizona democratic mark
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kelly, it's iffy is he in sworn in, then you might need three, but you definitely need three and four republicans. it democrats hang together in order to stop a vote from being -- a new justice from being confirmed. >> well, the democrats are going to hang together. and i think that the american people would be very interested to know that is it asking too much to have republicans actually live up to their word? already we see that lindsey graham is not. that we see that mitch mcconnell is not. so, republicans can't be trusted to keep their word and the american people should know that. we will explore every tool that we democrats have to keep mitch mcconnell from shoving this nominee down our throats. but at the same time, the american people need to know what is at stake, andrea? what's at stake is the next nominee, you can be sure, is going to be someone who will strike down the affordable care act as we are in the midst of a pandemic. millions more people will be
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left without health care. and, of course, all the people with preexisting conditions, which, by the way, will probably include the 6 million people who have tested positive for covid virus that they will not be protected if the aca struck down in november when the supreme court hears this case. so that is the intention of president trump. his next nominee will be somebody who will strike down the affordable care act and will strike down possibly, probably roe v wade or severely limit the protection of roe v wade. that's what's going to happen. the american people need to know that's what's at stake. >> senator, on your caucus call yesterday senator schumer threatened everything is on the table if the republicans do push this through. so is that wise to threaten everything, meaning the end of the filibuster, you know,
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packing the court, changing constitutional, you know, the constitutional number of nine justices? is that wise right before an election to make those threats? because you could lose those republican moderate, suburban, many women who might otherwise be voting for joe biden over donald trump? >> when we talk about everything is on the table, if you're talking specifically about court reform or filibuster reform, none of that happens if the democrats do not take back the senate. and so what we're talking about when we talk about tools in our toolboxes, what's available to us procedurally or otherwise. but at the same time, we have a chance in this election to make sure that we will be voting for people who can keep their word. there are these eight republicans who in 2016 said we're not going to address a supreme court nominee until after the election with eight months to go before the election. those senators should be --
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should have [ inaudible ] held to the fire by their voters. so the kind of changes you're talking about, andrea, would not happen unless the democrats take back the senate. it doesn't even guarantee that all those things will happen, but at least we'll have a discussion about those kinds of reform. >> senator hirono, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you. up next, we'll talk about how a supreme court vacancy will affect an already tumultuous presidential campaign. and the legacy justice ginsburg leaves behind. >> i just want to let our children see that you can make a difference, and she really did. >> there's more turmoil, right? it's highlighted the last couple days since her passing. hopefully that's people's call to action and that people don't sit out and not vote. people d sit out and not vote. but how do we make sure the direction we're headed is forward?
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in an election year with people already on edge over the pandemic and race relations, a fight over the supreme court could change the outlook for the election itself with millions of people already voting. two recent polls show, unlike 2016, democrats are now more energized by the supreme court as an issue than republican voters. and that joe biden is more trusted than president trump to pick justices. over the weekend, some early voters in virginia said that ruth bader ginsburg's death
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inspired them to come out early. >> this is the most important election of our lives, you know. and i think everybody needs to vote. we need to get him out of office. >> i definitely think that it's going to motivate people. i definitely do. it's just one more very emotional situation on top of many others that have happened. >> i'm not going miss this vote. this is important for my kids' future. we need to come out and vote like our lives depend on it. >> joining us now, robert costa, "washington post" political reporter and host of washington week on pbs. and michael steele, former rnc chair and now senior adviser to the lincoln project. robert, how do you look at this? is this is going to motivate democrats and suburban republican women, moderates who are concerned about reproductive rights? concerned about women's rights
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more than the absolute, you know, fired-up base the republican right that has always been the evangelicals about abortion? >> it's going to motivate both sides, andrea. but what's interesting is there is such a political calculation going on behind the scenes. this is not a normal supreme court nomination. you have a political season, a campaign season, and so talking to senior republicans in just the last few hours, you see a real push among some congressional republicans, some of my top sources for a judge they didn't really know, the judge of florida, she's been pushed, i'm told, by governor ron desantis in florida. she's seen as someone who could help president trump win that tightly contested state. but there's a competing argument being made by the conservatives who think judge barrett in indiana could be a way to raise catholic voters if they were sitting on the sidelines due to any reservations about president
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trump. >> and just to add to lagoa, she's cuban american, florida is so critical. if you're looking at this in terms of the election itself, winning florida, if the cuban americans are that energized, would be huged , as well as hispanics across the country. >> if you looked at her nomination for the florida supreme court just last year she spoke in spanish, she spoke spanish fluently and she has a compelling story in the eyes of her supporters. if you watch it online, you see governor desantis really working in warm ways about her. so is congressman gates in recent days, a close allahu of president trump. the reservations is that she doesn't have a long paper trail. you look at someone like judge coney barrett who clerked for ant t antonin scalia and has ties to the conservative world. but judge lagoa is someone who
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is beyond a political help potentially to president trump. she known as someone who has practiced will y practiced law in florida and served on multiple courts in the past decade. >> and, michael steele, what about the state races? because they're also, you know, in play? it would make sense, kasie hunt and i have been talking about how it would make sense for them to delay the vote. the president was talking about having the vote before the election, but that really impairs cory gardner and others whose re-elections are on the line, that means the senate majority on the line. >> it does, and it also speaks to the fact that there may somebody conclusions being drawn that the senate may be lost regardless. you know, let's take -- take the loaf we have in hand right now, this opportunity to get a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. the backside of that, of course, is the -- the sort of quasi
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special election with -- in arizona with mcsally and the possibility of losing that seat. and, you and, of course, mark kelly come together senate. so this makes the argument for holding the line on four defections much more problematic because he would certainly be a vote against the nominee. so, there is calculations that are currently being played out by mcconnell and the white house. i suspect in the end this will likely get pushed to get done before the vote on the belief that particularly if it's someone like lagoa, it will help turn out that hispanic vote in florida. i can't think of any election that has turned on a supreme court nomination pick. i think voters are a little bit more substantive than that.
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and certainly covid-19, regardless of who goes to the bench, does not go away because that person is now on the supreme court. >> and we're now hearing from garrett haake on the hill that mitt romney wants to wait and confer with mitch mcconnell before he announces what he's goi going to do. he's probably on his way back from utah now. they've got votes starting at i think 5:00 tonight. but the fact is, romney could be the key to all of this. >> he could be. and i think that's an important calculation for mitt. you have mur kase kows skowski collins say they're not supporting this at the moment and that they're not inclined to support the nominee. so, you've got -- you've got two. you get in third and, again there are makes the case for on the back end with mark kelly, the calculation around the numbers is important.
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so where mitt lands matters. >> indeed. maybe that was mitt calling you just now. >> yeah. yeah. >> i hope he's calling me. >> i forgot to put my phone on silent. my apologies. >> michael steele, robert costa, thank you both so much. zbrat great to have you here. and on the basis of sex, how ruth bader ginsburg helped change women's rights in america. one of her final messages. stay with us you're watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. ou're watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. ♪
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people have been gathering at the supreme court all weekend to pay tribute to justice ruth bader ginsburg. leaving flowers and prayers to honor the woman who transformed women's rights in gender equality cases that she argued and one in front of the all-male supreme court, rather 5 out of 6 cases that she argued. and 5 out of 6 cases that she won in front of the supreme court back in the 1970s. >> did i see myself as kind of a kindergarten teacher in those days, because the judges didn't think sex discrimination existed. well, one of the things i tried to plant in their minds was think about how you would like the world to be for your daughters and granddaughters. >> joining me now are nina tote
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emburg, legal affairs correspondent for npr and justice ginsburg's close friend for five decades. and sheryl, director and council for the naacp legal and defense fund. nina, you cover the court knows so well that even before she got to the court, ruth bader bi ginsburg had argued those six cases, from 1973 to 1978 just changing the whole concept gender discrimination was viewed as being covered by the 14th amendment. >> the whole landscape, really. i mean, the three of us probably wouldn't be where we are without her, is my guess. or it would have been -- >> definitely not. >> -- taken a lot longer. it would have taken a lot longer, let's put it that way. but she did it very strategically. very strategically. she picked cases initially involving men who -- who were the victims of sex
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discrimination indirectly. for example, a man whose wife died in childbirth, and because under the laws of this country at the time, social security survivor's len fits only went to widowers but not -- widows but not widowers. he couldn't have the money to help support his child. and as she put it in her argument there are was discrimination against the wife who had been the principal breadwinner of the family and whose survivor benefits were not going to her husband and child. it was discrimination against her husband who wanted to stay home more and take care of the child. and it was discrimination against the child. and she put together those kinds of arguments and sort of opened the eyes of the supreme court in a way that they had not been opened before. and opened doors for women.
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>> and, in fact, when bill clinton was nominating her, i was in the rose garden that day, and he said that ruth bader ginsburg represented for women's rights what thurgood marshal represented for african-americans. that was still true, the shelby case that we're concerned about this year as well as going to the future, how do you view that? >> you know, i love that bill clinton said that. i think it's true. she issued the comparisons because she would say that thurgood marshal risked his life litigating those cases in the south particularly on brown versus board of education. she was right. he did take his life in his hands to execute that strategy. but, in many ways, she was and i'm so glad that nina talked about how strategic ruth bader
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ginsburg was as a lawyer. she would often talk about how she would model it on the strategy that thurgood marshal followed beginning with the law school cases and the graduate school cases before ultimately getting to k-12 schools. getting at the underbelly, tapping the low-hanging fruit before getting to the really difficult questions. and finding a way into the minds of the justices that before they knew it they had kind of been disarmed and had to go all the way. but, the most important thing is exactly what nina said at the top. the three of us would not be in the position that we in, certainly not at this moment, had it not been for justice ginsburg. and i think we say the same thing about thurgood marshal. these are wlurs lawyers who transformed the american democracy. and we accept it like air.
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but this is a woman of tremendous heroism and a trailblazer in every way. >> such discipline, such vision. nina, when you think about it, women couldn't get mortgages. women like ruth bader ginsburg when she was at fort sill had a great job in the civil service while he was in the army, she lost her job because she told them she was pregnant. women couldn't get credit. you know, of course women couldn't in terms of co-ed occasion and vmi and the military academy, that great case, you know, so many -- women wouldn't be flying airplanes, in combat and on ships. there's so many things that we would not be doing. and equal pay, lilly ledbetter. >> right. and, you know, women couldn't get credit even if they made more money than their husbands. it was only the husband's salary or assets that counted until she
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began her crusade. there were just hundreds and hundreds of laws on the books that were, by and large, the relic of an era gone by. but society and the legal profession hadn't caught one it. the laws hadn't caught up with it. and she sort of forced the reality of modern life on to the supreme court. she even, you know, one of her great regrets in the area of reproductive rights is that she had a case representing a woman in the military who was -- you seem to have a phone problem today, andrea. sorry. >> that's all right. everybody's at home, we all know that. >> who -- who was being, at that point, the military forced women to have an abortion if they wanted to stay in the military. she didn't want to have an abortion. and justice ginsburg, then
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lawyer ginsburg, wanted to take that case to the supreme court to stand for the idea that women had reproductive rights. but in the end, the government settled. and so, you know, and did away with the policy. and what was what she represented a client after all and so that case never went to the supreme court. >> nina, i want to ask you about her last wish. you were reporting that and you saw her just two weeks before she died. and her last wish was to avoid the political mess we're now in. >> right. she told her granddaughter clara that -- and there were others in the room who were witness to it, among them her doctor, because i checked. because i'm a reporter. and she told her granddaughter, my most vfervent wish is that i not be replaced until after a new president is installed. that my replacement not be named
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until after a new president is installed. so she was hoping to avoid the male strom, the hand to hand comfwhat we're about to sco combat that we're about to see and dragging the court into it. these kinds of power plays have consequences, and sometimes they're unforeseen. and she was an institutionalist. she believed in the supreme court. she urged people not to try to expand the number of justices. she believed in it as an institution. >> and she believed in precedent as well. what's the future of affirmative action if she's replaced by one of these possible contenders? >> well, let me say first of all that justice ginsburg was a fundamentally decent person and i really think it's important to use that word.
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what is happening now, the effort to replace her on the court and to do it in the middle of a presidential election, this is -- we in a presidential election, early voting has already started in a number of states. absentee ballots have gone out. it's indecent. and to even be having this discussion this week is terrible in terms of just not being able to focus on her legacy. but it should not happen and it really must not happen. and i think it's worth fighting that it not happen. but then going beyond that, obviously her legacy in the civil rights, you know, fundamentally ruth boeser ginsburg was a civil rights lawyer. she's the last civil rights lawyer who was on the united states supreme court, and we have lott thst that perspective she was able to bring in the ledbetter case, in the shelby case, a kind of grounded prague
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th pragmatism is what you get from someone who represented clients and had the opportunity to see how discrimination works in the lives of ordinary people and in the ordinary functioning of american society. and we've lost that perspective. and so whether it's affirmative action or disparate impact or voting rights or women's rights at a variety of levels or lgbtq rights, we've lost someone who had that authority. and the authority came from her experience as a civil rights litigator. she also was meticulous about the record. remember, she was a civil procedure professor so she understood procedure. she was a lawyer's lawyer in the best way. she had been a practicing lawyer. and we're losing that on the united states supreme court. she was one of the few who was not a former prosecutor. so we've lost a lot with her, and that rush to try and replace her for political reasons without regard to what we really need on this court and in the middle of a presidential election really is unworthy of
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her memory. it is indecent. it's a i hhijacking of core democratic values and principles. democracy is made up of more than power, it's made up of efforts and comedy and compromise and repose and all kinds of other elements that are critically important for a functioning, healthy democracy. >> mean it and sheryl, offering unique perspectives. thank you both so much. the nation is reaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. this, as the cdc updates on how the virus spreads. more on that coming up. s on how the virus spreads. more on that coming up. tonight... i'll be eating four cheese tortellini with extra tomatoes. [full emphasis on the soft a] so its come to this? [doorbell chimes] thank you. [doorbell chimes] bravo. careful, hamill. daddy's not here to save you.
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sunday honoring the lives lost to the coronavirus. one ring for every thousand person. our country has reached the grim milestone of 200,000 american deaths from covid-19. and unfathomable prediction made just six months ago. now a sommer bealber reality. joining me now, is dr. carlos del rio, associate dean at emory school of medicine. thank you very much for being with us. i wanted to ask you about something that's just happened. cdc having posted this morning that the coronavirus can be spread through airborne droplets is now reversing and taking down that posting. and we could can only presume it's because of some white house or task force interference. >> well, andrea, i was not aware that they were taking down that posting. we have known about airborne
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transmission of this virus, it primarily occurs in close environments. think about being a bar, think about being in a restaurant, think about being where there's a lot of people, not a good ventilation, and that's where aerosolize and airborne transmission of this virus is likely to happen. >> and inside an indoor rally, perhaps, indeed. and also the fact that the fda -- well, the azar health and human services secretary has announced only he can make decisions about medicines and vaccines. taking it up to the secretary's level. that is extraordinary. it's the fda that is supposed to be making those decisions on emergency use and other such things. >> well, absolutely. and i think it's taking away from the agencies that we have grown to trust for our health. cdc, fda, we need their scientists to be making the decisions based on science. we don't need those agencies to make decisions based on
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politics. >> at this stage, we've got the white house making decisions not only separate from science, but decisions that are heavily influenced by people with no scientific background or with a scientific background that is really outside, you know, major conventional medicine, such as dr. scott atlas, such as peter navarro, the trade negotiator. how is that working? >> well, you know, i can tell you that as a scientist, as an infectious disease physician, epidemiologist, i'm very concerned about that. because we have some of the world's best experts in this countries in those fields. and if you have an infectious disease, you want people with expertise in infectious disease and epidemiology to be dealing with this problem. dr. atlas is probably an expert in neurovascular disease and
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zroeks strokes strokes. this is not a stroke, it's an infectious disease and i would like to see people like dr. fauci be in charge and i would like to see people with expertise at cdc and at the national insurance tooutitute o and disease making the decision. we have over 10,000 members in the association that could be involved in addressing these issues. >> dr. carlos dell rhe rio, tha very much. justice ruth bader ginsburg became an icon in her 80s, and a figure of pop culture after she was nicknamed notorious r.b.g. after the rapper b.i.g. her image was emblazoned on t shirts, mugs, dolls, even tattoos, something she did not understand, the latter. but she did enjoy it and bemused by the celebrate in this "snl's"
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weekend update. >> ginsburg. >> joining me now are three women who knew her and covered her for years, ruth markus, deputy editorial page editor at the "washington post." lisa, excuse me for butchering your name, former law clerk to justice ginsburg. and the senior correspondent and coauthor of the notorious r.b.g. ruth, first to you there are was a path-breaking woman. you were at harvard law. you can't imagine when you were at harvard law the nine women who were at harvard law with her in that class being told, you know, justify that -- you know, why you can take the place of a man. >> it -- she ushered in and was in the vanguard of a revolution of women at harvard law school. when i was -- i remember actually seeing her come to speak at harvard when i was a
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student there. and she was on the i peels coapt and it was a packed room to hear her. it was clear that she -- it wasn't clear that she was going to be on the supreme court, but it was career that her previous career as an advocate for women's lights been so significant. for me at harvard, i had many more women than that in my class, but i did not have a female professor until my third year of law school. now i'm just going to say with some pride my daughter's a first year student at harvard law school, now remolt, ate, he and has professors from her first semester. thank you so justice ginsburg for seeing that shift happen. >> and elena kagen, another harvard graduate who is now and was a colleague and a cherished colleague of her on the court. she also had a wonderful relationship that i witnessed my say to o'connor who mentored
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here. lisa, you probably saw that as well clerking up there. i remember her one night talking at a birthday party about senator day o'connor and her telling the story about how when she first was assigned in her freshman year on the court a majority opinion and she was re scared by it and sandra day said in her trademark way, just do it. take one foot in front of the other and just do it. and she gave her the spine and the confidence to proceed and really took her under her wing. and how laonely she was after sandra day o'connor took early retirement to take care of her husband and left to be the only woman on the court, lisa. >> i think she had a wonderful relationship with justice o'conn o'connor. in fact, during the justice ginsburg's writing of vmi, her landmark woman's rights opinion as a sitting supreme court
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justice, she used justice o'connor's words in articulating the standard that states must show when they had a gender classification in order to exclude women. you had to provide an extremely persuasive justification. and those were words that she had used from an earlier o'connor opinion. when she decided to read that summary of that opinion on the bench, she looked over at justice o'connor when she articulated the standard. >> really paying to her predecessor on the court. erin, you talked about her hopes of seeing gender representation in the court and let's talk about notorious rbg and here's
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something from the movie, from the documentary. >> now the perception is yes, women are here to stay and when i'm sometimes asked when will there be enough and i said when there are nine. but there have been nine men and nobody's ever questioned that. >> so, erin, talk about how she became the cultural icon. that she became and the phenomenon and how she reacted to it. >> for most of her career justice ginsburg wanted to positively shape our understanding of the law. she wanted to figure out a way to undo more than 100 years of constitutional jurisprudence that said it was okay to discriminate against women as long as you told them it was a favor. by the time justice o'connor retired and during the period she was the only woman on the court and in the years that followed even when she had her
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compatriots, she often found herself in the minority. she found herself in defeat in decent and she would put on this snazzy collar and she did so in june 2013 when she dissented in the shelby county case that undermined the voting rights act and that week she actually broke the week from dissenting from the bench and she made everyone in the courtroom kind of in a break from usual practice listen to her protest and dub her the notorious rbg for her minority opinion for her dissent. she captured people's imagination when things going wrong in our democracy and in the institution of the court and we had the opportunity to tell the story how in her own, quiet, counterintuitive ways she had been notorious all along and devoted herself to the values she was standing up for that day. >> lisa, you went back to vmi
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with her after that notable case when they were actually were women cadets. tell us about that. >> that was a wonderful experience, i have to say. that was about 20 years after the decision came down. you know vmi had been this uniq uniq unique institution with four-star generals and living in the barracks and a tremendous alumni and vmi had so resisted women joining its rank that it set up a separate but equal school for women called be well. and, you know, the resistance in that community was really quite strong to women joining. so, when we went back together to see the school, to meet some of the very first women cadets and then in the current women cadets and see how they were doing. it was wonderful to see how they were thriving.
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they were so impressive. you know, they were studying nuclear physics and trying to solve water crises in africa and they were just great. and the other thing that was moving about that experience was that they were all so grateful to the justice for giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams. we had a terrific visit. fun thing to do after working on that case. >> what a wonderful experience. she mentored all of you, her clerks. i know all of you are going to be at the memorials this week and are so inuvl vavolved in wh meant to women, those who knew her and those who did not. ruth, lisa and erin, i want to thank all so very much. this has been an emotional time
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and it's unfortunate that we moved into this political conversation prematurely many would say and it's exactly what she did not want to happen. so, we'll, of course, be tracking all of that. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow, i have an interview with former white house coronavirus task force member olivia troye speaking out for the first time on television against the president and against her former decisions that were made while she was on that task force. so remember to follow the show online, on facebook and on twitter a@mitchellreports. here? nope. ♪ here. ♪
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if it's monday the death of justice ruth bader ginsburg plunges this country deeper into a political crisis as the president pushes republicans to confirm his court pick as soon as possible. plus, democrats look to galvanize the left vowing every option is on the table if they win in november and republicans try to figure out when a vote could help them the most before election day or after. and covid cases begin to tick up as the country surpasses 200,000 deaths.


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