ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
June 17, 2013
Guests: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Stephen Cohen, Martin McClain, Elise Boddie,
Kenji Yoshino, Nan Aron
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: 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
But 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
shirtless horseback riding, to shirtless Siberian swimming, to shirtless
hunting, to naturally shirtless fishing. It looks impressive when he`s
dressed, too, like when he`s doing judo or trolling around a motorized hang
glider or tagging a tranquilized polar bear in the Arctic or examining a
tranquilized 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. That picture we showed you just a
moments ago showed Vladimir Putin sliding not just any big blingy ring on
to his finger but, in fact an authentic Super Bowl ring, a 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 part of a group of
executives who traveled to Russia to discuss investment.
Today, Robert Kraft`s Super Bowl ring valued at $25,000 lives in the
Kremlin. And that story, the story of how a Super Bowl ring got from the
finger of Robert Kraft on to the finger of president Putin is sort of a
metaphor call way to look Vladimir Putin in the eye and get a sense of his
soul as George W. Bush once famously did.
It`s a story that resurfaced this weekend just in time for President
Obama`s one-on-one with Vladimir Putin today at the G8 Summit in Northern
As "New York Post" reported on new remarks by Mr. Kraft who recalled the
loss of his beloved ring last week. Kraft talked about his 2005 meeting
with the Russian president saying, quote, "I took out the ring, showed it
to Putin, he put it on and he goes, `I can kill someone with this ring.` I
put my hand out and he put it in his pocket and three KGB guys got around
him and walked out."
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
And 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. At that point, 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
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a story we should know and the president should
probably know, right? You were there. You can confirm that Putin stole
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- super bowl ring.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
ROBERT KRAFT, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT OWNER: I`m not sure he stole it. He --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He still has it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has your ring?
KRAFT: From my third --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did that happen? Been on loan for seven years?
KRAFT: It`s been on loan for seven years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And didn`t get it back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that`s a story. We got to run to a break. Maybe
after the break we`ll tease it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll get rid of our missiles if you get rid of yours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, OK. Sure. How`s that Super Bowl ring?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After his comments last week which garnered so much attention
Vladimir Putin`s spokesperson responded saying, quote, "What Mr. Kraft is
saying now is weird. I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr.
Putin saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift."
Kraft, for his part today, offered a classic non-denial denial, saying
through his spokesperson, quote, "It`s a humorous anecdotal story that
Robert retells for laughs. He loves his ring is at the Kremlin."
You 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, and falling down the Internet black hole, I`m
now personally pretty convinced this incident as described by Kraft last
week did transpire. That Vladimir Putin did straight-up jack Robert
Kraft`s ring from him just because he could.
And 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, had repeatedly
exercise their veto power, along with China to block any U.N. sanctions
against the Syria government. And they continue to openly support and arm
the Assad regime, something Putin argued yesterday did not breach any rules
In defending his side of the war in Syria, during a joint press conference
with British Prime 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: 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?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: 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 towards peace negotiations. If
you think being on opposite sides of a brutal proxy war might make for a
fairly awkward meeting, you would be correct. Just look at what happened
when ring their joint press conference after that meeting, President Obama
attempted something like levity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.
VLADIMIR: The president wants to relax me with his statement of age.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You could almost feel the iciness emanating from Vladimir Putin.
Syria right now is a barrel that people from all over the region and world
are stuffing more and more gun powder into. And today, two of the people
responsible for the gun powder stuffing had to sit down together and talk
It`s been a while since we were in a pro war with Russia. That seems to be
where we`re headed right now.
NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is in Ireland with the
Chuck, I got to show you this photo that`s been floating around the
Internet this afternoon here in the States of President Obama and Vladimir
Putin both looking frustrated, disinterested, forlorn even, as a kind of
graphical representation of the nature of their relationship right now.
You were in the room during this press availability. What was it like?
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I wasn`t in
the room. That was pooled press. I don`t want to mislead people on that
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 Cabos 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
jocularity between the two, the president joking about judo and basketball,
and Putin admitting that, look, what he`s trying to do, he`s trying to make
The fact of the matter is they have a bunch of disagreements when it comes
to the issue of Syria. But I thought what was the most important thing
that happened today is what Putin did not say, Chris, which he didn`t say
the same things that he said when he was with David Cameron yesterday, the
British prime minister, in London. And the 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.
HAYES: 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?
TODD: You mean the fact that Putin didn`t make a cannibalism reference?
HAYES: That`s exactly right. That`s a win.
TODD: Yes, 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 know you have interest there in Syria, we know you want
access to the Mediterranean, we know you don`t want to suddenly have chaos
reign in and 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.
HAYES: NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd reporting from
Ireland tonight -- thank you.
TODD: You got it, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now is Katrina Vanden Heuvel, my longtime boss at "The
Nation", where she is editor and publisher, and Steven Cohen, professor
emeritus of Russian studies, and New York University and Princeton
University and author of the book "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From
Stalinism to the New Cold War."
One of the biographical facts to know, Katrina and Steven are married.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Yes.
HAYES: This is an excellent routine.
Steven, OK, where are we right now in terms of the tensions between these
two countries? Because it doesn`t feel like it`s going in an excellent
direction right now. It has been bad for a while. But now, we`re talking
bad plus lots of weapons flowing into a volatile region.
STEPHEN COHEN, AUTHOR: 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 to both, and
with Syria, that would be an enormous step forward. But let me end by
saying that the obstacles are towering.
HAYES: And part of the problem, Katrina, right, in terms of the domestic
policies of this, is part of the problem is the way we view Putin, which is
exemplified by (INAUDIBLE) just gave, which is as essentially,
fundamentally, a thuggish authoritarian figure and someone out of no -- out
of whom no good can come.
VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, he is an authoritarian figure. 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 diplomacy.
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.
I think the real failure, Chris, in our country is there`s been no
accountability for those who drove us into Iraq, the neocons and liberal
humaniarian interventionists believe our credibility is at stake.
VANDEN HEUVEL: And that response to nuclear, chemical weapons should not
be a militarized one. Nonproliferation demands a non-militarized solution.
HAYES: OK. If diplomacy is the answer, everyone right now, they`re at the
G-8. It`s like, OK, 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?
COHEN: At the meeting, both said they had different perspective 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 that this is about democracy. This is an Arab democratic
awakening. The Russian narrative -- and remember, Russia`s part of the
Islamic world. Russia has 20 million Muslim citizens.
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. It`s Zbigniew
Brzezinski. 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 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 it`s 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.
HAYES: 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
Katrina Vanden Heuvel from "The Nation", Stephen Cohen. Professor Emeritus
at New York City University and Princeton University -- thank you both.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.
HAYES: 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.
HAYES: Florida`s Republican Governor Rick Scott is in the lead to become
the nation`s worst. I`ll tell you why next.
And why feminism has been good for fathers. Coming up.
HAYES: There`s an ongoing race that not too many people are paying
attention to and it is the race 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 -- getting him
to release state funds last month to the Buena Vista School District could
reopen was like pulling teeth.
Well, Florida Governor Rick Scott made a really big move on Friday, 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,
quote, "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
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 Penalver 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH PENALVER, WRONGLY CONVICTED OF MURDER: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Martin McClain, a capital defense attorney who
represents inmates on death row.
Martin, can you explain to me what the impetus is for this legislation.
Many states in the union are going in the opposite direction towards fewer
executions. What is going on in Florida that the governor is signing this
MARTIN MCCLAIN, CAPITAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: 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. 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.
HAYES: 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 use it as an argument for the inefficiency of it. So,
what`s wrong to try to expedite this process? Why is this a bad idea in
MCCLAIN: Well, 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, he was exonerated after 17 years. Rudolph
Holton, 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
MCCLAIN: -- to do something about it. But with a death sentence --
HAYES: 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOMER SIMPSON: It`s a good stuff. 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.
BART SIMPSON: Hey, this is good stuff.
HOMER SIMPSON: Told you. Come on, you`re going to learn how to shave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: 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 Garden
in the Bronx on Saturday. That`s her sitting pensively by the way. And
then, yesterday, to a local street fair and the park. It was pretty
One of the most remarkable things about fatherhood, something I did not
fully comprehend before I became a father, is just 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, but I wouldn`t have quite gotten it. I mean, I now
look forward to spending time with Ryan the way I looked forward to playing
a little league game when I was nine, or going to a great concert when I
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
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 pre-feminist era.
Men go 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we`re watching society dissolve around us, Juan,
what do you think?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX BUSINESS: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bottom line, it could undermine our social order.
HAYES: The evidence, though, tells us these dudes should really calm down.
The Pew study shows us the opposite of feminism killing the family unit and
our social order. Feminism made the family stronger. 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 all
these 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
gift of a society whose confines and restraints and 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, stoic, removed creatures from their kids` lives.
We have now a new and better social model one 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
So to all the dads out there, happy belated Father`s Day, and to all the
mothers, grandmothers and daughters and feminist agitators, thank you for
helping to make it possible. We`ll be right back with Click 3.
HAYES: The Roberts Court holds the fate of millions of Americans in its
hands, a viewers` guide to the impending Supreme Court decisions that could
change history coming up.
But first I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today
beginning with the latest boldfaced name to weigh in on the NSA`s prism
program. I`m talking, of course, about Alabama`s own Mary Margaret McCord,
a contestant in last night`s Miss USA contest. It was difficult to top
Miss Utah`s thoughts on the wage differential between men and women, but
McCord gave it a shot sharing her views on domestic surveillance with the
crowd at planet Hollywood, Las Vegas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the society that we live in today, it`s sad
that 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 safe
wherever I go than feel like they`re encroaching on my privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: 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 today, takes us to game five of
the NBA finals, the Heat versus the Spurs in San Antonio. Spurs guard,
Danny Green has been going off all series and he 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." But it
was not an elaborate and adorable plan from the Heat to sideline Green. In
fact, that young ninja happens to be one of Tim Duncan`s kids.
Duncan, the Spurs center 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 today, and by awesome, 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 the same kind of
sugar induced awe as captain does.
The disgraced mascot defended himself on Twitter claiming he`s been
unfairly swift voted. Regarding today`s rumors, "Of course, I`m a captain.
It`s the crunch, not the clothes that make a man." Hash tag, paidmydues.
But America disagrees the demotion of a once iconic captain is causing many
to rethink their food choices. Next thing you`ll tell me Mayor McCheese
was elected only as alderman or Little Cesar was a really just a common
laborer. You can find all the links for tonight`s Click 3 on our web site,
allinwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: There are right now as I speak four huge cases pending before the
Supreme Court. 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 that 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.
So before it happens, it will happen very 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. A key part of the voting rights act, Section 5, the
part with real teeth could be struck down.
Affirmative action, will public universities still be allow to use race as
a factor at all in admissions? Something designed to insure diversity and
achieve equal access to some of our country`s most vital public resources,
state universities. Just like voting right, it is in serious risk of being
fully invalidated by the Supreme Court.
Same-sex marriage, 12 states and District of Columbia now recognize same-
sex marriage. If DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act 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 those couples.
The court will decide the constitutionality of California`s Proposition 8
in which voters of that state decided by referendum to take away marriage
equality from fellow Californians who had been granted that right by the
The Roberts Court still has all of these cases. My own hunch is that if
you are Justice Roberts and what you want to do, hypothetically, is to 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 Elise Boddie, former director of litigation for the NAACP
Legal Defense Fund where she worked on both the voting rights and
affirmative action cases that are right now before the court. Kenji
Yoshino, professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law, and Nan
Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, a progressive non-profit that
works to advance equal justice under law.
OK, 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. They announce from around 10 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?
NAN ARON, PRESIDENT, ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE: 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.
ARON: And I think it remains to be seen, but I have a feeling your
scenario is the right one.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. You worked on the litigation for the
affirmative action case versus Fischer. Explain in lay terms, what`s in
stake in Fischer? How much should we care about this decision and what
happens if it goes either way?
ELISE BODDIE, FORMER DIRECTOR OF LITIGATION, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: So
we should care a lot, and I hear the note, I`m going to strike the note of
hopeful optimism about the impact and effect of Fischer. You know, this is
the case about the consideration of race in higher education admissions and
really what we`re talking about is diversity, right.
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.
HAYES: 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
BODDIE: Well, I think we have to be pretty optimistic that the court is
not going strike down the decision which was the 2003 opinion --
HAYES: Upheld it in limited ways.
BODDIE: 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 so if the court is being honest and
faithful to the decision, the --
HAYES: 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?
KENJI YOSHINO, PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW: Right. So 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 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.
HAYES: 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
ARON: 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 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.
HAYES: Yes, 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.
HAYES: We`d have all the Supreme Court`s decisions on the future of
marriage equality, but since we don`t, let`s commensurate together.
Tomorrow, I`ll be hosting a Google Plus hang out on air discussing how the
Prop 8 and DOMA decisions will impact you. So please come hang out with
me, MSNBC`s Pete Williams, activist, Zack Waltz and many more tomorrow at
12:15 p.m. Eastern on my show`s web site, allinwithchris.com. What is the
future of marriage equality? The answer is in the Vine. Please grab an
image. I dropped the image in DMZ.
HAYES: I`m here with Elise Boddie, former director of Litigation for the
NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Kenji Yoshino, from NYU School of Law, and Nan
Aron, from the Alliance for Justice. We`re talking about four huge cases
the Supreme Court has yet to decide.
Nan, you said before we went to break, 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, 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?
BODDIE: 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 --
HAYES: You were saying this during the break.
BODDIE: 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
HAYES: 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 don`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?
YOSHINO: 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.
HAYES: The affirmative action case.
YOSHINO: The affirmative action case, sorry. I think section 5 of the
Voting Rights Act is very vulnerable. The way progressives 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.
HAYES: Nan, one of the great imp 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 court coming in and
invalidating a law passed by a majority, this would be an act of judicial
activism in recent memory.
ARON: 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.
ARON: To deny millions of people of color. People will watch this.
HAYES: And be braced for response. Kenji, very quickly on Perry, people
feel very optimistic about the Defense of Marriage Act being struck town.
Less so on Perry, are you optimistic?
YOSHINO: I`m optimistic. I think it`s going to be a narrow California-
specific decision. It think 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?
HAYES: That is a fascinating question for us to pursue as these decisions
come down. Elise Boddie, former director of Litigations at NAACP Legal
Defense Fund, Kenji Yoshino from NYU School of Law, and Nan Aron from the
Alliance for Justice. Thank you.
That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts now. Good
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