June 26, 2013
Guests: Christine Quinn, Gavin Newsom, Jared Polis, Richard Socarides,
Elijah Cummings, Dana Milbank, Penda Hair
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Equality.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York again.
The Zimmerman trial is continuing, and we will update you on the latest
developments there in a moment. But first, "Let Me Start" tonight with
this huge Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
It means that the United States government opposes any discrimination
against same-sex couples married in one of the states that recognizes same-
sex marriage. Married means married. If you`re married in one of the
states that recognizes marriage by same-sex couples, you are married in the
eyes of the government of the United States as of today.
I would have gone further than the decision today. I think the 14th
Amendment to the Constitution could not be more clear -- quote, "nor shall
any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due
process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws."
Tell me how a state can deny a couple that right to marry without denying
them their liberty? I ask you that. And how can a state be allowed to
deny a same-sex couple the right to marry without denying them their
liberty without due process of law? Did they commit a crime? What due
I heard David Boies say something along those lines outside the Supreme
Court earlier today. He said that the decision by the court today striking
down DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, will be followed by the same
decision against California`s Prop 8 when that measure gets to be properly
brought before the court, which it hasn`t so far.
Anyway, I agree with David Boies, as I often do. The wheels of justice
turn slowly, but they will some day, and not a very long time from now,
grind finely. We will get the court decision America deserves some day.
But for now, it is a time to celebrate the American Constitution and the
rights it protects.
NBC News Justice correspondent Pete Williams joins me now. Pete, what a
day and what a direction. It just seems like, even though it`s only
Justice Kennedy, but the future has been pointed out to us today.
PETE WILLIAMS, NICOTINE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s very interesting, Chris,
that just yesterday, the Supreme Court greatly disappointed the Civil
Rights community in America by striking at the heart of the Voting Rights
Act, then came back today and struck down the Defense of Marriage Act,
giving great hope to the advocates of same-sex marriage across the nation.
WILLIAMS: Now, I think you very accurately characterized what the decision
says. It does not say that any state has to allow same-sex marriage. What
it says is in the states that choose to do so, the federal government
cannot refuse to recognize those marriages.
Justice Kennedy`s opinion for five members of the court said that such a
distinction by the federal government serves no legitimate government
purpose and demeans people in those states who are recognized as legally
married in the states, and also humiliates, is the word he used, tens of
thousands of children of same-sex couples. So that was a huge decision.
And then in the second big decision today, the court tossed out the legal
challenge to California`s Proposition 8 the challengers had brought. A
lower court had declared it unconstitutional. And today, the Supreme Court
basically let that lower court ruling stand.
It said that the people who put Prop 8 on the ballot had no legal authority
to come here to the Supreme Court and try to get the Supreme Court to
overturn that ruling. This opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts,
said in order to have the legal standing in federal court, you have to show
some specific injury to yourself. Just having a keen interest in a subject
or a general grievance or it just makes you mad isn`t enough. You have to
show that you yourself are injured. And he said the Prop 8 proponents
could not make that demonstration.
Now, one other -- a couple of other quick points here, Chris. Number one,
when can same-sex marriage start in California? Probably not for another
25 to 30 days. The wheels of justice have to move. They have to send the
order back to the court of appeals. That all has to happen.
I will say this. The Prop 8 proponents insist that there is another way
for them to pull Prop 8 out of the hat. They haven`t given up yet. They
think there is a technical way that they can get Prop 8 reinstated in
California. But I would say that the chances of that are pretty slim. So
two huge decisions here, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s put it together. Most married couples live a like
this -- let`s say they`re middle class or upper middle class. They grow up
and they get married in their 20s or 30s in New York state, for example,
which now recognizes same-sex marriage.
MATTHEWS: At a certain time in their life, maybe in their late 60s, they
decide to move to a warmer clime. They move to a state like Florida.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Sure.
MATTHEWS: In normal cases in the past, that couple is still married in
Florida. You don`t even think about it.
MATTHEWS: Of course they`re still married. Will -- will they still be
married in the eyes of the federal government once they move to Florida,
having moved from a state that recognizes same-sex to a state that doesn`t?
WILLIAMS: As of today, no, with two very minor exceptions. For most
purposes of federal law, the federal rules look to the rules of the state
where the couple goes, not to the rules of the state where they got married
in the first place.
Now, the Obama administration says it`s going to scramble right now to
change those rules. So for example, if you`re married here in the District
of Columbia and you file your taxes jointly because you`re a married
couple, and then you move to Indiana, presto, the IRS no longer thinks
you`re married, as the rules are written now...
WILLIAMS: ... even with DOMA struck down. So the administration says it`s
going to start rewriting those rules and try to harmonize them so that they
apply as you originally said.
MATTHEWS: It just seems like we`ve got some chaos facing us without some
conformity here. Anyway, Pete, great reporting. I know it`s interesting.
It`s interesting to everybody in the way that is -- we`re still learning
something about where we`re headed, as well.
Kris Perry, by the way -- thank you for joining us, Pete Williams, justice
correspondent for NBC News.
Kris Perry was one of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case. Here`s what he
(sic) said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRIS PERRY, PROP 8 PLAINTIFF: Today is a great day for American children
and families. Sandy and I want to say how happy we are, not only to be
able to return to California and finally get married, but to be able to say
to the children in California, no matter where you live, no matter who your
parents are, no matter what family you`re in, you are equal. You are as
good as your friends` parents and as your friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Sorry about that. I`m just putting the names and faces
together. Obviously, that was she.
Anyway, Edie Windsor was the plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage case.
She sued the government after her partner of 40 years died and she was
forced to pay taxes that a married straight couple wouldn`t have had to
pay. Well, today she won her fight, and here`s what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDIE WINDSOR, DOMA PLAINTIFF: We won everything we asked and hoped for.
Wow. I`m honored and humbled and overjoyed to be here today to represent
not only the thousands of Americans whose lives have been adversely
impacted by the Defense of Marriage Act, but those whose hopes and dreams
have been constricted by the same discriminatory law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: For more, we`re joined right now by two experts. Gavin Newsom`s
Lieutenant Governor of California, and Christine Quinn`s the speaker of the
New York City Council.
I want to go to Chris Quinn, first of all. You`re gay.
CHRISTINE QUINN, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: Yes.
MATTHEWS: The new normal in New York City politics.
MATTHEWS: You`re up again what`s his name, Anthony Weiner. I think you`re
pretty mainstream. But let`s talk about this. It`s so fascinating. This
is pretty nonpartisan. I`m looking at this, Judge Kennedy, a Reagan guy...
QUINN: Right. Right.
MATTHEWS: ... very much a Reagan personal friend and appointed by him, Ted
Olson, of course...
MATTHEWS: ... who fought for Bush down in the Bush versus Gore fight down
in Florida, former solicitor general under W, and only one Democrat. So in
two out of three guys -- men, all straight, I believe, all straight --
pushed through this thing. So it isn`t just a gay rights movement in a
QUINN: No, not at all. Look, these decisions today are huge steps
forward. And they`re steps forward in what they ruled, but also, you`re
totally right, in who ruled, who was involved in the case. And this idea
that LGBT civil rights are just some special interests...
QUINN: ... that only a few Americans care about who live in California or
New York -- that reality does not exist anymore. This is much more
becoming a mainstream movement, and I think that`s what`s going to help
propel us forward.
But I do want to take some home town pride. Edie is a New York gal, and I
want to thank her for all her bravery.
MATTHEWS: Well, New York is a liberal state in this regard, not on
everything. Not taxes sometimes.
Let me go to Gavin Newsom. Governor, thanks for joining us. You were out
front on this. You`re a pioneer. In fact, you were sort of like John
Brown or something back in the Civil War -- pre-Civil War days. You`re so
far out, you got in trouble for it.
If Prop 22 came up today -- not 22, Prop 8 -- if it came up today, the one
that basically banned same-sex marriage -- it looked to me like it was
getting so close, 52-48, that it would go the other way now.
LT. GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: Yes. No. No question be it. And
MATTHEWS: ... the people of California, if they got the vote -- forget the
court for a minute. If they got to vote in your state, the largest state,
they would vote for same-sex.
NEWSOM: There`s no question in my mind. Now, that said, that was the
backdrop of today`s decision. If, in the worst case, Prop 8 was upheld, we
were certainly ready to go forward with a ballot initiative next year with
that confidence in mind.
But Chris, you know this, and Christine knows this, and I think everyone
watching, even people that are opposed to marriage equality, understand the
generational shift. If you`re 29 and younger, you overwhelmingly support
marriage equality, regardless of your political stripes.
So every single day into the future, it`s more and more likely that we`re
going to right these wrongs not just here in celebration of what happened
in California and across the country with DOMA, but now in those 37 other
states where we still have a lot of work to do.
MATTHEWS: Well, Let me ask you about this, Chris Quinn in New York here,
and this whole question of the country. What are we going to do if we have
a country that ends up being divided this way? Like -- almost like half
slave and half free. You`re going to have parts of the country where the
federal government supports you, you get Social Security, you get
retirement, you get all kinds of advantages. In the military, I guess,
they`re going to recognize that fully now. Every right that comes to you
as a straight person, you get as a gay person.
MATTHEWS: But the minute you step out of your state to go retire where
it`s warmer -- it`s just -- I was kind of struck by what Pete -- our
QUINN: Look, this is not the full victory, but it`s great step forward and
we should be really happy today and really gratified, but we shouldn`t be
satisfied because we can`t really be satisfied until marriage equality is a
right for everybody in every state. And if -- well, I`m not leaving New
York, but if one theoretically was crazy enough to leave New York, wherever
you went, you would still be recognized as married. That is the ultimate
We`re not there today, but we now can leap off of a really firm foundation.
We`re not fighting against a federal law that said my family was less than
your family. That`s now gone, and that creates a different construct for
MATTHEWS: Gavin, I want you to -- Governor, I want you to talk about San
Francisco. You know, we had Jeane Kirkpatrick years ago, back when it was
all right to do gay baiting, and she`d refer to, like, the San Francisco
Democrats, hee, hee, hee, little joke there.
I get the feeling that that`s -- I think it is my favorite city, although
I`m a Philadelphia guy. There`s nothing like your city. I was just out
there. It is a spectacular city. It`s also a gay mecca.
And what is the feeling in that community tonight, if you can speak for it,
about this celebratory moment?
NEWSOM: Well, I think, you know, at our best, Chris, you know this, and
for that matter, the best of our state and our country, we don`t tolerate
diversity, we celebrate it each and every day. We celebrate, sure, all
those interesting differences but unite around those things that Dr. King
so eloquently talked about, those things that bind us together.
And really, that`s what we celebrated, that spirit and pride that comes in
shape and form when we celebrate those differences, as we did with this
So look, that spirit is permeating the city and that sense of possibility
and hope that we can take this message across the country, as Christine
said, to all of these other states. So eventually, we go back in front of
that Supreme Court and have the Loving versus Virginia adjudication...
NEWSOM: ... and get this addressed on the issue of merit and deal with
those remaining states that still deny full equality for all of their
MATTHEWS: Well, I`d like to see -- as I said in the opening of the show,
I`d like to see it go all the way with the Lawrence decision follow-up
(ph), where David Boies said we ought to be going and recognize liberty and
recognize due process and basically come down on the states that don`t want
to go along with this. Would you like to see that happen?
QUINN: Oh, yes. I mean, you`d like to see this be an option for everyone
because the fight state by state -- we`ll do it, but it`s going to be hard.
But I want to mention one -- follow up on one thing that Pete Williams
mentioned. In the ruling around Prop 8, it was really said that for this
case to move forward, there would have had to have been harm against
someone else. And the court said there was no harm against the folks who
brought the case.
That`s important, in my opinion, because it underscores what we`ve always
said. My marriage doesn`t harm anybody else. And those who put that
argument out are -- today made very clear it`s an absurd and baseless
MATTHEWS: Christine, you`ll be...
NEWSOM: Hey, Chris...
MATTHEWS: ... for New York some day.
QUINN: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: I`d love to see you mayor of New York. I think you are -- I`m
just kidding about this because we`re pretty friendly. It is the new
normal. I think you`re fabulous and think you`d be great...
QUINN: Thank you very...
MATTHEWS: Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who has been on his way to
greatness for so many years...
MATTHEWS: ... and once again has achieved his goal, equality.
NEWSOM: God bless.
QUINN: Thank you, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Thank for coming on.
NEWSOM: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Today -- why today`s Supreme Court decision means so much to
regular people. This is formal recognition by the United States
government, not just legal recognition of same-sex couples. This is a big
moral and emotional issue to people.
We`re going to talk about that, especially to the people in the LGBT
community itself, but everybody. Yes, you`re all one of us now officially
now. Isn`t that great? Officially.
Also, you knew this was coming. Darrell Issa now claims, Oh, no, I never
said the White House was behind those alleged IRS targeting of
conservatives! I never even applied (ph). Not me.
Well, two things. One, yes, you did, Darrell. Can I call you Darrell?
When you said the targeting came out of Washington, that meant the White
House. And two, there was no targeting of conservative groups.
So here`s what we`re left with. Darrell Issa was misleading the corrupt
about who was behind something that never even happened. That`s not a good
start for a great career, is it.
Plus, that other Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. We`re
going to look at that tonight. We want to know where we`re going. We`re
going to show you the immediate effects of that decision so far, where
states are moving right away to limit access to the polls in places like
Texas, Mississippi, Alabama. They`re already trying to screw the black
voter. Watch what they did. We`ll talk about it when we get into it
And witness for the prosecution. Martin`s friend takes the stand. She was
on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was killed.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, there was a fascinating moment that happened live here on
MSNBC earlier today. Thomas Roberts was interviewing Kris Perry, and of
course, her wife, when Clad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights
Campaign, interrupted with an important phone call. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAD GRIFFIN, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN PRES.: The president`s on the line
from Air Force One. Go ahead.
PERRY: Hello, Mr. President? This is Kris Perry.
SANDY STIER, PROP 8 PLAINTIFF: It`s Sandy Stier. And we thank you so much
for your support.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, Kris. Well, we`re proud
of you guys, and we`re so glad that in California and in a growing number
of states across the country, because of your leadership, people are
getting their equal rights. So you guys should be very proud of today.
And you know, through your courage, you`re helping out a whole lot of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: God, it was like Nixon talking to the astronauts!
Anyway, we`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Well, today`s historic Supreme Court decision comes just two
days before the 44th anniversary of the so-called -- well, the Stonewall
riots. They weren`t so-called. But they`re named after a big riot up here
about equal rights in New York City, down in the Village, which gay rights
advocates say began the movement for gay rights in this country. It also
comes 10 years to the day of another monumental Supreme Court decision, the
Lawrence versus Texas case, which struck down those anti-sodomy laws. I`ve
talked about them a number of times.
Well, the gay rights movement has made enormous gains in recent years, and
today`s decision is, of course, the milestone showing just how far it has
come. Jared Polis is a Democratic member of the United States Congress
from Colorado. And Richard Socarides is an old pal of mine. He was a gay
rights adviser to the great Bill Clinton when he was president.
Congressman, I guess very few people know what it`s like to run for
Congress when you`re openly gay, and now to be there at the time that the
federal government, which you are a representative to, has now officially
not just legalized gay marriage, same-sex marriage, but has formalized its
regularity, if you will, made it equal and very much the same thing as
straight marriage in terms of its authenticity, its reality.
It`s -- to me, it`s a staggering decision today.
REP. JARED POLIS (D), COLORADO: You know, as you know, the Capitol and
Supreme Court are across kind of a lawn. And I can tell you there`s a lot
more happening on the Supreme Court side than the Capitol side for equal
So I was over there this morning, thousands of people on the steps of the
Supreme Court, gazing up at those columns and really excited that our
relationships of gay and lesbian Americans in fully committed relationships
will now receive recognition.
MATTHEWS: Did you think when you were growing up, or even more recently,
as ran for Congress -- did you see the United States Constitution on your
POLIS: You know, you mentioned Stonewall.
And, frankly, my generation had it a lot easier than the generation ahead
of me, the pre-Stonewall generation.
But I can tell you, today`s kids growing up have it a lot different than
even I did, in schools across our country, taking a same-sex date to prom,
knowing that you can marry the person you love. It`s amazing, the speed
that we have made progress. The American people are a good people. And
they recognize loving relationships in all their forms. And today`s
Supreme Court decision was an important step in the right direction.
MATTHEWS: Richard, you were there with Bill Clinton. And we all have
certainly mixed views about what happened back in the `90s. But we had a
bill signed by the president called the Defense of Marriage Act, which was
You were there. Now you`re here. Bill Clinton now celebrates what the
court decision did today in knocking down what he had to sign, what he
RICHARD SOCARIDES, FORMER PRESIDENT, EQUALITY MATTERS: Yes.
MATTHEWS: What do you -- how do you put all that together?
SOCARIDES: Well, the first thing I want to say about the decision is I
think it`s -- the language in the decision is very affirming. And it
really reflects the cultural change that we have seen in the 17 years since
Bill Clinton was president.
SOCARIDES: You know, he has written about it. He`s talked about it. He
had that "Washington Post" op-ed in which he asked the court to overturn
I think that he`s expressed a lot of regret. I think that today...
MATTHEWS: Well, regret is not -- is regret the right word or did he do
what he had to do? I am an understanding person about politics. And I
understand, at the time, the country wasn`t there. Why should the
president be there?
Let me show -- a number, though, that shows the country is there. Look at
this number here right now. Back in 2004 -- and you were well into this
fight before that -- it was 30 percent of the country. Less than a third
supported gay marriage, same-sex. Then, in 2009, it leapt about 25 percent
and went to 41. And then it went another 25 percent and went to 53.
MATTHEWS: And so it`s almost double where it was in this century.
SOCARIDES: Well, that is why the ruling today is possible, is because you
see public be opinion shifting. And that is also...
MATTHEWS: Do you feel it around you? Do you feel that opinion?
SOCARIDES: I do. I feel it around you. I feel it around myself. I feel
it in -- you know, on -- on -- in popular culture, on TV, in the news, in
We had a record number of LGBT Americans elected to Congress. Times are
really changing. But it`s because people have come out. It`s because now
people know gay people as their friends, as their neighbors, as their kids,
as their parents. It`s because gay people have come out that this...
MATTHEWS: I agree with that.
SOCARIDES: ... this legal moment is possible, because of the cultural
MATTHEWS: I think it`s also because people are running for office now
Congressman, tell me, is this now the wall, has it gone down in Colorado,
as it has in, say, Massachusetts or Rhode Island?
POLIS: You know, it`s interesting.
And my sexual orientation has never been an issue in running for office.
There are six openly gay members of the House. And you know what? None of
them come from what we might call gay mecca districts like San Francisco.
POLIS: They`re just from regular suburban districts, Riverside,
California, Madison, Wisconsin, suburbs of New York City. I`m from the
suburbs of Denver. And it`s never been an issue on the campaign trail.
People care about what we`re going to do for the country.
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s talk about reality for one minute here.
It seems like young gay people, when they`re late teens, they get mobile.
They can pick a college if they got the money to do it. They can pick
where they want to live. They go to the cities. They go to Atlanta. They
go to Chapel Hill, maybe. They go to Washington. Right? They don`t want
to stay out in the rural areas. Is that going to be a reality that we live
with for a long time?
SOCARIDES: Well, they go to the big cities.
SOCARIDES: You everything has changed.
I want to tell you, when I was in law school, I never thought I could run
for office, because I was a gay person. I thought that maybe I could serve
in appointed office. Maybe I could serve behind the scenes.
SOCARIDES: But I never thought I could run for Congress. It is a totally
MATTHEWS: We got a guy here who did and won.
Thank you, Jared Polis, U.S. congressman from the suburbs of Denver.
Thanks for joining us.
And Richard Socarides has been in this fight a longer than a lot of you
have been alive. This guy has been in a long time.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, up next, trial of George Zimmerman, we`re going to touch
on that case. Trayvon Martin`s friend took the witness stand today. She
was on the phone with the -- with the dead man before he was killed.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, the trial goes on today.
There was a significant moment in the trial of George Zimmerman, who is
charged, of course, with second-degree murder in the killing of Florida
teenager Trayvon Martin.
Martin`s friend Rachel Jeantel tell took the stand today as a witness for
the prosecution. She was on the phone with Martin the night he was killed.
Here she is today speaking about that phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: He said, why are you following
me for? And then I heard him (INAUDIBLE) man come and say, what you doing
And then I seen Trayvon Martin, and Trayvon, what`s going on? And I heard
on the phone (INAUDIBLE) and I was calling, Trayvon, Trayvon. And
(INAUDIBLE) I heard a little bit of Trayvon saying, "Get off, get off."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, we turned now to MSNBC`s Craig Melvin, who has been following the
case in Sanford, Florida, and MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom.
Craig, tell me about this case today. What happened today of significance
to the prosecution case?
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Chris, that clip that you just played
there was very significant.
In fact, that`s where they left off about 15 minutes ago. The defense
attorney was trying to show that there was an inconsistency between what
Rachel Jeantel said in her deposition and what she said in court. In her
deposition, according to the defense attorney, in her deposition, she said
it could be Trayvon. And today on the stand, at one point she said it was
So, that`s where we left off today. We also left off about an hour-and-a-
half. She starred about 2:30. The prosecution spent about an hour with
her. Then the defense spent about an hour and 45 minutes, including
breaks, and then at the end, when asked how much additional time they would
need tomorrow with the 19-year-old, Don West said, oh, a few hours, a
couple of hours.
And at that point, Rachel Jeantel was visibly disgusted. She was visibly
disgusted at a number of different points throughout her testimony. I
talked to her attorney earlier today, a Miami-based lawyer who identified
himself as her attorney. And he said that she would be a reluctant
witness, and a reluctant witness she was.
There were a number of exchanges between her and the defense attorney when
you could tell that she was not happy about being here. At one point, she
asked -- she asked him, "Are you listening, are you listening to me?" over
and over again. And there were a couple of other pointed exchanges as
There were two things, two other things of note, Chris, one thing they were
prepared for, according to her defense attorney, and that was that the lie
that she told about going to the hospital, instead of going to the funeral
for Trayvon Martin, instead of going to his wake.
She said that she told that lie because she did not want to upset Sybrina
Fulton, Trayvon Martin`s mother. She didn`t want to the upset the Martin
family, so she came up with this lie about going to the hospital so she
wouldn`t make herself necessarily look bad and make them feel bad as well.
That was one thing. That`s what they were prepared for.
The other thing the attorney did not mention to me at least was this idea
about -- this idea that she lied about her age to protect her privacy. At
one point, she admitted today in court that she said she was 16, when in
fact she`s 18. She was 18 then. Now she`s 19.
MATTHEWS: OK, thanks, Craig. We`re going to keep up with this as we can.
We`re going to bring in now Lisa Bloom.
When I`m looking at the case -- that`s a simple question. How do you prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed murder, second-degree murder?
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: So, it all boils...
MATTHEWS: How do you go about doing this?
BLOOM: It all boils down to this.
At the moment that George Zimmerman pulled that trigger, was he reasonably
in fear of great bodily injury or death? The prosecution has to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not in fear, that he did not act in
self-defense. And to get a second-degree murder conviction, they have to
say -- they have to get the jury to say that he acted with a depraved
heart, with reckless indifference to human life.
MATTHEWS: You mean he just went out to shoot the guy?
BLOOM: Well, that`s right. And that`s why they bring in the earlier call
where he says, these guys always get away with it. He uses some profanity
in reference to Trayvon Martin to show some animus, some mental state that
MATTHEWS: How do we get the truth of that question when we only have one
BLOOM: Well, that happens in every murder case. Right? There`s almost
always the case where one person is deceased. So it`s a circumstantial
And that`s what -- what the prosecution is doing now is bringing in
witnesses who can disprove little pieces of George Zimmerman`s statement,
because he cooperated with police. He gave a lengthy videotaped story of
what happened that night immediately, the following day.
MATTHEWS: Right away. He had no fear of -- he had no attempt to hide or
to run. He just showed up. And how do you interpret that?
BLOOM: Right. And that`s to his credit. That`s definitely a point for
the defense, that he immediately cooperated with the police. As soon as
they came, he said, I shot him. I did it.
MATTHEWS: But what about -- what about the thing I hear from a lot of
friends of mine who would say, yes, but he was told not to pursue him.
BLOOM: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: Is there any evidence that he did pursue on foot? We don`t know
exactly which direction he went. We know he got out of his car.
BLOOM: Well, his defense attorney has now said in his opening statement,
yes, did he follow him.
We heard from the dispatcher, who said, we don`t need you to do that, very
careful language with regard -- he said, I can`t give specific instructions
not to do it. But you know what? It`s not illegal to ignore a police
MATTHEWS: I agree with that.
BLOOM: If he had stayed at a safe distance, maybe this wouldn`t have
MATTHEWS: Well, I hope we get the truth.
BLOOM: I hope so, too. It`s all about what the evidence shows.
MATTHEWS: You get the truth, then you get the justice.
Thank you so much.
BLOOM: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Craig Melvin, thank you for your reporting.
And thank you, Lisa Bloom, for the analysis.
Up next, Darrell Issa -- well, talk about not telling the truth -- now he
wants us to believe he never said the White House was behind the IRS
targeting of conservative groups, never said that. How come there`s a
whole chorus of Republicans who have been following him and -- and
imitating him and saying, oh, yes, there`s an enemies list at the White
House and all that nonsense, that malarkey, as Joe Biden would say?
The so-called scandal he spent weeks hyping has turned out to go up in
smoke. There is no scandal. The White House had nothing to do with this.
Even he says there was no political involvement, even Darrell Issa is now
saying. This Nixon wannabe ain`t making it.
Anyway, you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA), OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN: I have never said it came out of the office of the president or
his campaign. What I have said is, it comes out of Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: What a zero.
Anyway, welcome back to HARDBALL.
That guy`s been shooting blanks for weeks now. White House enemies list,
terms like that, a coordinated campaign to target conservatives, that`s the
perception of the IRS controversy Republicans have seriously created.
And that, I think, in large part is due to the guy you just saw, the guy
leading the investigation, so-called, Darrell Issa. The Republican House
Oversight chairman has repeatedly attempted to link the House -- the White
House to the IRS targeting controversy. But his conspiracy theories, which
are nothing more than that, have been debunked by, one, an A.G. report,
two, transcripts from his own committee interviews, and, three, an internal
report now by the new IRS chief.
With seemingly no evidence on his side, Issa went on CNN yesterday in what
first looked like an effort at damage control. Here he is in full
backtrack mode talking to CNN`s Dana Bash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISSA: I have never said it came out of the office of the president or his
campaign. What I have said is, it comes out of Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And now more from the blunderbuss B.S. that he`s so good at.
It`s this -- saying what he`s trying to say here -- doesn`t have to require
Here he is with more in that same interview, pushing the old story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISSA: For years, the president bashed the Tea Party groups. He was very
public against these groups. And on his behalf, perhaps not on his
request, on his behalf, the IRS executed a delaying tactic against the very
groups that he talked about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Malarkey. On his behalf, maybe on his behalf, perhaps on his
behalf -- no evidence. Dana Bash pressed him from CNN for evidence. Take
a look at their exchange now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN: Do you have evidence of that, based on the interviews that
you have done, or you`re just...
BASH: ... assumption?
ISSA: You cannot -- Dana, you cannot close a case, you can never close a
case on what you don`t know. You can only close a case on what you do
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: In other words, guilty until proven innocent.
Elijah Cummings is the ranking Democrat on Issa`s House Oversight
Committee. And Dana Milbank is a political columnist with "The Washington
Congressman, in all the times you have sat next to Mr. Issa at hearings,
have you ever gotten the impression that he thinks that there was political
hanky-panky here from the White House?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I -- yes, I -- I honestly don`t know
what he thinks.
I mean, quite often, he makes a lot of statements, and then -- and these
statements are -- make headlines, and then there`s a search for the facts,
and, in many instances, the facts are never found. And so I don`t know
what he thinks, but I can tell you one thing, that the interviews that have
been conducted -- and the chairman knows this -- have shown no political
involvement in this episode, no White House involvement whatsoever.
And we know that it started in the Cincinnati office. And it was started
by a self-proclaimed Republican, a conservative Republican. And I -- I
think the thing that bothers me most, Chris, is, when these types of
allegations are made, and you have exculpatory evidence that shows clearly
that it`s not accurate, you ought to say something because we are in search
of the truth.
CUMMINGS: So that we can do reform so that we can then restore the trust
in the IRS. You cannot get there unless you stay focused on the truth.
And so when you throw out these statements that are not supported by any
evidence whatsoever, I don`t think it does harm to the integrity not only
of the committee, but to the Congress.
MATTHEWS: So now we know that the chairman of the investigating committee,
Darrell Issa, is now publicly saying he`s never accused the White House or
the political arms of the president, any of the campaign people, none of
them has he claimed they`re guilty. Therefore, you have to figure out all
the investigative interviews he`s done show no evidence of that.
Then you go back to the question, how did this become part of the hit list
of the GOP propaganda machine? How come people like the former Vice
President Dick Cheney and the others have kept putting out the word this is
part of the scandal? They talk about the IRS scandal.
Well, Issa says he never said the IRS was targeting or coming out of the
president`s office but he has repeatedly made the connection in blatant
terms. Here are two such instances. One is an interview with CBS, another
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: How dare the administration imply
they`re going to get to the bottom of it? This was the targeting of the
president`s political enemies effectively and lies about it during the
election year so that it wasn`t discovered until afterwards.
As you know, as late as last week, the administration is still trying to
say there`s a few rogue agents in Cincinnati when in fact, the indication
is they were directly being ordered from Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Dana, you`re one of the great satirists of our time. I don`t
think you can satirize the sleaze patrol that he`s been on. I mean, this
guy keeps throwing out the slime. He never stops. He doesn`t feel any
shame about having no evidence.
It`s one thing to go after your political opponent. That`s what you do in
DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right, right.
MATTHEWS: But when you realize you`ve got nothing, can you keep sleazing
them and smearing them like this guy is doing?
MILBANK: You know, Chris, this committee as you know has a long history of
shenanigans going back to Chairman Dan Burton firing a bullet at a
watermelon in the Vince Foster case.
MILBANK: But even by those standards, Issa has been extraordinary. You
said he`s been firing blanks for weeks now. I would say for a couple
years. I mean, the congressman can correct me but I think he`s at 10, 11,
12 major investigations into this administration. You know, Fast and
Furious, WikiLeaks, Benghazi, Solyndra, Fannie Mae, it goes on. Of in each
case, there`s a pattern. He sort of makes an outlandish suggestion this
goes into the White House or the president`s going after his political
He couched it with some sort of weasel word and then nothing ever comes of
it. The problem is, he`s -- and Congressman Cummings should be delighted
because Chairman Issa sacrificed his credibility here and I think people in
the press when they hear these allegations now have to discount that, even
though we, of course, love a good scandal.
MATTHEWS: You`ve been pushing him, Congressman, to put all he`s got, show
your stuff like show your cards in a poker game. Show us the transcripts.
Is he going to do it?
CUMMINGS: I don`t know what he`s going to do.
But I can say one thing, Chris, you asked how did this get out of hand with
all these other people repeating what the chairman has said? I think they
thought, they just assumed when he said things like political enemies and
whatever, that the president was involved, they assumed that he had
evidence. People like Chairman Rogers and others and Camp and Senator
Cruz, they assumed that had he some evidence.
And so then they then took it another step and made these -- made all kinds
of statements and the next thing you know, and sometimes I wonder if things
are thrown out there hoping that it will stick and then when there`s no
evidence, people still are left with the same impression that what was said
is true when in fact it`s not. That`s what concerns me.
MATTHEWS: This is what --
CUMMINGS: That`s about integrity of the committee.
MATTHEWS: This is what nasty little high school boys and girls do on the
Internet. They send out nasty little stories about their friends, their
enemies rather, and they get away with it because once the stink bomb has
been thrown it`s very hard to come back and get rid of it. I think that`s
what this guy does. He throws around stink bombs.
Anyway, thank you, Congressman Elijah Cummings. Good luck with getting the
CUMMINGS: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: And, Dana Milbank, thank you for joining us again.
Up next, elections have consequences and so do Supreme Court decisions.
And after yesterday`s ruling on the Voting Rights Act crushing it, states
are moving to suppress the votes of people who tend to vote for Democrats.
Look at Mississippi, look at Texas, look at Alabama, they`re going out now
to suppress the black vote. Reince Priebus must be thrilled.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Congressman Edward Markey won the special election last night up
in Massachusetts. He`s headed to the United States Senate. Markey beat
Republican Gabriel Gomez by 10 points, 55-45. And that margin is just
about right in line with recent polling up there. Markey expects to be
sworn in sometime after the July 4th recess.
We`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Well, the Supreme Court`s decision to effectively demolish the Voting
Rights Act yesterday has immediate effects that could disenfranchise all
kinds of voters.
In Texas, where the Voting Rights Act was implemented to prevent a photo ID
requirement, the state`s Republican attorney general now says those days
are over. In a statement, he said, quote, "With today`s decision, the
state`s voter ID law will take effect immediately."
In Mississippi, the same reaction. The state`s Republican secretary of
state said, quote, "The promise for implementation of constitutional voter
identification begins today."
And in Alabama, the Supreme Court`s decision clears the way for which that
state`s new photo ID law. The Alabama secretary of state said, quote,
"Photo voter ID will be the first process that we have gone through under
this new ruling."
Clearly, it`s now become harder to vote in those states. And that`s just
Joining me now is Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project, and
"Washington Post" columnist and MSNBC contributor Eugene Robinson.
Gene, I want you to get in on this. You grew up in the Deep South. Here
we go again. Voting Rights Act nullified in this case by the Supreme
Court, its effectiveness really. And here we have all these states playing
these games back in 2011 and 2012 under the fine leadership of Republican
leader Reince Priebus are now back at it again, with no objection, nobody
in obstacle, in terms of the Supreme Court or the Voting Rights Act.
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. What the court really has done
in my view is take away the most effective weapon that the Justice
Department had under the voting rights act to keep states from doing this
sort of thing, from doing voter suppression. And just as Eric Holder has
used preclearance to keep all sorts of bad things from happening. That`s
going to be harder now. There are still other remedies under the Voting
Rights Act but much more difficult, I think, to prevent these sorts of
voter suppression efforts.
MATTHEWS: Let me go to Penda.
Penda, what happens now if a state is really egregious, like you got to
have so much documentation, just wear people out. They say, look, I`m 80
years old, I`m not going to get all my papers figured out again at this
age. I`m not going to go to whatever office I got to go, I`m not going to
develop a paper trail. I`ve been voting all my life. People know me at
the voting station. I`m just not going to bother.
Does this wear voters out? Is this what this is about?
PENDA HAIR, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Chris, this is an added burden for
voters. Especially for voters who are older. It`s also a burden for
students. It`s a burden for anybody that doesn`t have a driver`s license
or a passport which means people with lower incomes, less ability to move
around and get to the driver`s license authority.
So, what can happen is that either the Department of Justice or private
groups such as Advancement Project, on behalf of individuals in this state
can sue under state law or under the other section of the Voting Rights
Act, Section 2, which prohibits discrimination nationwide. But those
lawsuits are expensive. And, you know, I think if you add all the
resources and all the civil rights groups, there won`t be nearly enough to
do what the Department of Justice did, which is monitor thousands and
thousands of voting changes every year.
MATTHEWS: To what effect? Able to act on the Voting Rights Act. That was
more effective. Let`s take look at this one now.
North Carolina, the Supreme Court`s decision has put booster rockets on a
package already passed by the House of Representatives there, that will
make it harder to vote. The state Senate intends to move as nearly as next
week on them. Quote, "To require photo IDs at polls, eliminate same-day
registration, cut early voting hours, including Sundays."
But to you, Panda. These seem to be areas early voting is a black
phenomenon, I have been told that. Gene knows that. And I`m just
wondering, these things seem so obviously targeted.
HAIR: Yes, North Carolina is a state that has been known to be moderate.
And I think it`s a state, a Southern state where voters of color were
starting to have a real impact. And this set of laws especially to cut
back on early voting and taking away Sunday voting, which is known as Souls
to the Polls in the African-American community, and then, North Carolina`s
tremendous innovation of allowing registration during the early voting
All of those mechanisms were used more heavily by African-American voters.
And in fact, President Obama carried North Carolina in 2008. Not on
Election Day, but during the early voting period.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me look at this, Gene. The only good news here is in
the 2012 election for the first time in census history, black voter turnout
passed that of white in terms of percentage, 66.2 percent of eligible black
voters cast ballots this past year. That`s up from 64.7 percent in 2008,
64.1 percent of eligible non-Hispanic whites cast ballots. That`s down
from 66 percent.
So, I think, you know, in terms of voter showing up, participation, at
least in the presidential year, when there is an African-American candidate
for president, the black percentage of political activism has beaten the
whites. This is the first. I`m not sure it`s an enduring pattern, but it
did happen for the first time.
ROBINSON: And that`s kind of the question, Chris. There`s anecdotal
evidence that I`ve picked up that all this voter suppression activity or
these attempts actually help motivate black voters in a lot of places who
said, oh, they`re not going to do that to me, and brought people out to the
polls. Big question is to whether in a midterm election, when you don`t
have the presidency at stake and when you don`t have Barack Obama running
on top of the ticket, can you get a black vote that exceeds or equals --
ROBINSON: -- the percentage of white vote? But we`ll see. I think it`ll
be very interesting to see --
MATTHEWS: And that`s a John Henry quality, doesn`t it? I mean, the guy
against the machine, you know? I mean, how long can you fight the courts
and keep winning? I hope they do. I hope you do.
Thank you, Penda Hair. Thank you, Gene, as always. It`s tough times.
We`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this.
The thing about America that always gives me hope is the way we`re able to
We didn`t always recognize same-sex marriage as the majority of the
American people do today.
We didn`t always say it was not OK to put up "white only" signs at
restaurants and gas station restrooms.
We didn`t always think it unconstitutional to deny the black man and woman
the right to vote.
We didn`t always condemn slavery as a moral assault on mankind as we once
did come to condemn it.
We didn`t always have women as well as men participate in our elections.
On all these fronts, we`ve changed. We`ve become better.
The American revolution continues to roll on. And today, a large battle
was won. When you hear the celebration tonight, think of where it is being
celebrated quietly -- in the young boy or girl -- who now feels so much
more to be OK in the eyes of all of us, of the lonely soul who now feels he
or she belongs.
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
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