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Supreme Court Allows Part Of Trump Travel Ban To Take Effect; Senate GOP Pushing For Health Care Vote This Week; CBO Score Of Health Care Bill Expected As Early As Today; Conway Denies Senate Health Care Bill Would Cut Medicaid. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired June 26, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We are following breaking news at this hour. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up President Trump's travel ban in the next term, starting in October.
In the meantime, part of the ban, according to the courts and what it said today, will be able to go into effect partially lifting the stay on the president's executive order, a huge final day of the highest court in the land and still a lot to figure out at this very hour. What does it all mean, politically? What does it all mean over at the State Department? What does it mean for the country?
Let's go to Washington right now. CNN justice reporter, Laura Jarrett is standing by and outside the Supreme Court, CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider. Jessica, let's start with you. If you've had a moment to catch your breath, break this down for us. What did the justices tell us with regard to the president's travel ban?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, somewhat of a surprising decision and opinion from the Supreme Court here, a decision that is 6-3. Three of the justices dissenting, Justices Thomas and Gorsuch and Alito, but what this court has said is that yes, this travel ban in part can go into effect. They will be hearing arguments on the entire executive order next term.
But it's a partial win for the people who brought this case and a partial win for the Trump administration. The Supreme Court today saying that foreign nationals may still be banned into this country, however, if a foreign national has what the Supreme Court called a bona fide relationship with a person or entity here in the United States, they must be allowed in the country.
The Supreme Court here specifically referring to some of the challengers in this case, including one man out in Hawaii, who wanted to bring his mother-in-law here, in fact, his mother-in-law interestingly actually did get a visa over the weekend so that a bit of a moot point. The Supreme Court also referring to people who come here to work and go to school, those people in fact will be allowed into the country. But what's interesting as well about this, Kate, is that the three dissenters, Justice Thomas did in fact write the dissent.
The newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, joined this dissent saying the travel ban should be allowed to go into effect in whole, not just in this partial remedy that the Supreme Court has issued today. I'll read you briefly from Justice Thomas, his dissent, saying essentially that this ruling by the Supreme Court will cause confusion.
Justice Thomas saying, "Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding on peril of contempt of court, whether individuals have a sufficient connection. So I really do think that that's the key point here.
The Supreme Court sort of split this ruling, but the question remains how exactly do you establish a bona fide relationship with a person or an entity here in the United States? And does it in fact as Justice Thomas alludes to will this cause, perhaps, more confusion at the borders and more of a headache, perhaps, for immigration officials -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: A lot in there and they still haven't even heard the case quite yet and still so many questions. Great to see you, Jessica. Thank you so much. We'll be back with you.
Laura, I want to bring you in on this. Because an important part is the road to the high court and how we got here, and that is something that you have been covering extensively. How did we get from the White House to where we are today?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, that's right, Kate. And we forget that the president signed the first executive order just seven days after he took office. There was that immediate period of chaos where no one really knew that they apply to green card holders, to people who had some sort of temporary status, right. There was all sorts of confusion and so then they went back to the drawing board.
The Trump administration tried to clarify and narrow the scope, but then two Court of Appeals said, nope, that's still not enough. We are still putting the travel ban on hold. They kept it on hold for all intents and purposes since earlier this year in May.
It's interesting, you know, the courts have said there were constitutional problems with it and they were looking back to Trump's campaign statements and saying that showed some sort of impermissible, discriminatory intent towards Muslim.
But the Supreme Court doesn't address any of that. Their point it really looking at what is your close, familial relationship with someone here in the U.S.? If you have one, all right, well, you can come in. If you don't have one, the ban is in place and you can't come in.
Now the key question is what's going to happen with the implementation. Obviously, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department will be reviewing this closely.
But the president did sign an amended executive order earlier this month saying in 72 hours, once the Supreme Court's decision comes down, if it lifts any part of those previous decisions, it's supposed to go into effect. It's supposed to happen in 72 hours.
So we've reached out to Homeland Security and the Justice Department to see what the game plan is and how they plan to avoid some of the chaos from last time -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right, Laura, great to see you. Thank you so much. A lot to get through. Laura set us up perfectly.
[11:05:04]Let me bring in right now CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, and CNN legal analyst and constitutional attorney, Page Pate, both here to help us walk through this.
And I also should say, of course, we are awaiting for reaction from the White House. As soon as we get that, we will bring it to you, be it a tweet, a statement or otherwise. So Jeffrey, don't laugh. It's real.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: That is how it works.
BOLDUAN: You tell me things via tweet as well. OK, so there were several options of how they could move forward, the justices. They could have leave to stay in place completely lift the stay, not take up the case at all. How they did it today, what does it mean?
TOOBIN: Well, I think it's basically a good sign for the Trump administration. I think, certainly, there are three votes, Justice Gorsuch, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito, who feel that the travel ban is likely unconstitutional. They didn't think the stay should be allowed to remain in place at all.
So the question is, can the Trump administration get two more votes? And the other big news of the day, Anthony Kennedy did not announce his retirement. So that means he is likely to be on the court in October when this is argued.
Chief Justice Roberts, those five Republicans appointees looked like the most likely votes for the Trump administration. So I think, on balance, this news is good for the Trump administration. But, it is by no means clear they are going to win and we will know in October. We'll hear the argument.
BOLDUAN: Exactly right, Jeffrey. Page, let me bring you in on this. One of the concerns, obviously, is this whole issue of bona fide relationships. That's what folks are raising and what it means. As you read this today and how that, I keep tripping on it, but the stay is partially lifted, the ban is now partially going into effect. Is that a concern of yours? Do you think that will be a real headache or easily to be worked out?
PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's going to be an extreme headache. Think about people at the airport and people at the border will have to implement the Supreme Court order. Somebody is going to have to make the determination and it's a factual determination. It's a case by case determination.
Does this individual who is trying to enter the United States have those sufficient contacts, whether it's an individual who has family members here in the United States or an individual, who is trying to get work, who had some relationship already established, either a job offer, a contract, something like that.
Who is going to make these decisions? If we leave it to the folks on the front line that is certainly going to cause more litigation. So I think the dissenters are actually right about this. What the Supreme Court has done today is not going to clear up any confusion, it's going to create more.
But I do agree with Jeffrey. I think ultimately what they have done today suggests that there are enough votes on the court to uphold the president's travel ban. Had they really believed in the constitutional arguments, the establishment clause argument in particular, I don't think you would see the order that we saw today.
TOOBIN: I don't think administratively this is as difficult as all that. Certainly, there will be difficult cases, but it is not that difficult to identify who is an immediate family member of someone who is inside the United States. It's not that difficult to identify someone who has a job offer in hand or a letter of admission to a university.
So certainly, there will be difficult cases, but it seems to me the Supreme Court drew a sensible line when it said, if you have a legitimate reason for being here, the travel ban, at least for the next three months doesn't apply to you. That seems to me common sense and yes, doesn't answer every question, but --
BOLDUAN: Let me add this into it. This is one of the quotes coming from the dissent as we are discussing and where they raised this question of concern. Here it is. "Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding on peril of contempt whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country. That is coming from, of course, Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch's page. You were going to say something?
PATE: I was. I mean, I understand that the analysis could be simple, but don't think that's not going to cause litigation because if someone gets turned away and they have some colorful claims or relationship here in the United States, they are going to file a lawsuit.
And I can imagine multitudes of these lawsuits filed at almost every border point in the country because maybe my cousin is here and I want to see my cousin, does it have to be a mother, father, child? You know, at what point do you draw the line? Will different judges draw that line differently?
Will we have a district court at one area say yes, OK, that relationship, but similar facts be denied in another district. So I do think it is going to cause a lot of confusion.
BOLDUAN: What this started as, Jeffrey, and where it still remains today as a core question of the scope of presidential power. That's where this was. We are no closer to getting to that answer quite yet because, of course, they have to hear the case.
[11:10:12]TOOBIN: Well, we are closer. I mean, I think the Supreme Court, you notice that, you know, this was a very long order for simply a scheduling order, 16 pages and it did not include any citations to President Trump's campaign rhetoric or his state or his --
BOLDUAN: Which you heard over and over again with the lower courts.
TOOBIN: And I think the Supreme Court is going to be much more reluctant to get into that than the lower courts will. That's why I have always thought the Trump administration has a better chance of winning in the Supreme Court than they did in the lower courts.
The business of evaluating presidential executive orders based on campaign statements by a nonpresidential, non-president candidate for office, I'm certainly unaware if the Supreme Court has ever done that before. I would be very -- I would be very confident the Trump administration will be saying to the court, this is about the executive order itself.
It's not about the campaign. It's not about anything outside the record in this case. It is simply about the executive order and certainly, at least three justices, Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito think that's now have uphold it.
BOLDUAN: Tell me, do we have Gloria Browne-Marshall with us now? Great. Hi, Gloria. Great to see you. Thanks for joining on. Give us your reaction to this news this morning.
GLORIA BROWNE-MARSHALL, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: I think that a lot of liberal people who were supportive of immigration rights are disappointed because they thought there would be a full out assault against the Trump ban of Muslims based on what he said it is.
We also, as Jeffrey pointed out have three justices who would have stayed the decision completely, not a partial stay of certain aspects of it. So I think that there is going to be a battle in the fall that will be much more heated and controversial than what people had in mind.
BOLDUAN: Page, one of the things I'm wondering now, with this move now that says if you have that bona fide relationship, then you can come into the United States and outside of that, the ban is in place. Everything that was argued in the lower court, is that the argument that the administration, the government was making? This relationship was going to help decide it?
PATE: Well, I mean, that's a good point. I think in the first travel ban there was no recognition that any relationship like that would have been significant for purposes of getting into the country. There were suggestions as they started to roll out that first travel ban they were going to make exceptions with folks that had already green cards and legal permanent residents.
But I think the second ban was an attempt to clarify that the administration is going to try to adopt a case by case determination. Perhaps that second travel ban was really drafted with an eye towards the Supreme Court thinking by the time the case gets there, we'll have a ban we can at least make exceptions for certain people, maybe it's constitutional.
That what's what I see really as the most concerning about this particular order today, is the way Jeffrey mentioned this, the justices did not talk about Trump's comments or the effect of the travel ban itself on one particular religious group. I think the constitutional arguments against this ban are in serious jeopardy at this point.
BOLDUAN: Jeffrey, do you have something to say?
TOOBIN: I think that's true. The other complexity of this whole situation is that the travel ban, on its own terms, was set to expire after 90 days.
BOLDUAN: For the six countries, 90 days, right.
TOOBIN: The 90 days, depending on how you count, which is also unclear, will expire before this case is argued. There's a possibility the whole thing may be moved by October or there might be a replacement executive order in by then.
BOLDUAN: The calendar is an interesting point because another part of the travel ban was that for Syrian refugees, a hold of 120 days, not indefinite. So the calendar does get complicated here.
TOOBIN: The calendar has always been complicated in this case. If the justices, as is sometimes the case, are looking for a way to duck hard issues, they could say the travel ban is expired, we have nothing to decide. Next case. I somehow think it's not how it will be resolved, but it is certainly a possibility.
BOLDUAN: Never put anything past, as we learned over time.
TOOBIN: I try not to make predictions especially about the future.
BOLDUAN: Will Justice Kennedy retire before this term begins?
TOOBIN: You know, I think the fact that he didn't retire today probably means he's not retiring although Sandra Day O'Connor in 2005 retired two days after the last day of the term.
BOLDUAN: Not sticking his neck out. Great to see you all, thank you very much for helping with the breaking news.
[11:15:11]Some fascinating stuff happening in Washington that matters to everyone. Let's get over to the White House right now. Joe Johns is standing by there. Joe, of course, everyone is waiting to hear what the reaction from the White House is, specifically what the reaction from the president will be. Any word yet?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: No word yet. Still waiting on that. We have a nugget from CNN's Laura Jarrett. She reports President Trump signed a memorandum earlier this month that states administration officials essentially will begin implementation of the parts of the order that the Supreme Court allowed to go into effect 72 hours after the court decision. So it's clear that things are going to move quickly, at least as to those parts of the order that are allowed to go forward while the Supreme Court waits to hear the broader case in the fall. Back to you.
BOLDUAN: That's fascinating. Of course, you are all asking for reaction from the president yet. When are the opportunities to see the president today unless he takes to Twitter beforehand?
JOHNS: There is opportunity to see the president later in the day, somewhere around 3:30 Eastern Time. He will be having a meeting with the prime minister of India here. We do expect a news conference or some type of appearance in front of the camera.
So at that time, a real good opportunity to try to find out what the president is thinking. He is also said, to be quite frank, he will eventually be vindicated on the issue of the travel ban, only upset that his first travel ban didn't get submitted to the court and so the second one, which we called watered down. Back to you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Joe. We'll get back to you as soon as we hear from the president and the White House and their reaction to this big moment happening at the Supreme Court today. We'll continue to follow that.
Also this ahead, a pro-Trump group of superpac is now threatening pour big money into the health care fight. The first target could be a Republican senator in a tough re-election battle. What's going on here? We'll tell you.
Also coming up, President Trump says the real story of the Russian hack is President Obama not doing enough and some Democrats seem to agree with him, at least in part. We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: It is Monday, which must mean it's another battle of Republican versus Republican, and Republicans up against the deadline, and, once again, it's all about your health care, front and center right now on Capitol Hill. Republican Senate leaders are scrambling right now to get enough votes to pass their health care bill before they all are scheduled to leave town for the week long Fourth of July recess.
The problem, it has been from the beginning, the math, at least five fellow Republicans are a no on the GOP plan, at least right now. Several others are voicing concerns about the policy and the process. One key ex-factor that everyone is waiting for, the cost and the impact of the bill. That cost estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could come as early as today.
So let's get the state of play at this very moment. CNN congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly is following all of it, which is near impossible right now on Capitol Hill. So Phil, where do things stand right now?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are very fluid. There's no question about it, Kate. If you think about what happened over the weekend, there is a lot of staff level discussion about potential changes that could be made to, as you noted, those senators that have already raised major concerns.
Those senators that have already said they are no on the current draft, the discussion draft, trying to figure out pathways, what could be given to a conservative senator that wouldn't cause more moderate senators to fall out?
There were very specific policy provisions that the leadership team knows each senator is concerned about. I think that's an important point here, Kate. While these meetings have been going on behind the scenes over the last couple of weeks, they have been happening with regularity.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is very familiar with what each of these senators need to get a yes. The question really is, how do you thread the needle to give them what they want and not lose people from the other side?
Now as you noted, another really key component here is the CBO score and here's why. Senator Dean Heller on Friday kind of dropped a bomb on this entire process, not because he's concerned about the Medicaid expansion piece, the policy side of this, obviously the matter being the Medicaid expansion state, but because of all of the other areas that he listed as having, at least in his view, being very problematic.
He also noted the CBO score is very important. If he believes millions are losing insurance or would go without insurance because of this bill that would be problematic for him. Same goes for Susan Collins, a moderate senator from Maine.
The expectation in this CBO score is it will show just because of the changes to things like Medicaid expansion. That over the course of ten years millions will have less insurance than they do now. As you know, there will also be a budgetary impact here and that's the key.
The Senate bill has to show that it is saves over the course of ten years at least $133 billion, which would match up with the House in order to move forward. If it shows more than that, Kate, that's more money for Senate leaders to work with to try and get those moderates on board, who are concerned about cuts or reductions in spending.
So along way of saying, they still want to do this this week. There are a lot of really important components here, but in terms of a concrete path forward for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it's not there yet. I think the biggest thing you have to pay attention to is this is an intra-party dispute that is ideologically big.
So you have conservatives who believe health care should play a very specific role in society and the marketplace should be driving that role. You have moderates who believe that government and government programs should have more than influence on that role. How they bridge that divide if they bridge that divide will decide whether or not by the end of this week the Senate passes the health care bill -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: We'll see. It's just as easy as that. Thank you, Phil. Great to see you. We'll keep our eye on Capitol Hill. Joining me now to discuss, Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. Senator, thank you for coming on. I really appreciate it.
SENATOR ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good morning, Kate.
BOLDUAN: So I want to get to health care in just one second, but because of the breaking news at the top of the hour, you do sit on foreign relations. I want to get your reaction to the Supreme Court announcing that they agreed to take up the case of the president's travel ban. In the meantime, before they hear arguments in October, they will allow parts of the travel ban to go into effect. Your reaction, Senator?
MARKEY: Well, the Supreme Court made it clear that Donald Trump had overreached with regard to students coming to our country and business people who had connections to our country.
[11:25:14]Other family members who had connections to our country. They can now come so that was an overreach by Trump. I'm disappointed that the court just didn't rule that a Muslim ban in and of itself is unconstitutional. It goes right to the heart of the Statue of Liberty staring at the Trump Tower in New York City every single day in terms of what it stands for.
But, this first decision with regard to the overreach for businesses, for family members, students coming into the country, that's good, but it still doesn't deal with this fundamental flaw in the Trump order, which is that at its heart it is a Muslim ban.
It says all refugees, if you are a Muslim, you cannot come to the United States of America, regardless of the reason why you are turning into a refugee. Most of it, because of the civil war in countries that are driving them out. They don't want to leave. They are leaving because their families would otherwise die.
BOLDUAN: No mention of Muslim in the executive order, but the Supreme Court will have the final say on that. We will see where it goes in October. Senator, appreciate that.
To the other big issue that is facing you at this very moment, the issue of health care and the Republican plan. One big issue for Democrats and some Republicans, very publicly now, in this Republican plan are cuts in the Medicaid program. But according to the White House, these are not cuts at all, Senator. Listen here to Kellyanne Conway over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: These are not cuts to Medicaid. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility with Medicaid dollars because they are closest to the people in need. If you are currently in Medicaid and became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We are talking about in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Conway says they are reforming, not cutting the program. What do you say?
MARKEY: Well, what do I say? Well, what I say is they are actually going to cut $800 billion. Those are their numbers, not my numbers. Those are the numbers in their bill, $800 billion cut. Just to take it and put an exclamation point on it, 33 billion of that money goes to the 400 wealthiest billionaires in America as a tax cut coming out of care for cancer patients, Alzheimers patients, substance abuse disorder patients, old people, people who need opioids --
BOLDUAN: So are you saying that the White House is lying that Kellyanne Conway is lying when she says that?
MARKEY: I'm saying that, as usual, the Republicans are able to harness voluminous amounts of information to defend knowingly erroneous premises in the single, phony premise, that they are defending is that this is not a cut in programs for poor people, for the disabled, for the sick, for people who need opioid treatment in our country.
It will be a devastating cut for those people. That's why the Republicans are now feeling pressure in their home states all across the country. This is something that goes fundamentally to the well- being of every family in our country and the pressure is only going to build as each day goes by.
BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the issue of opioid addiction. It's a huge problem in Massachusetts. You speak out about it all the time and have very recently. Again, here is the position coming from Kellyanne Conway, representing the White House. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: Pouring money into the problem is not the only answer. We have to get serious about in facility treatment and recovery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That takes money, Kellyanne.
CONWAY: It takes money and a four-letter word called will. It takes focus that it includes money, but it also includes understanding the difference between just interdiction and prevention but also recovering treatment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Do you agree with Kellyanne? Is sheer will to tackle this problem what is missing here, not money?
MARKEY: Look, a vision without funding is a hallucination. In the Obamacare program, over the next ten years, $90 billion would be spent on opioid addiction treatment in our country. Under this bill that the Republicans are going to pass, it could be cut in half and, in fact, on Friday, they decided to add 2 billion more.
Well, 2 billion more when Obamacare has 90 billion for families that need treatment, families that need help and an ability to take their loved ones who otherwise might die, might have a further relapse that leads to them just passing away, they are going to need nurses, doctors, treatment, that needs money.