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Obama Chooses Elena Kagan; The Supreme Court's Balance; World Markets Soar; Britain's Leadership Talks; Talking Safety with Toyota; Dow's Rocket Start; Gulf Oil Leak

Aired May 10, 2010 - 09:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good morning, everybody. I'm Kyra Phillips. Here is what we're working on for you right now.

She'd be the youngest whippersnapper on the bench. President Obama expected to name his Supreme Court choice within an hour or so.

We'll get the nomination live right here on the CNN NEWSROOM.

Connecting the dots. Getting a clear picture. The Taliban most likely orchestrated that car bomb in the heart of New York City.

The dome was a flop so BP, what's your plan B?

But we begin with history in the making. And you get a front row seat. One hour from now, President Obama due to announce his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court.

CNN has confirmed that she is Elena Kagan. And right now, she is the president's solicitor general. That means she is the president's top lawyer to go before the Supreme Court. The first woman to ever have that role.

If the Senate approves her, there would be three female justices on that court and that would make history.

Kagan would be the youngest justice on the court. She's 50 years old. And as (INAUDIBLE) trails before, she was the first woman to serve as the dean of Harvard Law School.

This is one of the biggest news stories of the year, by the way. And we're turning to the best political team on television to break it all down. It's CNN, it's what we do.

Wolf Blitzer is in Washington, Kate Bolduan outside the Supreme Court, Dana Bash on Capitol Hill, Ed Henry at the White House, Jeffrey Toobin in New York, and Gloria Borger in Washington, D.C.

Let's go ahead and begin with the big question, why did President Obama choose Elena Kagan? She's never even been a judge at any level?

CNN's Wolf Blitzer in Washington, getting ready for the big announcement.

So, Wolf, did President Obama make this choice because he just doesn't want a fight?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: No. I think he made the choice because he knows Elena Kagan very well. They both used to teach together at the University of Chicago Law School. He's worked with her over many years.

He thinks she can be very influential as someone who can convince that swing -- that swing vote on the Supreme Court Justice Kennedy to perhaps go in the more liberal, as opposed to conservative direction.

She is very effective in terms of articulating her views. Extremely smart. And I suppose that's -- those are the main reasons why he picked her. She's is also, as you point, Kyra, only 50 years old. She'll replace, if confirmed, Justice Stevens who's 90 years old.

So think about. He could have someone on the Supreme Court another 30 or 40 years. That would be quite a legacy that underscores why elections really do matter.

PHILLIPS: Boy, everybody right now, Wolf, is saying, I love hearing them say she's only 50 years old.


PHILLIPS: In addition to that --

BLITZER: Only 50 because she could -- if she's 80 or 90 or even longer, she could be on the Supreme Court long after he leaves office.


PHILLIPS: There you go. Point well made. All right, so why pick a candidate, though, Wolf, who has not been a judge?

BLITZER: I think it was time. There was a lot of -- a lot of sense. You know what? William Rehnquist was never a judge before he became not only a Supreme Court justice but chief justice of the United States.

And, you know, he just I think realized that someone he worked closely with over the past year and a half or so as solicitor general that she could make the arguments on his behalf, on behalf of the stance that he feels very comfortable with.

And you know what? You don't have to be a judge. You don't even have to be a lawyer to be on the Supreme Court. There have been non- lawyers, believe it or not, on the Supreme Court. He thought it was just time to move in that direction.

He also, I'm sure, liked the idea of having three women -- that's a record -- on the Supreme Court at the same time.

PHILLIPS: Yes. Definitely historic on that point.

All right, Wolf. We'll be talking a whole bunch within the next couple of hours. Wolf, thanks so much.

And Kagan would replace Justice John Paul Stevens. As you know, he's been the voice of liberal views for years.

So what would Justice Kagan to the balance of the court?

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin actually wrote a book on the Supreme Court and went to law school with Elena Kagan.

So, Jeff, tell us about her.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, she is a very self-confident person, very smart. She was a star at Harvard Law School from the day she walked in. The -- you know, excuse me. I'm getting a little weird feedback on my earpiece here.

The -- she's a Democrat with a capital D. How much of a Democrat she is, how liberal she is? That's kind of a mystery at this point. When you look at the big issues before the Supreme Court -- abortion, affirmative action, separation of church and state -- she's never written or spoken out about any of those issues, but I think it is safe to assume that ideologically, she will be very similar to John Paul Stevens.

PHILLIPS: OK. So how's the audio situation? Did we get the echo out of your ear?

TOOBIN: No, it's still bad, but let's keep going.

PHILLIPS: OK. We'll try to work on that mix minus there. Sorry about that, Jeff. Hang in there with me as you hear three times. So let's talk about the impact that she's going to have on the court. What you know about her personally and professionally, how that will fold in to the influence.

TOOBIN: Well, her reputation, particularly at Harvard Law School but really throughout her career, is someone who's been a consensus builder. Someone who has been able to bring diverse institutions together.

And certainly, the theory behind her appointment is that she will be someone who can bring Justice Kennedy over to the liberal side. Frankly, I have a little bit of skepticism about that theory.

Anthony Kennedy has been on the Supreme Court for 23 years. The idea that some new person is going to show up in October and explain constitutional law to him in ways that he hasn't thought about strikes me as somewhat unlikely.

But certainly, over the long haul of a career, she is someone who could be influential. And there have always been justices who are more influential than others. Sandra Day O'Connor was influential. Lewis Powell was influential. Earl Warren, William Brenan were influential.

She could be that kind of justice because she is the kind of person who brings diverse groups together.

PHILLIPS: All right. We'll be following you throughout the morning. Jeffrey Toobin, thank so much. We're going to have continuing coverage right here leading up to that announcement.

It's now scheduled actually for the top of the hour, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. We're going to have all the details, the analysis and of course the best political team on television.

On one end, a fully loaded SUV in Times Square. On the other end, the Taliban in Pakistan. In the middle, Faisal Shahzad.

Nine days after that failed car bombing, investigators say they believe Shahzad was working with the Pakistani Taliban.

John Brennan, a terrorism adviser to the president, tells CNN investigators it links Shahzad to Tariq E. Taliban. That group is close with al Qaeda.

Attorney General Eric Holder says that investigators are trying to figure out now if the group financed that bombing attempt.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I can say that the evidence that we've now developed shows that the Pakistani Taliban has directed this plot. We know that they helped facilitate it. We know they helped direct it.

And I suspect that we are going to come up with evidence that shows they helped to finance it. They were intimately involved in this plot.


PHILLIPS: Shahzad was arrested a week ago today trying to fly out of New York to Pakistan.

To the Gulf of Mexico where that leaky wellhead is still spewing crude oil. And BP officials are looking at plan B to stop it. Plan A was the big containment dome. It was a bust.

BP is now looking at a smaller dome to tamp down the 5,000 barrels of oil a day gushing into the gulf. The company is also considering what it calls a jump shot -- stuffing the leak with tires, trash, and other garbage.

Earlier on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING" BP's chief operating officer said the setback hasn't stopped the company's mission of containing that spill. Take a listen.


DOUG SUTTLES, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, BP: What we're going to do is keep developing options and keep trying these options until we get this flow stopped and ultimately the backstop is the relief well. (END OF VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Doug Suttles went on to say that BP is doing everything it can to help area fishermen whose livelihood are very much at stake.

We're just about 207 minutes away from what could be a fast ride on the Wall Street rollercoaster. Stock futures have skyrocketed. That surge coming after European leaders agreed to spend nearly $1 trillion to help with that debt crisis.

Britain, Germany, France, Japan -- those markets all showing big jumps today. The markets have shaky over fears that Greece's debt problem could spread across the globe.

And more officials from the Obama administration heading to Nashville today to see the flood damage firsthand and get an idea what it will cost to recover. Those damages believed to be more than $1 billion in rising.

We're going to have your update.

REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And, Kyra, we could see the possibility of rough weather shift now to parts of the Central Plains where portions of Missouri, back in Oklahoma. Even Kansas could deal with strong storms, maybe some powerful tornadoes into the afternoon.

We'll have the full story coming up in just a few moments.


PHILLIPS: $1.5 billion and counting. That's the running damage estimate out of Nashville after the deadly flooding nine days ago. That figure does not include any public buildings. Just the 1900 or so private ones like homes.

Normalcy creeping back to post-flood Nashville. Metro schools back open. And later today, Mayor Carl Dean hosts the secretaries from both HUD and the Commerce Department for a damage tour.

Now the CNN NEWSROOM along with water-logged middle Tennessee are in for a heavy dose of Widespread Panic. One of America's favorite jam bands will join us here tomorrow. One of the topics, how to impact your world? Namely Tennessee flood relief.

To find out how you can make a difference and how to provide relief for the flood victims of Tennessee, visit our "Impact Your World" Web page at

Widespread Panic playing live right here with us for an entire show tomorrow, 9:00 to 11:00 Eastern Time.

That severe weather focused on eastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas today. Chances for a now break of tornadoes there? I don't know.

Reynolds Wolf, what do you think?

WOLF: I would say probably yes.


WOLF: Unfortunately.


WOLF: That's the latest we got for you. Kyra, let's send it back to you.

PHILLIPS: All right, Reynolds, thanks.

WOLF: You bet.

PHILLIPS: Well, for the second time in five days, a strong earthquake hit off the coast of Indonesia. The U.S. Geological Survey says that the 7.2 magnitude quake yesterday morning off the coast of Sumatra. Rattled residents dealt with power outages but the greater fear was the tsunami watch. It was canceled 45 minutes later.

Wednesday a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit west Sumatra Island and just last month a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in the same area triggered two tsunamis and wounded several people.

They waited 50 years for this day. Nine former students finally don caps and gowns for a belated commencement. We're going to tell you what delayed those degrees and what they're going to do now.


PHILLIPS: Top stores. President Obama made his pick for the Supreme Court. Next hour he plans to name Elena Kagan to replace Justice John Paul Stevens. Kagan has been solicitor general for a year, arguing for the administration before the high court.

BP looking into different options after one plan to cap an underwater oil gusher failed over the weekend. One option now considered -- stuffing the hole with garbage.

And the Obama administration believes the Pakistani Taliban pulled the strings on the failed Times Square car bombing. Suspect Faisal Shahzad remains in custody and has been cooperating with authorities.

Most showbiz stars have to fight their way up the ladder.


Lena Horne fought so others could have an easier climb. We honor her life today.


(VIDEO CLIP, "CABIN IN THE SKY") PHILLIPS: The sultry voice of the legendary Lena Horne. She used it to wow nightclub and movie audiences. And she used it to fight against racial discrimination.

Horne died last night at a New York hospital. She was 92. She was the first African-American to sign a long-term movie contract with a major film studio. She left Hollywood for clubs and concert halls after most of her movie performances were edited out for southern theaters.

But what really got her activism jump-started happened in 1945. She was entertaining the troops and saw a German POW sitting upfront while African-American soldiers were sitting in the back.

Nine people who took their own stand against racial discrimination by sitting down are getting their due a half century later. Nine finally got their diplomas this weekend from Alabama State University.

They were kicked out in 1960. Why? Well, they had taken part in a sit-in to protest segregated dining facilities at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

The school's current president, Dr. William Harris, had urged the board of trustees to give degrees to the nine.


JAMES S. MCFADDEN, SIT-IN PARTICIPANT: We honor and respect Dr. Harris for having the courage to do what was right. This should have happened many years ago. But we give him the honor for stepping forward and honoring us.

And so we thank Dr. Harris who had the courage for that. And we are excited and appreciate of it.


PHILLIPS: It's courage giving courage. The commencement came on the 50th anniversary of that sit-in, by the way.

No smoking gun yet in the case of the Staten Island ferry crash. At least 36 people were hurt Saturday morning when the ferry crashed into the terminal on the Staten Island side.

An NTSB team will be back on site today to interview more crew members and passengers. The chief engineer already told them no engine alarm sounded for that crash.

Worried about your 401(k) after last week's dive on the Dow? Something has happened in European that's going to brighten your day.

And around the world in 85 days. That's how long it took the nuclear subtrain to finish the trip on this date in 1960. The whole way under water. That was the first. May 10th, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover took over as acting director of the Bureau of Investigation. He was just 29 years old. The FBI grew by leaps and bounds during Hoover's 48 years in charge.

We'll skip over the secret files on people like John Lennon or the rumors about his behind-the-scene life.

And 1869, cross-country rail trips were on. That's when the famous Golden Spike was driven, tying the Union Pacific and Central railroads together. There were actually two Golden Spikes, one silver and one of mixed metal. But they were removed and replaced by regular iron spikes just about a minute later.


PHILLIPS: Well, they won't have to talk anybody away from the ledge when Wall Street reopens in just a couple of minutes. Investigators are feeling a whole lot better after last week's free fall.

Christine Romans is joining us from New York.

World market soaring this morning, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A big rally overseas, Kyra. A really incredible, powerful move higher for Asian stocks, also for European stocks. The French stock market index up 7 percent, which is something that's pretty rare to see a big move like that.

The reason why, of course, is because Europe has come out with $1 trillion war chest of loans and guarantees to make sure that Greece's problems don't spread around the continent and, in fact -- and in fact jeopardize the very European Union and the euro currency.

That's what it looks like, the rescue plan, $570 billion from euro-zone countries of loans and guarantees. $284 billion from the IMF and a $77 billion EU emergency fund. All together, it's almost $1 trillion which is essentially the European governments, central bankers and the leaders of Europe coming out and saying we are going to do everything in our power to contain the debt crisis in Europe so it doesn't spread around the rest of the world.

And that is why you've got futures up so sharply. We had Dow futures, Kyra, this morning, up 350 to more than 400 points at some points. You had huge moves in the dollar and gold and oil and all different kinds of attendant commodities and the like.

So we could see a very big -- a very big day here today because Europe coming out strong in saying we are not going to let Greece's problems continue to spread. So that's what we're watching here this morning.

PHILLIPS: OK. It's been five days since the Dow suddenly dropped almost 1,000 points, right? So --

ROMANS: Yes. PHILLIPS: Are we any closer to knowing what caused that plunge? Because, as you know, there's all these conspiracy types that are out there saying, OK, did somebody hack the system? Was this really a human error?

Do we actually know, Christine, the truth?

ROMANS: We don't. And the SEC has summoned the heads of all of the majors to Washington to sit down and try to hash this out.

When we have seen a software glitch or a technical glitch or a mistake in trade move stocks in the past, Kyra, we'd known in a matter of hours exactly what happened. Now it's been several days and we still don't know exactly what happened.

You'll recall that on Thursday, the Dow fell 998 points. It was the biggest intra-day point move in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Still don't know exactly what caused it there.

You can see the opening bell has been opened -- is going to ring in about 28 seconds. So we'll get an idea of how the Dow is going to open today. But it was a very big, violent, volatile move there.

There was some speculation about a mistaken trade. No evidence of that. There's been a lot of speculation about computerized trading. Seventy percent of our trading volume now is done by computers.

A lot of speculation that that may have exacerbated things. In which case, some people are worried that it could happen again. If we don't know what caused it, maybe it could happen again. So a lot of volatility in these markets.

But today it is a fundamental thing that we're all watching. We are watching what's happening in Europe and that is expected to be a lift to stocks today.

PHILLIPS: Good. We need that lift. Fantastic. Christine Romans, thanks so much.

Another day of deadlock as Britain looks for leadership. The conservative party and the Labour Democrats are negotiations to former ruling coalition that conservatives won the largest number of parliamentary seats last week but fell short of an overall majority. The liberal party came in third behind Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour party.

The U.S. transportation secretary and president of Toyota going head to head today. Ray LaHood described the meeting with Toyota president, Akio Toyoda, as quoting here, "tough but respectful". That meeting comes as U.S. Highway Safety officials investigate the Japanese carmaker for safety violations. Toyota has been fined nearly $16.5 million for not reporting safety problems.

History in the making. Stay right there. You are going to see it. One hour from now, President Obama due to announce his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court. CNN has confirmed that she is Elena Kagan, and right now, she's the president's Solicitor General. That means she is the president's top lawyer to go before the Supreme Court, the first woman to ever have that role.

If the senate approves her, there would be three female justices on the court and that would make history. Kagan would be the youngest justice on that court as well. She is 50. And she has blazed trails before. She was the first woman to serve as the dean of Harvard Law School. Very smart and very skilled that building consensus. Two traits not listed on Kagan's resume, but they sure won't hurt her chances of confirmation. CNN's Kate Bolduan has a closer look.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elena Kagan here congratulating retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on his long and distinguished career.

ELENA KAGAN, U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: If you ever argue before the Supreme Court, beware, underlying Justice Stevens' extraordinary politeness, extraordinary courtesy, danger awaits.

BOLDUAN: Now, the Solicitor General could fill the very seat Justice Stevens is vacating at the end of this term.

KAGAN: Thank you, Justice Stevens.

BOLDUAN: A 50-year-old New York City native, Kagan is a former dean of Harvard Law School where she also received her law degree. She worked in the Clinton White House and is currently the federal government's top lawyer before the Supreme Court. She's argued six cases herself since taking over the job in 2009. During confirmation hearings for that position, some senators were skeptical Kagan had the necessary experience because she's never been a judge and had at that point never argued a case before the Supreme Court or any court for that matter.

SEN. TOM COBURN, (R) OKLAHOMA: How are you going to handle that? And how are you going to prepare yourself?

KAGAN: I'm very confident that I'm up to this part of the job as I am to all the many other parts. I think I bring up a lifetime of learning and study of the law and particularly of the constitutional and administrative law issues that form the core of the court's docket. I think I bring up some of the communications skills that have made me, I'm just going to say, a famously, excellent teacher.


PHILLIPS: Kate Bolduan joining us now from outside the Supreme Court. So, Kate, how unusual is it for a Supreme Court justice to have zero experience as a judge?

BOLDUAN (on-camera): It is unusual, and I think, it is some 40 years since the last time that this has happened, and really, it cuts both ways. While some will say that they are concerned about her thin judicial record because liberals will say that they want to make sure she is a reliable liberal. Everyone is very clear that she is a Democrat with a big "D," but the question, this is a nomination. You can't take this job back, Kyra, you know that.

President Obama wants to be very sure, and liberals, especially, want to be very sure that whoever gets on that court, they can rely on to be a reliable liberal. You'll hear that a little bit more, but at the same time, as they said, it cuts the other way. Her limited paper trail also offers much less for conservative critics to go through to try to we'd through and look at, you know, what she said on the record. So, they could also work in her favor in that regard.

PHILLIPS: OK. We'll be following it throughout the day with our best political team on television, Kate, a part of that. So, what kind of battle is shaping up on Capitol Hill? CNN senior political analyst, Gloria Borger looks ahead to the confirmation process in the Senate. She joins us from Washington. Gloria, this is a pretty safe choice. What does that say about President Obama?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It says no drama Obama. It's kind of safe Obama.

PHILLIPS: That will be the banner.

BORGER: You know, he could have gone further to his left. He could have gone further to his right. Instead, he took somebody without a judicial record. She hasn't served as a judge. First time since Rehnquist took somebody he personally trusted, and I think he's going to get a lot of fire from the left on her. They think she's been very strong on executive power issues on which they disagree with her. And I've spoken with folks on the right. They're going to challenge her experience. They're going to say that she is not a moderate.

And it's really interesting. They're also going to hold her to her own words during the confirmation fight, because in some of her writings, she has called the confirmation process, I'm quoting here, "a rapid and hollow charade," in which she says the people who want to become justices don't answer questions. And so, I think this gives Republicans, in particular, an opportunity to hold her to what they're going to call the Kagan standard, which is that they want to get some direct answers to questions from her. So, that should provide for very interesting and hopefully illuminating hearing.

PHILLIPS: All right. Yes, illuminating, no doubt. Bigger picture.

BORGER: We hope.

PHILLIPS: Yes, we hope. We've heard her crack the jokes. We've heard her direct talks. So, it should be interesting, but bigger picture, what do Americans want in a nominee? Can we even narrow it down to specifics at this point?

BORGER: You know, it's interesting. I think you've heard the president talk a lot about empathy. Somebody who has real world experience. He will say that Elena Kagan has that kind of empathy because she has not spent a lifetime on the bench. Her opponents will argue that while she hasn't been on the bench, she hasn't exactly been out on the real world because she spent a lot of her time in academia, the ivory tower, Harvard University, in particular, right? Which a lot of these folks will say is not the real world.

So, you're going to see that kind of an argument shaping up, but the White House will say, look, this is somebody who understands what real people are thinking, somebody who appointed lots of conservative academics to the faculty at Harvard. Somebody who is able to and most importantly as you decide these important issues that are coming before the court, they believe she is the intellectual counterweigh to Justice John Roberts.

PHILLIPS: OK. We'll be talking more. Gloria Borger, thanks so much.


PHILLIPS: We will have continuing coverage right here leading up to that announcement with Gloria and the rest of the staff. It's now scheduled for the top of the hour, 10:00 eastern, 7 pacific. We're going to have all the details, the analysis with our best political team on television.

Quick check of the Dow. Markets way up this morning. That's good news. We'll take a look at the big board as we head to break.


PHILLIPS: Quick check of the big board. Good news. Dow Industrials up 400 points. A lot better than that dive we saw last week.

Let's check other top stories, President Obama expected to name Elena Kagan as his next Supreme Court nominee. She's the Solicitor General. Never been a judge. That announcement expected to be at the top of the hour. We will bring it to you live.

They're ready to explore other options to stop that oil leak in the Gulf. The giant containment dome didn't work, so BP is going to try a smaller dome and hope it won't freeze up like the big one did. The company's chief operating officer says they have other options on the table as well.

The White House says that the failed Times Square bomb plot can be linked to the Taliban in Pakistan. Attorney General Eric Holder said evidence shows Taliban directed it and may have even financed it.

Misconception. A stunning story especially for couples having trouble having kids. One Michigan couple learning that their frozen embryos were gone, implanted into another woman by mistake. They were understandably flooded by the news -- or floored by the news, rather. But there's a happy ending after a rocky road. They do have a new son, and they got a new book. "American Morning's" John Roberts joins me now for a little AM extra. And John, you actually had a chance to talk with the Morell's, the Michigan couple, right?

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I sat down with them, Paul and Shanna Morell (ph). Imagine if you will, Kyra, you've been seeing a doctor for IVF treatments. They have a couple of twin daughters because of IVF. And the doctor calls you and says, I want you to come in and see me. They go in to see the doctor. The doctors says, there's been a mistake, your embryos, the frozen embryos they had stored with us have been thawed. All right. So, they thought maybe there was a problem with the electricity. Everyone had lost their embryos. They were very sad about that. And then the doctor said, by the way, your embryos were implanted in another woman. So, they went through weeks and weeks and weeks of wondering, what is this woman who's pregnant with her child going to do? Will she abort the child? Will she carry it to term and then demand that the child be hers?

It worked out well. They now have their own six, seven-month-old son, Logan. But you can imagine not only what they went through but what the woman went through who was carrying the baby. She thought that she was pregnant with her embryos and at the end had to give up the child. I talked to Shannon and Paul about that aspect. Here's what they say.


ROBERTS: Did you ever have a pang of guilt where you ever thinking, oh, my goodness, maybe we should let her keep the baby?

SHANNON MORELL, AUTHOR, "MISCONCEPTION," EMBRYOS IMPLANTED INTO ANOTHER WOMAN: I thought about it, and I felt guilty the whole time. At the same time, that was my child.

ROBERTS: What's your relationship right now with Sean and Carol Savage (ph)?

MORELL: They're friendly.

PAUL MORELL, AUTHOR, "MISCONCEPTION": It's like they're extended family.

ROBERTS: Have they seen Logan?

MORELL: We saw them between Christmas and New Year's when he was three months. We're working on another time when they can see him.


PHILLIPS: Wow. It's interesting how she answered you, John, when you asked about having a relationship with them, that must be kind of a difficult situation to be in.

ROBERTS: I don't know exactly what the dynamic is, but I think she did seem a little defensive when I asked her that question. It may be because the Savages, Carolyn and Sean, the couple that carried the baby to term, recently said that the last seven months have been very, very difficult for them. They wanted to have a child. They haven't been able to have a child since. They don't know if they're ever going to able to have that child, but they had very, very strong religious conviction, Kyra, much the same way that the Morells did.

And that's why they decided that they were going to carry the baby to term, but no question. You got to feel for a woman who thinks, wow, this is my baby and then is told, no, there's been a tragic mistake. She had the good grace to give the child up because there are a lot of states across the country, Michigan, New York, where surrogate parents have preponderance of rights. They could have made a case to keep that child.

PHILLIPS: That's interesting, but also, a decision could have been made to abort that child.

ROBERTS: Sure, sure.

PHILLIPS: Hence, when you were stalking with the couple, they were praying that everybody was sort of on the same Christian values with regard to life.

ROBERTS: Yes, both couples have very strong religious connections. And the one thing that Shannon Morell said was that she wished and she prayed that Carolina Savage was a woman of God and would not abort the baby realizing that this was their last best chance to have a baby.

PHILLIPS: John Roberts, appreciate it.

To the markets now, Felicia Taylor at the New York Stock Exchange. Felicia, we're seeing a massive jump in the Dow. Good news.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You bet it's good news. We're up about 450 points, that was even stronger than what the futures indicated in pre-open market trading. Leading the rally right now are the financial stocks. They are up considerably. Leading that right now, we got Bank of America up, about 7 percent. We got JPMorgan up about 5.5 percent.

On the tech side, we got Netflix up about 7 percent. Goggle is up about 5 percent. This is obviously off of what has come over the weekend and that is, a basic, a $955 billion bailout from the Euro zone to help Greece with its financial troubles.

There are still do remain concerns now in Europe as to whether or not Portugal, Spain, Ireland could be next. So, we may be hearing a little bit about that as the week progresses, but nevertheless, over the weekend, Greece seems to have averted any kind of a major financial crisis thanks to the European leaders coming together and saving them.

But again, the stocks indicated this morning were up about 5 percent to 6 percent. Well beyond that now, up 450 points on the Dow, the Nasdaq up almost 5 percent, and the S&P is up 4.75. So it's a great morning after what we saw last week of a loss of about 770 points overall. PHILLIPS: Oil, oil, everywhere. And now, they are trying sandbags to protect Gulf beaches. Those beaches could soon become a toxic mess, deadly for wildlife and pretty dangerous for people too.


PHILLIPS: Tar balls washing up on shore along the Gulf Coast. It may become a pretty common sight soon especially if BP can't cap the underwater leak. Fishermen sidelined by the slick are now in the front lines trying to stop it. But there are risks.

CNN's Rob Marciano has more from Pass Christian, Mississippi.



ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): Clearing the oil is a big job, and the pros can't do it alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a safety training class.

MARCIANO: So the call has gone out to recruit the locales.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're going to be working in contaminated waters, you'll have to have boots -- rubber boots.

MARCIANO: Hundreds have already volunteered to help and safety training like this is being held across the coast.

CAROL VAUGHN, BEACH CLEAN-UP VOLUNTEER: Why are they getting volunteers when they have contractors?

MARCIANO: A reminder that cleaning up oil is a dangerous job.

VAUGHN: Hearing today, the type of equipment you have to wear to pick up trash off the beach was a realization that this is real and it's happening.

MARCIANO: Some volunteers who pitched in after the Valdez spill are still sick. Due to financial sediments, many can't even talk publicly about health problems, but it is bad.

DEBBIE TAYLOR, BILOXI REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: I have long-term effects, some central nervous system effects and who's to say we won't see that here. It think it's just going to be a wait-and-see game.

MARCIANO: Debbie Taylor is on the frontlines at Biloxi's Regional Medical Center where preparations are already underway.

Some of Taylor's first patients could be these fishermen.

(on camera): Normally, these boats would be out trying to net some shrimp. But the oil spill has put a stop to that, so they sit and they wait. Some of these boats may actually be out working for BP trying to clean up the mess. (voice-over): BP is already holding informational sessions. Phillip Nguyen now wants a long-term contract to clean up. He runs two shrimp boats that now sit idle.

PHILLIP NGUYEN, SHRIMP BOAT OPERATOR: Unpredictable for the future of the shrimp business and shrimp industry, we need some sort of financing income from somewhere.

MARCIANO: The Coast Guard performs safety checks before each vessel is approved for duty.

Safety for the boat, but what about the crew?

RICK COW, FISHERMAN: We're worried about that too, but working and we've got to do it, you know? You got to take risks on that.

MARCIANO (on camera): So you need the money so you start doing it?

COW: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.


PHILLIPS: Live now from Pass Christian. So Rob, does BP give health allowances to its contract workers in case they get sick?

MARCIANO: Well, the short answer to that Kyra is no as far as longer term health liability down the road. We try to get a handle of one of those contracts and BP won't provide them to you. But you've got to imagine that they are putting them to work they will likely want some sort of a waiver to release them of that sort of liability both for health risks and the potential loss of income.

But the fishermen that we talked to, you know, there's a bit of bravado there and desperation quite frankly. They want to work, they need the money. And being as tough as they are, they're not afraid of any oil, as one of them put it to me.

So they're going to go out and get the job -- and do the job if they get it seemingly with no worry of the health risks involved. But there are for sure, and what the long-term risks are really nobody really knows. So just one more bit of uncertainty in the story here on the Gulf -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Yes, just one more thing to stress about. Rob Marciano, we'll continue to check in with you in Mississippi. I appreciate it.

And looks like Tulsa, Oklahoma, may have a bull's eye on it today. The fear is tornados. Severe weather sweeping across the plains and our Reynolds Wolf is keeping an eye on all of that for us -- Reynolds.

WOLF: Tulsa may be under the gun today but it's not the only place; Kansas City, Wichita and maybe even, Oklahoma City. This entire region may have some issues later on today. And what we're talking about is not just some strong thunderstorms or possibly some tornados popping up across this area. The reason why, I'll show you why, it's very simple.

We have this area of low pressure that is just marching its way across the Central Plains. It's going to tap into that Gulf moisture. That combined with the daytime heating with temperatures that will be going up into the 80s, perhaps even some 90s in the central and southern plains. That will all come together to give us a chance of strong thunderstorms. Possibly some super cell thunderstorms producing those tornados.

And I would say the best opportunity for those to occur would be by late afternoon and into the early evening hours. So if you happen to be in this region, listen up. We're talking 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 this afternoon into the early evening, 6:00, 7:00; some may actually stick around to the evening hours, late evening hours. So it may be a nocturnal event as well.

Talking temperatures, we mentioned parts of the southern plains along the Gulf Coast, places like New Orleans, 85 degrees. Along the water, maybe a little bit cooler, but on the water you're also going to be dealing with something else for everyone (INAUDIBLE) the whole back and harness some of that oil.

The winds are going to be out the southeast running 15 miles per hour. What that's going to do is that's going to provide some waves in the water anywhere from three to five feet and now they'll actually push some of that oil a bit closer to the coastline. So you may have your work cut out for you.

The choppy conditions maybe make it a little difficult though to also deploy some of that emergency boom on the coastline. So it could be kind of an interesting day out on the water to say the very least.

And again, one thing that we may be seeing, possibly some snowfall into the central Rockies; you might have some delays in parts of say, Denver, Colorado before the day is out, Maybe Salt Lake City and right along the Sierra Nevadas. Snowfall on the forecast; some places near Yosemite maybe dealing with some snow up to a foot. It's hard to believe this time of the year.

That's a look at you're forecast, again strong storms by the afternoon and potential tornados. We'll stay on top here for you. Back to you Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, thanks Reynolds.

WOLF: You bet.

PHILLIPS: Listen, another quick check of the big board right now, stocks soaring today; great news after last week's losses. Here's a look at the market. It's going to be a big story today.

Also, the other big story: the Supreme Court announcement. Wolf Blitzer is standing by to take our special coverage from here -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Kyra; thanks very much, Kyra.

It is an historic moment right now. The President of the United States getting ready to nominate Elena Kagan to become the next Supreme Court justice; she'll have to go through a lengthy confirmation process. But this announcement is about to begin.

I want to go to the East Room of the White House. Our senior White House correspondent Ed Henry is standing by to set the scene for us.

Ed, show our viewers what's going on over there. This is for most of our viewers will be the introduction of Elena Kagan.

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. And Elena Kagan -- many of her supporters already here; sort of a lot of liberal activists on the outside who will be really trying to drum up support for this nomination in the days ahead. They're here, they're talking in part about how history will be made if she's confirmed. It would mean that for the first time ever there will be three women sitting on the high court together, all at once.

But one of her supporters just told me a moment ago this is not just about any woman being picked. They believe here in this room that this is an extraordinary woman with a lot of deep experience including the fact that she's the first woman ever to serve as solicitor general which means she represents the federal government before the high court.

You can already hear Republicans on the Hill though raising questions about the fact that she has never served as a federal judge. Nevertheless, in talking to some of the President's advisors, I can tell you, they are already pointing to the fact that last year when she came up for confirmation in that very same Senate for the job of solicitor general, she won that confirmation 61-31, more than enough to beat back any potential filibuster including seven Republicans on board.

So if Democrats hold all of their votes in the senate right now with 59 they would need just at least one Republican to push this over the top. I just spoke to one of the President's advisors who's already surveying the climate on the Hill. He told me, quote, "She will get through without much pain."

Of course, in Washington though, not much pain is a relative term in this toxic environment. You can bet there's going to be a battle up there. The question is just how big, Wolf.

BLITZER: Stand by for a moment, Ed. We're going to get back to you. Ed is there in the East Room over at the White House for this historic announcement.

Dana Bash is up on Capitol Hill. The Senate judiciary committee is going to have to take up this matter. The confirmation process will go forward presumably at some point in June.

Dana, set the scene for us up on the Hill. DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ed is absolutely right that Elena Kagan did pass 61-31 but that was for solicitor general. It was just last year but it was for the position to actually argue the cases before the Supreme Court on behalf of the President.

And talking to Republicans especially up here this morning they reminded me that, look, that is very different than giving somebody -- especially somebody 50 years old -- a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Very different in terms of the way she's going to be received here.

And Ed touched on some of what we are already hearing from Republicans; primarily what we are hearing is, look, she has no judicial experience at all. She has never served, as one conservative sort of said to me, she's never even given so much as a traffic ticket on a traffic court. So that is something that we are definitely going to hear Republicans probing.

And also something very interesting; back in 1995, one of the few things that surfaced in terms of her writings is a law review article where she talks about the process of confirming Supreme Court nominees and really lambasted the process saying that it is a charade and a farce because nominees simply had not been answering questions about their positions and opinions on various issues that would come before the court.

So Republicans have been saying all morning, even last night to me, they are going to hold her to what they call the Kagan standard, especially since she has very, very little that they can look at right now in terms of writings, academic writings, speeches that senators traditionally look back through especially if somebody's been on the bench. They say they don't have very much but they're going to really press her in these hearings to give her opinion and her theories more than other people have in the past.

BLITZER: Yes, she's -- she's probably going to be reluctant, Dana, as you know, to give a lot of her personal opinions. She's very, very smooth. That was evident during her own confirmation hearings to become solicitor general over at the Justice Department.

Jeffrey Toobin is our senior legal analyst. He's known her since they were both law students at Harvard back -- way back when, Jeffrey.


TOOBIN: I know she's just a little bit older than you are. She spent two years at Oxford between Princeton and Harvard. I believe you went to Harvard right after Harvard. Is that right?

TOOBIN: Well, the sad truth is she's exactly one month older than I am.

BLITZER: Oh, really. So you're 50 as well.

TOOBIN: I don't get any benefit. BLITZER: All right. Let's talk about one of the more controversial decisions she made as dean of the Harvard Law School which was to bar the U.S. Military from coming on campus to recruit law students. This is no doubt going to be an issue during the confirmation process.

TOOBIN: And I think it really is a classic Elena Kagan moment, this controversy over recruiting at Harvard Law School because she really tried to walk the line between having -- preserving the principle of only allowing recruiting on campus by institutions, companies, the government that do not discriminate. But she was also very careful not to try to look like she was anti-Military.

She did ask -- make sure that the Military not recruit on campus formally, but she also allowed recruiting nearby campus by the Military. There was recruiting by the Military at Harvard Law School while she was dean. So she tried to walk the line between the two -- between preserving the principle of anti-discrimination but also not trying to look anti-Military.

She also started having a special celebration for veterans who were students at Harvard Law School. So she really tried to have it both ways.

We'll see in these confirmation hearings whether she was successful in a way that pleases the senate.

BLITZER: Jeffrey, stand by.