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Supreme Court Reaches Decision on Arizona Immigration Law; Egyptian Military Accepts Morsi as President; Military Defections From Syria; Tropical Storm Debby Weakens.

Aired June 25, 2012 - 11:00   ET


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John King in Washington. Welcome, if you're just joining us as we start the 11:00 hour here on the East Coast.

Several important decisions from the United States Supreme Court today. This headline, though, the big health care decision will not come until Thursday. That will be the final day of this year's Supreme Court term, the justices announcing remaining decisions, including the challenge of the president's signature first-term initiative, what may call "ObamaCare." That will come on Thursday.

But a very most important decision in the Arizona state immigration case, a mixed verdict, as Jeff Toobin just told us. Several provisions thrown out as unconstitutional. The justices saying the state of Arizona was trying to essentially police immigration, which is a federal purview, but one very controversial "show-me-your-papers" provision left in place, that being, if a police officer stops somebody for some other reasons and then has probable cause to believe that they're in the country illegally, that officer can then ask for documentations and proof.

A juvenile justice decision today. A big campaign finance decision today. Let's go right back to Jeff Toobin. He's outside the court.

Jeff, you're in the room as the justices went the litany of rulings that came out today and through the announcement that we will wait a few more days for the healthcare. Take us inside the courtroom.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Again, everybody has been on pins and needles for two weeks in this court. And we know that they know that we know that everybody's waiting for a healthcare case.

I thought today began with somewhat of a surprise because Justice Elana Kagan is a very new justice, but she had a very important opinion this morning. She had a decision that struck down mandatory life-without-parole terms for juvenile offenders.

This case comes out of Florida, a 14-year old who was convicted of murder. There's a law in Florida, there's a law in several states that says on these circumstances, this person must be sentenced to life without parole. And what the court held by 5-to-4, Justice Anthony Kennedy joining the fourth liberals, said that it is unconstitutional for a law to say that a juvenile convicted of murder must automatically serve life without parole.

The judge or jury has to make a separate determination about whether the individual should serve life without parole. That was the big decision this morning from Justice Kagan.

After that, we heard from Justice Kennedy in the Arizona case, again, a case we have been waiting for for a very long time. What was interesting about this case is that it felt like both sides could claim victory here. Three of the four controversial provisions were struck down as violations of the federal government's exclusive right to control immigration.

However, the fourth provision, perhaps the most controversial provision, which authorizes Arizona law enforcement officials to essentially demand from individuals "show us your papers, show us your immigration papers," that was upheld by the justices, so that's something that, as you were just discussing, Arizona officials will take heart from.

So, those were the two big cases today and the big decision was no decision, Thursday, we'll know about healthcare.

KING: When you say Thursday we'll know about health care, take us inside the room. There are no cameras allowed in there, so unless you get one of the few passes and you're in there, especially on a day like this, as you put moments ago -- I think quite well -- they know what we're waiting for.

Were there jokes about the waiting? Did you get any hint that healthcare was not coming? Or did they save that till the very end? Business-like, light humor?

TOOBIN: It's just such a delicious scene in there because the Supreme Court is a very straight-laced operation. They don't announce at the beginning of the morning which opinions they will be deciding.

So the way it works is Chief Justice Roberts comes out and he says, Justice Kagan will have the opinion in number so-and-so, state of Florida case. And then Justice Kagan reads her opinion. Justice Alito read a dissent from the bench. That case was 5-to-4.

And then we go back to the chief justice and the chief justice then says, Justice Kennedy has the opinion in Arizona against the United States. Justice Kennedy read his opinion and then Justice Scalia read his dissent.

Then we're all waiting. Is there another opinion? And the chief justice says, no, we will return on Thursday for all the remaining cases of the year. And then we all file out.

So, it's opinion-by-opinion, which makes it even more excruciating. Not only don't we know right at 10:00, we don't know until the chief justice says so, which opinions are going to come out today.

KING: It's a lesson in the judicial branch of our democracy. You call it excruciating. I call it exciting. Maybe it's a little bit of both. Jeff Toobin outside the court. He'll be with us as we continue to break down these decisions.

I want to bring in our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin. Jess, when waiting for the healthcare ruling, waiting for the Arizona ruling, not only to see the decided, but then to see the political fallout in what is, of course, a presidential election year.

When you see what was a victory for the most part for the federal government, but that one notorious part, the controversial part about "show me your papers," part of the Arizona law left into effect, what is the sense from your sources on the political impact of that? Is it something likely to motivate the Latino community?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They're still measuring how to respond to this decision, but the general takeaway is, big picture, the federal government fought this ruling, fought this law by Arizona and won and, so, the sense is that they can go out and be able to say to Latinos, we have stood up and fought this and we've got your back, basically. This is my sense of what will happen next, John.

At the same time, Governor Romney stood by this law and said, at one point, the immigration law that Arizona passed should be the model for the nation, so you can imagine a candidate Obama, perhaps on the trail, saying, look, Governor Romney wanted that law to be national. I fought it. And use that as sort of a dividing line, a wedge-issue, if you will.

But Romney could hit back, saying, well, OK, so you fought that law. What do you have planned because now you have said the federal government is going to take on immigration and it's the federal government's responsibility to handle immigration, so what is your big plan, Mr. President.

Now, I can tell you that the Obama administration has, chapter- and-verse, on the way they've cracked down on the border, more deportations than any other administration, fewer immigrants coming over illegally, as well. But still, you can see how this will be a hard-fought battle with both sides making very persuasive points to these key bases, the president having perhaps a more persuasive case to that crucial Latino vote.

I'll finally say, John, 21 million Latinos eligible to vote, fewer than half of them currently registered, the game here is to get them energized and out to vote.

KING: That is the big challenge for the campaign, for all campaigns across the country, but particularly in several battleground states. And by coincidence or deliciously, Governor Romney is due to be in Arizona today as this decision unfolds. We'll check in with Jim Acosta momentarily. He's tracking Governor Romney about to leave Utah and head into the state of Arizona. Let's bring into the conversation, Juan Carlos Lopez. He is a senior correspondent and anchor for our sister network, CNN en Espanol. When you look at this decision, obviously, the federal government did win three of those important, contested counts, thrown out. The court saying that's the federal government's business, a state can't police that, but that "show-me-your-papers" provision left in.

What do you think, my friend, will be the likely political impact going forward now as they begin to implement that provision?

JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN EN ESPANOL CORRESPODENT: The mood and the sense of those who are fighting this, John, was that they were going to get an adverse reaction. They were expecting a ruling that would be against them because of what they heard during arguments before the Supreme Court.

So this is very likely going to be presented as a victory. It's a 5-3 ruling, it maintains decisions by the lower courts that are important in the state and, with the "show-me-your-papers" clause, yes, it does stand, but it is open to further legal action.

So this is something that will probably be the next step and that was taking place already. Groups that were filing the lawsuits against 1070 and other laws have been doing it after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rulings and before the Supreme Court ruling, so this is one more step.

But I think it will be a positive headline for the groups that were looking for this because they were expecting the Supreme Court to rule in favor of Arizona.

KING: Juan Carlos Lopez with CNN en Espanol joins us with that important context. We'll check in with Jim Acosta with the Romney campaign in a moment, but first, a little bit more context now of the Arizona immigration law going forward. Here's CNN's Casey Wian.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The most controversial provision of Arizona's SB1070 is the requirement that local law enforcement officers, during a legal stop, detention or arrest, try to determine the immigration status of any person they encounter, if they have reasonable suspicion that person is in the United States illegally.

RUSSELL PEARCE (R), ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: We're going to take the handcuffs off of law enforcement. We're going to put them on the bad guy. Illegal is not a race. It's a crime.

REPRESENTATIVE LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Look at my face. Listen to my voice. I finally get picked up in Arizona and questioned.

SHERIFF PAUL BABEU, PINAL COUNTY, ARIZONA: Most of us in law enforcement welcome this legislation. UNIDENTIFED MALE: We're very concerned that 1070 will signify the end of the Latino community in Arizona and I'm not kidding about this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, OFFICE OF ARIZONA GOVERNOR JAN BREWER: Governor's office. OK, are you asking the governor to veto it or sign it?

LYNNE BRYER, SB1070 SUPPORTER: This is not the perfect immigration bill, but as a resident of Arizona for 27 years, I have watched this problem grow and grow and grow and the bigger it gets, the more dangerous it gets.

GOVERNOR JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: While I'm not prepared to announce a decision on Senate Bill 1070 this evening, I can tell you what I decide will be based on doing what's right for Arizona.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others and that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.

BREWER: I will now sign Senate Bill 1070. Though many people disagree, I firmly believe it represents what's best for Arizona. Border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues for the people of our state.

WIAN: What do you think of this new law that the governor signed yesterday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're illegal, I don't think you should be here in the states.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe it is an instrument of racial profiling.

JOSE ACOSTA, PROTESTER: Are they going to be looking for Europeans as well? Or is it just the brown people?

WIAN: What do you have to say those concerns?


CHIEF JACK HARRIS, POLICE CHIEF, PHOENIX, ARIZONA: It puts my officers in a very difficult position. If they enforce state law, they are going to be sued because their violating federal law.

REVEREND WARREN STEWART, FIRST INSTITUTIONAL BAPTIST, PHOENIX, ARIZONA: I can assure you that civil rights organizations are rejoicing that the federal government is suing the state of Arizona.

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: Lawsuits or no lawsuits, I'm going to continue enforcing the federal and state immigration laws. WIAN: Arizona's illegal population peaked in 2008 at 565,000 people, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Two years later, when SB1070 passed, it was 470,000 and, last year, it fell to 360,000. Most of that decrease is attributed to the economy.

Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.


KING: Again, an important context here from Casey Wian.

If you're just joining us, three of the four contested provisions of the Arizona immigration law are thrown out by the Supreme Court, but one, the so-called "check-your-papers" provision, the court leaving in place for now, saying, if implemented by the state, could face legal challenges down the road.

The question now is how will and how quickly will Arizona implement that decision. Our special coverage will continue on this ruling, the Arizona immigration ruling, and other important Supreme Court rulings, as well.

We continue in just a moment.


KING: Important breaking news out of the United States Supreme Court today, several important decisions. We should tell you upfront the healthcare decision should come on Thursday, the final day of this year's Supreme Court term.

But a very important decision on the Arizona immigration law, SB1070, that state law was called, the court throwing out three of four of the provisions, leaving in place, though, one provision that many Latino activists view as a gateway to racial profiling.

It allows police officers, if they stop somebody for another offense, say, a traffic violation, breaking and entering, if they have probable cause to believe that person is in the United States illegally, it gives the police the right to demand documentation.

Now, we have heard from the state attorney general. He says this will be implemented quite carefully so there is no racial profiling.

Here, though, from our affiliate KNXV in Phoenix, some reaction from Arizona citizens.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, PROTESTER: Everybody is still in shock because we have been out here for four days, lack of sleep and just waiting for the news, finally. It was very, you know, shocking for some folks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you surprised by the decision? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am very surprised. You know, I was expecting, you know, to get it completely taken off, but unfortunately, the one that I fear the most got still in ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The one provision that you were talking about would allow police officers to check immigration status after they have already stopped someone. That is going to move forward and you said that really scares you and that's the worst one that could have gone through. Tell me why.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I do drive, I drive to work, I drive to school, I drive my sister to her babysitter and school so it's very scary for me to have that in the back of my head that I could still be pulled over and even maybe deported.


KING: That reaction on the ground from affiliate KNXV in Phoenix. You heard the apprehension of the young woman there because that one provision, the "show-your-papers" provision left in place by the Supreme Court, although the court did say that could be subject to challenge, once implemented, depending on how it is handled by the Arizona authorities.

Heading to Arizona later today is the Republican nominee for president, the former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Our Jim Acosta, our national political correspondent is with him now in Salt Lake City as they prepare to make the journey.

Jim, politics is a funny business, a remarkable day for Governor Romney to go into Arizona. What is the campaign saying about this big decision today?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): John, right now the campaign is not saying much of anything. I think it is no surprise that they're being cautious about this. They're probably going through the ruling, talking about this among advisors who brief Mitt Romney on legal issues such as this one.

But it is interesting to note, John, this issue did come up during the campaign, as you know, several times. Mitt Romney said on a number of occasions that he supports the Arizona immigration law, but he said that it should not be a model for the country, but that component of all of this is really what's at issue, should the law in Arizona be something that's applied nationally and Mitt Romney said that should not be the case.

It is no surprise that he is reacting cautiously so far. If you look at his speech that he gave at the NALEO conference in Orlando, there was no mention of the Arizona immigration law. There was no mention as to what the country should do with the ten or 12 million illegal immigrants in the country.

And, so, I would expect if we hear anything from Mitt Romney today -- and keep in mind he sometimes get chatty with reporters on his campaign plane and we're going to get on that plane in just a few minutes -- it's likely that he will stick to the line that he's given time and again, which is, he supports a system of legal immigration in this country, that he wants to make legal immigration easier in this country and he wants to make illegal immigration more difficult.

So that is basically what we might expect to hear from Mitt Romney at this point, but we haven't heard anything yet from the campaign, a note of caution perhaps from the campaign that they're sifting through this very carefully before making a statement, John.

KING: We'll keep in touch with Jim Acosta as he makes the trip with Governor Romney from Salt Lake City to Phoenix, Arizona. Governor Romney will be in the Scottsdale-area today and we'll look for reaction as soon as possible.

Jim, thanks so much for that context and insight.

We're going to take a quick break and, when we come back, we'll continue our coverage of a very important decision by the Supreme Court today, throwing out three contested provisions of the Arizona immigration law, but upholding one, the "show-me-your-papers" law. That controversial provision remains in place for now.


KING: Welcome back to the "CNN Newsroom" and our special coverage of some dramatic decisions by the United States Supreme Court today. First and foremost, a decision about the Arizona immigration law. In a 5-to-3 vote, the court struck down key and controversial parts of that immigration law. SB1070, it's called.

Basically, the court said the federal government can block most of the law. The Obama administration argued against the sweeping state provisions.

I want to bring into the conversation Janet Murguia. She's the president of the National Council of La Raza. And Janet, the court said on three of the four contested provisions, no. Those are federal purviews. The state can't do that.

But on the one "show-me-your-papers" requirement, if you will, they left that in place and, Janet, the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer says this. "Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law." How do you see it?

JANET MURGUIA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA (via telephone): I think there's no question that for us, we see the ruling, even though it was a narrow, as it relates to section 2(b) on the "show-me-your-papers" provision, it's still a big problem, not just Latinos and immigrants in this country, but for everyone, for every American.

And I do think that striking down the other provisions is a victory that we can claim, but it is hugely problematic and a real threat, I think, to the civil rights of anyone to have any part of section 2(b), the "show-me-your-papers" provision in place. Allowing state and local law enforcement officials to basically determine the immigration status of anyone they stop is a huge problem and it should be left to the federal authorities.

So, I think the Supreme Court tried to narrow that impact, but for us, it still puts a bull's-eye on the backs of many Latinos in this country.

KING: You say it puts a bull's-eye. I spoke a moment ago to the Republican attorney general of the state of Arizona and he said that he wanted to assure people that that would not happen, that there would not be racial profiling.

He also said that state and local police departments are now free to implement that provision, 2(b), it is called, that is the :show-me- your-papers" provision, implement it as early as today, now that the court has spoken.

When you hear the attorney general say we will not profile, do you trust him?

MURGUIA: It's one thing for them to say they won't profile, but let's look at the history of Arizona. You're talking about a state where basically immigrants and Hispanics have been terrorized by the sheriff there. The court clearly did not take into account that Arizona has America's worst sheriff and that the Department of Justice has had exhaustive reports of condemning the actions of their law enforcement already in place there.

So they have a very sorry history when it comes to violating and abusing the rights of Hispanics, simply because of the way they look. So there's no -- I don't take any comfort in knowing that the attorney general is saying that this is going to change overnight.

KING: This comes at a time, as you well know, when both candidates for president are starting to accelerate their courting of the Latino vote. Now that the court has spoken and it's a mixed decision, the federal government won on some counts, the state of Arizona won on this notorious show me your papers provisions.

MURGUIA: I think it's very important that they reject this type of law as a model for the country and I think we heard that pretty loudly and clearly from President Obama when he spoke to the conference last week.

Romney is on record having said that this law is a model for the country and, while he made some efforts to soften his tone last week as he addressed participants in this conference, there was not a lot of specifics and not a lot of clarity, so we would like to hear today as candidate Romney lands in Phoenix, Arizona, for him to reject this provision out right.

KING: We'll look for Governor Romney's reaction as he does travel to Phoenix today. Janet, thanks for helps us today.

We're going to take a quick break, but in a moment, the important ruling on the Arizona immigration law and several other rulings and the final ruling will come on Thursday including the court's decision on whether the Obama health care law is constitutional.


KING: Welcome back to our breaking news coverage. Several importing decisions by the United States Supreme Court today, including in the controversial S.B. 1070, the Arizona immigration law. The court throwing out three contested provisions, saying the state did not have the right to essentially police federal immigration issues. But the court left in place, at least for now, one of the most controversial provisions, allowing police to ask for papers during a routine traffic stop or during some other dealings with somebody for other causes. They have reasonable cause to believe that person is in the country illegally, then they can ask for documentation.

Some quick political reaction from both of Arizona's Senators, Republicans John Kyl and John McCain. They say this, "While we want to review the Supreme Court's decision, this ruling appears to validate a key component of Arizona's immigration law." That being that "show me your papers" documentation, from the Senator Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, says, "I'm concerned about American citizens that provisions putting American citizens in danger of being detained by police unless they carry their immigration papers will at all times lead to a system of racial profiling. You see the political reaction coming in. We're waiting to hear from the president and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

Let's go outside the Supreme Court now to Jeffrey Toobin, who was in the room with the justices when they went through their litany of rulings today.

And, Jeff, take us back inside there for flavor. And if you can, answer this question. You have the Arizona immigration law, you had a campaign finance case, you had a key juvenile justice ruling from Elena Kagan, one of the younger justices on the court, who are today's winners and losers?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think one of the winners today is Donald Verilli, the state attorney general, who received so much criticism in the health care case. The justices were pretty tough on him in the Arizona immigration case too. He got at least a partial victory out of that case. It's important to recognize the solicitor general can definitely take a win from this.

Let me talk about one thing we haven't talked about yet, which was Justice Kennedy did the majority opinion in the Arizona case. The dissenting opinion was by Justice Scalia. And no one writes a dissenting opinion like Justice Scalia. He went off on the Obama administration, like Mitt Romney on steroids. He attacked Romney -- Obama's recent order about young people and not enforcing the law there. He said, in something that drew a smile from some of the justices, he said, Justice Scalia said, "If this ruling were known in advance, Arizona might not have decided to join the union of the United States of America." I think a lot of people were there thinking, as I was thinking, really? You think, Arizona would have said, I think we're going to join Mexico instead? I think there was a little hyperbole there.

But even though most of us regard this decision as a mixed result, Justice Scalia saw it as an endorsement of illegal immigration and he was more than usually outraged.

KING: When the chief justice told those of you in the room and you get to come out and tell the rest of us, sorry, folks, you're going to have to wait until Thursday on health care, did he specifically mention the case? Or did he just say the remaining decisions will be released on Thursday.

TOOBIN: He said the latter. There are actually two other cases that will be decided on Thursday. One is an extremely obscure civil dispute that has been pending since November. I am not that familiar with the details of it. But it is still hanging around.

The other case is actually a very interesting case. There's a law called Stolen Valor Affect. There's a law that says if you falsely claim to have received military commendations, you can be criminally prosecuted. That case, there's a First Amendment challenge, a freedom of speech challenge to that case. That is also pending. We'll hear that on Thursday.

And of course, Florida v. the Health and Human Services Department. That's the big health care case. That will be decided on Thursday. So two rather peculiar, not earth-shaking cases and then health care we'll get on Thursday.

KING: Why do I suspect they'll do health care last? I just --


TOOBIN: Actually, John, can I just add another piece of Supreme Court trivia there?

KING: Go for it.

TOOBIN: The way they announce opinions is in reverse-seniority order. Justice Kagan announced the first opinion. You knew if would be somewhat more senior. Then Justice Kennedy announced the next opinion, which suggested that we might actually get health care because most people think the chief justice will right health care, and he's always top in seniority, but we didn't get it. So by the order in which they're announced, you know who might be writing the opinion.

KING: Jeff Toobin for us outside the court. Jeff will be there outside the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, throughout the day here as well as we go through Arizona and the other decisions.

Let's get some more reaction from the Arizona decision from Dan Stein. He's the president of the country's largest immigration reform group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR.

Mr. Stein, when you read the Arizona decision, what's your take?

DAN STEIN, PRESIDENT, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: Well, I think the ball's now thrown back to Congress because the Supreme Court, essentially the majority opinion, the Kennedy opinion embraces the Obama administration's claim that they have unlimited discretion to ignore immigration law and states have no authority in this area. And the majority opinion scrupulously ignores 200 years in jurisprudence in history that says that Congress can delegate to the state's specific authority. There's all sorts of provisions in the immigration law that say they want states to help the executive branch. And instead, the Kennedy opinion cites the Morton memo, the so-called Obama Morton memo that say, we have the right to ignore millions of immigrants here illegally and do whatever we want and nobody can stop us. If you're a taxpayer, a citizen in this country looking for guidance, the only place left now -- and this is where Romney needs to go back to -- is real reform will happen in Congress explicitly setting out guidelines for how the federal-state enforcement strategy needs to work. The Supreme Court had a great opportunity to really provide some guidance to give us a real structure that would work. What they did, though, was essentially say, just like the case in 1982, taxpayers are going to pay billions and billions of dollars for illegal immigration, and if the executive branch doesn't want to enforce the law, nobody can stop them. That could be a real problem.

But I will say this, Justice Sotomayor sided with the majority, saying that Section 2B was, in fact, legal, constitutional and consistent with state sovereignty. Justice Scalia's dissent was very high on this idea that states retain, as we believe, inherent authority to pass laws to preserve their tax base and control their destinies in a manner that's consistent with federal law. That's what the immigration bill is. it's consistent with federal law. Everything that the Supreme Court said was wrong with the law could be solved by Congress stepping up to the plate. We've been waiting for John Boehner, for Congress to step forward and saying, in light of the Arizona bill, let's provide some clarifying language here at the federal legislative level to make sure these state bills, in fact, both work and are done cooperatively with the executive branch.

KING: I think we'll have to wait at least until the election to learn about that. Let me ask you about the one portion they left in place. The one portion they left in place. You heard the state attorney general saying there will not be racial profiling. But if you read the decision, Justice Kennedy was clear he assumes there might well be future challenges. He said essentially they have to implement it first. How quickly do you think that issue will be back in the courts?

STEIN: Sadly, there's a civil rights industry that's going to make all kinds of wild claims about how it's being enforced to try to get an injunction to tie it up in knots for year. Remember, the civil rights industry wants to try to engraph the so-called Discriminatory Effect Doctrine onto law enforcement in a manner that makes it virtually impossible to enforce the immigration law in the interior of the country. They want to stop all interior immigration enforcement. They have a partner in the Obama administration that's actually helping to bring that about. So they're going to keep filing these cases that we, taxpayers, are subsidizing, one after another, making these allegations. So the litigation will go on unfortunately for some time. in the end, Congress -- John, Congress has to step up to the plate and give very specific guidance in what states cannot do in the area of federal -- field preemptionary of the immigration law.

KING: Dan Stein, appreciate your insights. I know folks in the Obama administration would challenge what you just said. They would say they have had record deportations. They would say they have more people along the border. But it's a good reelection of the political debate that will not be settled by the Supreme Court decision on the Arizona law. We'll continue through the election and most likely next year and beyond.

I appreciate your insights there.

STEIN: Thank you.

KING: We're going to continue our coverage of these important decisions by the United States Supreme Court. But for now, we'll take a quick break.


PHILLIPS: We're going to turn to other news, take a break from the Supreme Court.

We're going to begin with Egypt, and the stunning turn around there. The country's hard-line military rulers accepting the will of the people.




PHILLIPS: Actually played out in pretty dramatic fashion in Cairo's Tahrir Square and across the country when the military yesterday officially recognized Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, as the winner of Egypt's first democratically held election. Morsi is the first Islamist elected as head of an Arab state and he faces a number of problems, not the least being the military.

Ben Wedeman in Cairo.

Ben, let's talk about what the president elect is actually doing today.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: We understand he's in presidential offices that until a year and a half ago were occupied by Hosni Mubarak. There, he's apparently looking at his options as far as putting a cabinet together. He did promise Egyptians that he would not pack that cabinet with members of his Muslim Brotherhood movement but rather he would be looking for technocrats and representatives of other trends within Egypt, Coptic Christians, women, even youth from Tahrir Square.

Now interestingly, one of the fairly reliable Egyptian newspapers is recording today that Hosni Mubarak has suffered a health set back, when he learned that Mohamed Morsi, a man he jailed for a few months a few years ago, has been named president elect.

PHILLIPS: Question to you. Given what the military did before the runoff, what kind of power will Morsi really have?

WEDEMAN: Very little real power. He does have the power to appoint and dismiss his ministers, but when it comes to the real power in a country, he cannot for instance send a forecast wagon full of soldiers from Cairo to Alexandria, without the prior approval of the military council. He can't write up a budget without the approval of the military council. And one thing he can't do is actually have a look at the military budget. They have complete exclusive oversight over themselves. So as a president, he's already kind of a lame duck.

PHILLIPS: Ben Wedeman out of Cairo for us. Thanks, Ben.


PHILLIPS: Taking you now to Syria. Military defections and the impact on the politics there. The military has been responsible for carrying out Assad's orders to brutally crush the political uprising. But today, we're hearing 33 of those soldiers have actually defected to Turkey, including a general and two colonels.

Joining me now from Istanbul, CNN's Ivan Watson.

Ivan, this is the first military defections that we're hearing about, right?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, by no means. I mean, we estimate that thousands, if not perhaps far more Syrian soldiers have defected according to the uprising of the last year and a half. Sources within a refugee camp, populated by defector Syrian officers here in Turkey, say they have already 15 generals residing amongst themselves. They don't understand why this is such a big story. they do confirm, however, that at least five officers, a general, a colonel, a lieutenant colonel, a major and a captain, all crossed the border with their families yesterday and that they were from the embattled and very rebellious city of Homs. They claim they're getting defected soldiers every day -- Kyra?

PHILLIPS: What about the shooting down of an unarmed military jet, a Turkish jet?

WATSON: Initially, we saw some coordination between the Turks and the Syrians after the Turks shot down a Syrian warplane in the Mediterranean. The two crew members -- this was last Friday. The crew members have not been found. The wreckage has been found deep beneath the east Mediterranean. Now we're seeing a divergence where Turkey is calling this a hostile act, saying its plane was in international air space when it was shot down, and slamming basically Syria, saying you shot our plane down without any warning shots, without any warning. The Syrians coming back and saying, this is our sovereign right, the plane was in our air space and Turkey is trying to create a hostile atmosphere around us by complaining about us shooting down their own plane. NATO, the military alliance is meeting in Brussels tomorrow. We can assume they're mulling steps to take to respond to what they are calling an act of aggression -- Kyra?

PHILLIPS: Ivan Watson in Istanbul. Thank you so much.

The wreckage of that Turkish plane has been found after the days of searching. It's at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, about 4000 feet down. No word on whether they've found the two crew members from that plane.


PHILLIPS: Tropical Storm Debby is weakening, but it is threatening several states right now. Live pictures from satellite image. Debby churning in the Gulf of Mexico, stalled about 90 miles from Florida's southern tip. Surrounding states are feeling the fury. Debby is lashing the south, causing major flooding and spinning off tornados. Officials are saying that storm has already killed at least one person in central Florida. Take a look at this. This is Copper Field in Clearwater, Florida, where the Phillies have their spring training. A look at the flooding so far.

John Zarrella is standing by there near Clearwater, in Pass-a- Grille.

John, how bad is the situation right now?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, as you mentioned, the storm is weakening, but it won't be forgotten here in Pass-a-Grille. You see behind me there. That is a detached garage with apartment on top. Nobody was living in there fortunately, but last night at about 8:00 p.m., the winds were howling. Authorities are not sure if it was a tornado or a waterspout or straight-line winds, but it came down hard and fast. Look, a lot of standing water here as well, all in this neighborhood, the power is out, and not sure how long it is going to take to get it restored. A lot of the tree limbs are down and the debris through here. You walk to the corner of the street here, Kyra, you can see the part of that sign has been knocked over on its side. They're cutting up the trees and trying the get the debris out of the way. You see the giant oak tree that was pulled up as well.

It is really a narrow spit of land. To the left, that is the Gulf of Mexico, and over here on this side, that's the Intercoastal Waterway. So not much land here. People are saying that they were really, really fortunate that it was not worse. They had eight homes that sustained some pretty serious damage, and about 20, 25 properties in all that sustained some other minor damage, but no power here.

A lot of people walking the streets. It is not clear when they are going to get the power on. But all across the central Florida and the west coast of Florida, reports of flooding, reports of some tornados, waterspouts. Colleges have been closed today. The question is, as the storm continues to move closer to Florida, is it going to reform at all? The Hurricane Center seems to think that is not the case, but still the possibility of tornadoes and heavy rain across particularly north and north central Florida today, tomorrow and until this thing moves ashore. It is a slow mover. Might be Wednesday before we actually get to see landfall of what ever is left of tropical storm Debby -- Kyra?

PHILLIPS: Well, thank you, John Zarrella.

And let's bring in Chad Meyers who can tell us more about Debby.

It is weakening, right? That is the good news?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. The winds are down to 45, but some of the things that John touched on are really, really important, because the ground s are so saturated that a 45 miles per hour wind can knock over the trees, but at is wet and the trees won't stand up well. More rain across big bend, and Tampa to Orlando and some of the storm storms, because of the entire is storm is spinning, some of the storms right now are also spinning, and you can get little tiny tornadoes, and not Texas and Kansas-sized tornado, but you don't need much. You see what that one did that was a waterspout that came on shore, because it knocked down a couple of big buildings where John was. This center is not a lot of convection around the center and not much to worry about with the storm, but John was talking about, could it re-intensify, and absolutely it could because the water is warm. Some of the new track shows that three days for Florida and another couple of days to the east. Watch out for flooding and watch out for sinkholes. The sinkhole problem across the parts of the flooded area and ground saturated and may completely go down into the ground where you think it is a little bit of water, but the land could be gone completely from underneath that road -- Kyra?

PHILLIPS: Chad, we'll keep tracking it. Thanks so much.

You can also see live satellite images and the latest projected track of Tropical Storm Debby. Go to

All right. Thank you for watching, everyone. A very busy morning. You can follow me on Twitter at Kyra/CNN or on Facebook.

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