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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Supreme Court Conflicted Over Same-Sex Marriage; Same Sex Marriage Dividing The GOP

Aired March 26, 2013 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the battle in the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage. What clue did we hear in court today as to how it could be decided for the 50 states?

Plus, a bombshell announcement in Italy, the highest court there wants Amanda Knox to stand trial for murder again. Can she avoid it?

And the FAA decides if electronic devices can be used on planes. Could your life in the air about to be changed epically? We have a special report. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, cold feet on gay marriage, could the Supreme Court be having second thoughts of taking up the lightning rod issue?

Today, protesters and gay rights supporters swarming the steps of the Supreme Court and inside the justices were listening to the arguments, bullet point by bullet point, for and against, California's ban on same-sex marriage. That's the so-called Proposition 8.

The justices have the power to make gay marriage the law of the land. Currently, it's actually only the law in nine states and Washington, D.C. If you go straight from that to all 50, well, that's a really big edict from the high court and some justices sounded wary of issuing such a broad ruling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMUEL ALITO, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: On a question like that, of such fundamental importance, why should it not be left for the people, either acting through initiatives and referendums or through their elected public officials?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Well, others like Justice Anthony Kennedy questioned why they were hearing the case in the first place, which is a pretty interesting thing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY KENNEDY, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: I just wonder if the case was properly granted. The problem with the case is that you're really asking particularly because of the sociological evidence you cite for us to go in to unchartered waters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Unchartered waters. Some justices tried to get to the heart of the matter. At one point, Chief Justice John Roberts whose first cousin is a lesbian and was in the courtroom as a spectator asked whether supporters of same-sex marriage were attempting to redefine the word marriage altogether.

So he was grilling Ted Olson, one of the lawyers arguing for same-sex marriage. Here's that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE: So it's just about -- just about the label in this case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The label is --

ROBERTS: Same-sex couples every other right and just about the label.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The label marriage means something, even opponents --

ROBERTS: Sure. If you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend, I suppose you can force the child to say, this is my friend. But it changes the definition of what it means to be a friend.

And that's it seems to me what supporters of Proposition 8 are saying here. All you're interested in is the label and you insist on changing the definition of the label.

It is like you were to say you can vote, you can travel, but you may not be a citizen. There are certain labels in this country that are very, very critical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Pretty interesting analogy there. Let us know what you think about it. When you say someone has to be your friend, does that suddenly change the definition of the word "friend?"

OUTFRONT tonight, senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, he was in the courtroom today. Jeff, what's your sense of how the court is going to rule? This is obviously if they go ahead and do something big here, this is huge. This is transformational for much of the country.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It is but, you know, this was an unusually baffling argument. I have to say. Usually, you have some sense, sometimes you can have a wrong sense and I've certainly had wrong senses before, but the court so fractured over so many issues that, frankly, it wouldn't surprise me to see almost any result at this point. It did seem that even the liberals as well as the conservatives were weary of a 50-state solution. I don't think this court is going to tell Texas and Mississippi, you have to have same sex marriage at the end of this case.

But whether they tell California that California has to have same-sex marriage that seems a real possibility, but there are lots of moving parts and none of them are settled at this point.

BURNETT: You know, it's interesting. David Cole of Georgetown, you know, he wrote this op-ed in "The New York Times" today and one -- a sentence is this one, prudence counsels that marriage equality should be allowed to continue gaining support in the states and that a federal resolution should be left for another day.

He says that he himself is a supporter of gay marriage, but he is worried that the court could go too far and he gave the example of Roe V. Wade. He said back when that was -- when that had happened states were already moving towards abortion rights and that set everyone back.

And caused this battle that's been going on for decades and same with the Brown versus Board of Education on segregation, they found other ways to segregate the schools. So he said those cases were perhaps right, but they happened too soon. Are they afraid of doing that here?

TOOBIN: I think so. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is the leading liberal on the court now. She has been very critical of Roe V. Wade for just that reason and in today's argument was very careful a couple of times saying we don't have to deal with all 50 states.

Let's just make this case about California. There are procedural issues about the issue of who has the right to bring the case, which could allow the court to duck the issue altogether.

Frankly, what today the conclusion I reached about today was that tomorrow is even more important. Tomorrow is the day they evaluate the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act, DOMA.

That's the law that says the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages even in the states where it's legal. This seemed to be -- they seemed to be teeing up for perhaps striking down DOMA and leaving the California law for another day.

BURNETT: That's a pretty interesting point. We'll be talking to you again tomorrow. Thank you, Jeff.

And now when we talk about this whole issue of maybe it is better to let the American people decide, the Supreme Court should follow the people who seem to be going in the direction of gay marriage and not lead them.

Poll after poll we have seen a stark political divide on this issue. So the latest CNN poll, 70 percent of Democrats support gay marriage and 25 percent of Republicans support it. Obviously, those numbers starkly different, younger Republicans though, is a very different story. The Republican Party is split on this issue and OUTFRONT tonight, Republican strategist, Ann Navarro who signed a legal brief meant to influence the Supreme Court justices to support gay marriage, and Ralph Reed, the chairman of the Safe and Freedom coalition.

I appreciate both of you taking the time. Ralph, let me start with you on this issue. So you could say, look, 25 percent of Republicans support it. It is clear our party is in line. We know what we want and we don't want gay marriage.

But when you look at younger Republicans under 50, almost half, 49 percent support gay marriage and as you go younger that number goes even higher. Younger voters, of course, overwhelmingly voted for President Obama. If you make this a signature issue of the Republican Party, are you going to just become a party that's irrelevant?

RALPH REED, CHAIRMAN, FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION: Well, I don't think that we have made it a signature issue, but I think what we have said is that the institution of marriage is the central and foundational, socializing and acculturating institution in American civilization and it's not something that should be tinkered with.

It's not something that should be imposed on the American people by an act of judicial fiat. As you alluded to some folks earlier, Erin, have said could just exacerbate the polarization further increase the contentiousness of this issue.

I think it is served the Republican Party well to be the party that's pro-marriage, pro-family and pro-life and I'll tell you why. If we're serious about making inroads among minority voters, which we clearly need to do --

BURNETT: Right.

REED: -- the polling is clear. That the Hispanic voters, African-American voters, and Asian-American voters that we have the best chance of winning to our side, are frequent church attendees, conservative socially and culturally, these are the voters who gave George W. Bush 44 percent of the Hispanic vote.

And in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, where there were marriage amendments on the ballot, between 10 percent and 20 percent of the American-African vote. Any Republican nominee for president would take that in a New York minute today and George W. Bush did it by being unapologetically pro-marriage.

BURNETT: Ann, I mean, it's interesting point that Ralph raises. Dr. Richard Lando, another influential voice, religious voice in the Republican Party, leader of the Southern Baptist Convention said that young members of his community are over this.

And I want to quote what he said because it's a little bit different than what Ralph just said and get your reaction. He said basically, talking about the young people, they just don't think it's something we want to talk about.

They say it feels intolerant. We believe what we believe. They have a right to believe what they want only the. Marriage should be a church thing. Not a legal thing. That's not a repudiation of the issue here, but that is saying, let's not make it an issue for our party.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And I think that's -- I think that's a right way to go about it. It should not be a banner issue for the Republican Party, but Republicans and everybody else has got to acknowledge that this system is rapidly evolving social issue we have seen in our lifetime and it is at this point that folks in denial have to get out of the closet.

They have to wave goodbye to the caveman and step out gingerly and carefully into the brave new world. Gay couples are a part of the fiber of society and it is because gay couples agree that the institution of marriage is such an important part of our society that they want to be part of it.

Nobody wants to tinker with traditional marriage. Nobody wants to negatively impact traditional marriage in any way. They want to be part of that tradition. And Republicans, Democrats, we all have to realize that we cannot pray away the gay.

We cannot shut our eyes at this point, say we want to go back to Kansas and make the children of the gay couples go away. They're our neighbors, sisters, brothers. They are Republicans. Just on the way over here, Erin --

BURNETT: Yes?

NAVARRO: I got an e-mail from a friend of mine who has been a Republican donor for many years. A former CEO of a major corporation telling me he was not going to give any more money, anymore donations to any person who came out against gay marriage. And who, you know, was strident over it. So not only is it a reality, it's also a losing political issue. It's time to get in to the 21st Century.

BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it. Of course, we really would like to hear your point of view on this one. Go ahead and you can reach us on Twitter @outfrontcnn or @erinburnett.

Still OUTFRONT, how likely is it that Amanda Knox could be sent back to Italy for another murder trial? The answer on this is not that simple.

Plus, North Korea spells out its American targets and puts its offenses on the highest possible alert, higher than it's ever been.

And following the prostitution scandal of the Secret Service, President Obama names a new head of the agency and it's a pretty big change.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, a bombshell from Italy's Supreme Court. It wants Amanda Knox, the former American exchange student, to stand trial for murder again. Now you may remember Amanda Knox had spent four years in jail for the 2007 murder of her roommate.

Prosecutors claim the roommate was murdered after a drug-fuelled sex game gone wrong. That though was overturned by an appeals court in 2011 and Knox came home to Seattle, Washington. So, will she be going back to Italy and jail?

OUTFRONT, former prosecutor Wendy Murphy and criminal defense attorney, Anne Bremner, who has worked on the case for four years.

And Anne, I want to start with you. Because I know you know Amanda and you know her family. She put out a statement today saying no matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have. Confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity.

They had spent more than a million dollars on legal fees so far. What are they going to do now?

ANNE BREMNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, it's so stunning. You know, it was unimaginable -- you couldn't imagine it yesterday. But, you know, what they have to do now is they are going to have to gear up for a fight in Italy again. They have two lawyers in Italy go independence case again. Bu, they also have to look in to extradition and extradition lawyers and I have handled extraditions. They are not your typical case. And so, she has got, you know, a whole path ahead of her right now which is expensive which is going to be emotional. And which, you know, could be catastrophic to her life.

She finally got back to Seattle. The press here said we will leave you alone, Amanda Knox. She said she want to be left alone. We never hear about her out here in Seattle anymore. She finally got back to normal and now this. So, her life's turned upside down.

BURNETT: And I want to ask a little bit more on this issue of whether she will have to go to Italy or not.

But Wendy, first, let me ask you. Were you surprised by this? And I know you feel very differently on the fundamental issue here of guilt or innocence.

WENDY MURPHY, LAW PROFESSOR, NEW ENGLAND LAW, BOSTON: Yes. I wasn't surprised at all. It is the right result and I predicted it. And I predicted it because I read the file and looked at the evidence instead of just watching her cheer leaders and the PR machine mislead the American public to believe that she was not guilty.

You know, I know she doesn't look like a classic killer. She doesn't look like Jeffrey Dahmer. But, you know, Scott Peterson so much looks like dream date Ken. And look at Jodi Arias. I mean, we have to get over ourselves. She is capable of killing. Why? And what do we know of objectively about the evidence? The numbers five, three and one matter here. Five spots of blood in the apartment where Meredith Kircher was murdered. Mixture of Amanda Knox's DNA and the victim's blood on doorjambs and walls. You cannot explain it away innocently. They don't lived there for a couple of weeks at the time of the murder. No blood had been there. No mixture has an innocent explanation.

The three. She gave three different stories. First said I wasn't there at all. The next story, I was there but it was a hazy memory. And I -- she remembered details about the crime that only someone who was there could have known. During the second story. The third story was, oh, I wasn't there at all.

And third, the number one thing that we should be so angry about her, she falsely accused Patrick Lumumba, an innocent black man she had worked for. She knew we was innocent. She let him rot in jail! Falsely accusing him of the crime until he could prove he wasn't even there. That's the kind of person she is. She could let an innocent black man rot in jail rather than tell the truth. What kind of person does that? That the same kind of person who could kill a human being.

BURNETT: Anne, what is your response to that to the impassioned argument?

BREMNER: Well, I completely disagree with all of it. I know the case intimately. I have all videos, DVDs, I have everything in the case. I have the extra report and I have read and I will tell you, I read everything more than once. But the thing is it is like only lawyers and painters turn black to white. I mean, that's what we just heard from Wendy.

She didn't say she wasn't there. She didn't say that she was -- later say she was there and have details about what happened. She was out there without an interpreter. Didn't speak Italian without a lawyer for hours and hours overnight. And then said, if you were there, imagine what happened. And there was no detail that she knew supposedly that, you know, she shouldn't have known unless she was the killer.

The next thing is she did not accused Patrick Lumumba. She was asked, there was a text on a phone and said see you later. In Italy they said "see you later" to like go kill Meredith together that she texted to him. And they kept suggesting finding a hair consistent with someone who was an American that --

MURPHY: She was found guilty of falsely accusing him, Anne, and you know it.

BREMNER: That's Italy.

MURPHY: Found guilty on appeal. What? You will blame the entire country?

BREMNER: You know what?

MURPHY: She did falsely accuse him.

BREMNER: I have great respect for you but the thing about that is criminal defamation in Italy. We don't have that here.

MURPHY: Who cares?

BREMNER: Also in terms of the evidence in the case, on appeal, which is the noble appeal in Italy which you try it all over again, the court, the judge, appointed three different experts, two independent experts. You know what they said, they threw out all that evidence. All that evidence you have talked about, thrown out. Not a dismal, contaminated, you know, et cetera.

So, it's a very low standard for the visibility in Italy. So, that's what the case is all about. There is no evidence against Amanda Knox. Zero. And here she sits down here in Seattle. You know, finally getting used to her life and she has to deal with the case all over again and part of it is, let me just one other thing, it is the kind of media attention --

MURPHY: That's what happens when you kill people, Anne. Too bad.

BURNETT: Let me ask each of you quickly before we go though.

The bottom line question which is, she was tried for this, appealed, eventually found innocent after serving jail time. In the United States, once you're done in the system, you can't be tried again for the same crime. So, they are going to do that in Italy. But, the United States will have a decision. Are they are going to force her to go over there and stand trial or go to jail if that's the verdict or they not? Extradite or not? Yes or No? First to you, Anne.

BREMNER: Definitely not. It's not just the double jeopardy. We have it. They don't. The lack of facts and goes in to an extradition. So, luckily she is going to stay here. That is the good news today. It is the only good news.

BURNETT: Wendy, extradite? Yes or No?

MURPHY: Look, she is obviously never going there because she should be convicted because she deserves to be convicted. That's why she is whining about I'm not going back. She will be tried in (INAUDIBLE). She will be found guilty. There will be an extradition warrant issued for her and I hope this country has the political wherewithal to ship her over there because the extradition treaties depend on reciprocity. And when somebody that we want to prosecute and punish takes off and runs to Italy and we want them that person brought back here for justice, Italy is going to say forget you. You didn't give us Amanda Knox.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both of you. We appreciate it.

And OUTFRONT next, you always knew it was not exactly what they were saying it was and now the FAA might change its policy on, you know whether your phone can be on or off. Whether it could crash the plane or not.

Plus, is Victoria's Secret targeting young girls with the ad?

And Chris Christie, really, talks about getting naked. Oh boy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: President Obama announcing today that he will appoint a new director of the secret service. Her name is Julia Pierson. That's right. For the first time in American history, the person in charge of the president's security is going to be a woman. The president, of course, has been under fire for not including more women in his administration and a woman didn't get one of the coveted top jobs, whether it's state or defense.

Tom foreman is OUTFRONT with the story of who Julia Pierson is.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Julia Pierson is 53-years-old and she has been with the secret service for 30 years, working the way steadily up the ladder to be chief of staff, building what many describe as an exemplary record along the way.

What helped open the door for the appointment, however, was a scandal, one year ago the service came under fire amid allegations of agents on assignment hiring prostitutes. A half dozen were forced out, others lost security clearance. The whole affair tarnished the record of outgoing director, Mark Sullivan, and put pressure on the president to clean it up.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're representing the people of the United States. And when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards because we're not just representing ourselves. We are here on behalf of our people.

FOREMAN: So where did Pierson come from? According to an interview she gave to Smithsonian.com six years ago, Pierson's childhood interest in police work gained traction in a high school job at Disney world where she says, I wore one of those character outfits. To this day I think the experience of dealing with large crowds at the park had a good influence on my ability to do that sort of work with the secret service.

During college, she worked for the Orlando police department and she joined the secret service in 1983 beginning with investigations in to credit card fraud. Since then, she has been on security details for several presidents and she has experienced virtually every aspect of secret service operations including fraud and counterfeiting investigations.

In her new job, however, her political skills may be tested first because even though some congressional critics of the secret service scandal are praising her appointment, they're also saying she has a lot of work ahead to repair the agency's battered image - Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to you, Tom Foreman. And OUTFRONT next, North Korea putting its military assets on the highest alert they have ever been and again, threatening America. We have direct threats today.

Plus, the FAA considering allowing passengers to use electronic devices on planes. How big will this change be and when oh when will it happen?

What's scarier than a giant shark head coming toward you? Two giant shark heads.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. We start with stories we care about, where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.

And we begin with the new Quinnipiac poll today that shows New Jersey voters aren't crazy about the idea of their Governor Chris Christie as president in 2016. Forty-seven percent of New Jersey voters are against him making a bid for the White House, 44 percent say he wouldn't succeed as president. It's pretty harsh because they love him as a governor. His approval rating is 70 percent. Maybe because they just don't want him to leave.

Why is he so likable? Well, actually, because of his brash style. He plans to host Prince Harry on his visit to the United States in May. And today, Christie joked no nude hotel romps. Remember the one last year that Harry had? Saying, quote, "Believe me, no one is going to get naked if I'm spending the entire day with Prince Harry."

All right. A turning point in the conflict in Mali today. The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed sending a peacekeeping force of 11,200 troops to Mali. Expert Peter Brookes is skeptical the U.N.'s proposal, though. He says peacekeeping forces is not what Mali will need.

And, now, the first-ever two-headed bull shark to be documented. It's a subject in a new study in the journal of fish biology and we have pictures of it. You know, for the first time I actually feel sorry and worried about the shark. The shark which was a fetus had two large heads with two pairs of eyes but shared a lower half.

Sharks with two heads are rarely documented, only six had been known so far. In this case, a fisherman made the discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, we're not sure of the cause of the deformity but the study's co-author tells us it could be analogous to what happened with human conjoined twins.

It has been 600 days since the United States lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, we'll take good news where we can get it. And there was some in housing today, with home prices showing the biggest year over year jump in January since 2006.

And now our third story OUTFRONT: America be warned. North Korea is putting all of its missile and artillery units on the highest alert -- it's never been higher in history -- and threatening to strike American targets in Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. mainland. In its latest threat, the rogue nation says America should, quote, "be mindful that everything will be reduced to ashes and flames the moment the first attack is unleashed."

Tension between America and North Korea has been escalating for months, but the White House says at this point, it refuses to be intimidated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: DPRK will achieve nothing by these threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, Matthew Chance. He's on the online of Yeunpyeong, which is just four miles from North Korean water,

And, Matthew, I know where you're standing is, it got to be a pretty incredible perspective on this. Some might say it's easy to dismiss these threats from North Korea is bluster, but given where you are, able to see North Korean water from where you're standing, how nervous are people there?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, I think they're very nervous, indeed. Remember, you know, if North Korea is going to attack someone, it's been threatening its long range attacks for several weeks now on Hawaii, on Guam, on mainland United States. But I mean, the reality is that's largely fantasy. They haven't got a proven capability to do that.

They do have a proven capability to attack short range in communities in South Korea like this. They have done it in the past. In 2010, there was an artillery strike that struck the community here, destroying about 12 houses, killing about four people. And the residents of this island here, just a short distance from North Korea's territory, very nervous that that could happen again amid all of these threats coming out of Pyongyang right now, Erin.

BURNETT: And, Matthew, I want to ask you about that because, you know, where you're standing was attacked in 2010. And now, there's this new agreement in the past 24 hours between the United States and South Korea where theoretically, in a case like an attack on the island where you're standing, United States troops could be the ones involved and the ones fighting, right?

CHANCE: Yes. That's true. This new agreement really lowers the threshold of which the United States could enter a conflict on the Korean peninsula, obviously on the side of its ally, South Korea. Previously, it's just been, if South Korea is invaded by Pyongyang. But now, it could be incidents like the one described in 2010 if it's asked by South Korea to join in.

It's not meant, of course, as a means to get America into another conflict -- conflict on the Korean peninsula. It's meant as a deterrent, but it's not clear whether that deterrent affect will be positive or not, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Deterrent so far obviously has not worked.

Matthew Chance, thank you.

And I want to bring in Colonel Cedric Leighton now. He was stationed on the American territory of Guam, a major American base for more than a year.

Colonel Leighton, Guam is obviously perceived as, well, the closest American territory to North Korea and thus the most vulnerable, 2,100 miles away from the rogue country. We have 5,000 American troops stationed there now.

How real is the threat of North Korea to this American territory?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Erin, it's very real and the reason it's real is because it only takes the North Koreans one shot to get lucky. And if they get lucky from their point of view, it would be a direct hit on Guam and on territories like it.

Guam has a lot of things from a military perspective that are very important. First of all, it's a good strategic jumping off point for American forces, both for military operations as well as humanitarian operations. We've got three submarines that are based usually every -- concurrently on Guam. And, of course, there's a huge Air Force presence there, as well.

BURNETT: So, what could they launch? What is North Korea capable of launching right now that could strike Guam or perhaps even further? Although my understanding is they're not quite able to hit Hawaii as of yet.

LEIGHTON: That's right. Basically, we are talking the Taepodong family of missiles. The Taepodong missiles are basically designed to be intermediate range missiles, which gives them a range of anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 miles. They would then be able to hit Guam which falls within that range fairly easily.

The one weakness that the North Koreans would have would be their targeting capability and their ability to actually hit with pinpoint accuracy. But it wouldn't take much for them to get fairly close to Guam and if they're lucky, they could get that direct hit.

BURNETT: So, Colonel, what happens from here? The bar has been lowered for Americans to be involved, to be fighting North Korea. North Korea has been provoking and doing more tests. So what happens next?

LEIGHTON: Well, if the North Koreans live up to their rhetoric and they go further and they actually put those forces that are on alert into a heightened, even a more heightened state of readiness and actually engage in combat operations, then all bets are off. And what could next is the island of Matthew Chance was on could very well be in the direct path of their initial salvo into South Korea.

If they want to attack the United States, then Guam becomes a predominant target for them. Another possible target would be the island of Okinawa, which has a huge American force presence there.

BURNETT: Right.

LEIGHTON: And that would be a very dangerous situation.

So if we're not careful, these would be the types of escalations that could occur, that could involve U.S. forces right from the get- go.

BURNETT: Right.

LEIGHTON: And that agreement would become part of how we respond to the North Korean threat.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Colonel Leighton, thank you very much. Raises real questions, if there are war, there'd be any sort of an attack on one of those bases, you could see an incredible loss of American life, and it would be hard to imagine this country only doing a small response to that.

Well now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: please turn off all electronic devices. We've all been there, right? Have you been eyed by a fellow passenger who sees your iPad is on, sees you furtively typing away under your coat and is clearly not happy at you? Or maybe you're the worrywart.

But now, this whole situation may be about to change.

David Mattingly is OUTFRONT with a special report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pods, pads, tablets, smartphones, they all keep us plugged in, online and on the air, everywhere that is except in the air, when taking off and landing.

JOHN WALLS, CTIA-THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION: It's certainly appearing that using an electronic device to read a magazine, to read a book is not a safety factor.

MATTINGLY: Anyone who flies tells you how often the rule is ignored. But it's announced every single flight. Delta safety video even tries to have fun with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Electronic devices are turned off.

MATTINGLY: But using personal electronic devices below 10,000 feet is banned on most airlines because of the possibility their signals could interfere with aircraft systems and this hasn't been without moments of rebellion.

Actor Alec Baldwin made headlines when he was kicked off an American flight for playing a game in 2011.

The FAA is now looking in to changing the rules to allow some devices to stay on. Passengers are waiting for clarity for all the options available to them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it keeps people on board safer and messing with stuff on the plane, then I think that's OK to do.

MATTINGLY: But flight attendants, the people who tell you when to hit the off switch, also say it's a matter of getting your attention during the most sensitive parts of the flight.

VEDA SHOOK, ASSOC. OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Someone's listening to their music or they have -- they're watching a video and they've got their beats on and noise canceling headphones, we want to make sure that if there is a situation that passengers need to hear and understand that they will be able to do so.

MATTINGLY: The National Association of Airline Passengers actually agrees. Unplugging for a few minutes is a small price to pay for safety.

DOUGLAS KIDO, NATL. ASSOC. OF AIRLINE PASSENGERS: S, we do not as passengers want to do anything that will interfere or distract the pilots at this critical time of the flight.

MATTINGLY: The pressure is to bring the rules up to date with the proliferation of electronic devices. Even the FCC urged the FAA to allow greater use of tablets, e-readers and other portable electronic devices.

Delta is also on record urging the FAA to expand use of electronic devices in flight. But limiting cell phone calls to on the ground only.

(on camera): There's congressional pressure for change, as well. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says that the continued restrictions threaten to undermine public confidence in the FAA. The agency already allows pilots to use electronic tablets in the cockpit.

(on camera): An FAA committee is due to report its recommendations this summer, changes if any may not come until months later.

For OUTFRONT, David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. First, Victoria's Secret said they were marketing provocative underwear to teens. I mean, this is pretty provocative for a teen, right? Call me. You would hope he already has by the time he sees them. But then they said they aren't marketing it to teens. Are you cool with your tween wearing these?

And later, who spent $600,000 on Gucci clothes? The guy who wrote "Friday Night Lights." Seriously.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Now I want to check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360."

Hey, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erin. We're going to be looking at what happened in the Supreme Court today, whether it's history in the making. There are some certainly who feel that gay marriage is this generation's equivalent of the civil rights movement. We're going to speak with one person who believed that. The civil rights legend Julian Bond. Also, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who is in the court today.

And a legal battle that Amanda Knox thought she'd already won put her case backs in play. Italy's supreme court today, as you know, ordered a new trial for the killing of Knox's roommate, Meredith Kercher. Amanda Knox's lawyer Ted Simon joins me tonight. He insists not much has changed and there's a lot of misunderstanding of what's happening. We're going to try to clarify it. He says there was no evidence, there is no evidence and there never will be evidence against his client.

Those stories, also tonight's "RidicuList" and a lot more at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, see you in just a few moments.

So, now our fifth story OUTFRONT: Bright Young Things. That's a new ad campaign for Victoria's Secret pink line. Now, officially those clothes are marketed toward young women, college-aged women.

But some of the models look, well, you know what? Let's be honest. A lot more like girls and the panties being advertised by -- that is an awful word. By pink are emblazoned with suggestive words like "dare you" and "wild" and "call me".

That has some parents seeing red.

OUTFRONT tonight, child psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Sophy, radio host Stephanie Miller and our contributor, Reihan Salam.

You know, the suggestive underwear we just talked about, I showed everyone, Dr. Sophy. We were able to buy this today at Victoria Secret. The Bright Young Things campaign, though, also shows very young models, appear to be young at least in terms of their development and skimpy bikinis, but yet, you're just talking about bikinis and swimsuits, all girls want to be older girls.

Is there really anything wrong with this? DR. CHARLES SOPHY, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, absolutely. It's the message we're sending our women, young girls. The role models that they're seeing, they want to be like these women. Especially if you assign this and you connect it with any celebrity that happens to be involved in this kind of stuff. You're sending the wrong message to young women that they're of value only because of their bodies and the things they can offer through their body.

BURNETT: Reihan, among the angry parents is a minister who has a 3-year-old daughter and he wrote an open letter to Victoria's Secret which said, "Bright Young Things gives off the message that women are sex objects. This new line promotes it at a dangerously young age. I implore you to reconsider your decision to start this line. By doing so, you'll put young girls self esteem and self worth and pride above profit."

My context on this is I remember, Reihan, being too young for Victoria's Secret in high school and it was the coolest thing to go in the store and try to buy the things for the older girls. It happened. Victoria's Secret knows that happens.

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's also true that you have a ton of other brands, fast fashion brands like Sara and H&M that are selling, you know, scanty clothing for young people.

BURNETT: Hypersexualized clothes.

SALAM: But I think the thing to keep in mind is that the important thing is for young people to have strong role models, for young women to have strong female role models in their lives. Because wearing revealing clothing is something that younger people have done to scandalize their parents for a very, very long time.

So I think that, you know, let's fixate less on the clothing and more on whether or not young women have strong female role models in their life, because when you do, then I think some of the issues that the doctor mentioned a moment ago don't really arise. I think it's foolish to fixate on, you know, what are fundamentally fashion trends that are fundamentally trivial, versus whether or not you're in a stable family environment.

BURNETT: All right. Stephanie, let me following up on that point. American Eagle, everyone talked about their notoriously using those teen models in very sexualized ad campaigns. The line goes to the younger set. Abercrombie & Fitch, of course, also has one.

Here's I guess the question. And to Reihan's point, this goes back a long time, Brooke Shields in 1980 was 15 years old when she marketed those Calvin Kleins.

So, is this really harmful to girls or is this just life?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Well, first, I share your horror of the word panties, Erin. But --

BURNETT: I think all women do. Men for some reason, I don't know.

MILLER: Secondly, I agree about everyone's point, Erin, about role models. Is there a way to make being a Supreme Court justice sexy? Can we put a black robe over the outfits? Can we put an astronaut helmet with your bustier?

I mean, I've got to tell you, I blame parents and people that are marketing, what is essentially kiddie porn because I also think I have Halloween trick or treaters come to my house. Do you, Erin? They look like little hookers at age 10. I mean, what is with the parents who think this is OK or think it's OK to sexualize their kids to this degree? They're buying it, right?

BURNETT: Dr. Sophy, is there something to that? Parents are allowing the kids to buy that, not in all cases but in plenty of cases, parents are fully aware their daughters are buying boxers or thongs that say "call me".

SOPHY: Yes, absolutely. I mean, the difficulty is that it's a parenting and an individual parenting decision. However, you may say you don't want it for your daughter but your daughter's going to be around other girls whose parents are going to allow it.

The bigger picture is why are we doing this? Why are we setting our parents up for failure and then our kids?

The bottom line is it should be appropriate and it should be held accountable. And parents across the board should be able to make a really solid choice that they want to keep their children innocent for as long as they can.

BURNETT: One thing I want to say --

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: You know, in the age of Steubenville and all of that, Erin, is it OK to make panties, okay to buy panties that say "I dare you"? Is it OK? I mean --

REIHAN: I have to say, I really think that young women are one of the great success stories of modern America. When you're looking at outcomes of high school graduation, college completion, young women are making tremendous strides. They are actually really leaving men behind in the dust.

I think trusting young women to make reasonable, sound choices about the clothes they wear is generally the best way to go. And when you trust young people, they will tend to reward that trust.

So I think that stigmatizing this kind of clothing, fixating on yes, I mean, sure, it seems cheesy and distasteful to those who are old enough to know better. But I think that, again, trust these young people and they are going to make good decisions.

But also, they need to have the strong role models. That's what matters. I think that parents are always trying to offload blame. I remember when I was growing up, Tipper Gore complaining about rap lyrics.

BURNETT: Right.

SALAM: Honestly, rap music didn't traumatize a generation. Broken families traumatized a generation. So stop looking for excuses.

BURNETT: All right. I want to just note that Victoria's Secret had earlier talked about 15 and 16-year-old girls liking this line. They have since given out a statement saying, "In response to questions received, Victoria's Secret Pink is a brand for college-aged women."

All right. Well, we have breaking news at this moment, just in from our affiliate in Washington state. Police in Tacoma are warning residents to stay inside. They have just received reports of an armed man walking through the Browns Point neighborhood and indiscriminately firing at homes.

The Pierce County sheriff's department put out a warning a short time ago saying in an alert, the gunman is not in custody and is moving through the neighborhood. This is a very dangerous situation for your staff, citizens in the area and first responders.

Police and sheriff's deputies have begun a door-to-door search for the gunman. We should mention, police have requested we not show live video of this fluid situation. Of course, we're going to honor that.

The video that you're looking at now was shot earlier and we will keep you updated on this story here tonight.

Up next, the essay.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Sportswriter Buzz Bissinger who wrote "Friday Night Lights" gave a talk today. The reason is an article he wrote in "GQ" called "My Gucci Addiction." It's a long and detailed description of his addiction to shopping and S&M.

Now, all day people have been discussing this story, some supportive and some frankly downright mean. A few people have dismissed the idea of a shopping addiction as ridiculous. We had Buzz on the show and I like him. We hope he'll get the help he thinks he needs.

But there were a couple things we noticed in the article that were amazing to us. First, his cataloging system is incredible. Buzz kept meticulous track of his finances with a category of clothing going on for nearly eight years in extremely tiny type that puts any accountant to shame.

Since 2010, he's purchased 81 leather jackets, 75 pairs of boots, 41 pairs of pants, 32 pairs of jeans and 115 pairs of gloves. He knows every item and what it cost to the penny. On the show, as you know, we always ask, does it add up? And in Buzz's case, it really did. Since 2010, he has spent $638,412.97 on clothes.

Just how much is that? Well, for the same money a person could have gotten two Ferrari FFs, or a private island off the coast of the Bahamas or a share in a minor league baseball, football and hockey team.

Come on, Buzz. You're a sports guy. That should be right up your alley. This could help you solve the problem and at least you would get to pick out some awesome uniforms.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.