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Australian Immigration Minister Cancels Novak Djokovic's visa; Supreme Court Blocks Biden's Nationwide Vaccine And Testing Mandate For Large Businesses; Leaders Of Oath Keepers And 10 Others Charged With 'Seditious Conspiracy' Over U.S. Capitol Attack. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 14, 2022 - 02:00   ET



UNKNOWN (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Kristie Lu Stout. I want to go straight to our breaking news.

Just moments ago, a bombshell decision from Australia. The immigration minister there has canceled the visa of unvaccinated tennis superstar Novak Djokovic for the second time. We have been waiting all week for this decision from Alex Hawke, and we are expecting a statement.

Now, Let's go straight to CNN's Phil Black, who joins us now live. And Phil, the question is this. You know, the visa has been canceled. Is this decision bulletproof?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Kristie, let's go through the details of the decision just quickly first. This message, the statement from the federal immigration minister, Alex Hawke, it was set out just moments ago before we are speaking on here, in which he confirms that he is following through with the decision that he has been considering all week, ever since a federal court here decided to free Novak Djokovic from immigration detention and restore his visa after it was initially canceled at the border.

And what we get is some of the detail as to the reasons here. And I'm going to refer to the statement here a little. In the statement, Alex Hawke says the decision, which followed the Federal Circuit and Family Court decision, it was made on the grounds specifically of Section 133C(3). That's the Federal Immigration Act (ph). This is part of the Immigration Act that gives the immigration minister sweeping powers to cancel visas at his discretion.

He says, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic. He decided to do this based on health and good order grounds and on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so. Those are the specific legal tests and requirements under that piece of legislation that the minister has chosen to act upon.

Now, what does this mean, next? Well, we are almost -- we are pretty sure absolutely that nd0 is going to seek to appeal this. We know that his lawyers have made what we described as lengthy submissions to the immigration minister while he was considering this to try and persuade him away from this course of action.

But what we wait to see is just what kicks in here in terms of procedure. I was speaking today to a former senior official within the immigration department here in Australia, talking specifically about this particular clause, and what would happen in the event that the minister did decide to use those powers within it. He said that with cancellation comes automatic detainment.

That is back into immigration detention. And then it is from there that Novak Djokovic would seek to -- well, he would either agree to leave the country voluntarily or from there that he would seek to fight this to appeal this in court.

And through the process of that court battle, there are a couple of different scenarios. Well, first of all, he has to show that he has -- or his lawyers have to show that he has a reasonable, strong case in order to appeal. The appeal isn't automatic. There has to be solid grounds, particularly looking at the procedure that the immigration minister has followed.

And then the question of whether he would stay within immigration detention, he could, we are told, seek abridging visa to be allowed out to presumably compete in the Australian Open while the appeal goes before the court, but that is something that the court would have to decide.

So, all of this is still to play out. We just have now this breaking news that the federal immigration minister here in Australia has confirmed once that he is following through with the matter that he has been considering and that is to use his personal discretionary powers to once again cancel Novak Djokovic's visa.

And we understand from a former senior immigration official that the usual process there is that when the visa was canceled under this particular section, the person concerned automatically goes back into detention and from there decides whether or not to leave the country voluntarily or to try and fight this through the court. Kristie?

LU STOUT: Got it. His visa has been cancelled. We are waiting to hear from Novak Djokovic and from his legal team on whether or not they will launch an appeal. But in practical terms, what we know is this, Djokovic no longer has a visa. He will be forced back into immigration detention immediately?

BLACK: That is my understanding. As I said, that is the guidance that we were given today. There is also ground, for example, for the immigration minister to supply, bridging this, if he wanted to do so.


BLACK: And there has been some speculation that that could happen, if only to avoid the ongoing terrible optics of the world's number one tennis player being locked up in an immigration detention center. And particularly, if he maintains -- if he was kept in detention once the Australian Open actually started, the idea of Novak Djokovic essentially being detained while the tennis open -- the tournament continued, the optics there would essentially be a very bad look for the government. The possibility was that perhaps they would supply a bridging visa to allow him to contest this in court and to continue playing at the Open.

What I think makes that look unlikely, and again, this comes from guidance that we've received from immigration lawyers and again from the former senior official at the Immigration Department we were speaking to, it goes to the specific grounds that are cited here in this statement, and that's why it talks about public safety.

We know that the concern with Djokovic being in the country is that he is unvaccinated within -- while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. That's the whole point of contention. So, the idea of giving him a bridging visa while citing that his original visa has been canceled on public health grounds and then allowing him to play in a major sporting event, well, there is a -- there is a contradiction there, that doesn't really stack up.

So, I must say also that in the government statements so far, there is no mention of the government being willing to provide any sort of bridging visa that would allow Djokovic out of detention and freedom to continue playing.

So, as we understand, at the moment, Novak Djokovic's visa has been canceled. That is an instant decision. I understand that from this point, Djokovic is not in a position under this particular section that has been cited to make any sort of further representations to the minister. He would go into detention and then seek to battle this in court.

That would be his only remaining option, to get before a judge as quickly as possible and for his lawyers to make some sort of case that points to a mistake in process or potentially also a look at an argument against the proportionality and the reasonableness of this decision, depending on what the fine print is in terms of the information that the minister has gone by here.

And that's what we don't really know. The statement doesn't go into that level of detail. It talks about information from Mr. Djokovic, from border forces, et cetera, but it doesn't cite specifically what that information is.

And it is that sort of information that could be -- I suspect his lawyers would seek to prosecute in court and could very well, we are told, make the argument that whatever the complaint, whatever the concern expressed by the minister, that canceling his visa and all that that means for Novak Djokovic that that would not -- at least not a proportional and fair response. Kristie?

LU STOUT: And Phil, I know that before this decision was announced, you have been taking to legal experts and legal analysts about what could possibly happen next, about Djokovic and his legal team launching a challenge to appeal this decision, to challenge the cancellation of his visa.

Do you think that they would have a case to do so? Do you think they would have a chance to succeed, which would be a tremendous embarrassment for the government in Australia?

BLACK: Yes, so, you get two different legal opinions on this, depending on who you speak to. There is a view that the minister's powers are so wide-ranging, his discretion so great and they are locked in to these relevant sections of the Immigration Act, that challenging his decisions under the sections of the law, that it is incredibly difficult. It is very difficult to make a relevant case under the law and prove that the minister has essentially made a mistake here.

That said, we've also been told that because some of the reasons that have to be given are so specific, that there is room, there is a narrow argument to be made in some cases, depending upon the reason cited by the minister in making this decision. And that is where issues like reasonableness and proportionality arguments along those lines can be made.

I think that the government has known and this is a view common across the legal community, I think. The government has known that the stakes are very high here, that it could not be sure and perhaps cannot still be sure that Djokovic will not win on appeal.

And as you say, the potential for humiliation, the potential political cost there, well, that is really quite great.


BLACK: When you think about the fact that the government came out very strongly, backing the initial border force decision and canceling Novak Djokovic's visa, rules are rules. It said, no one gets special treatment, very much off the back of what was a powerful public reaction where many people and the Australian public felt that Novak Djokovic was getting some sort of special treatment, through his belief that he would be allowed to play at the Australian Open, with an exemption from vaccination.

The government backed the initial decision to cancel his visa very strongly. It then lost the appeal in court. Djokovic's lawyers won. They're arguing that the procedure that was followed when he was pulled the side of the airport, that that was unfair, that he wasn't treated reasonably, that he should have been given more time to contact his lawyers and get further advice and so forth. That was the grounds on which he won that appeal.

But now, having now seen that the government is deciding to move again to try and to cancel Djokovic's visa and seek to deport him once more, this will go back to the court again, and there is potentially, at least, you would think, the possibility that there could be greater humiliation ahead for the Australian government, in the event that Djokovic and his legal team were to be successful once more.

So, for all those reasons, it has been widely understood here that the stakes are very high, legally and politically. And much of the speculation around why it has taken so long to come to this decision has focused on that analysis, really, the belief that the government was risking a lot if it decided to proceed. And certainly, if it decided to proceed with the case and justification, there could be challenge in some way before a higher court. Kristie?

LU STOUT: Yes, stakes very high, as you said, legally and politically. Australia is due to hold an election by May. Phil Black reporting on this live breaking news story for us live from Melbourne, the cancellation of Novak Djokovic's visa as announced by the immigration minister of Australia. Phil, thank you.

Now, CNN's Scott McLean is following this live for us from Belgrade, Serbia, the hometown of Novak Djokovic. He joins us now for more reaction there. And Scott, Novak Djokovic is a hero in Serbia. So, the details from the statements still trickling through, but the headline is out there. So, what is the reaction there to this decision?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. No obvious reaction at this point. Obviously, it has only broken in the last couple of minutes here. But as you mentioned, you are right, Novak Djokovic is undoubtedly a national hero here. It seems like nobody is revered in this country quite like him.

And the political establishment here, the president, the prime minister, they have made no secret of the fact that they have been advocating on his behalf. The president said even just the other day that he was proud to have advocated for Novak Djokovic with the Austrian authorities.

And while they tried to sort of walk this line here of maintaining the fact that, of course, Australia has the right to control its own borders, their perspective has been, look, we are just trying to advocate for our citizen here to try and make things a little bit more comfortable for him and make the process a little bit smooth while he is in this sort of legal gray area here.

If you ask people on the street, chances are they're going to tell you that -- look, they don't really understand what the problem is. He had all of his documentation in order, he had a visa, he had a medical exemption. They don't really see a lot of the nuance and a lot of the shades of gray that are being discussed in very great detail in Australia.

And also, Kristie, keep in mind that this is a country that did not have the same experience throughout the pandemic that Australia did. Australia, of course, was sealed off essentially from the rest of the world for the better part of two years. Serbia has been much more open. They have had some small bouts of lockdown for a few days here and there, but nothing extensive.

So, they don't necessarily understand why Australians are so outraged, that they have been sacrificing all this time, and here comes this world-famous tennis player who says, I don't really want to get a vaccine, and he's able to waltz right in with no problem. Also, the vaccination here rate here is not what it is in Australia, not by a long shot. Less than 60 percent of the adult population and less than half of the overall population in this country has been vaccinated. And so, for most people, they say, look, this is a personal choice, this is not something for the government to be mandating.

Of course, the government has been advocating for people to get vaccinated, but it is not something that they have sort of taken a heavy hand with by any stretch.


MCLEAN: And most people think that, look, this is a personal issue and nobody seems to begrudged Novak Djokovic for his first decision not to take the vaccine.

And, of course, Phil mentioned that there's not as much detail as we'd like in the paperwork being supplied by Australia on this specific reason for this visa to be cancelled. There are some issues that we know of. Of course, the declaration that he made that he had not traveled in the last 14 days. We know that he had spent time both here in Belgrade and also in Spain as well.

There are also issues with the test that he took here in Belgrade that we know that the Australian Border Force was looking into it. There is one thing in particular that might have raised their eyebrows and that is the test I.D. numbers with the positive test that Novak Djokovic said that he took on December 16th and the court documents showed that he had a significant form (ph), and the negative test that he got on December 22nd.

Those tests have ID numbers and it seems as if all of the I.D. numbers go up chronologically as the number of tests in Serbia increases, so does the I.D. number on each respective test. And so, the problem is that the December 16th test, that number is actually higher than the one on December 22nd.

So, yesterday, I spoke with a Serbian physicist who has looked into this in much greater detail. He actually solicited test certificates from friends and family and plotted them. And sure enough, it showed basically a straight line. In fact, his I.D. numbers are chronologically -- chronological.

There is one exception, though, and that is Novak Djokovic's positive result on December 16th. The idea number there actually corresponds with tests that were being taken on December 26th. Why the discrepancy? We don't know. But, of course, the physicist is saying, look, it is incumbent on Serbian health officials to try to clear up any confusion.

And so far, Kristie, they have said precious little. There is a press conference scheduled for later today about the ongoing pandemic here. Serbia just hit 13,000 deaths. And surely, they will be fielding questions as well about some of these oddities, some of these irregularities in the testing. But, of course, the bottom line at this point is that a national hero may soon be on a plane back to Belgrade, and this is not the hero's welcome that surely, he will be hoping for. Kristie?

LU STOUT: Yeah. We are waiting to hear, as you said, Scott, from Serbian officials there who have in the past, when they have spoken, defended Novak Djokovic. But, you know, did -- can see that there has been controversy about his movements after that positive COVID-19 test.

Back to public opinion in Serbia, as you talked about earlier, if you just compare public opinion and reaction to Novak Djokovic between Australia and Serbia, the difference could not be any more stark, and not just in Australia but around the world. A number of people acknowledge, yes, Djokovic, he is a fine athlete, but he is also a threat to public health because of his vaccination stance. Does that weigh at all on fans in Serbia?

MCLEAN: You have to imagine, Kristie, that whatever the public opinion in Australia, advocating for Novak Djokovic to have his visa canceled, it is the opposite in this country. Most people look at Novak Djokovic and they give him the benefit of the doubt.

Even knowing that he may have broken some rules, people are pretty reluctant to harshly criticize him. Case in point, the president, when he gave that interview this week on the state broadcaster, his only real criticism for Novak Djokovic was very indirect, saying, look, of course, if you know that you are positive, you shouldn't go out and break quarantine, sort of reluctant to name Novak Djokovic specifically in that case.

But we do know that he tested positive, he says, on December 16th. He says he didn't get the results until the 17th. But even still, he went out on December 18th and then did an interview with a French sports magazine or sports newspaper, he says, not wanting to let the journalist down in that case, but he calls it an error of judgment.

There are also some questions around when he was actually notified about that positive test. The official documentation shows that the result was generated after 8 o'clock on December 16th. He says that it was only after he did an event with children, mask-less, here in Belgrade, on December 17th, that he actually received the result.

We wanted to see how the system worked. So, we sent our producer, Nada Bashir, yesterday to take a PCR test. She got the result a couple of hours later. But what is interesting is she got a notification, an email notification just two minutes after the result was generated and after the time stamp shows on her certificate showing that she was negative.


MCLEAN: Of course, other people have different experiences and say that the time varies quite widely. But it raises again more questions for public health officials in this country to defend, although, at this stage, Kristie, it may all be a moot point, and if, in fact, Novak Djokovic is going to be coming home very soon.

LU STOUT: Yeah, awaiting reaction from Serbian officials as well as from Novak Djokovic's family members, who have been very vocal defenders of the tennis player on the back of this breaking news story, and, of course, waiting to hear from Novak Djokovic and his legal team.

Scott McLean reporting live from Belgrade, thank you so much for your reporting on this breaking news story. We will have more after the short break.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

LU STOUT: Welcome back. Now, a quick update on our breaking news out of Australia. The immigration has cancelled the visa of unvaccinated tennis superstar Novak Djokovic for the second time.

Alex Hawke says that he used his personal power to do so, because it is in the public's best interest and the government is firmly committed to protecting borders, particularly in relation to the pandemic. Now, Djokovic is expected to challenge the decision in court ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

We are closely following this breaking news story. We will have live reports later in the show.

Now, let's go straight to our tennis expert. Ben Rothenberg joins us now live from Melbourne. And Ben, this was a complex decision, even waiting days for it to be released. It was finally made in the form of a statement. Have you had a chance to eyeball the statement? Give us your reaction.

BEN ROTHENBERG, TENNIS EXPERT: Yeah, I think the statement is pretty clear but also relatively vague to saying it is in the public interest. That was Alex Hawke's determination. We don't know exactly what evidence he would've weighed, what would've been decisive, what he would've factored in or not factored in. Just public interest is really as much detail we get.

We will see if there is further detail from the Morrison government or from Hawke on this. There may be from Djokovic about what, if he finds out more, about why he thinks this decision was made.

But right now, it is vague but decisive. It ends a long waiting game that we've had all week or really since Djokovic won his appeal on Monday. We've been waiting for ruling from the immigration minister. We know it could come at any time. Sort of hanging over Djokovic ominously and over the whole Australian Open ominously. And now, we know what is there.

We also wonder now if Alex Hawke, the immigration minister, waited as long as he did until around 6:00 p.m. on a Friday to really try to shorten the amount of time that Djokovic's and his legal team would have to mount an appeal before the Australian Open just runs out of time for Djokovic's preparation and participation in that event.

LU STOUT: And if Djokovic appeals, can he stay in the country while he appeals? And can he compete while he appeals or will he be locked in a detention center?

ROTHENBERG: These are good questions. These are questions we will hopefully get answers to soon.


ROTHENBERG: I think as of now, if he decides to appeal, he probably would be sent back to that same immigration detention center that he spent several days in last week. That would be the thought, that if he is no longer a valid visa holder, that he wouldn't have the right to stay in the country.

So, he could theoretically decide not to appeal and be on the plane within hours out of the country. And then he could also stay and fight.

LU STOUT: And likely reaction, because I don't think you had a chance to serve a reaction just yet. This is breaking news, about the cancellation of his visa again. But likely reaction among other players in tennis, especially among other athletes who have been dutifully following the rules during this pandemic.

How has this been playing out in the wider tennis world? And with this decision, do you think there is a sense of vindication or relief or still concerned about what could happen next?

ROTHENBERG: I am sure there is relief we've gotten a decision. People were not enjoying the waiting game, not enjoying this being so preoccupying and distracting for the tournament, which is usually, you know, known as the happy slam, the first grand slam event of the year in Australia. People are rested from the off-season, in a good mood, and ready to compete here. This story really has overshadowed it. It casted a poll on this entire tournament.

So, there will be some relief for sure from his peers and other people on the tournament that there has been a decision. Now, we will see how long the appeal saga may be. But certainly, people will be relieved by that.

Also, there was -- in terms of the decision, I think this will probably be a popular decision in the lock room. People were not fond of the idea that Djokovic had gotten his own rules, gotten around the rules. Many tennis players have been slow to get vaccinated, vaccine hesitant, but did so because it was going to be the rule to come to Australia.

So, when they got to Australia and saw that Novak Djokovic was here among them practicing in a locker room, there was some resentment. Stefanos Tsitsipas, who Djokovic beat in the final French Open last year, said that Djokovic sort of made them all look like fools for getting vaccinated and following the rules when there might have been another way around it. So, there have been some strong feelings of resentment for sure. But now, there will be some relief definitely that at least we have a decision finally from Alex Hawke and probably some hope that it just goes away and the tennis can start on Monday with nothing to look at, focus on, but the bouncing balls.

LU STOUT: Yeah, and of course, not much relief for Novak Djokovic. He has been stuck in this legal limbo. He is probably awaiting whether or not he is going to be sent back to that immigration detention facility, talking to his lawyers, figuring out what his options are, while all the while, you know, earlier today, we saw him out in the court practicing, getting ready for the Australian Open.

What do you think is his head space right now, especially after this announcement?

ROTHENBERG: I don't think his head space was great before this. We've been hearing from people who talked to him that he has been weary, he has been distracted, he has known this was a real possibility. He wasn't under too much, you know, false pretense that everything was going to be fine. He knew that this was very much a looming decision.

And so, he has been on pins and needles the entire time and seems weary by the whole affair, which is hard not to be. So, we will see how much acceptance he has, how much willingness to fight. We know, seeing him on court and off, he is a very, very determined competitor, very defiant guy, not one to back down from any sort of challenge.

And that is why he appeal this decision in the first place. He could've left the country on his own volition, after getting the first deportation order. But instead, he rode out. He stayed in that detention center as long as he could to get the fight.

And now, we'll have to see also if this choosing to appeal and stay all the way instead of leaving could cause some further penalties. One thing that we don't know is if the minister for immigration will enforce a rule in the Australian law that says there could be a three- year ban for reentering the country after receiving such a deportation order.

It seems unlikely that they will enforce that against Djokovic, but it not impossible. We'll have to see how much that is part of negotiations going forward during the appeal process, the possible three-year sticking over him and his future participation in this tournament he loves so much and has won nine times.

LU STOUT: Got it. Ben Rothenberg, really appreciate your analysis and reporting throughout this. Quite a saga of a week. Ben, live from Melbourne for us, thank you.

For viewers in the United States, we are going to return you to "Don Lemon Tonight." And for international viewers, we will have much more on the breaking news story. Again, Austria's immigration minister has canceled Novak Djokovic's visa. We will be right back after this.



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: We are following breaking news on that bombshell decision from Australia, the Australian Immigration Minister has canceled the visa of unvaccinated tennis superstar Novak Djokovic for the second time. The tennis world had been waiting all week for Alex Hawke's decision ahead of the Australian Open which starts on Monday, and Hawke issued a statement minutes ago reading this. "Today, I exercise my power to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so." And, he goes on to say this. "The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Let's bring in Phil Black. He joins us now live once again from Melbourne. And, Phil, so much pressure from various corners has been building on the Australian Immigration Minister to make this ruling, and we finally have one.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed. That's right, Kristie. I think through the week, there was an expectation, and certainly immediately after the court case that released Novak Djokovic from detention, restored his visa on the grounds of procedural unfairness when he arrived at the border. I think immediately following that decision, there was an expectation that the Australian government would be ready to go and deploy those ministerial powers pretty quickly. But, quite the opposite has happened.

Through the course of the week, whatever we heard from - on the odd occasion that we heard from the Immigration Minister's office, it was along the lines of that he is still considering the decision and it was along the lines of that he wouldn't be rushed and would not be forced into making a decision in line with the Tennis Australia's timetable leading up to the Australian Open which starts next week. So, in the end, he has cut it pretty fine in making this decision.

The decision comes after the draw for the competition has already been announced. Novak Djokovic, the number one seed in the tournament, his first opening round competitor, that was determined yesterday when the draw was announced. And now, we are only two days away from the start of play here in Melbourne. And, now the decision has finally come. So, it couldn't have cut it much finer. I think certainly not if Novak Djokovic hopes to have any realistic chance of getting before a judge in the coming days and arguing his case successfully in the hope of being able to play in the first round early next week, either Monday or Tuesday.

Now, you read part of that statement there. The key section, I think, refers to the grounds in which this decision has been based under law. And, that's where the Minister's statement refers to paraphrasing and not going into a great deal of detail, public interest health and good order the grounds. This is within the relevant section of the Immigration Act that gives the Minister the decision to cancel visas under - and with some considerable power. And, if you go to the specific section of the Act, I'd like to read you a specific quote that referred that is the broader version of what the Minister is referring to there because it gives a sense of the legal fight that is now about to take place.

The specific section of the Act that the Minister is acting under refers to when the Minister believes and this is the quote, "The presence of its holder, that is the visa holder in Australia, is or may be or would or might be a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community or the health or safety of an individual or individuals."


Now, that is what the government, if this goes before an Appeals Court, is going to be called to justify that characterization of Novak Djokovic as being a potential risk to the good order and health and safety.

But, what makes it an easier argument for the government is that very loose, broad qualifying language where it talks about might or may, that sort of language. And so, that is where the true power of the Minister's authority under this legislation really lies and that's why it's going to be a very difficult legal fight for Novak Djokovic if and when he gets before a judge, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And, that is the language that we want to get into with our next guest. Phil Black reporting live from Melbourne, thank you very much indeed for your reporting.

Justin Quill is a partner with the major Australian law firm, Thomson Geer. He joins us live from Melbourne and thank you for joining us. First, I want to get your reaction to the statement from the Immigration Minister and how this decision to cancel Novak Djokovic's visa again was justified.

JUSTIN QUILL, PARTNER, THOMSON GEER LAW FIRM: Yes. Look, my reaction, my instant reaction is I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised at all the decision has come. I'm not even surprised that it has taken this long for it to come. And frankly, there is just not enough detail in the statement and this is not a criticism of the Minister for this. But, there is not enough detail in the statement for us to properly understand the grounds.

We've heard just a moment ago, the Act is very broad. And, really all the minister said is, I think it's in the public interest to do so, how is it in the public interest and that will be - those - that explanation will be something that will have been given to Djokovic's team and they'll have a far more detail of that on the actual decision that will have been handed to them and that will be what he and his lawyers will be poring over right now and preparing to take this to the Federal Circuit Court again.

LU STOUT: I just want to remind our viewers what Alex Hawke, the Immigration Minister, wrote in this statement that you just referred to just then. He said, "Today, I exercise my power to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so." And, Justin, just now you said you weren't surprised by this statement but you also said that there is not enough detail. Is that a concern in the eyes of the government? Is this decision bulletproof or is it not? Could it get overturned again?

QUILL: So, this is all we've got at the moment is a press release. That's all. There will be a document and actual decision canceling his visa. That document will be far more detailed and will or it better, otherwise, it'll be quickly overturned. But, it will almost certainly explain how it is in the public interest. For example, it could say that they need to do it in order to send a message to the Australian public about the importance of vaccinations. They might say we need to send a message to the wider global community about how strictly we enforce the policy of not letting in unvaccinated people into the country. It might be - it might actually be he is actually physically a risk because although he may be testing positive - negative at the moment, he is more likely to get it and pass it on if he is unvaccinated.

So, I mean, I've just thrown up three possible reasons. There could be 10 other reasons. We don't know what they are but they were soon to find out, I expect. I can't imagine Novak Djokovic will pack his bags and head straight to the airport. I expect his lawyers will pack their compendiums and head straight to the Federal Circuit Court.

LU STOUT: And, if they do that, does Novak Djokovic and his legal team, do they have an arguable case to appeal? And, if he does go ahead and appeal, there is a lot of belief that he will do so, can he stay in country while he appeals?

QUILL: Yes. Look, all great questions. First, - the first (inaudible) enough to be able to get before a judge in the very limited time. It's now well after hours here on a Friday night. It's almost seven o'clock on a Friday night. Normally, judges, long gone, but this particular judge said on Monday that he would make himself available to hear the matter at short notice and he asked to be kept in the loop his decision making was occurring. So, I expect this judge knew this well before us and I expect that there may already be a hearing going on as we're speaking but if there isn't, it'll be happening within (inaudible) or within hours of now.


Then, the big question about what will happen in the meantime? Djokovic needs to show two things. The first thing is, as you mentioned, an arguable case. Can he do that or not, it's hard to say. We need to see the Minister's grounds and then Djokovic's grounds attacking those grounds first. But, if he can show that he has an arguable case, then he needs to show he needs a temporary injunction because he can't win the Australian Open in March, but the government can still deport him in March. So, he will be worse off if his rights are unjustly denied, then the government would be worse off if their rights are unjustly denied. And, if he can prove those two things, he gets a temporary injunction. And then, the next question does that temporary injunction just mean he stays in Australia but in detention? And, I think that's unlikely. If he gets the temporary injunction, it will be for the purpose to play and train for the Australian Open and he will be allowed to do that. So, I think it's either two options, he is on a plane out of here this weekend or he is able to stay, play and train. If you wanted me to put my money where my mouth is and bet on it, I would suggest he is more likely than not to get an injunction and will be playing at the Australian Open.

LU STOUT: Justin Quill, thank you very much for giving us the legal roadmap what we can very well expect to happen next for Novak Djokovic, putting down your money on being able to see him play at the Australian Open too and that would be quite a bold move to witness especially the reaction in the stands if that happens. Thank you so much, sir. Take care. You're watching CNN. We'll be back right after this.



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: --in place. What does the law say?

HARRY LITMAN, HOST, "TALKING FEDS" PODCAST: I do. The law says OSHA must do it if there is grave workplace standards. The majority said, well, the dangers here are workplace and everywhere. The dissent said so what. There are workplace dangers and they're accentuated in the workplace. That's enough. And, I think they were right.

LEMON: The liberal dissent says this decision undercuts the capacity of the responsible federal officials acting well within the scope of their authority to protect American workers from grave danger. Why didn't that argument win, Harry?

LITMAN: That's the broader theme, right? The - having administrative agencies with expertise and uniformity, it didn't win, because the new majority doesn't like the administrative state very much, it doesn't trust it, and wants to scale it back.

LEMON: I want to see if you understand this, all right, because these are comments for conservative Justice Clarence Thomas from the oral argument--

LITMAN: Right.

LEMON: --hearing this - hearing for this case. Watch this.


JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, THE SUPREME COURT: There has been some talk - suggestion or at least it seems to be implied that the vaccinations are efficacious in preventing some degree of infection to others. Could you talk about that, particularly as I remember in the filings that the 18 to - that the younger workers, the 20 year olds who are unvaccinated are actually safer than the older workers who are vaccinated.


LEMON: OK. Let me just, for you, answer that. The science is that vaccinated people, regardless of age, are way less likely to get seriously ill or die from COVID than unvaccinated. What did you make those remarks?

LITMAN: Well, I thought it was puzzling and bizarre but if you put it together with some of the things that the people on that side were saying, I think he is really worried and solicitous, so as Alito, about people who feel their liberty interests are being violated if they have to take a vaccine to the point you were saying.

LEMON: Yes, but that's liberty but the science doesn't show what he is saying, Harry.

LITMAN: Don, no argument there, but he wants to say - he wants - they see it as an issue of personal liberty. Their lookout here was the people who want to stay unvaccinated and businesses. The lookout of the dissent was the entire country and workers who are powerless if OSHA doesn't stand behind them.

LEMON: All right. Harry Litman, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

LITMAN: Thank you, sir.

LEMON: The Republican National Committee threatening to boycott presidential debates if they don't get the changes they want. I wonder who they're trying to please.




LEMON: Take this. The Republican National Committee threatening to stop future GOP presidential candidates from participating in general election debates, the RNC Chair sending a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates making that threat and asking for significant procedural changes. This move clearly aimed to please the GOP's favorite future presidential candidate, former President Trump, who during the 2020 campaign railed about the debate moderators and the Commission's decision to mute each candidate's microphone during the final debate because he kept interrupting then Democratic nominee Joe Biden at the first debate. Think about just how big of a mistake it would be for a candidate not to show up. Debates create moments that may just define the race for a president.


RONALD REAGAN, 40TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience. BILL CLINTON, 42ND U.S. PRESIDENT: We have the right approach for the future and look at the results. It is not midnight in America, Senator. We are better off than we were four years ago.

GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD U.S. PRESIDENT: That's what the question in this campaign is about. It's not only what's your philosophy and what's your position on issues, but can you get things done? And, I believe I can.

BARACK OBAMA, 44TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I'm glad that you recognized that Al-Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al-Qaeda, you said Russia. And, the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITES STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents and opening of new opportunities in nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a Congressional Committee, he can talk to me about stamina.



TRUMP: Who is your -- listen, who is on your list, Joe?

BIDEN: This is so (inaudible).

TRUMP: Who is on your list?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, I think--



LEMON: It would really be a shame if voters never got the chance to see any of that. The first edition charges in the January 6 insurrection targeting the leader of the far right Oath Keepers, all the latest on the investigation, that's next.




LEMON: A chilling charge, the DoJ filing seditious conspiracy charges against the leader of the far right extremist group, the Oath Keepers and 10 others. What may be the final nail in the coffin for voting rights legislation tonight?


BIDEN: I hope we can get this time. The honest to God answer is I don't know whether we can get this done.


LEMON: The daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joins me to talk about it just ahead and do three unpaid speeding tickets amount to a rap sheet?


SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): On the eve of this hearing, it has been made public that he has a rap sheet with a laundry list of citations.


LEMON: Stereotyping much. That's a U.S. Senator leveling those loaded charges against a black nominee for the federal bench. We'll talk about that, just ahead. I want to get straight to CNN Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid. She has the latest on the charges against the leader of the Oath Keepers and 10 other people.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department today escalating its efforts to prosecute those responsible for January 6, charging Oath keepers leader Stewart Rhodes along with 10 others with seditious conspiracy related to the attack on the Capitol. It's the first time federal prosecutors have used the sedition charge after bringing more than 700 cases related to the insurrection, but prosecutors have long signaled.