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Protests and Strikes in France; Supreme Court's Historic Right Turn; Rebecca Berry is Interviewed about College Student Stress. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 23, 2023 - 06:30   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now. Earlier this week, President Macron survived two no confidence votes, and his government did, after that controversial plan was pushed through.

CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Paris tracking all of this.

I mean, Melissa, we were - we were looking at this yesterday. We were looking at what Macron has been saying. He's essentially arguing that it's going to be worth it. That if -- he is going to shoulder this unpopularity.

What are people on the streets saying about his comments?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're pretty angry, Kaitlan, and not just at the idea of this hike in the retirement age, as you say. Emanuel Macron, the French government, making it clear that for reasons of public finances, this is a necessary move.

But people out there are still pretty upset by it. It is more than 70 percent of French population that are against it. The unions are united. We're expecting huge crowds on the streets of Paris. But also across the country.

And what we've seen these last few weeks, Kaitlan, there are sometimes more than a million people taking to the streets to make their displeasure known. It's, of course, nationwide strikes once again. There are images this morning coming from Charles de Gaulle Airport showing the blockage there. They've taken to the oil refineries and already what we're starting to see is people running out of petrol at the gas pumps, queues forming there as well. And it is these nationwide strikes with which the unions intend to really make France as ungovernable as they can for the coming future.

As far as the law itself goes, Kaitlan, it's going through. It only has to pass one last constitutional hurdle, and that is that the constitutional council, which will rule on its constitutionality, but it has been pushed through parliament without a vote. And beyond the fact of the unhappiness that's out there about the raising of the age from 62 to 64, there's the question of how it's been pushed through parliament. And I think that's really finished to make people quite angry. And so we expect huge crowds on the streets of Paris and across the

country once again today, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, shutting down schools and paralyzing ports.

Melissa Bell, thank you for that update.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We'll keep a very close eye on what's happening in Paris because that is extraordinary.

Also ahead, we're going to take you inside the Supreme Court's drive to the right and its historic consequences. Our Joan Biskupic's new reporting on the closed door maneuverings among the justices as they roll back abortion access.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And, the Securities and Exchange Commission charging several celebrities over crypto. What they did that cost them thousands of dollars.




We are waiting for a ruling from a Texas judge who could temporarily halt the sale of a common abortion pill, even in states where abortion is legal. This is just part of the fallout from overturning Roe versus Wade and the Supreme Court's lurched to the right.

So, how did we get here? Or senior Supreme Court analyst, Joan Biskupic, has the inside story in her new book, "Nine Black Robes." For five years she's been working on this, looking at Donald Trump's impact on the high court, three appointments in just four years. She talked to more than 100 insiders, including most of the justices themselves.

Here's one big scoop in the book that has led to a lingering distrust among the justices. Chief Justice John Roberts' administrative team ordered the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg's office cleared out within days of her memorial service, and that is not how it usually works. She also reports that RBG's death had an impact on virtually every major legal issue that this court has heard since.

Joan is here.

Before we talk, Joan, congrats on the book. Just incredibly rave reviews.

All right, let me just read some. Court watchers and civil rights activists alike will find this essential -- and disturbing - reading. Another review saying, it is an up-to-the-minute laser focused examination of the court -- devoted court watchers will devour this behind the scenes expose.

I can tell you, I did, too. I got an early copy with a million notes in its. It's fascinating. Joan, congratulations.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT: Thanks so much, Poppy. It's really good to be here with you. Thanks.

HARLOW: You know, you open the book, Joan, with this, the first page, you quote the descent in Dobbs, which overturned Roe versus Wade. And that descent had a key line, quote, no one should be confident this majority is done with its work.

Why did you start with that?

BISKUPIC: You know, Poppy, Dobbs was so defining of this court. You know, Roe v. Wade came down in 1973, and year after year, decade after decade, the Supreme Court upheld it. That all changed when Justice Amy Coney Barrett succeeded Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

And I show in the book, and in this first piece that CNN is posting, just how much the timing of her appointment enabled the Mississippi officials who were defending a ban on abortion to succeed at the court, and how much that made the difference.

And then you mentioned kind of a symbolic episode that involved RBG, as she was known, when her -- all of her possessions and office supplies were moved down to a dark theater on the first floor, and her staff had to sort through things there. It was sort of symbolic of how her legacy was then, you know, you know, ripped up, especially on reproductive rights, almost immediately.

HARLOW: Yes, it really was.

One thing I found fascinating that I just did not know before is, your reporting on Justice Kavanaugh and how, especially on the issue of abortion, sort of trying to have it both ways. And in many ways sending double signals to his fellow justices about which way he would go. And sort of publicly excoriating one lower court judge but then sending that same judge a letter praising them.

BISKUPIC: Yes, that was interesting. You know, Justice Kavanaugh is smack at the ideological center of this court, so he has a lot of power. But it gives a lot of mixed signals to his colleagues on the court and to people beyond the marble walls, certainly on abortion he did that, both in the Dobbs case in the earlier Texas case.


But the episode you're referring to is one I learned about in 2019. The Supreme Court, by a narrow vote, rejected the Trump administration's effort to add a citizenship question to the census questionnaire. And Brett Kavanaugh was in descent. And he joined with other justices to criticize a lower court judge who had rejected the Trump move on the census.

And then he writes this judge a personal note saying, you know, I actually respect you trying to persuade the judge not to take seriously the very harsh condemnation that he and others had put in this descent, which I thought was pretty revealing. HARLOW: It's very revealing.


HARLOW: I - you, obviously, wrote "The Chief," your book about John Roberts, before this.


HARLOW: And you know him better, I think, than any journalists alive. And one thing you write about Justice Roberts in this book is, quote, he was witnessing a court in overdrive, barreling ahead without him in deciding significant social issues. And you note that he has become the first chief justice without an ideological majority. Whose -- whose court is this now? Is this the Roberts court?

BISKUPIC: It is to an extent, Poppy. Just think, he's still - he is still in charge and has a majority for things like race and religion. You know, we're going to see in the -- in the Harvard case that you've followed so closely, he'll probably take the lead to roll back affirmative action on college campuses.

But as we witnessed in abortion, he -- social policy issues is where the court is really slipping from his grasp. And more fundamentally, Poppy, his brand of incrementalism has been rejected by the justices to his right. Justice Clearance Thomas and Neil Gorsuch have a real sense of urgency to move further, further, further to the right and very fast, which is against his style.

HARLOW: Very quickly, there is maneuvering between the justices here.


HARLOW: Even though they abhor the mention that they engage in sort of this for that. You reveal how they do it.

BISKUPIC: They do. And, Poppy, during the Trump years, there was almost a paradox. They didn't want to seem political, but they engaged in more packs and delayed cases and tried to sort of do things behind the scenes that would make them appear less political. And that's where some of the justices on the far right felt like the court was going to lose its integrity, but to some, including the chief, it was the only way to avoid the partisan abyss.

HARLOW: Yes. And you get into examples of him engaging in this as well.


HARLOW: Joan, it's a fascinating read.

Again, here it is, "Nine Black Robes." It comes out next week. April 4th.

Congratulations, Joan.

BISKUPIC: Thank you, Poppy.

LEMON: I think she - I think she needs to know more about the court.

COLLINS: I literally just ordered the book.

LEMON: Yes, it's - yes.

HARLOW: Good, because it's so -- she takes you into their chambers. And what I find fascinating, these justices don't talk, except to her.

COLLINS: And they talk to her.


HARLOW: Except to her.

LEMON: Good for her.


HARLOW: Great.

LEMON: New numbers just out this morning reveal the growing struggle for college students in America. Why many are considering dropping out.

COLLINS: And hundreds of Starbucks employees across the nation are taking to the streets ahead of a big shareholders meeting today. We'll tell you what they are demanding from their new CEO.



LEMON: A very important story this morning. A just released Gallup survey finds a growing number of college students have considered stopping out or withdrawing for a period of time, not dropping out, but stopping out. More than 40 percent of all students say that they've considered it in the past six months. The main reason, emotional stress and personal mental health. They now far outweigh things like financial or academic issues.

So, joining us now to break this all down is Dr. Rebecca Berry. She's a clinical psychologists and child and adolescent psychiatry professor at NYU.

Good morning. Thank you very much.

I wanted to ask you the big takeaways here, but if I can jump ahead a little bit.


LEMON: Does this have anything to do with Covid and how it's changed us and people. We haven't quite figured out how much mental issues and other things that we're dealing with after Covid. BERRY: Right. I think that that's going to be a part of it.

LEMON: That's part of it.

BERRY: You know, we've seen a growing trend with college students in general.


BERRY: With a rise in depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation really within the past decade. And then we have the period of Covid, which we know that that can, for many individuals, have exacerbated those conditions. And so I think what we're seeing here is that college students are considering, right, they're more aware of what's happening within themselves and this emotion distress and they now are considering an option, what do I do now when I have this emotional distress? And they're saying that stopping out is one of those options.

So, I think that what this poll is suggesting is that it's not necessarily tied to Covid. It could be part of this overall trend that we've been seeing really within the past decade or so.

HARLOW: I was struck by -- its a lot more women than men in this study that are what -- do you know why?

BERRY: Well, I think generally the trends for reporting of emotional distress really do vary by gender. We tend to see that women, due to societal norms and just the way that we are sometimes program to, you know, talk about our feelings or that it's expected more so sometimes then the types of roles that are put on men to disclose of their feelings and talk about them.


COLLINS: I do think, also, student -- younger students are way more willing to talk about this than people were previously.

BERRY: Right.

COLLINS: And, like you said, not just talk about it, but also, they're willing to say, OK, I'm actually going to not take the conventional route and do something different.

BERRY: Right.

COLLINS: My brother is a freshman on a college campus right now. And one thing that I think about, even when I was there is, the resources on a college campus.


It's not that this is not something schools are unaware of, but are they equipped to be able to deal with it and not just say, OK, here's a counselor, but like to actually really address the issue. BERRY: I think you make two really excellent points there. I think

young people in this generation, this age gap, between 18 and 24, are more willing to talk about what they're going through. I think that social media can play a role in that as well. And then there's this issue of whether or not the resources on campus have availability, can -- and can students access those available resources? And I think that many college campuses are doing a great job at trying to serve the needs of their student populations. And yet with this growing trend that we're seeing more and more students become aware of their feelings, become aware of the need to get services, and there just aren't as many. That - these counseling centers aren't equipped to really serve that type of load.

LEMON: Yes, that's a good question, it's not just a matter -- when I was in college, just go to the infirmary for everything, right? It wasn't specifically -

COLLINS: The infirmary?

LEMON: Yes, that's what we called it.

HARLOW: Right.

COLLINS: That's what they called it?

LEMON: Yes, they called it. Just go to the infirmary.

So, listen, I -- looking into this study, according to it, race and ethnicity play a factor in students expressing these kinds of concerns. What does it show?

BERRY: So I think similarly, as I was mentioning to Poppy, it shows that there was a higher -- in this poll, a higher likelihood of non- Hispanic or Caucasian individuals to report on their emotional distress. And we saw lower numbers within the Hispanic or the black communities to do so.

And I think that really speaks to the cultural trends just generally with regard to, you know, trust and being able to report these things and trust and accessing -

HARLOW: Being believed and heard.

BERRY: Absolutely.

LEMON: I learned a lot.

COLLINS: Dr. Berry, thank you. I mean this is such an interesting look and so important with how many students are on college campuses.

BERRY: Thank you.

LEMON: We know it's early. Will you come back?

BERRY: I will come back. I - this is - this is really a great show.

LEMON: We'd love to have you back. This is great. We learned a lot.

COLLINS: Loved having you at the table.

BERRY: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

COLLINS: OK, also this morning, the grand jury that is investigating that Trump hush money case, they are set to reconvene today. They didn't meet yesterday. They will meet today. Why the Manhattan district attorney may bring back Trump's former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen. We'll tell you next.

HARLOW: Thank you, Doctor.

COLLINS: Thank you. That was really -



LEMON: New this morning, there's international outrage over a hardline bill passed by Ugandan lawmakers. It is one of the most extreme pieces of anti-gay legislation in the world. The bill imposes up to 20 years in prison for simply identifying as gay. It also includes a death penalty in certain cases. Friends and family must also report individuals in same sex relationships to the authorities.

Now, the United Nations high commissioner calling this bill draconian. The White House has warned Uganda of possible economic repercussions here. The bill will now go to Uganda's president, who can choose to use his veto or sign it into law. Last week he called homosexuals deviants.

HARLOW: Don thank you.

I was just reading about what the U.N. has said about this and how much, if this gets signed into law, it will significantly hurt their efforts where the country had much progress on eliminating and fighting HIV and AIDS.


HARLOW: And this was stunning to see this, Don.

LEMON: Yes, I mean, it is stunning to see. And you think about, draconian is -- I think that's not a harsh enough word for what's happening. And telling people to turn in their loved ones or friends or anyone.

HARLOW: Other ones, other people.

LEMON: Yes. Yes.

And, listen, we're not nearly there in the United States, but there's a concern about what's happening with the don't say gay bill and all of these sort of anti-LGBTQ initiatives that are, you know, on the ballot in certain areas. We're not this far in, but it certainly is a reminder of what can happen when you allow these things to continue to go down the pipe.

So, we're going to be watching this one.

HARLOW: Very closely.

LEMON: But it is terrible. And you're right about what happens with HIV and so on and so forth.

HARLOW: Right.


HARLOW: We'll have to see -- watch very closely what the president decides to do in that country.

LEMON: Right.

HARLOW: OK, also this story, Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Akon, several other celebrities forced to pay thousands of dollars to the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose that they were paid to promote crypto.

Lohan was fined over this 2021 tweet promoting Tronix tokens while failing to disclose that it was a paid endorsement. She agreed to pay $30,000 in fines, in addition to the $10,000 she earned for the promotion. Jake Paul, who tweeted a similar endorsement a day after Lohan, agreed to pay $75,000 in a fine on top of the $25,000 he earned from the company. Soulja Boy, Austin Mahone, Lil Yachty, Ne-Yo, and Akon also fined. The SEC also charged crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun with securities fraud, market manipulation and failing to disclose paid relationships with celebrities.

Guys, do you remember when Kim Kardashian, she had to pay over a million dollars for promoting crypto Ethereum.


HARLOW: What's interesting is because they put their name behind these things, a lot of people flock to them. And, obviously, there's real safety and security concerns. And volatility all over the place with crypto.


COLLINS: Yes. Read the fine print. I mean we've seen the ramifications for things like this.

LEMON: Careful what you put your name behind, right?




COLLINS: Also this morning, a tourist in Thailand lucky to be alive after a thrill seeking bungee jump, something a lot of tourists do, went very wrong.




COLLINS: Yes. The tourist, known as Mike, you can see there as it snaps, took a swan dive from a 10 story podium. Fortunately, he was over a body of water.

LEMON: Yes. Can you imagine if the water wasn't -

COLLINS: If it wasn't a body.