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Supreme Court Upholds Access to Abortion Pill; Texas Bill to Require Public Schools to Display the Ten Commandments; Dutch Nuns Selling 64,000 Bottles of Wine. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 21, 2023 - 23:00   ET



ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: They are scientists and they consult within themselves and with outside scientists when a company says hey, I want to market this pill. It's the FDA. It's the scientists who get to make that decision, looking at all the evidence, spending months, sometimes years. And it's not supposed to work that one judge says no, I don't trust all those scientists. I want things done my way.

So, if that decision, if the Texas judge decision had been allowed to stand, there's -- or if it is allowed to stand in the future, there is real concern. The pharmaceutical companies are going to say wait a second, why should we be investing billions of dollars in trying to get FDA approval when a single judge can just flip that around.

That would impact their desire to try to, you know, research and do get more lifesaving drugs on the market and that would affect all of us, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: So, when we look at this (inaudible) of the justice who -- justices who dissented here, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito. Justice Alito actually said why? What did we hear from Justice Alito, Jessica?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, interestingly, the two justices, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, they are the only ones who dissented. But because of the way the order is structured here we don't know exactly how the other seven voted. Only that five definitely did side with the FDA.

So, Justice Alito wrote that four-page dissent. He talked about really two things. He talked about how the Supreme Court has previously been criticized for these kinds of stays. And he also tried to argue that there would be no harm if the restrictions went into effect, saying that, "At present, applicants are not entitled to a stay because they have not shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the interim."

But what's really interesting here is that the FDA did argue that there would be major harm if these restrictions went into effect. They said women wouldn't be able to fully access the drug. There'd be chaos because that there'd be confusion about the way it was administered. Justice Alito though disputed that that would happen and then even said that the FDA could just choose not to enforce these restrictions.

He put it this way and he said, "The government, the Biden administration, the FDA, has not dispelled legitimate doubts that it would even obey an unfavorable order in these cases, much less that it would choose to take enforcement action to which it has strong objections."

So, Erica, in this four-page dissent, it was very fiery from Justice Alito. He dissented very forcefully. Justice Thomas just dissented, but with no writing. So, very forceful, but of course, a majority of the court, giving the FDA and the Biden administration what it wanted here tonight.

HILL: Elizabeth as we look at all of this, so this specifically was targeting mifepristone. It's one of two abortion medication drugs, which are often prescribed together. Is there a concern at all or discussion even within the medical community about coming after that other drug?

COHEN: You know, there are concerns that people, the conservatives who don't like certain drugs, maybe because, for example, they used embryonic stem cells, you know, way back in the day when they were developed, that conservatives might say, hey, we went after mifepristone, let's go after all these other drugs, too.

So, sure. The conservatives could say, you know, we had some success with mifepristone. We got some good rulings at a certain point. Let's try misoprostol, which is the other drug. So, yes, there is concern that if there is victory, the conservatives who, you know, or the plaintiffs in this case had victory, that they might go on to attack other drugs as well and try to get those off the market.

HILL: And just confirming to Elizabeth, for folks watching at home, what this does essentially is this does not change what medical care providers what OBGYN's can do. This is -- it was exactly the same as it was this morning is where we're at tonight.

COHEN: That is true, but there's one thing I want to say. If you live in a state where abortion is illegal, you couldn't get mifepristone anyhow. So, doctors in your state wouldn't prescribe mifepristone to you anyhow. So, none of this really matters to you. You couldn't get it, you know, a month ago, and you can't get it now. If you're in the state that allows abortion, you could get mifepristone, you know, before and you can get it now.

HILL: Elizabeth Cohen, Jessica Schneider, appreciate it, as always. Thank you. Let's bring our panel now. Journalist and founder of The Up and Up Rachel Janfaza, CNN senior political analyst John Avlon, former Congressman Max Rose, and former federal prosecutor, Katie Cherkasky, as well as CNN political commentator Kristen Soltis Anderson. Good to see all of you tonight.

So, Katie, let's pick up if we could there. I was really struck by and Jessica laid out so well the comments in that dissent from Justice Alito. Does that tell you anything about what it could look like if and likely when this ends up back in front of the justices? KATIE CHERKASKY: Well, it's a very interesting decision by the court, but it's really not, in my mind, inconsistent with the way that they've looked at FDA authority in the past. And as many people have pointed out, the Supreme Court has specifically said that they would defer to the FDA in making decisions about when medication is approved and the conditions under which it is dispensed.


So, in many ways, this opinion is very consistent with that history. And it also does allow the Supreme Court to stay out of the abortion business to a great extent. Like they said, they wanted to do when they overturned Roe. So, in my mind, legally speaking, the decision, maybe it telegraphs what they'll do when the case comes up because it inevitably will come up once the Fifth Circuit rules on it.

But in terms of what that decision might be, I mean, the court has said that they do defer to the agency's opinions on these medical matters. So, I'm optimistic in that sense.

HILL: You feel it'll stay that way. Max, is there any concern -- there has been, you know, we were talking last hour about really the way we've seen the democratic messaging ramp up, certainly in the wake of jobs, but really, just in the last couple of weeks. Most of that messaging led by Vice President Harris, who's really been put out there, you know, as a surrogate on this topic.

FMR. REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): Absolutely. Look, it's a winning issue for the Democratic Party. It is very clear that even amidst economic trends that are against the party and even with President Biden not always having the most ideal polling numbers so long as -- I'm glad you find that funny -- so long as this issue is at the forefront, Democrats believe that they have a fighting chance in elections.

But what is shocking amidst all of this, because that's very clear fact what I just said, it's the fact that the Republican Party continues to talk about this issue and continues to push extremist policies, particularly at the state level. And I think that is because their base is actually massively different than the majority of voters. And that fact and that fact alone maybe why the Republican Party is on the way towards much more of a permanent minority status.

HILL: So, Kristen, I bet you'd love to respond to that because I know you're also looking at this as, I mean, breathing a little bit of a sigh of relief tonight.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, for many Republicans, they are not interested in the Supreme Court being viewed as a political football, as a political entity, as an arm of the Republican Party. The Supreme Court doesn't want to be viewed that way. And so, this ruling is pretty consistent with that, with the sort of depoliticizing of the court of saying, let's just let the process play out. Let's preserve the status quo for now and see how this goes.

When it comes to the politics of this issue, the challenge that Republicans have been faced with is that prior to the overturning of Roe versus Wade, if you asked Americans, for instance, do you think that abortion is morally acceptable or unacceptable? An awful lot of Americans say they're not really comfortable with abortion. They don't like it. They don't celebrate it, but at the same time would say, but let's allow Row versus Wade to stand.

The falling of Roe put that as the central question. So, when somebody is thinking about am I pro-life or pro-choice, that question of do I like abortion or not, do I think it's okay, is less central to how they're thinking about that question. Now they're thinking, what do I think about the overturning of Roe versus Wade and these limits that may be going further than they were comfortable with on abortion throughout their states. That's where the politics of this have changed so dramatically and against Republicans at the ballot box.

HILL: Rachel, when you look at this, right, so you're talking to young people as you're reporting on all these things. What are we missing from the conversation when we talk about what the conversation is right now? What is it among people your age?

RACHEL JANFAZA, JOURNALIST AND FOUNDER, THE UP AND UP: I appreciate you asking that. And I think, you know, young women, the young woman I speak with, they're really scared because they don't know with -- whether this is going to be the last thing or the next thing that's going to come. And so, this is the first generation in 50 years that's growing up without the federally protected right to an abortion.

And for students, especially on college campuses, that's really daunting when they're grappling with what that means for on campus sex life. These are day to day decisions that young people in states for abortion have has been banned or making about, you know, what they're doing with their bodies and what is -- what they're comfortable doing.

And that's now a decision that isn't necessarily in their own hands because lawmakers have stepped in and said that, you know, should something -- should you have an unexpected pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy, like that decision is not going to be up to you. So, I think, you know, you really have to think about on the day to day what this means for young people's lives and the way that they can interact with their peers and it's just very different than the way our parents grew up.

HILL: And John, so you're looking at this in the in the broader scope. We talked about how important this is going to be moving into 2024. We saw how important it was in 2022. What are you watching for when it comes to these conversations?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm always want to pay attention to what independents, what moderates are doing. But I think, you know, Max touched on this. This is an issue where, you know, the super majority of Americans had a broad, if uneasy, consensus, right? That Clintonian (ph) formation of safe, legal and rare.

You had around -- you have 15 percent of Americans wanting the constitutional ban on abortion, 15 percent said there shouldn't be any restrictions, but most folks were in the middle. Overturning Roe, that unprecedented step, all of a sudden makes Republicans -- they look like a party that is about big government. They look like a party that's hostile to individual freedom, or at least self-determination within these -- the common-sense structures that people had.


And so, I'm fascinated that Republicans are preoccupied by, you know, they got this generational win, something that activists have been pushing for within their party without public support. And now a lot of them are afraid to talk about it. They don't want to because they think it's bad politically, while other folks at their party wanted even more maximalist position, which they denied, was ever their case when they were trying to overturn Roe.

ROSE: DeSantis.

HILL: And I wonder too, Katie, as you look at all of this, even from a legal perspective, is there a more fulsome discussion where we are now, almost a year after Dobbs about why and when women actually have abortions, even when it comes to mifepristone, right? We've talked so much about it. What's important to note, too, is that it is used in miscarriages, because when a woman miscarries, her body cannot always finish what needs to happen. And so, this medication actually makes it easier for a woman.


HILL: And so, the realities of what it means and why a woman and perhaps along with her partner, and or perhaps even her, you know, her -- if she's a person of faith, then her faith leader, why they make these decisions. Has that conversation changed?

CHERKASKY: Well, I think what strikes me the most about this ruling from the court is really what it does to put the FDA in complete control, in my mind, over the approval and the dissemination of these drugs at any level, because at the end of the day, the court really did mean that they did not want to be involved in the abortion business.

And by this ruling, in my mind, the FDA is a political entity. And so, the volatility of this issue is not going to change. It's going to keep going back and forth at extreme levels and the Supreme Court just does not want to be involved with it. And really, if there's going to be a challenge to an action of a federal agency, the court cannot get involved unless it's shown to be arbitrary and capricious.

And so, whether they interpret the Fifth Circuit's ruling in that regard, is really going to be the big question here because ultimately, they can defer back and say we defer to the federal agency and whatever administration is in power at that point might dictate what that federal agency's decisions truly are. So, it really is quite significant what the court has done here in my mind in putting the power really back into the political process and outside of the court's hands in many regards.

HILL: Can the court stay apolitical at this point?

CHERKASKY: Is there anything about the courts that are apolitical?

ROSE: No. I mean, courts have never been political. I mean, excuse me, they've always been political. But I do think that what we're seeing with the current Supreme Court is Chief Justice Roberts making an attempt to show that they are above the fray, and we've seen that as the trend ever since they made their ruling on Obamacare.

Now, what the challenge was from his perspective with the Dobbs decision, was that that really tilted in the other direction. And I think now we're seeing a consistent effort to try to make some attempt to move it back in that direction that you just said. But the issue of abortion and the issue of rights in this country and the issue of a woman's right to make her own health care decisions will remain the most poignant and significant political issue, I believe, for years to come.

HILL: Kristen, we saw, you know, you were saying in our last hour, some Republicans have been caught flat footed when they're asked specific questions over the last several weeks about abortion. I know that Tim Scott is definitely one of those. What is this change in terms of messaging, if anything, in terms of a united message for Republicans?

ANDERSON: Well, a lot of Republicans for a long time were able to say look, I believe that life begins prior to when abortion is currently allowed. I think that Roe versus Wade is -- was a poorly decided decision, but it is the law of the land and so we'll do what we can to protect life by, you know, creating a situation where there are fewer abortions for other reasons.

Maybe there, you know, we may offer -- we create a culture that celebrates life and encourages people to celebrate parenthood. That is now gone. And now you can no longer say well, I'm just going to defer to Roe, I don't like it, but it's there. Now, everything is on the playing field.

And so, you had, for instance, somebody like Ron DeSantis who could say hey, I ran in Florida on a 15-week abortion ban and I didn't get punished for it. Actually, you can pass a law like that and it's fine. But there's a very different conversation when you're talking about a six-week ban. It's really going to put that to test both in a general election context and in a Republican primary, is that actually where a majority of Republicans want their party to go.

HILL: We'll be watching. All right. Just ahead here next, do the 10 Commandments belong in public school classrooms? Republican-controlled Texas senate has passed a bill that would require public schools -- public schools to display the 10 commandments in every classroom in a conspicuous place. What about separation of church and state? Does that still apply? We'll discuss.



HILL: The Texas senate just passed a bill that would require public schools to display the 10 Commandments in classrooms across the state. Now, according to the bill, "A public elementary or secondary school shall display in a conspicuous place in each classroom of the school a durable poster or a framed copy of the 10 Commandments." It has to be a specific size. Even the Texas state house will now consider that bill if passed, it would go into effect as soon as September 1st so, in time for the 2023-24 academic year.

Back now with my panel and joining us, Matt Welch, editor-at-large of "Reason." So, we did print this up just to give you a sense of. This is something that could be in a classroom, right, along with, I guess, the rules of, you know, be kind and don't forget to return your library books and clean up after yourself.

I have to say when I first saw this, my first thought was, which I imagine a lot of people was, hey, we have this little thing called separation of church and state. Did it all just go away? I mean, you took an oath to the Constitution at one point.

ROSE: Several times --

HILL: Talk us through this.


ROSE: I mean, next they're going to put up signs, no Jews, Muslims, atheists allowed. I mean, this is -- this is absurd. I'm an amazed at past on their legal scholar, but I can't imagine that this eventually would not get overturned in the court of law. But, again, I go back to the politics of this and the point that you made earlier about this.

This majority that does exist in this country that is moderate and sensible, and that is not this. And so, what we see yet again, is this extremist Republican base that is dominating some state legislators and putting stuff like this out there. And that's not politics that wins national elections by any sense of the word.

HILL: It's also --- one of the things that struck me is that it's the 10 Commandments, right? It's not the 10 commandments and what is it, the five principles of Buddhism -- I'm probably getting that wrong -- but it's not -- it's not saying because there is something really wonderful about teaching kids about all these different faiths that exist in the world.

MATT WELCH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, REASON: Yeah. And that world is going to make it --

HILL: But that's not happening. This is specifically Judeo-Christian, right, Old Testament. And some of the stuff, even one of the lawmakers argued -- there's a Baptist leader who said I was opposed to the bill by saying, telling the "Washington Post," "I should have had the right to introduce my daughter to the concepts of adultery and coveting one's spouse. It shouldn't be one of the first things she learns to read in her kindergarten classroom."

WELCH: I'm always trying to introduce my daughter to the concept of adultery." I think this is an important thing for any father. UNKNOWN: This is visceral TV (ph).

WELCH: It is. Facially unconstitutional, according to the current jurisprudence at the Supreme Court. There is a case in 1980 called Stone versus Graham that was about Kentucky making it this exact same order. You must put a 10 Commandments up on every school house wall. And you can't do it because there's a test from 1971 in the Lemon versus Kurtzman case where they say if it has -- if you do something like this, it has to have a secular purpose. It has to have your test, right, like let's have some other codes of conduct here. Let's have Robert (inaudible), who knows?

But let's have a context of this and teach it. I sound great to me. There isn't any other context for this. And also, the other part of the test is, is it expressly proselytizing or stating that this one religion is the source of the moral code? That's in Governor Abbott's quotes. He's out there saying like, we need to do this to like restore morals in our state and our society and this is a good beginning. That's not going to pass muster when this goes to court.

HILL: To your point too when we look at -- when we look at independents, we'll need to look at moderates. There is, I mean, this is supposed to be a country of freedoms, right? There are a number of people who are not just independents and moderates, right? But a number of people who would say freedom of religion also means you have freedom from religion. That's why it was founded so the government couldn't say to you this is what you have to believe. Are they right there?

AVLON: They're absolutely right to the extent that the founders were very clear on the fact that there was no point to be no state sanctioned faith, right. This wasn't just James Madison talked about the separation of church and state. This is something George Washington believed very deeply. But that didn't mean you wanted to run faith entirely out of the public square.

HILL: Sure.

AVLON: Right? I mean, faith was a fundamental (inaudible) building block in terms of creating moral people in a democratic republic. But this so obviously as Matt points out, crosses the line. Mandating it in public schools, every public school classroom. It's obviously a play to the base move. It's a bit of a dare. But the fact that you can't say for sure that the Supreme Court wouldn't find a way to rationalize it.

HILL: It's a big question.

AVLON: That's the underlying issue. It is a great moral document, but you can't exclusively have one religions articles of faith mandate in every classroom.

HILL: I don't want to put you on the hook for all young people because that's not fair to you, obviously. But I do wonder as you -- in your reporting, as you're talking to people, how important is a public discussion of faith? JANFAZA: So, I think that it's really important that young people have

the ability to talk about whatever they want to talk about, and that's something that when I'm talking with young people who are current students, they don't want to be told what they cannot say. They also don't want to be told what they should say or what they should be taught or seen.

I mean, just if you look at this at a national level, today in Florida, where the government has made it very clear what they want out of the classroom, there were students led, youth-led walkouts at over 300 high school and college campuses. It was called "The Walkout to Learn." And this is just one example of young people pushing back against the Florida Republicans, going in and saying, you know, the bill dubbed "the don't say gay bill," what you can and cannot say in the classroom, and young people are responding to that very fiery and passionately.

And so, I think with this Texas example, when it comes to the politics of this, young people are going to have a field day because this just riles up young people who don't want to be told what they can and cannot see in their classrooms. And they're then going to demonstrate, their going to march.


And you know, I wouldn't be surprised if this also picks up attention across the country too.

HILL: Kristen, how do you see this playing out ultimately?

SOLTIS: Well, Texas is one of those states that is reliably Republican, and Democrats have been looking at it for a long time, hoping that they can flip it blue or at least kind of purple-ish. And I think it's important to point out that on the one hand you've had moments like, for instance, recall Wendy Davis in the Texas legislature. She did that -- she did that filibuster in opposition to abortion legislation.

And that was something that, you know, folks said at the time, well, gosh, this is the moment when all of a sudden people are going to realize Texas has gone too far to the right and there's going to be backlash, and there wasn't. At the same time, very slowly, Texas has been creeping -- it's not purple. Maybe magenta.

Right now, if you look at like the 2008 election, Texas broke for John McCain by 12 points. Only growth for John McCain by six last time around.

HILL: So, we'll watch it closely. Appreciate it from all of you. If you've been paying attention what's happened in the news this week, stay tuned. You might win a quiz.


[23:30:00] HILL: Let's turn it over now to our friends at HBO, Every Friday after "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions about topics in the national conversations. We'll bring you this lively discussion first every Friday night. So, here's "Overtime with Bill Maher."


BILL MAHER, HOST, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER: Okay. Welcome to -- my tie is (inaudible). Hi CNN. I know I'm dressed a little strange, but we were doing a sketch at the end of our show. You'll have to watch it. Okay. We have psychotherapist and best-selling author Esther Perel is over here. We have Brown University professor and host of "The Glenn Show Podcast" Glenn Loury. And we have the co-host of "The Foreign Affairs Podcast" American Prestige Daniel Bessner.

Okay. What does the panel make of SCOTUS, that's a Supreme Court ruling today, preserving access to birth control pills. Yes, that happened just before we went on the air. So that's the birth control pill that that one judge in Texas, I don't know how that works. I don't think I ever will, said, okay, I'm a judge in Texas. The whole country can't have birth control pills.

And it went to the Supreme Court, and I guess they threw it back to the lower court. I understand Clarence Thomas and Alito dissented, okay, and said no, no birth controls for you. What are your thoughts?

GLENN LOURY, PROFESSOR, BROWN UNIVERSITY: Well, they made the right call.

MAHER: So, Clarence Thomas made the wrong call.

LOURY: I'd have to say so in this case.

MAHER: Yeah.

LOURY: I am not privy to the opinions, but I think a single judge overruling national regulation in that way is not the way you want to run the railroad, so.

MAHER: What are your thoughts as a sex therapist on the pill that people take to not have a baby?

ESTHER PEREL, PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND AUTHOR: I think it is problematic to bring politics into a conversation that should happen between a woman and her physician of which politicians know nothing about.

MAHER: All right. For that answer you've earned a bonus question. This is for (inaudible). Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

PEREL: So, the interesting thing about soulmate is that for all of history, it meant God. The one and only. Today people would like to --

MAHER: That's even sillier. But go ahead.

PEREL: Some people that had a great meaning, but to turn our partner into a soulmate, to demand from our partner the very things that we used to expect from religion, transcendence, meaning ecstasy, wholeness, that is a whole new order that has never been part of what committed to a marriage -- committed relationships or marriage ever was about.

MAHER: Interesting. Boys?

PEREL: Boys?


MAHER: Okay. Should we consider the Space X rocket launch a success or a failure? What does it say about the state of American innovation? I think it's a success. The fact that it failed is part of the process. The fact that there was nobody on board. Yeah. I mean, you got to break some rockets to make an omelet. You know, it's never going to work the first time.

BESSNER: I mean to me, if we're trying to get space travel, why are we relying solely on private corporations to do so? I think, historically speaking, the nation -- this nation has made its greatest advancements in technology when we pulled resources together, and there's some form of central planning. I think this is something that we truly decide democratically that we want, and that's how we should do it.

MAHER: Should we want it? I mean.

BESSNER: I don't see the reason necessarily.

MAHER: I don't either. I mean, I'm a Musk fan generally, although he sometimes makes it hard.

BESSNER: Big time.

LOURY: It's a private company. If they can't make a go of it, they'll go bankrupt. If they can make a go of it and make money from it, then they'll make money from it. I mean, you know.

MAHER: Yeah. I just -- I don't -- I mean, he's being a guest on our show next week, by the way, Elon. Yeah. I'm very excited. And I want to talk to him. I'm never been on that page of why we should go to Mars. I mean, however bad we ruined the Earth, it cannot be worse than a place that has no air, is 200 degrees below zero, and a long way away and has six-month dust storms. And you have to live underground and there's radiation.


LOURY: This could be ambition or wanting to do something as audacious and remarkable, is that an expression of the human spirit? Why shouldn't we celebrate that?

BESSNER: From another perspective, though, he might see it as a rejection of humanity. If -- even I'm no big fan of robber barons, but at least they would do things like pay for operas, pay for museums. It seems like this generation of oligarchs just wants to escape earth or live forever, which I think is a pretty grim -- a pretty grim take on for us.

MAHER: I mean, he would say he wants to escape Earth through a very good reason that is altruistic because he thinks this planet is probably going to be, I can't say the word, but rat screwed. CNN, I clean it up, you see. And we need this other planet to go to, but I feel like if we -- if it gets that bad on Earth, I mean, that's --

BESSNER: I think it's done then.

MAHER: Right. But one thing I do agree with Elon on it is say -- I hope we'll talk about it next week -- also is A.I. being a threat. I mean, he and a thousand scientists and important people signed a letter a couple of weeks ago that said, we should put a pause on A.I. And this week I see there's a collaboration between Drake and The Weekend that is not real. A.I. did it.

And it looks like you can put the incomplete music business out of business because you don't need them anymore. So, anyone who thinks I think that this A.I. thing isn't moving way too fast for us to deal with, I think is kidding themselves, and I think he's right. We should put a pause on it.

BESSNER: But in this situation, who is the we? Who would be able to make that determination? I feel like you'd have to get some --

MAHER: Right. You work for the government all night.

BESSNER: No. That's what I'm saying. I think we need to --

MAHER: Something you don't want the government to get involved. There was a government --

BESSNER: That's exactly --

MAHER: Yeah.

BESSNER: No, I think it's (inaudible) needs to happen. Yeah.


MAHER: I don't know who else could --

LOURY: I joke about it in class. I tell my students; I know you're writing your papers with ChatGPT. Guess what? I'm grading them with ChatGPT.

MAHER: That's hysterical. Okay. Is the future of democracy truly at stake in the U.S. as some contend? Is there really an emerging fascist movement? Well, yeah. Don't you watch the news? Come on. You're watching CNN. Yes, there is. No? All right, next question.

BESSNER: I would disagree about identifying it specifically as fascist even though there is a far-right authoritarian movement. I don't think it meaningfully mirrors the fascist movements of Italy or Germany in the '20s and the '30s.


BESSNERL: And I don't know it's a particularly mobilizing thing to do. But I appreciate the tenor of the question and I agree with it.

LOURY: I mean fascism was fascism.


LOURY: We shouldn't throw words around casually.

BESSNER: Exactly.

MAHER: That is fixed with pink (ph) democracy. People do throw that word around very casually. And there's -- and there's never any like specific definition of it that I know of. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

PEREL: No, I think that if you're going to go back to compare the Italy Germany, they were -- it took one year for it to go from an authoritarian situation to a more fascistic situation. And you just know it when you start to experience it because society in which there is a constant polarization, no complex issues can actually hold their polarities and it becomes either or, you or me, right or wrong, black and white. That system of culture wreaks this.

MAHER: Preach sister. Okay. What is the panel think of the video of the Dalai Lama asking a young boy to suck his tongue. Let me ask the sex expert about that. I mean, I was surprised that more criticism didn't come the Dalai's way or the Lama's way. Whatever it was. Asking a -- imagine if the pope did that? What if the pope said suck my tongue, kid?

I mean, we'd immediately be saying, well, this guy has been in this pedophilia situation that the church, of course, has paid billions of dollars because they were and he just forgot he wasn't inside anymore, and that's how bad it is. He said it in public. I mean, what do you make of that, the Dalai lama saying that?

PEREL: I don't make. I listen. I listen. I try to look at situations in context. I keep my mouth shut and don't just jump and with judgment and --

MAHER: Suck my tongue, kid? I judge that. I'm judging that.

PEREL: Well, you have no idea what starts before -- you have no idea --

MAHER: Start before? What situation is it okay for a strange 80-year- old man say to a six-year-old suck my tongue?


MAHER: None.

PEREL: None, but I don't know. I don't -- I -- you asked me, all I can say is I will not speak out on situations like this, none of them, before I have an idea of what happened here? What happened there? I've seen enough. Look, I've work with couples.


MAHER: Describe what happened here that would make this okay. Like you're saying something I don't know could have led up to the suck the tongue comment and that --

PEREL: No, no. That's not the point. The point is that --

MAHER: Well, it seems like your point.

PEREL: No. I think that before you jump, just to me, before I jump, I take another couple of minutes to get a bigger sense of what else is going on here? That's all I say.

LOURY: Is there any cultural --

PEREL: Yes, that's of course what I'm thinking about.

LOURY: -- act of stating, I mean, do we know what it means? I mean, was it sexual? Was it -- I mean, we don't know.

PEREL: That is the question I have, but I don't have the answer for. What's the cultural context here that we are quick to jump here?

MAHER: That's ridiculous. Like we wouldn't have heard of that by now. Oh, yes, in Buddhism they suck the kids' tongues. It's crazy. I'll throw it back to you CNN.


HILL: And you can catch "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday nights on HBO at 10:00 p.m. and then, of course, "Overtime" right here on CNN, Friday nights at 11:30. Up next here, it is the moment that you've been waiting for, the Friday night news quiz. John Avlon is scared.



HILL: Well, Friday night means time for little news quiz. Let's see what you and our esteemed panelists here know about the week's news stories I've been -- I've been keeping them in this folder because I'm told some people like to peek at the answers. So, friends, question number one, an Ohio -- I should've brought my reading glasses. An Ohio fiscal officer went on $300,000 taxpayer money spending spree, purchases included; is it A, a new sports car, B, a vintage recorder or, C, a wildebeest?

We've got a wildebeest. We've got a sports car. And a -- wow, wildebeest. And the answer is C, the wildebeest. Very nice. Yeah. Doesn't --

UNKNOWN: That or the wildebeest. HILL: Doesn't everybody need a wildebeest? He thinks he's winning

right now. That's what -- that's who he is. So, what are you going to do, Max? All right. Number two, Florida apologized for sending an emergency alert tests at what time? Was it, A, 2:00 a.m., B, 11:11 p.m., or C, 4:45 a.m.?

ROSE: What was the second one there?

UNKNOWN: 11:11 p.m.

HILL: Yesh. Two 11:11, make a wish. Third wish and the answer, in fact, is 4:45. Avlon, killing it. Okay, all right. Wait, wait, wait. People we're not done. We don't get discouraged like that. If he was looking there will be -- there will be repercussions. We don't cheat here. Cheaters never win. Winners never cheat.

What prompted a response from the Secret Service on White House grounds? This was one of my favorite stories actually. Was it A, a toddler who squeezed through the fence, B, POTUS' dog tried to flee or C, a raccoon ambush?

AVLON: I want it to be C, but I --

HILL: It is in fact A. We have three A's. Well done people, most of you. A new jersey bar owner won what with a lottery ticket bought at his business? A $1,000 a week for life, lifetime supply of beer, 25K? All three A's for the win. Sorry, the beer would have been good though. But you can buy your beer with $1000 a week for life.

Governor DeSantis suggests that building what next to Disney World, a shelter, a prison, and orange grove?

UNKNOWN: This one. He's making too much --

HILL: And there you go, to the orange jumpsuits.

UNKNOWN: It was a joke.

HILL: Okay.

UNKNOWN: Bad joke.

HILL: Here is another one that was not a joke. A school superintendent candidate claims he lost his job after saying, y'all are crazy, ladies, bless your heart.

UNKNOWN: I love bless your heart.

HILL: That is one of my favorite phrases, ain't it? Yeah. You all got it, but wouldn't bless your heart have been better? I threw that one in to throw you off. I'm glad it worked. Okay. And finally, Dominion and Fox News settled their lawsuit this week for, $787.5 million, $1.6 billion, or $562 million?

It is a good thing we all got that one correct, my friends. Well done. Stay with us. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HILL: All right. It's basically the weekend. We have like three more minutes. So, in that time it had a thinking on the staff here, typically wondering if there's such a thing as too much wine. It turns out for some nuns in the Netherlands, the answer is actually yes. After almost a decade of working their winery, a convent made more wine than they can sell, 64,000 bottles. Why?

Well, they said it was the sunniest season ever. Gave them double their usual yield. So now they're getting creative to get the word out. You know, like on "CNN Tonight." They've got a quote; beautiful white blend of fresh rose and you can feel good about your purchase because the proceeds go to the maintenance of the monastery. If you're watching here in the U.S., of course, you might be out of luck.

The wines can only be sent to customers in the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. So, you know, you could just tell your friends there. So, there's that. You could help the nuns and preserve the monastery. I was, you know, would go great with that wine? Some beef from the ranching nuns in Colorado. Years ago, I did a story. They were wonderful. They're Benedictine nuns in Colorado and they raise cattle. And the beef is highly sought after, like you got to get on a list for it. Yeah.


WELCH: -- takes to raise cattle, because that can be pretty gory.

HILL: There, I guess. Yeah.

AVLON: You didn't ask about the --

HILL: I didn't phrase any of those questions that way, no, I didn't. But next time, maybe I should take you on that trip and you can ask those (inaudible) question.

AVLON: Yeah, but I like the winemaking nuns. I think, you know, that's --

HILL: Monks make beer. Wines make, I mean, nuns make wine.

WELCH: But did they fail? I mean, are they -- they didn't sell --

HILL: They're just having a hard time getting rid of it. They were --

WELCH: They were too successful at making it but not good enough at selling it.

HILL: They couldn't sell it all. So no, well, you know, maybe they need a little sales help.

AVLON: Dutch block party.


ROSE: I'm just wondering if another religious affiliation it would have been different. I mean, this is -- this is very, I mean, if this -- would this have happened in the synagogue, if this has happened -- who knows?

WELCH: It just proves that the Netherlands is a beer country, not a wine country.

HILL: That maybe it. That maybe the real, yeah, that could be it.

JANFAZA: Can people go to visit to get the wine?

HILL: It's a great question. I don't know that answer. I'm going to find out. I'll let Alisyn know. She can let you all know, when she's back. All right. I think that's it. I think it's actually time for a glass of wine. If it's not too late. Sadly, we couldn't get it here from the Netherlands, but maybe we have a stash backstage. Maybe we don't. We'll never tell. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Erica Hill in for Alisyn Camerota tonight. Stay tuned. Our coverage continues.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. There's breaking news and a big victory for the Biden administration.