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Netanyahu Accuses U.S. Military Aid "Barely a Trickle" Reaching Israel; Israel's Iron Dome Could Be Overwhelmed by Hezbollah; Ukraine Gets Top Priority for Receiving U.S. Air Defenses; Putin Travels to Vietnam; U.S.-Russian Ballerina on Trial for Alleged Treason in Russia; U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Banning Domestic Abusers from Owning Guns. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 21, 2024 - 10:00:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome to the second hour of the show. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, where the time is 6:00 in the


Barely a trickle. Israel's prime minister maintains his public spat with the Biden administration over U.S. military aid.

CNN assets standing by in Washington ready for breaking news out of the Supreme Court where blockbuster opinions could drop any moment now.

Ukraine hits Russian oil fields as Washington gives the green light for expanded counterstrikes.

And these sizzling Spaniards and the tired lions will wrap the euros for you.

All right. We are keeping an eye on those looming Supreme Court decisions. We'll get those as soon as they happen. First off, we start this hour with

Israel's prime minister expressing his frustration with the Biden administration over military assistance. Benjamin Netanyahu saying that,

quote, "barely a trickle" of American military aid is making it into Israel.

In a new interview with Punchbowl News, he said he raised the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in their recent meeting and that

Blinken hold him the U.S. is working to clear up bottlenecks, something the prime minister says in the interview must happen.

Well, his comments coming as U.S. officials expressed concern over the effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome defense system. Multiple U.S. officials

telling CNN they fear the sophistication and sheer number of Hezbollah's weapons arsenal could overwhelm the Iron Dome if all-out war breaks out

along Israel's northern border with Lebanon.

Kylie Atwood back with us this hour from the State Department with that reporting, and Ben Wedeman is in southern Lebanon.

And Ben, I'm going to get to you in a moment. Let's start with you, Kylie. What has the U.S. said about this string of accusations from Netanyahu and

the status of this political, geopolitical relationship at this point.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, they have said that they don't want to discuss this agreement in public, but they've

also said they're going to stand their ground here. We have seen them do that in the last two days, very clearly from the podium here at the State

Department and from the podium at the White House. Yesterday, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller specifically said that there are no

bottleneck when it comes to U.S. weaponry going over to Israel, said, of course there is still the review on that one shipment of those 2,000 pound


That shipment is obviously on hold right now as it was a few weeks ago. But other than that, that he said and we've heard from the White House as well

that the United States has given Israel a tremendous amount of military support. They will continue to do so and there are no bottle necks

currently in the system, so they have very bluntly said that they don't know what Prime Minister Netanyahu is talking about.

ANDERSON: Meanwhile, D.C. is worried about the Iron Dome. Explain.

ATWOOD: Yes. So U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about that air defense system that Israel has that the United States has provided support

for becoming overwhelmed if there is an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah that breaks out along that northern border between Israel and

Lebanon. And this is an increasing concern because in conversations with U.S. officials, Israelis have increasingly indicated that they are planning

to carry out an incursion into Lebanon by air and by land. And so U.S. officials are obviously thinking about what this could turn into.

Now, Israelis have said to them I'm told that they expect that they could carry out, you know, a precision, not a conflict that would turn into

something bigger. But the U.S. isn't sure about that. They're concerned about this turning into an all-out war and if that's the case Hezbollah

using a vast number of missiles and drones that could overwhelm that Iron Dome. Now, an Israeli official pointed out to me that it's unlikely that

this will happen unless Hezbollah actually uses a vast number of precision guided munitions and missiles.


They do have those in their capability. That is the thing if they use a vast number of them that could overwhelm that system. But this is something

that U.S. officials are worried about as those operations in Rafah that Israel has been focused on are expected to wind down in the coming weeks

and they're expected to shift their focus to the north.

ANDERSON: Let's just remind our viewers the U.S. remains committed to continuing its assistance in support of the Iron Dome. The conversations

that have been had and this spat between Benjamin Netanyahu and the administration at present is about these other munitions, not least the

2,000 pound bombs that the U.S. doesn't want Israel to be using on very, very congested civilian environments.

Ben, let me bring you in. You're in Lebanon. Does Israel have a reason to worry at this point? Indeed does D.C. have a reason to worry about

Hezbollah's capabilities and how that might impact the Iron Dome?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, I think the Israelis do indeed have reason to worry. What we've seen already Hezbollah

has put out a video showing them knocking out one Iron Dome battery overnight. They put out another video showing them knocking down in anti-

drone system on the 16th of June, and you know, we're talking about the Israeli officials say they have estimated and I think these are pre-war

estimates that Hezbollah has somewhere in the area of 150,000 missiles and rockets.

But we've already seen the Israelis clearly are surprised by the sophistication of Hezbollah's weaponry and tactics as we've seen since the

beginning of the war last October. And perhaps they may be surprised also by the sophistication and the tactics and the number of weapon particularly

rockets and missiles, but drones more than anything else at this point, you know, because drones are cheap and they're easily available and they can

indeed overwhelm a system that was really designed to knock things, projectiles coming out of Gaza.

The terrain in Gaza is completely different. It's flat. Here in Lebanon, it's mountainous. Hezbollah in some areas possesses the higher ground. They

clearly have capacity to inflict pain on Israel far more than Hamas does. And we heard Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, the

other day in his speech saying that they've only used a small portion of their weapons.

The Israelis say that Hezbollah has fired 5,000 rockets and missiles at Israel. Well, if they have 150,000 indeed that is a minor portion of what

they have and what they have could be focused on things like the Iron Dome.

And as I was telling you in the last hour, Becky, in May of 2023 there was a brief war between Hezbollah, not Hamas in Gaza, and Israel. And I was on

the edge of Gaza watching that system working. It's incredible how efficient it is. The Israeli say it's 95.5 percent effective in knocking

down the missiles and rockets it's aimed at. But when the Islamic Jihad is one thing, Hezbollah is another. And certainly it might not overwhelm the

system, but it will punch some pretty big holes in it -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Hassan Nasrallah has been accused of waging sort of psychological warfare or certainly, you know, that's the sense from the Israeli side at

present, but they are clearly very concerned and putting in place, you know, military assets and plans for what could be an all-out war. Look,

you've been covering this region and very specifically this conflict for years now. Give me your gut check at this one on how much of a risk you

believe what is going on at present is expanding into an all-out war?

WEDEMAN: Well, first of all, you know, even Nasrallah the other day said this was psychological warfare. I mean, psychological warfare is an aspect

of war that all sides engage in. But in terms of the possibility of an all- out war between Hezbollah and Israel, at this point, at this moment, there are still a few more steps to go.


We're monitoring very closely the situation inside Israel and it doesn't seem that the home front there is really prepared because it's the home

front that's going to take the brunt in Israel of Hezbollah's capabilities. If there are holes punched in the Iron Dome system through those holes will

come rockets and missiles. And we saw in the 2006 war, many of them got through. That was before the Iron Dome system was up and running but there

definitely is that danger.

But I think we're still a few steps away and I think there's probably in the back of the mind of U.S. diplomats who are trying to work out through

mediators, some sort of ceasefire, is the realization that a war between Hezbollah and Israel could get out of control. Let's not forget,

Hezbollah's patron is Iran. And so probably they would like to see and Hezbollah said it, if there's a ceasefire in Gaza, Hezbollah will stop

firing on Israel.

We saw at the end of November of last year when there was that brief ceasefire for an exchange of prisoners and detainees and hostages Hezbollah

did not fire. Nasrallah made it clear if there's a ceasefire in Gaza Hezbollah will cease fire. That is probably the only way to avoid a war

between Israel and Hezbollah. All other attempts, for instance we saw the U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein coming to Lebanon, he clearly doesn't have a lot

that he can deal with in terms of convincing Hezbollah to cease its fire. The only way really is to end the war in Gaza -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in southern Lebanon today. Ben, thank you.

Moscow reporting a barrage of Ukrainian drone attacks in occupied Crimea in southern Russia --

Kylie, thank you as well -- which have killed at least one person. Ukraine confirms that it struck a number of oil refineries and other targets in

Russia. For its part Russia claims it destroyed more than 80 Ukrainian drones and six unmanned boats.

Now, U.S. sources say the White House is now prioritizing critical air defense capabilities for Ukraine over supplies to other countries.

CNN national security correspondent Natasha Bertrand is at the Pentagon.

What does that mean in principle? And what do we understand to be the agreement at this point between the U.S. and Ukraine?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So, Becky, this is 16-month agreement and essentially what it means is that as U.S.

manufacturers make these Patriot interceptors, those missiles that intercept incoming Russian attacks as well as NASAM interceptors, those

will be sent directly to the Ukrainians bypassing all other countries that have submitted orders with the United States for those interceptors.

So basically it means that Ukraine is moving to the top of the list here for those air defense munitions, which is really important because they are

the ones arguably who need it the most right now, right? And the U.S. has said that if they don't get this very rapid supply of air defense,

munitions, then there is a possibility that they're going to run out particularly before the winter season, which is when of course Russia is

expected to begin hammering Ukrainian critical infrastructure making civilians, of course, even more vulnerable.

So the U.S. now saying that they're making this, quote, "unprecedented decision" to basically put other countries that have long standing orders

for these interceptors at the back of the line. And Ukraine has essentially moved up here. It is something that Ukraine has been asking for for quite

some time now because they say that they are running very dangerously low on these munitions so the U.S. is making an effort here to try to

prioritize them for the Ukrainians.

It remains unclear how other countries are going to handle that because the U.S. acknowledges that this is going to be a very diplomatically sensitive

conversation that they're going to have to have with some key allies who have placed these orders and who feel that they need them for their own

defense. But still, two key countries that the U.S. says will not be impacted by this are Israel and Taiwan.

The Israelis don't use these kinds of interceptors for their air defense systems so they won't be impacted, and similarly, according to U.S.

officials, Taiwan will not be affected either in terms of the provision of air defense munitions. But all other countries, they will be impacted. But

the U.S. hopes that they understand that just how dire the situation is on the Ukrainian battlefield. The Ukrainians have to take priority at this

point -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Natasha Bertrand on the story. Thank you.

Russian president Vladimir Putin wrapped up his visit to Vietnam with a parting shot at NATO. He accuses the military alliance of, quote, "creating

a threat for Russia in Asia." And he warned South Korea it would be a, quote, "very big mistake" to supply weapons to Ukraine.


CNN's Will Ripley has more on Putin's visit in Vietnam.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If not for the flags all over Hanoi, Vietnamese and Russian, you might not notice

there's a state visit. These streets are always buzzing. Russian President Vladimir Putin flying directly to Vietnam from North Korea, getting a more

subdued welcome here. Not like that supersized socialist spectacle in Pyongyang.

Vietnam is also a socialist republic with a single-party system. That means we always travel with a government minder. But unlike isolated,

impoverished North Korea, Vietnam is emerging as an economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia. In less than a year, Hanoi has welcomed U.S. President Joe

Biden, China's President Xi Jinping, and now Putin, a pariah in the West, but not here.

NGUYEN QUANG HUY, 12TH GRADE STUDENT (through translator): I feel excited because within a short term, all three leaders from the three superpowers

visited Vietnam.

RIPLEY: Do you weigh either of them as like more important of a relationship, either Biden or Putin?

TRUONG NGUYEN XUAN TUNG, FOOD DELIVERY DRIVER (through translator): This is the diplomatic way of Vietnam. We call it bamboo diplomacy. We don't pick

sides. We stay neutral.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Bamboo bends back and forth, he says. As he's talking, we noticed a distinctive Russian Limo rolling by.

Right in the middle of our interview, Putin's motorcade just passed by. And yes, people are just kind of patiently waiting. They're used to this sort

of thing here in Hanoi.

(Voice-over): Putin and Vietnam's President To Lam signing agreements on education, science, technology and energy.

LE THE MAU, RETIRED VIETNAMESE COLONEL: I know I've been in contact with Putin.

RIPLEY: Retired Vietnamese Colonel Le The Mau was at a private event with Putin just before sitting down with us. He also speaks Russian and wrote

two books about Putin.

You were in the room with Vladimir Putin. Did he strike you as someone who is nervous about how few allies he has these days?

THE MAU (through translator): I felt Mr. Putin was completely comfortable. I felt he was completely unconcerned about the idea that he had no friends.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Vietnam's friendship with Russia goes back decades to Soviet support during the Vietnam War. Hanoi still buys about 80 percent of

its weapons from Moscow. Landmarks built with Russia's help are everywhere, from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to the Thang Long Bridge. There's also a

brand new bridge built by Japan. Tons of new construction, development and foreign investment.

And this, the John McCain Memorial, honoring the late U.S. senator's time as a prisoner of war, symbolizing U.S.-Vietnam reconciliation and


Do you worry that Vietnam could alienate the United States, Japan, South Korea by hosting Putin?

THE MAU (through translator): That's not the case at all. Because as you know, Vietnam's foreign policy is to be friends with every country,

regardless of their socio-political stance. Vietnam does not pick a side.

RIPLEY (voice-over): A delicate balancing act in these polarized times. Vietnam partnering with Moscow, Beijing and Washington, testing the limits

and flexibility of bamboo diplomacy.

Will Ripley, CNN, Hanoi.


ANDERSON: All right. You're up to date 18 minutes past 6:00 here in the UAE. We're keeping an eye on the U.S. Supreme Court for you. Rulings coming

out as we speak. We will update you on any big news that the court makes, including what they eventually decide about presidential immunity. We'll be

right back.



ANDERSON: Well, the treason trial of an American Russian dual citizen got underway on Thursday and is set to resume on August 7th in the eastern

Russian city of Yekaterinburg. The amateur ballerina could get up to 20 years in prison in Russia for reportedly donating a little more than $50 to

a Ukrainian charity in the U.S.

As Matthew Chance reports, she's one of the growing number of American detainees being used as bargaining chips by the Kremlin.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yet another U.S. citizen on trial in Russia. This is Ksenia Karolina from Los

Angeles, now in a glass cage in Yekaterinburg. A dual Russian citizen, the 33-year-old was arrested on treason charges earlier this year while

visiting family. In the U.S., she is a beautician and amateur ballerina accused of donating just over $50 to a Ukrainian charity.

Her boyfriend, Chris Van Heerden, issuing a new statement obtained by CNN calling for her immediate release. It's hard to believe Ksenia has been in

Russia and unable to return to the U.S. for over six months, he wrote. She is an innocent young woman with her whole life ahead of her. Her friends

and supporters are hopeful that the Russian court will see that prosecuting her is a mistake and send her home to Los Angeles.

Hi. Matthew from CNN. Are you holding up all right? No, no questions.

(Voice-over): But Russia is now holding a growing number of U.S. citizens in jail, like "Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich whose trial

for espionage is set to start next week. The 32-year-old journalist denies allegations he was gathering information on a Russian tank factory for the


Paul Whelan, a 54-year-old former U.S. Marine, serving 16 years in a Russian prison. What U.S. officials say were trumped up spying charges. And

Alsu Kurmasheva, a dual U.S. citizen working for Radio Free Europe, accused of failing to register as a foreign agent. Critics accused the Kremlin of

collecting Americans as bargaining chips to trade.

Not every detained American is accused of spying. Schoolteacher Mark Fogle was sentenced in 2022 to 14 years hard labor for bringing medical marijuana

into the country.

GORDON BLACK, AMERICAN JAILED IN RUSSIA: Just like to say hi to my mom and dad back home in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Love you and have a Happy New Year.

CHANCE: And Gordon Black, a 34-year-old staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, was recently sentenced to nearly four years here for stealing money and

assaulting a woman believed to be his Russian girlfriend.

There have been prisoner swaps before, like the U.S. basketball star Brittany Greiner convicted for carrying cannabis oil into Russia, then

exchanged for a convicted Russian arms dealer in a U.S. jail. But the prisoner Kremlin most wants now is this man, Vadim Krasikov, an FSB agent

convicted of killing a Chechen dissident in a public park in Berlin. But Germany is reluctant to bargain a convicted Russian assassin for the

American prisoners the Kremlin may be willing to trade.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now.

And heavy rains are still pounding Southern China where state media report at least 55 people have been killed over the past two weeks. Dozens more

are missing. Flooding and landslides have forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes. Many others have had to be rescued.


Well, Armenia is the latest country to formally recognize a Palestinian state. The Armenian Foreign Ministry made the announcement on Friday saying

it supports a two-state solution to Israel's dispute with the Palestinians. Israel responded by saying it had summoned the Armenian ambassador.

Boston is expecting a big turnout to celebrate the city's basketball heroes. The Celtics won a record 18th NBA Championship when they beat the

L.A. Lakers on Monday. Boston public schools have canceled the last day of classes for the semester so that kids can see today's parade which gets

going in about 30 minutes from now.

We're going to take a very short break. Back after this.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ANDERSON: And we've got breaking news out of the States. I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And that breaking news from

the U.S. Supreme Court, which moments ago released a major ruling on gun ownership.

I want to bring in my colleague Erica Hill. She is in New York ready to help us cover this major U.S. story for us -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Becky, that's right. This is one of the opinions that we've really been waiting on. There's been much attention on

this because what it could -- because of what it could mean for guns and gun ownership in this country.

I want to bring in my colleague, CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider.

Jessica, I know you are still going through this opinion. You're a lawyer. So as you go through it, it is much more helpful with your observations

than it is for mine, but I have to say in reading it, this decision, 8-1, Justice Thomas, not in this, this was written by the chief justice,

interesting they are directly addressing the question of history here and also trying to I think clean up some confusion. Walk us through what they


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There's been a lot of confusion around gun rights, gun laws since the Supreme Court issued a

decision two years ago relating to the history of the Second Amendment, but it's very interesting this case that they've just released the Supreme

Court in an 8-1 opinion they're upholding this federal law that restricts people who are under domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns.


This is actually a somewhat different result than we actually thought might come about from this conservative court. This court is upholding that law,

saying that sure, there is this Second Amendment right to bear arms in the country which the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld and even strengthened

in recent years, but John Roberts, the chief justice, in this case writing that it's been historically valid that gun rights aren't absolute, that

there can be restrictions on gun rights, particularly when it comes to people who have a history of threatening other people with violence. And

that's exactly what this case is about.

The Chief Justice John Roberts writes that are tradition of firearm regulation allows the government to disarm individuals who present a

credible threat to the physical safety of others. And that's exactly what this federal law that was in question in this case does. This was a case

involving a man that repeatedly threatened and committed physical violence against a girlfriend and actually other people in the community.

He was slapped with a restraining order against that girlfriend, and then he was found to own firearms and that's when he was charged with a

violation of this federal law. He went to court saying, hey, this federal law doesn't really comport with the traditions of our country and the

traditions of the Second Amendment. I'm going to challenge it. This man actually won at the lower court with the lower court saying that the

traditions of the United States don't allow for this law. The Supreme Court saying, yes, this law is perfectly valid because there has to be a system

in place to restrict violent people from owning guns.

So this is quite an interesting opinion, Erica, because eight of the justices have signed onto it. Justice Clarence Thomas is the lone dissenter

here, and Justice Thomas is the justice who wrote that opinion in 2022 expanding gun rights. What happened in 2022 is the court said, OK,

everybody, when you're evaluating gun laws across this country, courts, judges, you have to look to the historical foundation of that law and see

if there's historical precedent here, if the founders would have intended for this law to exist if it in any way restricts gun rights.

So Justice Thomas here is saying that this law doesn't comport with historical tradition, but he's the lone dissenter here and the eight other

justices are upholding this law.

I mean, Erica, this is really crucial because gun rights groups were very - - I'm sorry, gun control advocates were very concerned about this case because if they struck down this law domestic violence, you know, people

who had domestic violence restraining orders is what I'm trying to say, they were very concerned that suddenly it could open them up to being able

to own guns. That is not the case now. The Supreme Court has upheld this law.

It will remain in place and there's a big significant concern. I mean, I think I have the stats here about the number of, you know, domestic

violence abusers in the country. It's two-thirds of domestic homicides in the U.S. are committed with guns. So it is a very real concern about

people, you know, accused of domestic violence owning guns.

But today, Erica, the Supreme Court upholding the law in an 8-1 decision written by the chief justice that will keep this law in place, that will

bar people who have domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns. A significant moment in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court when it

comes to gun rights because there has been so much confusion over the past few years.

HILL: And as you point out, somewhat surprising because of that decision in 2022.


HILL: And because what we've seen from this court.

Jessica, stand by. I also want to bring in Jeff Swartz. He's a former judge in the state of Florida, also a professor at the Thomas Cooley Law School.

Jeff, as we look at this, Jessica and I were just touching on this, but what I'm struck by is the way the chief justice laid out here, the

tradition allows the government to disarm individuals who pose a credible threat to others. And also I'm reading being in here, noting that, to

suggest -- you can't suggest that a law is trapped in amber. That laws, right, don't always have to have a historical twin.

We had seen some pushback on this actually from Justice Amy Coney Barrett and some concern over whether, you know, there may be a too strict

interpretation when it comes to historical precedents. Given that and given what we are seeing from the chief justice in this opinion, what do you

think that means moving forward in terms of historical precedent for this court?


JEFF SWARTZ, PROFESSOR, THOMAS COOLEY LAW SCHOOL: Well, the court has been receiving the whole idea of you're turning back the clock to 1840. You're

looking at what was in place at the time that certain laws were or the Constitution was passed or amended and it has been a valid complaint. And I

think that Justice Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts is seeing that as being true.

Even if we go back as far as the mid-1800s, we used to see a sign at a western town, for example, that said check your guns when you come into

town and those type of statutes or ordinances were enforced for a very long time. I think that Justice Thomas was trying to defend the Bruen decision,

which was based on the Heller decision which found that owning a gun is a personal right as opposed to the opposition that said, no, you're not a

member of a militia, therefore you don't get to keep a gun.

I think that he was trying to defend what he had to say. And I think Justice Roberts was fighting back and saying, we understand what you said

in Bruen. But we also have a duty to protect the public and here it doesn't take a conviction to take a gun away. Just an injunction. I used to issue

those injunctions and I will tell you one of the best parts of it was that we would disarm the abuser and make sure that he did not have the

opportunity or she did not have the opportunity to harm the person that was a subject of their domestic abuse.

So I think that they're recognizing certain realities. Part of what this said is if possessing -- that said Heller never established a categorical

rule that the Constitution prohibits regulations that forbid firearm possession in the home. Basically what they were saying is what, you know,

I actually teach and that is that the Second Amendment is not absolute any more than any other of the amendments are absolute.

And I think that that's one of the things that Justice Roberts was trying to say. This is not an absolute right. It is subject to some reasonable

regulation and they found this to be one of those reasonable regulations.

HILL: What do you make of the opinion, the fact that it was 8-1 with only Justice Thomas dissenting?

SWARTZ: Well, I'm not surprised. Seriously I'm not surprised. This is something they won't want to admit is really kind of a very big social

issue. And the last thing they want to do is be responsible for arming people that are subject to domestic violence abuse. They justified on the

basis that a judge has made a determination that this person has posed a threat to someone else, and therefore there being a judicial determination

that that exists authorizes the disarming of a person who owns a weapon.

So I think that they realized there was a certain level of reasonableness that had to be applied here. Again, like I said, I think that Justice

Thomas was just trying to defend his Bruen decision and it just could not hold up against this situation.

HILL: Does this give you any insight into some of the other cases that we are still -- certainly their opinions that we are still waiting for?

SWARTZ: I wish I could put on my swami hat and tell you that in fact that's the case. Right now I think that we're seeing a court that is in some

discord. I think that there's clearly some open warfare between three and six. And then there's a couple of people who are very unhappy being part of

the six. So I don't know what's going to happen. I think where this court is going to be, we'll find out in the immunity case. That's going to be

their defining moment.

HILL: All right. And that is one that we are still waiting for.

Jeff, appreciate your insight as always. Thank you.

Stay with us. We're going to take a quick break here. We're back on the other side.



HILL: Welcome back. If you're just joining us, a breaking news from here in the United States, the Supreme Court offering a major opinion on gun

ownership. It upholds a ban on guns for those who are domestic abusers.

I want to go back to my colleague, CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, for more.

So, Jessica, this ruling, 8-1, Justice Clarence Thomas, the lone dissenter here, in writing the opinion for the court the chief justice said that the

court had no trouble basically concluding that they would uphold this law. What else was said in that opinion?

SCHNEIDER: In some ways, Erica, this was a relatively easy case for the court to come to that, you know, 8-1 conclusion because this was a case

about a statute that doesn't allow violent people or those who have violent tendencies to own guns. So in a sense, it was somewhat cut and dry. And the

chief justice saying here what was really interesting and the broader scope here is that, hey, lower courts, when you're analyzing these types of gun

laws, there doesn't need to be an identical replica of a law that existed in the late 1700s at the founding of our nation.

And there, Erica, has been a lot of confusion in the lower courts for the past two years. So two years ago in 2022, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for

the majority of the court that all gun laws, in order to comport with the Second Amendment right to bear arms, all gun laws in this country have to

have some sort of historical precedents, something analogous in the past and a lot of the courts, the judges around the country, they've sort of

reacted with the, we're judges, we're not historians. How do we really understand if there was an identical or similar law in the past in order to

evaluate whether these current laws are OK and comport with the Second Amendment?

And that is why in this particular case the lower courts here said, well, we can't really find a historical precedent to someone preventing someone

who has a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun. So we're going to strike the law down. And what the chief justice says in this case

is he says, you know, the Second Amendment permits more than just those regulations identical to the ones that could be found in 1791.

He goes on to say holding otherwise would be mistaken as applying the protections of the right only to muskets and sabers. Obviously the type of

weapons that existed, you know, in the late 18th Century.

So what I will say, Erica, is that like I said at the beginning this was a relatively easy case. Of course, people prone to violence shouldn't have

guns or at least that's what the Supreme Court is saying today. It will be more difficult in practice because the fact of the matter is that the Bruen

decision saying you have to have some historical precedent here, it still exists. It still is the law of the land according to the Supreme Court.

So I do believe that lower the courts are really going to still struggle with how exactly to evaluate these current gun laws. You know, I'll note

there's a gun case coming down the pike that the Supreme Court might ultimately hear, probably will ultimately hear. It directly relates to

Hunter Biden and it's this question of whether or not, you know, people who use drugs or even people who have been felons, can own guns.

And, you know, the Fifth Circuit actually said that those people who have used or abused drugs, they shouldn't be barred from owning guns. So it's

going to be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles that question because that also could deal with the historical precedent here. But for

now, it's almost like the chief justice is trying to say, OK, we know what we said two years ago, but lower courts, don't take it exactly at face

value. You have to also use some common sense here when evaluating these gun laws.


These gun laws don't have to be identical to what we saw in the 1700 and 1800s. Maybe they have to sort of comport with what was meant back then.

But it's still going to be difficult for these lower courts to decide this.

HILL: Well, it is going to be because in some ways we hear this from the Supreme Court even. And they're saying, OK, in this case historical

precedents, we have to go. It does have to be identical, but now you're hearing from the chief justice, well, it doesn't always have to be, you

know, 100 percent apples to apples because things didn't exist, for example, in the late 1700s. Perhaps not surprising that this could end up

or a similar case could end up before the Supreme Court again in short order -- Jess.

SCHNEIDER: Yes. I think we're going to see lower courts continue to grapple with the question of which gun laws are OK and which aren't. There's

probably going to be discord among the lower courts as we've already seen. And I think that this is just going to be the beginning of cases that the

Supreme Court has to hear and has to decide on. Unfortunately, they haven't issued a really clear blanket rule. So a lot of these sort of nuanced

questions are probably going to continue to pop up.

Like I said, this one was relatively easy. We saw an 8-1 court, a relatively, you know, almost unanimous court here because it was a

relatively easy question. Of course, people who are prone to violence shouldn't own guns. But a lot of the other questions are a lot more

difficult to really decipher and the Supreme Court is probably going to have to grapple with that in the coming years.

HILL: And we'll be watching for that. Jess, stick around if you would.

Also with me this hour is Jeff Swartz, a former judge out of Miami, who is also currently a law professor, and Larry Sabato, director of the Center

for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Jeff, one other thing that stood out to me and Jessica just mentioned this, right, the chief justice noting that, and I'm paraphrasing a bit here, that

if you didn't look at additional context, right, then the Second Amendment would only apply to muskets and sabers. That is also going to be seen as a

win for a number of folks, especially those who would like to see gun rights in many ways expanded because he is making clear there that gun

rights do expand, which we know in this country but interesting to put that in to sell the point, Jeff.

SWARTZ: Well, it's interesting that he did that because just a week ago they decided that bump stocks were OK. But those didn't exist back in the

early days either. So if he sitting here saying and he is saying that we have to look at today that the old idea that the Constitution is a living

and breathing document, and that we have to apply it to society as we see it today, because domestic abuse was considered OK, you know, 200 years

ago, then how do we deal with this other than to say the Constitution allows us to do these things?

And if that's the case you still have to wonder why they could sit there and make such minutiae out of the bump stock case and find however that

this deals with other people and the threat to other people, and a known threat. And so I kind of have a problem with that to the same extent I also

see that this case comes out of the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit has been nothing but a thorn in the side of the Supreme Court.

It seems like almost everything of import almost seems to come out of the Fifth Circuit most of the time. In fact, generally almost all the time

they've had to reverse the Fifth Circuit. So there seems to be a battle going on between the Fifth Circuit, which is Texas, Louisiana and

Mississippi, and the Supreme Court. And somehow or another, they're trying to come back on them.

He uses the word historical twin is not required. And that's accurate. And again, if you're saying we have to go back when we talk about the

Constitution and the amendments that we have to go back to what they meant at the time by looking at what existed at that time, they're setting that

aside here. And it just seems there's a little incongruity of what they're saying, but I like it.

HILL: I have to agree. It sort of comes in when, you know, when it fits the narrative. And then perhaps leaves when it doesn't.

SWARTZ: Right.

HILL: Larry, looking at this it is impossible not to look at this court these days through a political lens as much as they don't want that to

happen. It's too late. We have already gone down that road. I thought it interesting as we were just discussing with Jeff, you know, Chief Justice

John Roberts I think trying here to maybe move forward, OK, it was maybe a little confusing after Bruen, but we're just going to help you along here,

now we can be done with this.

It made me think of what happened after Roe when the court essentially said, OK, we're going to wash our hands of this. We're good now. We're

going to send it back to the states, but everything is going to be fine and we see the chaos that has ensued.

Do you see the potential for this moment perhaps leading to more uncertainty as we just discussed with Jessica?


LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Let me put this into political context. Your legal analysts had done a good job

with their assigned area, but you have to understand one thing. The Supreme Court's approval ratings are lower than they have ever been, at least in

the age of polling. They're in the 30s. The one justice who I think pays most attention to that because it's part of his job description is the

chief justice. He doesn't want the court to be that unpopular. Probably none of them do, but they contributed to it in various ways.

This is once again a very political subject. Republicans are closely aligned with gun rights. Democrats are closely aligned with gang control.

To most Americans, I think a large majority, massive majority, this decision will simply be common sense. I mean, you don't give guns to

domestic abusers in these circumstances. So --

HILL: To your point, that's the polling, Larry. Three out of four Americans say that these people should not have a gun. You're right.

SABATO: Absolutely. I mean, it's just common sense. So Justice Thomas is obviously unhappy about it, but it is interesting that he's the only

dissenter. Even Alito didn't dissent with him. So whether it makes any difference or not beyond this issue, I don't think it'll change the ratings

of the Supreme Court, but people who hear about it will say, well, finally, common sense.

HILL: And I think we can have, in terms of the dissent from Justice Thomas, I think we have it that we could put up there. We can put it up on the

screen for you just so if you're watching now, if you haven't been reading through the opinion because it can be a little bit dense for those of us

non-lawyers, here is the lone dissent.

Again, Justice Thomas noting, "Thus the question before us is not whether Rahimi and others like him can be disarmed, consistent with the Second

Amendment. Instead the question is whether the government can strip the Second Amendment right of any one subject to a protective order, even if he

has never been accused or convicted of a crime. It cannot. The court and government do not point to a single historical law revoking a citizen's

Second Amendment right based on possible interpersonal violence."

Jeff, what do you make of that?

SWARTZ: I think I've always wondered whether Justice Thomas was out of touch and that's a statement that really evidenced that he's out-of-touch

that he's sitting here basically saying, well, gee, if they have arguments between each other, other laws will solve it, but we're not going to take

his gun away just because some judge has found that he has committed an act of violence or is a threat. And I think that that really is kind of out in

the woods some place.

I don't know what makes him think that the public really would justify that kind of thought process, that if you have an injunction, then that piece of

paper will protect you. The last I heard when I was doing domestic violence work was a piece of paper doesn't stop a bullet and if that's the case, how

do you protect the abused person other than to take weapons away from the person who is the abuser?

So I just see the connection to be too solid to really avoid it in the context of the Second Amendment is absolute unless you're convicted of a

crime. A judge here has made a decision, issued an injunction and I think that that is evidence enough to disarm someone.

HILL: Larry, how do you see this playing out on the campaign trail over the next four-and-a-half months or so?

SABATO: The question really is what Donald Trump says about it if anything. We know the Biden White House will support this decision. For Trump, he has

a quite a base there, not necessarily with the NRA, the National Rifle Association, but with gun owners generally. They're part of his base

especially in the south and border states. So does he openly endorse this, saying it was a good decision or does he just avoid the whole subject,

although he might not be able to in next week's CNN debate? Who knows, there might be a question about it?

HILL: Given the polling, right, of the American people, the way most Americans feel about this issue in particular, is it one that you think

Republicans will want to defend, Larry?

SABATO: No, I wouldn't think so. We need to remember that Trump is the one, the Trump administration banned the bump stocks or they got it banned. That

wasn't a Democratic administration because the public was demanding it after the mass shootings that it occurred. And I suspect that the public

would be very unhappy happy with any politician who defended the abusers the way Justice Thomas has.


Maybe he's spending too much time with billionaires on vacation.

HILL: Larry Sabato, Jeff Swartz, Jessica Schneider, thank you all. Really appreciate it. I appreciate you being here for the breaking news this hour.

Becky, a very big case, one of the opinions that we have been waiting for here from the Supreme Courts. Still a few more, which will, you know,

perhaps be coming. We're not sure which day next week, but perhaps we'll get some of those. We'll need to get them eventually. But I'll send it back

to you for now in Abu Dhabi.

ANDERSON: Yes. And I know that you'll be with us for those. Thank you so much. And I've got some breaking news, which I think is a good news story.

These Euro 2024 football competition that's going on at the moment has been terrific and we've just got a result. Ukraine winning their match against

Slovakia, that keeps the Ukrainians well in this tournament, and I'm sure those who are watching in Ukraine and supporting Ukraine around the world

are going to be delighted about that terrific match. Slovakia played well, but look, I think we can, for most people watching this, I think we can

probably consider that a jolly good result.

That's it for CONNECT THE WORLD today, this Friday. Stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" is up next.