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President Bush Hopes Confirmation Process for Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts Will be Conducted in Dignified, Civil Way; '90- Second Pop'

Aired July 20, 2005 - 09:30   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Just about half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING. I'm Miles O'Brien. Good morning to you.
CAROL COSTELLO, ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello, in for Soledad. Coming up, right back to Hurricane Emily, pounding the coast of Mexico and South Texas. Chad is tracking the storm for us.

Also if John Roberts is confirmed to the Supreme Court, what pivotal cases could be overturned or changed with him on the bench? We're going to have to get the crystal ball out for that. But Jeff Toobin has one, and so he has some answers for us.

Let's check the headlines now with Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hi. Good morning again, Miles and Carol. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he's considering a global conference on how to root out Muslim extremists. The prime minister spoke to the House of Commons earlier today. The parliament is considering ways to beef up and expand anti-terror law.

Meantime, British authorities are continuing to identify victims from the London attack. Police have removed one of the mangled train carriages from London's Underground for more testing.

Also at this hour, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would protect journalists who refuse to reveal the sources. Among those set to testify this morning, "Time" magazine reporter Matt Cooper. He almost landed in jail for keeping quiet about a source connected to the leak of a CIA operative's name.

In Aruba, back suspects in Natalee Holloway case are undergoing DNA tests. An attorney for Holloway's family confirmed that Joran Van Der Sloot, a Dutch teen still in custody, has been ordered to supply samples. So have two brother released earlier this month. Meanwhile, investigators are trying to figure out if some blonde hair found attached to duct tape is that of the missing Alabama teenager.

And a 14-year-old Texas boy is recovering after being bitten by a black bear. The teenager was camping in Colorado some 150 miles southwest of Denver when the bear apparently barged into his tent. The boy has been treated for a bite and some scratches, but otherwise, is doing okay. Park officials are looking for the bear now -- Miles.

COSTELLO: It's back to me. WHITFIELD: And Carol.

COSTELLO: But that's OK. I was amazed by the bear story. What a kid.

WHITFIELD: Isn't that fascinating? He's lucky.

COSTELLO: Good for him. Thank you, Fred.

President Bush said this morning that he hopes the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts will be conducted in a dignified and civil way. He's already parading the candidate. Look, they have coffee this morning. They came out to the North Lawn. They spoke to reporters for just a bit. Very friendly. Senators were going in to meet with the Supreme Court nominee to talk about all of the questions that will be posed to his during confirmation process.

We've already spoke within former Senator Fred Thompson. The president asked him to guide Roberts through that confirmation. And Senator Ted Kennedy, the leading liberal voice on the Judiciary Committee.


SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Each and every one of these areas, on civil rights, workers right, environmental rights, women's right, we have made enormous progress over the period of these last 40 years. Are we going to have a judge that's going to sustain that progress or try to reverse it? On the court at the present time, it's evenly divided. We saw Sandra Day O'Connor be the key vote that was out there trying to bring this country together on issue after issue on that. And we want to know whether this judge is going to be that kind of a jurist or not. That's basically fundamentally what the hearings will be about. I look forward to them. I think -- I'm sure the American people will learn a great deal from it.



FRED THOMPSON, FMR. SENATOR: I don't think we've learned from times past that it does nobody any good. It doesn't do the Senate any good. It doesn't do the federal judiciary any good to have a breakdown in civility.

Now that doesn't mean that they can't ask pointed questions or tough questions about his record, for example, or anything else that's relevant and can be answered ethically. But I think, with all the groups swarming around out there and all the people geared up to attack Judge Roberts, even before he was announced, I think that the senators have an opportunity to rise above all that, and I think that we have a good chance of doing that here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: So what makes the battle over Roberts so pivotal for all of us? Joining us now, CNN's senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Let's start with what happened this morning. I mean, they're really painting a picture of John Roberts. He had coffee with the president, the president says he's from Indiana, a hard-working guy, but really smart, went to Harvard, but loves football, you know, A common guy. Although "The L.A. Times" call him rather bland. So who is he?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think he may be both bland and gone to Harvard. That's hardly an unusual combination. I think what's most interesting to me, when miles spoke to Ted Kennedy earlier, what an extremely muted reaction. I mean, you know, he said let's hear what he has to say, we want to see that he protects rights. But in 1987, Ted Kennedy came right out of the box calling Robert Bork, you know, a Neanderthal...

COSTELLO: But Robert Bork came right out of the box with his very conservative views.

TOOBIN: Yes, I mean, he had a very long history of views that were very conservative. But there has been, I think an extremely muted reaction among very partisan Democrats to Roberts, and I think that bodes very well for an orderly confirmation...

COSTELLO: Don't you think that could be a tactic, though, because didn't Senator Reid come out and say, hey, calm the rhetoric, let's take our time.

TOOBIN: I mean, it could be a tactic, but I don't think it would be effective if you wanted to try to demonize this guy and beat him. I mean, look, you've got 55 Republicans in the Senate. They're going to vote -- in all likelihood, they're going to vote for John Roberts. So you've got to stir people up to figure out a reason to vote against him if you want to defeat him, and by saying how outstanding his credentials are, you're not going to motivate anybody. So I think he's looking good so far.

COSTELLO: You know, everybody thought that a woman, including you, was going to be nominated...

TOOBIN: You had to remind me of that.

COSTELLO: I know, I'm sorry.

TOOBIN: We don't go over the old predictions, OK, I'm sorry.

COSTELLO: I apologize.

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, she was fishing at the time the president made his decision. He tried to call her, couldn't get her on her cell phone. She heard actually on the radio. She said that John Roberts is confirmable.

TOOBIN: Well, Sandra Day O'Connor is many things. She's a savvy pol, most of all. And she's probably right, he is confirmable. You know, some people think, when you retire, you put up a sign up on the door that says gone fishing. That was a literal sign. Yes, that is where she went. She's a famous trout fisherman.

COSTELLO: Tell us this personal anecdote that you know about John Roberts.

TOOBIN: Well, just think about it. It's just the amazing way life works for people. In 1992, the first President Bush, right near the end of his term, nominated John Roberts to be on the D.C. Circuit. The Democrats tied up the nomination, and he never got a vote, a crushing disappointment to John Roberts. He really wanted to be on the D.C. Circuit. He didn't get it, until 11 years later. That failure in 1992 is probably why he's on the Supreme Court today, because he doesn't -- he had 11 years where he could make a great big pot of money in the private sector, and he has no record of controversial decisions in those 11 years. So the worst thing that ever happened to John Roberts turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

COSTELLO: See, that's what I was saying about the Democrats, there's nothing they can really latch on to quite yet.

TOOBIN: Not yet.

COSTELLO: Because of that short record.

TOOBIN: Because of that short record. But I mean, isn't it -- I don't know, it's like a short story or something. I'm sorry, maybe I'm the only person...

COSTELLO: Finally, as we button this up, tell us what decisions you'll be taking part in if of course he's confirmed in the future.

TOOBIN: OK, in the fall, big lineup of important cases. A parental-notification bill -- law about abortion out of New Hampshire, a late-term abortion bill -- law, is probably going to be in front of them, assisted suicide in Oregon, possibly some gay marriage stuff. So the social issues, the cultural issues, the big stuff from the Supreme Court. That's why they're there.

COSTELLO: The definition of why we should care.

TOOBIN: Exactly. I'm going to work on that, Carol, on getting -- on answering that question for you -- Miles.

COSTELLO: Thank you, Jeffrey .

TOOBIN: All right.

O'BRIEN: Yes, yes, it is me. I'll take it. The big question in my mind is, what do Jack and Josie Roberts think about this morning, his kids, four and five. Let's take a look at videotape from last night.

COSTELLO: Isn't that cute?

O'BRIEN: Very well dressed. Yes, mom Jane there. There's Jack IV (ph), seersucker suits, saddle shoes. Timeless, really timeless, wouldn't you say? It doesn't get better than that. You come to the White House. Well, OK, it's 9:00, all right, he's four. And it's...


O'BRIEN: And...

TOOBIN: Of course the girl is good.

O'BRIEN: Yes, and you know, it's interesting, we're just -- looking at it, there's a certain Camelot nature to all this. You know, remember John John under the desk. There is all of that, maybe a little bit of that stardust.

COSTELLO: Look how rigid mom is, though, because she doesn't quite know what to do.

O'BRIEN: Mom's wishing this away, this moment away, and hoping the president finishes soon.

COSTELLO: Oh, there she goes.

O'BRIEN: It's like, OK, Jack, Jack, and eventually Jack and -- was whisked off by mom. And we're sure eventually he'll be very impressed, if his dad ultimately makes it to the High Court, that his dad's the Supreme Court justice. And, you know, that's kind of in the cool dad category. But at least last night, I'd say nonplused, wouldn't you?

COSTELLO: Just think, though, if he is confirmed, he's only 50 years old, right? So the son would be, what, 34 years old after all that.

O'BRIEN: Could be his clerk, who knows? Benchley (ph). All right, thanks a lot for entertaining us, at the very least, at this early stage, young Jack Roberts.


O'BRIEN: Still to come on the program, the economy is on the rebound, but will it affect your paycheck when it comes time for a raise? We're hoping so, and we're "Minding Your Business."

COSTELLO: We certainly are.

O'BRIEN: And later, another makeover for the material girl. The "90-Second" poppers weigh in on Lady Madonna. That's just ahead, on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: You want a big bump in your salary next year? Maybe not. Gerri Willis here with that.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here with that cheery news. I have no good news today, have you noticed that? I've been a pawn of bad news today.

O'BRIEN: No, I thought that skipping work thing was good.

WILLIS: Did you? Oh, good.

O'BRIEN: That was great news.

WILLIS: Well, you know, let's go to the negative news now, OK. The market's not looking so great this morning, as a matter of fact. They've just opened, and I believe we're seeing the Dow down almost 40 points there. Here's what's going on, I told you about Kodak earlier this morning. We know they're having a lot of trouble. Their stock is down 9 percent here. They've announced layoffs as we've said. But other bad news, GM, a Dow component, announcing bad earnings. Intel, Yahoo!, bad earnings. It's earning season, nobody cares about anything but the bottom line right now.

O'BRIEN: That's a diverse group of businesses. I mean, Kodak, that's like being a buggy whip manufacturer, but these other companies, Intel, what's going on with that?

WILLIS: We'll know more later in the day, but so far what we know is that their earnings were not what was expected, and of course Yahoo! as well, so you've got really a range of companies there.

O'BRIEN: Could be a bad day on Wall Street.

WILLIS: So why won't we get a raise this year, Gerri?

O'BRIEN: More important, let' get to our raises.

WILLIS: You're a demanding crew here, let me tell you.

O'BRIEN: Yes, we are.

WILLIS: Well, this is not unusual. Last year we didn't have great raises rather. We're barely keeping pace with inflation here, raises coming in at about 3.5 percent for the average worker. Inflation, 3.1 percent. That means you're barely covering it. Keep in mind here, too, that signing bonuses are up, so maybe if we all get a job somewhere else, we'll get a signing bonus, I don't know?

O'BRIEN: Who knows, maybe after today, we will. You never know.

COSTELLO: I don't think so.

WILLIS: But not good news for workers here. I know people would like to see higher raises than that, and you know, With the economy percolating along, maybe we will.

COSTELLO: And on that high note...

WILLIS: I was trying to find a high note.

COSTELLO: I was trying to find a high note.

"CNN LIVE TODAY" is coming up next.

Daryn, what are you working on this morning?

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We've got a lot to work on here. Carol, good morning to you.

Coming up at the top of the hour, we're going to have more on the president's nomination of John Roberts to the high court. How is Congress responding, and what do special interest groups have to say about the choice? We'll answer those questions and more.

Plus, hiring drunks, dead people, people who are serving in Iraq? It might sound odd, but that is the scandal allegedly unfolding in Chicago's city hall. We're going to hear from the mayor and an enterprising "Chicago Tribune" reporter.

And are you work so hard that you're going to skip lunch today? all work and no food may not be a good thing. A look at how a no- lunch day can effect your health. It also might make you gain weight. And we'll tell you how you can avoid all that, just ahead.

COSTELLO: And since you're not going to get a big raise this year, you might as well take lunch.

KAGAN: If you can afford it.

COSTELLO: Right. Thank you, Daryn.

British actor Jude Law uses the press to apologize for an affair with his kids' nanny. Is it enough, or does his mea culpa make him seem rather insincere? The poppers weigh in. "90-Second Pop" next on AMERICAN MORNING.



COSTELLO: Time now for the Wednesday edition of "90 Second Pop." Our pop experts today, A.J. Hammer of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," Sarah Bernard of "New York" magazine, and Andy Borowitz of Welcome to all of you.


COSTELLO: Let's jump right into "Vogue" and Madonna, shall we? Because you say she looks dowdy?

ANDY BOROWITZ, BOROWITZREPORT.COM: No, no, no. I think she looks fabulous. She looks a little like Faye Dunaway, I think, in this new -- there's a great spread in "Vogue," showing her in her new country estate in England, Ashcombe. It's a thousand acre estate. It was built in 1686. Which also -- that was the year that Madonna's first song came out. So there's a lot of history. Lot of history on this estate.

COSTELLO: That is so wrong.

BERNARD: I think this is so genius that she's doing this. This is the summer where celebrities have gone absolutely psycho, right? There's Russell Crowe, there's Tom Cruise jumping on the couch. Everyone's losing their mind. And of course Madonna has to be different. She has gone the opposite direction and she's become lady of the manor with her chickens.

BOROWITZ: Just feeding chickens.

BERNARD: Chickens, yes.

A.J. HAMMER, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": A friend of mine last night was saying how she's all concerned and little upset about the fact that Madonna is no longer relatable since she took on her aristocratic airs. And she's not one of the people's person who, as she talks about in the article, was stealing money from the cash register of the bar that she worked at in Greenwich Village. So my friend doesn't feel like she can relate to Madonna. And I asked her -- I said, well, do you still want to know everything about her? She said absolutely.

COSTELLO: Oh, absolutely. But how old is your friend?

HAMMER: She's 30.

COSTELLO: Well, Madonna's 46 years old now. So I'm just wondering if the younger generation could relate to her, anyway.

BERNARD: Well, this is just one of Madonna's personalities, right? She only keeps them for a couple years. So we'll come back on the couch a, couple year, we'll be talking about her punk stage.

COSTELLO: That's right. At 59, she could be the material girl once...

BOROWITZ: She says in the article -- she says that Britain is her home now, not America. And who says we don't report good news on this show? We do.

COSTELLO: That's so awful.

HAMMER: But she's not watching because there's no TV at Ashcombe.

BERNARD: Oh, that's right.

COSTELLO: That's right. So it's OK.

OK, let's talk about Jude Law and his weak apology.

BERNARD: Oh, you think it was a weak?

COSTELLO: Oh, I'm so sorry I had sex with the nanny. But let's get married.

BERNARD: Yes, well, I don't think that's going to happen. I mean, this is interesting. Jude had to do something. I mean, we think our American press is vicious. The British tabloids, when something like this breaks, I mean, they go to town. And if you're -- if the woman you're having an affair with shares her diaries, literally every entry with the "Sunday Mirror," what are you going to do? He had to get out ahead and say something.

BOROWITZ: Although, our "New York Daily News" did have a great headline yesterday, which was "Lewd Jude."

BERNARD: Oh, that says it all.

BOROWITZ: And I think that was pretty good.

COSTELLO: That is excellent.

BERNARD: So, obviously, their -- the engagement is most likely off. Sienna has told him to get lost. But what is this going to do for his career? I think, if you look at what happened to Hugh Grant after he was arrested with the prostitute, he might actually get to play some grittier roles. He's been such a pretty boy. I mean, he's really working hard, but he's such a pretty boy. So maybe now...

COSTELLO: So he's going to appear on David Letterman and David Letterman's going to go, so what the hell were you thinking?

HAMMER: He was voted most -- what was it?

BERNARD: Sexiest man alive.

HAMMER: This will have no impact on his career.

BOROWITZ: And I'll tell you one thing. He is going to have no problem finding another nanny. They're going to be woman lining around the block for that position.

COSTELLO: That's true. Let's talk about this whole concept, though, of how movie stars use the media and then get mad at the media for the media using them. Case in point, Colin what's his face. I almost forget his last name.

BERNARD: Farrell.

HAMMER: Farrell.

COSTELLO: I'm sorry, Colin Farrell. He has sex with his "Playmate" girlfriend. She has sex tapes. And he's suing so she doesn't release them.

HAMMER: Well, you know, believe it or not, celebrities and stars are people, too. And believe it or not, they even have rights, too. And the fact is -- the fact is, if something is perpetrated against them and there is legal recourse, which in this case there is, because unless both parties are consenting to the release of the tape, it is illegal to release that tape. So you can't blame him for suing...

COSTELLO: Yes, but what about Pamela and...

BERNARD: Well, that was a little bit of a different case. Because in the end, they kind of joined forces with the company that released it and ended up getting, I think, some of the proceeds.

BOROWITZ: I'll tell you, I have seen the Colin Farrell sex tape. It's not that sexy, but the bloopers at the end are hilarious.

HAMMER: They're going to have great extras on the DVD release, I'm sure.

COSTELLO: No, here's what we were all wondering. He's a randy guy. He talks about sleeping with, like, thousands of women. He brags about it. So why would he care that this sex tape is going to be released?

BOROWITZ: He should do commentary on the tape, I think.

COSTELLO: Exactly.

HAMMER: The director's cut.

BERNARD: Yes, maybe he will.

HAMMER: You still want to have control over these things. What was interesting, last night on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," we had our nightly poll where we asked, should celebrities have more privacy? You may be surprised at how this went. You would think with the insatiable appetite for everything going on in celebrity's lives that everybody would want to know everything. Our poll, obviously very unscientific, but 68 percent of the people who voted said yes, they should have more privacy.

COSTELLO: Oh, come on. That's just a lie.

BERNARD: Well, they shouldn't have video cameras. I mean, I think one of the things that they should learn now is, you know, no video cameras for them.

HAMMER: If your trajectory in life is to become a celebrity, or even if you're just a regular person, keep in mind, if you make a videotape of yourself having sex, it may get out there.

COSTELLO: Yes, that's -- he should be punished for that. I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

BOROWITZ: I don't want to see celebrities with their chickens, either. I don't.

HAMMER: Especially naked. But that's a whole different...

COSTELLO: On that note, let's wrap it up. Andy Borowitz, A.J. Hammer, Sarah Bernard, thank you all.

And, of course, A.J. -- A.J. Hammer and Karyn Bryant of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" as they reveal the secrets of stuntwomen. They put themselves in danger for Hollywood's biggest stars. How do they do it? It's all part of the special series "Silver Screen Secrets." That's "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," at 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. on CNN Headline News. O'BRIEN: Of course, we do all our own stunts here, as you know. Tomorrow on AMERICAN MORNING, the science of sampling. More than ever, supermarkets are turning to free samples as a sales pitch. But how much does it affect what you buy? Food sampling syndrome. Hope there's medicine for that. Tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Eastern.

We're back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: That's all for us on AMERICAN MORNING this morning. We're glad you joined us. Daryn Kagan is at the CNN Center in Atlanta with a look at what's ahead today. Hello, Daryn.