Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Sunday

Trump Wants To Fill Supreme Court Vacant Seat "Without Delay"; Senate Democrats Warn Of Plan To Retaliate If McConnell Advances Trump's Court Pick; U.S. Approaching Grim Milestone Of 200,000 COVID- 19 Deaths, At Least 29 States Seeing Uptick In Cases; CDC Reverses Guidelines For Testing People Without Symptoms; Trump Says Every American Can Get A Vaccine By April, But Health Experts Say That's Not Likely; Memorials And Vigils For Justice Ginsburg Held Across The Country. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 20, 2020 - 06:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Here's a look all of you who are up very early in San Francisco. We want to welcome you to the show this morning. And we thank you for making us part of our morning, especially so early.

Because it is a morning where this country is coming to grips with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and what is going to happen afterwards. Bracing for this political turmoil in the Senate as we close in on this 2020 presidential election which is 45 days away now.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. For a second day, people went to the steps of the Supreme Court to remember Ginsburg. And we also know that there is this fight that has already begun there on Capitol Hill to determine who should pick her successor, when that vote should happen.

PAUL: So far at least one senator, Susan Collins of Maine, is breaking with her party saying there should not be a vote on a nominee before the election. Now Republican leaders in the Senate and President Trump say, that's not true. The time is now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I totally disagree with her. We have an obligation. We won and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want. That's not the next president. Hopefully, I'll be the next president. But we're here now. Right now we're here.


BLACKWELL: CNN's Rebecca Buck is in Washington. So we heard last night at the rally, fill that seat, as a chant from the crowd. Tell us what you know from the president. He hasn't named a nominee but what we know about the plan to do that.


Well we are not only expecting the White House to move forward with this nomination, but we are expecting them to put their foot on the gas and move very quickly nominating someone this week, we expect. And the president said over the weekend that he wants to nominate a woman for this seat. But, of course, that is just step one and an intense fight lies ahead in the United States Senate. And a political fight as well with the presidential campaign ongoing.

Of course, the underlying question here, should the president be nominating someone to fill this vacancy with the election just six weeks away? And possibly a new president coming into office in January, should Joe Biden win that election. And the president defending his right to make this nomination over the weekend. I want you to take a listen to what he had to say.


TRUMP: So Article II of our constitution says the president shall nominate justices of the Supreme Court.

Now it says the president is supposed to fill the seat, right? And that's what we're going to do. We're going to fill the seat.


BUCK: Now as you mentioned, his supporters at this rally over the weekend chanting, fill that seat, in support of the president and his decision to move forward with this process. But it's not clear yet how this is going to shake out politically.

As you mentioned, one Republican senator, Susan Collins, announced that she will not support filling this vacancy before the next president is sworn into office in January. It's unclear whether Republicans will ultimately have the votes to move forward with this nomination. Of course, a lot will hinge on who the president picks.

Meantime, though, we are seeing incredible energy from Democratic voters responding to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the president's decision to fill her seat before the election or in a lame duck session after the election -- breaking fundraising records over the weekend with millions of dollars of donations coming in for Democratic candidates.

So, if Brett Kavanaugh and his nomination process was filled with drama, filled with energy for Democrats, possibly motivated Democrats to go to the polls in those midterm elections this could be even more intense, Christi and Victor, over the next few weeks.

PAUL: Rebecca Buck, so appreciate it. Thank you.

BUCK: Thank you.

PAUL: So, the debate on Capitol Hill is somewhat of a stress test for the Senate. Democrats are calling the GOP hypocrites and they're vowing -- quote -- "nothing is off the table" in regards to how they'll respond.

BLACKWELL: And Mitch McConnell has to find out, at least search around to see if he has enough votes to move this thing quickly. CNN's Manu Raju has the latest for us.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: This decision ought to be made by the next president.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then when Barack Obama was president in 2016 with a vacancy on the Supreme Court. But times have changed and so has the president.

MCCONNELL: Oh, we'd fill it.


RAJU: Republican leaders are plotting a full-throated effort to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat with the election just 44 days away. Trying to make the argument, it's different now because Republicans control both the White House and the Senate.

Privately McConnell and Trump speaking about potential nominees on Friday night. And the GOP leader in a message to his colleagues urging them to keep your powder dry and not take a position on whether the winner of the November election should be the one filling the vacancy left by the death of Ginsburg.

On Saturday, Senator Susan Collins of Maine facing the toughest reelection of her career breaking ranks saying, "The decision of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the president who is elected on November 3rd." But with the 53-47 majority, Democrats need a total of four Republicans to vote no and stop the nomination.

GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski, before Ginsburg's death made clear she did not want to move ahead on any vacancy before November. And it's unclear if two other Republicans will agree.

Privately, top Republicans are arguing that a Supreme Court fight will only boost their chances at holding the Senate majority in November. And several Republicans in difficult races are indicating they'll vote to confirm Trump's nominee this year. Even though some endangered Republicans like North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis took the opposite position in 2016.

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): We're going to let the American people speak.

RAJU: Yet moving ahead before November could squeeze Republicans like Cory Gardner running for reelection in Democratic leaning Colorado. Gardner's office did not respond to questions about whether the winner of the November's elections should make the hugely consequential pick. It typically takes between two to three months to confirm a Supreme Court nominee meaning it would be much faster than usual to approve a replacement before November. Yet if a vote slips until after the November elections during the lame duck session of Congress there's another complication if Arizona's appointed senator, Martha McSally, loses in November, that would mean Democrat Mark Kelly could be sworn in by the end of that month, bringing the GOP majority down to 52-48.

So, McConnell has little margin for error. And several senators are uncommitted like Utah's Mitt Romney and some senators in the past have been wary about an election year confirmation. Like Senator Chuck Grassley who as chairman of the Judiciary Committee refused to hold hearings for Obama's nominee in 2016. He told CNN in July --

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: If I were chairman of the committee, I couldn't move forward with it.

RAJU: On Saturday, his office declined to say if that is still his position. Others have clearly shifted theirs. Including Lindsey Graham who now chair the Judiciary Committee and said this in 2016.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination. And you could use my words against me.


RAJU: Now, Lindsey Graham explains himself by saying things have changed since 2018 in that confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. That vicious confirmation fight that he views the situation differently. But the Republicans do move ahead and they succeed in moving ahead, Democrats are warning that they may retaliate, potentially by moving legislation next year if they take the Senate majority to expand the Supreme Court.

But to do that, they have to remove -- change the Senate filibuster rules and that could have dramatic ramifications for the Senate and for millions of people for years to come. Nevertheless, that is an option that's on the table.

Chuck Schumer yesterday talking to Senate Democrats said that all options are on the table. And that has been reiterated from top Democrats on down. So what Democrats are saying that they are going to take this fight lying down -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Manu, thank you so much.

Let's bring in CNN's Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue. Ariane, the president says that his nominee will be a woman. He actually took, I guess, a cheer poll at his rally yesterday from his supporters, which is unusual considering it's only been 24 hours since the late justice died. But who is on the short list for potential nominees?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Victor, you hit on a point. Two days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course, it's being felt not only on the court but in the country as a whole for the election. It's pretty poignant up here this morning. People have been leaving cards and pictures and heartfelt posters. And short-term here at the court, we've got have big cases like Obamacare but think down the line, issues like the Second Amendment, abortion, Roe v. Wade, affirmative action. Those are all coming up. That's playing out on the campaign trail and now Trump is saying that he is going to nominate a woman.

The short list has always topped with Amy Coney Barrett. She's a judge out of the 7th Circuit. She is a favorite of supporters of religious liberty. Another one though is Barbara Lagoa. She hails from Florida. She was the first Cuban to be on the Florida Supreme Court. And, of course, Florida is very important to President Trump.


There's another Allison Rushing. She's on the young side. I think she's about 38 years old. Again, a favorite of the religious right.

And if White House counsel Pat Cipollone wants to stay within the White House in his own office, there's a woman named Kate Todd. She is a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas. And part of her portfolio is judges.

So, that's where we are at the court. And, of course, in the short- term, Victor, we only have eight justices. And if the court splits 4-4 in the coming days in some orders or maybe if this prolongs into the election, keep in mind that means the Supreme Court can't do much. They've basically affirm the lower court opinion but they set no new precedent.

PAUL: Well, confirmation of a nomination, I mean, it would mean a majority for the GOP appointed justices. But does that change in any way, Ariane, or dilute Chief Justice John Roberts' power there on the bench? I mean he's the swing vote.

DE VOGUE: Well, it's so interesting, right? Because in the last two terms, you've seen there are times when he has played the swing vote. And even last term, if you think about it, even though there were five conservatives, there were times when the liberals won in areas of abortion, for instance.

So, Chief Justice John Roberts has played that swing vote in some cases. And now, if there were a more conservative nominee, appointee put on the bench, obviously, then there would be a five conservative majority. And Chief Justice John Roberts wouldn't play that role. So, that is something to watch carefully as we go forward.

BLACKWELL: Ariane de Vogue, there at the court. Thank you so much.

DE VOGUE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Catherine Rampell, "Washington Post" opinion columnist and CNN political commentator. Catherine, good morning to you. I want to start here with the statement from Susan Collins. Because I think it's important that we're clear about what she's saying and what she's not saying. What she's saying is that there should not be a vote before the election. But in this statement, she leaves open the possibility that if President Trump is reelected, but the country has sent back Democratic control to the Senate, that there could be a vote to confirm a nominee in a lame duck session.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. She's a little bit unclear about her commitments going forward. And I'm pretty sure that's deliberate.

She wants to give herself a little room to change her mind. She's in a very tough election race right now in Maine. Presumably, this statement was meant to appease people who were considering voting against her, particularly people who might have been upset with her past votes for Trump's judicial picks. Brett Kavanaugh in particular.

But she's giving herself little room here to decide that she's either going to vote for a Trump nominee, even if there's a Democratic Senate or, in fact, I read that statement as not committing either way as to whether she would abstain from voting or she would vote against a Trump pick if, in fact, he has one before the election or after the election in a lame duck and there is a Biden win.

So she doesn't officially commit herself to voting against the Trump pick if McConnell goes against her wishes, which I'm pretty sure he will. She just says, I don't think it should happen.

PAUL: Yes. She's saying what she'd like to see happen. She doesn't say what she would do dependent on what happens


PAUL: There's an important discussion on the calendar for the Supreme Court. As we all lived through this pandemic on November 10th, a week after the election, they're taking up Obamacare. So, how significant a driver might that issue be when the president talks about trying to push this through before the election?

RAMPELL: This is incredibly significant, right? This is a lawsuit that would strike down the whole of Obamacare. That is its protections for those with preexisting conditions, the Medicaid expansion program and all sorts of other provisions that tens of millions of Americans rely on for their coverage of -- for their health care, essentially.

And if this seat isn't filled, this decision could very well be a 4-4 tie, in which case it's sent back to the lower court decision and the law is entirely struck town. There could be some intermediate decision where they say, well, we're going to kick it back to the lower courts. Take some more narrow -- some narrower issue. In which case, this will be sort of a zombie law that lives on in limbo for a little while longer.

I mean, I think it's pretty striking here that tens of millions of people could lose their health insurance. Eighteen percent of the U.S. economy could be thrown into chaos just because a single jurist died. A very important jurist, of course. One who's quite admirable.

But the fact that the entire health care system could be thrown into disarray because of -- because one person isn't on the court I think it doesn't speak terribly highly of our democracy.


But that's the situation we're in. And you could imagine that this very scenario, what's going to happen to the health insurance system, could motivate a lot of people on either side of the issue, presumably more likely Democrats than Republicans given what we saw in 2018.

BLACKWELL: One more on the Senate here, Catherine. We've heard Chairman Graham, the tapes from 2018 saying that if there is an open seat, we will not move forward in the last year of the Trump administration. He's now reversed that and says that things have changed because of the filibuster rule that was changed in 2013. And the Kavanaugh vote, which he actually made the commitment after the committee vote. But we'll get to that next hour.

He's in a tight race in South Carolina. Latest Q poll has them tied at 48 percent with Jaime Harrison, the Democrat there. Is this an existential fight for him to push this forward to try to get out of this deadlock with Harrison?

RAMPELL: I think there's no other way to see the motivations, not just Graham but some of the other Republican senators who are also in tight races who have not committed, at least at this point about what they will do.

I feel like I hear a lot of people asking, well, are Republicans going to -- you know, Republican senators going to grow a conscience and decide that they're going to treat Trump the same way that they treated Obama. They're going to stand for principle et cetera. They're going to refuse to hold a vote. Will they refuse to hold a vote on a Trump nominee?

And I think that's the wrong way to think about this. You have to remember that the prospect of putting more conservative justices on the highest courts of the land, indeed the highest court of the land, was the reward that these Republican senators and their voters were seeking. And it was the reason why they held their noses and tolerated so much objectionable behavior from this president, right?

It was the tradeoff. It was the way that they assuaged their consciences for the last few years. So, I don't think this is about principle. I don't think this is about conscience. I think this is about they really want those conservative justices.

They know those conservative justices will energize the Republican base and that's the calculus here. They will make decisions, whether it's Lindsey Graham or Cory Gardner or others, based on, will this get my voters to turn out? Not so much, is this consistent with past statements I've made? Is this consistent with past principles that I and leadership have said that we stand for?

PAUL: Catherine Rampell, good to have you this morning. Thank you, madam.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

PAUL: So, the conversation is continuing later today. A great show coming up on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER," who will have former President Bill Clinton, Senator Amy Klobuchar, the vice president's chief of staff Marc Short, and Admiral Brett Giroir talking of coronavirus. That's "STATE OF THE UNION." It airs at 9:00 Eastern this morning. Right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, the U.S. is now getting close to 200,000 confirmed deaths connected to COVID-19. And more than a dozen states are recording new daily records of new cases. We'll tell you about some of those and the uptick we're seeing in a live report coming up.

PAUL: And what we're seeing across the country, how people are honoring the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sad, no question that she's passed. But it's also, you know, a motivation to keep on her fight.




BLACKWELL: The U.S. is getting close to 200,000 coronavirus deaths. In remembrance of the people who died, the National Cathedral bell will chime 200 times later today.

PAUL: Yes. And dozens of states including Florida and Georgia this morning are registering new and daily case records. CNN correspondent Natasha Chen has more of the details with us.

Natasha, good morning to you. What are you finding in terms of how these numbers are rising right now?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Christi and Victor, there was an overall decline for several weeks. But there's been a recent small uptick and some people are pointing to college campuses. You know, college and universities in all 50 states have reported infections.

There's been a stay in place order in Michigan for a couple of weeks for those students at Grand Valley State. Providence College has seen an outbreak. And even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state liquor authority to keep a closer eye on bars and restaurants where college students gather to make sure that they're following safety protocols.


TRUMP: We are getting crowds. This is pandemic and we're rounding the turn. We're rounding the corner on the pandemic. OK?

CHEN (voice-over): Last night, two very different public gatherings. A vigil at the U.S. Supreme Court with most participants wearing masks. And the president in North Carolina, his crowds largely maskless. This as daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have been ticking up recently as the nation's number of lives lost closes in on 200,000.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Some of this may have come about after the Labor Day weekend. We saw this after Memorial Day and after July 4th. Don't forget that colleges are back and we've seen thousands of cases at colleges. And also kids are going back to school.

This is our first experience understanding what happens with community spread when, in some places, kids go back in school. And also, maybe there's some COVID fatigue where people are just letting down their guard.

CHEN: In Florida, health officials reported 3,573 new cases of COVID- 19 Friday. Bringing the state's total to 681,233 on Saturday according to the Florida Department of Health. This marks the most COVID-19 cases reported in a single day since September 11th.


Florida State's football head coach Mike Norvell announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement sent out on Saturday, Norvell made the announcement saying -- quote -- "In our most recent round of COVID testing yesterday, I received a positive result after being negative in our previous two tests this week."

CNN's tally shows the state of Georgia also reported its most new cases in the state since September 3rd. On Saturday, it reported 2,313 new COVID-19 cases and 63 additional deaths according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In Utah, Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order Saturday extending its state of emergency in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, a day after the state reported a record number of cases. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Friday reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases. The department urged in a tweet Friday -- quote -- "a second record-setting day for Wisconsin cases as we add 2,500-plus to our total. Please take steps to avoid illness and protect your community. Stay home if you can. Stay six feet away from others. Wash your hands often and #MaskUpWisconsin."

REINER: The parts of the country that are doing well have remained masked up. Walk through the streets of New York. Just about everyone is wearing a mask. Similar in D.C.


CHEN: And, of course, after the National Cathedral will toll the bell about 200 times, as you mentioned, at 5:00 this evening, there's going to be a protest outside the White House at about 9:00 where people are going to have lights to really commemorate these 200,000 lives lost. That number, we will potentially hit by the end of this weekend -- Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Natasha Chen, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, Natasha.

Let's get to primary care physician and public health specialist Dr. Saju Mathew. Dr. Mathew, thank you for being with us.


PAUL: I want to ask you, when we talk about some of the confusion that's out there from people who say they've heard so many different stories, they don't know this is such a fluid virus, they don't know what they really should do even though it's been very obvious, and you all have been good about breaking down the mask wearing, the social distancing.

The CDC itself, this week on Friday, it gave a reversal to asymptomatic patients or asymptomatic people who may have come in contact. Initially, they said you need to be tested. That was revised. They said you don't need to be tested this Friday. They reversed back to their original.

The HHS, Health and Human Services Department is involved in this guidance somehow. How is the CDC monitoring or even keeping up their credibility at this point?

MATHEW: Good morning, Christi.

I think for the first time CDC is standing a chance to sort of be undermined and people questioning its credibility. Since 1946, Christi, this is the first time that the Centers for Disease Control is not at the forefront of a pandemic. And my question, just like yours, Christi, would be how can anybody change the wordage, the verbiage on your Web site and the CDC officials not know about it?

You know, I think that when I found out about it that next morning, the big question I had is will Dr. Redfield and CDC hold a press conference to explain exactly why this rule was changed? And then miraculously, it's changed back to the old guidelines.

So, ultimately, when we're talking about a race to a vaccine that needs to be safe, you know, trusted, we're talking about sort of regaining that trust with the American public and scientists like myself.

BLACKWELL: Saju, Justice Ginsburg's death was reported so soon after the president's news conference on Friday that I don't think this promise got enough analysis that the president says that there will be enough of the vaccine distributed by April for every American to be vaccinated. There is no approved vaccine in mid-September. Is that realistic?

MATHEW: No. Victor, unfortunately, while we all want a good vaccine that is safe, effective and trusted, we don't have a vaccine at this point. Yes, we do have three good platforms that are advancing in Phase 3, but without a vaccine, we can't even talk about how all Americans will be vaccinated by March.

I agree with Dr. Fauci and a lot of other scientists, Victor, where I think that, number one, once the vaccine data has been evaluated, remember, there are a lot of independent boards that look at the data to make sure it's safe. And one thing I think that a lot of our viewers also need to understand is, once the two shots have been given, you really need to wait at least 42 days.


Most side effects with these vaccines occur in the first 30 to 60 days. So I think a more realistic time schedule would be really summer before most Americans can potentially get this vaccine.

BLACKWELL: Which is what we heard from Dr. Redfield that the president said was inaccurate.

MATHEW: That's right.

BLACKWELL: I'm sorry, Christi.

PAUL: That's okay. That's okay. But since you were talking about vaccines, Dr. Fauci also, in the last couple of days, said we may not see this double whammy that people were concerned about regarding COVID and the flu because it's mid-September. As Victor said, we're in gearing up towards flu season. I know the guidance is go out and get your flu shot right now. But there is evidence that it's not happening in Australia. Is there evidence that the flu may be tamped down here?

MATHEW: I think there could be two potential pathways, Christi. Either we could have the best flu season this year or the worst flu season.

Get this, last fall or last winter in Australia, they had 61,000 cases of flu. And this year, they just had a little over 100. And there's really no secret behind why Australia experienced a no flu season. They practiced mask wearing, social distancing and washing their hands.

My only concern would be, while I'm excited about that potential same occurrence here in the U.S., we're not a mask-wearing culture. 51 percent of Americans six months into this pandemic don't wear masks. But if we practice all the social mitigation guidelines, we might actually have a relatively low or no flu season.

But, again, I want to make sure that our viewers still get the flu vaccine. That's going to be important.

PAUL: All right. Dr. Saju Mathew, always good to have your perspective here, thank you for waking up early for us, as always.

MATHEW: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Late Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't agree on much as it related to the law but they were close friends. Coming up, Scalia's son reflects on their relationship.



BLACKWELL: Across the country, memorials and vigils are being held and erected to remember the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

PAUL: Here is CNN's Jessica Schneider.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: As the shocking news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death spread, mourners quickly formed an impromptu vigil on the steps of the Supreme Court to honor one of their heroes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, you just feel gravitated to be here. I mean, it's for younger folks like ourselves, she represents so much, so much progress that's been made. So it just felt like a natural place to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just felt like I should bring my daughter down here and kind of demonstrate to her the impact that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had on our family.

SCHNEIDER: At one point spontaneous applause broke out for the much beloved senior justice. As mourners continued pouring into pay respects, small vigils began springing up around the country packed with young supporters.

In Denver, mourners gathered by candlelight, some sporting RBG masks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was an inspiration. And mostly all the rights that I have today are because of her. And she's just a strong wonderful woman.

SCHNEIDER: In San Francisco, voters already expressing fears about future court decisions without Ginsburg's voice.

URVI NAGRANI, SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENT: Going into this election year, I'm terrified because there're so many rights at stake for immigrant communities, for LGBTQ folks, for minorities across America.

SCHNEIDER: Justice Ginsburg has gained stark status over the years, especially with young and liberal voters as she consistently voted progressively on divisive social issues.

Saturday in front of the Supreme Court, mourners, some in tears, continued to gather bringing flowers, signs and their families.

Parents helped kids draw messages of love and support on the grounds with chalk instilling the importance of the event. Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris and husband Douglas Emhoff were spotted casually taking in the rows of flowers messages. One sign ready, thank you for holding on for as long as you could, in appreciation of Ginsburg's determination to work through several bounce of cancer and multiple illnesses over the last two decades. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a good person about needing a voice at the table and that women should be places where decisions are being made. That was super inspirational to me when like going and trying to be a voice at the table where I am. And I'm just always going to remember that and always going to vote and just fight for things that she fought for.

SCHNEIDER: Her death, less than seven weeks before the election, opens up a political battle over the future of the court. But supporters are making it clear, they are motivated to keep up her fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sad, no question, that she's passed. But it's also a motivation to keep on her fight.


SCHNEIDER: The singing and the celebration continued into Saturday night with a vibrant vigil. The crowds stretched from the steps of the Supreme Court all the way to the Capitol grounds. They were here to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, someone who personified a tireless champion of justice. That's exactly how the chief justice here, John Roberts, referred to her. Victor and Christi?

PAUL: Thank you so much, Jessica.

Now, they were on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, but Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg shared this genuine friendship.

BLACKWELL: And take a look at this picture. It was taken on a vacation they took together. This in India, and Scalia's son, who spoke with CNN's Chris Cuomo about their friendship.



CHRISTOPHER SCALIA, SON OF LATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA: They were friends for a very long time. It wasn't just they who were friends. Their spouses were friends with each other. So it was -- people think it's mysterious. But, as you said, it lasted a very long time. And it was because they had so many things in common despite their many differences.

I can share a story that one of his former clerks told recently. This former clerk is now a federal judge, Jeff Sutton. And he was visiting my father shortly before my father passed away. It happened to be Justice Ginsburg's birthday. And my father said, well, I have to go. I have to go down my hall and give Ruth these roses. He bought her two dozen roses.

And so Judge Sutton kind of teased him and said, what are you doing that for? When was the last time she was ever on a 5-4 opinion with you that ever mattered? He was teasing, of course. But my father said in reply, some things are more important than votes.


PAUL: Such a great line, isn't it? We could all learn from that.

Beyond the bench, Justice Ginsburg, of course, was this cultural icon as well. She was in films, in television and books of her character. Now, the people who played her on screen are reacting to her death. We'll have more of that in a moment.



PAUL: 45 minutes past the hour. And, Victor, I can't help but think about what it must be like for some of those actors and actresses -- well, the actors, actresses to play the role of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I mean, the honor that has to be and now how they feel about it.

BLACKWELL: And we saw how she felt about it in the RBG documentary, as she found Kate McKinnon to be pretty hilarious. We're hearing from those women about their legacy.

CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter is with us now. And the actresses who played her, they are now talking about this, especially the one was -- it was a great movie, on the basis of sex, that film. She's talking about the former justice.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a wonderful drama by Felicity Jones playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And Felicity Jones saying this weekend in a statement that Ruth gave us hope, a public figure who stood for integrity and justice, a responsibility she did not wear lightly. She will be missed not only as a beacon of light in these difficult times but also for her razor sharp wit and extraordinary y humanity. She taught us all so much and I will miss her deeply. That's Felicity Jones.

And on a different way, Kate McKinnon loved to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday Night Live. So we heard from McKinnon overnight and here is what she wrote.

She said, for so many of us, Justice Ginsburg was a real-life super hero, a beacon of hope, a warrior for justice, a robed crusader who saved the day time and again. Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her. It was one of the great honors of my life to meet Justice Ginsburg and shake her hand and thank her for her lifetime of service to the country.

And it's not just television, not just film. I have seen so many books that are suddenly best-sellers again about Ginsburg. Some are by Ginsburg, others about her. These are post Notorious RBG, the famous book by our colleague, Irin Carmon, but also other books, including children's books that celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life. That's another testament to how she broke through and inspired so many. You know, there are multiple children's books about her that are once again best-sellers this weekend. PAUL: That's such a great point. Dana Bash actually talked about that. I think it was Friday night, maybe it was Saturday, about how her nine-year-old son, when he heard the news, he immediately pulled out one of his books talking about the Supreme Court and about her. And so we forget that kids pay attention, right? And that some of these books may be helpful for them too. Really interesting.

Stelter --

STELTER: Yes, they pick up cues from all of us, around us, yes.

PAUL: They do.

STELTER: By the way, the Emmys are tonight, the prime time Emmys. And I suspect we will hear her name more than once tonight at the Emmys as well.

PAUL: I think so too. Stelter, so good to have you here. Thank you.


PAUL: And he brought it up, the Emmys. We know the glitz and glamour that it usually is. Very different without the paparazzi this year. There will, however, we understand be hazmat tuxedoes. What else are we going to expect? We'll have more details when we come back.



PAUL: Well, the 2020 Emmys are going to look like something we've never seen before. For one thing, that red carpet, there will be a lot of them. They're going to the stars.

BLACKWELL: That's interesting. Now, the pandemic, of course, means that the show will be mostly virtual.

CNN's Stephanie Elam shows us what to expect.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are the lady of the Emmys. Everyone is talking about it.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gone is the red carpet and the audience of stars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Things are going to be quite different.

ELAM: This year's Emmys are virtual with stars accepting awards from home.

RACHEL BROSNAHAN, NOMINEE, THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL: Yes. I mean, I get to bring my dogs to the Emmys. How often is that going to happen?

ELAM: Jimmy Kimmel will host from Staples Center, a larger venue than normal.

JIMMY KIMMELL, EMMYS HOST: This is what makes me feel comfortable.

ELAM: Social distancing is planned for the crew and star presenters, like Morgan Freeman and Oprah Winfrey.

MARC MALKIN, SENIOR EDITOR, VARIETY: I do think this is going to be a moment where people are going to address Black Lives Matter movement, climate change, politics. We have an election just weeks away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 114 locations across ten countries.

ELAM: To boost the fun factor, live cameras were sent to stars' homes.

SCOTT FEINBERG, AWARDS COLUMNIST, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: we're hearing that the T.V. Academy is trying to feel out with the major nominees, would they be comfortable having someone essentially in a hazmat suit deliver a Emmy statuette to their door during the show should they win.

ELAM: As for Emmys fashion, Variety reports that Kimmel and producers told stars to, quote, come as you are but make an effort.

MALKIN: For some people, that means they're going to wear tuxedo pajamas. Other people -- I spoke to Theresa Ellis Rosen (ph). She said, she doesn't care what's going on. She is dressing up. She is getting glam.

ELAM: HBO's the Watchmen is among the frontrunners, which also include Pop Network's Schitt's Creek.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is excited, huh?

ELAM: Netflix giving the show a pandemic boost.

FEINBERG: People who are looking for things to watch have been binging past seasons.

ELAM: The Emmys are Sunday night on ABC.

In Hollywood, I'm Stephanie Elam.


PAUL: And, as Brian Stelter, most likely going to hear something, possibly many mentions of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

And what's at stake for naming her replacement, New Day talks about that. We continue after the break. Stay close.