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Trump To Nominate Woman To Supreme Court: Pandemic Forces Parents To Decide Between Work And Staying Home; Respects And Tributes Pour In For Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Performers Struggle Financially During Pandemic; Trump Says He Approved TikTok Purchase Deal. Aired 5- 6a ET
Aired September 20, 2020 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is NEW DAY weekend, with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you, 5:00 am in New York City. Good morning and thank you for being with us. Admirers are coming to grips with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also the political turmoil that is ahead in the Senate as we close in on the 2020 presidential election.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and, for a second day, crowds gathered at the steps of the high court to remember the liberal icon, hanging over, the tributes to her just incredible life is, of course, as you may feel at this tense debate that is happening across the street on Capitol Hill.
Who should get to pick her successor and when should that vote happen?
BLACKWELL: So far at least one senator, Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, is breaking with the party on voting on a nominee before the election. But leaders in the Senate and the president say that the time is now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: CNN's Rebecca Buck is at the White House.
Rebecca, good morning to you. There is a new chant at the president's rally, we heard it last night, "Fill that seat."
What do we know about the president's plans? REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. As you can see from that chant that we heard, the president's rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, just yesterday, Republicans in the White House are hoping that filling this vacant Supreme Court seat will help galvanize their voters ahead of the election.
And as a result, we're seeing them move very quickly to move to nominate someone to fill this seat as soon as possible. We're expecting an announcement this week on who the president's nominee will be. He said he plans to pick a woman.
We're getting a sense of who the president might pick already and the president hopes to nominate someone ahead of his first debate with Joe Biden on September 29th, so that, again, he can start to energize his voters and have that talking point ready for the debate.
But of course, there is this question of whether the president should be nominating someone with the election just six weeks away, a new president possibly coming into office in January. Of course, voters will decide and he had some words defending his right to make this choice, take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So Article II of our Constitution says the president shall nominate justices of the Supreme Court. No, 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCK: Of course, the president can technically fill this seat and Republicans in the Senate can try to confirm that nomination. But an intense battle likely ahead here in the United States Senate. Republicans only need four defections for this nomination to be derailed.
Already Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican from Alaska, and Senator Susan Collins, Republican from Maine, in a tough re-election fight, both have indicated they don't think it is appropriate for this president to nominate someone. They think it should wait until after the inauguration of whoever the next president is.
We have seen how this is already energizing Democrats, not just Republicans; millions of dollars pouring into Democratic campaigns over the weekend so far, shattering fundraising records for Democratic candidates.
We can see this being not only similar to what we saw a few years ago with Brett Kavanaugh ahead of the midterm elections but it could be that multiplied by many times.
BLACKWELL: It could be. Rebecca, thanks so much.
BUCK: Thanks. BLACKWELL: Let's turn to this debate on Capitol Hill and the stress
test for the Senate. Democrats call the Republicans hypocrites and they say nothing is off the table in the potential response.
PAUL: Republicans have to determine if they have enough votes to move this quickly as Rebecca was referring to there and knowing that there are implications for their own political future. Let's dive into that with CNN's Manu Raju.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE 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.
RAJU (voice-over): But times have changed and so has the president.
MCCONNELL: We'd fill it.
RAJU (voice-over): Republican leaders applauding a full throated effort to fill justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat with the election just 45 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 re- election of her career, breaking ranks, saying the decision of lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the president who was elected on November 3rd.
But with a 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 (voice-over): Yet moving ahead before November could squeeze
Republicans like Cory Gardner, running for re-election in Democratic leaning Colorado. Gardner's office did not respond to questions about whether the winner of November's elections should make the hugely consequential pick.
It typically takes between 2 to 3 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 there's another complication if Arizona's appointed senator Martha McSally loses in November.
That means the Democrat Mark Kelly could be sworn in by the end of that month, bringing the GOP majority down from 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): If I were chairman of the committee, I couldn't move forward with it.
RAJU (voice-over): On Saturday his office declined to say if that is still his position.
Others have clearly shifted theirs, including Lindsey Graham, who now chairs 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 this way. He basically says that things have changed since 2018 in the aftermath of that vicious Supreme Court fight that got Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the court. He says he views all this differently now.
But if the Republicans do move ahead, Senate Democrats have their own plans. They're talking about that right now. They had a conference call on Saturday afternoon in which Chuck Schumer told his caucus that all options are on the table if the Republicans do advance a nomination this fall.
And one of those options that Democrats are discussing, potentially expanding the Supreme Court, maybe going from nine justices to 11 justices or even more than that. They would need legislation to do that. And to pass legislation it would have to change the Senate filibuster rules.
And, to do that, they need to win the Senate majority first in the fall. So so much is on the line in this fall's election but Democrats have indicated they're not going to take this fight lying down -- Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.
BLACKWELL: Manu Raju, thanks so much. Let's bring in Ariane de Vogue.
Let's start here, the president says that he's going to pick a woman as the nominee. He released a list just a few days ago that he will be choosing from. Walk us through who might be at the top.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT CORRESPONDENT: Right, well, two days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we're really feeling the impact of that here at the court and the country as a whole.
And it is beginning to be a topic of conversation, obviously on the election. Trump is saying that he is going to name a woman. At the top of the list has always been Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the 7th Circuit and a favorite of Religious Liberty.
Another is Judge Barbara Lagoa, she's out of Florida, she was the first Latina Cuban American on the Florida Supreme Court. Of course, Florida being really important to President Trump now. Another one is Allison Rushing. She is very young, recently confirmed.
DE VOGUE: But she is also a favorite of Religious Liberty supporters, supporters of Religious Liberty. And if White House counsel Pat Cipollone wants to look within the White House, he has a woman, Kate Todd, who is working for him. In fact, she has judges as part of her profile.
And she is a former clerk to justice Clarence Thomas. So those are all people on the list.
PAUL: So when we look at -- when we look at that list and, again, those are just the women, there were a couple of men on the list initially.
Any chance, you think, the president might actually pivot?
DE VOGUE: Well, one of the people on the top of the list was Amul Kapar. He's a favorite of Mitch McConnell. And Mitch McConnell has made judges such a cornerstone of what he's been trying to do here.
But the president realizes that things are going to be tight, the vote might be tight and I think he just wanted to send a message last night, saying, no, it is going to be a woman, because, keep in mind, obviously, filling the seat of this icon, this liberal icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course, who changed the country, particularly in the areas of gender discrimination. So I think that he really is going to focus on a woman here.
BLACKWELL: Ariane de Vogue, thank you so much.
DE VOGUE: Thank you. PAUL: Among all of the people who are mourning the loss of Justice
Ginsburg is the family of another late justice.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We know that, listen, these two were on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. But Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, they shared a friendship. This picture was taken on a vacation they took to India together. And Scalia's son, he spoke with CNN's Chris Cuomo about their friendship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER SCALIA, JUSTICE SCALIA'S SON: They were friends for a very long time. And it wasn't just they who were friends, their spouses were friends with each other. It was -- they -- I don't -- people think it is 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. They were born in New York around the same time, different boroughs but I think they were kind of familiar to each other just from that.
They loved opera. They even made cameos in operas together. They liked to drink wine. They liked fine food, very often cooked by her husband, Mr. Ginsburg, Marty Ginsburg, who was -- he was basically a gourmet chef.
So they were just able to really appreciate the many things they had in common. And they didn't compromise their beliefs to make sure they were able to stay friends. They still held onto their beliefs. And when they disagreed with each other and their opinions, as they often did, they really let each other have it. But that didn't get in the way of the wonderful bond they had.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: When he would explain to you, as a son, when you'd say, you don't agree with her about anything, how are you guys friends?
What would he say to you?
SCALIA: You know, I took the relationship for granted because they had already been friends by the time he was on the Supreme Court. So I just took it for granted.
But for -- I can share a story that one of his former clerks told recently, this former clerk, now a federal judge, Jeff Sutton.
He was visiting my father shortly before my father passed away. And it happened to be Justice Ginsburg's birthday. And my father said, "Well, I have to go, I have to go down the hall and give Ruth these roses."
He had 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 4-5 -- 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."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: A good lesson there. Be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning. Strong show, 9:00 am Eastern, Jake Tapper has former President Bill Clinton, Senator Amy Klobuchar, the vice president's chief of staff, Mark Short and Admiral Brett Giroir on coronavirus response, all coming up at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.
PAUL: And the U.S. is dangerously close to that 200,000 confirmed death mark from COVID-19. There are new daily cases that are rising now in several states. We have a live report for you next.
PAUL: It's 18 minutes past the hour now. The U.S. has reported nearly 200,000 deaths because of the coronavirus. So to remember and honor the people who died, the National Cathedral bell will chime 200 times later today.
BLACKWELL: There are more than a dozen states, including Florida and Georgia, that are registering new daily case records. Let's get to CNN correspondent Natasha Chen. She's with us this morning.
Natasha, it seems as if, right as we're heading into fall, we're seeing another uptick and a lot of people are looking straight at colleges and schools.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor and Christi. There are a number of college campuses struggling with that right now. Providence College reporting 120 cases on Friday and a couple of college football games that had to be cancelled this weekend because of positive test cases among the athletes.
TRUMP: We are getting crowds and 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 crowd 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 a Memorial Day and after July 4th.
REINER: Don't forget that colleges are back. And we have 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 for -- in school.
And also maybe there is COVID fatigue, where people are just letting down their guard.
CHEN (voice-over): In Florida, health officials reported 3,573 new cases of COVID-19 on 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 announced he tested positive for COVID-19. He 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, "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 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 after the National Cathedral tolls the bell 200 times tonight, there will be a protest outside the White House at 9:00 Eastern by the Democratic National Committee. They plan on having lights to commemorate the 200,000 lives that will have been lost this weekend likely from the coronavirus this year.
BLACKWELL: Natasha Chen for us in Atlanta. Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Natasha.
The pandemic is, as you know, a source of huge disruption for a lot of parents. It means there are new ways of working and new ways of sending kids to school.
BLACKWELL: For a lot of working moms, that means a choice between work and the children being stuck at home. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has more.
TRACI WELLS, WORKING MOM OF FOUR: Whoever catches this gets 100 points.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: A moment of pure joy during a difficult time for this family of six.
WELLS: It's super challenging to have to juggle everything at the same time all the time.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Tracy Wells is talking about what nearly 25 million parents are experiencing right now, juggling work and remote learning.
In June, Wells and her husband made the tough decision for her to go part-time so she could be present for her three school-aged girls and toddler son. She expects her kids won't be back in classrooms until 2021.
WELLS: I was just, like, I cannot maintain this for another six months. It is just too much. It is too intense.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Forty percent of working parents have made changes to their employment, including 25 percent who have voluntarily reduced their hours and 15 percent who have quit entirely. And women between 25 and 44 are almost three times as likely as men to leave the work force in order to take care of children.
SACHIN PANDYA, UCONN: That results in a massive decrease in household income, which is -- makes it more difficult for parents and families who are already in a precarious position financially and, by the way, doesn't help very much in an economy that is currently trying to recover from staggering unemployment.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): But parents who are not looking for new work aren't counted as unemployed. Under the CARES Act, parents were eligible for unemployment if they needed to stay home with their children but that protection expired in July.
CINDY GIL, SINGLE WORKING MOM: I think costs for day care is -- it is like another rent. It is like a college tuition. If it was more cost effective, that would be wonderful.
YURKEVICH: But for you, it wouldn't be a cost effective option?
GIL: Day care would not be a cost effective option for me.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Cindy Gil lives in a studio apartment with her 8-year-old son, Caden, in Harlem, New York.
GIL: Hang on.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): She's a single mom with no choice but to work. She's remote a few days a week, when Caden has virtual learning. But in order to keep her job, she took a 10 percent pay cut. Things are stressful.
GIL: When things reached the boiling point for him in terms of patience and just things that he needed from me, I needed to take, like, a day off of work or half a day here and there.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): In just weeks, a lifeline is disappearing for Wells. The paid family leave that helped supplement her income runs out. She says she likely can't afford to continue part-time without it.
WELLS: Honestly, it's hard for me to even go there because I don't think that I could have continued at the same rhythm I was continuing.
YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.
PAUL: And this morning, of course, we're remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There is a historical perspective on the debate over who should pick her successor and what happens next. We'll talk about that. Stay close.
BLACKWELL: So there are memorials and vigils across the country to remember Justice Ginsburg.
PAUL: CNN's Jessica Schneider has more for us.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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 just feel gravitated to be here. I mean, it is -- for folks like ourselves, she represents so much, so much progress that has been made and so it's 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.
[05:30:00] SCHNEIDER (voice-over): At one point, spontaneous applause broke out for the much beloved senior justice. As mourners continue pouring in to 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's just an inspiration and also all the rights that I have today are because of her. And she's just a strong, wonderful woman.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): In San Francisco, voters already expressing fears about future court decisions without Ginsburg's voice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going into this election year, I'm terrified because there are so many rights at stake for immigrant communities, for LGBT folks, for minorities across America.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Justice Ginsburg has gained star 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 ground with chalk, instilling the importance of the event.
Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and husband Douglas Inhofe were spotted casually taking in the rows of flowers and messages. One sign read, "Thank you for hanging on as long as you could," in appreciation of Ginsburg's determination to work through several bouts of cancer and multiple illnesses over the last two decades.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a person who said so much about needing to have a voice at the table and that women should be at places where decisions are being made. That was super inspirational to me and trying to be a voice t the table where I am.
And I'm just always going to remember that and always going to vote and just fight for things she fought for.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): 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 is sad, no question, that she has passed. But it is also, you know, a motivation to keep on her fight.
SCHNEIDER: The singing and the celebration continued into Saturday night with a vibrant vigil. The crowd stretched from the steps of the Supreme Court all the way to the Capitol grounds.
They were all 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: Jessica, thank you.
You know there is already this robust debate over who should be able to pick Justice Ginsburg's successor.
BLACKWELL: Let's get some perspective from Tim Naftali.
We heard from the president, we heard from Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans about who should replace the late justice. And nominating in an election year, let's listen to Justice Ginsburg, this is 2016, during the fight over Merrick Garland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINSBURG: The president is elected for four years, not three years, so the power he has in year three continues into year four. And maybe some members of the Senate will wake up and appreciate that that's how it should be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Four years, not three years.
Is that what the founding fathers intended?
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, I love agreeing with the late Justice Ginsburg. Our Constitution does not recognize lame duck status for a president. The president has his -- and someday her -- full powers until the inauguration of their successor.
So that was the correct argument to make in 2016. It actually has been the way it always has been understood and that goes right back to the first ideological transition between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Adams and the Federalists were choosing and appointing judges right until the very end of John Adams' term. It is in 2016 that the rules changed. And they changed because Mitch McConnell says they should change.
He comes up with an argument that is just not based in constitutional law practice. That's the issue here. The rules of the game changed in 2016. And now people are saying to Republican leaders, you changed the rules; you came up with a cynical interpretation of the rules, created one. And now you won't play by them.
So it is an issue of fairness. That's all. In 2016, President Obama had every right under the Constitution to nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill Antonin Scalia's position. He also had the expectation that that nominee would get a hearing.
That nominee didn't get a hearing. That was something new.
NAFTALI: And now four years later, all those arguments have just disappeared. All of those leaders, Republican leaders in the Senate, who made -- piously made arguments about constitutional practice and the founders' intentions.
Of course, they aren't saying the same thing because it is all about power. What they learned in 2016 is they didn't pay a price for breaking the rules.
And they're thinking that Republicans will respond as they did in 2016, that, in the end, you don't have to follow the rules. You just have to use the power you have. It is really cynical and especially divisive at this incredibly fragile moment in our democracy.
PAUL: And you're leading me right into what I wanted to ask you about. I want to talk about what history tells us regarding this lingering animosity we're seeing in this country right now, particularly in Washington, D.C.
At this week's CNN town hall, I want you to listen to what Joe Biden said about how he believes that it is still possible for him to bring people together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm confident I can. I'm confident that, with President Trump out of the way and his vitriolic attitude and his way of just getting after people, revenge, with that gone, there is going to be an awful lot of Republicans who should have spoken up already.
But in fact I think there is going to be somewhere between six and eight Republicans that are ready to get things done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Does history suggest, Tim, that the solution is as simple as voting someone out of office?
NAFTALI: Well, history is packed with lessons. And one of the lessons of history is that people of principle are remembered.
But history -- our history shows us that we are not always blessed with powerful people of principle. We happened to be, in the '60s and '70s, and we discovered at the early part of this very tumultuous year that we don't have as many people principled in Congress. Mitt Romney being a very important exception.
The ballot is the most powerful way to send a signal to the powerful that there needs to be change. There are inequalities, social, racial inequities and economic inequities. That's the only way to do it. It is the most powerful way and it is the most lasting way.
So yes, we have learned from history that our democracy can bend towards more liberty. But people need to vote and our citizens do not participate as fully in their democracy as many, many others do in the world. So perhaps this is a year, where all this tumult will lead to a
greater embrace of democracy by Americans. And then I think they'll see a change.
BLACKWELL: You told one of our producers, I have the quote here, this is an in an email that came from you, "Presidents and majority leaders have spun to move legislative priorities before. We are way beyond spin here."
If this happens, if, before the election in a lame duck Congress, if the Senate confirms a Trump nominee but either Trump has lost the election or the Senate has lost the Republican -- the Republicans lost control of the Senate, what do you expect that will mean for the future of the institution?
NAFTALI: Well, one of the things that we have seen -- and we have seen in our country is we have -- our commitment to nonpartisanship and expertise waxes and wanes. We didn't always have a nonpartisan civil service. It took us nearly 100 years to get a nonpartisan civil service.
Now President Trump is trying to undermine the concept of an independent civil service. And we thought, to have a nonpartisan court, the court has always -- there has always been politics around the court. There have been moments in our history when the Supreme Court has been viewed as a highly political instrument.
There are times in our history when it has not been. We will move into an era when people will see the court as political as every other branch of the United States government.
And the consequences of that will be severe. That, I think, is the outcome, would be the outcome, forgetting the rules and not playing fair in 2020 after having changed the rules in 2016.
PAUL: So to that point, Congressional Research Service reports that, in 2018, it found that it takes on average about 70 days for the Senate to confirm a presidential nominee. The election is just 45 days away. There are required documents that need to be submitted and there are hearings that have to be had.
PAUL: How realistic is it that, in 45 days, we could seat somebody, we could see somebody -- be seated there on the court?
NAFTALI: It is realistic if the leadership of the Senate wants it to be so. It is clear from Senator Graham's comments yesterday and Senator McConnell's statement of the day before, they fully intend to ram this through.
So it is very -- they have the time to do this. And they have the power to do it. Keep in mind that, under the Constitution, they have the power. They just changed the rules four years ago and piously promised that this is the way it should be. And now they're coming up with excuses why the rules that they created
in 2016 no longer apply in 2020. They have time. They have power. The question is whether all Republicans will accept this deeply politicized move and this deeply unfair move.
So far it sounds like at least three won't accept it. They have to hold onto 50 to do this. Vice president Pence can be the deciding vote in a lame duck session. But they need 50. And they still seem to have it. So as long as they have 50 votes, Republicans can push through their nominee, however lame duck a session it might be after November 3rd.
BLACKWELL: Yes, what's interesting, Tim, and we got to wrap here, what we heard from Susan Collins was that she doesn't believe that there should be a vote before the election.
But she believes that it should be chosen by the winner of the election in November. So there is a scenario here that President Trump wins re-election but the Senate has been switched to Democratic hands.
And then you've got Republicans, who are in a lame duck session, voting on a nominee of the president that has now been handed over by the people to Democrats.
There are several scenarios; you could have also a nominee who is going through congressional -- through the Senate hearings, where, if the president said, if he loses, that it is rigged, that this case could be headed to the Supreme Court at the same time that they're considering sending a person to that court.
There are several scenarios in which over the next several months this could be quite problematic.
NAFTALI: I anticipate -- I anticipate that, regardless of who wins in November, that this Senate will push to confirm a nominee by January 20th.
I also want to remind people that the Supreme Court was 4-4 in 2016. And the people saying now you need to have a full court lest there be a constitutional crisis over an election, we're not making that argument in 2016. That is an example of spin that has gone way too far.
BLACKWELL: Tim, thank you for walking us through the history and what we're potentially going to see over the next several months, good to have you.
PAUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Mexico celebrated its Independence Day, usually one of the biggest celebrations in the country. But with large gatherings put on hold because of the pandemic, the traditional mariachi bands are finding new ways to make money and bring people together. We'll show you what they're doing after the break.
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PAUL: If you sit down and think about everything that has been canceled in your life since COVID-19 really hit in March, it is depressing. And we have to think, too, this is something we don't think about very often but the performers for weddings, for parties, for celebrations, these performers around the world, they're really struggling to find work and put food on the table now.
BLACK: That includes Mexico's traditional mariachi bands. CNN's Matt Rivers spoke with an artist who has been forced to adapt to this new normal.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Independence Day holiday is a big deal for Felipe Luma Sosa (ph), a mariachi in Mexico City.
FELIPE LUMA SOSA (PH), MARIACHI: (Speaking Spanish).
RIVERS: "Let's see what this day holds," he says, as he and the other members of his group get dressed in his tiny apartment, their uniforms pressed firm.
They say, "God willing, we can do it," hoping for some divine intervention in a year that's been difficult, to say the least.
RIVERS: In any other year, they would walk out into a jam-packed Plaza Garibaldi, the unofficial home base for mariachis and those who love to hear them sing. But this is 2020 and the plaza sites empty and lifeless, a grim metaphor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
RIVERS: He says, "Before, it was birthday parties, quinceaneras and now our work is primarily funeral-related. It's the saddest thing."
But at least funerals still pay something. The group lost 75 percent of their income during the pandemic. Their struggle so representative of the average worker and an economy where the GDP might fall double digits this year.
(on camera): So many jobs here in Mexico are in what's called the informal economy, jobs that are not regulated by the state like some mariachis, house cleaners and food vendors. Millions of those people have lost their jobs during this pandemic and with no unemployment safety net, well, these are tough times.
(voice-over): Felipe's (ph) brother, Mario, says, "We have to pay rent. Credit cards, electricity, water, our savings are basically gone."
But these mariachis say they are determined to make this work.
So on this day, they're playing in an apartment complex, brought here by the local government to give people a way to hear this music without gathering in large public groups. To these musicians, this is clearly more than a job. They know that they can bring a unique joy to people, because you can't miss it on their faces.
He says, "On an important day, we're just trying to bring happiness to as many as we can."
Including themselves. But working a bit more, earning a bit more, things are slowly opening back up and in Mexico, it really can't be a new normal without mariachis -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
PAUL: Well, apparently you can keep on ticking. The deal announced by President Trump that averts a possible ban on that popular app, TikTok, at least for now.
PAUL: We'll tell you about it. Stay close.
BLACKWELL: President Trump says he's approved a deal for the purchase of social media app TikTok, just before the app was scheduled to disappear from the U.S. marketplace.
PAUL: He told reporters yesterday he's given his blessing to an agreement between Byte Dance, the app's Chinese parent company, and major American corporations, Oracle and Walmart. The deal delays restrictions by about a week but TikTok says the pact will bring 25,000 jobs to the U.S.
BLACKWELL: There is already a complication, though, thanks to the president. In announcing the deal to reporters, the president says the agreement would involve a $5 billion educational fund financed by the maker of the app, Byte Dance.
It says that it never heard of such a commitment until the president said it.
PAUL: There is a warning to the Gulf Coast this morning, to all of you who are there, buckle up, because there is another storm on the way. Tropical storm Beta is spinning toward Texas and Louisiana this hour. It could cause major flooding.
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PAUL: A lot more ahead as we remember the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, what she meant to the Supreme Court and the fight that we're seeing this morning regarding how to continue with her seat on the Supreme Court. Stay close.