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One World with Zain Asher

High Court Limits Obstruction Charges Against January 6th rioters; Political Experts Weigh In On The First Presidential Debate 2024. Aired 12- 1p ET

Aired June 28, 2024 - 12:00:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. You are watching a very busy ONE

WORLD. We begin with a major decision by the Supreme Court in the final days before its summer recess. One that essentially amounts to a stinging

rebuke of the U.S. Justice Department.

The high court has just dramatically limited obstruction charges against January 6th rioters at the U.S. Capitol. That 6-3 vote could force

prosecutors to reopen some of those cases. The court ruled the DOJ overstepped when it charged hundreds of people with obstruction. But we'll

have to wait until Monday for what could be one of the high court's most significant rulings and that is a decision on Donald Trump's claim of

presidential immunity.

Let's bring in CNN's Jessica Schneider with more on what we heard today. Jessica, let's begin with the obstruction charge against the January 6th

rioters. How does this impact the hundreds of rioters facing this specific charge? We know dozens have already been convicted.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Attorney and the Attorney General Merrick Garland, they've actually said that it's not going

to directly impact that many. In fact, the U.S. Attorney sent out a statement saying that while there are these 250 cases still open where the

rioter is charged under this particular obstruction statute, none of these rioters are charged with just obstruction.

There's a multitude of charges against them, including assault, not obeying an officer, that sort of thing. So, their cases will move forward

regardless, even if it means that prosecutors have to drop this obstruction charge that the Supreme Court ruled on today. It really, though, could

create some question and maybe opportunity for rioters who have already been convicted or sentenced to challenge their sentences or ask for


Since the Supreme Court did say today that in order to be charged with this particular obstruction statute, you need to not only have stormed the

Capitol, but you also needed to have directly interfered with the counting of electoral ballots that day.

So, a lot of these cases, Bianna, will need to be evaluated. And when it comes to Donald Trump, he might even challenge that particular charge

because he is charged with at least one count of obstruction in this case if, of course, his case moves forward, which we're waiting to hear when the

Supreme Court issues its final day of opinions. That will be on Monday, and we will get the immunity case on Monday.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, he is facing four charges in the election interference case from the special prosecutor here, no doubt viewed as a victory, at

least a partial victory for Donald Trump here and his team. And, again, we are awaiting that major decision on Monday in terms of presidential

immunity. Jessica Schneider, thank you so much.

SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: A lot of groundbreaking decisions here. Let's get more legal analysis. Jeffrey Rosen is a professor at George Washington University's

law school. He's also president and CEO at the National Constitution Center and joins us now from Aspen, Colorado.

Jeffrey, welcome to the program. I want to get to the Chevron case, which has huge implications, and I know maybe doesn't get the glamorous headline

attention that the January 6th rioters case has gotten, obviously the presidential immunity case, as well.

But let me ask you your response to that, that the court essentially overturning 40 years of precedent, really deferring to the federal

government here and agencies, instead giving more deference to the courts itself. Chevron is one of the most cited in American law. There have been

70 Supreme Court decisions relying on Chevron. What are the implications here?

JEFFREY ROSEN, PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: The implications are tremendous. It's the most important case involving the

boundaries of the administrative state in the past 50 years, and this will transform the way that regulations are made. Under Chevron, judges

basically left it up to executive officials to make regulations.

Now, they're going to have to decide on their own, case by case, whether a particular regulation is consistent with congressional law or not. Since

the law is often vague, this means that a lot more regulations will be struck down.


And from regulating health and the environment to the Securities and Exchange Commission, all sorts of regulations will be called into question.

Striking down the administrative state was a central goal of the Reagan revolution starting in the 1980s, and in some ways, as much as Roe v.

Wade's overturning was a goal of the current conservative justices, this was the second big prong of the hope that the administrative state would be

cabined in. And now with the overturning of Chevron, that's going to happen. The effects of this decision couldn't be understated, and it's

going to resonate for decades to come.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and this is, again, to note, overturning 40 years of precedent here, and this was a decision that was -- came down along

ideological lines here. I'd like to read for you what Justice Elena Kagan wrote in dissent.

She was joined by two other liberals in saying that "The overturning of the Chevron precedent was a rule of judicial humility giving way to a rule of

judicial hubris. In one fell swoop, the majority today gives itself executive power over every open issue, no matter how expertise-driven or

policy-laden involving the meaning of regulatory law. As if it did not need and have enough on its plate, the majority turns itself into the country's

administrative czar." Really not mincing words here. Do you agree with her interpretation of this decision?

ROSEN: It's really striking. She made a similar point when the court struck down an environmental protection regulation. She said, now it's up

to these nine justices to decide climate change. That's scary, was the word that she used, because she basically says, we judges don't have any special

expertise in these scientific and policy matters. That's exactly why we elect executive officials. And it's incredibly hubristic for judges to

think that they know the right answer.

Interestingly, Justice Scalia, the conservative justice, used to favor deference and humility, and he was one of Chevron's biggest champions. But

as Justice Gorsuch noted in his long concurring opinion, Justice Scalia shifted, and the entire conservative project moved from one of judicial

deference and humility and letting other officials make decisions to one where judges presumed to make them themselves.

And the result of that is to hugely empower the Supreme Court and to make them the last word on every single regulation that gets passed. It seems,

as Justice Kagan said, the opposite of what conservatives promised when they said that policy should be made in the political arena rather than in

the courts.

GOLODRYGA: Quickly, can I just ask you, does this have implications related to the Mifepristone case that in the past had deferred to the FDA,

which had ruled that this abortion drug that had been deemed safe by the FDA for decades was legal to use and good deference given to the FDA? Is

this where this decision would apply in cases like that, too?

ROSEN: It's a great question. In the Mifepristone case in particular, no, because Chevron had not been applied in that case, and it'll be resolved on

different grounds. But cases like it and future efforts to regulate abortion or anything else will be dramatically affected by this case only

in the sense that this continues a trend that the conservatives had already begun. It's not like this is going to change things overnight, but it'll

definitively invite judges to second-guess regulations like Mifepristone and everything else.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, just giving a sense of the broad ramifications here. And last question about this decision really siding with the January 6th rioter

on the issue of the obstruction charge. Your reaction?

ROSEN: Well, as you were beginning to discuss, it's hugely important. Will this affect the Trump prosecution by Jack Smith? There's two charges, both

conspiracy to obstruct and obstruction. And Trump's lawyers will now argue since he didn't destroy or alter documents, those two charges at the core

of his January 6th indictment should be thrown out.

Jack Smith counters, well, by encouraging the creation of new election certificates, he was essentially altering documents. But this might well go

up to the Supreme Court next year. It can't be heard immediately. And once again, you could well have the conservative justices saying, no, you need

to destroy documents, not create them.

And therefore, it's possible that this means that at least two of the four charges at the heart of the Jack Smith indictment will be thrown out, even

if the judges find that he's not immune. So, you can see what an incredibly uphill battle Jack Smith has in charging Trump in January 6th cases after

the decision this morning.

GOLODRYGA: We've already heard from Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing his frustration and disappointment with this decision. Jeffrey

Rosen, always good to see you. Thank you so much.

ROSEN: Thanks.

GOLODRYGA: Let's bring in our political panel. We're joined by former Arkansas governor and former Republican presidential candidate Asa

Hutchinson. We also have with us CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala. You decided to come back, Paul. Good to see you



We will come back to you with all things related to this debate last night. But I do want to get you both to weigh in on these two very consequential

decisions from the Supreme Court.

Paul, let me start with you specifically because given especially this decision on overturning Chevron, decades of precedent and even this

obstruction charge against January 6th, I'm reminded of what we heard from President Biden a few weeks ago, uncharacteristically speaking out against

the Supreme Court, calling it off kilter. Do you think that that is the state of the Supreme Court today?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes, and more importantly, voters do, Bianna. You know, the court is completely partisan. Let's just

be honest, okay? At least I wear my jersey. Asa, when he was an active politician, wore his jersey. I was a Democrat. He's a Republican.

This court is completely -- and it's disgraced itself. It is at its lowest level of public confidence in -- since polling began. And this is only

going to drop it further.

You know, I'll defer to Asa on the real -- I have a bunch of law books behind me. I'm actually a lawyer, but Asa is a real one. And he was a


And I do know this as a politician. Had a bunch of left-wing protesters stormed the Supreme Court, do you think they'd make that same ruling today?

I don't. I mean, this is clearly a partisan thing. It's not a neutral ruling on the law and our criminal defense system. That's my own view.

GOLODRYGA: Well, let me just push back on that for a second, as I defer to the other attorney with us, Governor Hutchinson. And that is the fact that

this decision specifically related to the obstruction charge was not decided along ideological lines.

In fact, you had the chief justice, John Roberts, writing for the majority. But Justice Jackson concurred with this decision, as well, on this specific

charge. The reminder that hundreds of other rioters are charged on separate charges. But this is related to the obstruction charge that dates back to

the Enron scandal. Governor?

ASA HUTCHINSON (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Well, you're right on that point. And you mentioned the concurring opinion of Justice Jackson. But you

also have the dissenting opinion of Justice Barrett, a Trump appointee, who believe that the statute does apply. And so here, you have the United

States Supreme Court engaged in very nuanced statutory construction.

And they divided not along party lines. And so, if you read the decision, you don't see politics written all over it. You see substantive legal

discussions that, I think, certainly has political impact.

And that's where Paul and I probably agree that Trump's had a trifecta. I mean, he did well in the debate last night, certainly. But here, he had

this decision that the court ruled on substantive legal issues that he will spin in a political context that this is a slap of the Justice Department.

They were overreaching. And he will use that to justify his arguments of weaponization of the Justice Department. And so, he's had a win there.

And, of course, even the Chevron decision, which struck down much of the administrative state's authority, is a victory on the conservative side as

well. So, you're going to see this having a great political impact, as well as an impact on the individual defendants who had a victory here.

GOLODRYGA: Governor, on the Chevron decision, I mean, what do you make of the fact that, as I noted with Jeffrey Rosen, that is one of the most cited

in American law, 70 Supreme Court decisions relying specifically on this law, 17,000, in fact, in the lower courts.

So, why all of the sudden, after 40 years of precedent and really deferring to expertise, is this now being handed back to the courts, in your view?

Why do you view that as a positive, if you do? I'm assuming you do.

HUTCHINSON: Well, I do see it as a positive. And I heard the commentary earlier that somehow this gives the judiciary a greater authority than they

ordinarily would have, and they're not equipped to rule on environmental issues, et cetera. They rule on these things all the time. They're not

going to be engaged in determining the environmental issue.

They're determining whether Congress intended for the regulations that were implemented and whether it's consistent with congressional authority and

legislative authority. To me, that's the judiciary's job.

And rather than giving deference, they have their independent view as to whether that's consistent with congressional mandate. And so, I think it

brings greater balance to place. You're not going to stop administrative rules. And this also impacts whether it's Donald Trump, a Republican, or

whether it's Joe Biden.


It impacts both of them because Trump certainly has used his executive power and administrative authority to accomplish his objectives. And now,

that's going to be curtailed more as to whether it's consistent with legislative intent. It impacts both sides.

GOLODRYGA: And we know Trump used executive orders as well during his term.

Paul, as we are anticipating with great fanfare what the final decision will be that we hear from the Supreme Court on this session on Monday, what

do you think their ultimate decision will be and the impact it would have on the issue of immunity? I would imagine perhaps they're not going to go -

- state that the president has blanket, complete immunity. But the fact that it's even taken this long suggests what to you?

BEGALA: Well, again, it suggests it's a completely partisan court and a captured court. You go back all the way to that Chevron case. It was

written by John Paul Stevens, a Republican nominee to the court. It was supported and voted for by Justice Scalia, who was one of the most

conservative members of the court back then. So, that's how radical the court has become. This is actually an opportunity for the Democrats.

All of my life, Republicans have run against the Supreme Court. Ever since Brown v. Board and then the school prayer case, the abortion case, the

contraception case, Republicans have run against the Supreme Court, and they've done well doing it.

Finally now, because of Dobbs, Democrats are winning races running against the Supreme Court. And if I were still advising Democrats, I would tell

them run against the Supreme Court. People hate it. It's one of the few things everybody agrees on. It's probably about 25 percent approval. And

this is a political opportunity.

For those of us -- and I'm weird this way, I like breathing. I like drinking clean water. You know, the things that we kind of take for granted

that our government protects us on are going to be at risk right now. And I would have the Democrats run against the court, something they're not used

to doing, something Republicans have been very successful at. But I think now that -- that worm has turned.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. You like drinking clean water. So does the former president, we heard him say that yesterday. That is a tease to our

conversation --


GOLODRYGA: -- coming up after the break. Counsel, Counsel, stay with us. We'll talk about the aftermath of that historic CNN Presidential Debate in

just a moment. Stay with us.



GOLODRYGA: All right. Turning back now to our other big story of the day, the dramatic fallout from the historic CNN Presidential Debate last night.

President Biden is expected to speak at a campaign rally in North Carolina soon. It is the first rally since what can only be called a difficult

performance debating Donald Trump. Biden struggled to answer the avalanche of falsehoods by Trump and often stumbled while trying to make his points.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (D) AND CURRENT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (D): Making sure that we're able to make every single solitary

person eligible for what I've been able to do with the COVID -- excuse me, with dealing with everything we have to do with.

Look, if -- we finally beat Medicare.


GOLODRYGA: Democrats are now scrambling to figure out what to do after Biden's repeated struggles. The debate only amplifies existing questions

about his age and mental capacity for the job. Even his vice president admitted that it was not a good night.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish. And what became very clear through the

course of the night is that Joe Biden is fighting on behalf of the American people on substance, on policy, on performance. Joe Biden is

extraordinarily strong and that -- that cannot be debated.


GOLODRYGA: Political analysts say Democrats are now in panic mode with even longtime Biden allies saying that time may have come for him to step



VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: There's a lot of people who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now. We're

still far from our convention and there is time for this party to figure out a different way forward if he will allow us to do that. But that was

not what we needed from Joe Biden. And it's personally painful for a lot of people. It's not just panic, it's pain.


GOLODRYGA: Following the debate last night, President Biden addressed his supporters and called Donald Trump a liar, saying that he can't think of

one thing he said that was true.

Trump spent much of the debate, repeating false claims and debunked lies from issues ranging from his role in the January 6th insurrection to the

economy, to abortion, to foreign policy. And then there was this.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What do you say to voters who believe that you violated that oath through your actions and inaction on January 6th and

worry that you'll do it again?


And let me tell you about January 6th, on January 6th, we had a great border, nobody coming through, very few.


GOLODRYGA: So, let's bring back our political panel, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson and CNN political

commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala.

Paul, I'm sure your phone, like everyone else's, was blowing up last night in the early moments of this debate, knowing that it was going to be a very

rough night for the president. Indeed, it was.

I want to ask you about the disconnect, it appears, we see from just about everybody and his campaign and his advisers, because I'm going to read a

handful of top global newspapers' reactions, headlines to the debate. One, "his performance was an unmitigated disaster -- perhaps the worst of any

presidential candidate in modern history." "Democrats Privately Discuss Replacing Biden on Presidential Ticket." "Democrats panic as Biden stumbles

in bad-tempered debate with Trump."

Then, this is what Biden himself said. He thought he did well. And not only does he not plan to drop out, according to a close source, he remains

committed to a second debate in September.

What do you make of this disconnect? Does he realize how bad last night was, in your view?

BEGALA: Apparently not. You know, it's like the old saying, denial is not a river in Egypt.

I mean, I love Joe Biden. I'm all for Joe Biden. I'm going to make sure the audience understands that, that I'm a Democrat. It was catastrophe. And

it's worse than those headlines. Here's why.

First, the Republicans set the bar so low, right? They just said, oh, he's doddering. And I thought, this is great. Biden's going to crush it because

the bar was set so low. It was set so extraordinarily low and still President Biden could not clear it. That's one.

Number two, any negative that feeds the master narrative that people are worried about -- you just said that, right? This this feeds people's

preexisting concerns that he's too old.

So like, Barack Obama lost the first debate to Mitt Romney. Romney mopped the floor with him, crushed him. Nobody said the next morning, gee, we got

to get rid of Barack, right? We all knew he was really talented. He'd had a bad night.

This confirms voters' most dire fears about Joe Biden. It's like this.


Okay, if you're on trial for shoplifting and, at the trial, you steal the judge's gavel. You know, like, that kind of confirms what they're already

worried about. And I'm sorry to make light of it, but it's the only way to -- for me, is to laugh, to keep from crying.

GOLODRYGA: Governor, we have you on as a Republican, as a conservative. Clearly, you've been outspoken for a long time now that you are not a

supporter of former President Trump, who, according to our count, had more than 31 lies last night throughout the debate. He rambled at times, as well

didn't answer many of the questions that were directed at him repeatedly.

It's not about, I guess, answering for the MAGA crowd, the ardent supporters that are going to be there for him no matter what. Tonight was -

- last night was really about those undecided voters, the swing voters, the never-Trump voters. Where are they, from what you're hearing this morning?

HUTCHINSON: Well, whenever you look at those Nikki Haley supporters, my supporters, they're looking for an option. And Joe Biden did not provide

any option last night. It confirmed the concerns that he was not up to the job. And so, in that sense, Trump certainly benefited from that. And that

you will see some of those undecideds that very few out there that will move in Donald Trump's direction. I see him getting a bump out of this.

And, you know, it's a frustration to me, for somebody who believes in the two major political parties in the United States, but they have failed us.

They've given us an 81-year-old man who cannot communicate effectively and make his points in a debate. And they've given us a convicted felon. Those

are the two options of the voters. And the third parties didn't arise to the occasion.

And so, this is where we are. And the other challenge is that it's going to be hard to change it. You know, Joe Biden's going to have a hard time

changing the dynamics. You say he's going to have a second debate. I think Paul made this point that we have no confidence he's going to do any better

in a second debate.

And so, that's not the solution. It comes back to me of the leadership of the party and former President Obama. Is he going to have a house-to-house

call with President Biden and share his thoughts on that? And I think that's the -- hopefully the next thing that we see.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Paul, the president had one thing to do last night, and that was address the biggest issue among voters who are, A, his supporters

and those who are not, by the way. We saw the State of the Union. He was competent. He went out there. He didn't stumble the way he did last night.

He didn't sound like an old man, quite frankly. And, you know, maybe he does have a cold, but I don't necessarily think that that's a great

explanation for what we saw for over an hour and a half. Even if he does manage to recover, are Americans capable of electing someone who at times,

then, perhaps isn't always the most stable?

BEGALA: I think that's the worry that Democrats have. And believe me, it's -- here's how the progression -- this is like what viewers should watch. It

begins with the commentary. Tom Friedman, respected columnist at "The New York Times", certainly no Trumper, is publicly calling for Joe Biden to

step aside.

The next step will be donors. Okay? The president is going to go, I think, this weekend to the Hamptons, where all the rich liberals hang out. I

talked to one person who's planning to go. She told me, I'm not bringing my checkbook. I'm bringing a pitchfork. Okay? So then -- so that's like step


Step three will be red state Democrats, people who are running in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Montana, in Arizona, in Michigan, swing state and red

state Democrats. They're tied to Joe Biden. Do they fear that Biden will drag them down?

So, this thing is long from over. Biden had a tough debate. He's going to have a much tougher next week or two.

GOLODRYGA: Do you envision a scenario where he will not be the nominee for the party?

BEGALA: Highly unlikely. There's only one vote. Because millions of us, I'm one of them, voted for Joe Biden in the primaries. And that is a sacred

thing. And thousands of delegates are pledged by party rules. They must vote for Joe Biden.

So, unless he decides -- he's "the decider", as President Bush used to say -- unless he decides that he no longer wants to run, the Democrats are

locked in and they have to honor the votes of tens of millions of Democrats who already voted in the primaries.

He could make that decision. I don't think -- to disagree with Asa, who's a very, very smart man, I don't think it's President Obama who's going to

drive this. It's the first lady, like any good person, the president listens to his spouse before others.


And then maybe some of these others, like I said, these red state Democrats or other leaders of his party. But it's got to start with the president and

the first lady.

GOLODRYGA: Governor, for your supporters, for Nikki Haley voters, for those who are never-Trumpers, for those who are looking for somebody other

than perhaps these two to vote for, do you think it will be more palatable for them? Would you advise, if you were to advise the Biden camp now, would

you advise for him to step aside?

HUTCHINSON: Well, yes, I would. You know, he's just not capable and he demonstrated that last night and I don't see that changing. So, you know,

the Democrat Convention's in a box, Paul's right, you know, the delegates are committed. And it has to start with -- President Biden has to make the

decision on his own.

He's got to release delegates in order to change the dynamics. I don't know whether that will happen or not, but for the sake of our country, I hope

that that is evaluated and for him personally.

GOLODRYGA: But let me --

HUTCHINSON: But in terms of the terms of our support, though, last night, Donald Trump picked up those marginal Republican voters. And so, he

benefited from it.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that's what I was going to follow up on that question with the -- I'm sure you would tell him to step aside because you're not a

Democrat. But for somebody who is seeking, perhaps still seeking -- and I don't know if this is the case or your mind is made up now as to how you

will vote and perhaps others like you -- would there still be the possibility -- would the door still be open to another alternative that's a

Democrat, but an alternative to Donald Trump?

HUTCHINSON: Well, you know, I'm a Republican and the supporters, they're part of the Republican team, so they want the Republican side to win.

I'm in a little bit different position because I've said I'm not going to support a convicted felon. And so, that's a challenge for us. And so, we

very well will be writing in someone, skipping that vote. And that's not a good scenario for our country as well.

But I think the vast majority will line up with Donald Trump now because there is no other option. And, you know, if the Democrats substitute

somebody else, you know, that's a binary choice we'll have to look at, at the time.

But I don't see anybody in the wings that would take our country in a different direction than Joe Biden. And that's not the right direction for

Republicans to go. So, I think they're going to stick with Donald Trump. And he's not wavering.

GOLODRYGA: Paul, you mentioned red state Democrats, battleground Democrats. It was interesting to see Senator Fetterman tweet, I refuse to

join the Democratic vultures on Biden's shoulder after the debate. No one knows more than me that a rough debate is not the sum total of the person

or their record.

Obviously, he -- representing a key swing state of Pennsylvania. That was interesting to hear from him. He seems to be in the minority, though, on

that front right now.

Paul Begala and Governor Asa Hutchinson, thank you so much for your time.

BEGALA: Thank you.

HUTCHINSON: Good to be with you. Good to be with you, Paul.

GOLODRYGA: We'll be right back. We'll be right back with more.



GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Bianna Golodryga. Any moment now, President Joe Biden and his wife will show up for the first rally

since last night's CNN Presidential Debate. You're looking live at the Biden campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Let's bring in CNN's Priscilla Alvarez with more. And yesterday, Priscilla, after the debate, the president was asked point blank how he thought he

did. He said he thought he did well and followed up by saying it's difficult to debate with a liar. But he had ample opportunity to counter

some of the lies that we heard from Donald Trump. And yet missed a lot of them. How is the campaign feeling today?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're echoing some of that today. Biden advisers saying that they're frustrated that President Biden

had to respond and fact check to former President Donald Trump's falsehoods over the course of the debate. But there is no doubt that people within the

president's own party are criticizing his lackluster performance.

And this was a really important moment for the president. It comes at a time when voters have expressed deep concern over the president's age and

mental acuity. And if you recall, during the State of the Union, he had a similar task, which was trying to convince voters that he was up to the

job. And so, a lot of folks that I was talking to ahead of the debate were hoping that that was the Biden that they would see on that debate stage.

And they didn't get that. He fell short of expectations.

And over the last several hours, what we've also heard from advisers and campaign surrogates is that, yes, it wasn't his best performance. They

acknowledge that Vice President Kamala Harris hitting the airwaves last night, including on CNN, saying that the debate was off to a slow start,

then arguing that it had a strong finish.

And trying to remind voters of the last three years of President Biden's record. And that's sort of how they are building out their argument today.

Like, they are saying it's time to move on from the debate, that it is about the two candidates and their records, and that one is a better

president, that one, in the campaign's view, being President Biden.

But the panic has certainly sent in among Democrats and the president's allies, including on some policies. I was texting with allies last night

who said, for example, on immigration, they hope the president would be able to deliver a tight and concise message, especially after they wrote

out so many immigration executive actions over the last several weeks.

And knowing that former President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized him on this, and yet he still didn't deliver on that. Same occurred with

abortion, which has been a galvanizing issue for the Biden campaign and for Democrats. So, there's certainly a lot of concern in the hours after this

debate about the president, about his performance, and what that means moving forward.

But at least when asked about this, advisers are sticking to what they've said before, that the president is in this until September, he's not

dropping out, and that he still remains committed to debating in September. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Priscilla Alvarez, thank you. And again, we'll bring you the president's comments when he does come out to speak to that rally

and address them. Well, still to come for us, more on that major decision out of the Supreme Court.


The court ruled the Justice Department overstepped by charging hundreds of January 6 rioters with obstruction. How this decision could impact the case

against former President Trump.



GOLODRYGA: More now on the breaking news from the Supreme Court. Justices are limiting obstruction charges against some 250 people who stormed the

U.S. Capitol on January 6th. The court ruled that the Justice Department overstepped its authority by charging hundreds of people with obstruction.

Just hours after the high court ruled, a federal court in Washington, D.C. is already reopening a case against the January 6th rioter. Attorney

General Merrick Garland is expressing his disappointment at the ruling saying, quote, "January 6th was an unprecedented attack on the cornerstone

of our system of government."

Let's bring in CNN's Katelyn Polantz. And Katelyn, we see the court's wasting no time here. Judges already reacting to the high court's ruling.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yeah, they are. These are the trial judges that have already seen many January 6th rioters

before them. Seen them convicted at trials, pleading guilty, and then sentenced them often to prison because this was a felony conviction.

But with what the Supreme Court's doing today, the Supreme Court is saying to the lower court trial judges, to the Justice Department, you've got to

be more specific about the language. It has to be an obstruction of a proceeding where someone intends to hurt documents or other things,

evidence that were used in that proceeding.

So, when you look at the congressional proceeding, what that means is that the Justice Department is going to have to show those judges that each

individual rioter that's been convicted and is doing time on obstruction of justice, that they meant to affect the Electoral College ballots, that they

were taking documents out of the building, or something like that. There's room for the Justice Department to operate here to try and keep these

convictions in the court.

That said, we do have a situation now in court where the trial judges are saying, I've got to re-sentence people. We've got to look at these cases.

Again, there are people still in prison. The first man who was tried and convicted before a jury, Guy Reffit, he carried a gun onto the Capitol's

property. He is one of the people that will be re-sentenced in the coming weeks. And then another man, Jacob Chansley, the QAnon shaman, very

recognized as among the rioters, carried a bullhorn, egged people on.


But he wasn't violent. And because he was charged so early after the riot, he was facing his most serious charge, this obstruction charge. The Justice

Department just a few days ago told a court that, depending on what the Supreme Court was going to do here, they might need to retry him. So,

they're looking at a lot, the judges are going to have to go back and look at this case by case.

And then, of course, there's Donald Trump. Everybody knows in court that he's facing this charge as well, obstruction of the congressional

proceeding. But the special counsel's office has already said in court, whatever the Supreme Court does here to narrow this, like they did today,

it shouldn't be applying to him because he was part of a scheme to get electoral ballots before Congress that were false.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, of the cases specifically with regards to this charge, 52 have already been convicted and sentenced on this obstruction charge, 27

already serving their sentence. And we're seeing the real-life implications of this decision now from the Supreme Court and the impact it has on them

playing out right now.

Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much. Appreciate your time. Still ahead for us, how will the Court's decisions and this week's political debate go down

in history? We'll talk to a historian when we return.



GOLODRYGA: Reaction from the CNN presidential debate continues to pour in, and not just from political pundits and international allies. Here's Jon

Stewart's take on Joe Biden's performance.


JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW" HOST: Anybody can (BEEP) up talking. How did Biden do -- not talking?

TRUMP: How close the police are there. Almost every police group in the nation from every state. And everybody wanted to get it back to the states.

Everybody. And China, nothing. And Russia, nothing. And India, nothing. I will have that reporter out. He should have had him out a long time ago.

Because I didn't have legislation. I said, close the border. We had the safest border in history.

STEWART: Not great. But a lot of people have resting 25th Amendment face.


GOLODRYGA: Let's get more on a look at the major Supreme Court decisions today, as well as the CNN Presidential Debate. Leah Wright Rigueur joins us

now from Hartford, Connecticut.


She's a CNN political analyst and associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. Leah, great to have you on, especially from your area

of expertise. And that is a historical assessment, really, of where you think this debate last night will land.

We know going in that incumbents traditionally, typically, historically, have had a worse night in the first debate. We know that at the time, the

oldest president in 1984, Ronald Reagan, at the age of 73, had a rough first debate. Where would you put last night for Joe Biden, who is now the

oldest president in U.S. history at 81?

LEAH WRIGHT RIGUEUR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND HISTORIAN: Well, I think it was a historic night, perhaps for all the wrong reasons. You know, the

question of age was one going into this debate that everyone wanted to talk about.

There have been lots of strategists and opinion writers and scholars who have said that the Biden campaign needed to address the age issue head on.

He would be the oldest candidate, but also that Donald Trump would be the second-oldest candidate. And that the issue had to be put out to pasture,

essentially, that it had to be put to rest.

And instead, what happened is it made it even more of a central issue to the presidential campaign, so much so that it distracted from the really

alarming performance of Donald Trump and the very alarming agenda that Donald Trump strayed out. In fact, the day after the debate, the only thing

that people can talk about is Joe Biden's age and his performance.

So, I think in the grand scheme of things, in this larger historical trajectory, this will be the moment that we begin factoring in age in a

negative way, perhaps, into how the American public thinks about the democratic process and about the general election.

Traditionally, age has been seen as a boon. It's seen as something that conveys experience. But what we know now is that audiences are watching

this, and they are essentially saying, we have two white men rematching -- two elderly white men rematching, and this is not what democracy is about.

GOLODRYGA: In terms of democracy, it comes at a time when there are some really consequential decisions that we have seen that came down this past

session from the Supreme Court. The last decision will come on Monday, and that has to deal with presidential immunity.

We've had Joe Biden a couple of weeks ago say that this Supreme Court is off kilter. We know that its approval rating among Americans has taken

quite a dip, and there's internal friction among the justices, the likes that I don't think we've seen in the past, despite differences in political

ideology. That's always been the case of the Supreme Court and the justices here. Put that into perspective, where things are now historically with

regards to the highest court in the land.

RIGUEUR: Well, of course, the highest court in the land has always been connected to the presidential election, because the sitting president gets

to choose who goes on the Supreme Court. So, we know that the conservative bent of the Court right now -- the conservative activist bent of the Court

right now, is a direct result of Donald Trump being president and being allowed to appoint multiple people to the court.

The same way -- the reason we know -- the same way that we know that Ketanji Brown Jackson being on the Supreme Court is a progressive pick is a

result of Joe Biden being president of the United States. It also means that whoever is the next president may have the opportunity, as we've seen

in the past, to appoint several more members of the Supreme Court, which ultimately determines the outcomes of these various cases that we are


The other thing I think here is that we've seen a number, this Supreme Court, more so than any other in recent memory, has handed down a number of

paradigm-shifting decisions. That includes today, where several decisions were handed down. And of course, this is what voters should be thinking

about. They shouldn't be thinking about the Supreme Court operating in a vacuum, but instead, what is the political connection of the Supreme Court

and these decisions handed down?

For example, the Chevron case, which affects federal agencies and how federal agencies are or are not allowed to administer and make decisions

with states. These kinds of things matter. They have impact. And I think part of what we're seeing, too, here, is the effect of this conservative

transformation of the Supreme Court over the last 15 years or so.

GOLODRYGA: And you talk about precedent-setting. You have the Supreme Court, as you noted, with the Chevron decision, overturning 40 years of

precedent. And this comes two years almost to the day after the Supreme Court, with its Dobbs decision, overturned a 50-year precedent and that was

taking away the right for a woman to have an abortion in this country, leaving it instead up to the states. This was a key issue where President

Biden had to deliver last night and where we see he continues to lead in the polls on the issue of reproductive rights.


It appeared that the chance that he had to address this, he bungled a really incoherent, one of his several, sadly, incoherent responses to take

this moment to once again show a distinction between him and former President Trump. How significant was that missed opportunity?

RIGUEUR: Well, I would be careful in assessing this because, historically, presidents -- incumbent presidents, have terrible first performances. At

this point, it's almost tradition for an incumbent president to have a terrible first debate. What's unique about this and what in some ways

benefits the Democratic Party, is that this debate came very early on in the process.

So, now there are no surprises. It also gives the Democratic Party and Joe Biden an opportunity to recoup. One of the things we've seen that the

Democratic Party has been particularly strong on is this issue of abortion, particularly in the post-Dobbs landscape.

And so, what they are going to have to do is really put their strongest foot forward. We will probably see a lot more from Vice President Kamala

Harris --


RIGUEUR: -- because she has been exceptionally good on this issue.


RIGUEUR: Also, targeting elderly voters.

GOLODRYGA: Sorry, Leah, we're up against a hard -- we're up against a hard break, but yes, I think those are really key points that you've made just

now. And then, Joe Biden says that he is ready to come back for round two in September. We shall see.

Leah Wright Rigueur, thank you.

And thank you all so much for watching this Hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Bianna Golodryga. "AMANPOUR" is next.