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Businessman's Life Upended By Trump's Travel Ban; Mosque Attacker Known For Far-right Views; Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch For Supreme Court; U.S. Citizens Warned To Avoid Travel To Iraq; Democrats Threaten To Block Supreme Court Pick; Plagiarism Allegations Dog Education Secy. Nominee. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired February 1, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:10] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles and London. Ahead this hour --
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: A made for T.V. prime time event. The unveiling of Donald Trump's pick for Supreme Court Justice.
VAUSE: The firestorm over the President's travel ban keeps growing. We'll talk to a Yemeni businessman whose life has been up ended.
SOARES: Plus, Canada mourns the victims of the terrorist attack on a mosque. What we know about the suspect far-right political views. Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers right around the world. I'm Isa Soares, in London.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause in Los Angeles. NEWSROOM L.A., starts right now. President Donald Trump says, Judge Neil Gorsuch is beyond qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump nominated the 49- year-old appeals court judge to fill the seat left vacant since the death of Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia last February. In one of his most notable opinions, Gorsuch, ruled corporations should not be required to provide contraceptive coverage to employees if it was against their religious beliefs. Democrats and Activists are already lining up against Gorsuch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL GORSUCH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: As this process now moves to the Senate, I look forward with speaking with members from both sides of the aisle. To answering their questions and to hearing their concerns. I consider the United States Senate one of the greatest deliberative body in the world, and I respect the important role the constitution affords it in the confirmation of our judges. I respect too, the fact that in our legal order, it is for Congress and not the courts to write new laws. It is the role of judges to apply, not alter the work of the people's representatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, selecting judges for the Supreme Court is one of the most important decisions the U.S. President can make. CNN Senior Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, explains why.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Federal judges including Supreme Court Justices, serve for life. That's why Presidents regard these judicial appointments as such an important way to extend their own legacies.
The constitution does not set out a resume that a Supreme Court Justice has to have. There is no requirement in the constitution that a Supreme Court Justice even be a lawyer. But traditionally, Presidents have nominated, impeccably qualified, sitting judges. Both Presidents and Senators like to say, that the confirmation process is all about qualifications. But it's really also about politics.
Virtually, every important issue in American politics and even American life winds up in front of the Supreme Court. And they have the last word. Both the President and the Senators trying to figure out how the nominee stands on the hot button issues that the Supreme Court deals with. And that's why the Senators will vote yes or no. There is no law that says a President can't nominate someone to the Supreme Court in his last year in office. The Senate, on the other hand, can run out the clock when they don't want a President to fill that seat.
The Supreme Court is designed to operate with nine justices. What makes Justice Scalia's death so unusual in Supreme Court history, is that most justices announce that they plan to retire and then a President nominates their successor. So, there is no vacancy at any point in the Supreme Court. With eight justices, there are possibilities for tie votes which can create a significant amount of confusion in the law.
SOARES: Jeffrey Toobin there. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban has caused many people here in U.K. to raise their voice in protest. This as the President of the European Council, issues a warning about Trump's administration that could pave the way for more tension between the U.S. as well as the E.U. CNN's Diana Magnay, has more for you.
[01:04:31] DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Monday evening, there were angry protests outside Downing Street. People at their most inventive with a placard and marker pen railing against Donald Trump's travel ban. But isn't that just a whiff of the Metropolitan elite about all of this?
For all the demonstrations and the hand-bringing before parliament, there are still plenty across Europe who tend to agree with Donald Trump's travel ban, who resent the influx of migrants and refugees into Europe, and who don't want them in their backyard. That was after all what for many people the Brexit vote was about in a Europe, where anti-immigrant sentiment is shifting politics to the right.
There's nowhere you sense that more than in the Brexit heartlands, like Rumford, where Reese Cannon, David Gray hanging out of a Tuesday afternoon. They weren't quite sure who Trump was.
DAVID GRAY, FORMER ROOFER: These immigrants does have a woman, blondish.
MAGNAY: But they did think his travel ban was a good idea.
GRAY: Then we can have work. It's fair for us, like for us English. We can get like more work out there. Pay our bills and don't have to scrounge. You know what I mean? That's the way it should be.
MAGNAY: So, it would be better for you if there weren't any immigrants in Britain, you think?
GRAY: Yes, yes, definitely.
REECE CANNON, FORMER RECYCLING WORKER: If this country, England, had only English people, it would be a much better environment for - in English people.
MAGNAY: For them, this was about jobs. Others, though, singing from the Trumpian song sheet.
JAMES SHIELDS, FORMER SOLDIER: When you look at what's happened in Germany, when you look at what has happened in France, you've got people coming into the country under the guise of being asylum seekers. And there is all be it; a small percentage have been proved to be terrorists.
MAGNAY: Human Rights in his view by the buy, if Britain's to keep the bad dudes out. The message from the European mainland, that nationalism and the politics of Donald Trump were an unprecedented threat.
DONALD TUSK, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European or Euro-skeptic at best. Particularly, the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation.
MAGNAY: Britain's, Theresa May, has already extended a welcoming hand to Mr. Trump, even as a petition to parliament to prevent his trip from being an official state visit, out of supposed respect for the Queen gains signatures by the second. Other European leaders have yet to meet him. Describing his administration as an external threat will not make that moment easier. Diana Magnay, CNN, London.
SOARES: Now, more than 70 former federal prosecutors are defending the former U.S. Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates. President Trump, fired Yates on Monday to remember after she defied his executive order on immigration and travel to the United States. Now, the bipartisan group released a strongly wordy letter and this is what it said, let me read it out to you. "Struck by one stunning headline after another, we stopped to think if we were called upon to defend the executive order, could we do it within the guidelines we learned and lived by as lawmakers for the United States? We could not. Acting Attorney General Yates was right to refuse to do so."
VAUSE: A former CIA Director and Defense Secretary is also speaking out against Mr. Trump's travel order. Leon Panetta, served under Barack Obama. He told CNN, he believes the policy will increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, FORMER DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: What it is done, is given ISIS, the main argument they have used which is that the western world is at war with Islam. Not at war with extremism, but at war with Islam. When we do these kinds of blanket approaches to denying Muslims entry into this country, it's based on their religion. And so, we fed ISIS a major argument that I think will help them in recruiting and that increases the chances of a potential attack in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Panetta added in his opinion, there's no question the ban is based on religion.
SOARES: Iraq's Prime Minister says his country will not retaliate against President Trump's travel order. But Haider al-Abadi says, he's studying his options. Iraq is one of the seven countries named in Mr. Trump's executive order. Meantime, the U.S. State Department is again warning Americans not to travel to Iraq, saying the country is extremely dangerous, and there's a high risk for kidnapping as well as terrorism.
VAUSE: A university student described as a lone wolf has been charged in the deadly shooting at a Canadian mosque. Police have yet to release a motive. But report says the 27-year-old was known for his far-right views. We get the latest from Genevieve Beauchemin, from CNN partner CTV News.
GENEVIEVE BEAUCHEMIN, CTV NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There remains a heavy police presence at the mosque as investigators continue to learn more about the events leading up to Sunday's deadly shooting. It left six people dead, including 57-year-old, Azadine Suthyan, who witnesses say heroically tried to stop the gunman by charging at him.
[01:09:47] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The attacker was more quick and with his gun. He shot at him directly in his body. And this is why he was dead.
BEAUCHEMIN: Officials updated the condition of the many others who were wounded. Four of the 19 remain in hospital, two in critical condition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mainly, it's major abdominal injuries caused by gunshots.
BEAUCHEMIN: The suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, a Laval University student is accused of gunning down the man during evening prayers. He was known for being an online troll who espoused anti-feminist and anti-refugee views. He also expressed support for French Nationalist, Marie Le Pen; and U.S. President Donald Trump. The RCMP searched through the records at this rifle range, Bissonnette was an avid hunter. And those who knew him as a child say he seemed normal, but grew into a troubled young man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was an outsider, that's for sure. He dressed differently. He behaved differently.
BEAUCHEMIN: In a province where they've long debated religious accommodation, today the premier was asked if the situation in Quebec was unique?
PHILLIPE COUILLARD, QUEBEC PREMIER: It would be a mistake to say that racism, xenophobia, islamophobia does not exist in Quebec. Of course, it does exist in Quebec. It exists in all societies, unfortunately.
BEAUCHEMIN: This afternoon a moment of silence at Laval University, where one of the dead worked as a professor. And efforts are under- way to raise money for the victims' families, some leaving behind young children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of people have reached out to us around the country, and even outside of the country, wanting to give their support.
BEAUCHEMIN: Depending on the investigation, there could be further charges, some of them related to terrorism laid against Bissonnette. He is due back on in court on February 21st. Genevieve Beauchemin, CTV News, Quebec City.
SOARES: Now Donald Trump makes his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Up next, we'll check Neil Gorsuch's resume and see why Democrats -- in the attack. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM L.A.
[01:14:11] DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Don Riddell, with your CNN WORLD SPORT Headlines. It's looking like being Chelsea's title to lose in the English Premier League, after a 1-1 draw at Liverpool extended their healthy leave at the top of the table.
Chelsea, going ahead, through David Luiz's free kick and with that the Reds were facing therefore straight home defeat, which would have been their worst run in nearly a century. But they got back in the contingent with the head there from Georginio Wijnaldum, and lose, could've won it but Simon Mignolet's saved the late penalty from Diego Acosta.
Chelsea won't be ruining that penalty miss too much though, considering their main title rivals playing on Tuesday, both slim-tops first. And Arcenal remain nine points behind the Blues. But Tottenham only managing a goal with draw at Sunderland, while Arsenal were shocked and owned by Watford losing 2-1. Both of the Hornets goals coming in the first half, as Watford won in the league, and Arsenal for the first time since 1988.
Also, taking place in England on Tuesday, was the last day of European Transfer Window. It was the usual wheeling and dealing, even if that wasn't a blockbuster deal done to match the previous windows. Among these notable moves made were by Southampton signing Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli, Burnley bringing in Norwich's Robbie Brady for a club record, and Watford's selling Odion Ighalo to the Chinese sign, Changchun Yatai.
That was a quick look at your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.
[01:15:55] SOARES: We want to welcome all of you as joining our broadcast from the United States, I'm Isa Soares in London.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause from Los Angeles. You're watching NEWSROOM L.A.
SOARES: Now, President Donald Trump is moving to restore the conservative ideology to the U.S. Supreme Court. He's nominated Appeal Court Judge Neil Gorsuch ---
VAUSE: Anything you want.
SOARES: To fill the vacant seat of the late Antonin Scalia. Leading Democrats are already plotting a strategy to block the nomination. CNN's Pamela Brown, reports.
GORSUCH: It's lovely to be here.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Judge Neil Gorsuch sits on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and his judicial philosophy aligns with the conservative icon he could replace, Justice Antonin Scalia. And he believes, as Scalia did, a literal interpretation of the constitution.
GORSUCH: The world suffered a seismic shock with the loss of Justice Scalia.
BROWN: They were good friends, seen recently fishing together. Just weeks after Scalia's death last February, Gorsuch spoke about getting the news while skiing.
GORSUCH: I immediately lost what breath I had left. And I not admit -- embarrassed to admit that I couldn't see the rest of the way down the mountain for the tears.
PAMELA: Judge Gorsuch's legal opinions on religious liberty, attracted the attention of those helping Trump make his pick. In the Hobby Lobby case, he sided with the corporations who claim the so- called Contraceptive mandate in Obamacare, violated their religious belief. He also wrote an opinion on the separation of powers case. Holding
out too much deference was given by the courts to administrative agencies. And he penned a book, Arguing Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. He writes, quote, "The idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong."
Gorsuch was picked above Thomas Hardman who CNN caught up with in a gas station on his way to D.C. while it is still uncertain, who would get the knot?
At 49 years old, Gorsuch is among the youngest of recent High Court nominees. His conservative vote could remain on the court for a generation and become one of Trump's lasting legacies.
STEVE VLADECK, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: His surge for 30 or 35 years. He could certainly have an enormous impact on the law to land especially if President Trump gets another confirmation or two during his presidency. And someone like Neil Gorsuch becomes the center of the court as opposed to Anthony Kennedy.
BROWN: Although from the West, Gorsuch is a veteran of D.C., coming to the capital as a teenager when President Raegan chose his mother to be the first woman to have the environmental protection agency. He clerks for two Supreme Court Justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy and went on to be a partner at a prestigious D.C. law firm. Then, a Senior Official at the Department of Justice.
While he sailed through his cynic confirmation in 2006, when President George W. Bush nominated him to the Federal Bench, then the Democrats have been dallying payback for Republican's refusal. He even grants a hearing for President Obama's pick for Scalia's seat, Judge Mary Garland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will do our best to keep the seat open. Yes, we'll fight it to the nail as long as we have to.
BROWN: Where three justices in their 70's and 80's, Judge Gorsuch may not be President Trump's last Supreme Court nominee.
BROWN: And we're learning more about the cloak and dagger details of bringing Neil Gorsuch from Colorado to Washington. Sources say that he was able to evade the press and leave in the back road behind his gate, his community, and take a military aircraft to Washington. It is clear that the White House wanted to take extraordinary measures to keep the top pick under wrap, until of course, that primetime announcement, Tuesday night. Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: More now, the big news about the Supreme Court. We are joined by CNN Political Commentator John Phillips and Democratic Strategist Matthew Littman. Thank you for coming back.
First question, I want you to get the response here from -- I wanted to hear out the response from Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal. This is when he said after the news broke that Neil Gorsuch have been nominated to the Supreme Court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, CONNECTICUT DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: I do believe that he may be coming to court with an agenda that's out of the mainstream. And as much as I want to inflate the court from partisan politics, if I conclude that he is out of the mainstream on issues like privacy rights including women's healthcare and will be weighed, or worker an consumer protection, or other kinds of public health and safety issues, I will use every tool at my disposal to block his nomination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:20:28] VAUSE: So that, we are hearing Democrats. They have issues with Gorsuch but right now, the strategy isn't entirely clear what they intend to do. Will they fill the bust orders or they say they paddle until maybe the next pick, which would probably be more important than this one.
MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think that you feel about us through this pick is best as she can. Let's remember that this was Barrack Obama's nomination. To have, he picked Mary Garland, the Republicans wouldn't even have a hearing for Mary Garland. The Democrats shouldn't show no deference to this nominee whatsoever. I think, Richard Blumenthal is right. We have to fight this as much as we can because not just the issue of what they did to Barack Obama and Mary Garland, but also, his views don't comport with the majority of America's views as well, also very important.
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If two lines of attack, then they can go down. They can say he's not qualified, which they really can't do that. That was the argument against Terry Myers where they said it was nepotism, she Bush's bill of attorney, she's not Supreme Court material. This guy is not better call Saul. This guy went to Ivy League Institutions. This guys has been approved by the U.S. Senate and a unanimous vote. So, they've already moved on to option number two which is saying, he's ideologically extreme.
You just played a clip of Senator Blumenthal from Connecticut. Well, that's a deep blue state. Of course, a senator from Connecticut is going to come out against the nomination. The question is, what is Dick Blumenthal going to do? The question is, what is Joe Mansion going to do? What is Heidi Heitkamp going to do? What's Claire McCaskill going to do? All of these Democrats to represent Red States where Donald Trump won, and in many cases, won those states handily, do they end up voting for him? My guess is, yes.
LITTMAN: Well ---
VAUSE: These Democrats offer re-election in the midterms.
LITTMAN: Yes, exact. John's right about that. But you portrayed two options. There's a third option which is the filibuster. And if Mitch McConnell wants to take away the filibuster, that's what he wants to do.
VAUSE: The nuclear option.
LITMMAN: Then he could do it. That's up to Mitch McConnell. But in the meantime, Democrats have to fight because the Republicans showed no deference to Obama's pick. There's no reason why the Democrats should do so now. They should fight. And let me just say this, the party's base, will not allow anything else.
VAUSE: There's a kind of point where the politics has to stop. Someone's going to stop it. I mean, were doing this because you did this to us in argument. It's actually saying ---
LITTMAN: Let me just say that as a Democrat, I'm just tired of that argument because it's always the Democrat who seem to give, and the Republicans do whatever they want while we watch for eight years. When Barrack Obama started as president, Mitch McConnell said, his number one goal wasn't anything about the economy, wasn't anything about legislation, it was to stop Barrack Obama from being president again, and to go against Barrack Obama with every opportunity. Democrats have to fight. The base won't allow anything else.
PHILLIPS: The politics is going to be at play here. But Democrats have long memories. And they remember what happened when the leadership led them down this road during Obamacare. And they made a bunch of those blue-dog Democrats take poison pills and they got killed in the midterm elections. If they forced them to filibuster this nominee and they force them to not approve them, then a lot of those Red State Democrats are going to be former senators when they come up in the next term.
LITTMAN: Well, let me just also say this. If you're trying -- if the goal is to make Donald Trump more popular, the Democrats cannot be a part of that.
VAUSE: OK. Well then if the Democrats have decided they will hold up the nominations of a number of cabinet nominees. We're hearing that Tom Pryce, Health and Human Service, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury, Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. All of them have been delayed by various tactics. This is what Senator Orrin Hatch has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ORRIN HATCH, US SENATE REPUBLICAN: Well they already have. Anybody who's do something like that, it's just complete breach of decorum. It's complete breach of community rules, it's a complete breach of -- I'm just going along around here. We know we have differences and we should be willing to lay out over those differences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Orrin has always say Republicans have met -- the Democrats being idiots here. Will these nominations move forward anyway?
PHILLIPS: I like Orrin Hatch. He's getting older, he's getting a little bit more honest. VAUSE: Working a little bit blow-up.
LITTMAN: Listen, what happened here is that a lot of these nominees weren't properly vetted. And as this process goes on, we find out some pretty bad things. For example, with Tom Price. We find out that there may be some insider training. Trading for when he was in Congress and trading healthcare stocks. That just came out now that he should not be approved and as the Head of Health and Human Services. But I think the Democrats are absolutely right. Block this for as long as you can, we'll never be able to block it forever. That's not going to happen. But block it. You got to show some fight.
PHILIPPS: They're delaying the inevitable. It reminds me of when I was a kid and it would be the day to go to the dentist. And I would hide in my closet, hoping my mom wouldn't find me. So, that way, maybe she'd just say, "All right. We'll cancel the appointment, we won't go." She would always find me. I would always have to go to the dentist and that's what's going to happen here. These nominees are going to come up for a vote eventually and they're going to be approved.
VAUSE: Go on.
[01:25:10] LITTMAN: What the Democrats are showing is that there's a problem with some of these nominees. And the people need to see what's actually going on. Tom Price is the perfect example that Democrats are fulfilling their responsibilities.
VAUSE: That's also related to DeVos who, you know, the Education Secretary or the nominated Education Secretary, plagiarized her answers to -- which was submitted to the Senate Committee. This is a person who is going to be heading the Education Department. If I'm in school, I plagiarized, you know, you'd be expelled. These are the things which are being found out along the way.
PHILLIPS: Right. And everyone's going to have some skeletons in their closet. But my guess is, she's going to have the votes to get confirmed. She was voted out of the committee, she's going to be approved by the Senate.
VAUSE: OK. Very good lately -- a little repose of chaos within the administration. The Secretary of Defense of Homeland Security apparently only found out about the Executive Order on the travel ban when it was made public. The President is very happy with the roll out. Kellyanne Conway apparently now taking a big role in communications.
We also heard from Former House Speaker and Trump Informal Adviser Newt Gingrich. He said this to the Washington Post. "The problem they've got is this is an off-Broadway performance of a show that is now the number one hit on Broadway." John, it is day 11, what's next?
PHILLIPS: Yes. And Newt Gingrich wanted a post in the Trump Administration. He didn't get it so he's a little bit bitter. I think you saw some of that bitterness come out of that statement. Look, Donald Trump is a businessman who's now transitioning in being the biggest chief executive on planet earth. And there is going to be some growing pains and my advice would be to move it a slightly slower pace. I think if you slow down the pace, then you'll resolve a lot of these problems. But I think he's off to a smashing success.
LITTMAN: So, Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, both big Trump supporters, both bashed Trump today. And I think what you're going to see is, the situation's going to get worst, not better. Because Donald Trump is using the same people from his campaign who really know nothing about running a government. They're advising him -- the people who are actually should be advising him, the secretaries of these -- of the State Department. He's not listening to those people. He's listening to these group of people.
PHILLIPS: Both of these two are the girls who didn't get invited to the prom.
LITTMAN: But these are -- these are toast -- they've been supporting him. They come out every day in support to Trump --
VAUSE: They've got -- they've got some problem. They got dumped before the last dance. And on that, we'll leave it. Thanks guys.
LITTMAN: Thank you.
SOARES: Now, there is no end in sight to the protests and legal challenges to President Trump's travel ban.
Coming up. What the White House is saying about it now.
[01:30:48] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. It has just gone 1:30 here. I'm John Vause.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Isa Soares in London.
Let me bring you up to date with the main headlines we're following for you this hour. U.S. president Donald Trump has nominated 49-year- old conservative judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Now if confirmed Gorsuch would fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last February. The move could cement the conservative direction of the court for decades.
VAUSE: The daughter of an American who led an al Qaeda splinter group has reportedly been killed. Her family says the 8-year-old died during a raid in Yemen on Sunday by forces from the U.S. and the UAE. Her father, Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed in U.S. attack in 2011. U.S. officials have not confirmed her death. U.S. Navy SEAL William Ryan Owens also died in that raid during a firefight.
SOARES: Police have charged a 27-year-old university student in the shooting at a Canadian mosque. Six people were killed. Alexandre Bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder and five attempted murder charges. He's described as a lone wolf and is known for his far-right views.
VAUSE: Rarely has there been a time in American history of such national division and discord. And if the past few days of protests and litigation are any guide, the Supreme Court could have the final say on many of President Trump's controversial policies.
Well, for more now on the implications of the president's nominee for the court, we're joined by Joan Biskupic, CNN's legal analyst, who has been covering the Supreme Court for almost 30 years.
So Joan, assuming that Neil Gorsuch is confirmed by the Senate, he will restore the ideological status quo to the court before the death of Justice Scalia. So in many ways, it is awash?
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is vote for vote. Because you're exactly right that he is a conservative in the mold of Antonin Scalia. He's been consistent on issues that conservatives -- matter very much to conservatives, you know, narrowing the breadth of government, reining in power of regulatory agencies. And he is also an excellent writer, as Justice Scalia was. But he is not as provocative. So even though it's one for one with the vote, you just cannot replace Justice Scalia.
VAUSE: As far as Mr. Gorsuch is concerned or Judge Gorsuch, he is also very young for a Supreme Court judge, 49 years old.
BISKUPIC: That's exactly right. And Antonin Scalia was 50 when he was nominated back in 1986 and he served for 30 years. The last time we had someone younger than 50 was back in 1991 with Clarence Thomas who was in his early 40s at the time. So Neil Gorsuch, who will likely be approved just from what we've seen already and what we know of the Senate math where Republicans hold the majority, he could serve for our generation and the next generation.
VAUSE: You know, when it comes, though, to Supreme Court justices, there are always some surprises like when Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, he ruled in favor of Obamacare. Is the lesson here you don't know what you're going to get until you get it?
BISKUPIC: That's right. And I have to say that the conservative activists who are working with Donald Trump have this mantra that I'm not sure all the viewers would understand. But the mantra is no more David Souters. David Souter was appointed to the court in 1990, named by George H.W. Bush. And people around George Bush said, he'll be a homerun for conservatives. Well, David Souter ended up serving in a very liberal vein until 2009 when he stepped down. So there is a warning in things that you often don't get what you think you have. But in Neil Gorsuch, he has ruled enough as a federal judge that I
think we know what we have here. David Souter I should mention had only been a federal judge briefly. Had mainly been a state court judge. And if you listen to his testimony, he left a couple of clues. I don't think we're going to see those clues this time around with Neil Gorsuch.
VAUSE: Well, in terms of the Supreme Court, though, the real game changer will be President Trump's second pick if he gets that chance.
[01:35:05] BISKUPIC: I think that's exactly right. And just so that you know, we've got Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is age 80 and who's talked about possibly retiring. He might do that soon. Then we have Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, liberal icon who's going to turn 84 in March. If she were -- I'm sure she does not want to retire while Donald Trump is president. But if something should happen to her and force her to retire, it would be a big deal.
And ditto with Anthony Kennedy, who even though he is in the conservative camp is a centrist conservative, who has single-handedly stopped the Supreme Court from going -- rolling back abortion rights too significantly or overturning campus affirmative action. Those are two areas where he in recent years cast the decisive vote. And as you probably remember, in 2015, Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion and cast the fifth vote to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage nationwide.
VAUSE: OK, Joan. Thank you very much for your insight in the court. We are in for some interesting days, a Senate confirmation to come. I guess we'll see what happens.
Joan, thanks for being with us.
BISKUPIC: Thank you. Bye.
President Trump's executive order restricting travel into the United States has triggered a wave of protests around the world and a wrath of lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. But the White House is not backing down, even insisting now the ban not really a ban.
Jim Acosta reports.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across the Trump administration all of a sudden there seems to be a ban on the word ban.
JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: This is not a travel ban. This is not, I repeat, not a ban on Muslims.
ACOSTA: New Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly insisted the executive order barring travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries does not amount to a ban.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: First of all it's not a travel ban.
ACOSTA: But tell that to the president who tweeted just yesterday, "If the ban were announced with a one week notice the bad would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad dudes out there." And don't forget President Trump said this on Saturday.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Working out very nicely. You see it at the airport. You see it all over. It's working out very nicely and we're going to have a very, very strict ban and we're going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years.
ACOSTA: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to explain it this way.
SPICER: He's using the words that the media is using. But at the end of the day you can't -- hold on, hold on, hold on. It can't be -- Jonathan, thanks. I'll let Christine talk.
ACOSTA: Even though Spicer used the word ban himself on Sunday.
SPICER: It's a 90-day ban.
ACOSTA: Then there's what one of the president's top surrogates Rudy Giuliani told FOX just over the weekend.
RUDY GIULIANI, CYBERSECURITY ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: When he first announced it, he said Muslim ban. He called me up, he said put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally. And what we did was we focused on instead of religion, danger.
ACOSTA: Spicer's answer for that?
SPICER: Then you should ask Mayor Giuliani. That's his opinion.
ACOSTA: The administration is still pushing back on the notion that it botched the rollout of the executive order which led to chaos at airports across the country.
KELLY: We knew it was coming. It was a surprise it was coming. And then we implemented it.
ACOSTA: House Speaker Paul Ryan carefully criticized the execution of the order but not the policy itself.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I think it's regrettable that there was some confusion on the rollout of this. No one wanted to see people with green cards or special immigrant visas like translators get caught up in all of this.
ACOSTA: The White House is standing by the firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates who fought to carrying out the executive order, saying Yates betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. But at her own hearing two years ago Yates told Alabama senator and now Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, she was capable of telling the president no.