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Hurricane in the Gulf; Kagan Confirmation Hearing Continues
Aired June 30, 2010 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(VIDEO CLIP IN PROGRESS)
ELENA KAGAN, U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL AND SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Senator Cornyn, I didn't see the op-ed. I have been trying very hard not to read the papers.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R) TEXAS: That's smart.
KAGAN: Senator Cornyn, I take everything that has been said here, from all of the way around the bench, as people operating in good faith.
And, certainly, I have gotten nothing but fairness and courteousness from everybody, from every member of the committee. And I take no offense on behalf of myself or on behalf of Justice Marshall or on behalf of anybody else at anything that's been said here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: This is interesting.
Why would a senator ask a nominee for the Supreme Court, "Did you" -- let me make sure I quote him right -- "Did you" -- and you heard this -- "Did you read any disrespect in any of the comments that any of us have made about Justice Marshall?
Gloria Borger, Jeffrey Toobin, either one of you, take -- help us understand. What's going on here?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Can I -- can I take a crack at this?
TOOBIN: Because I think this really deals with a lot of American legal history, because Thurgood Marshall is one of the most famous lawyers and judges in the history of this country, but his career had two very different parts.
He was, in the '30s and '40s and '50s, the head lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. And he was really the architect of the legal strategy that led to the end of legal segregation in the United States. Particularly, he was one of the lawyers who argued the famous case of Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, the case that said that separate but equal school segregation would no longer be allowed.
Fast forward to 1967. President Lyndon Johnson made him the first African-American justice of the United States Supreme Court. He served there from 1967 until he stepped down, replaced by Clarence Thomas, in 1991. During that period, '67 to '91, much of that time, he was a liberal dissenter.
He was protesting as the court moved to the right. What the Republicans on the committee have been doing is using Marshall's judicial career as an example of liberal activism, a negative example.
And some people, understandably, I think, have taken offense at the way they have sort of stereotyped Marshall as this out-of-touch liberal, when, in fact, if you look at the totality of his career, he is one of the most distinguished lawyers in the history of the country.
And he's also very closely associated with Elena Kagan, because she was his law clerk towards the end of his career on the court. So, I think that sort of sets up why people take offense at this and what's gone on here.
SANCHEZ: Let me bring -- let me bring Gloria into this.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
SANCHEZ: On the political side, have you -- have you ever seen something -- because it almost sounds like Cornyn was saying it in a somewhat apologetic way, if I read it correctly. And if so, what's the political significance of that?
BORGER: Well, he just wanted, I think, to get her on the record saying that she takes no offense at it, because there are some people who have taken offense at it.
And what they're trying to do is to portray her as an activist judge who would take the same approach to judging as Justice Thurgood Marshall. It was interesting. Senator Kyl raised a memo or some memo she wrote when she was a 27-year-old law clerk for the justice. And she said, you know, the role of the clerks was pretty much to channel Justice Marshall as she put it, advising him what kind of cases he might want to take, what kind of cases he might not want to take.
BORGER: And, in answering that question, she made it clear she was trying to sort of do what she thought her boss wanted her to do.
SANCHEZ: Well, is it...
BORGER: She wasn't reflecting her personal opinions. SANCHEZ: Here is my question. Let me just cut right to the chase. Isn't John Cornyn really defending himself and his party against accusations that they are besmirching the reputation of the nation's first minority, the first African-American justice of the United States of America? And here they are, whether directly or indirectly, hammering away at this guy?
TOOBIN: You know what? I think that's exactly what they're doing.
BORGER: Yes, sure.
TOOBIN: I mean, here you have had this procession of middle- aged, white, mostly Southern men, the Republicans on that committee, and they have been using the name Thurgood Marshall as a synonym for something sinister, something bad, something inappropriate in a judge.
And a lot of people in this country think that Thurgood Marshall is someone you should emulate. And I think it is true that his views were not accepted by many of his colleagues during the -- at least in a lot of high-profile cases during the '80s, particularly, the 1980s, but the idea that he should be treated as someone of disdain is something people are taking offense at.
TOOBIN: And I think the Republicans on the committee are trying to draw a line between criticizing...
TOOBIN: ... his views and criticizing his person.
SANCHEZ: Yes. And Cornyn's a smart guy. He's trying to make -- he's trying to smooth things over here, isn't he, Gloria?
BORGER: Sure. And, you know, the Democrats don't want to portray Elena Kagan as a dissenter, as a lone dissenter either.
What you hear from the White House is, one of the things they hope Elena Kagan to do -- can do is talk to Justice Kennedy, the swing vote on the court, is to deal, be the intellectual equal of the chief justice, John Roberts.
They don't see her as a lone liberal dissenter on this court at all. So, that's not the way they have portrayed her. And I think that, in many ways, politically, that's what Republicans would like to portray her as. At least those who would not vote for her probably wouldn't have voted to confirm Justice Thurgood Marshall.
SANCHEZ: Good stuff, guys. That was an interesting conversation.
By the way, we have got a bunch of stuff going on. And let me take you through what we're going to try and do over the next 50 minutes or so here, OK?
First of all, you know the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Randi Kaye is standing by as close as we can get her to the Gulf side, where the oil is. And she is going to be phoning in and telling us what's going on there, as far as the -- the waves that are being whipped up and what effect it's having on the oil. That's important.
I have got tweets here from folks who are standing by in Brownsville, Texas. They're saying, hey, Rick, you and Chad need to know that we're feeling this hurricane right now.
OK. I will ask Chad about that. Also, many of you are telling me, I -- I like what you guys are doing. I like Gloria. I like Jeff. I like when you guys give us your analysis, but, once in a while, let us listen to what Kagan is saying for herself.
I get it. I appreciate that. I read a lot of your tweets and e- mails yesterday on my way home from work, and I say, you guys want to hear her for yourself, fine. We will play bigger chunks and we will let you see it live, and then we will bring Gloria and Toobs in and we will -- we will analyze it in detail.
So, that's the plan. That's what we're going to try and get in for you. Stay right there. We will be right back with your national conversation. This is RICK'S LIST.
SANCHEZ: OK. We got Chad. He's standing by. And then we have got two of our colleagues here standing by.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes.
And here's what's interesting. They're covering the same story, but they're covering two different parts of the story.
One, Reynolds Wolf, is closest to the hurricane itself. He is closer to like Brownsville, Texas, for example, which is getting winds of...
SANCHEZ: ... 47, something like that.
SANCHEZ: Thirty-seven, 40 miles an hour. It's not a hurricane -- those are not hurricane-force winds.
MYERS: It's a tropical depression for them.
SANCHEZ: Well, it's just because some people on Twitter are saying that you're full of it because they're feeling a hurricane right now. (CROSSTALK)
MYERS: Yes, well, they're -- they're a hundred miles from it.
SANCHEZ: OK, just to set the record straight.
MYERS: Let me put you in a car and get you in it, if you want.
SANCHEZ: So, we got Reynolds Wolf standing by where the hurricane is, and we got Randi Kaye, who is good enough to call in. She's working for Anderson Cooper, but she is near the oil itself.
SANCHEZ: Because Reynolds is closer to the tough stuff, let's go to him first. All right?
I think we are going to be able to get a picture.
Reynolds, are you there? All right. Here we go.
Reynolds Wolf, take it away.
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right, man.
I will tell you, one of the interesting things about covering a hurricane is sometimes during a hurricane you are going to deal with tornadoes. And, in fact, we have had reports of two tornadoes, one near Port Isabel. The other has actually touched down near West Brownsville.
And there was minimal damage, thankfully no injuries, no fatalities. That's the good news. But tornadoes do occasionally happen. Something else that happens, rain comes down. In fact, right on the lens cap, we have got a little bit of that.
Mike Callaway (ph) is a photojournalist. He's going to do a quick dippity-do on there and clean that up. The wind has been something that has been kind of intermittent at times. There was a report of a wind gust, Rick, down near -- just to our south, about 60 miles per hour. We had one gust here recorded at 52 miles an hour.
WOLF: And with that wind, you have got big waves. Take a look back over here. Mike Callaway is going to get a great shot of the Gulf there for you.
And I'm going to do a little mountain climbing. I'm going to climb over this fence. Here we go, up and over here, Rick.
SANCHEZ: There you go. WOLF: And, as you can see some of this over here, it's just been coming in. Yesterday, it was a whole different world.
MYERS: Hey, Reynolds...
WOLF: These waves were coming in just very gentle. It was a couple of sets. And now it's just an angry sea.
MYERS: How come you just didn't use the stairs?
WOLF: Say again?
MYERS: How come you just didn't use the stairs? You have got to be Superman out there. I want you to be safe out there, dude.
SANCHEZ: Wait. Wait. I want to see Callaway -- I want to see Callaway do that.
Cool Cal, are you there? Shake the camera, Callaway. You know, Callaway and I...
WOLF: Cool Callaway is on the other side.
SANCHEZ: Can he hear?
WOLF: And he has got a wire that feeds back all the way to the truck, so he can't hear you from where he is, had a few issues with that. But he has got a cable that feeds all the way back to the truck, his umbilical cord.
So, thankfully, for his sake, he is in the safe area. I'm the one who has to hop around all over.
WOLF: But I'll tell you, the situation has been actually pretty good here. It was only two years ago, Rick, two years ago...
WOLF: ... that we had a Hurricane Dolly that made a direct hit on this area. Cat 2 storm came through, caused all kinds of damage. There has been some flooding here on the island. There was some flooding back towards the Brownsville area there.
And the city of Brownsville actually put out some 60,000 bags, sandbags, in the area.
WOLF: They have also set up shelters for 2,000 people -- 2,000 families, rather. And Governor Perry has activated the National Guard, deployed about 2,500 people to the area to help deal with anything that this storm dishes out.
We're not done yet. We could see some stronger gusts, but it looks like, for now, this area has escaped the brunt of the storm.
SANCHEZ: All right. We are going to let you go. Good work. Thanks for being out there for us, you and Callaway. Tell Mike I said hi. Tell him -- tell him Michael Heard says hello, since we all used to spend so much time together chasing these things, just like you're doing now.
WOLF: You bet.
MYERS: You know what I like about that picture?
SANCHEZ: What is that?
MYERS: There's nobody on the beach.
MYERS: There's nobody out there looking at it.
MYERS: Yes, for a change, rather than people out there kite- surfing.
SANCHEZ: I am going to let you handle the next part of the story, because I think you know a little bit more about this.
Go to Randi Kaye and set this whole thing up for us. Take it away.
MYERS: Well, Randi, you're supposed to be on the Gulf doing some work today, but it kind of knocked you off the air.
She is joining us now from somewhere in New Orleans.
Randi, what are you seeing today?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we woke up to -- hey there, Chad.
We woke up to some pretty heavy rains. And we were actually due to go out on a boat with some folks in Mississippi to go see some oil about 10 miles offshore. And we were on our way, and the rain was pretty heavy, and we decided, we better call and check. And, sure enough, they said, yes, we're not going to be able to do it today. And even Anderson Cooper had a boat scheduled today, and that was -- also had to be canceled. So the weather here has definitely cleared up. I'm looking outside the window. And the -- I'm inside, not like Reynolds. But it looks like it's definitely clearer and the skies are a little brighter.
But the main concern here, Chad, as you know, was that the oil was not only going to get close to shore, but that we would see some type of storm surge that would bring the oil all the way inland, you know, so a lot of folks, I think, are breathing a bit of a sigh of relief that it doesn't look like that's going to happen here.
MYERS: Well, I don't think you are going to need a boat to go 10 miles tomorrow. I think you will probably need a boat to go two miles, if you're lucky, because that oil is going to be getting closer and closer. It's going to be chasing you, rather than you go chasing it.
SANCHEZ: There is no way it cannot move in? Is that what you're saying?
MYERS: Not with 20-, 25-mile-per-hour winds, no.
MYERS: And did you see that today? Did you ever get to the shore? Did you ever get to the beach to look at the waves?
KAYE: No. But I did look at some of -- they're probably some of your models, actually, just looking at what will happen in the next 72 hours and how close the oil is coming.
KAYE: It's -- those are some pretty frightening images. It's moving all the way in.
MYERS: Now, I know there are booms out there. We hear about these booms, Randi, all the time. Are they just kind of floating out there? Could all that oil that they're holding back just make its way on land because they're not tied down? How does this work?
KAYE: Well, you know, that's a good question.
We did -- I was actually visiting the booms was I was in Destin, Florida, near Pensacola.
KAYE: And those booms, I mean, they were down, but, you know, you know those storms better than I do, but when you're out there -- we have all been out there covering them -- it's -- who knows what's going to happen to those booms?
MYERS: Yes. And we're showing -- we're showing pictures right now, still pictures. But the booms are on the shore.
MYERS: That's not doing any good.
KAYE: That's not exactly what they're made for, right?
MYERS: Right. No. They're supposed to be out in the water holding things back.
KAYE: But the other issue, too, there are things that could have worked that -- that just weren't in place.
You know all the hoopla about the skimmers and having to remove the skimmers from the water building -- just because of the storm surge, but -- and the waves. But, you know, we talked to a guy yesterday who, he is a Merchant Marine captain, and he has four ships that are 700 feet long that he says could carry up to 250,000 gallons of oil.
KAYE: They can with stand 20-foot storm surges. They would not even have had to have been taken out of the water and could have kept pumping the oil. But nobody has been calling him back. He's been trying to get them out here in the Gulf for two months.
MYERS: Randi, you're working on our story for 10:00 tonight for "A.C. 360." Tell us what that story is about.
KAYE: Tonight, we are going to look at -- we are going to do a little bit of a situation report, I guess you would call it, because a lot of folks -- you know, it's hard to keep track of where all this oil is.
And we have been getting, as you know, some great iReports coming in as the oil hits different areas up the coast.
KAYE: And so we are going to hear from a lot of those folks and just sort of give a pretty good update about what's happening, where the oil is, and what could happen in the next 72 hours.
SANCHEZ: Stay safe, kiddo. MYERS: All right, Randi.
KAYE: Thank you, guys.
SANCHEZ: All right. Take care.
Randi Kaye, one of the best. What a fantastic reporter.
MYERS: I have worked...
MYERS: ... long time, yes.
SANCHEZ: She was a Minnesotan, you know. She came from Minnesota.
SANCHEZ: And she will tell you whenever I have a conversation with her. It's like good stuff, Chad.
MYERS: I know, but you always claim South Florida. Then, when it's convenient, you claim Minnesota.
SANCHEZ: Well, because I'm a little bit of both. OK?
SANCHEZ: I was raised in -- I was born in Cuba, raised in Miami, and I went to school in Minnesota.
MYERS: That's like...
SANCHEZ: Typical America. We're like transients. We're all over the place.
MYERS: Yes. That's 90 percent relative humidity, then 90 below zero all in one week.
SANCHEZ: Nomadic. Let us know if anything changes.
MYERS: All right, buddy.
SANCHEZ: We have got about another 45 minutes on the air.
SANCHEZ: We will be checking Kagan and we will be checking the storm both at the same time. MYERS: Got it.
SANCHEZ: Meanwhile, this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": For now, for here, it's time to hang up the nightly suspenders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I was shocked last night. When I watched Larry say those words. And I love this guy. He's a -- speaking of, Chad, Miami -- Miami guy, Larry King.
And he announced that he is going to -- well, you heard him say it himself. He is not leaving CNN, but he is going to step down from the show.
More on Larry's greatest moments, as well as the other stories that we're following today. Stay right there. We are going to be right back.
SANCHEZ: There have been a bevy of Republicans taking on or questioning Elena Kagan today. The last to do so is Tom Coburn, Republican Tom Coburn.
He will be the final Republican to question her.
Let's take -- in fact, it's happening now. Let's dip in. Let's let you watch, as you requested.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: And I have a very specific question for you.
Do you believe it is a fundamental, preexisting right to have an arm to defend yourself?
KAGAN: Senator Coburn, I very much appreciate how deeply important the right to bear arms is to millions and millions of Americans.
And I accept Heller, which made clear that the Second Amendment conferred that right upon individuals, and not simply collectively.
COBURN: I'm not asking you about your judicial -- I'm asking you, Elena Kagan, do you personally believe there is a fundamental right in this area?
Do you agree with Blackstone that the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, the right of having and using arms for self- preservation and defense? He didn't say that was a constitutional right. He said that's a natural right. And what I'm asking you is, do you agree with that?
KAGAN: Senator Coburn, to be honest with you, I don't have a view of what are natural rights, independent of the Constitution. And my job as a justice will be to enforce and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
COBURN: So -- so, you wouldn't embrace what the Declaration of Independence says, that we have certain God-given, inalienable rights that aren't given in the Constitution that are ours, ours alone, and that a government doesn't give those to us?
KAGAN: Senator Coburn, I believe that the Constitution is an extraordinary document, and I'm not saying I do not believe that there are rights preexisting the Constitution and the laws. But my job as a justice is to enforce the Constitution and the laws.
COBURN: Well, I understand that. I'm not talking about as a justice. I'm talking about Elena Kagan. What do you believe? Are there inalienable rights for us? Do you believe that?
KAGAN: Senator Coburn, I think that the question of what I believe as to what people's rights are outside the Constitution and the laws, that you should not want me to act in any way on the basis of such a belief. If I had one or...
COBURN: I would want you to always act on the basis of the belief of what our Declaration of Independence says.
KAGAN: I think you should want me to act on the basis of law. And that is what I have upheld to do, if I'm fortunate enough to be concerned -- to be confirmed, is to act on the basis of law, which is the Constitution and the statutes of the United States.
COBURN: Going back to the Second Amendment, what we know with the two most recent cases is that they didn't necessarily take away the precedent of Miller. Does it...
KAGAN: I'm sorry?
COBURN: They don't necessarily take away the precedent of Miller.
KAGAN: As -- I have not read McDonald yet because of these hearings, but, if I understand Heller correctly, Heller -- Heller did not find it necessary to reverse Miller. Heller distinguished Miller. It's involving a different kind of weapon.
COBURN: So, when you say...
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The senator's time has expired.
COBURN: We are going to have another round?
LEAHY: None of us have asked for it.
COBURN: I have got several more questions, Mr. Chairman.
LEAHY: Well, with all due respect to the senator, if they're questions, fine. If they're 10-, 15-minute speeches, your personal beliefs, which I know you hold strongly, are fine, but I would prefer questions. I will be willing to give you another five minutes when your turn comes back.
Hey, Toobs, are you there?
TOOBIN: I am.
SANCHEZ: I found this fascinating. And here's why.
TOOBIN: So did I. So, did I.
SANCHEZ: My one -- my one pre-law class, I remember -- now, Tom Coburn is a deeply, deeply religious Christian man. And he was bringing in the topic there of what I remember Saint Thomas Aquinas defining as law natural. Some laws don't come from the Constitution. They come from God. They come from the man upstairs.
And it seemed like he was delving into that, trying to get her to accept that legal philosophy. How did he do?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, I just thought it was totally fascinating as well, because you really had two different approaches to how one defines law and defines justice.
And the Declaration of Independence, as Coburn very cleverly pointed out, sort of is a bridge between those two theories, because, you know, there is one theory that says that we are a government of laws, not of men, and our judges should only limit themselves to interpreting the Constitution and laws of the United States.
That's the point Elena Kagan was making. What Senator Coburn was saying, an equally distinguished school of thought, is that there are certain natural rights, inalienable rights, that do not come from the government, that simply either come from God or come from the existence of humans in the world.
And the famous opening of the Declaration of Independence, which speaks of certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, was more than a decade before the Constitution even came into existence.
So, the question is, do you get rights from the Declaration of Independence? That has never been really settled completely by the Supreme Court.
SANCHEZ: Well, what's interesting...
TOOBIN: So, I mean...
SANCHEZ: ... as a Christian, Jeff, as a Christian, I mean -- and as a Catholic in my case -- I mean, I get what Saint Thomas Aquinas was trying to say with, you know (SPEAKING SPANISH) and the natural laws that God gives us and, you know, his whole legal philosophy about that.
But what if there was somebody on the court who wasn't a Christian and brought his argument from perhaps another religion, which he would have the right to be on our court, because you could be a Muslim and be on our court? You could be Jewish. You could be Catholic. You could be anything you want, right?
So, I guess what she is saying is, you don't want me to go there, do you, Senator? I mean, it's almost like what she was saying.
TOOBIN: That's right. That's exactly what she was saying.
And, you know, there are -- there is a whole rule of religious rights -- of religious laws that various religions have, whether it involves not eating certain kinds of food or not working over the Sabbath. I mean, those are religious laws that come from God.
But those laws have never been thought to be enforceable in any court in the United States, because it's a totally separate system. But it is also true that there are some judges and some senators, it appears like Coburn, who believe that, in addition to the Constitution and laws of the United States, judges should be bound by natural law.
And he quoted Blackstone, who was a famous English legal writer from the period right before the American Revolution. And he said, he -- the section he read said, you know, the right to protect yourself, the right to have a weapon is not something that the government gives you. You have that right naturally because of the natural law.
And that discussion, whether all laws come just sort of from your status as a human being or from the laws of the United States, Constitution, laws, precedents of the court, that's really the discussion they were having. And it was really -- I thought it was profound.
SANCHEZ: Me, too.
SANCHEZ: Me, too. I mean, I was sitting here starry-eyed, thinking that I was actually back at the University of Minnesota listening to my professor talking about these things. And I did find it fascinating.
And I think it is -- it is an interesting discussion, the kind of conversation that maybe more Americans should have. Jeff, you're the best. Thanks for hanging in there for us. We will -- I don't know if you have got to get going. If you do, we certainly understand it. We're going to follow a little bit more of what's...
TOOBIN: Are you kidding?
SANCHEZ: Are you going to stick around?
TOOBIN: Rick, this is the nerd Super Bowl. I am happy to stay.
TOOBIN: I love it, man.
SANCHEZ: The nerd Super Bowl. Let me write that down.
SANCHEZ: I appreciate it.
SANCHEZ: All right. We will be sticking around with more of Elena Kagan, but we do have to get a break in, because I promised these guys I would pay some bills, you know, the suits here at CNN.
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has managed to keep her career relatively free from controversy -- more on that when we come back.
SANCHEZ: Stay right there.
SANCHEZ: Maybe more friendly questioning, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is now asking questions of Elena Kagan. Let's dip back in.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: ... to end this discussion that was sparked by Senator Coburn's going back to 1980. Do you think women are more free to pursue some of their career goals now than they were in 1980, given the numbers that we see?
KAGAN: I think that there's no question that women have greater opportunities now, although they could be made greater still.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. One last point I just wanted to make. There still continues to be a lot of focus on the recruiting -- military recruiting. I think you made very clear that at no time were the recruiters banned from the Harvard campus and that, in fact -- I think you've mentioned, I don't want to put words in your mouth -- that the military recruiting -- the numbers went up. More people were recruited during the time you were there. Is that right?
KAGAN: You know, I don't want to make too much of this.
KAGAN: The numbers were, you know, basically stable. There was certainly no drop in the particular year in question. There was actually a slight uptick. But it seems to me that if you look over the whole history, both before I was dean and after I was dean, what it suggests is that the difference between military recruitment being done under the kind of auspices of the Office of Career Services and being done under the auspices of the veterans organization just didn't make a difference.
KLOBUCHAR: OK. And I just -- you know, and numbers are always interesting and important but for me sometimes, what people say that would work with someone like you is important. And I know that the chairman put this letter in from a student, Robert Merrill (ph), who had served in Iraq. In his own words, he went from fighting in the streets of Fallujah to studying in the hallowed halls of Harvard law school.
And he talked about -- in this op-ed that was in "The Washington Post," he talked about how students pretty much treated him the same as other students, except for a few silly questions, how most of the faculty members were fine but didn't really acknowledge what had happened, but you had acknowledged his service.
And he ended by saying this. He says, "She was decidedly against `Don't ask, don't tell,' but that never affected her treatment of those who had served." He says, "I am confident she is looking forward to the upcoming confirmation hearings as an opportunity to engage in some intellectual sparring with members of Congress."
He says, "She treated the veterans at Harvard like VIPs, and she was a fervent advocate of our veterans association." And then he says, when he talks about the sparring with members of Congress -- and I'll end with this -- he says, "I would especially warn the members of Congress to do their homework, as she has a reputation for annihilating the unprepared."
KLOBUCHAR: I think that's a good ending. You've done a wonderful job. Thank you very much.
KAGAN: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIR: Thank you very much.
SANCHEZ: All right, there you go, Amy Klobuchar finishing up. Let's get a break in. Let me just bring Toobs in. I know he was listening to that. I didn't see anything -- I mean, you know, I hate to sound like I'm raining on somebody's parade here, but I didn't hear anything particularly noteworthy or newsworthy there, did you? TOOBIN: No. I mean, one of the themes of this confirmation hearing has been Republicans accusing Kagan of being demeaning to the military through the recruiting policies at Harvard law school, and Senator Klobuchar, a Democrat of Minnesota, is trying to argue that, in fact, she was very supportive of the veterans there but just didn't like the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. That debate has been going on for three days. And I think the points made there were not new, but some people may not have heard them.
SANCHEZ: Yes, it's almost like she's throwing her a lifeline. By the way, here, you get to repeat. I'll give you some time to repeat your point of view in an argument with Jeff Sessions of Alabama and his point of view, I think something that's very much on the record already.
All right, let's take a break here. Some are saying this lawsuit reads like a familiar movie plot. Michael Douglas's ex-wife wants a piece of "Wall Street 2," the movie? And you're not going to believe this. I might bring want to Toobs into this, as well. What do you think, Brooke? Walk in here. Come on. I want Jeffrey to know who I'm talking about. What are you doing over here?
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm here.
SANCHEZ: Well, this Michael Vick thing...
BALDWIN: I just got off the phone with the restaurant.
SANCHEZ: Did you?
BALDWIN: I got good stuff.
SANCHEZ: Because this story changes every day. First he wasn't there. Then he was. Police didn't want to interview him. Now they do. This thing's looking like it could be real trouble for this guy.
BALDWIN: It might be.
SANCHEZ: Again! We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: Stories that are trending -- that means that everybody's talking about them on the Internet, on the Googles.
BALDWIN: On the Internets.
SANCHEZ: So Michael Douglas and Michael Vick.
BALDWIN: Right, the two Michaels today, oddly enough, in the trending block. Let's begin, shall we, with...
SANCHEZ: With Douglas.
BALDWIN: Let's begin with Michael Douglas. And of course, you remember this famous flick. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: "Greed is good." Ah, yes! It became kind of iconic words from the '87 movie. But that is not the only word on Michael Douglas's mind right now. The other word, "spinoff," because the meaning of just that one word might be leading to a possible payout, this massive payout, that's his -- for his ex-wife. There she is, Diandra Douglas.
Now, in this divorce contract from 10 years ago, which, by the way, was huge by Hollywood standards, would (ph) say (ph) that she actually gets half of what he makes from any spinoff from a film he made before they divorced. Follow me? So "Wall Street" now -- now he's is making -- is it a spinoff, is it a sequel? Let's just call it part 2, "Wall Street Part 2," this is "Money Never Sleeps." It actually comes out in September. And it all boils down to the language here. Michael Douglas is apparently saying that this is a sequel, not a spinoff of "Wall Street"...
SANCHEZ: What's the difference?
BALDWIN: ... from '87. Well, if you talk to some attorneys, one says a spinoff may be more of a TV term. Sequel may be a movie term. So that's what they have to figure out. You know...
SANCHEZ: Here's how I would define it. She says it's a spinoff. He says it's a sequel.
BALDWIN: He says it's a sequel. He says, I'm not giving you more money. I talked to his side. They're pretty confident. They're not too concerned. They're confident with the case. But it continues on. And keep in mind she got $25 million from him 10 years ago in the divorce.
SANCHEZ: That's fascinating. That's like, do you know the difference between a boat and a yacht?
BALDWIN: The yacht's really, really big and frou-frou?
SANCHEZ: No. This is a joke. You ready?
SANCHEZ: If you can afford it, it's a boat. If you can't, it's a yacht.
BALDWIN: It's a yacht.
SANCHEZ: All right, let's talk about Michael Vick. BALDWIN: Michael Vick, OK. So police are investigating this, as is the NFL. We're talking about a possible suspension here. Michael Vick -- we reported this yesterday, about the shooting at his 30th birthday party at a Virginia Tech restaurant. Now, his lawyer is coming out and saying Michael Vick left the restaurant sometime before the shooting, sometime -- I'm hearing 20 minutes, I'm hearing possibly an hour.
But here's the new information -- I literally three minutes ago got off the phone with the restaurant where he was.
BALDWIN: And one of the managers told me they took a look at the surveillance video because, of course, they're handing the surveillance video over to the police. And you can look at the timeline on the surveillance video. And at 2:00 AM last Friday morning is when you can see Michael Vick actually leaving the restaurant, shaking hands, giving autographs. 2:07 AM is reportedly when he hops in the car, drives away. 2:10 AM is when, according to the police report, the shooting happened.
So do the math. We're talking, like, three minutes here, kind of conflicting, police versus what the restaurant is saying...
SANCHEZ: There's a lot of stuff going on.
BALDWIN: ... versus his attorney.
SANCHEZ: There's a lot of stuff going on here. A, I understand his parole was that he's not supposed to hang out with felons.
SANCHEZ: The guy who was shot was someone he knew...
BALDWIN: One of the co-defendants.
SANCHEZ: ... who was a felon. Two, the NFL had told him, Don't hang out with any of the people associated with the dog case. Don't go to nightclubs. Be careful where you go.
BALDWIN: Code of conduct. Don't violate it.
SANCHEZ: The code of -- right. So we've got two things working against him here. C, we're told the police had no interest in talking to him because he had nothing to do with the shooting. Now we're being told police are interested in talking to him, and in fact, may have already interviewed him.
BALDWIN: We don't know.
SANCHEZ: We don't know, but...
BALDWIN: We don't know.
SANCHEZ: But that's out there, as well.
SANCHEZ: So all of a sudden, this thing is starting to come back to Michael Vick. And let's bring Jeffrey Toobin in here. What -- what -- I know from a PR standpoint, it doesn't look good for him. But from a legal standpoint or from a career standpoint...
TOOBIN: There's an understatement!
SANCHEZ: ... what are we dealing with? Yes.
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, the facts matter. I mean, you also forgot the authority of your mother and my mother, who always said, Nothing good ever happens...
BALDWIN: After midnight.
TOOBIN: ... after 2:00 in the morning.
TOOBIN: And I mean, really...
SANCHEZ: And you're only as good as the people you hang out with.
TOOBIN: ... what good is it...
TOOBIN: Exactly. Now, if I just may say, I have a bit of a history in this case because when I was covering it for "AC 360," I got criticized for being a little insensitive to the nature of the crime. So I brought my dog, Thunder, with me on the air to prove how much I love dogs. And so I have a special association with the Michael Vick case.
But you know, the thing that's important here is he's still on supervised release, which is the federal term for parole, which means it's not just that he doesn't have to commit crimes, because everybody has to obey the law...
TOOBIN: ... he has additional requirements -- not associating with felons, as you say, not associating with the people who are involved in the dog fighting business. So you know, he's got a serious problem even if he had nothing to do with any of these crimes.
He also has a serious problem in that his career appears to be in a tailspin anyway. He played for the Eagles last year. He barely got in any games. He's getting old by football standards. So it's not like anybody's really super looking to cut him breaks at this point.
SANCHEZ: The shame of it is -- and I'll just state it. You know, I'm a big football fan. I've followed him since the NCAA.
TOOBIN: So am I.
SANCHEZ: He has been on his absolute...
BALDWIN: Best behavior.
SANCHEZ: ... best behavior. His interviews have been fantastic. There was nothing they had found that could possibly lead you to believe that there was anything questionable about him until this. I mean, it was a blank slate until now, and suddenly, everybody's talking about it.
TOOBIN: Huge questions, NFL investigative, too, as me mentioned. He could be facing suspension because of potential violations, in addition to police. We'll have to see.
SANCHEZ: We'll look at it.
All right, let's take a break. We're going to get a little -- we're going to pay some bills. We're going to be right back in just a little bit because one of my heroes, Larry King, announced last night that he's leaving. And we couldn't let this go without an opportunity to play some of the best of Larry King. We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: And are you ready? Three, two, one, smile! You are on live television. There we go. These are our peeps today, our crowd. Wave, everybody! America, say hello. There you go. Good to see you guys.
Listen, did you guys see what happened last night? Did you know? Did you -- were you surprised? Larry King last night announced that, as he would say, It's over. It's over! For 25 years, he sat in the same place at the same time every weeknight on your TV. Last night, Larry King tweeted this, "Announcing tonight I'm ending my nightly show this fall but continuing at CNN." Larry added he'll do specials, but wants to spend more time with his wife and two young sons.
Now, let me stop right there because there's another tweet that just came in a little while ago from somebody who's also in our family, our Time Warner family. Look at Conan O'Brien with a chip on his shoulder. Not a chip on his shoulder, a chimp on his shoulder. He says Larry King is retiring after hosting "LARRY KING LIVE" for 25 years. You ready? Here comes the joke. "Personally, I think hosting anything longer than seven months is overkill." Get it? That's about how long he did it.
All right, here's a tribute to my man, my Miami guy, Larry King. As I tweeted last night, this is the guy who earned his -- his gravitas, his credibility, and did it the old-fashioned way. Let's take a look back.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": My name is Larry King and this is the premiere edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Every night at this time, we'll be here for one hour. We're going to meet fascinating people from all walks of life.
Ted Turner called me -- So Larry, you want to come work for me? You'll work at 9:00 o'clock until 10:00 every night. It's your show. My agent was the late Bob Woolf. Bob called me up and says, it ain't a bad deal. He's giving you nice money, same as your radio money. You're doubling your pay. They've given you an option. If at the end of a year, you're unhappy, you can bail out. So I said, I'll try it. I tried it.
The favorite guests are those who can do four things. And that would be you have passion, a sense of humor, anger, an ability to explain what you do very well.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN, PRES., TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Larry, all of the interviews you've done, what's been your favorite?
KING: If I had to pick one out -- there are so many -- it would probably be Brando. One because he's so hard to get. He entertained the entire crew. He was sweet. He was funny. At the end of the interview, he kissed me. He was responsive. He was an incredible guest.
I like live TV and I like unpredictability. You react to unpredictability. You react unpredictably. There's nothing wrong with that.
CARRIE PREJEAN, MISS CALIFORNIA: You're being inappropriate.
KING: All right, inappropriate King live continues.
Ahmadinejad. That was something.
Are you denying that a Holocaust existed?
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRES. OF IRAN (through translator): You cannot violate the rights of...
KING: I understand that. But all I wanted to know is, do you agree that there was a Holocaust? That's a simple yes or no.
PRISCILLA PRESLEY, ELVIS PRESLEY'S WIDOW: Hello, Larry King.
KING: Hello, Priscilla, dear. Thank you for having us.
PRESLEY: Welcome to Graceland.
KING: That's the most expensive "LARRY KING LIVE" I've ever done -- the expense of going there, the amount of crew setting up, Graceland, renting that Cadillac.
I like doing presidents, of course, because you can't get any higher than that.
Do you still like this job?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the best job on earth. I mean, it's -- it's an extraordinary privilege.
KING: George Bush, the first, one of the regular guys of all time.
Being a former president, seeing your name on buildings, what's that like?
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I see these things, it's great.
KING: Is it hard to drive by the Watergate?
RICHARD M. NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I've never been in the Watergate, so it's not a hard...
KING: Never been in? Never in the restaurant?
NIXON: No, no. Other people were in there, though, unfortunately.
KING: I live for two things, interviewing people and being on top of a story where I'm in the middle of things.
He's on route 5, he's on route 405. And I'm following a map to know where he's going.
He's driven through two counties, and we've followed him all the way.
America under attack!
I found myself at Ground Zero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the north tower. That was the south tower.
KING: I knew that my life had changed. I knew television would change.
MARLON BRANDO, ACTOR: (SINGING) When the chapel bells ring out...
KING: (SINGING) Want to make him an offer he can't refuse...
BRANDO: Darling, good-bye.
SANCHEZ: All right, welcome back. We got a lot of stuff going on. First of all, a hurricane is about to hit the northern part of Mexico.
SANCHEZ: And the effect it's going to have on the oil is significant.
WILLIAMS: It is.
SANCHEZ: Now, we got some video that I wanted to show you. And we've got so much going on, we had to push it back. This is a guy last night flying over -- no, several days ago...
SANCHEZ: ... flying over the oil, and he describes it. Let's listen to just a little bit of what he's talking about. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WATHEN, HURICANE CREEKKEEPER: From the size of these fires, it seems as though we're not only trying to kill everything in the Gulf of Mexico but everything that flies over it, as well. This toxic environment can't be good for the birds that fly over the gulf, and certainly, nothing can live in these rainbows of death that cover the entire horizon.
Then we found this guy. A sperm whale swimming in the oil had just breached. Along his back we could see red patches of crude as if he had been basted for broiling. Then there was this pod of dolphins found later, some already dead, some in their death throes. It seemed to be that they were raising their heads and looking at the fires, wondering, Why is my world burning down around me? Why would humans do this to me?
As we approach Chandeleur Islands, I wasn't surprised to see patches of oil along the beach. Given the difficulty in putting boom out and making it stay along these islands, it's going to be impossible to try and keep the oil out. I shudder to think what's going to happen when a storm does come through here. All the oil that we've just flown over will be alongside this, the marshes, and all of this boom that you see now will be piled up on the shore, covered with oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I've seen a lot of reporters cover this story. You and I talk about it every day. I've yet to hear someone sound so clear and succinct in describing what's going on there. And to hear him kind of talking from his heart as we look at those pictures -- I mean, I don't know how you felt, but it kind of had an effect on me.
MYERS: Quite sobering... SANCHEZ: Yes.
MYERS: ... when you see that whale.
SANCHEZ: Now you start thinking about -- as you look at the pictures from abroad (ph) -- did you guys feel the same way? I mean, when you were watching those pictures and you saw this (INAUDIBLE) -- we talk about these things and we quantify it every day, but when you actually look at it and you see the whale or you see -- you start going, Oh, man! What's going on there?
When we come back, I want you to explain how all that oil in different places is affected by the winds from the hurricane itself.
MYERS: Oh, yes.
SANCHEZ: All right, let's do that. We'll be right back. Stay with us. RICK's LIST continues.
SANCHEZ: All right, here's Chad with that explanation in the gulf. Take it away.
MYERS: Well, I have a little bit of help here to show me where the eye of the hurricane is, Alex, and where New Orleans is, 539 miles away. And the waves are 6 to 8 feet because of this, almost 600 miles away, in this area that has been so devastated.
Now, let's take you right into where this plane was flying over. He talked about the Chandeleur Isles and the (INAUDIBLE) isles. We're talking about that area right through here. And then we're going to talk all the way from Pensacola back over here. This is the area that we already know that have oiled beaches. Down here on the southern point, this is where the Mississippi comes out, below that and west of the Mississippi, all the way over to Grand Isle, we know there's oil here.
All of this wind coming in this direction, Rick, all of that oil he flew over and showed you that was offshore -- by tomorrow night and into the weekend will be onshore if those booms can't hold it back.
SANCHEZ: That's not what we wanted to hear, but nonetheless, we're glad you're explaining it to us, Chad. We appreciate it.
That's it for us. Thanks so much for being with us. I'm Rick Sanchez. This is RICK'S LIST. "THE SITUATION ROOM" is up next with Suzanne Malveaux.