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Supreme Court to Rule on Same Sex Marriage Cases; Texas Abortion Bill Filibustered; Nelson Mandela in Critical Condition; Zimmerman Trial Continues; Re-Cap of Yesterday's Zimmerman Trial Developments
Aired June 26, 2013 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will hopefully have the same rights as everyone else and be able to marry the person that we love.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The historic day. The Supreme Court set to announce the fate of same-sex marriage within hours. Thousands gathering as the nation waits. Will they make it legal for all?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: A family's pain. Trayvon Martin's father walks out of court after a day of dramatic testimony in the trial of George Zimmerman. What do these crime scene photos prove?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And, plane crazy. The dramatic video of a woman being dragged off a plane by authorities all because she wouldn't turn off her cell phone. What really happened?
CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The voice of the people who are in the capital gallery tonight could not be silenced.
ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.
This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.
BOLDUAN: Good morning, everybody. And welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, June 26th. I'm Kate Bolduan.
CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo as always with our news anchor, Michaela Pereira. It is 7:00 in the east and we are in the middle of 30 minutes of commercial-free news.
Chaos overnight in Texas over a controversial abortion bill, lawmakers unable to tell they have voted on it. How did things get so out of control?
BOLDUAN: Then a group of boy scouts recovering after their shelter was struck by lightning. What should you do in a similar situation? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here with help.
PEREIRA: And you know you really can find a whole lot of things on a kiosk. How about a flash mob proposal? We will show you and tell you about it.
CUOMO: We start this morning with the Supreme Court expected to issue historic decisions on same-sex marriage that will affect millions across the country. The nation's highest court will rule on legal challenges to the federal Defensive of Marriage Act and California's controversial Proposition 8. A crowd is gathering today in Washington outside the Supreme Court building waiting for those decisions to be handed down. That's where CNN's Joe Johns is right now.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Chris. Some people have been camped out here all night long waiting to get a seat to hear the same- sex marriage rulings. Of course this is about two cases before the United States Supreme Court. First one is the Defense of Marriage Act, whether the federal government can take away benefits from same- sex couples, the second case, Proposition 8, about whether the state of California, can take away the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Of course we say we are hoping for a decision here because there is always a chance the court could punt on one of these cases. Nonetheless, the two couples in the Proposition 8 case have been here since Monday going to the court. I saw them. They walked right in front of me just yesterday. And, unfortunately, at least for them, yesterday, they got to hear a case on the voting rights act. Chris?
CUOMO: All right, Joe, that's good to know what's going on. It is going to be a big day when the decisions come. We have to figure out what they mean.
BOLDUAN: It is going to be a big day, we know. Let's bring in CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin to talk more about this. He's the author of "The Oath, The Obama White House and the Supreme Court." Jeffrey, we could spend a lot of time talking about the Voting Rights Acts, which is what they got yesterday, but I think we've got to talk about today. So we've got these two big cases before the court. When you heard arguments, though, on these cases, did the justices tip their hand which way they are leaning?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: A little bit. In the Proposition 8 case, which looked like it was going to be the big case, they looked like they were trying to find a way out. I think everybody knows, including the justices, that same-sex marriage is going to come to California regardless of what the Supreme Court does. Proposition 8 is going to be overturned by the voters if it gets to that.
The really big case today I think is the Defense of Marriage Act case because that's a case with enormous practical significance for thousands of married same-sex couples all over the country in the 12 states and the District of Columbia that have it. If that case stands, these people are going to be penalized unlike any other married couples. And if it is overturned, they are going to be treated under federal law like everyone else. That's the case that I think looks like the case today.
CUOMO: But with both cases, Jeffrey, it seems to be you are suggesting that the court could make the same point. The federal government will not make the law for all. Let this be state by state. Fair?
TOOBIN: Right. And that is an argument, the state's rights argument, that often appeals to Anthony Kennedy who is so often the swing vote in these cases. I don't think anyone doubts that the four Democratic appointees to the court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan will vote for same-sex marriage rights. The question is, will they get a fifth vote?
And Anthony Kennedy is someone who has been pro-gay rights in the past. He has also been someone who says the federal government shouldn't tell the states what to do. That combination suggests that Kennedy might be a fifth vote to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act because it interferes with gay rights and also interferes with state's right to determine what marriage is in their state.
BOLDUAN: And no matter what the justices decide, when they decide, we will have some answers. At the same time, especially as it relates to the Defense of Marriage Act, what the justices rule on today, could create a lot of confusion across the country with regard to states who allow same-sex marriage and states that don't on this federal question.
TOOBIN: Looking ahead, you put your finger on the big legal controversy to come. Think about this. What about a couple, two men who were married in Massachusetts, who moved to Alabama. They have a child. They want to get divorced. Do they get divorced in Alabama? What happens to custody of their children? Cases like that are springing up all over the country. And that's the next frontier for the gay rights struggle is what happens in the states that don't have same-sex marriage. This is the United States. People move. People get divorced. All of those controversies are starting to work their way through the courts. And sooner rather than later, they will wind up here at the Supreme Court.
BOLDUAN: That's the expectation we will be hearing about in three hours we'll finally get a decision on these landmark cases. We'll be back to you, Jeff, as well as Joe Johns at the Supreme Court. Thanks so much.
Another interesting story we have been following this morning, chaos in the Texas state capital where senators there went late into the night to vote on a controversial abortion bill. State Senator Wendy Davis tried to prevent the vote with a filibuster that went on for 11 hours. She was ordered to stop. The lawmakers still didn't begin voting on the measure until after the midnight deadline had passed. Pretty confusing, isn't it? Nick Valencia is live CNN Center in Atlanta trying to explain all of this. Hi, Nick.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. No one knew which way it was going to go. It was a crazy night. In the end, it came down to a missed deadline and a marathon filibuster. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
VALENCIA: Chanting in the middle of the night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will suspend the roll call vote until we can get order.
VALENCIA: Chaos on the Texas Senate floor.
WENDY DAVIS, TEXAS STATE SENATOR: I am in town to speak for an extended period of time on the bill.
VALENCIA: Democrat, Wendy Davis, took the Senate floor at 11:18 in the morning. The goal, filibuster for some 13 hours until midnight when the special session of the legislation would expire. The focus, a political charged measure that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of presidency and impose very strict standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them. Critics say it would close nearly every abortion clinic in the state.
Protesters on both sides of the debate filled the halls. Hour after hour, Davis spoke and spoke under strict rules of order. Three violations and the filibuster would come to an end. One by one, those violations came.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my understanding all questions have to be with regard to the body of the bill.
VALENCIA: She was cited for straying off topic. Strike two, a fellow senator helping her with a back brace. Then, after nearly 11 hours on the Senate floor.
DAVIS: I'm going through this bill analysis, because I have something to say.
VALENCIA: The filibuster was over. The drama was not. Democrats tried to run out the clock with procedural questions and the visitor's gallery erupted.
Then, Republicans gathered at the front of the chamber and started to vote on the abortion bill. But the roll call took place just after midnight. Democrats challenged the results saying they did not participate in the vote and it came too late.
Each side claimed victory until several hours later at about 3:00 a.m. local time. The lieutenant governor took the floor one last time to announce the bill had failed and the legislative session was officially over.
VALENCIA: Now, although the bill failed to meet the deadline, Texas Governor Rick Perry has the authority to call lawmakers back for another 30-day special session. If it does, it seems very unlikely Democrats will be able to fight off the bill again. Kate?
BOLDUAN: This fight clearly not over yet. Nick Valencia, thanks.
CUOMO: All that energy to avoid the vote. Why not spend the time trying to compromise and figure the bill in the first place?
BOLDUAN: And they can just bring it back up in another special session.
CUOMO: Politics at work.
Let's go to South Africa now. People there and around the world are anxiously praying for Nelson Mandela. The iconic civil rights hero hospitalized for weeks with a serious lung infection. The situation took a turn for the worse and he is now in critical condition. Let's bring in CNN's Robyn Curnow joining us live from Pretoria. Any word there recently, Robyn?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Chris. I've been standing outside this hospital for the last 19 days. The only recent information we got was on Sunday night saying Mandela was still on the critical list.
What's also changing here, behind me, a lot more people seem to be congregating around the entrance to this hospital, more and more media are coming camp out essentially on this pavement, people really worried, concerned that this is the end. Newspapers talk about Mandela's final battle.
And also crucially, we understand that Mandela's wife has been receiving counseling and support from the archbishop of Cape Town. He released the contents of a prayer he said with her last night. I'm going to read it to you. Some of it, he said, "Grant Mandela eternal healing and relief from pain and suffering." And crucially, they said together, "Grant him a quiet night and a peaceful, perfect end."
CUOMO: All right, Robyn, thank you very much for the latest. We are watching, hoping for good news but not looking great right now. Thank you very much.
BOLDUAN: This morning, President Obama and his family leave in under two hours for their three nation African tour. Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania are on the list. You might remember president visited Ghana back in 2009. Let's head out to CNN's White House correspondent Dan Lothian with a little preview. This trip obviously preplanned taking on a bigger significance in light of the condition of Nelson Mandela.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You're right. And this is the first extended trip to the African continent for the president. Seven days they will be visiting Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
The Obama administration really views Africa as an important emerging region in the world. And so there will be a lot of talk about the economic opportunities in Africa. Expect to hear officials focus on things like trade, about investment opportunities. Aides say the president will talk about how private sector has been pushing the country to get more engaged in that region. The president will also talk about building stronger democracies, about the role that young people could play in the future of Africa. As you pointed out, the last time that the president went to sub- Sahara Africa was in 2009. But now as he returns to Africa, everybody concerned about the health of nelson Mandela. This is someone whom the president considers to be one of his heroes. Aides at the White House say they are closely monitoring the situation, staying in touch with the Mandela family. Kate?
BOLDUAN: That will definitely be hanging over that trip the whole time wondering how Nelson Mandela is doing. Dan Lothian, great to see you, thanks so much.
CUOMO: So we are barely into summertime and it couldn't be hotter. A large portion of the country is dealing with rising temperatures. A big question now, any relief in sight?
BOLDUAN: As always there's a lot of news developing this hour. So let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.
PEREIRA: All right, good morning to you both. Good morning to all of you at home.
Making headlines this morning, police in Columbia have arrested four people accused of killing a DEA agent during an attempted robbery. The U.S. will ask that they be extradited. This has not formerly happened. Special Agent James Terry Watson was on temporary duty in Bogota while he died after he was stabbed in a cab last week. Two more suspects reportedly on the loose.
The House oversight committee holds another IRS hearing in Washington today. Lawmakers want to know if a Virginia computer network security company acted inappropriately to obtain contracts worth nearly $500 million from the IRS. A committee report claims an official used his friendship with an IRS official to illegally secure those contracts.
An Oklahoma teen who vanished in Ecuador may have been spotted. Investigators say they received a credible tip that August Reiger was seen in a pickup truck headed to the Amazon jungle. He was hiking in central Ecuador 10 days ago when he went ahead of the group and disappeared. August's family insists he would not take off on his own. A police unit specializing in kidnapping is now on the case
Call it a case of mom versus Monster. A California woman has filed a lawsuit claiming the makers of Monster energy drink are responsible for the death of her teenage son. A 19-year-old Alex Morris died last year after going into cardiac arrest. His mother says he was addicted to the heavily caffeinated drink. This lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar suit involving a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died after drinking several cans of Monster.
This might seem, pun intended, utterly ridiculous, but an Indiana farmer's cows sleep on water beds. Sure, he says they're comfortable. They sleep better, and when they sleep better they produce more milk. Plus the farmer says there's an added benefit -- water beds are apparently easier to clean and maintain. Twelve other farmers in the area apparently agree. They say that their cows also prefer water beds.
BOLDUAN: Do you see that locator on that video? Where did it say it was from?
PERIERA: Is that your home town?
BOLDUAN: That said Goshen, Indiana. You know where I am from? Goshen, Indiana.
PERIERA: Those are your people! Water beds for all the cows.
BOLDUAN: See? Smart people. Best milk ever produced, Goshen, Indiana. I'm not biased at all.
PERIERA: Strong bones you have?
BOLDUAN: Yeah. See these muscles? We're not going to flex.
CUOMO: It turns out the bond between cow and farmer, stronger than even between owner and dog researchers say.
BOLDUAN: Really. Researchers say.
CUOMO: Dogs don't get water beds.
PERIERA: Dogs are also not producing milk for people to consume.
CUOMO: Yes, that is true, thank the lord.
Coming up on NEW DAY. courtroom fireworks in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. Dramatic pictures of the night Trayvon Martin was shot. What kind of impact will this have? It's a big trial. We are going to take you through it and have our experts here.
BOLDUAN: And here is the video of a woman getting out of control on a flight. Why police came in and dragged her off. Uh-oh.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY everyone. Emotions are running high in the George Zimmerman trial. Today, a judge is likely to decide whether to include calls Zimmerman made to police in the months leading up to Trayvon Martin's death in this trial. It follows a day of really graphic evidence and strong reaction from Trayvon Martin's family. CNN's George Howell is in Sanford, Florida, where the courthouse is. George, what do you know?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate good morning. We should get some sort of an answer on whether this jury will be able to hear these old 911 calls made by George Zimmerman. Tuesday, though, it is more about what they saw. Images that made for a very emotional day in that courtroom.
I want to warn you, what you are about to see may be disturbing.
HOWELL: It was too much for Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin had to leave the courtroom, leaving jurors and the public to see this, the lifeless body of their 17-year-old son. Some images too graphic for TV. They were shown during the testimony from Sergeant Anthony Raimondo, the second Sanford police officer to arrive at the scene who tried to perform CPR.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you able to get go a pulse?
SGT. ANTHONY RAIMONDO, SANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT: No, sir, I was not.
HOWELL: The state also called on police crime scene technician, Diane Smith. Jurors saw the evidence she collected like George Zimmerman's handgun, clothing, Skittles and the fruit drink Martin was carrying. Smith told prosecutors she couldn't find any blood on the sidewalk where Zimmerman said the teen slammed his head, but during cross- examination, her answer left room for the defense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were walking down the sidewalk with the flashlight, the idea was to see if there was obvious blood?
DIANE SMITH, POLICE CRIME SCENE TECHNICIAN: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, it was raining?
SMITH: That's correct.
HOWELL: In fact, the defense was able to turn the table on several of the state's witnesses, like Wendy Dorable (ph), who trained Zimmerman about neighborhood watch guidelines.
WENDY DORIVAL (ph), NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: He seemed like he really wanted to make changes in his community to make it better.
HOWELL: Saline Bahadoor told prosecutors she heard what sounded like running from left to right the night of the shooting, a detail the defense challenged her on as it was the first time she offered that version of events publicly on the record. Mark O'Mara further attacked Bahadoor's credibility by showcasing her online behavior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me what that says on your Facebook front page right there. Read that.
SELENE BAHADOOR, STATE WITNESS: Prosecute the killer of our son, 17- year-old Trayvon Martin. Sign the petition.
HOWELL: So Chris, Kate, this case is definitely moving at a fast clip. The witness we hear from today will be the tenth witness we have heard from so far. Keep this in mind, we still have yet to hear from witness number 8, that's the girlfriend who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin on the cell phone the night he was killed. Her testimony could prove to be a real challenge for the defense.
CUOMO: George, that's a good point. Obviously, this trial is going to come down to the moment of crisis. The trial seems to be building to that. What points have been made so far? Let's bring in our legal analyst Sunny Hostin who has been following this trial very closely and criminal defense attorney, Danny Cevallos. Great to have you both. Let's deal with the obvious. This trial, we know for sure, is going quickly from the prosecution's perspective, Sunny. Why?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's a good thing. I mean you want to try your case very leanly, you want to make the jury believe, listen this is not a complicated case. This is murder in the second degree. Here is the evidence. You can make a quick decision because this is a quick case. The jury always was told this would be about a two to four-week case. I have been in the courtroom and I've got to tell you I haven't seen a murder trial move this quickly. Prosecutor came out with an opening statement, only 32 minutes as opposed to an almost three hour opening statement by the defense. Now, you have almost 10 witnesses in two days. It has been remarkably fast. That's the prosecution's way to go.
CUOMO: From the defense perspective, does that mean they got nothing? That's why they're going through? What does it mean for the defense?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I don't think it necessarily means that. I think procedurally, this just seems to be a case that's moving faster. I don't think it's necessarily good or bad for the prosecution. They still have to meet their burden (ph). We're seeing a lot of preliminary witnesses at this point. I think the defense is scoring some points. Just because they are moving along relatively quickly doesn't demonstrate the prosecution has any particular strength in this case.
CUOMO: Now, Sunny made an interesting point. This is a second-degree murder case. It is one of the big controversies in the charging here by the prosecutors. Why? Because that means in Florida law, you must show depraved mind, evil intent. That's where Selene Bahadoor comes in. She says, I heard running left to right. We hadn't heard it before. Seems to imply a chase.
HOSTIN: It seems to imply a chase. That's I think why the defense was taken so off guard. They were so upset about it and Mark O'Mara really went after that witness, which you usually don't see. I mean the witness didn't want to see anything that night. She was at home. And so, she is on the witness stand in a high-profile case. He really went after her, but he had to. If she is right and if she heard this running, what does that do for the defense? That's a huge blow to the defense, because we know witness number 8 did say, listen I told him to run. He said, I'm not going to run but I'm going to walk quickly. That's what Trayvon Martin allegedly said. And if you have someone else now tying that in saying, I heard running, implies chase, implies first aggressor, George Zimmerman.
CUOMO: And then that may lead you to depraved, evil intent. The prosecution said he did this because he wanted to. Balancing out on the other side Wendy Dorival come up and says, George Zimmerman didn't want to be a part of the police. He said no to an offer I made to him on the community side suggesting he wasn't this cop wannnabe. Vigilante, the prosecutors say. How did that play for defense?
CEVALLOS: I thought that was terrific for the defense for exactly those reasons. Now, remember this is the prosecution's witness. And then on cross, they enlisted the fact that George Zimmerman, their entire theory of the case is that George Zimmerman is a wannabe cop. They are painting him as a character. And if their own witness cannot have George Zimmerman conform to that character they've created, then the prosecution's case slowly begins to unravel. I think that was a major moment for the defense, because it was the prosecution's own witness. She testifies that George Zimmerman, he wasn't a hard-core wannabe cop. He was somebody who was concerned about his community. He declined the offer to do a ride-around with citizens with the amber lights on top.
CUOMO: So we're building to a moment h of crisis. And one of the things the prosecution wants to show is state of mind. Where was George Zimmerman's head when he entered into the situation? That's why these previous 911 calls could be so important. Why, Sunny?
HOSTIN: Yeah, they're so important. And I think depraved mind. Any time you have to prove intent as a prosecutor, the burden is on you. You have to get into someone's mind. How do you do that? Well, we now know that George Zimmerman made several calls to 911 before the trial. I think it was reported at several dozens. And now we're hearing he always said "suspicious," "black," "male," "young." You have four to six phone calls saying the same thing. Then, I think the prosecution is going to try to say that's why he thought Trayvon Martin was young, black, suspicious, up to no good, possibly on drugs, and ultimately decided to follow him because he had had enough. These punks, they always get away and George Zimmerman decided at that point he's not going to get away.
CUOMO: A pre-defined enemy, which would show intent, but Danny Cevallos is shaking his head. Because?
CEVALLOS: A couple reasons. Number one, those prior calls probably shouldn't come in because they are probably improper character evidence. What you did a week ago, two weeks ago, is not germane who what is happening in this trial. The other thing, too, is that with a case like this, depraved heart (ph) murder is defined. If you look at jury instructions, the example is given of driving your car into a crowd, knowing it is substantially certain that death is going to occur, and is the prosecution going to be able to meet its burden that when George Zimmerman stepped out of that car and was looking around his neighborhood while on the phone with 911, that those acts, the acts the prosecution will prove, were substantially certain to cause someone's death such that he had that depraved heart? That's a high burden.
CUOMO: Doesn't have to be when he comes out of the car though. It all comes down to that moment when he and Trayvon Martin are in physical confrontation. (CROSSTALK)
CEVALLOS: We do not know. And if we don't know, the prosecution hasn't met its burden.
CUOMO: Beyond a reasonable doubt. Obviously the standard. Very well laid out by both of you. Thank you very much. This is a complicated situation coming down, Kate, to this one moment of crisis when this young man and George Zimmerman faced off and one of them wound up dead.
BOLDUAN: It is all leading up to that moment. That's for sure.
Still ahead on NEW DAY. a woman who won't turn off her cell phone gets dragged off a plane and of course, it is all caught on another cell phone. We have the whole story coming up next.
Also, 23 boy scouts are back at camp this morning after getting struck by lightning. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will tell you what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.