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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trayvon Martin's Friend Testifies; Major Victories For Same-Sex Marriage Backers; Supreme Court Dismissed Prop 8 Appeal; Aaron Hernandez Charged with Murder; Confusion Over Snowden Middle Name
Aired June 26, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: George Zimmerman, we're continuing to watch the trial right now. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
A key witness, Rachel Jeantel, she's reading some testimony that she provided earlier. She's going through it according to the requirements from the Zimmerman defense team. They're asking her to go back and read it.
We're going to continue to watch what's going on. We'll have all the day's other news.
But let's go back and see if this testimony from this key witness, the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin, other than Zimmerman himself, as she testified. She was a close friend of the young teenager, who was killed.
Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can do that on your redirect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So do you remember being in the deposition?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we were asking (INAUDIBLE) for --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Jeantel, do you remember being in deposition in Miami --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- in -- on Wednesday, March 13th, and we were talking about this same subject?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I asked you what George Zimmerman said in response to Trayvon Martin saying, "Why are you following me?" And we actually played the recording of that section, do you remember that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And --
JEANTEL: And I had told you and then said on the depo paper that you have right now that I had rushed on the interview between me (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- that you have there, that I have.
JEANTEL: Rush on the interview between me and Carl (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. So I -- I got what your explanation is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- as to why you may have said something or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But specifically, when you were in the deposition under oath --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- having heard the recording, I asked you, on the recording, did you say, "The man is like what you talking about?." And your answer was, "Yes, I did say that."
Can I see it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Um-hmm.
JEANTEL: Can I see it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.
I'm referring to you, again, to Line 15, that says, "Play it again." And we played a portion of the audio. And I said to you, "Is that what you said?"
And your answer was, "Yes. If I said in the recording, that's what I said."
And I said on the recording, did you say, "The man is like what you talking about?"
And your answer was, "Yes, I did say that." Do you remember that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you acknowledge that those were your answers that day to the questions that we just read?
JEANTEL: It might have been. It might have been, because we're having the same issue with my voice so --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might have been. I couldn't hear what you said.
JEANTEL: It might have been because then if I said yes (INAUDIBLE) --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) it might have been.
Speak into the microphone, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So is that your answer or not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what you are saying is that, indeed, what you told Mr. Crump in this recorded interview, that what George Zimmerman said in response to him saying, "What, you following me?" or "Why are you following me?," George Zimmerman said, "What are you talking about?"
JEANTEL: Oh, that's what you're talking about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, I think we'll have to address the recording itself.
Should I --
JEANTEL: I had told you -- are you listening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am.
JEANTEL: I had told you what happened to me in the Crump interview. I had a rush on it.
Are you listening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more time.
I'm sorry. I was distracted.
You told me what?
JEANTEL: I had told you, during the interview between me and Crump, I had a rush on it. And before that interview, I had told my mom that have any -- if the officer wanted to talk to me, they could talk to me to know exactly what happened. And I had told you that on the depo. And I had told you -- and they sent it right down rush. I had told you I had a rush on me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say you rushed on it, you mean you hadn't thought it through carefully to be sure that you spoke --
JEANTEL: I just told him the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you (INAUDIBLE) -- that you told the truth?
JEANTEL: -- the Trayvon part (INAUDIBLE) told the Trayvon part.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying that you rushed through it and you didn't think about it carefully enough to be sure that you told it accurately?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to move on to something else, because we don't have time today to deal with the recording or the video deposition.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead and ask the questions as you see fit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
JEANTEL: No, I'm doing all right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Jeantel, I'd like to also talk with you briefly at this time about the 911 call with the screams for help.
Do you remember that call?
JEANTEL: Yes. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was the recording that was made by one of the people -- I'm sorry, that was the recording that was made by emergency services on a 911 call that was placed by one of the people that lived in the community where this happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you've said, I think on direct examination, that you have listened to that recording, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you've listened to it on television?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you listened to it anywhere else?
JEANTEL: On that depo, yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you heard it at the deposition, as well?
JEANTEL: I don't remember, but you had talked about it, I think. And I had told you it's -- it was Trayvon. It sounded like Trayvon. It had sounded like Trayvon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, what?
JEANTEL: It had sounded like Trayvon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, today, you told Mr. DeLareanda (ph) that it was Trayvon Martin's voice.
JEANTEL: I had told you on the depo it was Tray -- Trayvon's voice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me show you this.
Counsel's reference, page 199, line 18.
Well, I'd have you take a look here, beginning with line 18 through line 23.
Have you had a chance to read line 18 through line 23?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you had a chance to read there, line 18 through line 23?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't repeat the whole answer that she gave. The answer actually (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take as much time as you want. Read the whole thing if you want. Or maybe we can break until the morning if that --
JEANTEL: No, I'm leaving today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's that?
JEANTEL: I'm leaving today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you refusing to come back tomorrow?
JEANTEL: To you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you refusing to come --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to keep this question and answer about her testimony. And the other matters dealing with scheduling, I -- I will make that decision. So if you'll continue to keep reading, please.
JEANTEL: What do you want?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have read it now?
Are you finished?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So do you admit, then, that you were asked, who was screaming for help and your answer was, "It could be Trayvon."
Objection, improper impeachment, your honor. That doesn't speak to her whole answer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'll be glad to finish it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- of course.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you would, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, judge.
JEANTEL: You had told me it sounded like -- I told you it sounded like Trayvon because Trayvon has a kind of a baby voice. (INAUDIBLE). Oh, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the question is, "Well, who was screaming for help? It's not Trayvon, is it?"
And your answer, "It could be Trayvon."
And the question, "You know his voice so well, was that Trayvon Martin -- was that Trayvon screaming for help or wasn't it?"
Your answer, "It could be. Like I said, I don't know. But it could be. The dude sound kind of like Trayvon. Trayvon do got that soft voice and that baby voice sometimes, so it could be. I don't know. You know it's not -- " And that's the end of the quote.
Do you acknowledge that you made those statements, those answers to those questions under oath in deposition?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we break for the day, judge?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to continue, but I -- I would defer to the court.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much -- how much more time do you think that you need to finish your cross?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I certainly wouldn't -- I don't know for sure. I would think we should plan on at least a couple of hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me. Just be quiet.
Um, ladies and gentlemen, we're going to break for the evening. Everybody still remain seated, including you, Ms. Jeantel. Please remain seated.
During the overnight recess, I'm instructing you not to discuss the case amongst yourselves or with anybody else. Do not read or listen to any radio, television or newspaper reports about the case. Do not use any type of an electronic device to get on the Internet to do independent research about the case -- people, places, things and terminology.
Do not read or create any e-mail, text messages, Twitter, Tweets, blogs or social networking pages about the case.
Do I have your assurances that you will abide by these instructions?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Please leave year notepads face down on the chair and we'll see you at 9:00 a.m.
BLITZER: The second degree murder trial of George Zimmerman wrapping up on this day. Lots going on.
A key witness making some very important statements.
Jeffrey Toobin, among others, has been watching all of this closely.
Why is this witness, Rachel Jeantel, so critical to both sides, if you will, in this case?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: She was on the phone with Trayvon Martin as he was walking back from the candy purchase that we all know, that he bought, iced tea and Skittles. And he's -- she is on the phone with him while he's walking. And she is recounting how he says, "There's this creepy cracker," you know, it's an insulting term, "following me around." So the prosecution is using her to assert that George Zimmerman was the aggressor, was following him around and approaching him in the moments leading up to the shooting.
BLITZER: And --
TOOBIN: So that's why she's a very important witness.
BLITZER: The prosecution thinks she's a critically important witness. The defense, though, is trying to question her truthfulness.
TOOBIN: In two different ways. They are trying to say -- and that's what we saw at the very end -- that in her previous statements, in her deposition, in other statements, that she has simply told different stories.
Is that Trayvon's voice or not?
And she see -- appears to have told somewhat different stories.
That's one way they're questioning her credibility.
The other way is they're trying to show that she became, in essence, part of the prosecution team, part of the Trayvon Martin family team, that she was allied with the lawyers for Trayvon Martin's family. And that's a -- another way they're trying to impeach her credibility, by basically saying she will turn her testimony in a way that is favorable prosecution and to the interests of the Martin family.
BLITZER: And there -- there's no down that she is deeply irritated by the cross-examination, if you will.
TOOBIN: I have to say, I've never heard a witness -- when the defense lawyer says, there are going to be about two more hours of cross- examination, she goes, "What?"
And I think that -- that sort of summed up her unhappiness --
BLITZER: And earlier --
TOOBIN: -- about being there.
BLITZER: -- she said she didn't want to come back tomorrow.
TOOBIN: That's right.
BLITZER: She wanted to wrap it up.
BLITZER: Martin Savidge has been watching this trial go on and on, and it's only just beginning. It could go on two or three weeks, Martin, is that right?
SAVIDGE: That's absolutely right. And just to comment further on on the testimony we've watched there and how remarkable really it has been is the fact that, you know, she has been so highly anticipated. And certainly, the defense has been working and preparing for her testimony. And the other thing, I guess, we always have to remember, she is a teenager, you know?
And she has been through an ordeal, a very good friend has died under tragic circumstances. She's the last one to talk to him. But you also get the sense that she does not seem to take moments of this. And I'm not saying on the stand today, but I'm saying in the lead-up.
Seriously, she made the comment when she was under oath and giving deposition to Ben Crump, that is the attorney for the Trayvon Martin family, said they (ph) rushed through it. She made comments like, you know, didn't really matter. She said it wasn't important. And you know, much of the events -- testimony in the planning of a case is built on these depositions.
And then, it appears at times, just by measuring her on the stand, that she didn't always take that process serious. So, I think that has to be a real problem for both the defense, but most especially for the state here, because it does raise serious questions, if she didn't really think being under oath mattered or was that serious, then you really have to wonder what she said, was it really what she heard?
BLITZER: Yes. And you make a good point about being a teenager as well. Mark Nejame is joining us to assess what happened on this day in this trial. Mark Nejame is a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. What's your assessment of her testimony, good or bad for George Zimmerman?
MARK NEJAME, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, a simple question, Wolf, can she be believed beyond a reasonable doubt? Of course not. I mean, she's acknowledged lying to several people about her age. She's acknowledged lying about where she was concerning being in the hospital, and now, you have a witness who says that she can hear wet grass.
I mean, this is the key witness who the prosecution must rely on, and the simple question is, pose it to the jurors at the time of closing, can she be believed beyond a reasonable doubt? And I think it's a resounding no. Now, there's good things and bad things that came out. Look, the prosecution is doing the best they can. These are the cards that are dealt to them and they have to play them.
But when she comes in there as an insolent to the court, not respectful to an oath, apparently, not respectful to the whole proceedings, it doesn't play well in front of a jury. They need to hear this. This is a hard-fought battle as far as what really happened here, and this is what the state must rely on.
I'm sorry, it does not play well, and it also sadly hurts Trayvon Martin concerning his character a little bit, because you saw him using racial epithets both with Blacks and with Whites according to her testimony.
Now, we all know that George Zimmerman was, in fact, following Trayvon Martin. There's no issue about that. What we don't know is who initiated the physical confrontation that settle this motion and does she add anything to that that can be believed beyond a reasonable doubt? And I think she does not.
BLITZER: Let's bring in Jean Casarez right now. She's a CNN legal correspondent as well. Jean, you were in the courtroom during this testimony that went on for several hours. What was it like in there?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: I think everybody was just really straining to hear what she was saying, to understand what she was saying. And you know, the focus of the defense has been so much on Benjamin Crump's interview with her. Why? Because that was the first time that she spoke. That was closest in time to when she was on the phone with Trayvon Martin.
That was not under oath. So, what we see now that the defense did was, when they finally deposed her, they played that interview that she did with Crump and got her answers as sworn testimony. And I think one of the biggest inconsistencies that they just brought out minutes ago was in regard to what George Zimmerman said after Trayvon allegedly said, "why are you following me?"
On direct examination, she said the answer was, that George Zimmerman said, "what are you doing around here?" But she said to Benjamin Crump and to the defense in their deposition, what you talking about?" That's what George Zimmerman said. Similar but different statements.
BLITZER: Some inconsistencies. Obviously, this testimony, the cross- examination will continue tomorrow. Jean, thanks to you. Thanks to all of our team. We're going to continue to watch, obviously. Get more analysis.
But there's other important news today that we're watching here in the SITUATION ROOM as well, including truly historic rulings from the United States Supreme Court, a huge victory for same-sex marriage supporters. But here's the question, what happens next, especially in California? I'll ask California's attorney general. She's joining us this hour.
Plus, the arrest of Aaron Hernandez, the ex, now ex-NFL football star. He is charged with murder.
BLITZER: A divided Supreme Court delivers major wins for same-sex marriage and two, two controversial and closely watch cases in a 5-4 ruling. Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with the court's liberals to strike down a key provision of the defense of Marriage Act which barred federal recognition of same-sex couples.
The winning plaintiff was 84 years old, Edie Windsor (ph), who was forced to pay a huge inheritance tax when her same-sex spouse died. In a separate 5-4 decision and unusual combination of justice cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California, dismissing an appeal of the ruling that overturned Proposition 8, saying the plaintiffs didn't have a stake in the case. Let's get some more with our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin who is still with us. walk us thus these decisions today, the impact they will have on same-sex couples in the United States.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the DOMA decision, the Edie Windsor case. That is a very concrete practical impact on thousands of couples, because the defense of Marriage Act from 1996 said, even in states where same-sex marriage is legal, the federal government will not recognize those marriages. So, what -- now, that DOMA is gone, that means that these couples can file joint federal tax returns.
They can receive Social Security survivor's benefits. They can receive inheritance free from federal taxes. So, very practical impacts for them. Also, what makes this decision so startling is that Anthony Kennedy's languages, in his opinion, really does suggest that there may be a constitutional right to same-sex marriage that could be applied in the 38 states that don't yet have same-sex marriage.
BLITZER: Although, they didn't -- these two decisions, they didn't go that.
TOOBIN: Correct. They did not say that same-sex marriage has to go beyond the 38 states, but all the lawyers who are representing the same-sex plaintiffs are now saying we're going to take this fight on to these other states, and there certainly are promising signals in the Edie Windsor case.
In the other case, the Proposition 8 case, it was a technical procedural resolution, but the bottom line appears to be that same-sex marriage will soon be legal in California. So, the two California and New York, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, a lot of big states will now have --
BLITZER: We've done some math. These states that have already approved same-sex marriage, when it fully goes into effect, including California, about 30 percent of the country will have the opportunity if they want to get involved in same-sex marriage. Let's talk a little bit about Justice Anthony Kennedy, because he was, on the DOMA case, the Defense of Marriage case, the clear decisive 5-4 majority vote.
TOOBIN: You know, the importance of Anthony Kennedy cannot be overstated. Yesterday, the court overturned the key part of the Voting Rights Act. He was the key vote in that case. He was the only justice who won in both cases, in the Voting Rights Act case and in the same-sex marriage case. He is now the preeminent same-sex justice in history.
BLITZER: And explain why because of previous decisions that he sponsored.
TOOBIN: There have only been three major gay rights -- major gay rights decisions in the history of the Supreme Court. The Romer case out of Colorado --
BLITZER: The Romer vs. Evans.
TOOBIN: Right. In the late 1990s.
TOOBIN: 1996. 2003 Lawrence v. Texas, the case that said gay people could not be criminally prosecuted for having consensual sex. And now, you have today's case about the Defense of Marriage Act. All three of those cases were written by Anthony Kennedy. He will go down in history regardless of what else he does in his long tenure, since 1987, appointed by Ronald Reagan, as in essence, the father of constitutional gay rights in the United States.
BLITZER: Because on this DOMA case, there were four liberate justices who voted to get rid of the defense of Marriage Act, the conservative four, they voted to try to keep it in place, and he was the one who sided with the liberals.
TOOBIN: And yesterday, it was the same split of the other eight justices, except he sided with the conservatives. It's just a very good time to be Anthony Kennedy.
BLITZER: He's 76 years old, as you point out. He was nominated. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s. What would the court look like if he were to retire, let's say, one of these days?
TOOBIN: I could tell you, if you could tell me who the president was at the time, because if Barack Obama gets to appoint his replacement, then the court would have a core of five liberals.
BLITZER: Someone like Elena Kagan or Sonia Sotomayor.
TOOBIN: Correct. If President Marco Rubio or President Ted Cruz go to appoint his replacement, you would have a very conservative majority on the Supreme Court. But he is a young 76. So, I don't think he's going anywhere any time soon. And as you can see, he is enormously influential, and he likes that.
BLITZER: I'm sure he does, and he is a young 76. If you speak with him, as I have and as you know, you know that he's going to be around for a while longer. It does show, though, that elections do have consequences, presidential elections, because a president can stay in office for four or eight years, but the justices that they put on the court, they can stay there for 30 or even 40 careers.
TOOBIN: If John McCain had won in 2008, this decision would have gone the other way, because Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan wouldn't have been there, Republican appointees would have been there. As you say, elections have consequences.
BLITZER: Jeffrey, thanks very much. We're making you work hard today. We got more coming up, so don't go too far away.
The rulings come on the last day of the court's term, and anticipation gave way to jubilation as the rulings came down, but not necessarily for everyone. CNN's Brian Todd is over at the Supreme Court for us. He's been getting reaction. What are you seeing, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, clearly the tension had been building here for months since the justices heard both of these cases. Attorneys, advocates, everyone with a vested interest in these cases were pointing to this day as the day that really could change the social fabric of the United States, and that sent of anticipation and excitement certainly played out on the steps behind me.
TODD (voice-over): On the steps of the Supreme Court, jubilation among same-sex marriage supporters moments after the first ruling which bludgeoned the Defense of Marriage Act and made it easier immediately for legally married same-sex couples to get federal benefits.
Mollie Wagoner and her partner Sharon Burke let all the nervousness melt away.
MOLLIE WAGONER, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORTER: I don't even have words. I'm just so happy and overrun with emotion. I couldn't be more proud of my country and of the Supreme Court today. And I'm so happy to be here and be part of it.
TODD: In San Francisco, the emotion was palpable as the court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. Advocates cheering, crying, even planning like Louis Casillas (ph) and Krispin Hollings.
KRISPIN HOLLINGS, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORTER: We'll soon have marriage here in California I'm confident about and we've already picked a date.
LOUIS CASILLAS, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORTER: Yes, we did.
TODD: Back in D.C., Andres Caveata (ph) and Guillermo Rodriguez had a similar idea.
GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORTER: And this law opens the possibility of me making a life with him, together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did we get it?
TODD: But across the street from the court and among conservatives like Baptist leader Reverend Albert Mohler, the feeling was that the country's social fabric was changing for the worse.
REV. ALBERT MOHLER, SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: It is I think something that will be very, very devastating for our country over the long term. Because what it means is the inevitable marginalization of marriage and the subversion of the most essential institution for human existence.
TODD: Reverend Rob Schenck said this wasn't the court's decision to make.
REV. ROB SCHENCK, EVANGELICAL CHURCH ALLIANCE: The Supreme Court has no authority when it comes to the nature of marriage. That authority belongs to the creator.
TODD: On both sides, emotions had been building toward this single day, this pair of rulings for months.
(On camera): Part of the reason for the charged mood from here on the steps of the Supreme Court to anywhere in the country was the sense of anticipation and that this was it. However you were invested in these cases, knowing that this was the last day of the Supreme Court session, so when the rulings came out, the emotions boiled over.
(Voice-over): They certainly did for 22-year-old Louis Phillips, who says his parents just met his new boyfriend.
LOUIS PHILLIPS, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORTER: So relieved. So happy. I was just on the phone with my parents and I was actually almost just brought to tears about five minutes ago. So very, very happy.
TODD (on camera): What is it that gets you emotional?
PHILLIPS: Just thinking about how many more people are happy now than they were an hour ago. That simple thought.
TODD: Louis says he hopes the momentum will continue not only domestically in the United States with more changes in the more than 30 states that still don't allow same-sex marriage, but also globally as well -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Todd over the Supreme Court. Thank you.
With the dismissal of Proposition 8, the appeal in California, that state is now getting ready to resume same-sex weddings after almost five years.
And joining us now, Kamala Harris, she's California's attorney general.
Attorney General, thanks very much for joining us on this very historic day. I want to get some practical impact of what this decision as far as Proposition 8 in California means. The governor, Jerry Brown, issued a statement, among other things saying, "I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state's counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California, as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted." When do you believe the Ninth Circuit will confirm that the stay -- in other words their decision that doesn't allow the same-sex marriages to go forward, when will they release that stay?
KAMALA HARRIS, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you, Wolf. Well, first day -- first of all, it's a great day in California, and I think it's a great day in this country because the last rule -- the last ruling on Proposition 8 stands and that is that Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution and is therefore unconstitutional.
So the Ninth Circuit, we are requesting, I am requesting that the Ninth Circuit lift its stay as soon as it can. As soon as possible. Because there are a lot of same-sex couples in California who have been waiting a very long time to exercise their equal right to be married. And each day is not equal in those days that have passed. Babies have been born, relatives have died, and justice should not be denied and it should not be delayed.
BLITZER: Because some experts have suggested it could take 25 days, maybe 30 days for that stay to be lifted. Is that what you're hearing?
HARRIS: Well, it's correct that the court today issued a ruling, but the judgment becomes effective 25 days after the United States Supreme Court issues its ruling. However, the Ninth Circuit does have in its power to lift the stay before those 25 days have passed. And so it is our hope that the court will do just that.
Again appreciating the fact that there have been too many days and for too long the citizens of our state, residents of our state, have been denied a due process under the law, they've been denied equal protection under the law and we should not wait any longer. The marriages should begin as quickly and as soon as possible.
BLITZER: Earlier today, I interviewed Austin Nimocks. He's the co- counsel. He was the one who was supporting Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court. And this is what he said to me. I'll play a little clip for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUSTIN NIMOCKS, CO-COUNSEL FOR CALIFORNIA PROP 8: The four plaintiffs that brought this lawsuit may have a right to get marriage licenses issued to them. But this was not a class action lawsuit and does not apply statewide. Proposition 8 is the law of the state of California and because there's no appellate court decision holding it unconstitutional, under the California constitution which what controls this interpretation here, Proposition 8 remains the law of that state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Is he right?
HARRIS: He's absolutely wrong. The last ruling by Judge Von Walker was that there would be a permanent injunction basically stopping Proposition 8 from taking effect because it is unconstitutional. And in his ruling, Judge Von Walker indicated that it would apply directly to the parties before it, including the State Department of Public Health, which oversees each of the 58 counties in California and the work that they do, giving out marriage licenses.
So it is very clear that, in the case of that, in a case that was also litigated in California called the (INAUDIBLE) case, and also one of the federal rules, that combined -- Rule 65, that combined it is very clear to us after a careful review of the law, that all 58 counties must abide by Judge Von Walker's ruling and once the stay is lifted, they will each be required to perform marriages consistent with the law and to do otherwise would be in violation of the law.
BLITZER: So you have no doubt that within a month, let's say, if not sooner, gay couples will be allowed in California to get married.
HARRIS: There is no doubt whatsoever. The bells will ring and the marriages will begin, and it's a great day in our state for equal protection under law for all people. And you know, I look at the issue from a number of perspectives, including the fact that we have 50,000 children in California who are the children of those same-sex couples, and those children are looking up at their parents and us as the leaders of their community, and saying why can't my parents and their marriage be considered as legitimate under the law, as those of my classmates?
And what we know as of today is that very soon in California we're going to be able to look down at those children and say, yes, your parents are equal to any other parents and we will sanctify and we will recognize them as a married couple under the law with all the rights that come with that.
BLITZER: Kamala Harris is the attorney general of California.
Thanks so much, Attorney General, for joining us.
HARRIS: Thank you. Thank you, Wolf. Thank you.
BLITZER: A pro football player held without bail, charged now with murder. There's new details coming into THE SITUATION ROOM on the arrest of Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots.
BLITZER: To Massachusetts now, where just hours after being arrested and taken out of his home in handcuffs, authorities have formally charged the now former, former New England Patriots' tight end, Aaron Hernandez, with first-degree murder in the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found less than a mile from his home.
Hernandez was dropped from the team almost as soon as the arrest was made.
Our national correspondent Susan Candiotti has been working the story for us and she's joining us now with the very latest.
What else are you learning, Susan?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, this guy is a who was very popular tight end for the New England Patriots, now charged with shooting to death a friend of his, execution style is how the prosecution describes it. And this happened about eight days ago. Now why did he do it? Well, the authorities played it out in court and said -- he explained it by saying that Aaron Hernandez was allegedly angry about something that this man had said to some people that Aaron Hernandez knew at a nightclub.
And so a few days later, he is accused of picking up his friend at his home about -- who lives about 40 miles away in Boston and driving him to a location where he was shot to death.
Here's what the prosecutor said in court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he tried to turn, he was shot in the back. And as he fell on the ground and the defendant and his confederates stood over him and delivered the two fatal shots, he actually was still alive because one of his arms actually moved up to try and cover one of the first injuries.
The defendant then drove home, entered the house with his gun. He disposed of the gun. The next day he changed cars and disconnected the surveillance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: Now this disconnecting surveillance at his home, authorities say he had 14 surveillance cameras in that house and they also said that they have video of him entering the house with other people.
Now before the victim was shot to death, authorities say they have some other evidence as well. They say that the victim in this case was texting his sister and said, did you see who I was with? And then -- and then added, "NFL." They said they also have various locations, surveillance that show the two men together and also on the dead man, Odin Lloyd's body, they found a wallet and keys to a rental car that was rented in the name of Aaron Hernandez.
Now the defense attorney, Wolf, says that all of this is circumstantial evidence. But Hernandez does face not only that first- degree murder charge, but five other weapon charges as well. And the judge said, I am not going to grant him bail.
Back to you.
BLITZER: First-degree murder, obviously it's rare that you get bailed when you're charged with first-degree murder. Second-degree murder sometimes you do.
BLITZER: All right. Susan, thanks very much.
Let's get some analysis. Jeffrey Toobin is still with us.
It's not unusual at all, you're charged with first-degree murder, you ain't going to be getting bail. Is that right?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: That's for sure. Even though Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, so he's not eligible for the death penalty, he's certainly eligible for life in prison. And facing those sorts of possible penalties, he's clearly a risk of flight, so they're not going to let him out.
BLITZER: So -- and let's assume he's arguing -- that his lawyers are arguing that it's all circumstantial. How credible is that going to be? I don't know how strong the evidence that the -- the government had, the prosecution has against him.
TOOBIN: Right. I mean, it's important at this very early stage to recognize that his defense may be, I didn't do it, someone else did it. I didn't shoot this guy. What's your evidence? Remember, there are -- even according to the prosecutors, two confederates, two other people who were involved in this -- what the prosecution calls this execution-style murder, so what the so-called confederates' roles, whether they were also guilty or in fact guilty instead of Hernandez is certainly something that's going to be played out in court.
BLITZER: Some people already making comparisons to another formerly great NFL player, he wrote a book about O.J. Simpson. He was well- liked by so many people. He was accused of murder. He was eventually acquitted.
TOOBIN: He certainly was. O.J. Simpson was a national figure. O.J. Simpson was a national broadcaster, he was on commercials that everybody sees.
BLITZER: He was an actor.
TOOBIN: He was an actor. Aaron Hernandez, I would say, is known really only in the New England area and only for playing football. He has no, you know, fame outside of that. He does have a pretty checkered history. He has been charged in a civil suit in connection with a -- shooting in Florida. So he's got some troubled background, but certainly nothing on the order of this.
He just received a $40 million contract from the Patriots. He's not seeing that money any time soon or probably ever.
BLITZER: The Patriots dropped him immediately and they're issuing a strong statement along those lines.
Jeffrey, thanks very much for doing a lot of work for us today. It is not done yet.
Up next, did confusion over Edward Snowden's middle name, middle name allow the NSA leaker to slip away?
BLITZER: Blaring new details of possible confusion over the middle name of the NSA leader Edward Snowden that may have given China cover to let him leave Hong Kong for Russia. He remains in limbo right now in that transit zone of Moscow's international airport.
Our foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty is joining us now with details.
This gets murkier and murkier. What are we learning?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest wrinkle is that apparently when the papers were sent by the Justice Department, he was variously, we're told, referred to as Edward J., or his middle name, and it's -- still confusion as to whether it's James or Joseph. But in any case, the Hong Kong authorities said hey, you know, the names don't coincide. Therefore we can't issue a warrant and therefore we can't hold him, so he left.
Now the Justice Department just this afternoon, a Justice Department spokeswoman gave a statement to CNN and listen to what they're saying because they're pushing it right back. "The true motive of the letter," this spokeswoman says, "from Hong Kong authorities is revealed by its request for the supposed clarification of Mr. Snowden's identity with regard to his middle name. The fugitive's photos and videos were widely reported through multiple news outlets. That Hong Kong would ask for more information about his identity demonstrates it was simply trying to create a pretext for not acting on the provisional arrest request."
BLITZER: Well, couldn't the U.S. government simply look in his U.S. passport which is issued by the State Department, the passport office there, and take a look and see what his first name, his middle name and his last name is to make sure that whatever name they provided the Chinese would coincide with the passport, even if it had been invalidated, if you will, to make sure there wouldn't be an excuse the Chinese would have to let him go?
DOUGHERTY: Well, you would suspect that that would be the case, Wolf, but apparently there was some sort of a snafu. However, the -- the law enforcement official is saying to CNN, look, they had the documents, the days, they didn't say anything, and then at the 11th hour Friday night, suddenly they say this is a problem.
BLITZER: It gave the Chinese an excuse to let him go. John Kerry, the secretary of state, keeps saying the U.S. has given the Russians seven Russians over the past couple of years. Russians that are wanted in Russia. Out of the goodwill of the U.S., even though there's no formal extradition treaty, they should hand over Snowden. Do we know anything about these seven?
DOUGHERTY: You know, we've asked numerous times. But all we know is that they are supposedly high-level criminals. We're not talking about spies. That was made clear. Anna Chapman is not -- you know, has not been handed over. But these are criminals. Now the why we're not getting the names, listen to Patrick Cantrell of the State Department.
BLITZER: Jill Dougherty, thanks very much. As usual this saga continues.
And when we come back, Paula Deen loses yet another major endorsement deal just hours after giving her first interview since the racial controversy began.
Plus three stunning Wimbledon defeats. We're going to tell you which tennis stars are now out, out of the tournament.
But first, sports legend Bo Jackson impacting his world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BO JACKSON, ATHLETE: Hi, I'm Bo Jackson and we can make an impact after the storm.
BLITZER: This is what one deadly twister left behind in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
JACKSON: I got phone calls from relatives and friends, saying there's a bad storm, a big tornado that came through. I sat up and thought about what can I do to give back to my community. And I came up with this harebrained idea to ride a bicycle across the state. I decided to make it an annual event to raise money for the tornado victims. I want to make the rest of the country aware of how severe a tornado can be.
When you don't have a place to get out of the way of a tornado, a lot of people get injured. Lose their lives. Hiding in a closet or get in a bathtub doesn't work when the whole house is getting picked up off the foundation and thrown down the street. To continue this bike ride and to raise money, to build community tornado shelters, I think that's my calling.
Join the movement, "Impact Your World." Go to CNN.com/impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Celebrity chef Paula Deen's troubles apparently keep on coming. Both Wal-Mart and Caesar's Entertainment Corporation ended their business relationships with her today. She's also been dropped by Smithfield Foods and the Food Network over allegations of racism that came to light when a former restaurant employee sued her.
Deen became emotional this morning on NBC's "Today Show," calling the allegations, and I'm quoting here now, "horrible lies."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I is what I is, and I'm not changing. And -- there's someone evil out there that saw what I had worked for and they wanted it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Stocks got a huge bump on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones jumped at almost 150 points on news of a weak GDP reading which investors are hoping will keep the Fed stimulus going.
The markets have been volatile lately, driven largely by fears that the Federal Reserve could begin to ease those stimulant -- stimulus measures by the end of the year.
Astronomers are now increasingly optimistic there could be a whole new universe out there where other life may exist. According to findings published today, a new star has been identified with up to seven planets, three of which could potentially host life. The star system is believed to be 22 light years away. The lead researcher says this is the largest number of so-called habitable zone planets ever discovered.
More shocking upsets at Wimbledon today. Seven-time champion Roger Federer suffered one of the most staggers defeats in the history of the tournament after being beaten by Ukraine's 116th-ranked player. Third-seed Maria Sharapova who won the tournament in 2004 also suffered a stunning loss in the second round. She is beaten by a player ranked 131st in the world. Monday, Rafael Nadal was kicked -- was knocked out of the first round. The player who defeated withdrew with an injury today.
Happening now, a pair of victories for same-sex marriage supporters. What you need to know about today's historic U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Plus, he's a former NFL player now, he's charged with murder. Aaron Hernandez handcuffed and arrested for the killing of his friend.
And Michael Jackson's teenage son says his dad feared concert promoters would kill him. Stand by for the dramatic testimony from Prince Jackson.