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Supreme Court Travel Ban Decision Examined; Interview with Candidate for Congress Deb Haaland; Discussion of Activism Among Black Athletes. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired June 26, 2018 - 14:00:00 ET
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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNNI: Tonight, the U.S. Supreme Court approves the latest version of President Trump's controversial travel ban. NPR's award
winning Legal Affairs Correspondent, Nina Totenberg joins me from Washington; and from New Mexico, reaction from Deb Haaland who's
campaigning to become the first Native American woman in Congress; also ahead, the politics of patriotism, sports journalist and author Howard
Bryant on the rebirth of activism among black athletes in America.
Good evening everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Seventeen months after first signing a travel ban, the U.S.
Supreme Court has now given Preiseint Trump what he wants, approving his third attempt to restrict travel primarily from Muslim countries in a 5-4
decision, the Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Trump's order is quote, "squarely within the scope of presidential authority." Multiple federal
judges and nationwide protest challenged Trump's original orders. The latest version slaps restrictions on Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia,
North Korea, and Venezuela. Those last two added perhaps to dilute the religious, the Muslim flavor of this ban.
Joining me now to discuss the implications is NPR's Nina Totenberg, the doyenne of supreme court correspondents. Nina, welcome to the program.
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's my pleasure Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, what is so different about this version than the original version that allowed the Supreme Court or prompted the Supreme
Court to approve it?
TOTENBERG: Well this version is in fact very different than the first version. First of all the Administration prodded by the courts finally did
undertake a complete administrative review asking the various cabinet departments, the State Department, the CIA, et cetera, to weigh in and
decide which countries, why, how thorough the ban should be, et cetera. And it set up a complete regimen for re-reviewing it every 180 days and it also
provides for a system of waivers so that people who have a really good reason for coming to the United States can, in fact, get a visa from these
You may recall the earlier version was so chaotic and so un-thought out that it actually included people with green cards who couldn't back into
the country. So this is a far cry from the first one but the decision still gives the President - this President and any President very broad authority
under the statutes and under the Constitution to enact this kind of a ban.
AMANPOUR: So critics obviously and the plaintiffs particularly called this a Muslim ban in everything but name. Do you agree and why do you think
North Korea and Venezuela are on this list?
TOTENBERG: No, I think they did add North Korea and Venezuela for cosmetic purposes but I do think that if you look - the court was very
clear, even the majority opinion which gave this enormous deference to the President, spelled out all the anti-Muslim things he has said but it
basically concluded that in fact, the final ban as it now stands, meets with all the crossed T's and dotted I's and what the statute allows the
President to do and it also specifically sound that as enacted, the third version of the ban does not so explicitly ban Muslims.
And it doesn't deny that the President said what he said but Chief Justice Roberts writing for the court says Presidents have always given their
opinions to the people.
Usually they've given nice opinions; opinions of tolerance and things like that. President Washington, the most recent President Bush after 9/11 and
the implicit suggestion was this was not such a nice way to conduct yourself but it wasn't enough to invalidate the ban because of the broad
authority vested in the President by the Constitution and the statute.
AMANPOUR: So you've been covering the Supreme Court and legal affairs for years, do you agree - are you surprised by the approval, and obviously we
know it was very close, 5-4 along sort of partisan lines as we've seen over the last several years.
So A, are you surprised and B, what did the dissenters say in this case?
TOTENBERG: Well I wasn't particularly surprised because this was the sort of the suggestion or argument that this was going to be 5-4 and there were
two justices who dissented orally from the bench. Four justices in all who dissented, it was 5-4. And justices Breyer and Sotomayor are both
dissented from the bench this morning making clear their strong disagreement with the opinion.
Justice Sotomayor talked for almost 20 minutes and it was a very impassioned dissent that compared this case to the Supreme Court's decision
upholding the Japanese internment during World War II. And in response to that the Chief Justice took the opportunity to explicitly overturn that
decision saying it was wrongly decided on the day it was decided. But the critics of this decision, including the dissenters, basically are saying
there's not that much difference between what happened in the Japanese internment and what happened here.
AMANPOUR: So Nina, do you think that this is going to, for instance going to close the door now to let say refugees from Syria, I mean almost none
have come in. I mean a very tiny number in 2018 compared with several thousand in 2017 and many more than that before.
TOTENBERG: If there's any wiggle room left in this litigation, it's over the visa waiver process and if the challengers can show that people are
being systematically denied when they have very good reasons to be granted visas, they may be able to pressure the Administration with litigation -
TOTENBERG: .into being a little more lose and a little more generous in granting visas.
AMANPOUR: All right.
TOTENBERG: But I would say at the moment, the Administration has won and just about every respect and there's no reason to think that they're going
to behave differently in the future.
AMANPOUR: Nina Totenberg, thank you so much. And of course, all of this emerges in the heated and often ugly atmosphere of the whole Zero Tolerance
Program at the U.S - Mexico border. Deb Haaland, the Democratic candidate for Congress from New Mexico is running as a passionate advocate for
immigrant and refugee rights and what is most ironic, Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe, one of the first American's whose ancestors
were victims of genocide by European immigrants.
Now, she's on track to make history as the first Native American woman ever elected to Congress. Deb Haaland joins me from Albuquerque to discuss this
and the issues of the day.
Deb Haaland, welcome to the program.
DEB HAALAND, NEW MEXICO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE AND MEMBER OF THE LAGUNA PUEBLO TRIBE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you about this Supreme Court decision. It was very narrow, along parties and lines 5-4 majority, but do you agree with
the decision that the Presidential decree is well within presidential authority?
HAALAND: You know I don't agree. I am - I am distraught over this decision. From the time President Trump has taken office it seems as
though his racist attitudes have guided his policies across the board and I'm disappointed and just distraught over the decision.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you, why you are so pro immigration. Of all people, Native Americans should kind of be anti immigration given your
history. Tell me how your family history informs your immigration policies and views.
HAALAND: It's been, you know, 500 years since Europeans came to this country and so that's a long time and it's essentially too late for us to
go back, right? We, my grandparents who were products of the assimilation era, worked extremely hard to insure that our family moved into the future
if you will because they realized that there wasn't any going back. So the best they could do is preserve our culture, our language, our traditions so
that we would have that going into the future.
My grandparents were very, very supportive of education and work ethic and all of those things that helped us move into the 20th Century where we are
now and yes, even though I'm a 35th generation New Mexican on my grandparent's side, my dad's grandparents immigrated to the United States
in 1881 from Norway.
I realized firsthand how important immigration is to the betterment of our country.
Immigrants helped to build our country as it is today. And I think that the best we can do is to be a welcoming society and that's exactly how my
Laguna grandmother was. She -- she welcomes people into our village, into her home, and -- and we need to do that. We need to have good relations
with our community in order to be successful.
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you then about some of the issues that President Trump raises. He talks a lot about crime. He talks a lot about security
on the border. You're from New Mexico, you're hoping to become a Congresswoman and New Mexico is a border state.
So when the President says that Democrats are essentially, you know, basically pro-crime. I mean, he's basically saying that Democrats are weak
on immigration and they want open borders.
But the last few times the issue came to a vote, Democrats voted overwhelmingly for enhanced border security. So what is your view on
border security and do you think there're legitimate concerns about that?
HAALAND: There's a difference between protecting our borders and targeting parents; moms and dads who are -- are working to find their kids a better
life. There's a difference between working to, you know, to find criminals and incarcerate them then it is to just, you know, take parents off the
streets; wait outside of their churches and hospitals and court houses to take them to jail in front of their children.
There -- the -- the leap between, you know, arresting the key members of the drug cartel and arresting parents of immigrants who are coming out of
church on a Sunday. That is a vast difference and -- and -- and I don't think one has anything to do with the other, which is why I have stated
that we should defund ICE.
ICE is not actually protecting our border. It was -- it was implemented to fight terrorism and -- and quite frankly it's not doing that. It's -- its
arresting moms and dads off the streets. And so if we really are serious about protecting our borders, we should do just that. And stop just taking
people when they're not committing any crimes.
AMANPOUR: So I want to talk to you about crime because that's another thing, as I mentioned, the President is saying over and over again. That
crime is sort of going up amongst the immigrant community. He basically says immigrants bring crime and violence but many, many studies show
actually the opposite is true.
That immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people actually born in the United States. So obviously, for you, as a politician, how do you
push back against a narrative from the White House that is factually incorrect and -- you know, demonstrably, untrue?
HAALAND: Well you -- I mean, you push back anyway you can and you definitely push back against the policies that are emanating from the White
House right now. We -- not all immigrants are criminals. Absolutely.
And -- so when we allow that language to be -- to be -- you know, spit out into the air every single day that is something that needs to stop we -- we
-- we can organize rallies. We can organize people.
We can make sure that we're getting the folks out of office who aren't willing to take a humane stance on immigration. And -- and I -- and I
believe that the American people will do just that this time around.
AMANPOUR: Well interestingly, President Trump's job approval has dropped sharply. According to Gallup, it was 45 last week to 41 now. I'm -- I'm
wondering if you think it is because of this zero tolerance policy.
But given your history, how does it feel to be potentially the first Native American woman; if you're lucky, if you win; to become a Congresswoman?
HAALAND: I would be proud, of course, to have an opportunity to bring my background, my culture, the way I was raised by my parents. My dad was a
30 year career marine. My mom was a federal employee for 25 years.
Parents who served our community selflessly, all of that background comes with me when I get into the halls of Congress. And I'm not saying that I
could represent my tribe or any tribe in this country but what I can do is speak from the perspective.
And also bring tribal leaders to the table when there's issues that affect their communities. And I think that's very important to help to further
the -- the trust responsibility of the United States government toward Indian tribes.
AMANPOUR: I just wonder how seriously you think that you are taken as Native Americans and you know President Trump said several things in the
past and he keeps doubling down.
For instance, he was just in Nevada campaigning against a Senate Democratic candidate. And he said the following, I'm just going to play this and just
get your reaction.
TRUMP: She's campaigning with Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to, affectionately of course, as Pocahontas. They wanted me to apologize. No.
I did though. I did. I did apologize to Pocahontas (inaudible). To the memory of Pocahontas, I apologize.
AMANPOUR: How does that affect you?
HAALAND: It's disgusting quite frankly. I -- it's -- it's terrible that the President of the United States would use a name in -- as a racial slur
toward a sitting member of the Unites States Senate.
I -- I'm appalled that he insights his followers also to -- to move toward racism in that way. It's terrible. In my culture, we honor our ancestors,
folks who have gone before us and -- and we would never ever use a name in that way without respecting that person.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Deb Haaland, thank you so much indeed for joining us from New Mexico.
HAALAND: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: And now we turn to yet another divisive issue that has to be addressed in America and that is the police shooting, killings of unarmed
black men. An officer shot and killed a black teenager in Pittsburg last week and this has prompted more calls for (inaudible) from law enforcement.
Antwon Rose, was shot three times as he ran away from a police car and this is the issue that prompted some NFL players to take a knee at games during
the National Anthem as a form of protest.
Colin Kaepernick and others have taken a beating from the President, the public, and team owners but the truth is that black activism in sports is
not a new phenomenon in the United States.
And Howard Bryant has written a fascinating and important new book about the power and the history of protest on the playing field. He's a senior
reporter at ESPN Magazine and the book is called, "The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism" and Howard
Bryant, joins me now from Hartford, Connecticut. Welcome to the program.
HOWARD BRYANT, ESPN SENIOR REPORTER AND AUTHOR: Hi Christiane, and thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, what is it that -- that first made you write this book? What actual incident was it that caused you to take a look at what's
going on right now?
BRYANT: Well, I think it was actually two issues. I think the first thing was what was taking place in Ferguson in 2014 when Michael Brown was killed
by police. And then the series of incidents that took place after that with Eric Garner and Tamir Rice following that.
And I began to look at this rise of athletes getting involved when for so many years we didn't hear from them. For some many years the player stayed
away from political issues but that, Christiane, was also combined with something else. And that was the rise of the flags and fly-overs and
militarism and patriotism taking place of sporting events.
You saw this collision and what was interesting to me was that you had this rise of patriotism in a place where sports are supposed to bring people
together combined with this rise of athletes getting involved and the collision was taking place in a -- in a place where -- in sports where we
really weren't expecting that.
And where sports were supposed to be the place where everybody had -- either you had your team, I had my team but sports is really the most
divisive place in American culture right now.
AMANPOUR: So what do you make -- I mean, let's go to the Colin Kaepernick issue because that really has been so emblematic, so prominent, and he's
really paid a price. I mean some of his teammates say that, you know, he was turned into public enemy number one.
He was hung out to try. He still doesn't have a job. And this whole business of taking a knee, I think people sort of thought that this was
sort of an unwarranted first kind of public protest in an arena that should just be about sports and not about politics. But you delve right back into
the history of this.
BRYANT: Well, no question. And I think when you talk about the price that players are paying, you see that there's political capital here. You see
what happened with the President today with -- with the travel ban.
You see the fact that these players have become part of a political narrative when we talk about the devisiveness in this county, where now the
President is using these athletes as being unfit to be in the country.
He's called them SOBs for protesting. You've seen him say that maybe they don't belong in the United States for their protest against police
So what's taking place now in sports, is there's political capital to be gained by - by the political opposition to protest. And the players are
paying a serious price.
And now we're trying to find out, we're going to see what the players are going to do about this. What's very interesting Christiane about this, is
that in football, the players are paying a tremendous price. But in basketball, you see players like Lebron James and--
BRYANT: And Dwayne Wade and these multimillion dollar super athletes, using their power. And the president doesn't attack them-
BRYANT: In fact, their capital is a positive.
AMANPOUR: Well right, and Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and others, they've been wearing icon (inaudible). We're seeing the picture, that's obviously
referring to Eric Garner, who was - who died shouting to the police. And he couldn't breathe in a sort of a headlock - a body lock.
Why are they not taking the heat from the president? And by the way, before - before I just ask you respond to that, let's play that (inaudible)
from the president that you referred to about the protest.
TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of the NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a - off the field right now,
out, he's fired. He's fired!
AMANPOUR: I mean it's red meat. But again, we'll get to the NFL owners in a second. But why do you think the basketball players are allowed to -
well, can do it without encoring the presidential wrath?
BRYANT: Well, I think the first thing is because the president's a bully. And I think that you know that Lebron James would fight him back. And you
know that Steph Curry, the coach of the Gold State Warriors and Gregg Popovich, the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, they fight back.
They do not allow themselves to be bullied by anybody. And so you see that relationship - you also see a great relationship between - between the
league and the players and coaches.
The difference between the NFL and the NBA, is that the NBA has encouraged its players to use their voice. They don't find themselves at risk of
losing their jobs and losing their careers by speaking out politically.
They have a national anthem policy, so the players in the NBA do not kneel against the flag during the national anthem. And they're encouraged to use
their voice. So you see the power of Lebron James is not going to back down from the president.
AMANPOUR: So, what we've now seen is the NFL by contrast, tell the players that they must stand. And if they don't want to stand, they have to stay
in the dressing room.
But we also know, according to the Wall Street Journal, that some of the NFL leaders, owners have said that it is President Trump and pressure from
President Trump in conversations that influence their decision on how to handle these protests.
BRYANT: Well, no - exactly. And that's one of the reasons why when you hear people in the public and why it's so disappointing when you here
people in the public use this a as a first amendment issue. And say well, it's not a first amendment issue that the - the private owners have a right
to do and say what they want. And that the players have no power.
When you have the president, who is a public figure, who is th government essentially attacking these athletes and telling them that they shouldn't
be employed and creating pressure on the owners who do employ them. That has become a first amendment issue.
And you also have the other two branches of government as well attacking these players. So, it's disappointing when you see how easily the public
is willing to silence the player. And I think what's also interesting about this too, is when you look at the combination o not just the flags
and the flyovers and the police and the authoritarian elements that are taking place at the game.
The fact that you also have the federal government, and you have the - the pentagon essentially paying for these - these patriotic displays at the
same time when the player are being silent--
AMANPOUR: And I wonder whether many Americans-
BRYANT: In sports right now.
AMANPOUR: Whether - I did not know that by the way. And I'm in the news business, I had no idea that they were paying for these patriotic flyovers
and visitations from military and others. And that - that was happening right now int h post 9/11 world.
But I do want to go back, and we've got a whole load of pictures of people like Paul Robeson who most know as - as an entertainer, but he was an
athlete. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, all of them had public moments of protests.
And - and of course the black power salutes at the 1968 Olympics. Again, protest there. And (inaudible) who didn't even play at the 1968 Olympics
because of - of protesting, civil rights in the light.
So - so people have forgotten this. Remind us of the history then through some of these black athletes of the past.
BRYANT: Well, absolutely, will you have a break here? If you're of a certain generation, you remember Muhammad Ali and you remember Bill
Russell, and Ji Brown, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos as you mentioned that there is a long history, a heritage and inheritance of African
American athletes being involved.
And the argument that I make in the book, is that the black athlete is the most important, most influential, most visible black employee this county's
So, they felt that they had a responsibility to get involved, because they were the ones who made it.
They were the ones who integrated the country. Let's not forget that it was in baseball that integrated the country before the military.
And then from a forty year period after that, in the 1970's, `80s, and `90s - starting with O.J. Simpson and Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods - you had
another generation of players. And those players did not get involved, very much controlled by corporations, very much not interested in risking
whatever political capital they may have had.
And certainly not risking whatever money they had, because they didn't want to get involved in these issues. And so for the player today to get
involved, it's a departure from the Michael Jordan era, and it's a reminder to the fans that there's a history that took place long before 9/11.
AMANPOUR: Really important that you've been bringing this up with your book, and talking about this because, again, I think people really do need
to know where these athletes stand in the battle for civil rights, and human rights.
Howard Bryant, thank you so much for joining us.
And that is it for our program tonight, remember you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and
Twitter. Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.