Mitchell Reports | March 11, 2013
>>> through by the chairman of the judiciary committee , vermont senator pat leahy who now joins me. senator, let's talk about your gun legislation this is the anti-trafficking law. tell us why you think this has a good shot, if you think it does, on the floor. and why, why this law, why first?
>> well this is something that law enforcement really wants, we've had this problem where people bought guns legally, a whole lot of them. but then they get trafficked to drug cartels or gangs. certainly a lot of the guns that have shown up in, in gangs or murders or in drug cartels , including some across the board in mexico. many of them were bought legally by people who then sold them illegally to drug cartels and others. law enforcement strongly backed this bill. they said close the loopholes, it's not going to stop gun owner who obeys the law, follows the law. it's not going to stop them from owning a gun. but it is going to stop the trafficking.
>> there was only one vote, republican vote in committee for it so it was pretty much a partisan vote, do you expect that on the floor as well?
>> no, i've had, i've heard from a lot of republican senators who want to keep working with me on it. because they've been hearing from the police and others in law enforcement from their state. and also you know, legitimate gun dealers say they want to know where the guns go that they sell. they want to make sure that people are buying them, are using them for what they want them for.
>> so now that it's out of committee, what's the next step? is it scheduled for floor action?
>> we have three more that have to come out of committee. senator feinstein has a major bill, listing a number of weapons she wants banned.
>> the assault weapon ban.
>> yes. and senator schumer has one on, on background checks . senator boxer has one on schools. all of these will be voted out. they'll have differing chances on the floor. but i think that we ought to get them out of committee and put them on the floor. i think that it is, i think it's important that the judiciary committee vote on them. we've had several major hearings on these bills. but all of, have to have a chance to vote, for them or against them. but i think they ought to stand up and vote.
>> what are you hearing from the nra ? is this going to be filibustered?
>> i would hope it wouldn't be filibustered, that just allows you to vote maybe. think people on this issue expect you to vote yes or no. the background checks , universal background checks , the nra was for a few years ago. they were for it before they were against it i think that most people, certainly legitimate gun dealers say why should we have dove a background check , but somebody selling guns out of a tent at a gun show might not have. we have to pay taxes to the local community and state. we have to fill out all the paperwork, why shouldn't they?
>> i'm a gun owner and when i purchase a gun as i have on different occasions, i have to go through a background check . i think if, and i have no problem doing that. but i think everybody should have to. the same way i do. or you would.
>> want to ask you about the fight over judicial appointments because caitlyn halligan was blocked again for the second time for the d.c. circuit court and there are vacancies there and many are arguing that this is republicans trying to block democrats from gaining a majority on that very important court. second only to the supreme court . she's a former solicitor general in new york state and she had taken on the nra in her role, you know voting or litigating something for the new york state government as a solicitor general does. do you think that that is what has caused her to be blocked? do you think it's just that the republicans do not want to give you a vote?
>> i think a little bit of both. this is a woman who is one of the most qualified people we've seen come before our committee from either republican president or democratic president. her qualifications are enormous. she's backed by both law enforcement and others. normally this would have been an easy voice vote . the fact that she was defeated, i think is outrageous, i think it's a blot on the, on the united states senate . she got more than 50 votes. but because they were filibustering her, she didn't go through. the same people who said it would be wrong to filibuster courts of appeals , judges, of course voted to filibuster once the various lobbies came in. and this is a woman, any court would be proud to have her. i don't know why, why a woman with the qualifications actually far exceeding many of the people who, men and women, who have been confirmed to that court, why she should be stopped. i think that they, they when doing that, they politicize the d.c. circuit . it's become politicized enough. it shouldn't be politicized even more.
>> senator pat leahy , thank you very much. thanks for being with us today.
>>> thank you.
>> and president obama tabbing his campaign team, to help a new fight. former white house press secretary , robert gibbs joining us next to talk about that and a lot of other things. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the