The Rachel Maddow Show | March 08, 2013
>>> they told me that what you say speaks so loudly that -- excuse me, what you do speaks so loudly that what you hesay, i cannot hear you. i hear you loud and clear, barack obama . you don't represent the country that i grew up with and your values is not going to save us . we're going to try and take this country back for the lord. we're going to try to take this country back for conservativism. and we're not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in.
>> we're not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in. that's a republican state senator from arkansas who really does not want people to keep playing that tape of that speech he made at that tea party rally in little rock , arkansas in 2011 . he's come up with a whole series of arguments to explain what exactly he was saying there. how he didn't mean minorities, minorities when he said he's not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in. he didn't mean it like that. he also is explaining how even though president obama did attend the national prayer breakfast every year of his presidency, there is apparently something else prayer breakfast related of which senator rapert is critical. so even the these lying about the president and the prayer breakfast, senator rapert would like everyone to stop reporting it that way. the reason he's gone from a person who was perfectly comfortable talking about minorities running roughshod over what you people believe in at public rallies in arkansas just two years ago to somebody who wants to try to maybe have that forgotten. somebody who wants to try to put that genie back in the bottle. try to manage his public image is because jason rapert believes he is going big time . he thinks he's going big time because now at least his ideas are becoming law. in 1973 , the united states supreme court ruled that states cannot make abortion illegal. the right to privately make your own decisions about your health and your body and your pregnancy cannot be overridden by a state government that wants to decide it instead of you. you can't ban abortion. you can't make it impossible to get an abortion. that's illegal in america. states just do not have that option. that said, republicans in the states , particularly since the 2010 elections have been on a rampage to test that to try to make access to abortion as impossible as they can. 92 restrictions on abortion access passed in 2011 . another 43 passed last year. this year close to 300 provisions restricting access to abortion have already been introduced in the states . but good old jason rapert in arkansas has dragged his state further over the cliff than any other state now. in the newly republican controlled legislature in arkansas , jason rapert's bill flat out bans abortion in the state after 12 weeks. and that is very, very obviously illegal in the united states of america . it is flatly illegal under the constitution. there's no ambiguity about it. nevertheless, his illegal bill passed the legislature. the democratic governor of arkansas vetoed it saying in his veto letter, this blatantly contradicts the united states constitution and is, therefore, likely to be very costly to the state once someone decides to sue over it. the legislature responded by overriding that veto. essentially saying, we do not care that it is blatantly unconstitutional. we do not care that it is illegal. we are doing it anyway. strike us down. joining us now for the interview is the woman who will in all likelihood, strike them down. nancy is the center for reproductive rights which along with the aclu has promised to sue the state of arkansas over this blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban. the abartion ban set to go into effect 90 days after the legislature wraps up. am i write in saying this is the sort of thing about where there's a bright line. there isn't any legal ambiguity.
>> absolutely. you're right. the sgfr right. the constitution is clear. the supreme court has been clear. this is far outside the range of what you can do in restricting aborti abortion. it's just a new form of extreme. you're seeing they are trying to push the envelope within the constitutional standard. what arkansas has done has said we don't care about the constitutional standard. we want to try to get a whole new standard that would limit abortion quite nearly pregnancy.
>> you are presumably going to get this blocked in court before it even goes into effect.
>> in terms of their strategy, in part, i give you credit for acknowledging they have a strategy. in part, this seems to me sort of like a tantrum. seems the people who think strategically about these have decided not to pursue it this way in the past because it's not a very good plan to have something sent up that will get smacked down so easily. do you think there is any reasonableness -- for give the phrasing -- to the idea that they might be able to bust open the constitutional constraints on this issue by putting forward something that is this radical?
>> well, it's certainly not reasonable whatsoever. it harms women and that's the place we want to start. i don't think it's reasonable strategy. i think what it is is these folks in arkansas have shown the hand of what is the objective of the anti-choice movement which is to ban abortion, criminalize abortion. they have tactical decisions about how to go about it. the reality is they are all up to the same end game which is to ban abortion. and they are pushing it fastener arkansas but that's what they want. and they've always been clear. they want the supreme court to change its standard.
>> most of the new abortion restrictions we see cropping up in the states as incremental. restrictions that chip away at access to abortion. is there a -- i guess a front end assault on roe that is coming that we should see arkansas as a sort of sign of? is there a new approach coming, a second prong of the movement?
>> oh, yeah. this isn't chipping away. this is taking a sledgehammer to roe. and the only way it could stand is if they get to the supreme court and they convince the court that they ought to throw roe out the window, 40 years of precedent out the window and establish some kind of new incredible regime in which women can't make these choices with their doctors. and in which women in a state like arkansas have completely different rights from women in new york. that's part of what is so horrific about what's going around in the nation now is that whether you are in mississippi with one clinic standing or north dakota with five bills pending currently, or right now in arkansas , we're making second class citizens of women in some of our states . and we need one standard for the nation. roe v. wade should be that standard. it's been that standard. we can't have second class citizens in arkansas and, you know, full rights elsewhere in the nation.
>> looking at this supreme court right now and they are thinking on this and related issues, if a case like that did get to the supreme court , your confident they'd uphold roe.
>> just kennedy is the swing vote. justice kennedy voted with the majority in planned parenthood versus casey. a case 20 years ago that reaffirmed roe that said you can't ban abortions at 12 weeks. that women have to have the ability to make this choice through the time of viability. so this court shouldn't look at this for two seconds.
>> in terms of the 20-week bans that have been passed in a number of states . there was a ruling in idaho related to the idaho ban that was a bit of a surprise, i think. nobody really knew that the court ruling in that case was going to strike down the idaho ban. does that mean that any of the other states are now in jeopardy, legally?
>> actually, the reality is that everywhere it's been tested in court right now, those 20-week bans are enjoined. they are enjoined in ida currently in georgia. some of those are just temporarily enjoined as the case goes on. the idaho judge did the right thing. he looked at it and said it contra vens the constitutional standard and blocked it.
>> this is a fight that is so hard to keep track of on a day-to-day basis because there's so much happening on a day-to-day basis that we have a whole separate stream of news input on this show to try to keep trask these things. you are doing so much more intensively than us because you are combatants in the field. thanks for helping us understand this.
>> thanks for continuing to coverage the story.
>> it's hard. it's getting harder. nathy northrup, thank you.
>>> we've got a story about senator john mccain coming up. and we've got a story about mummies coming up. and they are two different stories.