Transcript: Sens. Chuck Schumer and John Cornyn

GREENBURG: Well, they're pretty -- you know, she's an appeals court judge, an experienced jump. They're pretty technical, a lot of them. You know, you don't get a lot of those hot-button issues on that New York-based federal appeals court, those social issues that you see, kind of, out in the heartland.

So, you know, there's not a lot out there for Republicans, at this point, to work with. We've seen a lot of discussion about a case that's now before the Supreme Court that she was involved in, involving these white firefighters...

STEPHANOPOULOS: The New Haven case we just talked about?

GREENBURG: New Haven -- and, so, you know, I think that one's going to be, obviously, pretty controversial. But her opinion in the -- her opinions that we've seen so far, there's not a lot in them that we saw from some of the other potential contenders.

WILL: In the New Haven fireman case, however, the accusation is not just that she came to a perverse conclusion or affirmed a perverse conclusion, which was that, because fire department promotions were denied equally to those who qualified for them and those who didn't qualify for them, somehow, equal protection and equality under the law was respected, but the accusation goes beyond that, which is that the three-judge panel on the second circuit that, in the most perfunctory, cursory, indeed unsigned way affirmed the lower court's judgment, did so in a perverse way, that seemed to be trying to slip one by a majority on the second circuit.


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Tom Goldstein has also looked at that question and says it's not that exceptional in these kinds of cases. I think he says 24 out of 28 times, there have been unsigned opinions.

But let me look, also, Gwen, at what Jan was talking about, these hot-button issues: not much of a record, at all, on abortion. In fact, the one time -- or the two times that the judge ruled on abortion, one time, she upheld President Bush's Mexico City family planning policy. One time she ruled in favor of anti-abortion protesters. And this raised some concern among...

IFILL: On the left.

STEPHANOPOULOS: On the left, pro-choice groups. Yet the White House comes out and says, "We're comfortable with where she is."

IFILL: "We're confident she shares the president's philosophy," is what they're saying.

Is anybody as surprised as I am that abortion has been so little an issue, when, for so many Supreme Court confirmations, it has been the main first thing out of the box.

It's almost as if whatever -- it's identity politics, whatever you want to call it, has taken its place as the litmus test issue.

I talked to people at the White House this week who said, you know, it doesn't bother me at all that she doesn't have much of a record on abortion.


They're perfectly happy to change the subject and have it move on to something else. And well they should be, I suppose, except they've got to be prepared to handle the something else.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you -- you know, and they say the president is comfortable with her. But they say that he did not ask her directly...

IFILL: You know what, that was a very clever thing. They were asked whether he asked her and they said "he did not ask her in his conversation with her."

In fact, it would have been malpractice if someone didn't ask her. They had, maybe, 100 people working on vetting this woman. So somebody somewhere (inaudible) every thing she did.


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