Supreme Court argues gerrymandering, upholds bump stock ban deadline

Justices are split on a gerrymandering case, and people must turn in their bump stocks as a ban kicks in.
28:48 | 03/26/19

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Transcript for Supreme Court argues gerrymandering, upholds bump stock ban deadline
And. Hey everybody welcome to the Richard Ramirez even since live on Devin Dwyer Washington great to have you with us on this Tuesday. A lot of big developments up on Capitol Hill. At the Supreme Court today we'll get an all those. Are right now in our political director requiring great to have Rick here today and we have a lot of guests today get to as well to talk about some of these headlines refer strictly one that's is sort of the biggest bombshell of the day. How is the administration's changing position. On the Affordable Care Act a major lawsuit properly twenty Republican states attorneys general challenging the law a federal district court late last year. Said the entire law was unconstitutional. All of it. And the trump administration overnight surprised everyone with a one Q were you one page letter saying they were gonna tell the court they agree they want it struck down. As it now goes to the appeals court this sort of sent shivers down Democrats finding a lot of people that relying. We thought the big news from the attorney general this week would be the mullah report of the summary thereof that you can make a real argument that this decision by the Justice Department to reverse course change the administration position ask for the entire Affordable Care Act to be tossed out. Based on their legal standing aback have a B or political impact than anything happening around Robert Mueller this is a very big deal. It is statement by the administration that fits with the policy that they have promulgating before which is that the the the Affordable Care Act should be repealed it hasn't been repealed but now they're saying the court should throw it out anyway based on other pieces have been chipped away that. Him to develop and without an alternative in place or even teed up up on Capitol Hill that is raising a lot of concern about by doctors patients. Groups both camps out on the front lines in America's. Health care system and I want to bring in one of those now doctor John. Bailey she is board certified tally position cares for patients. In both the Wyoming in several counties in West Virginia doctor great to see you thanks for joining us. Right now want to get your reaction to did the developments. The past 24 hours. In and help us understand what's at stake for people like you in your patient. And I'm weariness and concerned for my patients and for our whole and where federally Paula I center. Which means that we receive federal Sunday it we take care ready they. Ask not. End it legally Libya where acts and we know how that number has. Concerns. While drastically. And and that's mislead the dedicate. The decade exchange and human extended. Health care exchange which I know but it's better than nothing. We had Eagles in her hands specifically. It's me Eric. And addiction treatment her greens and it's just three medic is her 84. So I really worry about how this this possibility of bank and -- Gil about all it's going to affect us. Patients. And Arab voice is light years doctor Daley are certainly being heard on Capitol Hill just in this morning as lawmakers come back in the town. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce has been talking to members on both sides in the I'll. Who are now ramping up efforts to address concerns like yours about particularly about preexisting condition protections under the current law. Here's a little bit of mayor Bruce's report. TE. Department justice is sabotaged. Literally. Sabotaging. American statutes. In the name and ideological. Crusade against American health care by this administration. I thought we were beyond. The effort to destroy the affordable care. The Republicans because they can't stand the word Obama are determined to kill the affordable care. Which guarantees to Americans you will not be discriminated against because someone in your family has a preexisting condition. And now lead the Justice Department has said were ready to fight to eliminate the Affordable Care Act regardless. We're back where we were putting a team. Number one Obama care has. They yeah. Enjoy savings book. We were promised with people who care act that would be too kind on the cost of health insurance through next and it would make it such moments none me. We need to get. We need to replace it would with the health insurance system looks like some other news. And that system should provide coverage. For preexisting conditions. I don't think that. The American people actually do much. For us. Democrats here clearly see this new battle over obamacare as a way different than politically this is something that they want to be talking about it here while Republicans. They have long promised to repeal and replace obamacare. Is just now have to come up with a plan to do it. But Rick and our thanks to Mary Bruce they're setting aside the politics of this and there are a lot of politics to unpack. There's some real concern for people out there and that there is no alternative and that congress. Which is so divided couldn't even succeed in repealing obamacare can't come to an agreement on pretty much anything of this significance. That there is no alternative in place if the court were to strike down obamacare in its entirety. What then sort of this doomsday scenario and I guess the question to you is do you think the White House. Could be on to something here are they trying to force both sides to come together if the courts pull the rug out maybe they're gonna have to do something and and fast. Well that would force the conversation they cannot. Legislatively particular place they tried that when they had Republican control of the house as well senate. They didn't get it we remember the votes that that that didn't go the president's way he remembers and does he reminds us about John McCain's no vote almost almost every week. Is so that means the only way to do it is through the courts if you want to get rid of obamacare. And yes he would look different the next day if suddenly the entire Affordable Care Act weird he deemed unconstitutional we're not there yet a lot of legal hurdles to get there but that would force a conversation. But I'll tell you does not feel to me like this White House has the conversation ready to go to even see the president's response the Mary -- up there that the Republicans will be known as the party of health care. That's nice that's not a plan and Eden Republican senators pointed out today you can't replace something with nothing. Write about what we're gonna conversation Melissa Marie she's in and YU a law professor someone who once clerked for justice Sonia Sotomayor and a professor Marie want to ask you about what's next in all of this I mean how urgent. Is this situation and how likely is it do you think that the federal courts the Supreme Court. Ultimately strike this down. This is currently pending a boring in here neediest at all. Court and they all are cited poor can go onto the US in or but it definitely seems clear. This is shaping up to. So we have some time yet it in this. Legal fight which probably won't make it until its next term in the Supreme Court at the earliest armed. But want to go back to doctor Bailey out in the middle of the country I'm struck doctor Bailey by the fact that you work into very red states you've spent some time in Wyoming he spent some time in West Virginia talking to patients those are states. They're voted overwhelmingly for president trump Republicans generally. Get a sense from patients Judy whether they. Are they comparable with eliminating Obama cared they understand the stakes and wood kind of what's your read on. On public sentiment in those states. Do I'm actually not for my building just for Miami county Virginia. We are still very SAR. Virginia and lit more heavily urged that anywhere in the country. But with that being said. And we are very working class aren't careful what it very hard working people. He Carol a lot of people can have health insurance we're we're here a place. All this eagle realized that they relent that. Health insurance. And they are very very unhappy think there's a hate it doesn't matter who does. And these are people with for years or in part at eighty even yeah we're working very or are now getting back here. So I don't. Legal or not to be happy. Right after trying to Bailey join us from West Virginia county West Virginia or Wyoming county West Virginia thank you so much doctor Bailey sorry about that. Really appreciate your time in perspective thanks for common are coming on and Rick. You know hearing from folks like doctor Bailey hearing these personal stories. Really helped to Democrats in the 2018 mid term campaign sent a bill that we've announced represented as what's the impact going to be now that health care has been resurgent as a topic of political debate between Tony. You can argue that the single biggest issue that motivated voters that that drove the turnout that we saw and the results that we saw Tony team was health care. It wasn't Russia it wasn't Robert Mueller it wasn't anything else really the president has said or dot and you could sense that even the defense that the president was playing about preexisting conditions almost all Republicans were saying we're gonna protect your preexisting conditions that was they're closing message they knew the Democrats. We're heading off something. And we tell you for Democrats who really want to turn the page after the Muller reports they would much rather be talking about issues like health care in fact health care front and center as a number one. I think almost anything else they feel like that is a winning set of issues because they feel like they're on the right side of this because people already depending on these services. And indeed they did they realize that the Republicans have not offered a true alternative. And by and large many Americans of both political persuasions. Have very favorable opinions and VA CA think we have some of those polling numbers. Out from the Kaiser Family Foundation a nonpartisan groups are the gold standard. In health care policy in this town. What you see here 82% are younger and Al let people are in favor of young adults staying on their parents' plans. All these provisions individually very popular even as the top line. He gets a lot of takes a lot of bullets and political rounds in the like. And we should also just known as we end the conversation here how many have you face in impact if the court is to strike down obamacare. I'll buy the latest count according to the trump administration eleven point four million people have coverage just in the Affordable Care Act alone. Are receiving subsidized premiums of 612 dollars all of that would be gone. In effect if this is struck down to something that we will certainly be keeping an eye and hear and ABC news live. And much more to come as it works its way through the court system meanwhile. Speaking of the court system. A lot of developments today on that front want to bring in now. I guessed here David did shipment of former ATF agents and known member of the difference foundation because today's the day David. That the trump administration's ban on bump stocks took effect at midnight union is now a legal. Even as its challenged in court to own or possess or sell a bomb stock. Daniel yeah and it struck come when I saw reports that the major supplier. Bumps stocks. I had made the decision to turn over 60000. Bond stocks to ATF in Texas for destruction. So this is real it's really happening in in the wake the worst mass shooting in American history. Were bombed stocks were used to wound hundreds and killed dozens. Com this is a day where. You know it's a somber day minutes a day that we needed to it to take to support public safety in America. It's now a felony. Two to possess a bomb stocked as subject to ten years in prison a 2250000. Dollar fine the Justice Department told me. Just a few hours ago that even as it's being contested in court he is in effect it has been forced want to talk about that but also want to bring. I'm back in in the conversation. Professor Melissa Marie from them why you because obviously. He even asked as we delve into what this song means Melissa the Supreme Court. At this hour is actually grappling with whether or not to put the ban on hold today. As these challenges go forward what is justice sotomayor's someone who you. Easter clerk for what is she considering them right now and weighing whether or not to put on hold. Arrogant here emergency request for a day on an import seeing them on our Dan and what they just sit due justice is justice Sotomayor and chief Justice Roberts to weigh in on these emergency gates. From the circuits where they're at a circuit job. I'm basically have to figure out if it shouldn't but it on hold or if there is a reasonable way to allow district received. Through the legal to be plaintiffs are going to prevail over the merits or if she continues going. I heard it's not a question that merits that does not add a determination got the unstuck the anti. Nation progresses through the courts. What it is it's just a basic determination about whether or not that the and it's going to go to back. While the litigation is pending and chief Justice Roberts denied that ever class that is going to go into force and in schools but there are the DC circuit. And near route waiting for justice sotomayor's termination on sticks or get emergency. An approach on this car because I'm I'm interest and in light of what David just told us that suppliers are already destroying property product that could have been sold. For profit. And all Americans who have won are told to destroy it or paternity and it does seem that there's a real immediate impact on this is an effective think what what do you think sotomayor's gonna do do you think should show put on hold to allow people to. Hold tight while this is adjudicated. Stay there are strongly. Interest until both the American people may want to see that I welcome any actuaries looked funny if product. That sneaky hers yet while they wait to find out what they're not this is actually. A constitutional. Order. I sort of like my old boss would stay but I think the fact it's Robert that's it right that emergency your quest certainly gives her some cover. We're doing the same thing so it seems at least for chief Justice Roberts the equities waved paper out the administration. And allowing got aren't you going to. Horse and we should say that they groups that have brought this emergency were appeal to the Supreme Court one of them gun owners association of America lays out there argument in a brief to the court. They oppose the band they say that it is arbitrary they say it's a reversal. A federal law which bans machine guns they say that that law does not apply to bump sacks this is all about the definition. They say it is endangers them the legality of semiautomatic rifles. And I want to come back to David David used to work at the ATF which is the agency that writes these regulations for many years it said pump stock sales were perfectly fine now that has changed. This all comes down to the issue of whether a bomb stock amounts to a single pull of the trigger or multiple calls the trip. It's a highly technical and complicated. Definition. And this is what happens when technologies change and outrun the law I think we have to look back that there was consensus bipartisan consensus after Las Vegas. That we needed to pass a law to ban these devices that work. Turning on semi automatic weapons into light machine guns armed but the trump administration sad that they didn't wanna go to a vote. They wanted to go through this regulatory process we now see the complications of a legal process going and a fact and we predicted as this is why we wanted to pass a law. That being said. They are now banned. And what's interest stain is is that this law passed during that time prohibition. Is actually a tax law. And so if you currently have a bond stock and you're traveling in your nice SUV if you get arrested. The government can seize your SUV as well it's a ten year federal felony it's a very very serious charge and so. As of yesterday people were trying to at the last minute sell these devices. Similar to if you knew crack cocaine was going to be. AM tomorrow trying to sound the day for both war isn't a very Smart legal strategy and. Rick I'm struck by the politics of this here we have a president who has who has proclaimed himself the most gun friendly Republican president in decades. And yet. His administration from the White House podium declaring that everyone must turn in. A pretty popular and in many parts of the country piece of of gun equipment some imagine. A headline view if with David lays out imagine that this was the Obama administration of the Hillary Clinton administration. Saying we will confiscate your car if we find one of these we will take this device from you'll not only grabbed her gun to my school teacher other property as a result of it. Why our diplomats in the headlines into the screaming headlines at the NRA today over that. Look at trust had price from ourselves the president does not I I don't think so a bit. I come back then the second I think trump. Has had a very complicated interest in relationship with with Vick with a gun lobby he is in some ways the biggest friend they ever had they gave record announcing his campaign any of the of be repaid. He's also out chastised lawmakers that they're afraid of the NRA and he is suggested very strongly that he be things like like like for a universal background check are banning sales. To anyone agrees 21 he's backed off those positions I think on the bonds stopped they felt like there was a critical mass awaited just released some pressure and a rare area where the president's own ideology does not end up for failing to even go through this regulatory process he said Obama's small this is a possible maybe that's how he's justifying it in his mind that the Obama AT up allow these things and he's coming in in doing this. But is no there's no denying any overlap between the people who are upset about this and the tropics I don't think. They haven't some were also Platt that support I think he's able to point to other things another second and victories (%expletive) it to keep a very solid. Base of support that I can vote for Democrats. Given where that where that party is headed by it is striking that this administration would be pretty responsible now oversee a policy change of this magnitude. And David one of the criticisms that. Gun owners have of this policy is that it can't be policed that these are. Bad guys are always any guns they're always gonna get bumped stocks if they want them on that this simply harms. Good and you know law abiding as citizens who want to play with their toys. How would you NET of how would you enforce this how would you around and how how residents who work in practice line cracked. I think the first thing is is it if you can go on to an online marketplace like arms list and seeing someone overtly selling that he'll work that case so. I warn everyone out there don't sell Lisa. Because that will raise attention sure I'd and then think there is some sort of an honor system that most Americans do abide by the law. Most Americans will destroy these are attorneys and H gap we've seen what the regulated industry is done turning over 60000. Of these. There will be some people who believe that this is a law that they don't want to follow. And they place themselves at grave risks because once they are brought into court. The court's gonna frown on that solemn. Again we are here in this confusion today because the administration over a year ago kick this issue down you know the this can down the road. Hoping that this day would not come the day has come and that's where we are. And it's now being enforced we understand their Chapman's former ATF agent and within different organization great to have you things like economy and banking. I thank you so much and shifting gears just a little bit to another major legal case today Plano at the Supreme Court even as they. I'm Rick way whether or not to put in emergency stay on the bump stocks issue they're also hearing the biggest cases in a generation on the issue of political gerrymandering. The practice of drawing those district boundaries like all different sort of short says not shapes and sizes to advance one political group. Over another today Merck the justices really grappled with this idea is. Can that practice be too political too. Silent scene of one group over another and they really seem divide it. They're divided and in releasing a play out today that they have benefited Democrats as well Republicans at different times at the state court level the state legislative level. This is a hard process it's gotten so much easier with computer technology to draw. Exactly the district like you want to it has some ridiculous consequences that you can look at and say are patently. Political immediately political try to preserve an incumbent for preserver party advantage but it's played out in different states in some ways. You saw the justices saying well maybe that's the way it's supposed to be if if if you elect a certain legislature. Even have a certain certain parts of the politics you can't write the politics what the Republicans are gonna help the Republicans that there's always going to be announced that there's a long history. As you know gerrymandering is a play on Eldridge Gary who was an early nineteenth century governor I mean this is going on literally since the beginning of the republic. Has the process got out of hand I do think the court. Has the grapple with that question sooner rather than later we saw an example of Pennsylvania last year where the State Supreme Court dropping entire map just eaters seven months before the election kick everything into chaos a bunch of incumbents lost their jobs because they didn't have districts anymore that's not ideal so that. I think there's a lot of folks on both side looking for clarity for. From the High Court I was in the courtroom today and they were asking a lot of these questions clearly all the justices on both ends of the bench. Were frustrated by this practice there was no love for gerrymandering in that courtroom but. Wrestling with these issues its interest in knowing what's unique about these two cases today that the court heard is that there were a group of college students from North Carolina who came forward. I to allege that they were personally harmed personally hurt. By the drawing of districts in their state gerrymandered districts Jason actually suppress their vote silence their voice. I'm one of those voters joins us now love Caesar she's. A twenty year old junior at North Carolina Ain T university studying history and political science. Love great to see you so our help us understand why gerrymandering. Sort of impacts you personally what's the argument you're making. A. Hi so Allen basically start off by saying that our election on the inlet and when he sixteen. I mean every election since then. And I don't Wear thaksin back register. Audience is campus that might vote counted. The same amount that could be on an art isn't an eighth round match your rights has until you're but I. He got the largest historically black college and our kids and split entity your congressional. Gerrymandered congressional districts. Aren't yet this isn't to say at the other end is Eric Lew. I'm. Great the students and being friends and it is a master our UD are you who in the district I don't. You are required if you want to participate in the let's. See. Answer new residential address and asked. Just want to bet on student a teen running here isn't cool. The result of yeah. And giving your work on the ground with voter turnout law by I understand from your testimony in some of the briefs that you've actually seen. Or what you described as a lack of engagement on the campus since they drew the line cutting at Wright and half that a number of students simply. Became disillusioned and through their hands up that that their voice is simply don't aren't gonna matter anymore. Right a lot of students deal and zip because. I'm me and bright and don't we feel as though. It doesn't really matter whether an early vote. And this is sure saying that the that we are. You know at least and polity that because it is interested in who lives for and mark all industry. Thirteen. Lined. There's an industry sixth. Inning. You re register and who say. Eight. Tedious thing to do you just have to re register every year as well as students really feeling light. It makes entity politically you're sit seeking day east where and the government on its. Inked isn't. And we really youth Ilyce are we don't. It feels as though does legislature is to her is on thinking that we would happen. We have eyewitness prisons those aren't out today. We do at this Supreme Court we'll. You know our feeling into account. Because the hardest and racial gerrymandering which. They're both. They suppressed our blitzes. Equally so students aliens T really do real feel like we need have a bigger boys and that bullying tales. Outlined gerrymandering for good. Very well said love Cesar thank you so much for joining us from North Carolina and T and that is a sentiment Rick that we've heard. Echoed by Republicans we saw former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today out on the steps of the Supreme Court making that argument. And Democrats and that's another thing that makes this case unique. We will see if the court response to it. But two cases today one involving Republican germ entering the other democratic gerrymandering. Making very clear that this isn't a partisan issue this is a problem that both parties are now. Yeah giant and marketed in one level you can see just the sale of everyone's doing it maybe that's the way it's supposed to be done but it has taken. On a level of extremity and sometimes it's. Redistricting in the middle of the census year when a new party takes over. Or is that the extreme thing we give you troubles lines and you make the ridiculous shapes and just become so obvious there is annoyed when you see equality that I think. The justices are going to be asked to sort out because there is a way to do it now with computer software to be very clinical about it in fact. California is one of the states is that's enacted as were stunned with with the nonpartisan commission there are other ways of doing to get out of the flow around the don't necessarily mean the court stepping in. And there was a lot of talk about that today courtroom go back again to our. Professor at NYU or Melissa Marie who worked for justice Sotomayor. Melissa she was one of the most outspoken today saying this practice has got to end it's gotta be reined in. I get you heard Chief Justice John Roberts talked today about the difficulty. In setting a rule for that he's sort of openly questioned. How does one judge when political is too political. It is is your sense that sort of the biggest not in this case. Perennially been the problem and the partisan gerrymandering it says the court is dealt with gerrymandering oberg a long term. I'm mostly in the context of racial or racial gerrymandering no magic partisan gerrymandering because its insert difficult. You design a workable solution that judges could apply. It indicates just last term will vs get our what I do overs that's what hurt where the court to get back to the lower or because of the jurisdictional issue but analysts speculate it. But the court actually hunted because they weren't in a position to actually identify a workable standard. That federal courts but actually. Determining when partisan gerrymandering had become too hard. And we will see if they decide this time around into our come up with a standard but Melissa Murray thank you so much for joining us from I'm why you Rick. We should but all the suffers in the stakes are incredibly high because there's going to be a nationwide redistricting mean effort coming very soon. After the twenties when he census which will set the maps for a decade to come. That's right and everyone wants to get it right the first time we seen it becoming a growing mass a decade after decade and I think with with the rise of computer technology and others a partisan schemes has gotten. Easier to pull this off and I am curious that this is the when it finally get settled as a matter from the Supreme Court. We will know in June recliner political director thanks so much for being here reckon thank you for watching us here in the briefing here on this very busy Tuesday on Devin Dwyer Washington download. The ABC news after the latest on these and all the stories we're covering today here at ABC news live to join us back here. 3:30 eastern time the briefing room tomorrow. Hope to see that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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