The meltdown has started. The Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe vs. Wade and the journalists on NBC were already melting down over the “devastating” end of unrestricted abortion in America. Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd ranted that this means the Court is “rigged.”
A clearly unhappy Todd huffed, “Oh, I think the Supreme Court -- there are no more black robes. I think the robes are red and blue.” Ignoring the history of activist liberals on the Court, he complained of the rise of a conservative Supreme Court: “It's been an aggressive, obviously political movement on the right in particular on judges, and if you look at these back-to-back rulings on guns and abortion.”
The host then ripped the Court as “rigged.”
The trust in the Court and the erosion of that and making it be viewed as an extraordinarily partisan institution, we already have that in the House and the Senate. I think now particularly what happened this week, particularly how Donald Trump appointed the Supreme Court, how he went about it, in the whole Scalia thing, with McConnell, and all that, there's a lot of people who believe this is a rigged Court. This Court's make-up isn't fair and square. It isn't representative of where the country is and even was, and I think that is only going to add to cynicism.
For journalists, it’s rigged when things don’t go the way of the left.
Earlier, Yamiche Alcindor didn’t even bother to hide her personal unhappiness: “The NCAA is out with a statement calling this an egregious decision... And this decision is really seen as devastating to so many women across this country by — from people who are, of course, advocates of abortion rights.”
Devastating to women? Tell that to the scores of celebrating young women at the Supreme Court.
With no sense of irony, she stated that “lives are going to be put at risk” now that Roe has fallen:
I also sat down with Shannon Brewer, who is director of the Women's Health Organization in Mississippi. That's the clinic at the center of the decision. She told me that she believes women's lives are going to be put at risk now because they're going to be forced into unsafe abortions or they're going to be forced to have children that they do not want to have and they have not planned for.
Hey, NBC: Lives were already at risk. The media meltdown has already begun. Stay tuned for more.
Transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more.
NBC News Special
LESTER HOLT: I want to bring into the conversation, NBC Washington correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. Yamiche, talk about how this can affect the midterms and change the general political debate.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, this is a sea change in abortion access to women across this country for generations. This really does bring abortion to the center of the midterm elections, the center of the conversation. There were women who I talked to on the ground in places like Louisiana and Mississippi who are going to have to drive hours and hours for abortion access. Those women, when I was talking to them, they were not focused on abortion. They didn't even realize that abortion rights were possibly something that could be taken away. But now, this focuses their minds on that, and focuses their minds on what the conservative movement has accomplished. The NCAA is out with a statement calling this an egregious decision. We should know that one in four women have had an abortion. 60 percent of Americans according to the latest NBC News poll say want abortion access to be legal in this country in some form. That being said, the conservative majority of course has made it very clear that this is going to be something that they're going to be sticking by. And this decision is really seen as devastating to so many women across this country by — from people who are, of course, advocates of abortion rights.
I also sat down with Shannon Brewer, who is director of the Women's Health Organization in Mississippi. That's the clinic at the center of the decision. She told me that she believes women's lives are going to be put at risk now because they're going to be forced into unsafe abortions or they're going to be forced to have children that they do not want to have and they have not planned for. She tells me she's going to be moving this clinic at the center of the case. She's saying now that they would have to close their doors and moving to New Mexico. That's going to be the case in Louisiana and so many other states that are part of this. Twenty six states that the Guttmacher Institute says either are going to restrict abortion or very much ban abortion here. So what we see here is a political movement that is celebrating on the conservative side a big win. But on the Democratic side you see now this coalescing, people, this may not have been their number one agenda, who are now focusing on this issue. And they're going to make the case that conservatives have gone just too far. I also want to note when we want to know who is impacted here. I can't state enough that Shannon Brewer, sitting in Mississippi told me she is most concerned about black women, poor women, women who simply do not have the means to get an abortion.
And she told me that she doesn't have any hope at all that Congress will be able to do anything legislatively to change this, to fix this, to have abortion access in the country. She believes there will not be abortion access in the way we had before the decision in her lifetime, Lester. She really believes at this point the only way for abortion access to happen is for women to get in cars and help other women and men in some cases to help women access this. But that is of course part of this political decision, there aren't really that many political options here. Democrats are going to be trying to argue they need to get more power to do something about Roe. But this 6-3 majority on the court, they have the final say on so many things, including abortion access in the country. So, the politics are uneven. It's unclear what the White House plan is. We have had lawmakers pushing the white house to come out with a plan, executive action to protect abortion rights. But the White House does not know how to deal with this, and cannot give women back rights that have been taken away.
LESTER HOLT: What does this collectively do to how we view the Supreme Court?
CHUCK TODD: Oh, I think the Supreme Court -- there are no more black robes. I think the robes are red and blue. This is the — we have been watching this happen particularly in an aggressive way over the last 15 years. It's been a concern on the lower courts. You have started to see, you know, we lowered the threshold to just 50 votes in the Senate, which guaranteed you wouldn't get center left or center right. It means you were going to get something a little more hard core. It's been an aggressive, obviously political movement on the right in particular on judges, and if you look at these back-to-back rulings on guns and abortion, I think it really does sort of — I think what's striking about Roe is it's the first time in my lifetime that I can think of where a Supreme Court took away a right. Supreme Courts, I can't think of another court in the last hundred years that has done this. A right that was there, taken away. You know, we're used to the Supreme Court granting rights, same-sex marriage, you know sort of reinterpreting things. This is a specific right being taken away from slightly more than half the population....
I think it's going — we don't fully know the consequences yet. That's why we love the phrase unintended consequences. And I think there's going to be a lot of them, short-term, medium term, and long-term. But the trust in the Court and the erosion of that and making it be viewed as an extraordinarily partisan institution. You know, we already have that in the House and the Senate. And I think now particularly what happened this week, particularly how Donald Trump appointed the Supreme Court, how he went about it, particularly the - in the whole Scalia thing, with McConnell, and all that. There really is a lot of people who believe this is a rigged Court....This Court's make-up isn't quote "fair and square." It isn't representative of where the country is and even was, and I think that is only going to add to cynicism. It's only going to add to that, and it is really — look, John Roberts has been concerned about this, you know, he clearly attempted to create, to try to find a middle ground here, and he failed. He was trying to redefine Roe, rather than have it overturned because I think he realized that it would royal -- roil the country. Another point, I'll let it sit out there like a meat ball, Lester, I don't think we can fully ever appreciate the 2016 presidential election is going to turn out to be perhaps the most consequential election in more than a hundred years. The fallout from that election, right, particularly you look at courts. We can go through a whole thing. I'm going to do a lot of that on Sunday, just think about what has changed in America, in culture and society, due to the results of the 2016 election.