Sunday, on the day before the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, we’ll speak to Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, about how the campaign is preparing for the biggest political event of the year so far.
Rep. John Boehner sounds off on fight over Homeland Security funding; Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore explains stance on same-sex marriage
Written by Chris Wallace / Published February 15, 2015 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Rep. John Boehner , Roy Moore
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
The latest on terror attacks in Denmark, as Congress deadlocks over how to avoid shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. We have an exclusive interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner.
WALLACE: Can you promise the American people that you're not going to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to run out?
We discuss the new Republican majority in Congress and that controversial invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Haven't you taken one of the few bipartisan issues in this country, support for Israel, and turned it into a political football?
Speaker John Boehner, only on “Fox News Sunday.”
Plus, President Obama asked Congress to authorize his war against ISIS. But is he doubling down on a losing strategy?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our coalition is on the offensive. ISIL is on the defensive and ISIL is going to lose.
WALLACE: Our Sunday group weighs in.
Then, the fight in Alabama over same-sex marriage turns into a legal battle between the state and federal court.
We'll talk with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who ordered local judges not to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
And our power player of the week, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rory Kennedy on the last days in Vietnam.
All, right now, on “Fox News Sunday.”
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
Our exclusive interview with House Speaker John Boehner in a moment.
But we begin with breaking news. Police in Denmark have shot and killed a suspected gunman in two terror attacks there. The first was at a free speech event in Copenhagen, the second at a local synagogue.
Senior foreign affairs correspondent Amy Kellogg joins us now from London with the latest -- Amy.
AMY KELLOGG, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris.
Well, now, the head of Danish intelligence is saying he believes the gunman was inspired by Islamic radicalism, maybe even by ISIS, and more specifically, Chris, the attacks that happened in Paris last month. Both terror (INAUDIBLE) similar in that Jews were targeted and also cartoonist who depict the Prophet Muhammad were targeted.
Now, France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, was very quick to get himself over to Denmark to gather information and lend support. A dragnet across Europe seeking to track down all associates and movement of the gunman who attacked a freedom of speech gathering which featured a Swedish cartoonist who had depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog. And then, later, he attacked a synagogue, killing a Jewish man who is standing sentinel outside a bar mitzvah celebration and wounded two police officers.
At the freedom of speech event, one man killed, three officers were wounded. The cartoonist, Lars Vilks, was unharmed. Now, police used tips from the public to track down the man they believe carried out both shootings. They laid in wait for him. When he emerged just before day break, he shot at them before they shot him dead.
Now, Chris, finally, no information about the shooter has been released. Police do know his identity. Apparently, he had been on their radar. And finally, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, again appealing to European Jews to move to Israel. This as Europe grapples with how to curb some of the violent pockets of hatred that exists -- Chris.
WALLACE: Amy Kellogg in London -- Amy, thanks for that.
This latest terror attack comes as our Department of Homeland Security runs out of money in just 12 days, unless Congress finds a way to avoid a shutdown. House Republicans passed a bill but tied it to rolling back President Obama's executive actions on immigration. And Senate Democrats are filibustering that linkage.
On Friday, I met with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss the fight over DHS funding and more, in a wide-ranging interview.
WALLACE: Mr. Speaker, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Chris, always good to be with you.
WALLACE: Haven't you and House Republicans put the GOP in a box with funding for the Department of Homeland Security about to run out and you are demanding changes to the president's executive action on immigration that Senate Republicans say they can't pass?
BOEHNER: Chris, the Constitution makes it pretty clear that the House has to do its work and the Senate has to do theirs. The House has acted to fund the department and to stop the president's overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders.
Remember, Chris, the president said 22 times that he did not have the authority to do what he eventually did. And the Congress just can't sit by and let the president defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office.
And so, the House acted. Now, it's time for the Senate to act.
WALLACE: But the Senate, sir, respectfully, can't act. They have 54 votes. They don't have 60 votes. Republicans used the filibuster. Democrats are using it now.
Senate Republican Leader McConnell says this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL , R-K.Y., MAJORITY LEADER: It's clear we can't go forward in the Senate, unless you all heard something I haven't. The next move obviously is up to the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: McConnell is saying the House has to pass something new they can actually get through the Senate.
BOEHNER: Senator McConnell's done a great job as the new majority leader. He's allowed over 20 amendments to the Keystone pipeline bill. This is not like the Senate that we've seen over last four years. The Senate Democrats are blocking the ability to even debate the bill. Senator McConnell's offered them the opportunity to offer amendments. It's their turn. That's the way the system works. That's the way the constitution spells it out.
So, the House has done its job. We've spoken. If the Senate doesn't like it, they'll have to produce something that fits their institution.
WALLACE: I understand there's two sides to the argument. Here's the bottom line: the deadline is less than two weeks from now. And the fact is that you and Congress are going to be out on recess for the next week.
Can you promise the American people with the terror threat only growing that you're not going to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to run out?
BOEHNER: The House has acted. We've done our job. Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position. It's up to Senate Democrats to get their act together.
WALLACE: But -- I'll ask it again --
BOEHNER: Chris, Chris, one more time -- the House has done its job under the Constitution. It's time for the Senate to do their job.
Listen, I've got a tough job here. So does Senator McConnell. But Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way; they're the ones jeopardizing funding. Why don't they get on the bill and offer amendment, offer their ideas? Let's see what the Senate can do.
WALLACE: And what if the Department of Homeland Security funding runs out?
BOEHNER: Well, then, Senate Democrats should to be blame. Very simply.
WALLACE: And you're prepared to let that happen?
BOEHNER: Certainly. The House has acted. We've done our job.
WALLACE: This speaks to a bigger issue. When Republicans took over Congress, you talked about you were going to show how to govern. And yet, we're more than a month in and the only major piece of legislation that the Republican Congress has passed and sent to the president is the Keystone pipeline legislation, which he's already said he's going to veto.
Even the conservative editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal" says this is no way to run a congressional majority.
BOEHNER: Chris, the president's already signed several bills into law. Just yesterday, he signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act that would help get more services to our veterans that we're losing at the rate of 22 a day.
The Keystone pipeline's been done.
The House has passed --
WALLACE: Well, you passed it but he's not going to sign it.
BOEHNER: Chris, the House has passed several dozen bills already. We're off to the fastest start of a Congress in the 25 years that I've been here.
Now, the Senate took 23 days to debate the Keystone pipeline, something we did in a couple hours here in the House. The House can move. The Senate is a much slower body.
But we're off to a good start. We've passed the 40-hour workweek requirement in Obamacare, so that people aren't getting their hours cut. We passed the Hire More Veterans Act out of the House to make it easier for small businesses to hire veterans.
How about making it easier to export liquid natural gas overseas to our allies who are --
WALLACE: I understand all that, but it's not getting through the Senate.
BOEHNER: I'm the Speaker of the House, thank you.
WALLACE: You've created quite a controversy by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without telling the White House.
Now, everyone from Vice President Biden down to 12 congressional Democrats have said they are not going to attend.
Haven't you taken one of the few bipartisan issues in this country, support for Israel, and turned it into a political football?
BOEHNER: I have not. The fact is we have every right to do what we did. I wanted the prime minister to come here.
There's a serious threat facing the world and radical Islamic terrorists are not going to go away. The president devoted but a few words to it in the State of the Union address.
And then when it comes to the threat of Iran having a nuclear weapon -- these are important messages that the Congress needs to hear and the American people need to hear. And I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu is the perfect person to deliver the message of how serious this threat is.
WALLACE: But when you talk with Ron Dermer about inviting Netanyahu, you told him specifically not to tell the White House.
Why would you do that, sir?
BOEHNER: Because I wanted to make sure that there was no interference. There's no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I frankly didn't want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity.
WALLACE: But it has created a -- if not a firestorm, certainly a controversy here. It has a created a controversy in Israel. And shouldn't the relationship between the U.S. and Israel be outside of politics?
BOEHNER: It's an important message that the American people need to hear. I'm glad that he's coming and I'm looking forward to what he has to say.
WALLACE: What's the rush? The deadline for a framework agreement with Iran is March 24th and, this week, the president said this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't see a further extension being useful if they have not agreed to the basic formulation and the bottom line that the world requires to have confidence they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I guess the question is why not put off the Netanyahu speech until you see whether or not there's a framework agreement, and basically wait to see how the talks go?
BOEHNER: There's bipartisan concern about these discussions with the Iranians. And, frankly, we want to hear what the Prime Minister of Israel has to say, because what we're trying to do is strengthen the president's hand in these negotiations. There's another round of Iran sanctions that are being discussed on both sides of Capitol Hill in a bipartisan manner.
WALLACE: But the president says he doesn't want a --
BOEHNER: I understand he says he doesn't want them. He doesn't quite understand that we're trying to strengthen his hand. And the discussions about the sanctions bill, with regard to Iran, makes it clear that only the sanction would go into effect if there was not an agreement.
WALLACE: President Obama is now asking Congress for authorization to fight ISIS. You had said that his bill that he sent up is too restrictive.
Do you support giving the president authority to launch a full-scale ground war, U.S. ground troops, in Iraq and Syria against ISIS? Do you think that he should at least be given that authorization?
BOEHNER: The president is asking for less authority than he has today under previous authorizations. I don't think that's smart.
We need a robust strategy to take on ISIL. No one has seen one from this White House yet. In addition to a robust strategy, I think we need to have a robust authorization. And I don't believe what the president sent here gives him the flexibility, or the authority, to take on this enemy and to win.
And so, I look at the submission by the president as the beginning of the process. We're going to have exhaustive hearings in the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Intelligence Committee, the Armed Services Committee. And we're going to have bipartisan discussions about how we strengthen this authorization.
WALLACE: Do you think he should have the power to launch a full-scale ground war in that part of the world? Would you vote for that?
BOEHNER: Chris, my first vote in the Congress was authorizing George Herbert Walker Bush to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. My first vote in the Congress.
And I've always believed that we should give the authority to the president to win the battles that we need to win. And I don't believe that the authorization the president asked for will give him the tools he needs to defeat ISIL. I know he says, well, the threat is being diminished. Well, the fact is ISIL continues to gain new territory.
WALLACE: After hearings, after debate, will the Republican Congress give the president authorization to continue this fight?
BOEHNER: We're going to have discussion. We're going to have thorough hearing. We're going to have a big debate.
And how that turns out I think it's too early to predict, because to do this correctly, I think we need to have bipartisan support on both sides of the Capitol. So there will be a lot more discussion about this in the weeks ahead.
WALLACE: Finally, you have set up a select committee to investigate what happened in Benghazi, even though there have been about a half dozen investigations; the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee basically said there was no there there -- like this last year.
Some people have questioned: is all of this an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign?
BOEHNER: No, Chris, it's -- the idea here is to get the American people the facts about what happened. Why wasn't the security for our embassy in Libya, the extra security, given to the ambassador after repeated requests? The night of the event, why didn't we attempt to rescue the people that were there? Why were the people there told not to get involved?
And then, as importantly, when did the president know this? And why, for some two weeks, did he describe it differently than what it really was?
There are a lot of unanswered questions, and as Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the Benghazi committee, has been told by me, I don't need a big show here but we need our facts. The American people deserve the truth about what happened and that's all we're interested in.
WALLACE: Does Hillary Clinton have something to do with that?
BOEHNER: She was never interviewed by the Accountability Review Board shortly after the event. I think we just need to know what the facts were, and if she's got facts that she can supply, we need to know them.
WALLACE: But you'd like to see her called to testify.
BOEHNER: That's up to Chairman Gowdy to make that decision, but if he believes that's necessary to get to the truth, so be it.
WALLACE: Up next, as lawmakers leave town on recess, what will happen in the Homeland Security funding fight? Our Sunday group joins the conversation.
Plus, who do you think is to blame if DHS runs out of money? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and use #fns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL , R-K.Y.,MAJORITY LEADER: Let me make it clear: there will be no government shutdowns and no default on the national debt.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., MINORITY LEADER: Forcing the Department of Homeland Security to shutdown endangers the American people. Republicans must stop holding our Homeland Security hostage to their anti-immigrant grandstanding.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell promising the day after the November election Republicans would not let funding for the government run out. And House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi noting DHS budget does just that in 12 days.
And it's time now for our Sunday group: syndicated columnist George Will, Julie Pace who covers the White House for "The Associated Press", co-host of "The Five", Dana Perino, and FOX News political analyst Juan Williams.
Well, we asked you for the questions for the panel and we got this on Facebook from Karen Sue Cook. She writes, "Republicans will get the blame if department shuts down so they need to come up with a way to try to get some concessions to get past this deadline."
Dana, I mean, as a point of fact, Senate Democrats are filibustering this in the Senate. But is Karen Sue right? In the end, if DHS funding runs out, will Republicans get the blame?
DANA PERINO, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": It sounds like Karen Sue Cook should come to Capitol Hill because she's exactly right. McConnell put his line in the sand. He's going to stick to it. Meaning, he doesn't want to have a government shutdown.
Now, as Speaker Boehner just told you, they have problems because there are members of their caucus that very much think shutting down DHS is what has to happen in order to push back the president on the executive order about immigration.
This is not going to end with the Republicans looking like heroes and they will get blamed by the White House, by the media, by Democrats. They will blame each other.
And so, I think she's right. They need to have a strategy.
They can't start amending the bill until they get to start -- until there's a bill passed. The Democrats do have some blame here. But when the stories are written, that will be a technicality.
WALLACE: Julie, speaking of the technicality, how do they feel at the White House? Do they see this as a repeat of the government shutdown in October of 2013? And as in that case, rightly or wrongly, do they feel Republicans will take most of the political heat?
JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Yes, looking at the situation on the Hill, they feel if Republicans are unable to pass something by the end of this month, they're going to be the ones that get stuck with the blame.
There is some real concern about DHS shutting down. Thousands of workers would go without pay for a period of time. You know, it's the same time what the White House doesn't want to see and what Republicans also don't want to see, it's just a short-term extension, because all this would do is kick this fight into maybe April or May and we'll be dealing with this again.
But they feel confident that Republicans want to either take that step, or let DHS shut down, that the GOP will get the blame.
WALLACE: Actually, I was reading this week that there are some people who believe Republicans in the House couldn't pass a short-term claim bill, that there are not enough Republicans to go along with that anymore.
PACE: Absolutely. I mean, we saw this pattern over the last couple years where we get up to a deadline and there would always be a short-term bill. But I think the makeup of the House maybe makes that more difficult this time around.
WALLACE: Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, this week, sounded the alarm. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We need to fund this agency. We need to get back to the business of providing homeland security, border security, cybersecurity, aviation security and fund our department as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Not to let the facts get in the way but the fact is even if DHS funding runs out, roughly 200,000 of the department's 230,000 workers would be deemed essential and would keep working without pay, including the Secret Service, TSA and border protection.
Having said all that, George, it still wouldn't look good if DHS runs out of money, would it?
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: That's right. First of all, because when the Republicans took control of the Senate, the fundamental promise was adult supervision, that under Harry Reid, the Senate had been essentially removed from the constitutional process. People just didn't vote on things.
Now, this comes along. The question is, who would be blamed? Whether the Republicans be: (a), yes, they're always blamed. But, (b), this case, they deserve to be blamed in this sense -- the president understands the separation of powers. He just doesn't like it and rejects it. The Republicans don't seem to understand it. The House keeps sending to the Senate a bill it knows cannot be passed by the Senate.
And when Mr. Boehner said to you the House has to do its work, that's not its work to send this futile gesture to make the Republican base feel good. We can't explain to the Republican base how the system works. Well, they better learn how to explain that. That's called leadership.
WALLACE: Juan, you don't even have to bash Republicans today. George Will is doing it for you.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm not try to bash anybody. But I will say, I mean, clearly, playing politics here. And they have to respond to the base.
I did an interview with Raul Labrador, Tea Party Republican from Idaho. And he said, look, people sent me here to fight Obamacare and fight the president on his immigration reform and that's what I do.
So, they're doing this to go back home and say we had a good fight. And we stood up there and we bashed the president and we shut down the government. And that plays on base Republican politics. But it is simply playing pandering in my opinion to anger. And it's not about governing. It's not about actually showing Republicans are capable of getting this government on track, achieving something.
I think, you know, the big divide in Washington continues to be between Tea Party Republicans and establishment Republicans.
John Boehner says he has a tough job to Chris Wallace. Yes, he's got a tough job. But at some point, he's got to say, this is who I am, this is what I stand for. And Republicans know how to make government work.
WALLACE: I cannot let this week pass without getting you guys to combat on the video that Barack Obama -- and hear it is, did for BuzzFeed, to get millennials to sign up for Obamacare. Here is a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The deadline for signing up for health insurance is February -- Febru -- that's not right, February, man. February 15th. February 15th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: It's a different world.
I got to ask you, Julie, you know, I know that the effort is, this is BuzzFeed. It got millions of hits. You go where the voters are and you want to get young people to sign up, you go a place they would. One, the question of dignity, two, the question of timing. This was done on the day of the death of Kayla Mueller, the American hostage, the death -- her killing by ISIS was confirmed.
Any second thoughts on the White House about this?
PACE: Definitely no second thoughts among the White House officials I talked to. They say that they get millions of hits for these videos. They get groups like us to talk about them. Get tons of attention for the health care law. We've seen the president do this before.
I know that officials at the White House will rolL their eyes at me and dismiss me as old media, traditional. But I think there's a line that you risk crossing. I think that's this video and others the president has done goes right up to that line.
WALLACE: Dana, I -- I've been waiting to ask you this question. You, of course, were the press secretary for Bush 43. What would have happened if you had come into the White House and said, Mr. President, I got this idea for you?
PERINO: One, I'm smart enough not to go in and say, hey, we're going to do this silly video with a selfie stick and say, I'm going to use Brian Williams' selfie stick. I mean, all the pop culture stuff gets combined in your head.
The thing about these funny videos, it's like your wife has a new cookbook out.
WALLACE: Thank you.
PERINO: She uses spice delicately. She uses spice. And they use these videos as like the main dish. Everything is humor. And the other stuff is sort of extra things they have to do like, mm, coming up with a strategy to fight ISIS.
WILLIAMS: You know, I heard Chris Wallace say the reason bank robbers rob banks is because that's where the money is.
WALLACE: Well, I didn't say that, that's what Willie Sutton said --
WILLIAMS: But the fact is, guess what, this is where the eyeballs are in America today, especially among millennials.
WALLACE: But doesn't there have to be a line?
WILLIAMS: There is no -- what line? The line is you go where the viewers are and you appeal to the American people. And he's not -- it's not anything that I think you would view as different and "Laugh-In" with Nixon or Clinton on Arsenio. I think that you don't want to demean your office, but you want to appeal to people and talk to them in their language --
WALLACE: We'll weigh over here, but, George, go ahead. I can tell you want to say something.
WILL: What's different about is, it's long been done. That if narcissism were oil, this president would be Saudi Arabia. And therefore, the picture of the president taking pictures of himself reinforces a not flattering narrative.
WILLIAMS: But that's self-mockery.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: it's certainly mockery.
WALLACE: We have to take a break here. We'll see you a little later. Yes, my wife does have a cookbook, "Mr. and Mrs. Sunday's Suppers."
Coming up, as the nation waits for Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, there's a legal tug-of-war going in Alabama. That state's chief justice, Roy Moore, joins us to talk about his decision to defy a federal court.
WALLACE: It seemed subtle. Alabama would become the 37th state to recognize same-sex marriage. When federal judge Callie Granade ruled a ban there was unconstitutional. But then Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore stepped in and told state officials to ignore that court order. Now the federal judge has fired back. We've invited controversial Chief Justice Moore to join us to explain his decision and where things stand out.
Chief justice, with this latest ruling by federal judge Granade and with 50, at least 50 of the 67 probate judges in Alabama -- and those are the ones who decide whether or not to issue the court orders in the counties with the 50 of the 67 now saying they're going to go ahead and issue those same-sex marriage licenses this next week, is this case basically settled?
ROY MOORE, ALABAMA CHIEF JUSTICE: No, far from it, Chris. This was -- this latest ruling by Judge Granade merely pointed out what I said in my initial order. That she does not have power over anything, but what's before her court. Even with that recent ruling, she has no power over the probate courts of Alabama. This is about an extension of power beyond federal authority. I'm talking about Rule 65 of federal rules of procedure which states very clearly that a person is not bound if they're not before the court. And she noted that. Then she joined one judge. She now has one judge under authority. But not the other remaining probate courts of Alabama.
WALLACE: Yeah, I mean this was ...
MOORE: This is a (inaudible) power.
WALLACE: This was a specific order to the probate judge in Mobile, Alabama.
WALLACE: But you're saying that this has no effect on the other 66 counties?
MOORE: Absolutely, we've got this federal intrusion into state sovereignty is occurring right under our nose and nobody is standing up. 21 states have bowed down to federal court orders when they didn't have to. What they ...
WALLACE: Let me just ask you, sir. So what you are saying that the other 66 county probate judges who have not been directly ordered by this judge, that the other 66 probate judges don't have to issue and shouldn't issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
MOORE: That's what I'm saying, sir. Because that's what the Supreme Court and the federal courts of this land have said. Justice Clarence Thomas in 1993 in Lockhart versus Fretwell, said very clearly that our federal system with state court is no less - a state court decision on federal questions is no less authoritative than the court of appeals in whose circuit that state court is situated.
They have, you know, we've got to understand that what a judge says is not law. Law is by the United States Constitution, the law of the United States and our state constitution and its laws. Those are laws passed by the legislature, not by judges.
WALLACE: But let me follow up on that. Because this federal judge, Judge Callie, and I agree, she's a lower court judge, not an appeals court judge, the Supreme Court justice.
WALLACE: She issued her order. That ended up going to the federal court of appeals. The next higher level. And they said that this order should go into effect. They refused to stay or stop it.
WALLACE: Then it went to the Supreme Court - let me just finish, sir.
They went to the Supreme Court and they refused to stay or stop the order. So aren't you, in effect, defying the U.S. Supreme Court?
MOORE: No, sir. What went to the 11th circuit did not go to the Supreme Court. The marriage went to the 11th circuit. They did not rule on the marriage. The only thing that went to the Supreme Court was the injunctive relief. And that's very important. Because the injunctive relief in that case related only to the attorney general of our state, not to any probate court. Nobody has ruled on the merits. If they had ruled on the merits, we wouldn't need to be going to the United States Supreme Court in April with the decision on this issue. It is actually debated among the various courts of appeals of our country. There's no law right now that overcomes the Alabama constitution.
WALLACE: But if I may, sir, the issue that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
WALLACE: Was whether or not this court order by Judge Granade should be stayed until the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Until they had the hearing in April, until they ruled in June. And by a margin of 7-2, the Supreme Court said no, don't stop the order.
MOORE: This court -- I have the opinion in my hand. And I have the opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas. Only involved an injunctive relief. Clarence Thomas ...
WALLACE: He is in the minority, sir.
MOORE: It's just injunctive relief on the attorney general. That's all that was before the Supreme Court. And Clarence Thomas made that very clear in his opinion.
WALLACE: So, what happened to the other ...
MOORE: It's not the decision ...
WALLACE: What happened to the other 66 probate judges who are -- well, 50 of them, who are continuing or say they're now going to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite your order?
MOORE: Despite my order, sir, the laws of the United States Supreme Court and the federal district court state very clearly that a state court's trial interpretation of a federal question is just as authoritative of any inferior court. That includes the federal district courts and the law - and the federal courts of appeals. So that's law. I'm not making it up.
WALLACE: No, I understand that. But so are you, therefore, saying that these probate judges, and 50 of them are going to start issuing or already have issued licenses to same sex couples. Are you saying they're breaking the law?
MOORE: They're breaking the Alabama constitution sanctity of marriage amendment which has not been overturned by the United States Supreme Court. Until that court acts, any dispute between the state trial court's interpretation and the federal court's interpretation belongs to the United States Supreme Court. Not the lower federal court judge.
WALLACE: Here's what President Obama said this week about this case and what he said about you. Here he is, sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: When the federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything you'd say to him?
OBAMA: You know, I think that the courts at the federal level will have something to say to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mr. Chief Justice, your reaction to President Obama's comments?
MOORE: Well, I'd like to tell president Obama that he's entirely correct. Federal law does trump state law. But what this Harvard professor who is president of the United States does not understand if a trial court's decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that, it's an opinion. It may be law of the case before her. It is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges. That's something very basic. Something Speaker Boehner has just referred to about the constitutional violations of this president and the Supreme Court. We are seeing this. Those interpretations are not law. If they were, then the legislature would have no role. Legislatures should make law. Congress is to make law. The United States Supreme Court Constitution is law. So is Alabama constitution. We have a fundamental misunderstanding in our country. If federal courts by their mere utterance make law. They do not make law, sir. They make law of the case applicable to the parties before them.
WALLACE: But, all right, this gets a lot into the weeds and this isn't a law class. You heard the chief justice, I'm not a lawyer. But what if the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case in April and decides in June that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, you have been, forgive me, a little fuzzy on this. You said at one point you would recuse yourself. What does that mean?
MOORE: That means if the case comes before me and the Supreme Court has decided what marriage is, then that would control that case. But I would not be bound thereby. I could recuse or dissent as a justice from Delaware did in the Dred Scott case in 1857. They ruled black people were property. Should a court today obey such a ruling that is completely contradictory to the Constitution? You know, justice ...
WALLACE: But I guess what I'm asking you is -- I understand you'd be unhappy and you say you'd recuse yourself.
WALLACE: But are you saying if the Supreme Court rules that Alabama does have to abide by the Supreme Court's ruling?
MOORE: State courts are bound by the rulings of the United States Supreme Court. But just like Benjamin Curtis did, he said that when a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules, which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a constitution. We're under a government of individual men who for the time being has a power to declare what the Constitution is according to their own views and what they think is ought to mean.
WALLACE: There is one last question. We just have time for one last question.
WALLACE: This is not the first time that you have run up against the federal courts. Back in 2003, you ignored a court of appeals, U.S. Federal Court of Appeals ruling, that you must remove a two-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the state capitol. At that point, sir, in Alabama, a state ethics panel said that you had to be removed from office because you had put yourself above the law. Aren't you doing the same thing now, sir?
MOORE: I was obeying the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which does not prohibit the acknowledgement of God. When federal courts start changing our constitution by defining words that are not even there, like marriage, they're going to do the same thing with family. In the future. When a word's not in the Constitution, clearly, the powers of the Supreme Court do not allow them to redefine words and seize power. Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution. Nor prohibited by it to the states. Are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. This power over marriage which came from God under our organic law is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court.
WALLACE: But they may do it. Chief Justice ...
MOORE: They may do it, but they may do it wrongfully just like they did in Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 where they said that separate but equal is the policy of the United States.
WALLACE: I understand that, but when the Supreme Court rules, the Supreme Court rules. Chief justice, we are going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us.
MOORE: Thank you, sir.
WALLACE: And we promise we'll stay on top of this story.
MOORE: Yes, sir, my pleasure.
WALLACE: When we come back, President Obama is asking for formal authorization to fight ISIS, but why does he want Congress to tie his hands? We'll bring back our Sunday panel to discuss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our coalition is on the offensive. ISIL is on the defensive and ISIS is going to lose.
It is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that. The same way that a big city mayor has got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama asking Congress to authorize military force in the fight against ISIS, but sending mixed messages about the urgency of the war on terror. And we're back now with a panel. Well, we've already apparently made some news today with our exclusive interview with John Boehner. We just got a statement from the spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader. She says this, "The speaker's reliance on talking points and finger-pointing was a sad reflection of the fact that Tea Party continues" -- I think it probably should be that the Tea Party, but they were in a rush - continues to hold the gavel as they insist on their futile anti-immigrant grandstanding." So, much for reaching an accommodation on the budget for the Department of Homeland Security. George, back to the war authorization. As our residence scholar on language. I'd like you to help me with this. Because the request the president send Congress says this, and I want to put it up the quote, "does not authorize the use of the United States armed forces in enduring offensive ground combat operation." Enduring offensive ground combat operations. How is a commander in the field supposed to parse that?
WILL: Well, this reflects the basic problem, which is that the constitutional authors of the war powers provisions did not anticipate this nation at war against non-state actors. What we're debating here, Chris, is authorizing something we've been doing for six months, 2,000 strikes have already been made. No one wants any president to be empowered to wage war against any one at any time, for any length of time using what any measures he wants. So they want to somehow circumscribe him. The article 2 caucus, we can call it, mostly conservatives, think that this is too restrictive precisely because of the language you've cited, enduring offensive, what's it mean? There are others of us think that this is entirely too permissive because of other language. It says it can be used against Islamic State or associated forces. How many forces in Libya and Egypt would that cover? Does Boko Haram have to be declared part of this? If so, then we're authorizing the president to intervene in sub-Saharan Africa, in Nigeria and contiguous states? Too permissive, would be my judgment.
Juan, you heard -- that's one argument, it's too permissive. On the other hand, you heard Speaker Boehner in the first segment, he said it's too restrictive, that it doesn't, this authorization, by saying that there can't be enduring offensive ground operations, that it doesn't give President Obama the tools that he needs to beat ISIS.
WILLIAMS: Well, I think that if he's asking for a strategy to be laid out and given him, or if he wants to articulate a strategy, I think he thinks he's the general or he is the commander-in-chief and he's neither. So I think it's not the job of the Congress to run a war. It's the job of the Congress to say yes, we approve it and we will fund it or not. And as we know, and - I mean the fact is, we had -- the Congress hasn't approved a war in more than 50 years. And the last time they did a resolution of this type was 13 years ago in a wholly different circumstance against al Qaeda. So, I think what we're dealing with here is a situation where they wouldn't even have a vote or a conversation if the president hadn't sent the language. Now that he has, I think they are locked in a box. Speaker Boehner said to you this morning, we're going to have lengthy debate on it. Where's the sense of urgency? I thought everybody was absolutely hawkish, that the president need to be doing more. In fact, what they're saying now is --
WALLACE: It's not like asking this authorization is going to change -- I mean, the war has been going on for seven months.
WILLIAMS: That's what I say. And ...
WALLACE: The war ...
WALLACE: passing the authorization.
WILLIAMS: No, it's because you know what, the way that our government works, that Congress should put their fingerprints on it, but right now they're afraid that they're going to have to go to voters at some point and be held responsible for authoring this president's actions.
WALLACE: Dana, how do you explain a president who is desperate to keep Congress out of any discussion of his negotiations with Iran, at the same time that he's asking them to tie his hands, to restrict him in what he does in a war against ISIS?
PERINO: This is a constant inconsistency of the president. I think that there's a solution here. Which is I'm forgiving the president absolutely everything that he needs. And that means reaffirming the 2001 authorization to use military force, which the president has been using for the last six months. If the president wants to limit himself for the timeframe or the geographic area, if he wants to limit himself, fine. But the Congress should say, you should have everything you need, Mr. President, and you have it in the 2001 resolution.
WALLACE: And what about the Democrats who say no, no, no, that's too much.
PERINO: Well, they want to try to - if they want to try to make that case, let's have them make it to the American people. I don't think it will go very far.
WALLACE: Julie, for all the talk about limits and as the president and his security strategy last week talked about quote, strategic patience. When you see the collapse of Yemen and when you see what's going on right now in Anbar province and Iraq where ISIS forces are getting very close to a military base, al-Assad, where there are more than 300 U.S. troops based. And, you know, the danger to them from that. Is there any second guessing, is there any rethinking at the White House about the way they're conducting this war?
PACE: I think what's tricky for this White House is that they use phrases like strategic patience. Long-term commitment. And then you have these situations that are craving, demanding for some kind of immediate action. You talk about Yemen. Yemen is potentially very problematic for the president because he's set up what we're doing in Yemen as the model for what he wants to do with the Islamic States.
WALLACE: And in February, he called it a success.
PACE: Exactly. And not just in the tactics, but in the idea of a long-term commitment. Well, the U.S. has been launching kind of terrorism operations in Yemen since very early in Obama's presidency. And yet now we've seen a collapse in the government. So, how can he argue that a long-term commitment is going to result in success when even a long-term commitment may result in a complete upheaval there? So, I think that he's trying to set up a model that he really just doesn't have an example for how it will work.
WALLACE: I guess what I'm asking, though, is, do they respond there to changing reality? As they see some of this not working?
PACE: Slowly. I mean if you look at what we are doing right now with the Islamic State, it is in response to a changing reality, but it's something that took several years, actually, for the president to do. Ukraine, they're now talking about potentially sending the Ukrainian military defensive weapons, that's something that has been long pushed for in certain parts of this administration. And now finally the way - considering it. So, they do respond, but slowly.
WALLACE: But slowly.
WALLACE: Thanks, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, our power player of the week. An Oscar nominee named Kennedy shows us the human cost of war.
WALLACE: She's part of an American political dynasty. But she became a filmmaker. Showing us what happens to people on the front lines. And when they announce the Oscars next Sunday, she'll be one of the nominees. Here's our power player of the week.
RORY KENNEDY, DIRECTOR "Last Days in Vietnam": It's not our bright shining moment. That to them to know that there were these Americans who did the right thing. And it's quite profound, I think, for many people. It certainly was ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Communist ground forces have started moving in on Saigon's continent airport.
WALLACE: Rory Kennedy is talking about the last days in Vietnam. A riveting film she's made about the fall of Saigon. As the North Vietnamese took the city. In April of 1975, there were still some 7,000 Americans there. And hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese who had helped them.
RORY KENNEDY: We got out of dodge. We left. And many, many people were left behind.
WALLACE: The U.S. government put off evacuation and then said rescue only the Americans. But some of them disobeyed and conducted black ops to save their Vietnamese colleagues.
STUART HERRINGTON, ARMY CAPTAIN: Sometimes there's an issue not of legal and illegal, but right or wrong.
WALLACE: Stewart Herrington was an Army captain.
HERRINGTON: People like myself and others took the bull by the horns and organized an evacuation.
WALLACE: Herrington got a truck and filled it with the South Vietnamese military officers, their wives and children. Then he drove to the U.S. Air base.
HERRINGTON: I told them, when you hear three thumps that means hold the baby's mouths, don't breathe, don't talk, don't make any noise.
WALLACE: American officers were able to help 75,000 Vietnamese escape.
(on camera): What happened to the South Vietnamese who didn't get out?
RORY KENNEDY: Many people were killed, others were tortured. And many, many were put in these reeducation camps where they had to endure years and years of hard labor.
WALLACE (voice over): Rory Kennedy is the 11th and youngest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. She's made more than 30 documentaries. And sees them as a way to put a face on big issues. In this case, she finds parallels to the U.S. pullouts from Iraq and Afghanistan.
RORY KENNEDY: The film is a reminder of the human cost of war, what happens to the people who are left behind.
WALLACE (voice over): Your father was killed while trying to get this country out of Vietnam. Is that part of the emotional tug of this story for you?
RORY KENNEDY: He jumped into that campaign in 1968, his final campaign, because he wanted us to get out of Vietnam. So, I think from a very young age, I had an appreciation of Vietnam.
WALLACE: Your mom was pregnant with you when your dad was killed. What are your thoughts about this man whom you never met?
RORY KENNEDY: I made a documentary about my mother a couple of years ago.
So was it love at first sight?
ETHEL KENNEDY: It was.
RORY KENNEDY: It was really a great experience for me to go back and look at the footage of my father. I think he was really such an inspiration to so many people.
WALLACE (voice over): Kennedy has just finished two more films about women in politics and women Hollywood.
(on camera): And what conclusions have you come to?
RORY KENNEDY: Well, that we live in a sexist world unfortunately. But there are strides being made in politics, I'm happy to report. Hollywood still has some work to do, sadly.
WALLACE: Rory has been called the quiet Kennedy, more comfortable out of the limelight. But there is nothing quiet about the message in her films. And that's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
On the Show
Sunday—as Hillary Clinton gets ready to debate Donald Trump—we speak with Chief Strategist Joel Benenson to discuss how the campaign is preparing for the big event. It’s a Fox News Sunday exclusive.