Friday Lightning Round: Upcoming Supreme Court rulings

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 7, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: And we're back with our panel for the Friday Lightning Round. Every week we let the viewers decide what your choice online. This week's winner, upcoming Supreme Court rulings, a very timely choice by the viewers because of the fact that the Supreme Court only has three more weeks until the end of June when it goes out of business for the summer. Tough job.

So let me ask each of you, starting with you Tucker, what is the biggest case that the court has to decide in the next three weeks. And although it's always risky, what are the justices going to decide on that case?

CARLSON: Well, I would say the most interesting by far is the University of Texas affirmative action case because it might clarify maybe for the first time under what circumstances and for what reason the government can discriminate on the basis of race. No matter what the decision is, that will still continue on college campuses. But it's interesting to hear the rationale for it. And in a country with demographics changing as quickly as ours, why is it OK for the government to discriminate against white candidates in the name of diversity when we're getting diversity anyway. I'll be interested to hear what they say.

WALLACE: Sandra Day O'Connor said there's has got to be an end point for Affirmative Action. Have they reached the end-point yet?

CARLSON: That's be the rationale -- it's hard to see how we haven't given the changing demographics.


CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, the most important case in my book is the Voting Rights Act.  The court is going to decide whether or not it's still constitutional for Congress to require preclearance of changes in voting laws in many states of the former Confederacy. This is an issue that's been kind of percolating at the court for a number of years with the justices kind of warning Congress we are not too comfortable with this anymore. And based on the oral argument this year it looks very much like they are at least going to narrow this power and perhaps strike it down all together. It could be huge for race relations and politics.

WALLACE: Charles, there's another big case out there. Are you going to pick that one?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Oh yes. It's the only big one left, same-sex marriage. I think -- and the court has to decide if it's going to nationalize it, declare it a right so that everybody can do it in every state and all the state laws are struck down that prohibit gay marriage. I suspect after the experience of Roe and abortion where they did the same thing, struck down all the state laws, nationalized an issue and created 40 years of instability, and discontent, and disenfranchisement, they will not attempt that with this they will leave it, as they should, to the states.

WALLACE: Gentlemen, let's put the lightning back in the lightning round. Can we try to accomplish that? Tucker, May jobs numbers come out today, mixed picture. Let's put the numbers up on the screen. The economy created 175,000 jobs. But the unemployment rate rose a tenth of a point to 7.6 percent. So is the glass half full or half empty?

CARLSON: Well, I wish I was head of graphics here because I would overlay the trillions the Federal Reserve has created in the last five years in order to rev the economy, and given that, for which there is a price to pay, pathetic.

LANE: Poor Ben Bernanke. He is trying to figure out whether or not he should speed up or slow down all that stimulus. These numbers don't help them with that decision at all. The economy is just kind of moving sideways.

WALLACE: Well, it's interesting. The stock market loved this, and thinks that that means the Fed is going to keep stimulating the economy and the stock market rose I think 175 points today.

KRAUTHAMMER: That's because the job creation here is weak enough. It's about 175,000. You need about a quarter of a million if you want to reduce unemployment. So it's a way under that. So if the economy is weak enough, it bets that the Fed will keep pumping in the money. And if it does, stocks will go up, and that's why the market rose today.

WALLACE: Briefly Chuck, all the warnings that we got about the tax increases at the beginning of the year, the sequester spending cuts have not been the drag on the economy that some people forecast.

LANE: It has not. And especially not here in the Washington area where a lot of people predicted the streets will be filled with federal workers unemployed and furloughed.

CARLSON: There is a construction crane on every block here in D.C. We can see them out the window. There's never a richer city in the history of the world than Washington, D.C. right now.

KRAUTHAMMER: And it's your tax money at work building our city.



WALLACE: Well, I'm glad we brought it down to that. Two minutes left.  Each of you play well with each other. Winners and losers?

CARLSON: I can't believe I'm saying. This is someone's whose politics have I long despised. Glenn Greenwald, a fervent man of the left is the winner of the week as far as I'm concered; one of the last civil libertarians on the left.  I would say loser very clearly is President Obama, who was revealed as such a fervent authoritarian that even the New York Times came out against him, which is a milestone.

LANE: Well, over in Syria we have the winner of the week, that's President Bashar al Assad. Many people thought might be out of office by now. His forces aided by Hezbollah and Iran have pushed the opposition out of a key crossroads town and he is on his way to clearing the country maybe of the opposition.

My loser, I was kind of hard to pick an original one. I picked Gabriel Gomez, the Republican Senate candidate up there in Massachusetts.  Some people thought he might be able to pull an upset against Ed Markey. But his, kind of, only achieving a tie in the debate this week has left him still behind by double digits in the polls. He has got to hurry up because that election is coming up in two weeks.

WALLACE: And Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Chuck was nearly right about the winner. It is Hezbollah because it joined the battle in Qusayr, a strategic town that Assad has now regained, but it was Hezbollah that crossed the border and did it. Assad's army is demoralized and weak and couldn't do anything. Hezbollah started out 20 years ago as a small militia and it's now a regional power, which is astonishing.

The loser is the Democratic Party. It's the party of government, and we have had an explosion of displays of what the government does and what it can do, sort of a circus of extravagance, waste, incompetence, and now with these new revelations, sort of hints of ominous control and looking into your life.

WALLACE: That's a loser. That's it for the panel.

KRAUTHAMMER: That's a big loser.

WALLACE: That's it for the panel. Stay tuned to see what happens when President Obama does not read from a teleprompter, and it isn't pretty. 

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