Suzettte Malveaux , associate professor, law, was interviewed by her twin sister, Suzanne Malveaux, on CNN's "The Situation Room." She discussed the Congressional confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The transcript from the interview is below. A video of the segment can be viewed at the bottom of the page.
From: CNN Date: June 30, 2010 Host: Suzanne MalveauxMALVEAUX: We'll have to see how the viewers -- what they think of it. You know, Jack, joining me -- I got a special guest here. I don't know if you know who this is. You got two Malveauxs as opposed to one today. What do you think?
CAFFERTY: Really? Is this a relative?
MALVEAUX: This is my twin sister as a matter of fact, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Well, let's get a close-up of her, so I can see. I don't have my glasses on. Oh, look at that.
MALVEAUX: You got double trouble on your hands today. I hope you can handle it.
CAFFERTY: So much beauty in a single-family.
MALVEAUX: Oh, my goodness. Jack is a charmer. Jack has been so nice this week. He's just been charming the heck out of us. So, we will see how it goes. It's working, Jack. It's working. Well, she is also a law professor at Catholic University Columbus Law School specializing in civil rights and civil procedure. Suzette, we get to talk about this not at home, but here in the SITUATION ROOM. Thanks for being here.
PROF. SUZETTE MALVEAUX, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: Thanks for inviting me, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Now, I know that you've been watching these hearings. Clearly, a lot of people, particularly, on the right and the left are interested in the outcome of all of this, because they think the court is going to change. Why should everyday Americans care about how this court and the makeup of the court?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: Great question. You know, there's a funny study that has come out actually that says that most Americans can identify two dwarfs as part of the Snow White and seven dwarfs, but they can't identify two justices on the United States Supreme Court. So, clearly, there's this disconnect for most Americans, and it matters who is on the Supreme Court, and it matters the types of cases that the Supreme Court decides. It's to everyday Americans they're dealing with issues that we care about. So, for example, if you think about immigration, the court has recently decided to look at a case this fall dealing with an immigration law coming out of Arizona.
MALVEAUX: And it's not the controversial one that everybody is thinking about?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: Right. Different one. Different one. But it turns out that this law has employers punished if they decide to hire illegal immigrants, and what the court is going to be doing is figuring out does that state law, is it preempted by federal law? Which is a huge question. Because it's going to impact a thousands of immigrants in Arizona, workers and really all of the border states in all of the country are going to be looking at that as well as employers.
MALVEAUX: And the gun rights?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: Gun rights, the same thing. The court decided last week, Monday, that there's an individual right to bear arms under the second amendment. It applies not only to the federal government but to the states as well. But what the court didn't tell us is what gun regulations are going to be allowed or going to be constitutional. So, again, you have people all over the country who really care about this sort of detail.
MALVEAUX: And watching the hearings, what makes this one different than some of the others that you have followed?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: I mean, it certainly doesn't have all of the sparks and fireworks that we saw with Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill hearings, and we haven't seen that since, really, if you look at Alito, if you look at Roberts, if you look at Sotomayor, we haven't had those fireworks for a while. And so this is really kind of the same cloth. What I think it's interesting though about this hearing is the way Elena Kagan has used it as a teaching moment. She really has helped people understand what is it that Supreme Court justices actually do, right? How do they make decisions?
Sure, they have to look at the constitution, the language, but then they also have to consider things like history and tradition and other cases, and judges have to judge, right? They have to make determinations between some really difficult kinds of questions and competing interests.
MALVEAUX: And we've heard a lot about her ability to build the consensus that perhaps this would change either move the court to the left or to the right. Do we think that there's going to be any significant shift real quick?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: You know, on the surface, it could look that way, because you're sort of trading one liberal for another, but I think if you step back and look at the big picture, you know, Stevens is actually not quite liberal. You have the court shifting to the right becoming more conservative and making him look liberal, so I think, in many ways, people don't realize the court is probably more moderate than we imagine.
MALVEAUX: And we heard Senator Diane Feinstein give praise to Kagan. Obviously, this would be a history making to have three women all together on the Supreme Court at the same time. How do you think that's going to play out?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: I think that transition is really interesting. You know, once you get that critical mass, you have three women on the bench at the same time, it may open up the possibility of people feeling more comfortable, and in fact, you know, allowing some differences of opinion among the women on the court. So, we may start seeing some differences, and I think that's a sign of change and progress.
MALVEAUX: So, will we see you on the Supreme Court, Suzette?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: OK, sure.
MALVEAUX: All right. You know, if you want to fill in for me tomorrow here in the SITUATION ROOM, if you're available, do you think that anybody will notice the difference?
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: Oh, I'm sure.
MALVEAUX: Maybe Jack will notice.
SUZETTE MALVEAUX: Thanks again, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Thanks, Suzette. Appreciate it.
(Video from www.mediaite.com)