Rep. McCaul on threat of Islamic terrorism; US willing to walk away from bad Iran deal?


This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday,” June 28, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: And hello from Fox News in Washington. As we approach the July 4th holiday weekend, federal authorities have issued a bullet warning of a heightened possibility of terror attacks in this country. This comes in the wake of what ISIS supporters are calling Bloody Friday when Islamic radicals launched three deadly attacks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Fox chief Washington correspondent James Rosen is traveling with Secretary of State Kerry in Vienna and he has the latest on the terror threat and final talks about a nuclear deal with Iran — James.

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Chris, this law enforcement bulletin was unusual and that it was issued jointly by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center. It cited recent events like last month’s shootout at the convention of cartoonists depicting the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas, in which the gunmen appeared to be inspired by ISIS, with officials now warning of similar homeland attacks on or around the Fourth of July weekend, which falls within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. ISIS has called for this interlude to be a time of calamity for the infidels and the death toll from the three separate attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait on Friday now stands at 66. But authorities today are still evaluating the claims by ISIS of responsibility for two of those attacks in Tunisia and Kuwait. U.S. officials say ISIS for propaganda purposes sometimes attaches itself to attacks that occur without central direction from the group. Here in Vienna, the foreign minister for the country, the U.S. identifies as the number one state sponsor of terrorism, continued his negotiating sessions with Secretary of State Kerry today, but Iranian foreign minister after two hours of meetings with Kerry has now left for Tehran. U.S. officials say they are unconcerned about that. It was always expected that the ministers from various parts would come and go from these sessions. And State Department officials traveling here with Secretary of State Kerry in Vienna have now made it official that they expect to blow past the June 30th deadline for these talks — Chris.

WALLACE: James Rosen, reporting from Vienna — James, thanks for that. We want to drill down into the terror threat with Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. Chairman, we talked at the top about this terror alert from the Joint Terrorism Task Force about possible attacks over the July 4th holiday. How alarming is the intel? How much chatter is there?

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, it is concerning. There’s a great deal of chatter — a high volume, if you will. The joint intelligence bulletin was issued to state and locals. I think the concern and quite frankly, Chris, the confluence of these events, ISIS spokesman calling for jihad during Ramadan which is happening right now. You have the one-year anniversary of the caliphate or Islamic State and now we have the Fourth of July coming up, which is one of the holidays we celebrate that they like to target this sort of thing and these anniversaries. So, I think given the confluence of events, we’re being on the cautious side here to warn the public to remain vigilant, to enjoy the Fourth of July parades, but remain vigilant during these celebrations.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you. Do you expect homegrown terror attacks over this next holiday weekend?

MCCAUL: Listen, we stopped 50 of these terror plots in the last 12 months. It’s gone up exponentially. I’m extremely concerned about the way these Syrian ISIS recruiters can use the internet at lightning speed to recruit followers in the United States with thousands of followers in the United States and then activate them to do whatever they want to do whether it’s military installations, law enforcement or possibly a Fourth of July event parade. That’s I think what concerns me the most and in light of the three attacks in three hours on three continents overseas, shows us that ISIS is not just regionalized like the administration says only in Iraq and Syria, but rather demonstrates a global threat that they can conduct external operations and they are very savvy at doing that over the Internet.

WALLACE: Let me pick on that and we’ll get to recruitment in the U.S. in a moment, chairman. As we mentioned, ISIS supporters are calling what happened on Friday “Bloody Friday”, three attacks on three different countries within hours — terror attacks on a factory in France, a beach resort in Tunisia and a mosque in Kuwait. As I say, all within a couple of hours. Question: do we have any evidence that they were connected? And what does it tell us in any case about the reach of ISIS?

MCCAUL: You know, we make a lot about semantics over inspired versus directed, I think those lines have been blurred, quite honestly, Chris. I think the fact is — they are ISIS motivated. They are, in fact, carrying out the ISIS mission. And I think in all three incidents, ISIS was the driving force behind the attacks. And these were very significant attacks, some of the worst we’ve seen in three different continents. The idea that they could do this, and now, the external operations potentially into the United States by use of the Internet. This is not bin Laden with couriers now. This is a new generation of terrorists using the Internet in a very savvy way to attack the West and also get in the homes and in the basements in the United States to radicalize individuals and then call them up as sleeper cells to attack Americans.

WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that, because you sent us a chart the other day, which shows that there have been 118 terror attacks since 9/11. And if you look at that sort of stock market graph on the right, you can see the number of plots has tripled in the past five years. You introduced legislation this week that would create a new office inside the Department of Homeland Security to try to deal with these threats and to try to stop radicalization over the Internet before it happens. I got to ask you, how do you do that?

MCCAUL: Well, we want to make it a priority. It’s not a priority, Chris. We’ve rolled up more ISIS followers in the United States just this year than we have in the government trying to counter radicalization in the United States. And I think that — it’s not a priority right now. And what I’m trying to do through legislation is prioritize the ability to de-radicalize people in the United States so we don’t have these homegrown violent extremists carrying out these terrorist plots in the United States. It’s not the priority now. We want it to be in the future.

WALLACE: Chairman McCaul, we’re going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much for coming in today, sir.

MCCAUL: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: Now, we want to bring in a guest for our next segment, we’re going to have double duty from him. General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, to get his thoughts about the terror threat. General, we saw those three attacks on Friday. Bloody Friday as it’s being called. Three attacks in three continents within a couple of hours. If you were still in your chair as director of the CIA, what would you be thinking about?

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, PRINCIPAL, THE CHERTOFF GROUP: I would be thinking certainly all inspired. I would have my doubts whether they were all coordinated and I would really doubt whether they were all directed. Chairman McCaul’s chart there, Chris, is very instructive. You saw that ticking up like a stock market graph. Al Qaeda was terror elitism. It was guidance from the top down. ISIS is terror populism. It’s from the bottom up and that makes it so damnably difficult for us to detect and stop it. It’s that inspired by problem that we’re now facing.

WALLACE: Do you think it was just a coincidence you had three attacks within a couple of hours?

HAYDEN: I can’t rule out it was a coincidence. As you pointed out, the spokesman called for attacks. It’s the holy month of Ramadan. It offered special places in heaven for suicide bombers who would conduct attacks now.

WALLACE: I mean, I want to ask you about that. The spokesman, chief spokesman from ISIS issued this call and we’re in the holy month of Ramadan now. He said to make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels. How seriously do you take that?

HAYDEN: I take it very serious. We saw what happened last Friday. Chris, we need to continue to defend ourselves, so to speak, in the goalmouth here to prevent penalty kicks. But I think, ultimately, what we’re going to have to do is disrupt the ISIS narrative. Right now, they look as if because they’ve been so successful on the battlefield, it looks like they are acting as the will and hand of God. I think we need to turn that around. We need to inflict battlefield defeats on them in their homeland, so that they’re not nearly as attractive to these kind of folks globally.

WALLACE: But let me pick up on the radicalization especially in this country. If there is an attack in the U.S. over the next week and God knows we all hope it doesn’t happen, it will almost certainly be lone wolves. Homegrown terrorists who are radicalized over the Internet who didn’t go to the Middle East, never met with anybody, have just been reading their propaganda. What is the appeal, what is message, that would get a person living in this country to sign up for that kind of deadly activity and how do we break that narrative?

HAYDEN: Well, Chris, first of all, we have always associated this kind of self-radicalized individual with having far more to do with Crips and Bloods than it does with the Holy Koran. These are isolated individuals looking for meaning, looking for something greater in life. But it really matters what gang you join. And now, this powerful narrative is out there for folks who feel as if their life doesn’t have meaning and they’re embracing that narrative.

WALLACE: So, general summary here, are we winning or losing the war against ISIS at this moment?

HAYDEN: I would certainly not claim we are winning.

WALLACE: That leaves it wide open.


WALLACE: General Hayden, thank you. But stay right there. When we come back, we’ll turn to the final negotiations with Iran to try to limit its nuclear program with a deadline this week, this Tuesday. General Hayden returns, along with an expert on Iran. That’s next.


WALLACE: As we mentioned, the U.S. and our five partners have begun the final round of talks in Vienna trying to limit Iran’s nuclear program. But with growing criticism both in Washington and Tehran, what are the chances for a deal? We’re joined once again by former CIA director, General Michael Hayden, and Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Gentlemen, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday,” and welcome back from the first segment.


WALLACE: As the U.S. and our partners have begun this final round of talks, which side has the upper hand? Who wants it more? Who needs a deal more? General, let me start with you.

HAYDEN: Yes, first of all, Chris, I hope it’s not the final round. I hope this gets extended. We can talk about why in a few minutes. I actually fear that the Iranians have the upper hand right now. I actually fear we have painted ourselves into a corner where we believe that any deal is better than no deal at the present time.

WALLACE: What do you make of the fact before I bring Mr. Sadjadpour in, what do you make that as James Rosen just reported the Iranian foreign minister, Mr. Zarif, has just a day or two in talks gone back to Iran for consultations?

HAYDEN: I would like to make of the fact that I was just wrong in saying what I just told you and that we have actually presented the Iranians with some very hard lines and that he’s going back now to Tehran for guidance.

WALLACE: Mr. Sadjadpour, who has the upper hand going into what is supposedly the final round? Who wants it more and who needs it more?

KARIM SADJADPOUR, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: Well, who needs it more is the Iranian country, Iranian nation. This a regime which is under — which is hemorrhaging hundreds of billions of dollars because of sanctions. They’re hemorrhaging tens of billions of dollars of the drop in oil prices, and they’re hemorrhaging billions of dollars trying to sustain the Assad in regime. So, I think, certainly, it’s Iran that needs this deal more than the United States. But the issue here is that the supreme leader has always prided themselves on resistance against the United States, where Secretary Kerry is trying to lead a legacy of reconciliation.

WALLACE: So, you’re suggesting perhaps that even though they need it more, we may want it more?

SADJADPOUR: I think that’s, you know, what you would call it asymmetry of desire. Secretary Kerry wants to leave a legacy of resolving the Iran conflict, and the supreme leader has been ruling for 26 years and his record has been consistent. The organizing principle of the Iranian government is resistance against the United States.

WALLACE: All right. There are three major issues on the table, and let’s put them up. First, inspections. Will the U.S. have the right to inspect any site, including military facilities at any time? Second, sanctions. Will the world lift sanctions against Iran when they sign a deal or after they actually implement a deal. And, finally, past research. General Hayden, we’ll get to that last one about past research but in a moment. The first two, inspections and sanctions — are those deal breakers if we don’t get what we want, should we walk away from this?

HAYDEN: Chris, they are all important. I would insist on all of them. If we force them into a corner and say choose one on which we will not budge, it’s anytime, anywhere inspections. Look, Iranians aren’t going to break out at Natanz. The world sees that. If they violate the agreement it will be sneak out at some unknown location. We need the ability to go places. Actually, I need to correct that. We need the ability for the IAEA to go places, the U.N. body, to go places to follow up on our legitimate suspicions if Iranians are trying to sneak out of the agreement.

WALLACE: As I said, the last issue is past research. Here’s what Secretary of State Kerry said about that a couple weeks ago.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt.


WALLACE: But since then, State Department officials clarified saying the point that Secretary of State Kerry was trying to make is we don’t need a public confession from Iranians. We lied. We did this wrong. But we do need an accounting of what they have done in the past so that we’ll know baseline, so if we see something, we’re able to know is that new or is that old? Would that satisfy you if it’s an accounting?

HAYDEN: Even the walk-back that the State Department made from the secretary’s comment where he claimed we had absolute knowledge of what they had done in the past, even the walk-back, Chris, and I looked at this very carefully, was not clear whether or not we need this accounting before we got an agreement or an IOU we would get from the Iranians after an agreement. I think we need to have it before an agreement.

WALLACE: But if we got that and didn’t get the confession but we got an accounting so we knew what the baseline was, that’s enough?

HAYDEN: Well, no, absolutely. I mean, this is about going forward. I get that point from the secretary. We need to know where they were in order to understand whether or not this agreement is sufficient to guarantee action in the future.

WALLACE: All right. What complicates this greatly is that over the last week the supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a series of red lines. Here they are: immediate removal of sanctions. Immediate removal. No military site inspections. No long-term restrictions for Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Sadjadpour, what is the ayatollah doing here laying out terms which are clearly so unacceptable?

SADJADPOUR: As I mentioned, there’s an economic imperative for Iranians to sign the deal but there’s a political risk for hardliners in Tehran to sign a deal with the United States given that for three and a half decades the U.S. can’t be trusted. The question is whether these red lines are firm red lines or are they simply meant to strengthen Iran’s bargaining position and frankly we’ll see in the next days the answer to that —

WALLACE: Well, explain, I mean, because one of the arguments has been that — I think this is how the State Department is saying so far in disregarding or at least not taking seriously what the ayatollah said. They say, either, one, he’s trying to push for a better deal and setting a hard line he’s the bad cop, Zarif, the negotiator, is the good cop, or it’s being done for domestic political consumption.

SADJADPOUR: Well, in his tenure as supreme leader, he’s been quite earnest supreme leader and that his rhetoric is re reflective of the policies of the Iranian government. Although I have to say in the last month, there have been red lines in the pasts, seeming redlines which is acquiesce them. So, again, I think we will have to see in the coming days whether these red lines are firm. Even if a deal is signed, this is not going to be resolving this conflict. I think it’s going to simply enter a new phase of the conflict.

WALLACE: The conflict between the U.S. and Iran?


WALLACE: I’ll get to that in a moment. But let me ask you this — even if it’s internal politics or just bargaining in the bizarre to try and get a better deal, what do the ayatollah statements tell us about his willingness and his good faith in observing this agreement for the next 10 or 15 years?

SADJADPOUR: Well, it doesn’t lend confidence. As I said, this is a leader who is organizing principle the last three and a half decades has been “death to America”, his political base in Iran is hardliners that believe that the United States can’t be trusted. So, I think the concern of folks like Henry Kissinger that if Iran is signing this deal because of an economic imperative, if you remove that economic imperative and they are no longer under sanctions, what to say they’re going to adhere to the deal a year or two from now. That’s a valid concern.

WALLACE: When you say the economic imperatives, those are sanctions if they have the sanctions lifted and they get billions of dollars, then they’re not in that kind of economic squeeze. General Hayden, Secretary Kerry has dismissed the ayatollah’s comments.


KERRY: We’re not going to be guided by or conditioned by or affected by or deterred by some tweet that is for public consumption or for domestic political consumption.


WALLACE: Is Kerry right? Is the only thing that matters what Iranian negotiators agreed to and signed?

HAYDEN: No, not at all. He goes on in that session to say what matters is what’s in the four corners of the agreement. No, what matters is what the ayatollah says the Iranians will do with what it is we believed we have agreed on in Vienna. It’s a big deal as to what the ayatollah commits himself to. We went through this in April when we both walked away from the talks thinking we had an agreement. It was quite different what we said they agreed to and what they said they agreed to. Now, we’re down to brass tacks. What it is they say has to be what they actually agreed to and only the ayatollah can determine that.

WALLACE: All right. General Hayden, you said earlier this week that the Bush administration left this president, this administration with an ugly baby when it came to the situation in Iran despite all of the threats of the Bush years, they installed — developed and installed thousands of centrifuges. They’ve built their enriched uranium program. And I guess the question is if, repeat if, Iran were to agree to a deal that would slow down its enrichment, limit its enrichment for 10 to 15 years, and would allow these inspections, serious inspections, should we sign that deal?

HAYDEN: That’s a really good question, Chris. And I guess my answer is yes, but we have to fully realize what it is we just got. If we get a good deal and get all of the things Karim and I say have to be in the deal. If we get a good deal, we have legitimated an Iranian industrial strength nuclear program never more than 12 months away from enough fissile material from a nuclear weapon. I’m afraid that what we do is welcome them back into the family of nations, get them out of the penalty box for their nuclear activity, and now, they’re free and more empowered to do all of the other things they’re doing in the region.

WALLACE: Well, and that brings me to my final question to — for you, Mr. Sadjadpour, which you raised, which is the point you raised which is the Obama administration talks a lot about this as the beginning of a new chapter in relations between the U.S. and Iran and a new era for Iran’s place in the world. Even if you get this deal, how likely is it that Iran in a good faith sense joins the community of nations?

SADJADPOUR: Chris, the Middle East is an empire for — it’s a graveyard for empires and it’s a graveyard for forecasters. So, it’s difficult to predict how this deal will play out. The paradox of Iran is that you have a regime whose hard line elements who wants to be like North Korea and society that wants to be like South Korea. They want to be prosperous and economically integrated. I think there’s a valid concern in the short-term, this is not going to do anything to transform Iran. But if you are able to open Iran up economically and try to crack it open politically, I think there’s a better chance of transforming the system than keeping it under isolation.

WALLACE: Mr. Sadjadpour, General Hayden, thank you both so much for coming in today. And, of course, we’ll stay on top of these negotiations. Up next, the Supreme Court hands down an historic decision on marriage. Leading conservative lawyer Ted Olson will tell us why he’s been such a strong advocate for same-sex couples right to marry in all 50 states. And what do you think about the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and use the #FNS.





WALLACE: A look at the reaction Friday after the Supreme Court ruled the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Our next guest is a true conservative who won the case that made George W. Bush president and then served him as solicitor general, which is why it’s so interesting Ted Olson has been one of the leading advocates over the last decade for same-sex marriage. Mr. Olson joins us now. And welcome back, sir, to “Fox News Sunday. “


WALLACE: So, let me ask you: what means more to you personally — your victory in Bush v. Gore, or this ruling which set forth a constitutional right to same-sex marriage?

OLSON: Well, you can’t equate the two. But to see those people expressing that joy and that gratitude and those tears of happiness that they will be treated equally under the Constitution with respect to the most important relationship in life — the opportunity to get married to the person they love — touches me deeply, and it’s very, very important in my heart.

WALLACE: There are two major criticisms of the ruling I think, maybe there are more. But two I want to focus on. First, that the court in effect invented a constitutional right, made it up just like they did on the right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. Here’s governor and Republican presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s clear to me the Supreme Court is no longer acting as a judicial body. It’s now become a public polling body. You now got a Supreme Court that is out of control, that is making up laws as it goes.


WALLACE: How do you respond to Governor Jindal?

OLSON: Fourteen times the Supreme Court of the United States held that marriage is a fundamental right, including the right to interracial marriage in 1967. They didn’t call it the right to interracial marriage. They called it the right to marriage. They described it as a right to liberty, privacy, association, of being a part of this country, being a part of the relationship that matters most to most people in this country and to be a part of our community. So, it’s a right to marriage. This is not something that the Supreme Court made up. It’s the right to decide who you would get to be married, which the Supreme Court repeatedly said is a fundamental right. So, there’s nothing new about this decision. It takes it one step further because it hasn’t — haven’t been recognized before. But it’s the right of two individuals to marry to the person that they’re most devoted to.

WALLACE: The second criticism is that the political process was working. That states were changing laws. Public opinion was shifting. And that the court in effect short-circuited that process. Here is a quote from the dissent of Justice Scalia. He called the ruling a threat to American democracy. Is Scalia wrong?

OLSON: Yes, with respect to Justice Scalia who I do have great respect for, he is wrong. When we talk about civil rights, we don’t wait for a plebiscite, we don’t wait to put civil rights to a vote. The Supreme Court didn’t put separate but equal schools to a vote. The Supreme Court didn’t put the right to marry someone of a different race to a vote. We don’t wait. And Justice Kennedy in the majority opinion talks about that. What is happening to the children while the Supreme Court would wait if it was to wait another few years? At the same time the Supreme Court decided the interracial marriage case there were still 16 states that made it a crime to marry someone of a different race. The Supreme Court did not wait then and it was right not to wait now.

WALLACE: As big as this ruling is, there are some issues that it didn’t apparently settle and I would like to ask you about that. One of them is extending anti-discrimination laws, state and federal to gays. Where does that stand after this ruling?

OLSON: Well, it’s going to depend upon additional federal legislation if the federal government decides to do that or state or municipal legislation. There are state laws and there are municipal laws and there are some federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But they don’t cover everything and they don’t cover necessarily housing or commercial transactions and things of that nature. I think the LGBT community will be pressing for laws that entitle gays and lesbians to the same respect and anti-discrimination protections that other people of other religions have or people of other races or nationalities.

WALLACE: Second, there’s the question and it became hot this spring of religious freedom. Can the proverbial baker or photographer who is selling his services openly, can he refuse to participate in a same-sex marriage because he or she believes that it violates their religious freedom or is that now illegal under this rule?

OLSON: It’s not illegal under this ruling. There may be laws, statutes that cover it. But a bakery, if you walk into a bakery on the street and want to buy a pie or a doughnut or something like that, the bakery under federal law can’t discriminate against you on the basis of your race or your religion. So, if there are laws that cover that kind of discrimination that might be illegal. It’s different than someone being asked to participate in a wedding, to perform a wedding, to sing in a wedding, to participate and be a wedding planner. Something like that. People have the right to refuse personal services with respect to things like that on a religious basis. I think some of that dispute is overblown and the courts have been dealing with that kind of an issue for many, many years with respect to religious rights and racial discrimination and discrimination on the basis of gender for a long time.

WALLACE: Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his decision that if there’s a constitutional right for two people of the same sex to marry, then what about three people marrying or other varieties of marriages? This is brought up by the Chief Justice.

OLSON: Yes, so and I think that with respect to the Chief Justice, I think that Chief Justice is wrong. He bought into a red herring. There are reasons why states and the federal government might prohibit relationships, a marriage relationships between multiple persons, the rights of children and what happens when the marriage breaks up. The test is ours, what does the state have in its interest to prohibit the conduct that is being considered? The states that were involved in the case that was decided Friday could not come up with any good reasons why to prohibit persons to marry this person of the same sex, the person that they love. They came up with well, it’s against traditional marriage. That’s like saying separate schools were a tradition or restrictions on marriage between people of different backgrounds was a tradition. You can’t explain something by saying it’s the way we’ve always done it.

WALLACE: You are one of the leading Supreme Court experts and watchers as I’m going to take advantage because we’re up at the — near the end of this session to switch subjects on you a little bit. What did you think of the court’s other big ruling this week? I’m sure you read about it. I know you weren’t involved in it, that the ObamaCare law, that what it set forth specifically in the law when it said exchanges established by the states was the key is not those words, but what was intended. What did you think of that ruling?

OLSON: Well, I think that was a mistake. And I think that it’s kind of interesting to look at Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion in that case versus his descent in the marriage case because they almost could have been written by two different people. In that case he was taking a law and trying to discern what the intent of the law was not withstanding what the words were. The words were exchanges established by the state. That was the trigger for subsidies. And the court held that exchanges established by the state or where the state refused to establish an exchange and was established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. So the words were changed because of what the court perceived the intent of Congress was. But you can only discern the intent of Congress by the words that Congress used and not by the imaginations of judges with respect to what 535 people meant when they voted for or voted against a law.

WALLACE: Well, the argument is that there wasn’t a conflict there because Chief Justice Roberts supposedly was deferring to the legislature and that in deferring in this case, and some can say it’s an odd form of deferral, but that he was looking not just at the words, but also at legislative intent and that’s something the courts traditionally do and that he was in a sense deferring in this case in the same-sex marriage case saying, hey, if the legislatures want to decide this, they can decide it, but it is not for nine rogue justices to decide it. In both cases, he would argue it was restraint.

OLSON: Well, in the first instance, in ObamaCare, which Justice Scalia said should be called SCOTUS care, Supreme Court care, there was legislation that had explicit language in it and the court went beyond the language and said that language didn’t mean what the language did mean on its face and discern what the intent of the legislature was. The second case involves the Constitution of the United States. In the first instance, we have a legislature that can change the law, can fix the law and can solve whatever problems the law might present and in the second case it’s a constitution.



WALLACE: We have rights — I mean excuse me, sir. But some people would say you’re also sort of in contradiction here because the argument is well, the political process deferred to the legislators. They can decide whether or not same-sex marriage is legal.

OLSON: Well, but we cannot defer to legislatures or to plebiscites when you are talking about the meaning of the equal protection clause or the due process clause. The reason we have a constitution is to restrict and correct the rights that are decided upon by legislatures. We have a constitution to protect the right to religion, the right to free speech, which Fox News has because if they pass — if the legislature passes a law restricting your right, you turn to the courts. That’s the difference between a constitutional decision and a legislative decision. Whatever the courts decided on the ObamaCare case, the legislature could come back tomorrow and fix it.

WALLACE: OK. Final question. We have got less than a minute left. As the court ends its term on Tuesday, if you look at its rulings, and I’m sure there are people who object to this, it seems to be one of the most liberal sessions in fact since the Warren Court in the ’60s. More than 50 percent of the rulings have tilted left. Question, which a lot of people are asking, is the Roberts’ court moving left?

OLSON: Well, that’s the problem with snapshots. Last year someone, the people who were writing that it was a pro-business court and now this decision comes along — these cases come along, and people say it’s a liberal court. You have to look at the individual decisions. Yes, many of the decisions this term came out the way that the liberal members of the court preferred that they come out. Next term it might be completely different. Depends upon the case.

WALLACE: But you don’t see this turning into the Warren Court?

OLSON: I think it’s mischaracterizing and oversimplifying things to call it Warren Court of Roberts’ court. It might be a Justice Kennedy court the way things work this term. But I sort of won’t go there.

WALLACE: Mr. Olson, thank you. Thanks for coming in. It’s always good to talk with you, sir.

OLSON: Thank you. I really appreciate it.

WALLACE: Up next, he joined the Supreme Court as a conservative darling but has Chief Justice John Roberts become more liberal than expected? Our Sunday group joins the conversation. Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the Roberts’ court? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNews Sunday.


WALLACE: Now you can connect with “Fox News Sunday” on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out exclusive material online at Facebook and share it with other Fox fans and tweet us @FoxNewsSunday using hashtag FNS. Be part of the discussion and weigh in on the action every “Fox News Sunday.”



PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If those justices want to become legislators, I invite them to resign and run for office. That’s the appropriate place to write laws. On this floor, not from that courtroom.


WALLACE: President Obama praising the Supreme Court’s decisions this week while Texas Senator Ted Cruz criticized the justices for going way beyond their role as judges. And it’s time now for our Sunday group. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume. Lisa Lerer, national politics reporter for The Associated Press, syndicated columnist George Will and Evan Thomas, author of the new book, “Being Nixon: of Man Divided.” So, Brit, what do you make of the Supreme Court’s big rulings this week, both on ObamaCare and also on same-sex marriage?

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, in my opinion both of them were in error. On the Obamacare ruling it seems to me that Chief Justice Roberts did handstands in order to discover that language that was in the law didn’t mean what it said. That’s, of course, a matter of statutory interpretation as opposed to the constitutional question that was at the heart of the same sex marriage ruling, in which the Chief Justice was basically on the other side, if you will, from the Obama administration and others. My own view of this is that on that issue the Constitution is basically silent on marriage and for Justice Kennedy and the majority to reach the result they did, they had to engage in the kind of jurisprudence where new rights have been discovered that have previously gone undetected in the Constitution.

In this case, we have a new right, Chris, today. All of us, I guess, we have a new constitutionally conferred right of dignity. I’m glad to know that I have that because sometimes my behavior doesn’t measure up. It seems the Constitution guarantees it to me. I feel comfortable.

WALLACE: You still have to perform properly, however.

HUME: Well, we’ll see.


WALLACE: We’ll see.

HUME: You’ll bother me, I’ll sue you.


WALLACE: Yes, that’s true. All right. We ask you for questions for the panel. And we got this on Twitter from Steve. He writes SCOTUS, Supreme Court of the United States is just another political branch of government that swings with a PC wind, and not the law. Evan, how do you answer Steve about his contention that the court is moving left in these cases?

EVAN THOMAS, AUTHOR “BEING NIXON”: Well, there is a saying that the Supreme Court policy election returns. And it does reflect broad societal movements, I think, on gay rights. With the public on that. I think Justice Roberts in particular is an institutionalist. He doesn’t want to get too far out in front or behind public opinion. So, he didn’t want to disrupt the healthcare act and make the Supreme Court seem like it’s alone out there. So I think the court does reflect public opinion. But it has been historically a check on public opinion as well. That’s the beautiful thing about the Supreme Court. It’s a little bit unpredictable. They do follow the election returns, but every once in a while they uphold individual rights in meaningful ways that runs against public opinion.

WALLACE: Now, Chief Justice Roberts explained both of his rulings this week that we discussed with Ted Olson, as examples of judicial restraint and ObamaCare, he said, he was interpreting the statutory language of ObamaCare and what Congress wrote in the case of same-sex marriage, he said basically, that it should be left up to the legislatures. George, do you see a consistent political philosophy there or is this another case of a justice longer in the court, longer in Washington becoming more of a moderate?

GEORGE WILL: I do think the Chief Justice was consistent. And I also think that he demonstrates why the terms liberal court and conservative court are classifications that no longer really classify. Democrats know what they want in a court. There’s no debate about this or about anything else of any interest in the Democratic Party. Republicans are having a raging debate now as to whether they have gone too far in preaching judicial deference. Judicial restraint. That’s what Justice Roberts has been practicing. Be careful what you wish for, conservatives. There are – – there is a strong tradition of saying we want courts to defer to the majoritarian branches of government which Justice Roberts has done, and particularly on the Affordable Care Act. On the other hand there are Republicans who say, no, we want the court to stand up against public opinion to affirm individual rights, to enforce the boundaries of the institution and particularly the separation of powers to restrain and limit government. Now, the danger, Chris is, that the 2016 presidential candidates are going to get into a bidding war to try and codify in the Constitution their anger. Scott Walker of Wisconsin says he wants a constitutional amendment to restore state control over marriage law. Mike Huckabee goes in one better saying, no, I want to take that away from the states and define in the Constitution marriage is between a man and a woman. Ted Cruz accepts that and goes one step farther. Echoing another Ted, Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 when he was a full throated progressive, Ted Cruz says no, I want to have judicial retention elections.

HUME: Don’t forget Bobby Jindal who wants to blow up the court.


WILL: Teddy Roosevelt wanted to have referendum on particular decisions, he wants to have elections on …

WALLACE: One question, George, to follow up. Because you say that he was deferring to the Congress on ObamaCare. I think a lot of conservatives and clearly Ted Olson felt he was not deferring because he didn’t read the statute as written, exchanges established by the state, he was interpreting what Congress meant.

WILL: He was bending over backwards to say that viewed in the context of the entire law and the aspiration of the law, which was to ensure as many people as possible therefore I’m deferring to in an artfully — his word, in an artfully written law, but I’m being — I’m clearly referring to their clear purpose in this case.

WALLACE: Lisa, let me pick up on what George was discussing which is the political fallout from all this. While conservatives clearly lost in both cases, some people are arguing they are in fact in better shape politically going forward. One, your thought about that and, two, how big an issue does the court now become in the 2016 election?

LISA LERER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I think publicly certainly as George pointed out, there’s a lot of concertation amongst Republican candidates, but there is certainly a sentiment within the Republican Party, a sigh of relief, the quiet secret sigh of relief that maybe this has wiped the table clean of these divisive social issues, now Republicans can pivot to the kind of economic and foreign policy issues that they would like this election to be about. I think that’s going to be really hard. Because the incentives for a Republican candidate to win a primary are very different than the incentives to win a general. So you have this inherent conflict. It makes a lot of sense in a primary to talk about social issues when 40 percent of the party self-identifies as white evangelical voters. In a general, that doesn’t make as much sense. So, it’s a tough political issue for them to work their way through. On the court, look, there’s always a lot of talk that the court will become a political issue. We don’t tend to see it all that much. I think it could happen this election just because we’re likely to have two vacancies and everyone seems — you know, there’s a wide awareness of that and also these cases are highly charged emotional cases. People may remember this. Republicans may not want to be talking about the issue of gay marriage a year from now. But I think they’ll definitely be certain elements of the party that we could hear as come up in debates, this role of the court. And certainly that.

WALLACE: OK. We have a little bit of time left. And Evan, I want to ask you about your new book about Richard Nixon. Clearly, one of the most fascinating characters, political figures in the 20th century. One of your central tenants is that for a man who spent his entire career in this most public of professions that he was really uncomfortable around people.

THOMAS: He was painfully shy. One of the fascinating things about him and one thing that drives my book is how one of the shyest people ever became the most powerful political figure in the late 20th century. How did he do that? Well, one way he did it was by understanding that people are outsiders. He played to the hopes and to the fears of outsiders and when he was in college there was a cool guys’ fraternity. He formed a fraternity for the uncool guys because he knew that there were more of them. And he played on this brilliantly, the whole idea of the silent majority was his, for this shy guy he won the largest — one of the largest landslides in history in 1972. So, he was brilliant about that. He remembered names. That’s important for a politician. But yes, he was painfully awkward and full of fear. And that fear did get him. He destroyed himself.

WALLACE: You also say for someone who is thought of as such a staunch conservative that in fact on domestic issues he’s one of the most liberal presidents we’ve had.

THOMAS: Yeah, well, his record is pretty amazing. He created EPA, OSHA, he extended Social Security benefits for the disabled. This is partly because he was working with a Democratic congress. He believed in compromise. He was really more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. So, he wanted to get things done. That was an age when people believe in getting things done. His record is amazing. But some people think he was a liberal. He was not. He was not. He was a conservative. If he hadn’t knocked himself out in Watergate, I think in the second term he would have moved sharply to the right.

WALLACE: And finally, we have got about 30 seconds left. Biggest surprise in researching Nixon? What did you sit there because we think we know so much about him? What were you surprised by?

THOMAS: He wanted to be an optimistic person. He wasn’t this dark guy. Late at night he would write notes to himself about being joyful and serene and hopeful and he tried to be those things. But he just couldn’t. His fear of his enemies got to him and he destroyed himself.

WALLACE: But why did he need to write notes to himself? Did they — I mean seriously.

THOMAS: Because he was — he knew at some level he was engaged in this battle between darkness and light.

WALLACE: Thank you. Good book. In fact, I’ve got it and I’m going on vacation and I’m going to read it. So, thank you for that.

THOMAS: Thank you.

WALLACE: See you all next Sunday. Well, no, I won’t see you next Sunday. Someone will see you next Sunday. You’ll see next Sunday. Up next, our “Power Player” of the week. A University in D.C. contributing to the intellectual life of the Catholic Church and the nation.


WALLACE: When Pope Francis visits the U.S. in September, he’ll speak to Congress and the United Nations and visit President Obama in the White House. And there’s another important stop on his schedule. Here’s our power player of the week.


JOHN GARVEY, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: I think it provides a really important intellectual alternative to other kinds of universities.

WALLACE: John Garvey is president of Catholic University, the National University of the Catholic Church in the U.S. It offers programs in 12 different schools ranging from architecture and music to theology and church law. But always with a different approach.

GARVEY: Usually when people teach about ethics in business there will be a course on ethics and how you should color within the lines. Our approach is to ask people to think of their work as entrepreneurs or accountants as their life’s work and a way of getting to heaven by serving their fellow men, their customers, their employees.

WALLACE: A few years ago you delivered a speech called “Intellect and Virtue.” Is there a conflict between the two?

GARVEY: No. Although in many places we think there is. We actually think that the formation of our students’ character is part of our responsibilities as a university.

(on camera): So, you are doing comps this fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’ll be doing comps this fall. He’s trying to.

WALLACE (voice over): Garvey has run Catholic for five years and as he walks the campus with his dog, Guss, he’s become known as the students’ president. But one of his first moves was to end co-ed dorms.

GARVEY: It was something that I announced we were going to do on my first day on the job. I’m the father of five children. I know what goes through students’ minds.

WALLACE: Garvey has also been a leading spokesman for church affiliated groups telling Congress why they oppose ObamaCare’s birth control mandate.

GARVEY: It’s our religious belief that these activities are run and we think that a decent respect for the principle of religious liberties should leave us free to act on our belief.

WALLACE: The big news at Catholic is Pope Francis will celebrate mass there during his trip to Washington in September.

GARVEY: It’s really exciting for everybody here at Catholic University and around the country. Francis has become a sort of media star.

WALLACE: But Garvey thinks people make a mistake treating the pope as a political figure noting in his recent encyclical he warned both about the dangers of climate change and the sin of abortion.

GARVEY: He’s not a member of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. And the Catholic Church in America is not a political organization.

WALLACE: President Garvey says the church has a different mission. And so does his university.

GARVEY: Catholic University takes another approach to the intellectual life and that’s something that we’re not going to find at Vanderbilt or Michigan State and that’s a great thing for this university to be able to do.


WALLACE: Garvey was dean of Boston College Law School before taking over at Catholic. In his inaugural speech he said the challenge is to find a place for bibles and papal decrees between our telescopes and microscopes. And that’s it for today. Have a great week. We’ll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”

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