Clay Calls from Family Funeral to Weigh In on the Roe Decision

24 Jun 2022

BUCK: Enormous Supreme Court decision came down this morning. Roe v. Wade overturned, Planned Parenthood v. Casey overturned, 6-3 decision. It has been decades in the making. And we have to now turn to our cohost, our good friend, Clay Travis, who has family obligations today that have kept him away from the mic for the three hours of the show, but he is calling in now ’cause I know a lot of you wanted to hear his take on what all this means. Clay, first, the audience has been asking: How are you doing?

CLAY: It’s a tough day — and, by the way, I’m on the road. We’re pulled off here on the side of the road, so cell phone reception is always a tough situation like this. But he was 62-years-old, listened to the Rush Limbaugh Show for 30 years. His wife and daughter… His daughter did a phenomenal eulogy. She’s young. To be in that position where you’re eulogizing your father or your mother is something that’s incredibly difficult for anybody to do.

They came up and they said they had heard from so many people after we talked about it because so many of his friends listened as well and had been fans of the show for a long time, so it was tough. And I think, in addition to the daughter, my uncle is still alive at 90, and to hear over 90 that one of your sons has died totally unexpectedly is just a brutal thing I think for anybody to have to experience. So, I appreciate it.

I had so many people reach out to me on behalf of so many people from the show who were listening and have been through this. And obviously we are, in many ways, a big family, all of us together. And so that’s been tough. And that’s why I wasn’t on today. Obviously, the news broke, and it broke right as I was going in basically for the funeral. But my thoughts, first of all, on the news is, Buck — and I’m curious what you think, but — I’m extremely disappointed in John Roberts not signing on to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

I know he supported the Mississippi law and concurred there but then did not sign on. And my concern is looking forward to we’ve had a lot of time to discuss a lot of this. My biggest concern is all of these justices in the conservative majority have a monster target on their backs still, and I just think it’s an awful… For someone like John Roberts — who claims that he cares so much about the legitimacy of the court, Buck, for him — not to be willing to stand up for legitimacy of the court and say, “Hey, we’re gonna make this a 6-3 decision so that all the nutjobs out there…”

And we already know this tried to happen with Brett Kavanaugh. So, that someone’s not trying to kill a justice to change the outcome of this case. To me, I’m disgusted with John Roberts for not joining this majority and making it 6-3. And then bigger picture, Buck, I think we’ve discussed a lot of the implications or ramifications already. But it is, to me, “Hey, if you truly believe in the democratic process in the United States, then right now you get the opportunity to make a choice about what you think the law should be as it pertains to abortion in this country.”

Whatever state you’re in, whatever community you live in, you now have an opportunity to make those decisions. And it’s the ultimate democratic process. The courts deciding on their own was the anti-democratic progress. So, to me, this is beyond a shadow of a doubt a moment for democracy to triumph, for us to have hard conversations about what the law should be all over this country and to, hopefully, reach a moment of realization as a country in the democratic process, as should have existed 50 years ago.

And then the last thing I would say — and then I’m curious what you would say about all this — is, will we have this violence, right? Are we going to have the “mostly peaceful protests” breaking out all over this country tonight? I’m gonna be in Atlanta, Georgia. I know you’re down, I believe, still in South Florida. People listening to us all over the country, are they confident that their cities and states are going to be calm tonight, or are we gonna see a reprisal of the summer of 2020 when everything came undone?

BUCK: Yeah, I’m not surprised at all, Clay, about Roberts being unwilling to go along with the overturning of Roe. I’m less concerned about the long-term implications for that although clearly the tension around the court is — and it is also a little bit confusing I think for folks, ’cause you hear, “Well, it’s a 6-3 decision.” So Roberts is with the majority on the Mississippi law, so everyone’s reporting this as a 6-3 decision. But Roberts did his own separate concurrence to state that he would not have gone along with the overturning of Roe specifically.

He would have done it in perhaps a more phased process. I’ve always thought that he just lacks internal fortitude and is an institutionalist above all else. But, overall, the impact here is Roe is gone so that’s obviously huge and momentous. And now, I wonder because these two things are tied together, right, Clay, the midterms coming up and your concern, my concern, everyone’s concern about riots, violence, anything like that. We had Ann Coulter on before, and I asked her about this.

I do think — and I wanted your take on this. There has been some violence against pro-life pregnancy centers and other things. But it’s been vandalism and it hasn’t been on the scale of, say, BLM riots that we saw in 2020. Do you think that may come from this decision? But also, how does the recognition of the imminent elections of Democrats…? It’s not a good look to burn down buildings, usually, right? I mean, they got away with it in 2020 but Trump was president, and the left was insane. What do you think about all that?

CLAY: Yes. So, that’s such an important question as we head into the weekend. And you and I have been discussing about when this opinion was gonna come down. And I kind of floated the idea — I don’t know if I said it on the air or just in our conversation — that maybe they would hold it into the long holy day weekend of July 4th. They obviously released it on a Friday going into a weekend. I don’t know. We had this Supreme Court leak. And, Buck, the Supreme Court leak obviously did not work, and it may, I think — I hope — have alleviated some of the tension because people have had weeks to be angry about this decision.

I also think Democrats have recognized that this isn’t their huge saving grace when everything is going on wrong because the base of the Democrat Party did not seem to be super motivated like I think a lot of Democrats thought and hoped they would be. So given the fact that we’ve had five or six weeks to come to grips with the fact that this opinion was coming down, I like to think that maybe we have alleviated the overall tension that could lead to an explosive protest. But — but — the other part of me thinks so much of this protest melt manufactured and organized.

And to your point, Buck, the party in power bears more of the brunt of the blame, but I’m still concerned that in some places there may be an incentive to create violence. And then there are lots of people out there who are not political in any nature that when violence occurs, they take it as an opportunity to riot, to loot, to plunder. And it doesn’t take very many people for all hell to break loose as everyone listening to us right now knows who lived through that summer of extreme voice in 2020. So, the other thing I would say, too, voted with this, Buck, is, we still don’t know who the leaker was.

And I still want to find out how that happened for purposes of the court’s legitimacy. And also, I’ll circle back around — to go Jen Psaki on everybody here — to what you said about Roberts as an institutionalist. I agree with that, to a certain extent. But if you are an institutionalist, your number one goal should be to protect the institution. And when you have attempted assassination attempts going on against your conservative justices and you’re allowing this to be a 5-4 decision?

Look, when you get to be in your sixties and seventies — as I should know and everybody else out there should know, though — things can happen unexpectedly in terms of health. And so, when this decision is hanging by the thread of one justice and we know already a left-wing lunatic went to Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s house with the express intent to kill him so this law would not become the law of the land, between now and the terms, Buck, Joe Biden theoretically would have the ability to replace a conservative justice in a opening emerged.

I don’t like the fact that John Roberts has allowed that same incentive to continue to exist in that if someone is killed — and I hate to even have to talk about it, but coming off an assassination attempt, I think it would be failure if we didn’t. If someone is killed, this opinion, given that it’s a 5-4 opinion, could flip. To me, if you’re an institutionalist like John Roberts, he had an obligation to support his institution and make this a 6-3 decision.

So, this choice doesn’t hang on the heartbeat of one justice — and right now that’s all it does. And there are enough crazy people as we all know who could be motivated, there’s already been one to try to take up arms over this issue. I think John Roberts failed the court, I think he failed the country, and I think he failed his own institution most prominently by failing to sign on and make this a legitimate 6-3 decision. As you mentioned, people are confused because it’s 6-3 upholding the Mississippi law but it’s only 5-4 in terms of overturning Roe v. Wade.

BUCK: We’re speaking to Clay Travis, cohost of the show, but he’s dealing with family today. Clay, one more thing before I know you gotta get back to taking care of the family. Former President Donald Trump, 45, put out this statement from his Save America PAC, President Donald J. Trump:

“Today’s decision, which is the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation, along with other decisions that have been announced recently, were only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court. It was my great honor to do so! I did not cave to the Radical Left Democrats, their partners in the Fake News Media, or the RINOs who are likewise the true, but silent, enemy of the people.”

CLAY: (laughing)

BUCK: He goes on a bit more. But, Clay, first of all, it’s so Trump, right? Most pro-life president — by the numbers, by the reality — in my lifetime. I think you’d have to say, in our lifetime.

CLAY: When you look at what Trump did in getting three youngish, highly qualified justices on to the court, it is maybe the most consequential presidency since — I think it’s fair to say — Ronald Reagan in terms of advocating for conservative views. And I think if you had told anybody, Buck, when Donald Trump came down that escalator in Trump Tower and announced that he was running for president back in, I guess it would have been now, what, the summer of ’15 or whatever? I can barely even keep up. I guess it would have been…

Yeah, the summer of ’15, basically, when he announced that he was gonna be running for president, if you or had said, “Yeah, he’s gonna win,” and followed it up by saying, “and he’s going to be the most successful president in terms of transforming the court and advocating for conservative views in most of our lives — maybe, frankly, almost anyone’s life, even going back past before Reagan,” I don’t think anybody would have believed it, but I think the consequences are here.

You look at John Roberts. He had no spine, and when he has been faced with tough decisions. He’s tended to worry about what everybody in Washington thought. Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, they all were Trump appointees, and they all came in and delivered. They did not waver, they didn’t go Souter, and conservatives have been hoping for choices like these for generations. I think you have to give credit to the Federalist Society.

People may not pay a lot of attention to them, but they made the choice that they were going to vet the justices and vet judges and get fully qualified constitutionalists on the bench, and they have had a transformative impact on the federal judiciary. And given how crazy Democrats have gone, that formative impact has been transformative, but also incredibly protective of constitutionalist ideals. So, I wouldn’t have bet on it, but my goodness. What an incredible legacy for Trump, even if he only serves one term as president.

BUCK: This is kind of fun. I get say: Everyone be sure to listen in to Clay Travis —

CLAY: (laughing)

BUCK: — on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show on Monday, the show that he cohosts with me every day, but Clay —

CLAY: You and I usually worry about cell phone signals. Did I sound okay? That’s what I was most concerned about calling in on my cell phone.

BUCK: Nah, man, crystal clear. All good to go. Look, thoughts and prayers to you and yours. Appreciate you sharing your insight on a day when you have a lot of family stuff to tend to and obviously you and I will be back in the cockpit on Monday, my friend. Thanks so much.

CLAY: No doubt. I appreciate everybody out there. Thank you for all of the condolences and all of the incredibly heartfelt expressions. I’m glad that I could talk to everybody here. Back to the family now. I hope everybody has a fantastic weekend, and I hope we actually don’t have any rioting, looting, plundering to have to worry about all throughout the country.

BUCK: Amen to that. Talk to you Monday, my friend. Thanks, Clay.

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