BY: AVERI HARPER, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — In the days after she was named former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris said the run up to the election against President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would be “a knockdown drag out.” Now, Harris is gearing up for battle, laying out her clear opposition to Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court vacancy.
Harris, during remarks in North Carolina, called Trump’s effort to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s chair a contradiction of Ginsburg’s dying wish to be replaced by the next president, accusing Trump and the Republican Party of wielding their political power without regard for the desires of the American people.
“President Trump and his party don’t care. They just want to jam this nomination through as fast as they can,” Harris said. “It’s called raw power.”
Using sharp language, Harris later referred to Trump’s presidency as an “infection” and called for voters to head to the polls as recourse.
“We will not let the infection that President Trump has injected into the presidency and into Congress, that has paralyzed our politics and pitted Americans against each other, spread to the United States Supreme Court,” said Harris. “This election is about more than the presidency or the Senate or the Supreme Court. This election is about our democracy.”
Harris named Barrett in her remarks, framing her not only as the antithesis of Ginsburg’s legacy, but also said Barrett “will undo (Ginsburg’s) life’s work.” Harris pointed to the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade — the ruling that gave women the right to abortion — as aspects of American life that would be in jeopardy if Barrett is on the court.
“President Trump and his party and Judge Barrett will overturn the Affordable Care Act, and they won’t stop there. They have made clear that they want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and restrict reproductive rights and freedoms,” said Harris. “Judge Barrett has a long record of opposing abortion and reproductive rights. There is no other issue that so disrespects and dishonors the work of Justice Ginsburg’s life, than undoing the seminal decision in the court’s history that made it clear — a woman has a right to make decisions about her own body.”
Because of Harris’ post on the Senate Judiciary committee, she is uniquely positioned as both a member and the Democratic vice presidential nominee to question Barrett should a hearing be called.
While it is customary for senators to meet one-on-one with the Supreme Court nominee, Harris told reporters in North Carolina, “I haven’t made a plan one way or another.”
Several other Judiciary Committee Democrats, including Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, have announced they will not meet with Barrett.
Barrett is scheduled to meet with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Pence on Tuesday. Traditionally she would next meet with the Senate minority leader, but Sen. Chuck Schumer has also refused to meet with her.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley Mike Crapo and Mike Lee have all announced that they will meet with the nominee.
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