Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, slammed the panel for carrying out what she called an “illegitimate” process to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before Election Day.
During her remarks on Monday afternoon, Harris also warned that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the high court will “undo” the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Harris, who participated in the first day of Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings remotely, began her opening statement by criticizing Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for bringing “together more than 50 people to sit inside a room for hours while our nation faces a deadly airborne virus.”
“This committee has ignored commonsense requests to keep people safe—including not requiring testing for all members—despite a coronavirus outbreak among senators of this very committee,” Harris said, indirectly referencing Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who tested positive, and has since recovered, from the novel coronavirus. Lee attended the hearing in person on Monday.
Harris said the hearing “should have been postponed” and called the decision to carry on as planned “reckless” and said it puts Capitol Hill officials, workers and aides “at risk.”
“Senate Republicans have made it crystal clear that rushing a Supreme Court nomination is more important than helping and supporting the American people who are suffering from a deadly pandemic and economic crisis,” Harris said. “Their priorities are not the American people’s priorities. But, for the moment, Senate Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and determine the schedule, so here we are.”
Harris went on to slam the president and Senate Republicans for “jamming” Barrett through the Senate while Americans “are actually voting.”
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“More than nine million Americans have already cast ballots and millions more will vote while this illegitimate committee process is underway,” Harris said. “A clear majority of Americans want whoever wins this election to fill this seat. And my Republican colleagues know that.”
Harris went on to slam Republicans, suggesting they are trying to get Barrett confirmed to the high court “in time to ensure they can strip away the protections in the Affordable Care Act,” which is set to come before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10.
Meanwhile, Harris shifted, touting Ginsburg, who passed away last month, for having “devoted her life to this fight for equal justice.”
“She defended the constitution. She advocated for human rights and equality,” Harris said. “She stood up for the rights of women. She protected workers. She fought for the rights of consumers against big corporations. She supported LGBTQ rights. And she did so much more.”
“But now, her legacy and the rights she fought so hard to protect are in jeopardy,” Harris continued. “By replacing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with someone who will undo her legacy, President Trump is attempting to roll back Americans’ rights for decades to come.”
She added: “Every American must understand that with this nomination, equal justice under law is at stake.”
Harris said that with the confirmation of Barrett to the high court, “voting rights are at stake; workers’ rights are at stake; consumers’ rights are at stake; the right to safe and legal abortion is at stake; holding corporations accountable is at stake; and so much more.”
Harris went on to urge Graham to “wait to confirm a new Supreme Court justice until after Americans decide who they want in the White House.”
MOMENTS AGO: Sen. Kamala Harris appears at “illegitimate” Amy Coney Barrett hearing with RBG book “I Dissent’ behind her. pic.twitter.com/BPlPJOxnwt
— The Hill (@thehill) October 12, 2020