Democratic California Senator and Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris is laying low during Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, reports say.
Harris, who is attending the hearings remotely, faces a very different challenge this confirmation hearing go-around – avoiding partisan politics at a time when the Biden-Harris team is leading in the polls.
Speaking Monday, Harris called the process “illegitimate” and said the sole purpose of the confirmation is to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.
“Republicans finally realized that the Affordable Care Act is too popular to repeal in Congress, so now they are trying to bypass the will of the voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work,” Harris said. “That’s why President Trump promised to nominate Judges who will get rid of the Affordable Care Act.”
Harris focused her efforts on the Affordable Care Act, which is set to be heard before the Supreme Court in November. Harris warned that Barrett threatens the rights of every American, but stayed clear of any personal attacks on Barrett.
Her [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] legacy and the rights she fought so hard to protect, are in jeopardy by replacing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with someone who will undermine her legacy. President Trump is attempting to roll back Americans rights for decades to come,” Harris added. “Every American must understand that with the nomination equal justice under the law is at stake. Our voting rights are at stake…the right to a safe and legal abortion is at stake.”
However, Democrats note Harris is well equipped to handle the hearings.
“Kamala Harris has already shown herself to be well grounded and well prepared, but also able to ask pointed questions,” Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said, per The New York Times (NYT). “She will help make clear to the American people the enormous consequences of Judge Barrett being confirmed to the Supreme Court.”
Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the hearings would be a good chance for Harris to showcase her prosecutorial skills, per the same report.
“I think this is an opportunity for her, because she is just so great as a questioner and as a force for justice,” Blumenthal said.
Democratic Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono said Harris is “a tad busy” and would likely be less apparent this time around, per the report.
In 2018, during the hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Harris relentlessly made her presence known, even posting thousands of Facebook ads opposing the confirmation. Harris also attacked Kavanaugh for carrying around a pocket Constitution, suggesting Kavanaugh may be unfamiliar with what is in the document.
Harris also lied about Kavanaugh’s stance on contraceptives, claiming he would take away “constitutionally protected rights” from women to punish them.
Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake – this is about punishing women. pic.twitter.com/zkBjXzIvQI
– Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 7, 2018
Politifact ran a fact check and found that Harris took Kavanaugh’s statement out of context by clipping a portion of the speech.
President Donald Trump criticized Harris’ interrogation of Kavanaugh.
“She was extraordinarily nasty to Brett Kavanaugh – Judge Kavanaugh then, now Justice Kavanaugh,” Trump said, according to The New York Times (NOW).
However, Barrett’s confirmation hearing poses a unique challenge to Harris. Although she is the lowest-ranking Democratic member on the panel, Harris must strike a balance between attacking Barrett (the same way she did Kavanaugh) while also trying to win over voters as sincere in her efforts to prevent the confirmation. (RELATED: Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy Says People Are Scared Amy Coney Barrett Will Cause Discrimination Against Women)
During the vice presidential debates, Harris argued Barrett is a threat to the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights.