During Monday’s opening confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — who is a member of the committee and, of course, the Democratic vice presidential nominee — condemned her Republican colleagues’ belligerence.
‘Every American must understand that with this nomination equal justice under law is at stake. Our voting rights are at stake. Workers’ rights are at stake. Consumers’ rights are at stake.’
Kamala Harris: "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. Every American must understand that with this nomination, equal justice under law is at stake."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 12, 2020
She zeroed in on the fact that Republicans have rushed to hold the confirmation hearings despite the potential for the spread of the Coronavirus on the premises, and furthermore, she noted, they are holding the hearings while millions of Americans continue to wait on the stalled negotiations over additional Coronavirus-connected economic relief.
As the Senator noted, a relief bill that the House passed months ago has languished without action by the Senate for all this time. Negotiations over a potential agreement between Democrats and Republicans have stalled for months. Harris commented:
‘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 a devastating economic crisis. Their priorities are not the American people’s priorities.’
She had details about the dangers. She commented:
‘This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed-door room for hours, while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus. This committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe including not requiring testing for all members despite a Coronavirus outbreak among Senators of this very committee… This hearing should have been postponed. The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities workers, janitorial staff, and Congressional aides, and Capitol Police at risk not to mention that while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, the Senate should be prioritizing Coronavirus relief and providing financial support for those families.’
Harris: "This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed door room for hours, while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus. This committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe … this hearing should have been postponed" pic.twitter.com/C7oC552SF3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 12, 2020
Harris also broadly condemned the rush to confirm Barrett through what she referred to as an “illegitimate” process that has started after early voting in the presidential race has already begun. She also insisted that, if confirmed, Barrett would “undo” the “legacy” of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who fought for causes like equal rights for women throughout her career and who Barrett is meant to replace.
Watch Harris’s opening statement, in full, below: