The Supreme Court fight over Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation could bring Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) back into the spotlight.
Joe Biden’s running mate confirmed that she will “definitely” play a role in what is sure to be a highly controversial event, the Washington Times reported.
Harris could damage herself if she attacks Barrett
With the convergence of a presidential election and a Supreme Court fight, Harris is in an unusual position. In just days, hearings are set to begin to consider the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Republicans are expected to easily confirm the judge, over the objections of Democrats who see her nomination as a slap in the face to Ginsburg’s legacy and a threat to abortion rights, one of their top priorities.
“With the next Supreme Court Justice set to determine the fate of protections for those with preexisting health conditions, and reproductive health options, I will continue to fight on behalf of the people and strongly oppose the president’s nomination,” Harris said Sunday.
But Harris, who sits on the influential Senate Judiciary Committee, will be able to do more than comment on Barrett’s candidacy from the sidelines.
“I am definitely going to be involved in the hearings and performing my role and responsibility on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Harris said Monday.
The question now appears to whether Harris will reprise the role of progressive hardliner that has become so integral to her public image, cultivated in her aggressive questioning of Brett Kavanaugh and other episodes, or go with a softer approach.
Some Republicans have already warned that Barrett will face attacks over her faith not unlike those that Harris deployed in the past, when she grilled a Catholic judge with questioning that some likened to a religious test.
But with Democrats already appearing sensitive to the optics of disparaging a Catholic mother, Harris is being cautioned to see pitfalls where she has traditionally found opportunities for publicity.
“It would behoove Sen. Harris to do the least amount of questioning that she can do in this case because she should not and does not want to appear to be political,” former Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler told the Washington Examiner.
Speaking in North Carolina on Monday, Harris wouldn’t say whether she would meet with Barrett, as some of her fellow Democrats declined to do the same. “I’m sure that’s going to happen, we’ll see how it works out … I haven’t made a plan one way or another.”