Sen. Kamala Harris’s participation in Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings got off to an awkward start on Monday.
The California Democrat, who called in over video, suffered an embarrassing digital hiccup as she launched into a blistering harangue attacking the process to confirm the judge, the Washington Examiner reported.
Harris, Democrats attack Barrett over ACA
Democrats spent much of the hearing Monday, which was dedicated to opening statements, attacking Barrett as a threat to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. They also complained that Republicans were rushing to confirm Barrett to the court in a desperate bid to strike down the landmark law.
Harris, who delivered her remarks remotely, came prepared to strike many of these points — but she was forced to start over again thanks to an awkward echo and problems with the video feed. “Just wait, just one second, we don’t see you,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as she launched into her prepared comments.
“Can you see me now?” Harris asked. “Mr. Chairman, can you see me? Can you hear me?’
Echoing points made earlier by her Democratic allies, Harris suggested that Barrett would overturn Obamacare and roll back hard-won civil rights.
“Every American must understand that, with this nomination, equal justice under law is at stake,” she added. “Voting rights are at stake, workers’ rights are at stake, consumer rights are at stake, the right to a safe and legal abortion is at stake, and holding corporations accountable is at stake. And there’s so much more.”
Harris slams “illegitimate” confirmation
Harris, who was calling from inside her office, did not come to the hearing because of the coronavirus. In her opening statement, Harris slammed Republicans for pushing ahead with an “illegitimate” and “reckless” confirmation process that put people at risk.
“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 whomever wins this election to fill this seat. And my Republican colleagues know that.”
Harris returned Tuesday night to grill Barrett after the judge sat through many hours of hostile questioning from Democratic senators.
Barrett stands her ground
Barrett spent much of the day responding to tendentious prompts from Democratic members of the committee about how she would rule on various cases. The judge repeatedly said that she would make whatever decisions the Constitution requires.
“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said.