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Kamala Harris warns Amy Coney Barrett will ‘undo Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy’ – and put equal marriage in jeopardy

Emma Powys Maurice October 13, 2020
Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris speaking during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (YouTube/PBS)

Kamala Harris spoke against Amy Coney Barrett’s controversial Supreme Court nomination Monday (October 12), delivering a stark warning about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy of equality being irrevocably “undone”

The Democratic vice presidential nominee gave a measured yet impassioned speech on the opening day of hearings on Coney Barrett’s nomination.

Appearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee remotely from her office, viewers were reminded of Harris’ reputation as a tenacious former prosecutor as she began by rebuking the committee for even holding the “reckless” hearing in the first place.

“This hearing should have been postponed,” she said, noting that it had brought together “more than 50 people to sit inside a room for hours while our nation faces a deadly airborne virus.”

She shamed the Senate for attempting to jam Trump’s anti-LGBT+ nominee through in an “illegitimate committee process” that “deliberately defies the will of the people”.

As millions of Americans struggle to survive a pandemic, Senate Republicans “have not lifted a finger for 150 days” to move a coronavirus relief bill, Harris said — “yet you are determined to rush a Supreme Court confirmation hearing through in just 16 days”.

While much of her concerns centred on the proposed roll back of protections under the Affordable Care Act, she warned that there’s much more at stake if Ruth Bader Ginsburg is replaced by someone who does not support her legacy.

Kamala Harris says with Amy Barrett Coney nomination, ‘equal justice under law is at stake’.

“Throughout our history, Americans have brought cases to the Supreme Court in the ongoing fight for civil rights, human rights, and equal justice. Decisions like … Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognised that love is love, and that marriage equality is the law of the land,” the vice presidential nominee said.

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg devoted her life to this fight for equal justice. She defended the constitution. She advocated for human rights and equality.

“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. 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.”

As Amy Coney Barrett sat stony faced, Kamala Harris concluded by warning every American that her nomination will mean “equal justice under law is at stake”.

Barrett’s own speech was relatively tame by comparison, although she heaped praise upon former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, who has pushed back against LGBT+ rights at almost every opportunity throughout his career.

Former presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg labelled her statement as “a pathway to judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility”.

If Barrett is confirmed by the Senate, the Supreme Court would shift to a strong 6 to 3 conservative majority which could remain in place for decades, shaping major legal decisions in the US for years to come.

 

More: Amy Coney Barrett, kamala harris, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, supreme court

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