Categories: Politics

Kamala Harris Tells CNN She ‘Never Believed’ Trump’s Supreme Court Nominees Would Preserve Abortion Law

Kamala Harris Tells CNN She ‘Never Believed’ Trump’s Supreme Court Nominees Would Preserve Abortion Law

In her first interview since the Roe v Wade case was dropped on Friday, US Vice President Kamala Harris told Dana Bash, host of CNN international, who never believed that former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks, whom she voted against in the Senate, would preserve the historic abortion law.

“I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them,” the vice president said in an interview Monday when Bash, pointing to earlier statements by Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, underscoring the long-standing precedent of Roe v. Wade, asked Kamala Harris if she believed the two judges intentionally misled the public and Congress during the confirmation process.

“It became clear to me as I sat in that chair as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that they were […] very likely to do what they just did. That was my perspective. That was my opinion. And that’s why I voted the way I did.”

The vice president’s comments come shortly after Republican senator from Maine Susan Collins publicly said she felt cheated by Kavanaugh, who she said had assured her he would not drop the Roe v Wade case.

Kamala Harris was flying from Washington to Illinois on Air Force Two on Friday to unveil the government’s latest strategy to improve maternal health in the US when the decision was made. She said she was shocked.

“This is not over,” she added, referring to how she views the court’s conservative majority’s intentions over other existing rights.

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas indicated in a concurring opinion for the decision that the court should review other cases of precedent that guarantee rights related to same-sex marriage and contraception.

“I think he just said the silent part out loud,” Kamala Harris said of Thomas. “And I think that’s why we all should really understand the meaning of what just happened. This is profound. And the way that decision was made, it was so driven, I think, by the politics of the question against what should be the values ​​that we put on freedom and autonomy in our country.”

Kamala Harris said the government “will do everything” in its power to advocate for access to abortion drugs. And she suggested the government is looking at ways to provide women with the resources they need in states where the procedure is banned, such as day care and travel funding, to access it in other states.

But appearing to reject a growing call from Democratic lawmakers, the vice president said the administration is not discussing the use of federal land for abortion services in and around states that will ban the procedure.

“It’s not what we’re discussing right now,” Harris said.

Calls for Biden to allow abortion providers to work on federal property have raised concerns among some lawyers. And providing federal funding for women to travel out of state has the potential to run afoul of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions in almost all cases.

A White House official made a similar point on Monday, saying, “While this proposal is well-intentioned, it could put women and providers at risk. And most importantly, in states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees can be prosecuted.”

When pressed about what else the Democrat-controlled White House, Senate and House could do to protect abortion rights, Kamala Harris specifically pointed to Congress and the role the legislature could play in codifying abortion rights — if the Democrats had the votes. She has repeatedly pointed to the importance of the 2022 midterm elections as an opportunity to elect more Democratic senators who support abortion rights.

But when asked whether Congress could do something sooner if Senate obstruction were eliminated, she did not say whether she would support eliminating the 60-vote threshold for passing abortion protections.

“I think (the president) has been clear about where we are on this reproductive health issue and what the president and our administration have in our toolkit to do, and so far, that’s what we’ve been striving for,” Harris said.

Biden told Anderson Cooper of CNN last year, who would be open to changing the obstruction to pass voting rights legislation “and maybe more”.

During Monday’s extensive interview, Harris emphasized that inflation remains a priority for the Biden administration. But she did not respond directly when asked if she believes the United States is heading for a recession or discussed any new tools the government could use to deal with rising prices.

“I think there can be no higher priority than what we have clear as our highest priority, which is to reduce costs and prices as much as we can – and we will continue to focus on that,” the vice president replied.

As the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 invasion of the Capitol prepares for an unexpected hearing on Tuesday, Bash asked Harris whether the hearings so far have changed his perceptions of his predecessor.

Harris praised former Vice President Mike Pence “for having the courage to do his job” when he refused to overturn the 2020 presidential election results despite pressure from Trump.

The vice president declined to say whether she would support bringing criminal charges against Trump based on the findings presented by the committee.

Kamala Harris didn’t mince words when asked about 2024, as some critics questioned whether the 79-year-old president will seek re-election. Bash asked her about comments by House Majority Leader Jim Clyburn, a Biden ally who represents South Carolina, that if the president did not run, Clyburn would support Kamala Harris in the lead.

“Joe Biden is running for re-election and I will be his running mate,” Harris said. “Full stop”.

*With information from Kevin Liptak and Donald Judd of CNN.

Source: CNN Brasil