What did Vice President Kamala Harris say about the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade?
The Vice President claimed she never believed the Justices who said they would not overturn Roe and warned that more constitutional rights are under threat.
On Monday Vice President Kamala Harris gave her first interview since the Supreme Court overturned the precedent-setting Roe v Wade ruling. Their decision removes constitutional abortion rights in the United States, something which has been guaranteed for near five decades.
Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash, Harris said that she never believed the Justices added to the Court under Trump, who claimed in Congress that they would preserve the law. New appointees to the Supreme Court are subject to confirmation process in which Senators are able to quiz them on a variety of issues.
“I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them,” Harris said in the interview.
“It was clear to me when I was sitting 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 like I did.”
Harris voted against the confirmation of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, both of whom had previously expressed doubt about the legitimacy of Roe before insisted that they saw it as settled precedent. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, has said that she also feels misled by the Justices’ comments in the confirmation process.
Harris highlights Supreme Court’s threat to other rights
Before the interview with CNN, Harris gave a speech in Plainfield, Illinois to address the Court’s decision directly. She reiterated the historic nature of the ruling and the threat it poses to women across the country:
“For nearly 50 years, we have talked about what Roe v. Wade protects. Today, as of right now, as of this minute, we can only talk about what Roe v. Wade protected. Past tense.”
The sudden shift is shocking, even though a draft version of this opinion emerged last month, and it has heightened concern about the future of other constitutional rights.
Harris said: “Today’s decision on that theory, then, calls into question other rights that we thought were settled, such as the right to use birth control, the right to same-sex marriage, the right to interracial marriage.”
Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and with a 6-3 majority for the conservative wing of the Court, there is a lot of scope for further roll-backs of constitutional rights. In response, President Biden has faced calls to expand the size of the Supreme Court to allow him to redress the imbalance between ideologies on the Court.