Vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) paid tribute on Monday to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Justice Ginsburg's parting gift? Court's ruling on Texas law doesn't threaten Roe — but Democrats' overreaction might MORE while hammering Amy Coney Barrett, President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE’s nominee to fill Ginsburg's seat.
Harris made her remarks from Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., one of the oldest historically Black colleges in the South.
The senator lauded the late Ginsburg as a champion of the court’s liberal wing.
“She was part of our culture,” Harris told reporters, “Because of her, [Americans can] get the jobs of their dreams, fight for equal pay for their work, marry the person they love, serve the country they love and enjoy the full rights and privileges of citizenship that they deserve, free of discrimination.”
“That legacy, her belief in all of us is at stake,” she said.
Barrett, who clerked for late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, is on the record opposing the Affordable Care Act and Democrats fear that if she’s confirmed, Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman’s right to an abortion, could be in jeopardy.
“Judge Barrett has a long record of opposing abortion and reproductive rights,” Harris said. “There is no other issue that so disrespects and dishonors the work of Justice Ginsburg’s life than undoing the seminal decision in the court’s history that made it clear that a woman has a right to make decisions about her own body.”
Harris said Barrett could also further threaten the Voting Rights Act, which was already weakened by a Supreme Court decision in 2013. Barrett’s likely confirmation to the Supreme Court, she said, is even more reason to vote in November.
“[President Trump] knows he can’t win if the people vote,” Harris said. “[Republicans] want you to feel tired, they want you to feel like your fight doesn’t matter, but we will not give up and we will not give in.”
Barrett’s confirmation hearings, which are expected to start Oct. 12, are certain to become a partisan battleground.
Democrats have said that any confirmation hearing shouldn’t take place until after the election, pointing to 2016, when the GOP-controlled Senate blocked the Obama administration’s nomination of Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' MORE following the death of Scalia.
At the time, Senate Republicans — led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.) — said that a vacancy on the Supreme Court should not be filled during an election year and that the American people should be able to decide the next Supreme Court justice.
Still, it's expected that Republicans will easily push Barrett’s nomination through, despite Election Day being just over a month away.