National News

Harris: Trump unwilling to listen to Americans on Supreme Court vacancy

Posted September 28, 2020 5:43 a.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2020 11:53 p.m. EDT

— Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Monday urged people to vote in the coming weeks like their lives depended on it because an accelerated process to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court before the election could take away many of their rights.

Harris visited Shaw University in Raleigh on her first campaign trip to North Carolina and then took part in a roundtable discussion at nearby White's Barber Shop to highlight the importance of voting to effect change.

Before the roundtable, Harris took some time to discuss the legacy of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and note that surveys show a majority of Americans would prefer to wait until after the presidential election to have the winner name someone to fill Ginsburg seat on the court.

President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed the confirmation vote will take place before the Nov. 3 election.

"President Trump and his party are not interested in hearing the will of the people. My sense is that they're afraid of what they're going to be told," Harris said. "We're not even debating whether the Senate should hearings on a nominee in an election year – we're not in the middle of an election year, we're in the middle of an election."

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she will play a role in the confirmation process.

Harris said that any attempt to "jam this nomination through" may look like an exhibition of "raw power" on Trump's part, the American voters hold the true power.

"Vote as if your life, your choice depends on it, because it does," she said. "Vote as if your right to vote depends on it, because it does."

Harris noted that Barrett already has come out against the Affordable Care Act – the health law will be before the high court in November – and is an ardent opponent of abortion rights. A Supreme Court controlled by conservatives also would roll back voting rights, environmental protections and efforts to combat systemic racism, Harris predicted.

"He knows he can't win if the people vote," she said. "Donald Trump is weak, so he's throwing up every roadblock he can to try and suppress the vote."

Harris also hosted a virtual Get Out the Vote event with North Carolina Democrats on Sept. 18.

Recent polls have shown North Carolina to be a dead heat between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden Trump has visited the state five times in the past five weeks, and Biden made his first trip to North Carolina last week.

On Monday night, Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law, was in New Hill for a campaign event at Finnegan's Farm. A Wilmington native a North Carolina State University graduate, she ticked off reasons for the state to back the president for a second term, from the Supreme Court to a strong economy to a revitalized military to peace in the Middle East.

"This isn't just about the next four years in America, this is about the next 40 years," Lara Trump told the audience. "This is the most consequential election in modern American history, without a doubt."

She criticized Biden's stance on immigration, policing, guns and climate change, among other issues.

"This is not America. This is not what we stand for," she said. "We don't want government controlling every aspect of our lives."

In an interview with WRAL News, she also commented on President Trump's tax returns released by the New York Times.

"These illegally released tax returns, quite frankly, do not paint the full picture. This is standard for what we see happen," she said. "Look, we're 36 days from the election. I do not think this changes anyone's mind."

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