Vice President Kamala Harris said in her first interview since Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday that she never believed former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks, whom she voted against in the Senate, would preserve the landmark abortion law.
“Not once did I believe them. There was no way I could have believed them. So that’s why I cast my ballot against them, “Bash asked Harris in an interview on Monday if she thought Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch intentionally misled the public and Congress during the confirmation process, referring to the two justices’ previous statements underscoring the long-held precedent of Roe v. Wade.
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“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 as I did.”
Harris Says She ‘Never Believed’ Trump SCOTUS
Her remarks follow those of Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, who went public with her disappointment in Kavanaugh after the latter allegedly assured her that he would not overturn Roe v. Wade.
On Friday, as the decision came down, Harris was flying on Air Force Two from Washington to Illinois to unveil the administration’s latest strategy to improve maternal health in the US.
“This is not over,” she added, referring to how she sees the conservative court majority’s intentions on other existing rights.
In a concurring opinion for the ruling, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the court should reconsider previous decisions upholding rights related to same-sex marriage and contraception.
“I think he just said the quiet part out loud,” Harris said about Thomas. “And I think that is why we all must really understand the significance of what just happened. This is profound. And the way that this decision has come down has been so driven, I think, by the politics of the issue versus what should be the values that we place on freedom and liberty in our country.”
Harris promised that the government “will do everything” to protect women’s access to abortion pills. In addition, she hinted that the government is considering ways to help women in states where the procedure is illegal by providing them with resources like child care and travel funding so they can get the procedure in other states.
Abortion bans won’t end abortions; they will just end safe and legal abortions. #SOTU
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 5, 2020
Harris, however, appeared to reject a growing request from Democratic lawmakers when she stated that the administration was not currently discussing using federal lands for abortion services in and around states that will ban the procedure.
Harris said, “At this time, that is not the topic of our conversation.”
There have been calls for Biden to allow abortion providers to operate from federal property, but some attorneys are wary of this. To add insult to injury, the Hyde Amendment, which forbids federal funding of abortions in almost all cases, could be violated if women were given federal money to travel out of state to have abortions.
On Monday, a White House official echoed this sentiment, saying: “While this proposal is well-intentioned, it could put women and providers at risk. And importantly, in states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees could be potentially be prosecuted.”
Harris said that the Biden administration is still paying close attention to inflation during Monday’s in-depth interview. When asked whether she thought the United States was headed toward a recession or if there were any new tools the administration could use to address rising prices, she did not provide an answer.
The vice president responded, “I think that there can be no higher priority than what we have been clear is our highest priority, which is bringing down the costs and prices as much as we possibly can.”
When asked directly about 2024, when the President will be 79 years old, Harris did not hold back.
“Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate,” Harris said. “Full stop.”
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