Harris highlights stakes of election in Barrett hearings

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By KATHLEEN RONAYNE Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Unable to block President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris used three days of confirmation hearings this week to remind voters of the stakes of the Nov. 3 election and how Democratic nominee Joe Biden would govern differently if he were in the White House.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of Judge Amy Coney Barrett held extra weight for Harris, a California senator who is both a committee member and Biden’s running mate. Known for her tough questioning of Trump’s nominees, Harris took a lower key approach and avoided sparring matches with Republicans. Her messaging was muted in part because she appeared via video conference from her office, not the Senate hearing room, due to coronavirus concerns.

Her questioning reflected a sense among Democrats that there was little to be done to prevent Barrett’s elevation to the court. She focused on core elements of Biden’s campaign, such as protecting health care and addressing climate change, while framing the speedy confirmation process as an inappropriate use of power.

“These proceedings, I believe, lack legitimacy in the eyes of the…


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