According to New York Times Legal Affairs journalist Christian Farias, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats would be wise to cede their time to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) when hearings open on Monday over the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Noting that Harris is "sharpest questioners on the committee," based upon her grilling of Attorney General Bill Barr and Brett Kavanaugh when he was before the committee on his way to the court, Farias suggested giving Harris more time could benefit both the committee as well as Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
Writing, "Voters deserve a Senate hearing where a person aspiring to one of the nation’s highest elected offices gets an opportunity to hold to account an unelected judge nominated for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court," the columnist then pointed out, "There is precedent in the Senate for a single woman, and a prosecutor at that, as Senator Harris once was, to lead the questioning during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing."
Besides grilling the conservative justice on her views of Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the journalist suggested Harris would be very effective putting Barrett on the spot for exposing her mask-less family to COVID-19 during a Rose Garden ceremony that appears to have led to a wave of infections in the White House.
"Senator Harris could easily lead a cross-examination that probes every detail of that reckless ceremony, which the government’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, labeled a 'super spreader' event. Millions of Americans have forfeited or canceled weddings, family celebrations, even the opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones who succumbed to the virus." Farias wrote. "Does the judge feel any sense of responsibility for reveling at this coronavirus hot spot? What does she have to say to those people as she herself flouted guidelines that many have observed for their own health and safety? Does it weigh on her conscience? What does that say to the American public about her own judgment and prudence?"
The writer also suggested letting that by Harris taking the lead, it would take the pressure off fellow California Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) who has been criticized for her ineffective questioning of Donald Trump's candidates.
"For the sake of democracy and the future of the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats would be doing a favor to voters and the nation by yielding most or all of their time to Senator Harris at Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing," Farias wrote before concluding, ".Better yet would be if the hearing did not happen at all. But in the face of Republican intransigence, we all deserve a process where someone responsive to the electorate demands answers from someone who never will be."
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