Kamala Harris smears Justice Clarence Thomas in midterm fearmongering about losing rights

Steering clear of the facts is a speciality of Vice President Kamala Harris and, unlike the garbled messaging she typically delivers, she did not mince words when she targeted Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Friday with her latest attack on the “activist court” and how she claimed Democratic control would be the only bulwark against an alleged threat to rights.

(Video: C-SPAN)

Appearing at the University of Illinois Chicago with Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Harris wasted little time getting into the muck of politics noting how near the midterm elections were. Claiming early in her remarks that “we as Democrats have proven that when the people put Democrats in charge, we know how to deliver results for the people,” the vice president shifted to the politicization of the Supreme Court before later arriving at a direct shot at Thomas.

“Justice Clarence Thomas said the quiet part out loud,” she argued as though it should come as a surprise that the strict constitutionalist would adhere to the rule of law. “In the Dobbs decision, his piece of it was to say, basically, marriage equality is on the line, contraception is on the line.”

“So see what is happening and what is at play here. See it clearly,” Harris implored the crowd. “We’ve got to hold on to our numbers in the House and the Senate, because without Democratic majorities in Congress, the writing on the wall seems to be pretty clear about what other rights they’ll also come after.”

What the justice had written on the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade was, in part, “in future case, we should ‘follow the text of the Constitution, which sets forth certain substantive rights that cannot be taken away, and adds, beyond that, a right to due process when life, liberty, or property is to be taken away.’ Substantive due process conflicts with that textual command and has harmed our country in many ways. Accordingly, we should eliminate it from our jurisprudence at the earliest opportunity.”

Those substantive due process precedents included “Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” which pertain to the “right to privacy,” right to “seek autonomy” in private relationships, and the right to same-sex marriage, respectively.

Thomas had specifically stated that those “demonstrably erroneous decisions,” if overruled, would not mean the end to any right of any American as it would remain up to a thorough review of the Constitution to see if other provisions offered protections.

What’s clear from Harris latest attack on the “integrity” of the Supreme Court is that Democrats are desperate to bolster enthusiasm for their side leading into the midterm elections. Much of the passion from protests in the wake of the SCOTUS leak in May has fizzled out and the vice president set about rekindling those fires during her interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd where she claimed “we are suffering as a nation” because of the end of Roe.

However, Harris’ claim that a Democrat controlled Congress, as is the status quo with her as the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, would ensure a supposed right to same-sex marriage would be protected was pure gaslighting as that vote was recently tabled for after the midterms because many incumbent Republicans and candidates vying for office embraced codifying it into federal law.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) who has been at the forefront of passing the so-called Respect for Marriage Act had thanked the hundreds of Republican and conservative leaders who had signed on in support of the legislation on Wednesday.

The next day, as The Hill reported, she stated the Senate would postpone a vote on the bill until “After the election,” claiming that after getting 47 Republicans to vote in favor in the House that it currently lacked the needed support in the upper chamber. Those paying attention noted the obvious need for Democrats to maintain the narrative that the right was impeding “progress” and how that would get tarnished were the vote to bill to pass before November.

“So our job is clear,” Harris argued before the crowd. “And President Biden has been clear. He said he’s not going to allow archaic Senate rules to stand in the way of protecting these two freedoms. So that’s the job before us.”

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Kevin Haggerty

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