Kamala Harris asserts role in Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala D. Harris said Monday that she will “definitely” be involved in the upcoming confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court.

“I am definitely going to be involved in the hearings and performing my role and responsibility on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Ms. Harris said while campaigning in North Carolina.

The committee’s hearings are scheduled to start on Oct. 12, which would sideline Ms. Harris from the campaign trail during a crucial stretch but would give her a high-profile platform to be a part of the must-watch event.

Asked if she planned to meet with Judge Barrett, Ms. Harris said: “I’m sure that’s going to happen, we’ll see how it works out … I haven’t made a plan one way or another.”

At least two judiciary committee Democrats – Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii – have indicated that they don’t plan to meet personally with Judge Barrett before the hearings.

Ms. Harris said she wanted to focus on what’s “within our power” in the next five weeks when asked if Democrats could slow down the nomination or retaliate if Joseph R. Biden defeats Mr. Trump in the presidential election.

“What’s in our power is to elect Joe Biden president of the United States,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Harris said she didn’t plan to let the “infection” that Mr. Trump has spread throughout the country make its way to the Supreme Court.

The senator from California was credited with tough questioning during the battle over Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation, though Democrats failed to ultimately block Justice Kavanaugh from getting confirmed in 2018.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters