Posts tagged with "Senator Kamala Harris"

CNN to host five top Democratic candidates at back-to-back town halls on April 22

April 18, 2019

Five Democratic presidential hopefuls will take questions and lay out policies, one right after the other, at CNN town halls next Monday, April 22, in New Hampshire—the state that traditionally hosts the first primary challenge of the campaign season, the cable news network has announced

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana, Senator Kamala Harris (California), Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) will participate in the live, internationally telecast event.

The current leader in the race—former Vice President Joe Biden, with 27% of the vote in Iowa, according to a recent Monmouth University poll—is still undeclared; and, therefore, has not been invited to the event.

The CNN town halls are being co-hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. The presidential candidates will field questions directly from students and young New Hampshire Democrats, said a CNN spokesperson, who added that the audience will be drawn from the two schools and a pool of young Democrats living in the state.

Chris Cuomo will moderate the Klobuchar (7 p.m. ET) and Sanders (9 p.m. ET) town halls, Anderson Cooper will moderate the Warren (8 p.m. ET) and Buttigieg (11 p.m. ET) town halls, and Don Lemon will moderate the Harris (10 p.m. ET) town hall.

The CNN town halls will take place on the campus of Saint Anselm College, and has been scheduled coincide with the release of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School’s new national poll of young voters.

Research contact: @CNNPolitics

Senator Kamala Harris slams Supremes on transgender ruling

January 23, 2019

Following her announcement on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America on January 21 that she will make a run for the U.S. presidency; early on Tuesday, Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) castigated the Supreme Court for allowing the Trump administration to temporarily enforce its restrictions on transgender military personnel.

Transgender military members have the courage to serve our country and deserve to do so. We have to fight back to reverse this,” Harris tweeted at 10:45 a.m.

Her tweet came shortly after the high court said it would allow the White House to briefly enforce a ban on transgender service members—until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California hears a case to determine its legality, The Hill reported.

The case was considered by the Supreme Court after Solicitor General Noel Francisco leapfrogged the usual legal process in November—bypassing the regional court in the belief that the higher court would rule in favor of the White House.

Francisco implored the justices to immediately take the case and issue a ruling this term, according to the political news outlet—arguing that the lower court’s decision blocked a policy that’s “necessary to place the Department of Defense in the strongest position to protect the American people.”

He said that the Department of Defense review found that continuing to allow transgender people who have transitioned or seek to transition to serve in the military poses a threat to military effectiveness and readiness.

However, in a blow to Francisco and the administration, the Supreme Court declined to hear arguments on the case’s legality. The justices prefer the appeals courts to have considered a case before they weigh in, and even then are selective, The Hill said. It takes four justices to agree to hear a case, and often they only agree to step in if the appeals courts are deeply divided on an issue.

It takes five justices to agree to stay a lower court ruling. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, of the court’s liberal wing, said they would have denied the application, according to the news outlet.

Trump announced the ban on transgender service members on March 23, stating that transgender applicants are “disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that the decision was based upon “extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans

In her announcement on January 21, Senator Harris stated, “My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe. When I look at this moment in time, I know the American people deserve to have someone who is going to fight for them … and put them in front of self-interest.”

Research contact: @jabowden4

Democrats and demonstrators fail in attempts to stall Kavanaugh hearing

September 5, 2018

As leading Democrats and public demonstrators repeatedly disrupted attempts to start the hearing, the first day of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process began on Capitol Hill on September 4, with Republicans flatly denying all request for delay.

Democrats—including Senators Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Corey Booker (New Jersey), and Kamala Harris (California)— pleaded for more time to review the more than 42,000 pages of additional documents from Kavanaugh’s earlier career that were had been handed over to the Senate Judiciary Committee less than 24 hours earlier, and noted that the committee had ignored crucial parts of Kavanaugh’s White House record.

According to a report by The Hill, Senator Harris started the Democratic protests, saying that the senators could not “possibly move forward” given the late hand-over of documents. 

“We are rushing through this process in a way that’s unnecessary,” argued Senator Booker.

For his part, Senator Blumenthal called the committee’s handling of the documents a “charade” and a “mockery” to the chamber.

“If we cannot be recognized I move to adjourn,” Blumenthal said. “We have been denied real access to the documents we need.”

However, the news outlet said, amid jeers from protesters in the hearing room—22 of whom were removed by security within an hour—Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) rejected requests by Democrats for an adjournment, arguing the minority was simply trying to suspend the proceedings.

“I shouldn’t have to explain to you, we’re having a hearing. It’s out of order,” Grassley told the committee. The 84-year-old senator was at times drowned out by protestors or had to raise his voice to be heard in the packed committee room.

Grassley maintained that “senators have had more than enough time … to adequately access Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications.”

And Republicans expressed frustration with Democratic demands, arguing they were out of order for interrupting the proceedings.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the committee hearing was being run by “mob rule” and that if senators were in an actual courtroom, Democrats would be “held in contempt,” The Hill reported.

Grassley argued that his staff had already read the 42,000 pages handed over to the committee Monday on a “committee confidential” basis and there was “no reason to delay the hearing.”

Grassley also argued that the hearing was not an executive session and so would not hold a vote on adjourning the committee hearing.

But Blumenthal urged the committee to go into executive session and warned that the committee’s handling of Kavanaugh’s nomination “will be tainted and stained forever.”

Senators had received hundreds of thousands of pages from a legal team working for Bush. The National Archives is also reviewing documents from Kavanaugh’s work as a White House lawyer, but isn’t expected to be able to finish its work until the end of October. Republicans want to confirm Kavanaugh this month.

Republicans have refused to request documents from Kavanaugh’s three-year period as staff secretary in the White House, despite arguments from Democrats that they are crucial to understanding his thoughts on issues like torture and interrogation.

Democrats argue the three-year period is crucial to understanding Kavanaugh’s thoughts on issues like torture and interrogation.

“The fact that we can’t take a few days or weeks to have a complete review of Judge Kavanaugh’s record is unfair to the American people,” Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued.  

Meanwhile, In an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday morning, Americans were split on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court— coming in at the the lowest support levels for a high court nominee in polling back to 1987. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say Kavanaugh should be confirmed, 39% not, with the rest undecided in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Only two nominees have had weaker public support: Harriet Miers, who withdrew her nomination, in 2005; and Robert Bork, rejected by the Senate in 1987.

Research contact: @jordainc

Kamala Harris co-sponsors Booker bill to legalize marijuana

May 14, 2018

Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) is joining another rising star in her party, Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), to co-sponsor the Marijuana Justice Act, The Hill reported on May 10.

The federal legislation—introduced by Booker on August 1—would eliminate marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act. In addition, the bill would mandate that federal courts  expunge the records of Americans who have prior marijuana convictions related to use or possession.

“It’s the right thing to do. And I know this as a former prosecutor. I know it as a senator,” Harris said in a video announcing her decision. “I just look at what we want as a country and where we need to be instead of where we’ve been.

“African-Americans use marijuana at roughly the same rate as whites, but are approximately four times more likely to be arrested for possession,” Harris said in the same Now This  exclusive posting. “The fact is, marijuana laws are not applied and enforced the same way for all people.”

Harris believes the move to decriminalize marijuana will prevent the Justice Department from enforcing laws that are “unjust and unfair.”

“The war on drugs was a war on communities,” Harris said, adding that police should be dealing with more serious drugs and crimes. “Not somebody smoking a joint.”

Harris follows New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, who announced on February 14 that she would co-sponsor the act with Booker. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) backs the bill as well.

According to the report by The Hill, so far, nine states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the drug for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. Michigan will hold a vote to legalize recreational pot this year, potentially making it the tenth state and first in the Midwest to legalize pot.

Based on findings of an April 26 poll by Quinnipiac University, American voters support percent legalizing marijuana  nationwide by a margin of  63% to 33% . Support for use of medical marijuana is 93% from coast to coast.

Fully 70% of U.S. registered voters also oppose enforcement of federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.

Research contact: peter.brown@quinnipiac.edu