On Monday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced her candidacy for president in 2020. Harris wouldn’t just be the first black woman president, she would also use the full power of her office to silence conservatives — or anyone who disagrees with her and her powerful allies. She has a track record of weaponizing the law against her opponents and refusing to defend the people’s will in court.
Despite her claims to stand for “truth, justice, decency, equality, freedom, and democracy,” she has betrayed many of those values in these six concrete episodes.
1. David Daleiden.
In 2014, David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a slew of undercover sting videos showing Planned Parenthood staff admitting to selling aborted baby body parts for profit, with one even joking about buying a Lamborghini with the profits. Planned Parenthood hired the firm Fusion GPS, now notorious for assembling the Trump-Russia dossier, to obscure the facts and suggest the videos were deceptively edited.
Kamala Harris, who has received at least $81,000 from Planned Parenthood, was serving as California’s attorney general at the time. In 2016, her office searched Daleiden’s home, seizing his video footage and preparing a legal case against him.
In 2017, Harris’s successor, Xavier Becerra (another politician bankrolled by Planned Parenthood), filed 15 felony charges against CMP and Daleiden.
Peter Breen, special counsel at the Thomas More Society, briefed PJ Media on the ongoing case last July. He argued that Daleiden’s filming was taken in “entirely public places.”
“I could point you to undercover investigations that are being shown on the evening news in Los Angeles. Under the standard they are applying to David, those would be felonies,” the lawyer argued. “The other reporters are being lauded for their brave investigative techniques, but David is being prosecuted.”
“I would say this is an abuse of the criminal process,” Breen told PJ Media.
Pro-choice law professors have defended Daleiden’s right to engage in undercover journalism.
“I believe too strongly in American ideals to think that Kamala Harris and Xavier Becerra will be able to imprison innocent American citizens for our First Amendment speech,” Daleiden told The Stream’s John Zmirak. “But the fact that, working with Planned Parenthood, they have pulled out all the stops to try to do so? That should concern and outrage every American.”
2. The Knights of Columbus.
Last month, Harris and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) launched an inquisition into Nebraska lawyer Brian C. Buescher, a Trump judicial nominee. His crime? Membership in a Roman Catholic men’s charity that holds to the “bigoted” old views that life begins at conception and that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Harris redefined the pro-life opposition to abortion and the traditional definition of marriage as fundamentally bigoted and as denials of fundamental human rights.
In written questions, the senator noted that Buescher had been a Knights of Columbus (KOC) member since 1993, and that the organization opposes abortion. “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” she asked. “Have you ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women’s reproductive rights?”
Similarly, Harris noted that KOC spent $1 million to support Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative defining marriage as between one man and one woman. “Where you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when you joined the organization?” she demanded. “Do you believe the right to marry carries an implicit guarantee that everyone should be able to exercise that right equally?”
While Buescher is pro-life and ostensibly supports traditional marriage, he pledged that as a federal judge he would faithfully apply all U.S. laws and Supreme Court decisions, including Roe v. Wade (1973) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).
Harris’ suggestions that Buescher is bigoted in opposing “women’s reproductive rights” and “marriage equality” branded the nominee as inherently biased and unworthy of the public trust in legal cases.
Since these suggestions surrounded mainstream positions of Roman Catholic doctrine, the senator’s questions arguably violate Article VI, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
“There have been times in our country’s past when uninformed or prejudiced people questioned whether Catholics could be good citizens or honest public servants,” and many thought them “unfit for public office,” KOC Supreme Knight Carl Anderson wrote in a letter. “Sadly, it seems that in some quarters, this prejudice remains.”
Harris seems to believe that if someone disagrees with abortion or same-sex marriage, or belongs to a religious organization that disagrees with these liberal issues, that person is not fit to serve in public office. Her suggestion that Buescher’s membership in a Roman Catholic charity disqualifies him from service is arguably a “religious test” and a modern version of anti-Catholic bigotry.
3. Proposition 8.
Speaking of Proposition 8, the people of California voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman in 2008. The state’s Supreme Court had ruled that marriage must be opened to same-sex couples, and the people amended the state constitution to reverse this decision.
More than 7 million Californians (52 percent) voted for traditional marriage, while 6.4 million (48 percent) voted the other way. California Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to defend Proposition 8 when it faced legal challenges, and Harris continued that approach when she became attorney general in 2011. For the first time in California history, both the governor and the attorney general refused to defend a constitutional amendment.
Then adding insult to injury, when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay and allowed same-sex marriage to occur in California, Kamala Harris herself officiated the first same-sex marriage at San Francisco City Hall. Not only did Harris follow Jerry Brown in refusing to defend Proposition 8, she also actively celebrated its legal defeat.
As California’s attorney general, Harris thumbed her nose at the will of the people and the traditional institution of marriage. It was fully legal for her to do so, but perhaps she should have waited to so publicly celebrate until she was no longer attorney general.
4. Anti-gun nanny.
In 2014, then-Attorney General Kamala Harris decided to apply an obscure California state law prohibiting gun stores from showing images of handguns on their public signs. Her office cited several shops, but the shops responded with lawsuits, National Review‘s Jim Geraghty reported (his 20-point list about Harris is excellent).
Kamala Harris’s office argued that the law was necessary to prevent handgun-related crime and suicide.
Last September, a federal judge struck down the law, claiming that it violated the First Amendment. “The government has provided no evidence directly linking [the law] to reduced handgun suicide or crime,” he wrote. He cited Sorrell v. IMS Health (2011), adding that “the Supreme Court has rejected this highly paternalistic approach to limiting speech.”
The judge declared the law “unconstitutional on its face.” The question remains, why did Kamala Harris think it was a good idea to use this law against gun shops?
Kamala Harris has twisted and misrepresented the law in order to help illegal immigrants, as Geraghty reported.
In 2012, the then-attorney general submitted a brief supporting illegal immigrant Sergio Garcia, arguing that he should be admitted to the California State Bar, despite the bar’s rules disqualifying anyone who committed a criminal act. While Garcia was eventually admitted, it required a new law to explicitly make him eligible. Harris’s brief twisted the law before the legislature changed it to help Garcia.
In her first speech on the Senate floor in 2017, Harris declared, “An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal,” because illegal immigration is a “civil violation, not a crime.” As Geraghy noted, however, entering the country illegally has criminal penalties, and reentry without permission after deportation is a crime, as is working in the U.S. without legal residency. Only overstaying a visa is a civil violation, not a criminal one.
Last April, Harris urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to “reduce funding for beds in the federal immigration detention system” (because the system had “inhumane conditions”), refuse to hire more Border Patrol agents, and “reduce funding for the administration’s reckless immigration enforcement operations.” Wouldn’t reducing the number of beds make conditions even less humane? Comments like this suggest that Harris opposes enforcement of immigration law.
Last year, Kamala Harris led Democrats in the demonization of Supreme Court nominee (and later justice) Brett Kavanaugh. Even before the sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford surfaced, Harris was among Kavanaugh’s most vigorous opponents, even suggesting that the judge had hidden sympathies with white supremacists.
In a particularly notable bout of questioning, the senator pressed Kavanaugh on whether or not he had ever discussed the Robert Mueller investigation with anyone at the law firm where Trump’s personal lawyer worked. The nominee asked her if she had a lawyer in mind, and then said he could not say for certain unless Harris gave him a list of all the lawyers at the firm.
The senator kept pushing Kavanaugh until Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) chimed in, saying “there is no possible way we can expect this witness to know who populates an entire firm.”
In that same questioning session, Harris pressed Kavanaugh to condemn President Donald Trump’s comments in response to the 2017 white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. The judge upheld the independence of the judiciary, explaining that judges “are not pundits” and “stay out of political controversy.” Harris would not accept this response, but moved on to another topic.
The senator also asked Kavanaugh about the term “racial spoils system,” a term the judge used in a 2000 Wall Street Journal op-ed. “Are you aware that the term is commonly used by white supremacists?” Harris asked. She claimed “racial spoils system” is a “loaded term,” essentially a dog whistle for white supremacy.
When Kavanaugh used the term, however, he was explaining arguments against a Hawaii law restricting voting to people of a certain race, and he defended the rights of all people, “whether Latino or African-American or Caucasian, for example.” No white supremacist would complain about the harms to Latino and African-American voters.
That was far from the last time Harris would cast aspersions on Kavanaugh for his language, however. The senator seized on the judge’s use of the term “abortion-inducing drugs,” as if the very words were suspect.
“Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control,” Kamala Harris tweeted. “He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake — this is about punishing women.”
Yet Harris knew it wasn’t about “punishing women.” When Kavanaugh spoke those words, he was summarizing someone else’s argument in a court case, the case Priests for Live v. Burwell.
“That was a group that was being forced to provide a certain kind of health coverage, over their religious objection, to their employees. Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the question was first was this a substantial burden on their religious exercise. And it seemed to me quite clearly it was,” Kavanaugh had said. “It was a technical matter of filling out a form. They said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were as a religious matter objected to. Second question was whether the government had a compelling interest.”
Not only was Kavanaugh summarizing Priests for Life’s argument, but he went on to say that the government has a “compelling interest” in making sure women had access to birth control. The judge misspoke about the case, but Harris seized on the very term “abortion-inducing drugs,” calling it a “dog whistle.”
According to this U.S. senator, the correct term for drugs that cause abortion cannot be uttered, because pro-life activists use it.
Many senators and Left-wing groups seized on Kamala Harris’s argument — which Planned Parenthood also pushed at the same time. Even Hillary Clinton repeated it, even after it had been fact-checked and proven utterly false.
The Kavanaugh episodes only underscored how desperate this senator is to smear her opponents. It seems tragically fitting that a senator who twists someone’s words to support the exact opposite of what that person meant would also be willing to twist the law for her personal agendas, and even use the law to silence her opponents.
Americans should oppose Kamala Harris, regardless of their own political persuasions.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.