Kamala Harris Vows To Do Away With State’s Rights If She WIns

June 10, 2019
4276 Views

Dem Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris is planning on overriding the rights of individual states when it comes to abortion.

If she were to get her way, states would be stripped of the ability to come up with legislation that restricts women from getting abortions. It would be the end for laws like Georgia’s Heartbeat law.

The U.S. senator from California said if elected president she will force states with a history of hostility toward Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion – to first obtain approval from the Justice Department before a law restricting abortion could take effect.

“Here’s the thing, there are states that keep passing these laws,” Harris said at a Tuesday night town hall hosted by MSNBC in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“So, when elected, I’m going to put in place and require that states that have a history of passing legislation that is designed to prevent or limit a woman’s access to reproductive health care, those laws have to come before my Department of Justice for a review,” she added.

“I think it’s very clear that – and it has not changed – that women’s ability to have access to reproductive health is under attack in America,” Harris said at the town hall.”

The political impediments to Harris’s plan are obvious: Even if she is elected president and Democrats hold the House, it would be difficult to overcome the inevitable filibuster by conservative senators. That means Harris’s proposal could likely become law only if a future Democratic Senate majority voted to eliminate the filibuster—something she hasn’t ruled out supporting.

That doesn’t make her proposal unique. Many of the most ambitious ideas from the 2020 field are unlikely to ever become law if the filibuster survives. But Harris’s idea faces a second potential hurdle: a legal challenge in the courts. Her plan is based on the provisions in the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of discrimination to receive Justice Department approval, called “preclearance,” for changes to their election laws.

But in 2013, the Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision, invalidated the law’s formula for determining which states required Justice Department oversight. The five Republican-appointed justices ruled that the law’s standards for making that determination were invalid because they relied on measures of voting access rooted in a state’s behavior during the 1960s and ’70s.”

“Congress—if it is to divide the States—must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion in Shelby County v. Holder. “It cannot rely simply on the past.”

It looks like State’s might still have a chance to govern over themselves. But with the way she is talking, I am sure she would be ready to use an executive order to get her way.

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