WASHINGTON – Vice President Kamala Harris met with attorneys general from seven Democratic-run states on Thursday and suggested they could potentially lead legal challenges to any new state abortion restrictions stemming from an upcoming Supreme Court ruling that is expected to happen the pioneering Roe v. Wade decision.
Harris has increasingly a leading voice in the White House on the topic since the leak last month a Draft opinion of the Supreme Court This indicates that the judiciary is about to hear the Roe v. Wade’s 1973 legalization of abortion nationwide. In recent weeks, she has held virtual meetings with women’s rights organizations and with abortion providers from states with some of the country’s toughest restrictions — and also raised the issue in person with faith leaders in Los Angeles.
This time, she was joined in the White House complex by Attorneys General Josh Kaul of Wisconsin, Aaron Ford of Nevada, Raoul Kwame of Illinois, and California Assistant Attorney General Venus Johnson.
Virtually participating were Attorneys General Kathleen Jennings of Delaware, Tish James of New York and Bob Ferguson of Washington State.
The vice president said attorneys general have “the authority to assess, and potentially challenge, the constitutionality of any statute passed in their states.” They can also convene legal organizations and other self-help groups “to provide services to people who will be affected by the laws in their states,” she said.
As President Joe Biden, Harris has argued that other key court decisions that allow access to contraception and legalize same-sex marriage could also be threatened. Still, the White House has few options to protect abortion nationwide after legislation codifying the Roe v. Wade’s decision in federal law failed in the Senate last month.
Harris further noted Thursday that attorneys general have jurisdiction in many states, which gives them “the ability to direct law enforcement resources” and guarantees that those resources are “actually effective in ensuring the safety and welfare of the people of their state.” .
Noting that attorney generals are elected nationally in 43 states, Harris suggested voters vote accordingly: “I challenge the people of our country to know the power they have to influence the way they do.” take how the laws of their state are enforced.”
The vice president, who has argued that abortion restrictions are examples of gender discrimination aimed at depriving women of rights, said voters should look at the issue of abortion in terms of how their state’s attorneys general “reveal the principle, the spirit and… enforce the ideals of the Constitution”. of the United States in a way that is about equal treatment for all people.”
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