WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris met with attorneys general from seven Democratic-led states on Thursday and suggested they may be able to lead legal challenges to any new state abortion restrictions. state that would stem from an upcoming Supreme Court decision that is expected to weaken the landmark Roe v. Wade.
Watch Harris’ remarks in the player above.
Harris has increasingly become a prominent voice in the White House on the issue since the leak last month of a draft High Court opinion suggesting judges are set to overturn the Roe ruling. v. Wade of 1973 legalizing abortion nationwide. In recent weeks, she has held virtual meetings with women’s rights organizations and with abortion providers in states with some of the country’s toughest restrictions — while discussing the issue in person with leaders. religious in Los Angeles.
This time she was joined at the White House complex by Attorneys General Josh Kaul of Wisconsin, Aaron Ford of Nevada, Raoul Kwame of Illinois and Venus Johnson, Deputy Chief Attorney General of California.
SURVEY: Majority of Americans don’t want Roe overthrown
Attending virtually 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 power to assess and potentially challenge the constitutionality of laws that are passed in their states.” They can also convene legal organizations and other support groups “to provide services to people who will be affected by the laws of their state,” she said.
Like President Joe Biden, Harris has argued that other key court decisions allowing access to contraception and legalizing same-sex marriage could also be at risk. Yet the White House has few options available to protect abortion nationwide after the failure of legislation to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law last month in the Senate.
Harris further noted Thursday that attorneys general have jurisdiction in many states, giving them “the ability to direct law enforcement resources” and ensuring those resources are “effectively effective in ensuring the safety and well-being of law enforcement.” be persons in their state”.
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Harris noted that the Attorney General is elected in 43 states across the country and suggested voters choose accordingly: “I urge the people of our country to know the power they have to impact how laws of their State are applied.
The vice president, who has argued that abortion restrictions are examples of gender discrimination aimed at disenfranchising women, said voters should view the issue of abortion in terms of prosecutors generals of their state “applying the principles, the spirit and the ideals of the Constitution”. of the United States in a manner that concerns the equal treatment of all peoples.