Sen. Kamala Harris’, D-Calif., attempts last week to upend Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings with outright fabrications would make even former Nevada senator and noted smear artist Harry Reid blush.
In fact, if we were to gauge who is the biggest liar right now in the U.S. Senate, Harris has jumped into the lead and seems to be consolidating her position. You don’t need to take conservatives’ word for that either.
On Sept. 7, Harris’ office tweeted the following: “Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. 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.” Her office then said in a follow-up tweet one day later: “There’s no question that he uncritically used the term ‘abortion-inducing drugs,’ which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control.”
Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. 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. pic.twitter.com/zkBjXzIvQI
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 7, 2018
This nonsense about Kavanaugh “going after birth control” is just a damned lie.
Harris’ tweets, which have accumulated a combined 17,000 re-tweets, are designed explicitly to mislead voters about the Supreme Court nominee, who uttered those words in the course of explaining the legal position taken by litigants in a case.
In 2013, Catholic hospitals, universities, and advocacy groups sued the Department of Health and Human Services over the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide employees with contraception coverage. The Catholic groups argued that the financial penalties included in the healthcare law’s contraception opt-out were an undue burden on their faith. In 2014, their argument was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Kavanaugh, who sat on the court at that time and is himself a Roman Catholic, argued in his dissent that the groups should have been given a hearing.
Last week, during the his Supreme Court hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked the judge: “Can you tell this committee about that case and your opinion there?”
Kavanaugh responded, “That was a group that was being forced to provide a certain kind of health coverage over their religious objection to their employees, and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the question was first, was this a substantial burden on the religious exercise? And it seemed to me quite clearly it was.”
The judge added, “It was a technical matter of filling out a form, in that case with – that – 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.”
As you can see, Kavanaugh was not laying out his thoughts on contraception. He was clearly referring to the argument presented by the plaintiffs in the case, who held that certain forms of contraception were abortifacient or potentially abortifacient.
In other words, Harris is lying. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the failing grades that the left-leaning PolitiFact (they went easy — she deserved the full “pants on fire” grade) and the Washington Post (four Pinocchios) both gave her for lying about Kavanaugh’s views.
This is strike two for Harris, who pressed Kavanaugh last week with misleading and ambiguously worded questions about whether he “had any conversation about” special counsel Robert Mueller “or his investigation” with anyone employed by the law firm founded by President Trump’s personal attorney. Despite assuring and reassuring journalists that she had evidence of a conversation that would have represented a major ethical breach by a sitting appellate court judge, it turned out she was just lying — making the entire thing up out of whole cloth. This is why she declined to provide any evidence or justification for her charge.
Despite her claim of “reliable” information, she was forced to back down, and the below exchange from Thursday evening was the last anyone heard from her about the slander she had spent the last 24 hours spreading on and off camera.
And that was that. All that innuendo, all that nonsense about “reliable information,” and it ended with Harris abandoning the topic entirely and moving on to the next shiny object.
From the senator’s perspective, there’s a price to pay for lying to journalists, which she did in the promotion of that story. But there’s also an upside: Her theatrics have increased her chances of becoming the Democratic nominee in 2020. Eye on the prize.