Kamala Devi Harris has served since 2017 as the junior U.S. senator from California, serving alongside Dianne Feinstein. A member of the Democratic Party, Harris previously served as attorney general of California from 2011 – 2017 and as the district attorney of San Francisco from 2004 – 2011. Harris positions herself as a far-left progressive with appeal to both the “class warfare”/”economic justice” and the intersectionality/identity politics wings of the modern Democratic Party coalition. Nonetheless, Harris’s professional past as a prosecutor has potential to prove problematic in a Democratic Party that is staunchly anti-prosecution, pro-criminal defendant, and anti-“mass incarceration.”
Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent, is married to fellow California attorney Douglas Emhoff. Her sister Maya Harris is an MNSBC political analyst, and her father Donald Harris is a Stanford University economics professor. Donald Harris entered the limelight earlier this year when he publicly criticized Kamala Harris’ invocation of her Jamaican heritage in the context of explaining her prior marijuana usage. Harris has a bachelor degree from Howard University and attended law school at the University of California-Hastings.
Harris is now running for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination and has recently polled in third, fourth, or fifth place, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and in close polling competition with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Electoral History: Harris, who had previously been a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California, first sought elected political office by running for San Francisco district attorney in 2003. As San Francisco’s district attorney, Harris established a special “Hate Crimes Unit” that focused on hate crimes against LGBT children and teenagers. She was re-elected in 2007, running unopposed. In 2010, Harris was elected as California attorney general, narrowly defeating Republican Steve Cooley. In 2014, she was re-elected as attorney general by a wider margin. Her tenure as attorney general included the prosecution of many financial and white-collar crimes. In 2016, Harris ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). She easily won the general election, securing 62% of California’s state-wide vote.
On The Issues: Harris is a full-spectrum progressive who supports a far-left economic, social, and national security agenda. She is fiercely defensive of abortion rights, supports curtailing Second Amendment rights, supports single-payer/”Medicare for All” health insurance, supports marijuana legalization, and favors sanctuary cities and other sovereignty-undermining, pro-amnesty immigration policies.
Constitution: Harris was sometimes floated as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee while serving as California attorney general during the Obama administration. She is a legal progressive, notably assisting on a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief in 2008 that argued that Washington, D.C.’s highly restrictive anti-handgun law — later invalidated in the landmark decision of D.C. v. Heller — did not violate the Second Amendment. Harris also refused to defend California’s erstwhile conjugal marriage law as attorney general. Her proposed “Reproductive Rights Act,” which is modeled after the 1965 Voting Rights Act, would subjugate many states to the whims of the federal government and would radically invert the original Madisonian conception of federalism. As a member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Harris came out in full support of accuser Christine Blasey Ford and opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Economy: Harris supports tax hikes on wealthier Americans and subscribes to much of the “zero-sum”/”class warfare”-inspired rhetoric that imbues contemporary leftist economic thinking. She supports expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, which many conservative economic policy wonks would prefer to see phased out and replaced with a low-income wage subsidy. She supports a robust governmental role for regulation of the financial services industry.
Health Care: Harris supports single-payer/”Medicare for All,” which effectively amounts to a governmental takeover of medicine in America. She has called for the total elimination of private health insurance, although she has recently equivocated on total elimination. She has supported legislation that would increase Obamacare subsidies.
Immigration: Harris has vocally supported the criminal alien-harboring sanctuary city policies of her home state of California, and has taken a hard line in support of the DREAM Act and other amnesty legislative initiatives that would undermine America’s sovereignty and empower brutal Mexican cartels and human trafficking rings. She has been a consistently harsh critic of the Trump administration’s attempts to secure our border amidst a hitherto unprecedented influx of Central American migrants.
Foreign Policy: Harris has been relatively supportive of Israel, within the broader context of the increasingly anti-Israel Democratic Party, but she still personally boycotted AIPAC’s 2019 national policy conference. Harris opposed President Donald Trump’s removal of the U.S. from President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and has consistently voiced opposition to continued military aid for Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief regional nemesis. She supports a more robust congressional role, and a decreased role for the presidency, in the sphere of foreign relations and military action abroad.
Abortion: Harris is emphatically pro-abortion and supports ending the Hyde Amendment, which has historically banned taxpayer funding of abortion. Harris strongly supports Roe v. Wade and has proposed a dubiously constitutional “Reproductive Rights Act” that would attempt to secure abortion rights via a similar legal mechanism that the 1965 Voting Rights Act utilized to advance voting rights.
Guns: Harris is a consistent supporter of anti-gun policies that would restrict American’s free exercise of their Second Amendment rights. She has promised to unilaterally advance amorphous “executive actions” on guns if she were elected to the presidency. Harris supports a ban on the undefinable sub-class of firearms referred to as so-called “assault weapons” — a line of thought that, if taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to the banning of all semi-automatic firearms in America. Harris has also endorsed 2020 rival Beto O’Rourke’s gun confiscation plan.