“I think this is an activist court,” Harris told NBC News’s Meet the Press when asked about polling that shows the nation’s confidence in the court reaching a 20-year low after the June ruling. The full interview will air Sunday.
“We had an established right for almost half a century, which is the right of women to make decisions about their own body as an extension of what we have decided to be, the privacy rights to which all people are entitled,” Harris said. “This court took that constitutional right away, and we are suffering as a nation because of it.”
Harris, a California attorney general and top prosecutor before her election to the Senate and then the vice presidency, said the court’s decision has caused her “great concern about the integrity of the court overall.”
Harris has taken a lead role in the Biden administration’s response to the Dobbs decision, including meeting with advocates and state attorneys general to discuss efforts to protect abortion rights.
“This is not over,” she told CNN in her first interview after the ruling. The court’s decision first leaked in May, prompting Harris to declare at the time that “women’s rights in America are under attack.”
According to an August NBC News/Hart Research poll, 37% of voters said they had very little or no confidence in the high court, compared to 27% who said they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence. Thirty-five percent had some confidence.
The same poll in December 2019 showed the reverse, with 17% expressing little confidence in the court, compared to 39% who said they had a great deal of confidence. Forty-two percent voiced some confidence.
The court’s favorability has declined since May, from 36% positive and 35% negative among registered voters to 35% positive and 42% negative in August.
In January 2021, the court held a 44% approval rating, compared to 19% disapproval.
The political upheaval from the decision is expected to reverberate into the midterm elections.