Kamala Harris under scrutiny in Supreme Court showdown following testy 2018 Kavanaugh hearings

2020 VP nominee will no longer be viewed as just the junior Dem member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is coming under increased scrutiny as the Supreme Court showdown comes to a tipping point ahead of November's election.

Following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a constant struggle over the vacant seat on the high court.

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While President Trump and the GOP are already pushing to get their potential pick through -- with the president promising a selection by Saturday -- Democrats argue that they should follow the precedent that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had set ahead of the 2016 election.

But, Republican lawmakers like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the contentious confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh broke that precedent two years ago.

Kavanaugh was under intense pressure from Democratic members of Congress -- like then-Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris -- after he was accused of sexual assault by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford and several other women.

At the time, Harris made waves asking what many deemed "gotcha" questions about former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign, suggesting Kavanaugh had compromising conversations about the probe. Kavanaugh denied those allegations.

Only two days after Blasey Ford’s allegations were made public, Harris was one of the first to say: "I believe her.”

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As NPR reported Friday, it was notable, then, that Harris declined to answer reporters' questions about whether she plans to take part in the impending confirmation hearing, though a Biden-Harris campaign official later admitted she does plan to participate in the eventual hearing.

But, as The Washington Times reported, Democrats hope the former state attorney general "has the goods" this time around to cross-examine like never before.

While Harris is the most junior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, she won't be viewed in only that way within the confines of the hearing room walls, now being the Democrats' vice presidential nominee.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listens to Christine Blasey Ford testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listens to Christine Blasey Ford testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP) (Associated Press)

“Her voice in these hearings or in the campaign, focusing the American people on what is at stake -- what is on the ballot -- health care, reproductive rights, labor rights, LGBTQ rights, I think she will be very compelling,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., told the Times.

In the hearings, Harris will also serve as a representative for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the coverage will likely drive the last few weeks before Election Day.

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Biden has previously decried Republicans' decision to push ahead with a vote, but much of his argument to voters that may have voted for President Trump in 2016 is based on a return to normalcy and decency in politics.

It's unclear how Harris' approach could affect that message, as more states enter early voting periods.

The president currently has a shortlist of five women he's reportedly considering for the seat, including Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Judge Barbara Lagoa, Judge Joan Larsen, Judge Allison Jones Rushing and deputy counsel to the president Kate Todd.

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McConnell has the votes to advance whoever makes the cut this weekend and has warned that Democrats will give the nominee "the same insane treatment."

The Trump campaign, however, says it is not ruffled by the prospect of Harris and her "law-and-order" tactics.

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The team's deputy national press secretary, Samantha Zager, told the Times that Harris is likely to abuse her power.

“With Justice Kavanaugh, Harris showed the American people she clearly has a problem with pro-life principles and religious freedom, and we’re sure she’ll abuse her position to baselessly attack whoever the president nominates,” she stated.