Kamala Harris Just Said We’re “Probably” Facing a Constitutional Crisis

The California senator also called for “seriously” taking a look at breaking up Facebook.

State of the Union/CNN

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Sunday that the Unites States is potentially facing a constitutional crisis,echoing comments this week from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“A constitutional crisis is generally when the system we set up with checks and balances, when each of the independent co-equal branches of government, fails to perform its duties and I think we’re seeing the breakdown of responsibilities,” she said in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union, pointing to the lack of cooperation from Attorney General William Barr and the White House with Congress.

“Now being a member of the US Congress and Senate, I’m seeing up close where there is a failure to respect the significance of Congress’ duty to preform a role of oversight over the administration, over the agencies,” the presidential hopeful told Tapper. “I’m seeing the failure to appreciate the importance of testifying before Congress in a way that is straight forward and truthful, so yes I think it’s fair to say that we’re looking at a crisis not only of confidence but potentially, a constitutional crisis.” 

During the interview, the California Senator who represents Silicon Valley also said that she’d like to see “serious regulation” on Facebook because it has experienced massive growth and it has prioritized growth over the best interest of its consumers, especially in the issue of privacy. “I think we have to seriously take a look at” breaking up the company, she said, touting her experience protecting consumer privacy as California attorney general.

“There are very few people that can actually get by and be involved in their communities or their society without somehow somewhere using Facebook, it’s very difficult for people to be engaged in any level of commerce without it,” Harris said. “We have to recognize it for what it is. It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated and as far as I’m concerned that has to stop.” 

Harris’ comments follow one of the company’s co-founders suggesting the same earlier this week. Her fellow senator and presidential contender Elizabeth Warren has also called for breaking up Facebook, as well as other tech giants.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate