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Kamala Harris breaks second Senate record with tie-breaking vote for judicial nominee

Rebecca Barnabi
Jennifer McClellan Kamala Harris
Photo: Office of Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan

America’s first woman vice president and first black vice president set another record Tuesday by breaking the most tie votes in the Senate by a vice president.

She cast a vote to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee Loren AliKhan as the first South Asian woman judge on the federal district court, as reported by Reuters.

As U.S. vice president, Harris is also the U.S. Senate’s president and breaks ties when necessary. Her tie-breaking vote yesterday broke a nearly 200-year-old record. She has cast 33 Senate tie-breaking votes and exceeded John Calhoun’s 31 votes cast when he was vice president from 1825 to 1832. Calhoun defended slavery and states’ rights.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, applauded Harris’s role in passage of major legislation and confirmation of judicial nominees. He said that “without her tie-breaking votes, there would be no American Rescue Plan, no Inflation Reduction Act, and we would not have confirmed many of the excellent judges now presiding on the bench.”

“The record Vice President Harris sets today is significant,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Not just because of the number but because of what she has made possible with tie-breaking votes.”

AliKhan previously worked in the District of Columbia attorney general’s office and served as its solicitor general from 2018 to 2022. She argued a lawsuit that accused Republican former President Donald Trump of violating anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution during his ownership of a hotel in Washington while he was president.

The U.S. Supreme Court threw the lawsuit out of court after Trump left office in 2021.

Vice President Kamala Harris makes American history again with tie-breaking votes – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.