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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pushed back on Attorney General Bill Barr's assertion on CNN that there are not two systems of justice in America, arguing that he and President Trump "are spending full time in a different reality."

Why it matters: The question of whether there is "systemic racism" in policing and criminal justice is a clear, dividing line between Democrats and the Trump administration.

The big picture: Barr last week called the idea that there is an "epidemic" of police shooting unarmed Black men "a false narrative." He acknowledged that there is a "widespread phenomenon" of Black men being treated with "extra suspicion" and "maybe not being given the benefit of the doubt" by police officers, but he denied that this is the product of "systemic racism."

  • Trump and other Cabinet officials have also dismissed the idea that systemic racism is a problem in the U.S., and the president refused to address the issue while visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week.
  • Biden, meanwhile, has said that there is "absolutely" systemic racism in law enforcement and also "across the board," although he's maintained that the vast majority of police officers are good people.

What she's saying: "The reality of America today is what we have seen over generations and frankly since our inception, which is we do have two systems of justice in America," Harris said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

  • "But here is the thing that gives me a sense of optimism and a sense of belief in who we are as a nation. We also have an ideal that is inscribed in marble on the Supreme Court, that we all hold dear, which is that ideal of equal justice under law." 
  • "And that means doing what Joe Biden and I are proposing, which is having a criminal justice system that, yes, bans chokeholds and carotid holds, makes sure we are going to require accountability for police officers who break the rules and break the law ... but doing it all recognizing that there are huge disparities in our country based on race. It does us no good if we want to solve those disparities to pretend they don't exist."

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
54 mins ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.