Sunday's 200+ protests may have been the largest demonstration against a Supreme Court nominee in history.
Americans in all 50 states came together at rallies Sunday to “Unite for Justice” and call on senators to block the appointment of Donald Trump’s radical Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
At over 200 events across the country, from Portland, Maine to Anchorage, Alaska, thousands of progressives stood up to defend women’s rights, Obamacare, and even the rule of law itself from a nominee who seems hell-bent on using the court to reshape America.
Kavanaugh has previously ruled to limit women’s access to abortion and birth control, dissented against a ruling that preserved Obamacare’s individual mandate, and stated that presidents are above the law.
Kavanaugh’s terrifying record spurred liberal organizations like NARAL and MoveOn to band together with over 50 other progressive groups against his nomination under the banner of the Unite for Justice movement.
“There’s no doubt: Kavanaugh would rule to gut Roe [v. Wade] and criminalize abortion, gut health care, attack voting rights and LGBTQ rights, slash environmental protections, and further damage workers’ and immigrants rights,” the Unite for Justice organizers said in a statement.
At the events, activists marched in the streets, shared stories about how Kavanaugh’s anticipated rulings would affect them, and wrote letters to senators encouraging them to block his elevation to the nation’s highest court.
Although protests were held in every state, the demonstrations in Maine and Alaska may turn out to be the most significant, as voters in those states pressure so-called “moderate” Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski into opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination.
If both senators vote against confirming Kavanaugh, it could doom his nomination.
At least four events were held in Maine alone, where people of all ages demanded Sen. Collins vote to protect their rights and oppose Trump’s historically unpopular pick.
Great turnout at the Maine #UniteForJustice Rally! @SenatorCollins please OPPOSE #Kavanaugh. You KNOW it’s not right that his paper trail is not being made available for all to review. Protect reproductive rights. Vote NO! pic.twitter.com/AVa82TGvor
— Emily B (@emilybessey) August 26, 2018
The mobilization of protesters in Maine is as much a demonstration against Trump and Kavanaugh as it is a warning shot fired by progressives against Collins, whose 2020 re-election bid could be determined by how she handles Kavanaugh’s nomination.
A new poll shows 49 percent of Collins’ constituents want her to vote against Kavanaugh, and 47 percent of Maine voters would be less likely to support her if she helps confirm him anyway.
In Alaska, protesters called on Sen. Murkowski to help sink the nomination and protect women’s reproductive rights.
It's not just Alaskans who are counting on you to vote "NO" on Brett Kavanaugh, Senator @lisamurkowski! The rights and bodily autonomy of MILLIONS of Americans are at stake. #StopKavanaugh #WhatsAtStake #UniteForJustice https://t.co/467wtUigDr
— NARAL (@NARAL) August 26, 2018
Murkowski generally takes pro-choice political positions, although she says she is “personally opposed” to abortion.
Murkowski may be tempted to vote for Kavanaugh and allow him to do the dirty work of ending legal abortion access in the U.S. She described a meeting with Kavanaugh as “an important first step.” Prior to the meeting, she had said Kavanaugh’s position on abortion would be critical to her choice, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
However, Kavanaugh reportedly told Susan Collins that Roe v. Wade is “settled law.” While that sounds like a reassurance that Kavanaugh would uphold Roe, it’s actually meaningless — after all, the Supreme Court often overturns or revisits “settled” precedents.
Still, this meaningless statement might give both senators just enough cover to vote in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation now, then insist they were betrayed later when he inevitably rules to gut Roe and restrict reproductive freedom.
But the Unite for Justice movement is putting Collins, Murkowski, and all other Republican senators on notice that Americans are ready to organize to hold them accountable if they allow Donald Trump to make another radical lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
Published with permission of The American Independent.