Court Battles

Hundreds protest Kavanaugh’s nomination outside Supreme Court

Jesus Rodriguez

Democratic lawmakers and hundreds of protesters rallied at the Supreme Court late Monday evening to protest President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the high court.

Kavanaugh, if confirmed by the Senate, will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose retirement was announced June 27.

If Republicans remain unified in their support of Trump’s pick, Democratic senators have no real options to stop the nomination.

{mosads}But Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were vehement in their rejection of Kavanaugh outside the court on Monday night.

“This is a tough fight, but it is a fight we can win!” Sanders said.

Activists have predicted that health care and abortion rights will be the key issues with this nomination, as many worry that a conservative justice might overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

The clash over abortion materialized at the protest as slogans of “My body, my choice” from Kavanaugh dissenters were met with chants of “Abortion is murder” from a handful of anti-abortion rights counterprotesters.

“Tonight Trump made good on his campaign promise to install a justice on the Supreme Court with one singular goal, which is to end Roe and criminalize abortion in this country,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in an interview with The Hill. “It’s our freedom as women, it’s our futures at stake.”

NARAL is one of the groups behind Monday’s protest, along with the Leadership Conference, Planned Parenthood, the Center for American Progress and the Human Rights Campaign.

Sarah Warbelow, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, note Kennedy’s legacy as the “architect” of many of the decisions enshrining LGBTQ civil rights, most famously Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court case that guaranteed same-sex marriage.

Warbelow told The Hill that none of the judges Trump considered, including Kavanaugh, have “any record that would indicate willingness to support LGBTQ people’s constitutional rights.”

“There are many cases percolating through the courts currently that we are watching closely … around whether or not our nation’s civil rights laws protect LGBTQ people, from employment, housing, health care to education,” Warbelow said.

Democratic lawmakers have pointed to the influence of the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, alleging that Trump’s short list of nominees was compiled by them.

“I am not going to sugarcoat this: We are in the fight of our lives,” Warren said. “I have reviewed his record and let me tell you, Judge Kavanaugh did not end up on this list because he is the ‘consensus’ nominee.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) intends to bring up Kavanaugh’s nomination for a vote this fall, ahead of November’s midterms.

—Updated on July 10 at 2:19 p.m.

Tags Abortion Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Jeff Merkley Kirsten Gillibrand Mitch McConnell Roe v. Wade Supreme Court nomination

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