Remember when Republicans refused to hold hearings for then-President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court because his time in office would soon be up? Now, President Donald Trump faces credible allegations of everything from collusion with a foreign power (which is a crime) to campaign finance law violations and they’re gung-ho to confirm his second pick for the court anyway.
Tuesday, as confirmation hearings for his latest nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, kicked off, protesters dressed as characters from the dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale showed up to make their opposition to the spectacle known.
In the show, women are relegated to second-class citizens in far more than just a manner of speaking. The protesters — along with many others — are concerned that a Kavanaugh confirmation will put the U.S. in danger of being dragged that direction.
The protesters’ parent group Demand Justice explained:
‘Brett Kavanaugh is an extremist ideologue who, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will take away women’s basic rights.’
Kavanaugh is of course on the Republican side of the political spectrum, considering who nominated him, and in his judicial career he’s been involved in just one abortion-related case. Last year, he asserted — and was the dissenting opinion in a case in so doing — that an undocumented immigrant should wait until she was transferred out of U.S. government custody to get an abortion. He argued that there should be further considerations — in other words, that the 17-year-old should have consulted with whoever their sponsor/guardian was — before the procedure was performed.
That’s a point of concern for those concerned with women’s rights, who envision the solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court should Kavanaugh be confirmed as a danger to the future of Roe v. Wade should a case concerning that former case and its precedent come up. He has called the decision that legalized abortion across the country “settled law” — but women’s advocates still don’t trust him.
During an address at the American Enterprise Institute last year, he seemed to call the landmark court decision part of a “tide of free-wheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights that were not in the nation’s history and tradition.”
In that light, the handmaids showed up at his Tuesday confirmation hearings.
Demand Justice added:
‘Right now in America, far too many women of color cannot access safe, affordable healthcare and the ability to decide whether, when and how to raise thriving families is out of reach… Brett Kavanaugh will take this already harsh reality and make it worse.’
Despite the scrutiny, Kavanaugh may stick to precedent and refuse to discuss his personal views on abortion during his confirmation hearings, the modus operandi an array of Supreme Court nominees have stuck to.
The reality remains, however, that Donald Trump at one point pledged to appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide, although — like other campaign pledges he made — he’s since dialed back his most explicit allegiance to the ideal.
The issue is, in the end, one of many with his latest Supreme Court nominee.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot