Outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on Monday night, after President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the first mass protest against Trump’s pick took place. And this large demonstration against Kavanaugh was probably just the first of many that will occur all throughout the country over the next few weeks.
People were shouting “Hell no, Kavanaugh,” and carrying signs such as: “What’s at Stake? LGBTQ Rights, Roe v. Wade, Health Care”; “Stop Trump’s Supreme Court Takeover”; “I Stand With Planned Parenthood.”
And as soon as the nomination was announced “Stop Kavanaugh” signs began appearing, a sentiment which set the tone for the evening and also for the long, hard fight ahead.
Passions against Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court are not likely to die down any time soon. Activist groups and Congressional Democrats alike have been planning the resistance to Trump’s Supreme Court pick for several weeks. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer immediately made a public announcement that Senate Democrats would all be voting against Kavanaugh and fighting to derail his nomination.
Even though experts say that the minority party cannot prevail, Democrats and progressive activists have a comprehensive and multi-pronged strategy to defeat Trump’s pick. The new hashtag #StopKavanaugh is already trending on social media, as is #SaveSCOTUS, which is exactly what they hope — and plan — to do.
Senate expert Ira Shapiro author of The Last Great Senate, said that the fight against Kavanaugh will be “the fight of a lifetime:”
“I think this will be an enormous battle, and it should be. I think that Sen. McConnell would change every rule of the Senate if necessary to ensure that the nomination is voted upon, and he will overcome any procedural obstruction Chuck Schumer might attempt.“Ultimately, the only way to defeat this nomination is by making the most comprehensive case about the constitutional rights that are at stake and the future of the court for the next 30 years.”
Even though Democrats can’t directly win by voting since they have just 49 of the 51 votes required to stop a nomination in the Senate, they do have options — and they have every intention of using them.
In fact, the coming weeks may produce one of the fiercest Supreme Court fights in U.S. history. There will be nationwide grassroots organizing, parliamentary maneuvering and massive amounts of raw political pressure applied to the two pro-choice Republicans and three red-state Democrats — who will make or break Kavanaugh’s nomination. Some groups, such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, have already committed millions of dollars to advertising.
Neera Tanden of the liberal Center for American Progress said this about the fight ahead:
“Progressives are very mobilized over the Supreme Court in a way that I haven’t seen for a long time. The Kabuki Theater that has been the recent confirmation process, in which nominees are allowed to reveal little of their actual judicial philosophy, must end. Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska must stand by their support for abortion rights. Activists and advocates have to hold their feet to the fire. I don’t think they want to be responsible, even indirectly, for overturning Roe v. Wade.”
Winning the battle over the Affordable Care Act seems to have energized liberals and “The Resistance.” They now have confidence that they can win this fight against Kavanaugh also, even against seemingly great odds. They will paint Kavanaugh as a dire threat to civil liberties which Americans hold dear, as well as a friend to corporations, religious conservatives and gun activists. They will say he wants to overturn not just Roe v. Wade and gay marriage, but also the Affordable Care Act.
Vanita Gupta, the former head of the civil rights division of the Department of Justice said this:
“Kavanaugh has consistently ruled for the wealthy and powerful over the rights of workers, consumers and women seeking access to health care. He is a direct threat to our civil and human rights and unfit to serve on our nation’s highest court.”
If Democrats somehow do succeed in stopping the Kavanaugh nomination, or even delaying his confirmation until after November’s midterm election, #StopKavanaugh may become the most important act of anti-Trump resistance by Democrats and other progressives all over the country. For them to be successful, however, will take “the fight of a lifetime.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.