#StopKavanaugh Event Summary, Raleigh, 9/4/18

The first day of the Senate Confirmation Hearings on nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh were like a three ring circus. Democrats protested loudly that most of Kavanaugh’s work records had not been released to them.  Senators and protesters took turns interrupting the event – all with good reason. Including that “hours before Kavanaugh nomination hearings, Bush lawyer releases 42,000 pages of documents to Judiciary Committee!

Multiple media sources ran articles and video with the same title in print – “Chaos marks start of Kavanaugh hearings!” 9/4/18, Washington Post. Online longer titles were used, like “Partisan fury bursts into the open as Kavanaugh hearings begin.” But it wasn’t only Democratic Senators who were trying to delay the hearing to make for a fairer and more informed process. Most of the protesters were women.  The same article said, “The protesters, who were predominantly women, repeatedly heckled the senators and Kavanaugh, arguing that installing Trump’s second pick to the Supreme Court would irreparably end access to abortion and dismantle the Affordable Care Act.” 

My favorite summary of Day One is two women reviewing it on Rewired.com atBoom! Lawyered: Kavanaugh Hearing, Day One—Changing the Rules.

Regrouping after the walking and chanting phase, getting ready for another set of speakers. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

The hearing and chaos in Washington DC. North Carolina had protests in Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, High Point on 9/4/18, with more planned. People protested in other ways (besides shouting at the hearing and possibly getting arrested). In Raleigh, a very large group rallied with speakers representing women’s organizations, worker’s organizations, and LGBTQ organizations.  Asheville did a “Die-In” on 9/5/18! The Winston-Salem people went to Senator Richard Burr’s office. 

#StopKavanaugh rally on 9/4/18 in Raleigh Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg

Brett Kavanaugh would be a devastating Supreme Court justice – he values corporations over people, and his religion over tolerance.  He’s spoken out for “favoring fetal life” and fought against the Affordable Care Act.

Resist Kavanaugh! Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg

 Speakers in Raleigh represented many organizations covering women, LBGTQ people, workers, and the environment. There was one set of speakers. The group took their signs and walked around to the side of the building outside of Senator Thom Tillis’ office, chanting all the while. When they returned, another set of speakers took their turns. 

  • Dewey Botts opens the gathering with a statement of what’s at stake and asked for a moment of silence to think how much harm Kavanaugh will bring to this country.
  • The “Raging Grannies” had a new song all about Brett Kavanaugh.
  • Tara Romano sets the table for why Kavanaugh is not working for the American public on a number of reasons. We believe the court is for the people!
  • Ames Simmons from Equality NC explains the consequences for the LGBTQ community if Kavanaugh is confirmed. Biggest concern Trump giving an out for medical providers to refuse to provide medical care for the LGBTQ community.
  • Mary Jose Espinoza from El Pueblo talks about immigrants, impact on rights of undocumented workers.
  • Felicia Burnett of NC Mom’s Rising lets the Tillis crowd know what Kavanaugh means to families. He’s not only hostile to reproductive health care and choice, he is hostile to gun safety, he is hostile to workers’ rights. Presidential power would go unchecked.
  • Jillian Riley of the Sierra Club talks Kavanaugh and the environment.
  • Dani Hoffpauir of Planned Parenthood tells the crowd that Kavanaugh has a history of arguing against access to abortion, birth control and health care. And it was Kavanaugh last year who tried to prevent the 17 year old immigrant in a detention center from getting an abortion, even though she got permission from another judge.
  • Mars Earle of Carolina Abortion Fund, which helps women in both North and South Carolina, shares some of the women’s stories.
  • Gloria De Los Santos of Action NC wakes up the Tillis’ staffers with her fiery rendition of what Kavanaugh will do to social and economic equality which is already in peril.
  • Gailya Paliga, NC NOW President, talks about the advice and consent responsibility that both US Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr have, and how they should do their jobs.

The letter from the group to Senator Tillis asked, What is the Trump Administration hiding? “Why won’t they open all the files of his time spent in the White House when he was the staff secretary and on the legal counsel? Elena Kagan had 99% of her files reviewed – why not Kavanaugh’s?”

“I think it’s more than enough for the Democrats to make a rational decision about supporting Judge Kavanaugh,” said Sen. Thom Tillis, while standing before a stack of dozens of cardboard boxes to showcase what the GOP says is an unprecedented disclosure of records by a Supreme Court nominee. “Here’s the reality. The same people who are asking for the documents oppose Judge Kavanaugh.”

Many say the hearing should be delayed until and only if the Trump is cleared from the many crimes for which he is being investigated. Others say this rushed and forced hearing would forever stain Kavanaugh.  “This is the most incomplete, most partisan, least transparent vetting for any Supreme Court nominee I have ever seen,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Leahy was elected in 1974!

These events are focused on our US Senators, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, since our Senators get to vote on this nomination. In fact, it is their Senate duty of “advice and consent.” Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate. The Senate’s job is to make sure the nominee is qualified, and if not, to vote no.

We are doing another rally highlighting issues with Kavanaugh in Raleigh on 9/11/18 with new speakers. So many people would be hurt by this extremist judge.

Hope to see you at the next Tuesdays With Tillis rally.
Topic: Stop Kavanaugh Take 2
Date: Tuesday, 9/11/18
Time: 11:30am
Place: 310 New Bern Ave, Raleigh

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