Protesters held signs saying “Say No to Scalia 2” and “Long Live RBG,” the latter a reference to 84-year-old liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Just more than 200 people turned out for a demonstration Saturday morning outside the federal courthouse in downtown Seattle to protest President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
The protest, among similar events staged nationwide Saturday, was organized by the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America, and supported by a list of activist political groups including MoveOn.org and EMILY’s List, as well as Planned Parenthood, and labor unions representing teachers and federal employees.
Protesters held placards with slogans that included “Say No to Scalia 2” and “Long Live RBG,” the latter a reference to 84-year-old liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
At the event, Tiffany Hankins, executive director of NARAL’s Washington chapter, said the protest was intended to inspire a filibuster of Gorsuch’s nomination in the U.S. Senate. If confirmed, Gorsuch would replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year. A filibuster by Senate Democrats has been talked about for weeks.
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“Donald Trump made campaign promises to appoint a Supreme Court justice who would overthrow Roe v. Wade,” Hankins said in an interview. “He’s fulfilling that promise, which now has a name: Neil Gorsuch.”
Hankins cited Gorsuch’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case as “allowing bosses to decide whether employees can have access to birth control.” In that 5-4 decision, the court in 2014 said that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.
Also attending the Seattle protest was Lynne Dodson, secretary-treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council.
She said the labor movement is opposed to Gorsuch because “he has a track record of ruling to uphold the rights of corporations ahead of the rights of people.”
“We need a Supreme Court justice who’ll defend the rights of working people,” Dodson said.
Dodson acknowledged that even in liberal Washington state, Trump won the votes of a proportion of working-class union members.
She said labor union officials need to try to roll back that support by highlighting how Trump’s actual policies — such as his attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act — would hurt the working class.
“Trump can talk a good line about helping the working class,” Dodson said. “But the only policies he proposes help the very wealthy and hurt the middle class. It’s built on a house of lies.”