Jul 16, 2018

By Maggie Flaherty, Government Affairs Intern at LCV

Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court puts a lot at stake. He has been the deciding vote in many key cases over the past few years, including cases that moved forward progressive priorities like legalizing gay marriage, upholding Roe v. Wade, and ruling that the EPA must regulate all greenhouse gases. He voted with the majority in all but one of the environmental cases heard by the Supreme Court in the last 30 years. Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, Brett Kavanaugh, is predicted to be much more conservative than Kennedy, thus putting the future of women’s rights, our democracy and our environment at stake.

Unified under the phrases “Save SCOTUS” and “Our Courts Our Lives,” groups that advocate for women, the LGBTQIA+ community, our health and environment and many other communities and individuals gathered together in front of the Supreme Court. As a collective, we were there to protest the announcement of Kavanaugh as Kennedy’s replacement.

Members of LCV brought signs emblazoned with “Justice is worth fighting for” and “People not polluters!” We joined in the chants that speakers from various groups led from the podium and cheered for Tiernan Sittenfeld, our SVP of Government Affairs, as she gave a speech.

She was met with cheers from the crowd as she asserted: “I am here on behalf of all people in this country that want to breath clean air, all people in this country who want to drink clean water, all people in this country who want to protect our public lands, all people in this country who want to fight the climate crisis, all people in this country who want to participate equitably in our democracy and we are here to say hell no Kavanaugh!”

Energy at the rally was high even though counter-protesters with megaphones showed up as well. The speaker’s remained unphased, demonstrating that our voices will not be drowned out and deserve to be heard.

In the end, the message that prevailed was that Kavanaugh will not be confirmed without a fight. Individuals and groups from across the country and the issue spectrum will not be ignored, and they will push all U.S. senators to protect the rights of all people, not just the corporate polluters or those who think they can buy the Courts.

However, we need your help in this fight too. Please take action and contact your senators to make sure that they know that with the nomination of Kavanaugh, our basic health and environmental protections and the fabric of our democracy are at stake.