On the 26th of August, the Unite for Justice Virginia Rally ws held by the the Women’s Equality Coalition with one simple demand: that the Democrats do anything and everything they can to prevent Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh from being confirmed. This was one of over 80 such rallies on Aug 26 held in the portions of Occupied Turtle Island claimed by the United States.
NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) had a strong presence at the Alexandria rally. This makes sense, as Trump promised to “appoint justice who will overturn Roe vs Wade” on the campaign trail. Kavenaugh dissented from a court ruling allowing a teenage migrant to get an abortion while in immigration detention. Recently the Washington Post speculated that he might intend to go beyond overturning Roe to holding that a fetus has a constitutional right to life. Such a ruling would prohibit abortion in all 50 states. Since no constitutional amendment concerning abortion would ever be likely to pass, that means the only way a more liberal state could get out of criminalizing abortion and prosecuting women(as Trump called for) would be to secede from the US and make it stick.
The protest did not limit itself to the threat posed by Kavenaugh to reproductive freedom. Speakers called him out for hostility to labor, his support for human rights violations against migrants, and his support for the racist policies of Trump and the GOP. In addition, many in the August 26 rally carried signs condemning Trump for seeking to choose his own judge by this Supreme Court nomination if the “Russiagate” or related investigations lead to criminal charges and appeals to the Supreme Court. Kavenaugh is on record as stating that sitting Presidents are immune to all criminal charges (above the law) and can fire a special counsel at will. In effect, his statements show a belief that sitting Presidents are immune to indictment, to prosection, and even to investigation. He could be Trump’s insurance against ever going to prison, though it is less likely the Supreme Court could block a vote of impeachment and removal from office.
This issue may be the one that keeps Kavenaugh off the US Supreme Court. All ten Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are demanding that Kavenaugh’s confirmation hearings be postponed. In a letter to Sen Judiciary Comittee Chairman Chuck Grassley, they wrote “Given the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the President, doubts that Judge Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, and the unprecedented lack of transparency regarding this nominee’s record, we should not move forward with hearings on September 4th.” This comes after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted by a jury of 8 felonies. On top of that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump himself as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a guilty plea to felony campaign finance and fraud charges.