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ND Rallies to Oppose SCOTUS Nominee on Women's Equality Day

U.S Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings are set to begin Sept. 4. (Office of the Vice President)
U.S Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings are set to begin Sept. 4. (Office of the Vice President)
August 24, 2018

MINOT, N.D. – Rallies in North Dakota and nationwide are taking place on Sunday to protest President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.

The protests coincide with Women's Equality Day, which celebrates the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that gave women the right to vote. More than 150 "Unite for Justice" rallies are scheduled, including in Fargo and Minot, and a main focus will be women's reproductive rights.

Stephen Stripe, a physician helping to organize the Minot rally, says he's concerned Kavanaugh could roll back the clock on legal abortions, which he believes endangers women's health.

"I'm old enough to remember before Roe v. Wade that women would come in conscious of their bleeding to death or had massive infections after having illegal, unsafe abortions," says Stripe.

This week, Kavanaugh told Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, a pro-choice supporter, that he believes the Roe versus Wade case is "settled law." The Souris Valley Progressives are sponsoring the Minot event, which begins at noon at Oak Park. The Fargo rally is at the Civic Center Plaza.

Stripe also has another concern. He says the indictment of two Trump associates this week raises the question of whether the president should be choosing a Supreme Court nominee right now.

"To appoint a judge like Kavanaugh who says sitting presidents cannot be indicted," says Stripe, “or sued or anything, basically puts them above the law, which totally goes against the American principle of nobody is above the law."

In a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, Kavanaugh argued that a sitting president should be immune from prosecution. Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings are set to begin on Sept. 4.

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat now up for reelection, could play a pivotal in his confirmation. Last year, Heitkamp was one of three Democrats who voted to confirm Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND