TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – About 40 people gathered outside the Florida Supreme Court Thursday to protest against President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The protesters said abortion and LGBTQ rights are on the line.
“President Trump has made clear that his Supreme Court nominee would automatically overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Missy Wesolowski, with the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is known as a swing vote on a number of social issues, including abortion and LGBTQ rights.
"For having a nominee who doesn't have a clear record on these issues, Equality Florida has a lot of concerns with Judge Kavanaugh's nomination,” said John Harris Maurer, with Equality Florida.
There are at least two examples that raise concerns, according to protesters.
“Kavanaugh actually ruled allowing employers to have say over whether their employees have access to contraception at no co-pay under their insurance plan,” Wesolowski said. "Rulings like that make us very nervous.”
In another case, Kavanaugh argued in favor of delaying an abortion for an undocumented teen.
Kavanaugh is only 53-years-old, making him a young pick for the nation’s highest court. It means he could help shape decisions for decades to come.
If the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling were to be overturned, protesters said, it would be a devastating blow to women's health.
“What people don't understand is that just because you take away the right to abortion doesn't mean that abortion goes away,” said Kimberly Scott, with the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. "Women need that access to care in a safe and legal way.”
While Democrats don’t likely have the votes to stop the nomination, they’re all but guaranteed to do what they can to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Equality Florida and the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates urge Floridians to write their senators and encourage them to vote against Kavanaugh’s appointment.