Alaskans rally against Trump nominee before choice is made public

Even before Alaskans knew the name of President Trump’s nominee for the next Supreme Court judge, some of them were protesting his choice.

A rally Monday afternoon in front of Lisa Murkowski’s Anchorage office drew about 50 people supporting abortion rights. Many, like Lisa Gray, said they were concerned about the possibility of a conservative nominee and their ability to tip the court and overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Whoever the SCOTUS nominee is, we want to make sure that person supports abortion rights,” said Gray, adding that she hoped Senator Lisa Murkowski was listening.

Murkowski was also the target of another rally downtown, this one in front of the Federal Courthouse building. That group, calling themselves, “Defend the Bench,” said they were concerned that a number of issues important to Alaskans could be threatened by the conservative nominee.

“Subsistence rights, environmental protections, healthcare rights, women’s reproductive rights, the list is very long,” said Defend the Bench spokesperson Amber Lee. “So many different groups can be impacted by this. That’s why it’s important for Alaskans to be very engaged and understand what’s happening and understand the nominees that are out there.”

Murkowski is considered a swing vote, a moderate Republican who supports women’s rights who could potentially vote against the Trump nominee. Lee said the senator’s stance on the Affordable¬†Care Act gave the group hope.

“She was really incredible on healthcare,” said Lee. “So many times she was the vote that kept them from appealing the Affordable Care Act. She really stood up to the party– which I know is hard to do, so we are hoping she’s strong again on this one.”

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