Supreme Scandal: These 5 US Senators Are Being Targeted for Protests Against Brett Kavanaugh

The anti-Kavanaugh protests will likely intensify as the week progresses.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Today, many Republicans in the U.S. Senate are being targeted for protests by opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court—including Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a swing vote who, like Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, could help to either make or break Kavauagh’s nomination. A large crowd has already gathered outside of Collins’ office in Portland, Maine, angrily urging her to vote against Kavanaugh. One of the protestors wore a button saying, “I believe Christine Blasey Ford,” expressing solidarity with the 51-year-old Palo Alto University psychology professor who has alleged that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party back in 1982. 

With at least four different women making allegations of sexual abuse against Trump’s nominee, the anti-Kavanaugh protests will likely intensify as the week progresses. And on top of all the senators being targeted for protests, anti-Kavanaugh activists have urged his opponents to wear black and walk out of their offices, homes and classrooms at 1 p.m. today in opposition to his nomination. 

Here are five Republicans in the U.S. Senate being targeted for anti-Kavanaugh protests today.

1. Susan Collins of Maine

The fact that Sen. Collins has become the target of angry anti-Kavanaugh protests is no coincidence. The Maine senator, although conservative, has been willing to vote with Senate Democrats over fellow Republicans at times—in 2017, notably, Collins helped sink a Senate bill that would have overturned the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare. Collins, however, voted with fellow Republicans for the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee. But protestors and Kavanaugh opponents are hoping that Collins will show some integrity this time and be willing to buck her party.

2. Dean Heller of Nevada

A rally at noon local time was scheduled for today outside of Sen. Dean Heller’s office in Reno, Nevada. Heller has come under fire for describing Ford’s allegation of attempted rape as a “hiccup,” and some of the criticism has come from Democrat Jacky Rosen—who is running against the incumbent Republican in the Nevada Senate race. On Twitter, Rosen posted, “Unbelievable: Senator Heller just dismissed a credible sexual assault allegation as a ‘hiccup.’” Rosen also tweeted, “Apparently, Senator Heller still has ‘no reservations’ about voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Nevadans deserve so much better.”

Polls have shown the Nevada Senate race to be tight, with Heller slightly ahead in some points and Rosen slightly ahead in others—and Heller is said to be the most vulnerable of the GOP senators seeking reelection, as he is the only one running in a swing state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. 

3. Ted Cruz of Texas

Protestors who scheduled noon rallies for today outside Sen. Ted Cruz’ offices in Austin and Dallas have a firm message for the incumbent Texas senator: “believe survivors, oppose Kavanaugh”—as in survivors of sexual assault. Seeking a second term, Cruz is receiving a challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke that is turning out to be much more vigorous than Cruz originally thought it would be. In recent polls, O’Rourke has been only a few points behind Cruz—which is shocking in light of how strong a ground game Republicans have had in the Lone Star State. Cruz, being a far-right ally of the Christian Right, is most unlikely to vote against Kavanaugh—and a “yes” vote for Kavanaugh could give O’Rourke something to use against him in a race that is surprisingly close given Texas’ Republican leanings. 

4. Jeff Flake of Arizona

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, despite his hard-right political views, has not been shy about criticizing President Donald Trump at times—and his decision to not seek reelection in the 2018 midterms underscores his dissatisfaction with the GOP in the Trump era. Nonetheless, Flake is likely to vote for Kavanaugh, and an anti-Kavanaugh protest was scheduled for today at noon outside his office in Tucson, Arizona. Possibly, a vote for Kavanaugh from Flake could hurt Martha McSally—the Republican nominee running for the Senate seat that Flake will be vacating—and give Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic nominee, something to use against her. Sinema, interviewed last week about Ford’s allegations, told Phoenix’s NBC-affiliated KPNX Channel 12, “What’s important here is that a thorough investigation occur in the public eye.”

5. Chuck Grassley of Iowa

An anti-Kavanaugh protest was scheduled for 11 a.m. local time outside of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office in Des Moines. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has made it clear that his chances of voting against Kavanaugh are slim and none—and so far, he has been adamantly opposed to an FBI investigation of Ford’s allegations. 

 

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.