When I first heard that Justice Anthony Kennedy was retiring I performed a heroic face palm that lasted probably three minutes or more. Then, the first optimistic thought I had was along the lines of the following:
Within hours of Wednesday’s surprising retirement announcement from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, two moderate Republican women in the Senate became an important focus of Democrats seeking to prevent President Donald Trump from appointing a new justice who could reshape the court for decades to come — or at least temper how far right it might bend.
With little power to defeat a nominee outright on their own, Democrats began to look at Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as potential allies in their cause.
Both are moderates who support abortion rights and they are likely to face growing pressure should Trump put forward a conservative nominee who might threaten to severely curb those rights.
My optimism lasted maybe fifteen or twenty seconds until my senses got the better of me. Hoping for either of those two women to protect abortion rights when they’re finally put to the test is almost certainly a fool’s errand. They will both fold.
Then I thought, well, what if pressure was brought to bear like we’ve never seen before? What if a million women showed up in Maine or Alaska in these senators’ home towns and simply refused to leave? Of course, men would be welcome to join, too, just as they were in the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and other locations around the country. In addition to the organizers of the women’s marches, I thought about the kids of Stoneman Douglas High School who briefly mobilized a nation and convinced the Florida legislature to finally pass some modest gun violence legislation. Maybe my vision wasn’t just a fantasy. Maybe it could happen?
I can’t think of anything else that might work, and a person needs a reason to have some hope. Right?