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Women's March in Portland Draws Dozens to Protest Supreme Court Nomination Process

Patty Wight
Maine Public
Protesters at Monument Square in Portland on Saturday.

About 100 people gathered in Portland’s Monument Square Saturday to protest against the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Amid chants of “No confirmation until inauguration,” many in the crowd said they were upset over what they described as the hypocrisy of Senate Republicans holding confirmation hearings just weeks ahead of the November election. In 2016, Republicans blocked the same process for nominee Merrick Garland, saying it should wait until after that year’s presidential election, which was eight months away.

Mary Beth Davidson of Windham said she came to the rally in Portland because she couldn’t be silent on the issue.

“We didn’t march in the streets when the Supreme Court gave the presidency to George W. Bush, and they gave us war. We didn’t march in the street when Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing. And if we don’t stand up, injustice is going to keep happening,” she said.

Ann Hartman came down from Bangor with her 14-year-old daughter, who she said is becoming more politically active. Hartman said events like the Women’s March give her hope that things may change.

“This is a really important time to speak out and try to get people excited about the election, and sort of look at the issues like what’s happened with the Supreme Court and really stand together,” she said.

While the rally was pegged to the Supreme Court nomination process, many who attended said there were larger issues at stake. Jennifer Porter of Buxton said she’s concerned about women’s rights, gay rights and racial justice.

“I’m really heartsick about what’s going on in our country. And I feel like our country is on the verge of self-destruction, and I think important that people get out and speak,” she said.

The event in Portland was one more than a hundred Women’s Marches across the country, including in Lubec and Eastport.

“Will 125 people being here today make a real big difference? It’s hard to say,” Davidson said. “But if you’re silent, that’s definitely not going to make a difference.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Barrett’s nomination Thursday, with the full Senate taking a vote the week of Oct. 26.