Alaskans protest Kavanaugh nomination, urge no vote

September 29, 2018
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Molly Knight, right, takes part in a demonstration objecting to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for U.S. Supreme Court justice rally outside the office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Anchorage, Alaska. Demonstrators are urging Murkowski to vote no on the nomination. Murkowski has not said how she will vote. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A second day of demonstrations outside the Alaska office of Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski drew over 150 people objecting to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a justice on the Supreme Court.

The protesters waved signs at drivers, and one-by-one, headed to Murkowski’s office to fill out hand-written comments urging her to cast a no vote on Kavanaugh.

“This particular nominee? He’s a nightmare,” said Erin Jackson-Hill as she handed out leaflets in downtown Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city.

Both Kavanaugh and one of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rally organizer Shoshanah Stone said the length of the televised, emotional hearings may have kept some protesters home that day.

Alaska’s junior senator, Dan Sullivan said early in the nomination process that he intended to support Kavanaugh. In a statement earlier this week, he said allegations of sexual assault should be taken seriously and both Ford and Kavanaugh deserve to be heard.

Murkowski has not indicated how she will vote. In a statement Friday, she said she supports delaying a final vote.

“After a full day of testimony, I continued to express concerns to my colleagues about how this process has been handled by both sides of the aisle,” she said.

Allowing the FBI up to one week to supplement its background investigation is appropriate, she said, to have a fair process for both Kavanaugh and Ford.

Demonstrators do not hold out hope that Sullivan will change his mind. Jackson-Hill was more optimistic about Murkowski. Murkowski will vote no if she wants to represent Alaskans, Jackson-Hill said.

“I think that she is thoughtful. She does try to represent the people but I know she’s got a lot of pressure from her party,” Jackson-Hill said.

Elizabeth Keating, a counselor who lives in Anchorage and works in Fort Yukon, said she objects to Kavanaugh because of the allegations made by women. She also questioned whether his temperament made him qualified to be a justice.

Word that the FBI would reopen its background investigation of Kavanaugh broke as the Anchorage demonstration wound down. Stone said it was a prudent move by the Senate.

“I hope they vote no,” Stone said. “They should believe the women. This is a good step forward. They need to slow things down.”

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