As Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed once more that they are willing to crush widespread calls for an FBI probe into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's compelling sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by scheduling the first vote on the judge for less than 24 hours after his belligerent, tantrum-filled testimony, women's rights groups are leading a nationwide rapid response mobilization on Friday to demand that senators put an immediate halt to the "sham" confirmation process.
"Republicans are moving forward to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. They do not care about our pain," NARAL Pro-Choice America—one of the groups that organized Friday's noon rallies at Senate offices across the nation—declared in a tweet late Thursday. "They do not care about our trauma. It's time to fight."
— Women's March (@womensmarch) September 27, 2018
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) September 27, 2018
While it is unclear whether the GOP has enough votes to approve Kavanaugh in the Senate Judiciary Committee—Republicans have a mere one vote advantage in the committee and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona seen as a possible "no"—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has nonetheless scheduled the first procedural vote on Kavanaugh before the full Senate for Saturday morning and reportedly hopes to confirm the judge by Tuesday.
The rush to vote after Kavanaugh's furious and evasive performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday fueled a rapidly growing sense of urgency among progressive opponents women's rights groups, who argue that there is "far too much at stake" for reproductive rights and the planet to let Republicans place yet another far-right judge on the nation's highest court for a lifetime appointment.
Call your Senators NOW!
And only *YOUR* Senators. If you want to get to others, encourage friends/family in their states to call them themselves as constituents.
— 5 Calls (@make5calls) September 28, 2018
TOMORROW NOON LOCAL TIME: DEVELOPING NOW: Rapid-response protests being planned around the country at local Senate offices. Wear black. Bring #BelieveSurvivors, #WithdrawKavanaugh, #JusticeForSurvivors signs. Find others, circle up, take photos, tell Senate staff you're there.
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) September 27, 2018
The Republican Party's aggressive attempt to plow ahead with rapid-fire series of votes of Kavanaugh comes following a full day of testimony on Thursday from the judge and Ford—two performances which, as countless analysts noted after the hearings finally came to a close, could not have been more different in tone and substance.
"Now is the time for Senator Collins to make it clear that she believes women and finds violence against women wholly unacceptable by publicly announcing her opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination."
—Karin Roland, NARAL Action
"Christine Blasey Ford was astonishingly composed and accommodating during her testimony about her sexual-assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh," noted The Cut's Amanda Arnold. "The Supreme Court nominee, however, was the polar opposite during his time on the stand: petulant, belligerent, and indignant. His opening statement was, more than anything, a performance—and one that seemed to be clearly directed at his (white, male) Republican supporters."
Kavanaugh's rage-filled performance was also clearly directed at President Donald Trump, who called the judge's flailing testimony "reviting" in a tweet late Thursday and demanded that the Senate immediately move forward with a vote.
In a statement on Thursday, NARAL Action—which is planning to hold a sit-in at Sen. Susan Collins' (R-Maine) office in Portland, Maine on Friday—declared, "Brett Kavanaugh is a sexual predator, which unquestionably disqualifies him from holding any office in government, let alone the highest court in the country."
"Dr. Ford has demonstrated tremendous courage in testifying and sharing her story of how Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her," concluded Karin Roland, a Maine resident and chief campaigns officer at NARAL Action. "Now is the time for Senator Collins to make it clear that she believes women and finds violence against women wholly unacceptable by publicly announcing her opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination. Anything less is a betrayal of women—one that voters will remember this November."