Alyssa Milano Rails Against Trump's SCOTUS Pick: "We Are in Crazy Times"
The 'Insatiable' actress joined writer Lauren Duca and activists Cecile Richards, Jessica McIntosh, Jessica Morales Rocketto and Meagan Hatcher-Mays to discuss a "tough" battle against Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the Los Angeles stop of the "Rise Up for Roe" tour.
Alyssa Milano on Saturday spoke out sharply against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh and suggested tactics for winning what she admitted was a "tough" battle against his appointment when she stopped by Los Angeles' "Rise Up for Roe" event.
The Insatiable and Charmed actress argued that Kavanaugh puts the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade in jeopardy, and said that it is "fucking absurd" that women need to fight to save it in 2018.
Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump to fill the vacancy left by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy when he retires in the fall. Though analysts have widely reported that it's unclear how Kavanaugh would rule on issues of abortion if appointed to office, activists including Milano point to a 2017 speech in which the judge praised late Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Kavanaugh's decision-making on a case involving a pregnant teen immigrant as proof that he will erode Roe v. Wade rights.
"We can't normalize this. This is crazy. We are in crazy times," Milano said.
The event, held at El Rey Theater, is part of a two-week, 10-city tour intended to inform women on the stakes in the Kavanaugh decision and to rally them to organize against his nomination. Kavanaugh's hearing date is set for Sept. 4.
With journalist Lauren Duca acting as a moderator, Milano, who was wearing a tee shirt that read "Equality," sat down with former Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards and a panel including activists Jessica McIntosh, Jessica Morales Rocketto and Meagan Hatcher-Mays to discuss the issue.
"Off the bat, I think we should call this the 'Rise Up for Everything' tour and not the 'Rise Up for Roe' tour," said the actress. "This guy [Kavanaugh], if he is elected the Supreme Court, will literally affect everything we know to be true as American citizens."
Richards, who worked for Planned Parenthood for 12 years, added that abortion would continue even if Roe v. Wade were overturned; it would just be unsafe and illegal for most women. "What we do know is that when decisions are made like overturning Roe that Judge Kavanaugh would be a part of, it doesn't affect wealthy women ... the folks that are going to be affected are those that have the least access to healthcare, civil liberties, everything. That's why this is about equality and justice," she said.
To fight Kavanaugh's appointment, Richards encouraged audience members and viewers (the event was live-streamed on the Demand Justice Facebook page) to contact their state senators: "That is the single most important thing that you can do," she said.
Milano added that those interested should gather their networks to mobilize against the judge's appointment. "We've seen what happens when people come together to support each other. We all have our own platforms ... and we have to be able to educate and empower people to make the right choices," she said.
Richards also put in a plug for storytelling, which she maintained was one of the reasons Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act. "One of the most important things we can do is tell our stories," she said. "This is the ammunition that I believe helps our senators as well in their fight."
Milano said she was getting "riled up" when she began discussing how former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, was blocked from appointment after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that any nomination by a sitting president before the ensuing presidential election would be illegitimate.
"I'm a little pissed at Obama, I'm gonna tell you. One, I would have closed down the government for that," Milano said. "Two, how are we not using the same tactics for this nominee that they did for us?" Duca then suggested all Democratic legislators act more like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Richards estimated that there are 13 cases involving abortion that are in line to arrive at the Supreme Court, and argued that Kavanaugh, if confirmed, could dramatically alter Roe v. Wade even without overturning it. "There are a million ways in which you can gut access to safe and legal abortion, and I 100 percent think Kavanaugh would do that."
On a brighter note, Richards said the election of Democrat Doug Jones from Alabama to the U.S. Senate and the nomination of Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman, to be Vermont's Democratic candidate, a first for a major party, showed the power of the female vote. "Women are doing things that people say are impossible everywhere and that's why I believe we can win this fight, we're gonna win this fight, and we have to win this fight," she said.
Watch the full panel below.