Resister’s Digest: Grilling Gorsuch and Taking It to the Streets Against Trumpcare

Hearings start this week for Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

Theo Anderson

Politico reported recently that Democrats are “paralyzed” over how to respond to Neil Gorsuch. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Resister’s Digest is a week­ly roundup that spot­lights ways read­ers can con­nect with and learn about cam­paigns to oppose Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s agen­da, pro­tect human rights and pro­mote equal­i­ty. Have ques­tions or tips? Con­tact writer Theo Ander­son at theo@​inthesetimes.​com.

“His [Gorsuch's] record reflects a pattern of systematically privileging the rights of religious believers over those of religious minorities and nonbelievers."

Hear­ings begin in Con­gress this week for Neil Gor­such, Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­nee to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Politi­co report­ed recent­ly that Democ­rats are par­a­lyzed” over how to respond. Dahlia Lith­wick not­ed last week that Gorsuch’s stance on reli­gious lib­er­ty might be their most pow­er­ful argu­ment against him.

His record reflects a pat­tern of sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly priv­i­leg­ing the rights of reli­gious believ­ers over those of reli­gious minori­ties and non­be­liev­ers,” Lith­wick wrote. That’s crit­i­cal because per­ceived reli­gious per­se­cu­tion is at the heart of many front-burn­er social dis­putes, includ­ing those over LGBTQ rights, trans­gen­der bath­room access, abor­tion, access to birth con­trol, sec­tar­i­an prayer in pub­lic places, and mar­riage equality.”

Indi­vis­i­ble has guides to Gorsuch’s record on a range of issues here, along with sam­ple dia­logues to use in call­ing your rep­re­sen­ta­tives here. Sign NARAL’s peti­tion against Gor­such here, and find var­i­ous tools for learn­ing about Gor­such and express­ing your oppo­si­tion at The People’s Defense. Go to the local reps page at Con­tact­ing Con­gress for a com­plete list of state and fed­er­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives and their con­tact information.

Reli­gious lib­er­ty” sweeps the states

Trump’s vic­to­ry has ener­gized the right-wing reli­gious lib­er­ty cru­sade at the state lev­el. On March 10, South Dakota’s gov­er­nor signed a bill that legal­izes dis­crim­i­na­tion against LGBT peo­ple by tax­pay­er-fund­ed fos­ter care and adop­tion agen­cies. The bill is the first anti-LGBT leg­is­la­tion to pass in 2017, but dozens of such bills are at var­i­ous stages of the process in state leg­is­la­tures. For exam­ple, the Texas Sen­ate has approved a bill that would require trans­gen­der peo­ple to use the bath­room that cor­re­sponds to their bio­log­i­cal sex” and would pre­empt local laws that allow them to use the bath­room of their choice. The bill is now before the House. Free­dom for All Amer­i­cans tracks the progress of anti-LGBT leg­is­la­tion and offers a cam­paign-in-a-box” toolk­it for activists mobi­liz­ing against anti-LGBT bills.

Tank­ing Trumpcare

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is expect­ed to vote on the GOP’s Oba­macare reform and repeal bill Thurs­day, the sev­enth anniver­sary of the Amer­i­can Afford­able Care Act’s pas­sage. Sev­er­al actions are planned through­out the week, includ­ing a march to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R‑Wis.) office in Wash­ing­ton D.C., on Wednes­day, led by Rev. William Bar­ber, pres­i­dent of Repair­ers of the Breach. Find details here.

Protests are also planned around Ryan’s fundrais­ing trip to Chica­go on Thurs­day. Details here. And there are protests of Oba­macare repeal planned in Cincin­nati on Wednes­day, in Los Ange­les, Cleve­land, and Wash­ing­ton, D.C. on Thurs­day, and in Durham, North Car­oli­na, and Seat­tle on Sat­ur­day. Go here to find details for oth­er local events.

Ral­ly at the border

The We Are One Foun­da­tion is spon­sor­ing a Nation­wide Ral­ly at the Bor­der” on Sat­ur­day, near San Diego, to bring peo­ple togeth­er to defend the civ­il rights of migrant work­ers and immi­grants.” It fea­tures a pro­gram of human­i­tar­i­ans, activists, artists, thought lead­ers, and speak­ers.” Details here. Gallup report­ed in mid-March that Amer­i­cans’ wor­ries about race rela­tions” had reached a record high, with 42 per­cent of respon­dents say­ing they wor­ry about the issue a great deal,” ver­sus 17 per­cent in 2014.

Save the EPA

The bud­get pro­pos­al released by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion last week calls for a 31 per­cent cut in the bud­get for the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA). People’s Action, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Food and Water Watch, has called for a nation­al day of action on Tues­day to pro­tect the envi­ron­ment, with events in cities across the nation, includ­ing Den­ver, Min­neapo­lis, Chica­go, Detroit, Philadel­phia and New York. Details here. Go here for cus­tomiz­able emails that can be sent to your rep­re­sen­ta­tives in sup­port of the EPA.

Con­test­ing great­ness”

Trump sup­port­ers are plan­ning a series of Make Amer­i­ca Great Again” march­es on Sat­ur­day. Counter-protests are also planned in sev­er­al cities, includ­ing Den­ver, Sacra­men­to, Lex­ing­ton, Colum­bus and Philadel­phia. In Hous­ton on Fri­day, there will be a ral­ly at Gov. Greg Abbott’s State of the State” address, to protest his sup­port for Oba­macare repeal, the state’s anti-LGBT bill and oth­er poli­cies. There will also be a ral­ly in Austin to defend pub­lic schools from pro­posed steep cuts.

Get the frack out

Last week, the Repub­li­can gov­er­nor of Mary­land, Lar­ry Hogan, gave his sup­port to an anti-frack­ing bill that recent­ly passed the state’s House of Del­e­gates, mak­ing its pas­sage by the full leg­is­la­ture more like­ly. Hogan called the bill an impor­tant ini­tia­tive to safe­guard our envi­ron­ment” and called on leg­is­la­tors to final­ly put this issue to rest.” That would make Mary­land the first state with frack­able nat­ur­al gas to pass such a law.

Hogan’s com­ments came a day after 13 peo­ple were arrest­ed dur­ing an anti-frack­ing protest at Maryland’s state­house, part of a broad­er cam­paign that has heat­ed up in the last few months,” accord­ing to Food and Water Watch. It not­ed that recent­ly more than 1,000 peo­ple marched through Annapo­lis and joined a mas­sive Don’t Frack Mary­land ral­ly, hun­dreds of health pro­fes­sion­als and busi­ness own­ers signed let­ters call­ing for a frack­ing ban, and so far more than 35,000 Mary­lan­ders have sent ban-frack­ing peti­tions to leg­is­la­tors.” Don’t Frack Mary­land has com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion about the frack­ing fight and resources for tak­ing action. Food and Water Watch offers tools for learn­ing about, and tak­ing action against, frack­ing at the local level.

Theo Ander­son is an In These Times con­tribut­ing writer. He has a Ph.D. in mod­ern U.S. his­to­ry from Yale and writes on the intel­lec­tu­al and reli­gious his­to­ry of con­ser­vatism and pro­gres­sivism in the Unit­ed States. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @Theoanderson7.
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