Iowa City protesters rail against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination

Several community members came out Thursday to the Old Capitol to protest Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Community+members+gather+on+the+steps+of+the+Old+Capitol+in+Iowa+City+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+27%2C+2018+to+protest+the+nomination+of+Judge+Brett+Kavanaugh+to+the+Supreme+Court.+Protesters+spoke+in+support+of+victims+of+sexual+violence+and+shared+personal+stories+about+coming+forward+as+victims+of+sexual+violence.
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Iowa City protesters rail against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination

Community members gather on the steps of the Old Capitol in Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Protesters spoke in support of victims of sexual violence and shared personal stories about coming forward as victims of sexual violence.

Community members gather on the steps of the Old Capitol in Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Protesters spoke in support of victims of sexual violence and shared personal stories about coming forward as victims of sexual violence.

Nick Rohlman

Community members gather on the steps of the Old Capitol in Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Protesters spoke in support of victims of sexual violence and shared personal stories about coming forward as victims of sexual violence.

Nick Rohlman

Nick Rohlman

Community members gather on the steps of the Old Capitol in Iowa City on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Protesters spoke in support of victims of sexual violence and shared personal stories about coming forward as victims of sexual violence.

Aadit Tambe, News Reporter

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Several community members assembled at the Old Capitol Thursday morning, flashing placards and chanting “cancel Kavanaugh” to denounce the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

This was followed by speeches from University of Iowa students, faculty, and Iowa City community members.

President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court following Justice Anthony Kennedy’s resignation. Three women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by Kavanaugh.

RELATED: Kavanaugh hearing: Sen. Grassley responds to calls for FBI investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations

Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women who has come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, and Kavanaugh testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice is scheduled for Friday.

“I am here to say to our senators and congressmen and the president that Judge Kavanaugh ought not to be confirmed,” community member Aaron Silander said. “This is a very important position.”

I hate that another woman is going not only no believed but being smeared and denigrated as she has come forward with legitimate charges that deserved and official investigation”

— Leslie Schwalm, community member

Silander said the Supreme Court nominee will be making important decisions, some of which will be on sexual assault. The nominee should therefore have an untarnished record, Silander said.

UI student Nicholas Schnerre said he is a survivor of sexual assault. He said he supports Anita Hill and Ford for what they have done for women.

Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 after accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Some have drawn comparisons between Hill’s allegations and testimony 27 years ago to Ford’s allegations today.

“It shows that sexual assault can happen to anybody,” Schnerre said. “I hate the victim blaming that’s happening right now. I was trialed when I was sexually assaulted. What I was wearing didn’t matter… Nobody really asks to be assaulted.”

Leslie Schwalm, a community member, said she wants survivors to be believed and to raise awareness in society.

“I hate that another woman is [not going to be] believed but being smeared and denigrated as she has come forward with legitimate charges that deserved and official investigation,” she said.

Community member Liana Reimer protested with a poster that said ‘KAVANOPE.’

“We’re calling for a full FBI investigation,” she said. “We are voters, they see us coming … and midterms are just month away, and there are going to be riots from women and we are going to vote them out of office.”

RELATED: Senate Judiciary Committee to take Kavanaugh allegations ‘step by step’

Candice Kleppe said it is important to stand in solidarity with sexual-assault survivors.

“I think this is not just a gender problem, but a problem for our society,” she said. “It is happening everywhere. Especially for people who are going to [be] in high offices and high courts, they need to be held accountable.”

Johnson County Supervisor Janelle Rettig spoke at the protest and encouraged attendees to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

“I have watched … every minute of the Anita Hill hearing, and I believe Anita Hill,” she said. “I believed her then and I believe her now. All I can say is let’s get our s**t together and march to the polls and make sure this never happens again.”