RICHMOND, Va. — A protest at Capitol grounds was announced just hours after the Senate Courts of Justice Committee nominated former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for a state Supreme Court seat.
The resolution is expected to go to the full Senate and House of Delegates for a vote Wednesday.
Planned Parenthood of Virginia announced a protest at 9 a.m., at the Capitol Bank Street Entrance.
Democrats and women’s health organizations immediately launched an offensive attack, challenging the conservative nominee’s previous record. They said that Cuccinelli “has spent his entire career working to dismantle and restrict the fundamental, constitutionally-protected rights of Virginia women and their families.”
“Ken Cuccinelli holds some of the most extreme views on women’s health care,” said Planned Parenthood. “He opposes women’s access to affordable birth control, emergency contraception, and safe and legal abortion.”
“He is not just unqualified to serve on the Virginia Supreme Court – he is disqualified,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “This is a man who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and who as Attorney General grossly and intentionally misinterpreted Virginia law in an attempt to shutter Virginia women’s health centers. How dare these legislators claim to support due process and the Commonwealth’s women, while simultaneously supporting a partisan ideologue with a proven record of putting his political agenda before the law. This nomination is an unprecedented political attack on Virginia’s women, and we will do everything possible to stop it.”
Cuccinelli has been nominated to a seat currently filled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recess appointment. McAuliffe’s appointment of Supreme Court Justice Jane Marum Roush, a former Fairfax Circuit Court judge, has lapsed.
State Sen. Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond, backed Cuccinelli. Sturtevant was the one key vote against Alston’s nomination. He was elected to the Senate in 2015, by a 1,088-vote win over his Democratic opponent Daniel Gecker.
The Supreme Court seats are appointed by the General Assembly. The governor can not veto.
Cuccinelli said he will “prayerfully review” the nomination.
“I have been approached to consider an appointment to the Virginia Supreme Court. I am humbled and honored to be considered for such a position, but it is not something that my wife and I have previously contemplated. Together, we will prayerfully review this possibility in light of our family’s needs and whether or not this is the best way for us to contribute to making Virginia a better place to live going forward.”