A Saturday afternoon women’s march to protest President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee was called off after Minnesota officials warned organizers they would need to take steps to avoid violating COVID-19 restrictions.
The state Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Health learned that the event had 350 reservations, exceeding the 250 permitted at outdoor gatherings, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office.
Meanwhile, a smaller rally taking the opposite position — calling for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett — took place as scheduled Saturday morning.
About three dozen people gathered outside the DFL headquarters in St. Paul, most wearing face masks, waving pro-Barrett signs and chanting, “Fill the seat!”
The morning event, organized by a group called Minnesota Trump Victory, demanded that Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar “do their job and work with Senate Republicans” to confirm Barrett, the group said in a news release.
James Carson of White Bear Lake, a rally participant, called Barrett “one of the brightest legal minds of the 21st century … at least as qualified as Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” the late justice whose seat Barrett would fill.
Carson said he believes Barrett would stick to the Supreme Court’s job of “following the rule of law [and] interpreting the Constitution the way it’s written.” He said he believes that the court has stepped outside that role in recent years.
Also attending was Matt Dean of Dellwood, who likes that Barrett has school-age children and that unlike other current justices, attended neither Harvard nor Yale (she attended Rhodes College in Memphis and Notre Dame Law School in Indiana)
As for the called-off March for Black, Trans, Indigenous and Brown Women, spokesman John Stiles said the Attorney General’s Office does not seek out potentially violating events, and only contacts organizers if it hears about them.
In the past several months, officials have contacted organizers of more than 70 large events, “everything from sporting events and car shows to flea markets, campaign events, and dog shows” to ask them to comply with state requirements, a statement from the Attorney General’s Office said.
Katy Read • 612-673-4583