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Heidi in the middle: Groups on both sides of the issue hold local events to sway senator’s vote on Supreme Court nominee

Marilyn Musgrave, a former congresswoman and now the vice president of government affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, spoke in Fargo on Monday, Aug. 6, urging Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Dave Olson/The Forum

FARGO – Members of several anti-abortion advocacy groups gathered outside the Federal Building in downtown Fargo on Monday, Aug. 6, to urge Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to vote for confirmation of President Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The rally came on the heels of an event held in Fargo last week in which activists opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation encouraged the public to write letters to Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, urging her to vote no on Kavanaugh. The event garnered about 40 letters that were delivered to the senator's campaign office on Broadway on Thursday, Aug. 2.

At Monday’s event, Marilyn Musgrave, a former Republican Congresswoman from Colorado and now vice president of government affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion organization, said Heitkamp earlier voted to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, so “it just makes sense that she would vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”

The Susan B. Anthony List helped organize Monday’s event, along with other groups, including Concerned Women for America.

Linda Thorson, North Dakota state director for Concerned Women for America, said Kavanaugh is “abundantly qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court.

Mark Jorritsma, of the Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota, said confirming Kavanaugh is what North Dakota wants and what families want.

Bridget Hobbs, a student at the University of Mary in Bismarck and a member of an anti-abortion group on campus, urged Heitkamp to promise to vote yes on Kavanaugh.

“We are the pro-life generation,” Hobbs said.

Musgrave said North Dakota’s voter support for President Trump in the 2016 election was a mandate for Heitkamp to support his nominee.

“The people in North Dakota gave a very good message they wanted this man as president, and now I believe they want him nominating yet another well-qualified judge to the bench.” Musgrave said.

Heitkamp is scheduled to meet with Kavanaugh on Aug. 15. She has said she will use the meeting “as part of a thorough and exhaustive review” of Kavanaugh’s qualifications.