RICHMOND, Va. -- Dozens filled the Capitol entrance on Bank Street a day after the Senate Courts of Justice Committee nominated former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for a state Supreme Court seat.
The self-professed “angry” protestors held signs that read “#KeepKenOut” and chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, Ken Cuccinelli has got to go,” Wednesday morning.
Progress VA Executive Director Anna Scholl lead the chants calling for legislators to vote against the Cuccinelli nomination.
“He’s manipulated the law to attack women's health and access to healthcare, to attack LGBT Virginians, and to attack the environment,” Scholl said.
Cuccinelli is seen as a Tea Party hero who has waged wars against abortion and Obamacare.
At a National School Breakfast Week Event at Miles Jones Elementary in Richmond, Governor Terry McAuliffe told CBS 6 he was surprised by the nomination.
“I'm a little shocked by it," McAuliffe said. "We just don't need someone on the supreme court who has had extreme views that are out of the mainstream.”
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.
Sen. Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond, backed Cuccinelli: “As a former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Mr. Cuccinelli is eminently qualified for this position. For that same reason, I will vote for him on the floor of the senate when his nomination comes before the full body,” Sturtevant said in a statement.
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.
Cuccinelli said he will “prayerfully review” the nomination.
“I have been approached to consider an appointment to the Virginia Supreme Court," he wrote. "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.”
The resolution is expected to go to the full Senate and House of Delegates for a vote Wednesday.