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Protesters quietly suggest a 'Handmaid's Tale' in downtown Buffalo protest

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

While Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett was facing questions in Washington, several women lined up in downtown Buffalo Tuesday in a silent demonstration of their concern for Barrett's conservatism and what they fear it would mean if she is confirmed.

The women lined up at curbside outside the Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse, along the curve where Delaware Avenue leads into Niagara Square. They wore the red robes and white head covers featured in Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale. They also wore masks and stood several feet apart.

They said nothing, until one of them shared their mission with WBFO.

"We are at great risk for losing reproductive rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, our health care as it stands right now with the ACA, and environmental protections," said Heather Connor, one of the women dressed in red.

Coney Barrett is President Donald Trump's third Supreme Court nomination. Despite his moves to put conservative judges on the high court, it has not necessarily resulted in favorable rulings. Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, sided in decisions which have rankled the president.

WBFO asked Connor, does adding Coney Barrett necessarily mean the court that will consistently tilt toward politically conservative rulings?

"We have yet to see, but her history and the reason why Trump picked her seem to point in the direction that she will be very conservative," she replied.

Joining the protesters was a lone male who held up a sign protesting the current Senate confirmation hearings. Connor said the protesters also resent that the current Senate leadership, which four years ago derailed hearings for Merrick Garland by stating voters should influence the nomination process, were now rushing to confirm a nominee just before a presidential election.