Our Rights, Our Courts New Hampshire Presidential Forum

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Saturday, February 8, 2020 at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, NH.

8 CANDIDATES:  Bennet, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Patrick, Sanders, Steyer, Warren, Yang.

Background:  This forum addressed "the candidates’ approach towards the courts and our rights that are at risk, with a particular focus on reproductive rights."

February 8, 2020


WASHINGTON, DC—The “Our Rights, Our Courts” presidential forum concluded Saturday after eight candidate interviews and remarks from the co-sponsoring organizations.

The event’s anchor, NBC and MSNBC’S Stephanie Ruhle, and HuffPost’s Jen Bendery spoke with and asked questions of Senator Michael Bennet, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Governor Deval Patrick, Senator Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

The forum was hosted by a group of New Hampshire civic leaders, Demand Justice Initiative, Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and All* Above All Action Fund, with MSNBC as the media co-sponsor.

“This first-of-its-kind forum is a testament to how critical the courts are to the future of our country, and to how many Americans recognize that any issue they care about will ultimately come down to the courts. With the Supreme Court poised to hear so many crucial cases, it's clearer than ever that voters deserve to hear candidates' plans for the courts. We're thrilled so many presidential candidates took this opportunity to share their views,” said Brian Fallon, Executive Director of Demand Justice, a progressive advocacy group working to restore the ideological balance of the federal courts.

“The Federal Courts and the Supreme Court have played a critical role in protecting women’s access to and decision-making about reproductive healthcare as a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution and federal laws. Indeed, this year there are high-stakes cases before the Supreme Court concerning access to abortion care and insurance coverage for contraception. This is the first presidential forum to focus on the important role of the federal judiciary in the protection of our rights,” said Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup.
"A little over a year ago, Brett Kavanaugh tipped the balance of power on the Supreme Court, amidst massive public outcry from NARAL members and Americans all across the country. It’s not just the Supreme Court: Anti-choice politicians have stacked the courts with ideologues hostile to Roe v. Wade in a decades-long campaign to chip away at the right to access abortion.

Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 election, our freedoms hang in the balance. The damage done to our democracy and our courts by Trump and Mitch McConnell, at the behest of the radical right, won’t be easily undone. This moment demands bold, creative thinking and an unwavering commitment to reproductive freedom,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue.

“From state abortion bans and the decades-old Hyde Amendment that denies affordable abortion care to those already marginalized by our health care system, to the recent attacks on private coverage for abortion, the stakes for women of color could not be higher. Legal abortion established by Roe v. Wade is the floor. Our communities still need access to abortion,” said Morgan Hopkins, Senior National Campaigns Manager of All* Above All Action Fund.

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CONCORD, NH—On Saturday, February 8, 2020 starting at 8 am ET, the "Our Rights, Our Courts" forum will welcome eight presidential candidates to the New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Concord Community College. Stephanie Ruhle of NBC News and MSNBC will moderate, joined by Jennifer Bendery of HuffPost.

The forum is being sponsored by a group of New Hampshire civic leaders, as well as Demand Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and All* Above All Action Fund. MSNBC will serve as a media co-sponsor.

The program will begin at 8 am ET. Participants will then be interviewed on stage for approximately 30 minutes each, beginning with former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 8:30 am.

tentative schedule:
7:00AM: General doors open
8:00AM: Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:30AM: Pete Buttigieg
9:00AM: Andrew Yang
9:30AM: Tom Steyer
10:00AM: Bernie Sanders
10:30AM: Michael Bennet
11:00AM: Amy Klobuchar
11:30AM: Elizabeth Warren
12:00PM: Deval Patrick

About this Event

This will be the first forum of the 2020 election addressing the candidates’ approach towards the courts and our rights that are at risk, with a particular focus on reproductive rights.

Please join forum co-chairs Bill Shaheen and Kathy Sullivan, as well as Host Committee members State Senator Martha Fuller Clark, former NH Senate President Sylvia Larsen, former NH House Speaker Terie Norelli, former NH Representative Judy Reardon, and New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff on February 8.

Confirmed candidates so far include: Senator Michael Bennet, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Governor Deval Patrick, businessman Tom Steyer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang .

National event co-sponsors include Demand Justice Initiative, Center for Reproductive Rights, and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Seating will be limited, but members of the public may fill out this form to apply for a seat.