Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and representatives from some of the state’s progressive organizations rallied Monday morning in advance of President Trump’s planned announcement Tuesday of a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Advocates are worried that Trump’s nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia will take radical positions against voting rights; abortion; gay, lesbian and transgender rights; and environmental protection laws. Pingree was joined at a press conference in Portland by representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Maine Conservation Voters and Planned Parenthood.

Trump may have moved his nomination announcement ahead of schedule to distract from an executive order last Friday that placed a ban on people coming to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries and put a temporary stop to refugee resettlement, Pingree said.

“I can say without reservations, the president will not be able to distract Americans’ attention from the anger they are feeling at this most un-American action,” said Pingree, who represents the 1st District.

The Trump administration has said the entry ban from terror-prone countries is temporary while it reviews vetting procedures to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists.” Over the weekend, green card holders and other permanent U.S. residents were prevented from entering the country by Customs and Border Protection agents at several airports carrying out the executive order. The administration’s move triggered protests at major U.S. international airports, as federal judges partially stayed the order Saturday night. More than 2,000 people protested Sunday at the Portland International Jetport.

The president “mysteriously selected” seven countries – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya – but not the three countries from which the 9/11 terrorists came and none where Trump has business interests, Pingree added.

Many of her colleagues are worried that a ban on immigration that appears to target Muslims will send the wrong message to people who want to work with the U.S. to fight terrorism, Pingree added. It was a close family member who contacted authorities about Adnan Fazeli, an Iranian man who lived in Freeport before joining the Islamic State and dying during fighting in Lebanon in 2014, Pingree said.

“I think a lot of my colleagues are very fearful that we are going to lose that kind of information,” Pingree said during the press conference at the University of Maine School of Law. “This is really going to be seen as the wrong way to go.”

Responding to a question about an online petition from almost 1,400 Portland residents urging city leaders not to cooperate with Trump administration orders for deportation of immigrants, Pingree said she was interested in the idea, but it would be up to the city of Portland to decide on a policy.

Zachary Heiden, legal director at the ACLU of Maine, said the Trump administration appeared to be using executive orders to make policy without clearing them through relevant departments and agencies.

“Executive orders are a routine part of governing – they are not in themselves a cause for alarm,” Heiden said.

“But when they are ordered without proper vetting by the administration, that is a problem,” he added. “The government has to be making decisions based on evidence, and so far we haven’t seen any evidence that is the case.”

Beth Stickney, former director and founder of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland, said America’s founders created checks and balances as safeguards so it would not fall into autocracy, and that Trump’s Supreme Court pick should safeguard the rights of all people.

“The judiciary serves as a bulwark against executive overreach,” she said.

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