Tuesday is the first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it was promptly overtaken by a group of Democratic lawmakers and protesters delayed the actual start of the proceedings by more than an hour.
According to U.S. Capitol Police, 22 protesters were arrested, including Linda Sarsour.
When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley tried to move forward with his opening remarks, Democratic California Senator Kamala Harris immediately raised objections to the committee having just received a batch of 42,000 documents relating to Kavanaugh’s work with past administrations.
Grassley told Harris that she was “out of order,” but others soon backed her, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who actually moved to adjourn. Sen. Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also chimed in stressing that she believed the hearing should be postponed since they had received the documents less than 15 hours ago, according to Klobuchar.
TRANSCRIPT OF OPENING REMARKS:
GRASSLEY: “Good morning. I welcome everyone to this confirmation hearing on the nomination of —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— Brett Kavanaugh –”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— to serve as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized for a question before we proceed. Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received just last night less than 15 hours ago —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, regular order.”
HARRIS: “— 42.000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze.”
GRASSLEY: “You are out of order. I will proceed.”
HARRIS: “We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman. We have not been given the opportunity to have a meaningful hearing with Congress nominee–“[cross-talk]
GRASSLEY: “I extend a very warm welcome to Judge Kavanaugh, to his wife Ashley, their two daughters –[cross-talk]
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I agree with my colleague, senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, we received 42.000 documents tat we haven’t been able to review —”
GRASSLEY: “— And everyone else joining us today.”
UNKNOWN: ” and we believe this hearing should be postponed —”
GRASSLEY: “I know this is an exciting day for all of you here and your you’re rightly proud —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, if we cannot be recognized I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn.”
GRASSLEY: “— From Judge Kavanaugh —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, we have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise —” (Audience cheering)
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, we have been denied the real access to the documents we need —[cross-talk] which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms and, Mr. Chairman, I therefore move to adjourn this hearing.”
AUDIENCE: “This is a mockery. This is a travesty of justice. Cancel Brett Kavanaugh, adjourn the hearing. [ indecipherable].”
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, I ask for a roll call vote on my motion to adjourn.”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “‘[indecipherable]'”
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. I ask for a roll call vote.”
GRASSLEY: “We are not in executive session. We will continue as planned.”
While some in the audience began to clap, others decided this was the perfect time to stand up and begin shouting, cause you know, “Muh feelings.”
The circus began with Linda Sarsour standing and calling the hearing-among other choice words- a “mockery.”
“This is a mockery and a travesty of justice. This is a travesty of justice and will not go back. Cancel Brett Kavanaugh, adjourn the hearing,” screamed Sarsour. A number of other female protesters who were sitting with Sarsour began to scream and yell, and literally threw themselves onto the floor like toddlers throwing a temper tantrum.
“Senators, we demand you vote no,” one protester yelled.
Another urged senators to “be a hero and cancel this year.”
“This should be an impeachment proceeding and not a confirmation hearing,” another said.
Actress Piper Perabo was also arrested for her outbursts, yet was able to tweet about it apparently shortly after:
“I was just arrested for civil disobedience in the Kavanaugh hearings.
Many citizens before me have fought for the equal rights of women. I can’t be silent when someone is nominated to the Supreme Court who would take our equal rights away.#StopKavanagh“-Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo)
I was just arrested for civil disobedience in the Kavanaugh hearings.
Many citizens before me have fought for the equal rights of women. I can’t be silent when someone is nominated to the Supreme Court who would take our equal rights away.#StopKavanaghpic.twitter.com/f3SG7gmVam
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) September 4, 2018
The protesters were charged with disorderly conduct, according to a Capitol Police spokeswoman, who added that there would be an update provided at the end of the day.
With Kavanaugh’s young daughters in the front row next to their mother, Ashley she can be seen leaning over talking to Liza, probably trying to explain what they had just witnessed with the protesters.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker spoke up, complaining of a “rush,” to which Grassley responded, “I think you are taking advantage of my decency and my integrity.”
“This is the first confirmation hearing subject to mob rule,” said Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who suggested the Democrats being “held in contempt of court” if they continued to behave that way while in a court of law.
After over an hour and fifteen minutes, Grassley was able to move past the delays by both the protesters and Democrats and was able to deliver his opening statement, having to try and speak over the yelling from protesters, who were being escorted out of the room in the process.
There were a total of 63 interruptions before the break for lunch.
When Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch tried to deliver his remarks, protesters started up once again.
While attempting to deliver his remarks, Hatch paused to say, “I think we ought to have this loudmouth removed…”We shouldn’t have to put up with this kind of stuff.”
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