Moments after confirmation hearings began Tuesday for Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, protesters interrupted the proceedings, causing a brief stint of chaos within the chamber.
Witin the first few minutes of the hearing, one of the protesters began to yell and held up a shirt that read, “Be a hero and cancel this hearing.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 4, 2018
Another woman yelled out that Kavanaugh would “overturn” her daughter’s future while holding up a T-shirt with pictures of her daughter. Still another yelled, “If you vote for Brett Kavanagh, we will replace you.”
One of the protesters took a shot at President Donald Trump and mentioned that he couldn’t nominate someone to the Supreme Court.
“An illegitimate president cannot make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” the woman said. She added that the hearing should be an “impeachment hearing.”
In total, Capitol police removed six women from the chamber who continued to yell as they were escorted out. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thanked the officers for their service, but then was faced with more protests from the Democratic senators.
Just seconds into his opening statement, Democrats began to interrupt Grassley and asked to postpone the hearings citing the fact that 42,000 Kavanaugh-related documents were released to the committee on Monday.
“Mr. Chairman, I would like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received just last night – less than 15 hours ago – thousands of documents that we have not had a chance to read or review or analyze. We cannot possibly move forward.” pic.twitter.com/IWSeM6AtNx
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 4, 2018
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker called the hearings “unconstitutional” while Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked that the hearing be adjourned because it will be “tainted and stained forever.”
NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt had previously reported that Democrats had coordinated a protest over the weekend for the hearings.
“Democrats plotted coordinated protest strategy over the holiday weekend and all agreed to disrupt and protest the hearing, sources tell me,” Hunt said via Twitter. “Dem leader [Chuck Schumer] led a phone call and committee members are executing now.”
Democrats plotted coordinated protest strategy over the holiday weekend and all agreed to disrupt and protest the hearing, sources tell me and @frankthorp
Dem leader @chuckschumer led a phone call and committee members are executing now
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) September 4, 2018
While Tuesday is the first day of hearings for the Supreme Court nominee, Grassley said the hearings could potentially last well into the weekend.
Fox News reported that Capitol police had arrested 17 protesters for their actions during the hearing.
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