Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings began on Tuesday morning, and they’re off to quite a contentious start. Starting with the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s attempt to temporarily delay the proceedings, a group of protesters then began steadily interrupted the flow of the hearing, calling out their opposition to Kavanaugh’s conservative politics.
Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch—a man I am shocked is still alive!—was extremely offended by the people exercising their democratic right to protest. After one woman was being escorted out by police, Hatch railed on the protester who interrupted his paean to the man whom he called a “smart, decent, normal person,” saying, “Mr. Chairman, I think we ought to have this loudmouth removed. We shouldn’t have to put up with this kind of stuff. I hope she’s not a law student.”
The protesters’ anti-Kavanaugh stance is more in line with the American public than Hatch and other Republicans would care to admit. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 39 percent of the public doesn’t want Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court versus 38 percent who do, with the rest undecided. As ABC News noted, “Only two nominees have had weaker public support: Harriet Miers, who withdrew her nomination, in 2005; and Robert Bork, rejected by the Senate in 1987.”
As of the time of publication, more than 20 protesters have been escorted out and arrested by Capitol Hill Police after interrupting the hearings, including one woman from Illinois in a wheelchair who called out her concerns over her pre-existing condition. According to organizers of the Women’s March, hundreds of women are prepared to get arrested during the hearings.
You can watch the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, which will extend through the week, here.