Before the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings even began, a group of women wearing costumes in the style of the hit TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale” silently protested outside of the hearing room.
Their demonstration was to highlight their concerns over Kavanaugh’s stance on abortion rights and Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationwide.
Women dressed in Handmaid’s Tale costumes outside day 1 of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing —> pic.twitter.com/jwaLXmcU3S
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 4, 2018
Dozens of protesters were also present inside the hearing and made their opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination quite clear, shouting over Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley as he attempted to get the ball rolling.
And things were tense on Wednesday, too, as protesters sporadically interrupted Kavanaugh’s first full day of questioning.
Here’s how the first two days unfolded:
Kavanaugh’s nomination is being widely opposed over concerns he would undermine abortion rights.
Kavanaugh’s judicial record suggests he opposes Roe v. Wade, which has been a point of concern for many since President Donald Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court in July.
The hearing had barely begun on Tuesday when protesters began shouting for Senators to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Protesters shouted, “Senators, we demand you vote no,” during the hearing.
“This should be an impeachment proceeding and not a confirmation hearing,” another protester was heard shouting.
Most of the protesters appeared to be women.
But there were also some male protesters in attendance.
Kavanaugh sat in silence and stared straight ahead as Capitol Police dragged protesters out of the room.
At least 70 protesters were arrested on Tuesday, including one person in a wheelchair.
The protesters were reportedly charged with disorderly conduct.
The Women’s March said “hundreds of women” were “prepared to get arrested” at the hearing to keep Kavanaugh from getting confirmed.
Source: Women’s March/Twitter
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch became visibly perturbed by the demonstrators during the hearing and at one point referred to one of the women as a “loudmouth” and called for her to be removed.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz apologised to Kavanaugh and his daughters, who were present for the hearing, for having to “endure the political circus of this morning.” Kavanaugh’s daughters subsequently left the hearing, but had reportedly planned to do so.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats on the panel staged their own protest of sorts, calling for the hearing to be adjourned after contending they hadn’t been given ample time to review documents on Kavanaugh.
Democrats also called for unreleased documents to be provided for review, repeatedly saying Republicans have only made 4% of the hundreds of thousands of documents on Kavanaugh’s record public.
Source: Kamala Harris/Twitter
Grassley, who grew visibly frustrated at both the protesters and his Democratic colleagues, dismissed the motion for the hearing to be adjourned.
The beginning of the hearing was so hectic that Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said it was like the committee was under “mob rule.”
Source: The New York Times
The protests continued into the second day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.
Police promptly removed protesters as they shouted over the hearing. At least one of the protesters yelled: “Sham president, sham justice!”
Grassley defended the demonstrator’s right to free speech, but simultaneously accused them of interrupting the “other 300 million people listening” to the proceedings.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings are expected to last all week.
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