Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing is barely underway, and it’s already the most tumultuous in recent history.
Outside the Senate hearing room, women stood in silent protest, dressed in red and white Handmaid’s Tale costumes. Numerous members of the public have disrupted the hearing all morning, standing up to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination inside the hearing room. They’ve raised a wide range of issues they believe his confirmation to the Supreme Court would threaten, including health care, abortion rights, democracy, and same-sex marriage. Some protesters came in pink togas. At least two dozen protesters have been arrested, according to various news reports.
“Hell Naw Kavanuagh! Hell naw Kavanaugh!” yelled a protester who declared herself a “preexisting condition” before police dragged her out of the hearing. “I fear for my ability to continue living,” screamed another woman who also said she has a preexisting condition. “I will die! I will die!” yelled a third.
“I had to leave my state of Missouri to get my abortion,” another protester shouted. “More women are going to die from back-alley abortions!”
“I had to have a background check to work in a laundromat!” one woman yelled, suggesting that the committee can’t vote on his nomination without more records from his time working in the administration of President George W. Bush.
Protesters who’d been removed from the hearing room and arrested made so much noise shouting anti-Kavanaugh chants that they managed to drown out Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as he gave an opening statement in his 15th and final Supreme Court confirmation hearing. (Hatch, the longest-serving GOP senator in US history, is retiring this year.)
Kavanaugh’s two daughters attended the early part of the hearing but were ushered out during some of the chaos. Their departure after the first hour was apparently planned, but the nominee no doubt appreciated that his children were spared from having to listen to repeated taunts from the audience that their father was a “fascist.”
No recent Supreme Court confirmation hearing has generated quite so much chaos or public opposition inside the hallowed halls of the Senate. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) dubbed the protests “the voice of democracy.”