Politics

Protesters Rile Kavanaugh Hearing

Opponents of Supreme Court nominee disrupt both Republican and Democratic remarks

Dozens of protesters were arrested Tuesday at the first confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Dozens of protesters were arrested Tuesday during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with Capitol Police steadily removing protesters from the hearing room after they stood and shouted at lawmakers and disrupted the proceedings.

As Kavanaugh sat stone-faced in the hearing room, the protesters urged Senators on the Judiciary Committee to vote against his confirmation and adjourn the hearing.

“Cancel Brett Kavanaugh. Adjourn the hearing,” shouted one protestor before being removed by Capitol Police.

“I need you to be a hero. Be a hero. Cancel this hearing,” yelled another protester while being led out of the hearing.

Watch: Protesters Interrupt Kavanaugh Hearing One After Another

Within the first 15 minutes of the hearing, protestors shouted and drowned out lawmakers. When one protestor was removed and the hearing was able to continue, more would erupt in shouts at the lawmakers.

“These people are so out of line, they shouldn't be allowed in the doggone room,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah.

Protests continued through opening remarks from the Republicans on the panel. Vermont Democrat Patrick J. Leahy was interrupted by a protester shouting about abortion and said he couldn't convey his message with the continued interruptions, “no matter what side they are on.”

Two hours into the hearing nearly all the seats for the public were empty after the occupants had been arrested.  People who had been waiting in line outside were led into the hearing room to fill the empty rows.  More protests are expected. 

“Hundreds of women from across the country are still in line waiting to access the Kavanaugh hearings -- and we will not stop,” said Women's March COO Rachel O’Leary Carmona in a statement.

There was a sizable Capitol Police presence at the hearing, with officers lining the back wall, ready to step in and remove the activists.

One of a dozen protesters dressed in The Handmaid's Tale costumes walks in a circle in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building during the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning, Sept. 4, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
One of a dozen protesters dressed in The Handmaid's Tale costumes walks in a circle in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building during the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh to be associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Protesters were lined up outside the hearing room, grouped with their advocacy groups as Senators entered the hearing. At least two dozen NARAL supporters and NAACP organizers stood on the balconies overlooking the entrance of the hearing room. They were joined by women dressed in red cloaks and white bonnets, representing handmaids from the book, movie and hit TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Women are disrupting this hearing today because our lives are at risk. Women will die if Kavanaugh is confirmed,” said Carmona. 

Watch: Democratic Delays, 2020 Hopefuls and Don't Forget About the Issues — What We're Watching at Kavanaugh's Hearing

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