Senate Democrats disrupted Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) opening statement during Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
A former lawyer for President George W. Bush released thousands of pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s service in the Bush White House hours before the nominee’s hearing on Tuesday morning. Grassley decided to move on with Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing despite the Democrats’ protestations. Senate Democrats moved to delay the hearing and called for the hearing to close.
“We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for a motion to adjourn. Blumenthal said if Chairman Grassley does not act on his motion to adjourn, the “process will be tainted and stained forever.”
Sen. Cory Booker asked, “What are we trying to hide by not letting these documents come out?”
Protesters during the hearing shouted that President Donald Trump is “an illegitimate president who cannot make an appointment to Supreme Court” and this “should be an impeachment hearing”:
WHAT's happening: One by one protesters, some clearly connected to each other, some not as much, are yelling and interrupting. One said this: "an illegitimate president cannot make an appointment to Supreme Court" "this should be an impeachment proceeding "
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) September 4, 2018
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said authorities have arrested 17 demonstrators who disrupted the hearing:
USCP tell me they have arrested 17 demonstrators who disrupted the Kavanaugh hearing
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 4, 2018
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) September 4, 2018
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) came out strongly against the Senate Democrats, saying they would “be held in contempt of court” if this were a courtroom.
“I don’t think this is fair to our judge. I don’t think this is fair to our constitutional process, but let me respond to those now, and then maybe we can proceed,” chairman Grassley said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch’s office tweeted on Tuesday, “Helpful reminder: Democrats didn’t show up to see sensitive documents that were made available to them, the idea the hearing should be delayed because they haven’t read material is quite laughable”:
Helpful reminder: Democrats didn't show up to see sensitive documents that were made available to them, the idea the hearing should be delayed because they haven't read material is quite laughable. #KavanaughConfirmation
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 4, 2018
The Senate Judiciary Committee Republican staff tweeted on Thursday that the Republican committee staff managed to review all of the Kavanaugh documents before the hearings. The Republican staff asked rhetorically, “The Minority says they need more time. Why can’t the Minority work as efficiently as the Majority?”:
The Minority receives the same amount of @SenJudiciary funds for resources/staff as the Majority. The Majority staff has reviewed all Kavanaugh documents. The Minority says they need more time. Why can't the Minority work as efficiently as the Majority? #DelayTactics #SCOTUS
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 4, 2018
Sen. Cornyn said this is one of the first Supreme Court nomination hearings run by “mob rule.”