Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) defended the protests that interrupted the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as the “noise of democracy” — minutes after admitting that he and fellow Democrats had coordinated disruptions to the hearing.
Durbin, delivering his opening statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee, addressed Kavanaugh directly, explaining that if the judge’s children — who had to leave the room — had been frightened by the protests, that was too bad:
This is a different hearing for the Supreme Court than I’ve ever been through. It’s different in what’s happened in this room, just this morning. What we’ve heard is the noise of democracy. This is what happens in a free country, when people can stand up and speak, and not be jailed, imprisoned, tortured, or killed because of it. It is not mob rule. There have been times when it is uncomfortable — I’m sure it was for your children, I hope you can explain this to them at some point — but it does represent what we are about in this democracy.
(The reference to “mob rule” was an allusion to criticism of Democrats’ tactics by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) moments before.)
Durbin went on to say that the protests inside the hearing room were justified because there was “real, genuine concern about [Kavanaugh] changing life-and-death values of this country.” He added that “over and above all those things,” there was outrage that President Donald Trump was “contemptuous of the rule of law.”
Earlier, Durbin had admitted that Senate Democrats had held a conference call over the Labor Day weekend to coordinate disruptions to the hearing. The anti-Trump, Democrat-aligned Women’s March also claimed credit for the disruptions.
In 2010, Durbin urged the IRS to stop conservative non-profit groups from claiming tax-exempt status — effectively shutting them down. Durbin also sent an intimidating letter in 2013 to donors to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), demanding that they state their position on “stand your ground” laws. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called Durbin’s campaign “an inappropriate governmental intrusion into the personal and political views of American citizens and businesses.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.