Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) once again defended the protesters who have disrupted Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, calling them “one of the costs of democracy.”
I also want to say a word about the protesters who have interrupted the hearing from time to time. As I said at the outset, this is one of the costs of democracy. It is one which the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been constructed for the purpose of defending our Constitution, should value, even when it’s inconvenient. I go could into a long riff here, but I won’t, in the interests of time. I don’t know who organized these protests, or why they did it, but thank goodness, in the United States of America, where we venerate free speech, these things can happen. I want to thank the men and women of the Capitol Police, and those who have been in charge of our security during this period of time as well.
Several protesters interrupted the hearing Thursday:
As Grassley begins his questioning, a protester is hauled out yelling, “Americans will die without healthcare! A judge should protect us! Shame, shame, shame!”
Seconds later, another is dragged out yelling, “Save Democracy, say no to Kavanaugh!” pic.twitter.com/FcveXEDYD3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 6, 2018
On Tuesday, Durbin backed protesters who disrupted the hearing — even though their presence caused Kavanaugh’s 10- and 13-year-old daughters to be removed early from the room. He said on that occasion:
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.
Durbin also admitted Tuesday that Senate Democrats had plotted beforehand, in a weekend conference call, to disrupt the proceedings.
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.