The 11 white male Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday rushed to bring Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination up for a vote. Women lawmakers reacted by standing, walking out, and speaking out in protest.
When committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called to move the committee vote up to 1:30 pm Friday, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) refused to answer. Then, Harris and three other Democratic senators walked out of the hearing room.
Meanwhile, Democratic members of the House stood up during the hearing in protest. As police threatened to remove them from the room, one lawmaker reportedly said: “If you touch us… I’d like to see that.”
A group of House Democratic women stand in silent protest of the Judiciary vote on Kavanaugh before leaving the room while police watch. pic.twitter.com/D69KlXI92Y
— Alex Bolton (@alexanderbolton) September 28, 2018
One of the lawmakers, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), wrote on Twitter that she was sitting in the hearing to demand that the committee stop the vote. “We heard the words of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” she wrote. “We witnessed her bravery and her pain.”
The women lawmakers eventually left the room, escorted by security.
They weren’t the only people protesting in the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Capitol police began making arrests of protesters in the hallways, one day after dozens of protesters were arrested during Ford and Kavanaugh’s Thursday testimony.
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) September 28, 2018
Inside the hearing, Democratic senators used their time to scold Republicans for setting a terrible example for sexual assault survivors. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked why victims would come forward if they don’t think they will be believed.
“It feels like Alice in Wonderland in here today,” he said. “It’s almost surreal.”