Democratic lawmakers staged multiple protests during a Senate Judiciary Committee vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court on Friday — a move that many called to delay in the wake of a raw and emotional hearing on sexual assault allegations that happened Thursday.
A number of Judiciary Democrats including Sens. Kamala Harris (CA), Mazie Hirono (HI), and Richard Blumenthal (CT) walked out of the committee meeting, as debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination was just getting underway. The majority of the committee’s Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Patrick Leahy (VT) and Cory Booker (NJ) stayed behind, however. The vote is scheduled for 1:30 pm.
Several women lawmakers from the House were also in attendance, including Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Barbara Lee. They stood up as lawmakers were speaking in an apparent show of their disagreement.
Democrats have repeatedly called for Republicans to press pause on the Kavanaugh nomination until an FBI investigation can be conducted into numerous allegations of sexual misconduct that have been brought against Kavanaugh. It’s a message that was echoed by the American Bar Association on Thursday, an industry body that’s been repeatedly cited for its endorsement of Kavanaugh’s qualifications. Republicans have declined to heed such calls.
Instead, conservatives appear to be barreling forward with Kavanaugh’s nomination, which will hit the Senate floor for a procedural vote on Saturday regardless of how the committee vote goes on Friday. Despite the explosive testimony from Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday — when she said she was “100 percent” sure that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school — Republican leadership has been as determined as ever to push him through.
Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied all allegations. For many Republicans, that seems to be enough.
“The Senate failed Anita Hill, who I believed,” said Leahy. “Today, we’re doing worse.”