GOP’s Hatch snaps at protesters for ‘insolence’ in Kavanaugh hearing
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) snapped at protesters who interrupted the first day of hearings for Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination on Tuesday, arguing the committee should not have to speak over their “insolence.”
“I don’t know that the committee should have to put up with the type of insolence taking place in this room today,” Hatch said to the committee chairman, as protesters shouted over Hatch’s speech supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Hatch referred to one individual as a “loud mouth” and said the person should be removed.
“Mr. Chairman, I think we ought to have this loud mouth removed,” Hatch said to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), drawing laughter from the committee room.
Hatch, a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, added that “we shouldn’t have to put up with this kind of stuff. I hope she’s not a law student.”
Protesters continued to interrupt Hatch as he spoke, appearing to be protesting from several different spots in the packed committee room.
“Kavanaugh is not to be trusted to keep an eye on the executive branch,” another protester screamed from the back of the room. Hatch raised his voice and continued speaking over the protesters.
He went on to apologize to Kavanaugh for suffering through “nonsense” at the hearing.
Sen. Orrin Hatch apologizes to Brett Kavanaugh for “nonsense” and “insolence” at hearing: “Unfortunately, we have all these interest groups screaming from the sidelines and putting pressure on my Democratic colleagues to make this hearing about politics” https://t.co/CvlhDQZlEX pic.twitter.com/Msrfl8NHpg
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 4, 2018
Another group of protesters chanted “no. No. No” and “show us the records,” prompting another round of backlash from Hatch, who appeared visibly annoyed.
Hatch added that the protesters were “so out of line they shouldn’t even be allowed into the doggone room.”
But Grassley dismissed Hatch’s question about protesters, saying he would depend on the Capitol Police to do their job of removing individuals disrupting the hearing.
More than 20 protesters, who were there to criticize Kavanaugh, were arrested earlier in the hearing, according to Capitol Police.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who spoke next, appeared to align himself with Hatch, noting he wouldn’t continue speaking if protesters interrupted him.
“I don’t care whose side they’re on,” he added.
-Updated 11:37 a.m.
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