Speed Reads

Law And Order

A woman is on trial for laughing when a senator said Jeff Sessions treats 'all Americans equally'

A woman is on trial this week for laughing during Jeff Sessions' congressional confirmation hearing in January when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) attested the attorney general nominee had a record of "treating all Americans equally under the law." Desiree Fairooz, 61, is accused of "disorderly and disruptive conduct" that was intended to "impede, disrupt, and disturb the orderly conduct" of the hearing, The Huffington Post reports.

Fairooz is an activist associated with the group Code Pink, but she said she had not planned to disrupt the hearing. Writer Elizabeth Croydon dismissed Fairooz's charges on Twitter, claiming "if my hero Desiree Fairooz wanted to make a scene, she would have made a scene. Desiree just had an involuntary reaction to a bogus lie that was told bold-faced in front of the American people. Jefferson Sessions has a record of not treating every American equally."

A rookie officer who had never worked at a congressional hearing or arrested someone before was responsible for arresting Fairooz. On Tuesday, an attorney asked the officer, Katherine Coronado, if Fairooz's laughter was "loud enough to draw your attention" or if it made people turn around. Coronado agreed it had, and said Fairooz had been laughing "very loudly."

In a video of her arrest, Fairooz can be seen expressing surprise at the reaction of the officers. "Why am I being taken out of here?" she wanted to know as she was escorted her out. "I was going to be quiet, and now you're going to have me arrested? For what?"