It took less than a minute for Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court hearing to devolve into chaos.
Before Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) even uttered a full sentence welcoming Kavanaugh as his confirmation hearing began on Tuesday, Democrats launched their resistance to President Trump's nominee. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) immediately interrupted Grassley, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for the hearing to be adjourned, and protesters loudly exclaimed their disapproval during it all.
Harris launched a wave of Democrats speaking over Grassley to question why thousands of pages of Kavanaugh's lengthy judicial records hadn't been released, and why they're having a hearing when 42,000 more pages of those records were unveiled at 11 p.m. Monday. Unreleased records have been the basis of Democrats' arguments against Kavanaugh since he was nominated in July.
Grassley gave a few weak gavel taps and tried to speak over Harris, prompting Blumenthal to move to adjourn. Without the documents, this hearing is a "charade and a mockery of our norms," Blumenthal said, drawing applause from the audience.
Harris, Klobuchar, and Blumenthal immediately object to the fact that they just received 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh. Ask for hearing to be postponed.
Chairman Grassley just talks over them and continues his introduction. pic.twitter.com/HNNENZqCyf
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 4, 2018
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was the next to step in, saying Grassley's "decency and integrity" should compel him to stop the hearing. "You are taking advantage of my decency and integrity," Grassley shot back. A slew of protesters loudly voiced their displeasure.
CLIP: @SenJudiciary #Kavanaugh hearing begins with protests from the public and @SenateDems.
Sen. @ChuckGrassley: "You are taking advantage of my decency and integrity."#SCOTUS #KavanaughConfirmation pic.twitter.com/BFkyGc8B4X
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 4, 2018
Things settled slightly when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Judiciary Committee's ranking member, began her opening statement — but the tense mood persisted. Watch the hearing at C-SPAN. Kathryn Krawczyk