Patience was already wearing thin after a few hours of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Tuesday.
Lawmakers at the Senate Judiciary Committee's chaotic hearing for President Trump's Supreme Court pick were treated to a wild ride from the very moment the hearing began, and committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was at the center of it all. Grassley tried in vain to keep the hearing moving, but protests from Democrats and audience members made it a tricky event to referee.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) strongly rebuked Democrats for "disrupting" the process, accusing them of trying to dismantle the hearing by "mob rule" and saying they "would be held in contempt of court" if it were a court hearing. By the time he jumped in to criticize Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Grassley was fed up.
Cornyn complained that Blumenthal had gone on too long, leaving Grassley to admit that he had long since abandoned all hope of running the hearing by the usual standards. "I was hoping that the 10-minute rule [for speaking] would stand, but we got off to a very bad start," he said, explaining that he couldn't cut anyone off now, because he hadn't right at the beginning. "Like you said, 'mob rule' ... either you run the committee or the committee runs you, and I let the committee run me this time."