Protesters oppose Kavanaugh in Washington and other cities
WASHINGTON – Protesters opposed to the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court flocked to Washington on Saturday, and protests were scheduled as well in other cities across the country.
Crowds started forming in front of the Supreme Court and at the US Capitol around 9 a.m. ET and grew through the morning.
Some protesters returned to the steps of the Capitol early Saturday afternoon, and an undetermined number were detained. Video showed them lined up, with wrists cuffed behind their backs on the Capitol lawn. Police cleared the steps and the Capitol Plaza, and the protesters head back to the Supreme Court.
More than 300 have been arrested in anti-Kavanaugh protests this week in the nation’s capital.
Demonstrators arrested Saturday who were arrested earlier — and paid a fine and were released — will not be allowed to pay a fine and go free again, Capitol Police told CNN. Instead, they will be taken to central booking, where they will remain until Tuesday, because Monday is a federal holiday. This policy also would apply to those who disturb the Senate floor from the gallery.
Anyone arrested Saturday for the first time can pay a fine and be on their way, police said.
The Senate vote was expected to be held midafternoon. Kavanaugh’s confirmation appeared to be a sure thing after Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they would support him.
Demonstrators held signs calling Kavanaugh a bad nominee because of sexual assault allegations against him and saying the selection process seemed to be biased against women. One woman displayed a sign saying “Predators Club” with pictures of Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas and President Donald Trump.
Protesters have confronted lawmakers on the street and in elevators throughout the week. It was not known if they would employ that tactic Saturday or try to get inside the Capitol.
A demonstration scheduled for Saturday outside Collins’ office in Portland, Maine, was canceled.
A group gathered there Friday and fell silent when she announced her decision, CNN affiliate WGME reported.
“It’s just this feeling of being utterly ignored,” Jenny O’Connell of Portland told WGME on Friday. “Susan Collins just made a huge choice to ignore her constituents and survivors (of sexual assault).”
The senator was elected in 1996 and would be on the ballot in 2020 if she decides to seek re-election.
In New York, about 25 people protested at midday around Washington Square Park but left after half an hour.
According to postings on Facebook, protests also were scheduled Saturday in at least 10 other cities, including Cleveland, New Orleans and Tucson, Arizona.