After Senator’s remarks and before a final confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, in a new twist on Senate procedure, Vice President Mike Pence set aside fifteen minutes for comments from the Senate gallery. “The Senate will now recognize gallery patrons for a fifteen-minute period of shaming and insults. Sergeant at Arms, commence the verbal barrage,” ordered Pence.
“Shame! Shame! How can you give this man a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land? Why won’t you listen to these women?” came a voice from the gallery.
“The Senate record will reflect the remarks of the distinguished protester from Ohio,” Pence responded. “The Senate will now recognize the distinguished patron from Minnesota to berate this body for three minutes.”
“I am a mother and I am a patriot. Don’t look away! Look at me when I’m screaming at you!”
“Sergeant at Arms will please restore order to the gallery,” bellowed Pence, banging his gavel.
“How dare you bang your gavel at me,” the gallery patron scolded. “I bang my gavel at you! I will be heard. Don’t wave me off!”
Pence continued to pound his gavel. “The patron from Minnesota has exceeded their allotted time. We will now recognize the distinguished patron from New York.”
“Thank you, Mr Vice President,” the patron from New York began in an uncharacteristic display of civility. “Mr. Vice President, I wish to yield my time to the apoplectic patron from Minnesota.”
“The Senate will recognize the gallery patron from Minnesota for an additional three minutes,” Pence ordered reluctantly.
“Cowards, shame on you! We will not be silenced by a bunch of patriarchal men screaming order.”
As the period of gallery comments concluded, Vice President Pence paused the proceedings for a point of clarification, “Would the Senate Stenographer please read back the remarks of the distinguished gallery patron from Nevada?”
“Our time of behaving is long over,” read the stenographer dryly. “The Senate better get used to protests and disruptions. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
“Okay, that’s what I thought I heard. Looks like we’re in for quite a ride,” remarked Pence before concluding the gallery comments portion of the proceedings.
Despite the impassioned pleas and protestations, the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh 50-48.