Trump Suggests Banning Protests Following Kavanaugh Demonstrations

President Donald Trump appeared to suggest that protesting should be illegal in the U.S. on Tuesday after Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was greeted by protesters on the first day of his confirmation hearing. 

In an interview with The Daily CallerTrump said, "I don't know why they don't take care of a situation like that." 

"I think it's embarrassing for the country to allow protesters. You don't even know what side the protesters are on," he said, adding, “In the old days, we used to throw them out. Today, I guess they just keep screaming.”

GettyImages-998545162 The “Trump Baby” floats above a crowd protesting President Donald Trump’s U.K. visit while the president tours Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, in Scotland, on July 14. Trump appears to have suggested that protesting should be illegal in the U.S. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Dozens of people were arrested after they repeatedly heckled Kavanaugh and senators and shouted slogans throughout the judge's confirmation hearing.  

Protesters urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to adjourn the hearing, a view echoed by many Democratic senators, and called on senators to vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation. 

Trump has long railed against representations of free speech, particularly when they portray him in a negative light, including his repeated attacks on the mainstream media as the "enemy of the people." 

The president derided NFL players after many opted to kneel during the national anthem to protest against police violence against black people. 

During his 2016 election campaign, the then-presidential candidate also railed against protesters who showed up at his rallies, at times encouraging violence against his detractors. 

Since then, the president has been at the center of countless protests, not only in the U.S., but also around the world, from the Women's March on Washington and protests against his administration's "zero tolerance" child-separation practice, which saw around 2,500 children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, to protests in the United Kingdom over Trump's plans to even set foot in the country in July. 

Protesters also demonstrated for weeks outside the White House after Trump appeared to reject the U.S. intelligence community's findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 election during a Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After Kavanaugh's hearing on Tuesday, Trump appeared to take aim against left-leaning detractors with a tweet, arguing that the hearing "for the future Justice of the Supreme Court are truly a display of how mean, angry and despicable the other side is." 

"They will say anything," the president said, adding that the "other side" was "only looking to inflict pain and embarrassment to one of the most highly renowned jurists to ever appear before Congress."

"So sad to see!" the U.S. leader added. 

Human Rights Watch has warned on its website Kavanaugh's appointment could put the rights of people in the U.S. "at stake." 

Many activist groups and watchdogs have specifically expressed concern that the Supreme Court nominee's appointment could see Roe v. Wade overturned. 

The landmark 1973 decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of laws criminalizing or restricting access to abortions.

With Kavanaugh set to bring a five-justice conservative majority to the court, however, the ruling could end up overturned since it was his conservative-centrist predecessor, now-retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had sided with liberals to see it upheld.