comScore DOJ Will Retry Woman for Laughing at Sessions | The Mary Sue
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DOJ Will Retry the Woman Who Laughed at Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing

But remember, kids, we need to cut that federal spending!

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will dedicate even more of its limited time and resources to retry Desiree Fairooz, the woman who was arrested for laughing during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing back in January. This is the same DOJ that won’t use its resources to defend trans students. Your tax dollars at work, folks! Her new trial will begin on November 13, 2017.

Fairooz faces charges of unlawful conduct after she loudly laughed when Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated that Sessions had a record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” As CNN writes, Fairooz’s seconds-long laugh caused no disturbance to Shelby’s speech, and the senator continued speaking without even acknowledging the “interruption.” Nevertheless, the 61-year-old Fairooz was removed from the room and charged with “disorderly and disruptive conduct.” Once she was placed under arrest, Fairooz began loudly protesting her treatment.

After her first misdemeanor conviction was thrown out, Fairooz was offered a plea deal, which she rejected. The deal would have offered her “a recommended sentence of time served” in exchange for a guilty plea.

This trial was a dystopian, patriarchal nightmare the first time around, and it’s even more disturbing that Sessions’ DOJ is digging its heels in further. (But given how many years Jeff Sessions has spent doggedly resisting social progress, I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked.) This woman is on trial for laughing when a man didn’t want her to. Her laughter is being treated as a criminal disruption, even though it didn’t even interrupt Shelby’s speech; meanwhile, men are allowed to routinely interrupt Senator Kamala Harris for doing her job at confirmation hearings, and I haven’t seen Senator John McCain charged with “disorderly and disruptive conduct” yet.

I’m hoping that Fairooz prevails at her new trial. No one should be imprisoned for laughing when an elected official says something ridiculous and untrue. After all, calling out the powerful for their laughable lies is not only our right; it’s our civic duty.

(Via CNN; image via screengrab of Ryan J. Reilly’s video of Fairooz’s arrest)

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