Woman May Go to Prison for Laughing in Sessions' Hearing

Activist Desiree Fairooz is currently on trial for the outburst
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2017 12:51 PM CDT
Woman May Go to Prison for Laughing in Sessions' Hearing
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, is confronted by Code Pink member Desiree Fairooz, her hands painted red, in Washington on Oct. 24, 2007.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Laughter may be the best medicine, but it's a lawyer, not a doctor, that a Code Pink activist now needs for guffawing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Senate confirmation hearing. HuffPost reports that 61-year-old Desiree Fairooz is on trial this week after being arrested by US Capitol Police for the Jan. 10 incident. Fairooz, a longtime activist who once confronted Condoleezza Rice with "bloodied" hands, burst into laughter at the hearing when Sen. Richard Shelby proclaimed that Sessions' record of "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented." Fairooz was sitting in the back of the room, and Shelby either didn't hear her laughter or took it in stride, as he continued his speech seemingly unfazed. But the government says Fairooz engaged in "disorderly and disruptive conduct" designed to interrupt the proceedings.

"The federal government is literally prosecuting someone for laughing," snarks Vox. Katherine Coronado, the Capitol cop who arrested Fairooz, told the court Monday Fairooz had laughed "very loudly," causing people to turn around. A fellow Code Pink member tells HuffPost she thinks Fairooz's laughter was a spontaneous reaction to Shelby's words and not premeditated. Supporters think she had a point, given that Sessions lost a federal judgeship in 1986 over allegations that he made racist remarks and his past criticism of civil rights enforcement, notes a post at New York. Fairooz could face six months in prison and a fine of up to $500 if convicted. Also on trial are two other Code Pink members, who dressed in KKK outfits in mock support of Sessions. (Sessions recently made a "joke" about Hawaii.)

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