‘There must be consequences’ for lying during confirmation process, New York congresswoman says
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for the impeachment of two Supreme Court justices on Sunday following statements from senators indicating that they believed two recent additions to the bench had lied about or misconstrued their views on whether Roe vs Wade should be overturned.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez spoke Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, calling for “consequences” for Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, who Sens Susan Collins and Joe Manchin said last week had indicated both during their private meetings and testimony under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee that they believed abortion rights to be settled case law.
Supreme Court justices serve for life, but can be removed via the same impeachment procedures that the House and Senate can employ against a president. Two-thirds of the members of the Senate would have to vote for removal for it to occur, a highly unlikely prospect.
“What makes it particularly dangerous is that it sends a blaring signal to all future nominees that they can now lie to duly-elected members of the United States Senate to obtain Supreme Court confirmations,” she said.
“I believe lying under oath is an impeachable offense,” the New York congressman continued. She also noted that Justice Clarence Thomas had committed a potentially impeachable offense as well by refusing to recuse himself from cases related to White House records on January 6 given that his wife was recently revealed to have been in contact with senior White House staffers around that same time.
Her calls for potential impeachment proceedings or investigations into whether Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied under oath have yet to be taken up by Democratic leadership, which is facing unprecedented frustration from the party’s base as leaders like Joe Biden are being accused of inaction on the issue of abortion rights. The general sentiment among the party’s activist base in recent days, according to multiple news reports and observations from journalists on the ground at protest marches around the nation, is that Democratic leaders have little idea about what to do to protect abortion rights beyond fundraising and campaigning on the issue in the hopes of securing a Senate supermajority in the far future.
Other members of the House and Senate have echoed the same general feeling that Ms Ocasio-Cortez outlined on Sunday: That the Supreme Court is facing a historic legitimacy crisis while the justices making up its conservative majority, including Chief Justice John Roberts, appear to care little if at all about their unprecedented unpopularity and the general sense that the insitution is corrupted.
A multitude of issues are now plaguing the nation’s highest court, which has remained characteristically aloof and unresponsive even as it takes a new hard right turn and appears to be on the verge of rolling back further rights beyond last week’s abortion ruling.