According to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), several of the Supreme Court’s conservative justices ought to be impeached for ruling that Roe V. Wade and Planned Parenthood V. Casey should be overturned, because they lied in their confirmation hearings about their views on the cases.
“There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our Democratic institutions,” Ocasio-Cortez said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
When asked if the justices’ actions were an impeachable offense, she said, “I believe so. I believe so. I believe lying under oath is an impeachable offense. And 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 in order to secure supreme-court nominee confirmations.”
Manchin and Collins feel betrayed
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) said Friday that they felt betrayed by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh’s participation in the ruling that overturned a federal right to abortion. Both senators voted to confirm the Trump-nominated justices after they seemed to suggest they would leave Roe alone.
“This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon,” Collins said in a statement.
Manchin said, “I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent, and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans.”
Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said Roe V. Wade was a “precedent” of the court, and Kavanaugh also said it was a “settled precedent.”
Facts, not feelings
The facts are that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh did not lie when they said Roe V. Wade created a precedent for abortion rights.
Understandably, they were careful in the way they said things. Roe was a precedent, but it is not the first precedent the court had struck down and decided was unconstitutional.
And honestly, they may not have known at the time exactly how they would vote on a case like Dobbs. No one has answered questions about how they would vote on abortion cases directly in hearings.
In addition, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh could have been confirmed without Manchin and Collins’ votes at the time, so in a sense, it doesn’t matter whether they would vote differently on those confirmations now, knowing what they know about what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would decide. In just the same way that Republicans could not prevent Ketanji Brown Jackson from being confirmed to the court, Democrats could not stop these deciding votes either.