AOC is angry – and rightfully so. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called for Justices who lied during their confirmation hearings to be impeached. AOC told the Meet the Press host:
“If we allow Supreme Court nominees to lie under oath and secure lifetime appointments to the highest court of the land and then issue – without basis, if you read these opinions – rulings that deeply undermine the human civil rights of the majority of Americans, we must see that through.”
EXCLUSIVE: If Supreme Court nominees lied under oath, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says impeachment “should be very seriously considered.”@repaoc: "There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our Democratic institutions." pic.twitter.com/EAHXZcPrzg
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 26, 2022
Ocasio-Cortez isn’t alone in her anger – nor should she be. Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh both alluded in their confirmation testimony that Roe v. Wade was “settled law.” Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted to confirm both Justices, has admitted to feeling “betrayed.” She said in a statement:
“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.”
While Gorsuch was less broad in his opinion, saying “Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law,” Kavanaugh was more adamant about the importance of precedent. When pressed by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, he said:
“You follow the decision that has been set forth by the Supreme Court, subject to the rules of stare decisis. And you see that time and again. That is part of stability. That is part of predictability. That is part of impartiality. That is part of public confidence in the rule of law that it is not just going to move pillar to post, that the law is stable and foundational.”
What Kavanaugh said, particularly about stability, shows he knew what overturning Roe could – and would – lead to. An erosion of stability and confidence in the court by the people. And AOC knows it. She told Todd, “There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and the hostile takeover of our democratic institutions.”
Destabilizing doesn’t begin to describe it. But Ocasio-Cortez is right, if those justices who intentionally mislead the country – who lied under oath – aren’t held to account, those coming after them will think they can do the same. Those with bad intentions will call into question the entire judicial system. There need to be consequences. Consequences that send a message to those who think they can subvert democracy and escape accountability. This will not stand.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick
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