Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices who “misled” Americans during their confirmation hearings about whether or not they supported overturning Roe v. Wade should be impeached and face “consequences” for lying under oath, said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y).
The Supreme Court “dramatically overreached its authority” and created a “crisis of legitimacy” that President Biden should address, Ocasio-Cortez told NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd.
“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,” the lawmaker said.
“There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and the hostile takeover of our democratic institutions,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
For the first time in roughly 50 years, states are given the ability to decide abortion laws, as the Supreme Court on Friday overturned the 1973 precedent Roe v. Wade.
The conservative justices who voted in the majority to overturn Roe were criticized for dodging the question of overturning the precedent during their respective confirmation hearings or saying they would not support overturning the case. Among these justices are Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Neither justice gave straightforward answers about ruling on Roe. Whether the decision was “correct law,” Justice Kavanaugh declined to directly answer the question. At one point, he said that the case was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.”
Similarly, Justice Gorsuch followed, as he refused to say how he would rule on Roe, noting that the decision was “a precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court that had been reaffirmed.”
“For a judge to start tipping his or her hand about whether they like or dislike this or that precedent would send the wrong signal. It would send the signal to the American people that the judge’s personal views have something to do with the judge’s job,” Gorsuch added.
Ocasio-Cortez said that the remarks by Ms. Collins and Mr. Manchin amounted to a “very explosive allegation” that warranted an inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee as a step toward impeachment.
Lying under oath is an impeachable offense and there should be consequences to deter it from happening again, Ocasio-Cortez said.
“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 a Supreme Court confirmation,” she added.
By a simple majority vote, the House can impeach a federal judge, and conviction in the Senate requires a two-thirds majority. In American history, only one Supreme Court justice, Samuel Chase, has been impeached. He was acquitted by the Senate.
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