House Democrats ask Senate to take position on whether justices lied during confirmation hearings
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) are asking that Senate Democrats take a stand on whether conservative Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee during their confirmation hearings.
The letter argues that conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh “directly lied” to members of the Senate and that they and others on the bench “misled the American people during their confirmation hearings.”
“We request that the Senate make its position clear on whether Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath during their confirmation hearings,” the letter from the two progressive House members said.
“We must call out their actions for what they were before the moment passes, so that we can prevent such a mendacious denigration of our fundamental rights and the rule of law from ever happening again,” it concluded.
Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were two of five conservative justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The July 8 letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). Ocasio-Cortez has been floated as a possible challenger to Schumer.
Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas also joined Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upholding a Mississippi state law on abortion but said he would not go as far as overturning Roe v. Wade.
Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and that “together, Roe and Casey represent an error that cannot be allowed to stand.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Lieu argued in their letter that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch expressed no such sentiments during their confirmation hearings, quoting Kavanaugh’s 2018 assertion that Roe “is settled as a precedent” and Gorsuch’s 2017 claim that he would have “walked out the door” if former President Trump had asked him to overturn Roe.
“It is impossible to reconcile the sweeping majority opinion in Dobbs with the statements made by Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh during their confirmation hearings,” the House Democrats wrote in their letter to Schumer. This inconsistency “makes a mockery of the confirmation power.”
“We cannot allow Supreme Court nominees lying and/or misleading the Senate under oath to go unanswered,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter Monday. “Both GOP & Dem Senators stated SCOTUS justices misled them. This cannot be accepted as precedent. Doing so erodes rule of law, delegitimizes the court, and imperils democracy.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Lieu also quoted Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressing they had been misled by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
“I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” Manchin was quoted as stating.
Sharing the letter on Twitter, Lieu wrote that “our Constitutional Republic cannot tolerate Supreme Court Justices who lied in order to get confirmed. The legitimacy of the Court is at stake.”