During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) stated that she felt impeachment should be considered if certain Supreme Court Justices lied in their confirmation hearings about what they felt about Roe v. Wade, according to Axios. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments come after the Supreme Court overturned the abortion rights case on Friday, and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) both have called the testimony of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh being potentially misleading.
For a Supreme Court Justice to be impeached, the House can do this by a simple majority vote. Then would be a trial, and the Senate would have to vote to convict by a two-thirds majority. There has only been one judge in history that has ever been impeached.
During the confirmation hearings of Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, each stated they would honor precedent. Specifically, when asked about Roe v. Wade, Justice Kavanaugh said it was “precedent on precedent.” This was interpreted as meaning if confirmed, he would uphold the right to an abortion because the case protections had stood the test of time. However, as we saw Friday, that didn’t happen. Ocasio-Cortez believes there should be consequences for this.
“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,” she added.
There are also questions surrounding the legitimacy of Justice Clarence Thomas concerning his wife and her involvement in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election. In his concurring opinion, Thomas hinted that the Supreme Court should look at other rights such as contraception and gay marriage with 14th amendment protections.
Again, from Axios:
“I believe lying under oath is an impeachable offense,” she added, referring to Trump-appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. “I believe that violating federal law in not disclosing income from political organizations, as Clarence Thomas did years ago, is also potentially an impeachable offense. I believe that not recusing from cases that one clearly has family members involved in with very deep violations of conflict of interest are also impeachable offenses.”
There has been movement in the House to pass a Supreme Court “code of ethics” that would apply to judges and their employees. It has not been taken up by the Senate, primarily because Republicans would never vote for it.