In their Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh told Senators that they considered Roe V. Wade settled precedent, adding that they wouldn’t be involved in any Republican-led efforts to overturn it. Now, as the country is preparing to live in a world where federal protection of a woman’s right to an abortion no longer exists, U.S. Representatives Alexandra Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) are calling the Trump-appointed Justices on their BS.
On July 11, the representatives wrote a joint letter to Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, accusing Gorsuch and Kavanaugh of directly lying to members of the Senate during their confirmation hearings. Although Gorsuch and Kavanaugh testified under oath they wouldn’t touch Roe, they were a part of the 5-4 majority that voted to overturn it.
Although the president has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices, that appointment is pending confirmation by the Senate. The Senate confirmation hearings are intended to give the Senate Judiciary Committee a chance to ask questions of the nominees to find out if they are fit for a lifetime term on the bench. But Lieu and Ocasio Cortez say Kavanaugh and Gorsuch just told the committee what they thought they wanted to hear to secure their position on the court.
“We respect the right of individual Justices to have their own views on various constitutional issues. But we cannot have a system where Justices lie about their views in order to get confirmed. That makes a mockery of the confirmation power, and of the separation of powers,” they wrote.
The representatives are urging Senators to go on record to say whether or not they believe the Justices lied in their hearings and that there are consequences for their actions.
“We request that the Senate make its position clear on whether Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath during their confirmation hearings,” Reps. Ocasio Cortez and Lieu wrote. “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,” they added.