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AOC Calls on Senate to Say Whether Justices Lied during Confirmation Hearings

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) recently called on the Senate to take a position on whether conservative Supreme Court justices lied during their confirmation hearings regarding their willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The pair claimed in the letter to Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer on Friday that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh “directly lied” to members of the Senate.

“We request that the Senate make its position clear on whether Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath during their confirmation hearings,” the letter 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 added.

Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were part of the 5-4 majority that voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. In writing the majority opinion for the Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the case that struck down Roe — Justice Samuel 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.”

The two Democratic lawmakers suggest that Kavanaugh lied in 2018 when he said during his confirmation hearing that Roe is “settled as a precedent.” The pair said the same goes for Gorsuch, who in 2017 said he would have “walked out the door” if former president Donald Trump 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,” Ocasio-Cortez and Lieu wrote.

However, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) told Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings, “Your own words make clear you do not really believe Roe v. Wade is settled law since the Court, as you said, ‘can always overrule its precedent.’”

Ocasio-Cortez shared the letter on Twitter on Monday saying, “We cannot allow Supreme Court nominees lying and/or misleading the Senate under oath to go unanswered.”

She added: “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’s tweet refers to statements from Senators Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) that the decision to overturn Roe went against what they had been told about the justices’ intent.

Collins said, “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.”

Yet in her floor statement supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination, Collins noted that his commitment to precedent was not absolute, saying it could change “in those rare circumstances where a decision is ‘grievously wrong’ or ‘deeply inconsistent with the law.”

Meanwhile, Manchin said, “I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans.”

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