AOC wants Supreme Court justices impeached for lying under oath, is it possible?
Yes, but will it lead to their removal? Unlikely.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has arguably been the most vocal Democrat in Congress since the overturn of Roe v. Wade with the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
She’s hit the streets with protestors, called out her party for using abortion once again as a fundraising tactic, raised more than $150,000 for abortion funds, gone beyond the party’s messaging of ‘vote in November,’ and now is taking aim at the Supreme Court justices that made the decision to overturn Roe.
In an interview on Meet the Press on Sunday, June 27, Ocasio-Cortez called for the House to open an investigation into potential impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for lying under oath about their views on Roe.
“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 — without basis, rulings that deeply undermine the human and civil rights of the majority of Americans, we must see that through,” was her direct quote to host Chuck Todd.
The basis of her reasoning lies in what was said by Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin in the days following the Roe decision. Both released statements either through their offices or reporters, expressing concern for the ruling, and calling out Gorsuch and Kavanaugh for lying to them about how they wouldn’t do anything against Roe.
“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,” Manchin’s statement from his office read.
He went on to say that he would support codifying Roe v. Wade if a bill came up in the Senate. That’s a change from a month ago, as Manchin joined every Republican in the Senate in voting down the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have codified Roe v. Wade in the aftermath of POLITICO leaking the majority opinion draft in Dobbs that announced overturning Roe.
Collins also voted against that bill, and told a reporter when asked that the eventual Supreme Court decision on June 24 was “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.”
On Meet the Press, in addition to saying she believed lying under oath was an impeachable offense, Ocasio-Cortez also took aim at Justice Clarence Thomas for not disclosing income from political organizations. Between 2003 and 2007, Thomas failed to report the nearly $700,000 income his wife, Virginia, received from the Heritage Foundation, one of the biggest conservative think tanks in D.C.
To initiate an impeachment proceeding against a Supreme Court justice, it only requires a simple majority vote. However, like with presidents, it requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate to convict a justice. While impeachment proceedings can happen, like it did twice with Trump, against Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, they will also likely fail to get a conviction. As cited by the New York Times, only one justice, Samuel Chase, has ever been impeached in U.S. history. President Thomas Jefferson accused Chase of a federalist bias, and the House passed eight articles of impeachment. However, the Senate acquitted Chase.