Calls are being made for the impeachment of Republican Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for lying under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn the two landmark abortion cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The decision returns decisions on the legality of abortion back to the states.
On June 24, Democrats Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the conservative justices of lying without mentioning them by name. In a joint statement, Pelosi and Schumer said in part:
“Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation, all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century.”
Also,Florida Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist, who is running against incumbent Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in November, said that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached if they lied under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings.
Crist said in a Facebook post;
“Today’s ruling makes clear that Republican Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied to Congress when they testified, under oath, that in their view Roe v. Wade was settled precedent. Perjury is a crime. If perjury is found to have occurred, the correct remedy is impeachment.”
Democrat West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin who voted to confirm Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the court despite opposition from his party, said he was “alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided” and that he had “trusted [them] when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent.”
Republican Main Senator Susan Collins, a pro-abortion rights Republican who voted to confirm all of former President Donald Trump’s nominees to the court, said it had “abandoned a 50-year precedent at a time that the country is desperate for stability,”.
On June 24, Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski issued the following statement after the Supreme Court released its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, to overturn Roe v. Wade, placing the responsibility on states to set their own abortion laws:
“Today the Supreme Court went against 50 years of precedent in choosing to overturn Roe v. Wade. The rights under Roe that many women have relied on for decades—most notably a woman’s right to choose—are now gone or threatened in many states. … Alaskan courts have interpreted abortion rights as protected under our State Constitution, but with this decision, women in other parts of the country will face a different reality that limits their health decisions, even in extreme circumstances. In the wake of this ruling, it is up to Congress to respond. I introduced legislation in February to protect women’s reproductive rights as provided in Roe, and I am continuing to work with a broader group to restore women’s freedom to control their own health decisions wherever they live. Legislation to accomplish that must be a priority.”
WHAT THE CONSERVATIVE GANG OF SIX SAID DURING CONFIRMATION HEARINGS
Here’s what the 6 justices who reversed ROE v. WADE said in each of their Senate confirmation hearings.
REPUBLICAN JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS
During his 1991 confirmation hearing Republican Justice Clarence Thomas was asked whether the Constitution protects a woman’s right to choose. Thomas declined to comment on his views on Roe saying:
“I do not think that at this time that I could maintain my impartiality as a member of the judiciary and comment on that specific case.”
Thomas also refused to say whether he thought Roe was correctly decided, saying he had no “personal opinion.” Once he was seated on the court, however, Thomas made his views clear. By 2020, he wrote a dissenting opinion saying that the court’s “abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled. … The Constitution does not constrain the States’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion. ”.
REPUBLICAN CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS JR.
Republican Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. voted with the majority 6-to-3 to uphold the restrictive Mississippi antiabortion law, but he criticized his conservative colleagues for taking the additional step of overturning Roe v, Wade.
During his 2005 confirmation hearings, Roberts said Roe was “settled as a precedent of the court.” He told senators then that he believed strongly in the “vindication of the rule of law.” Roberts said that overruling precedent like Roe is “a jolt to the legal system”.
Roberts told the Senate in part:
“I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent. Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness. It is not enough that you may think the prior decision was wrongly decided. That really doesn’t answer the question. It just poses the question. And you do look at these other factors, like settled expectations, like the legitimacy of the court, like whether a particular precedent is workable or not, whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments. All of those factors go into the determination of whether to revisit a precedent under the principles of stare decisis.”
REPUBLICAN JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO
Republican Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the majority opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade said during his 2006 confirmation hearing that Roe was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court.”
Alito’s views on abortion weren’t secret during his confirmation hearing. In 1985, when applying for a new job in the Justice Department, he wrote in a cover letter that, as a “life-long registered Republican” he was “particularly proud” to have worked on cases arguing “that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” The letter became a focus of questioning during his confirmation hearings.
In his 2006 confirmation hearing, Justice Alito was pressed on whether overturning Roe would undermine the legitimacy of the court. Alito declined to call the ruling “settled law.” Alito did say that Roe was “an important precedent” that has “been challenged on a number of occasions” and told the Seante:
“It was decided in 1973, so it has been on the books for a long time … The more often a decision is reaffirmed, the more people tend to rely on it. … I think that’s entitled to considerable respect, and of course, the more times that happens, the more respect the decision is entitled to, and that’s my view of that. So it is a very important precedent … ”
Democrat Illinois Senator Richard J. Durbin asked Alito:
“John Roberts said that Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. Do you believe it is the settled law of the land?”
“If settled means that it can’t be re-examined, then that’s one thing. … If settled means that it is a precedent that is entitled to respect as stare decisis, and all of the factors that I’ve mentioned come into play, including the reaffirmation and all of that, then it is a precedent that is protected, entitled to respect under the doctrine of stare decisis in that way.”
Alito joked with the Senate panel about the level of precedent the abortion rights cases had earned, when asked whether Casey was a “super precedent or a super stare decisis.” Alito told the Senate committee:
“I personally would not get into categorizing precedents as super precedents or super-duper precedents, or any —” he began, before Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania interrupted to confirm he said “super duper,” a question that was met with laughs. Alito said:
“Any sort of categorization like that … sort of reminds me of the size of laundry detergent in the supermarket.”
Least anyone has forgotten, Justice Alito is the same supreme court justice who blurted out during one of President Barrack Obama’s State of the Union Address “Not true!” when the President made statements critical of a court ruling on campaign donations.
REPUBLICAN JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH
During his 2017 confirmation hearings, Republican Neil M. Gorsuch would only characterize Roe as “a precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court” reaffirmed by several subsequent cases including in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
Gorsuch said that precedent fills out U.S. law and he said this:
“A good judge will consider it as precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law. What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a hotly contested issue. We move forward.”
During his 2017 confirmation hearing, Gorsuch refused to signal how he would rule in future cases on abortion and said this:
“For a judge to start tipping his or her hand about whether they like or dislike this or that precedent would send the wrong signal … It would send the signal to the American people that the judge’s personal views have something to do with the judge’s job.”
When California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein pressed him on whether Roe had achieved a status as a “super-precedent,” Gorsuch just said that the ruling “has been reaffirmed many times, I can say that.”
REPUBLICAN JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH
In his 2018 confirmation hearing, Republican Brett Kavanaugh was questioned repeatedly about Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Kavanaugh echoed Gorsuch by saying that Roe was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.” Kavanaugh also indicated during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would be open to overturning “settled law,” including Roe, citing a long list of past Supreme Court cases that had been overturned.
Kavanaugh told the Senate:
“[Roe v. Wade] is important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times. … It is not as if it is just a run of the mill case that was decided and never been reconsidered, but Casey specifically reconsidered it, applied the stare decisis factors, and decided to reaffirm it. That makes Casey a precedent on precedent.”
California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein pressed Kavanaugh and asked him what he meant by “settled law” and whether he believed Roe to be correct law, Kavanaugh said he believed it was “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court” and should be “entitled the respect under principles of stare decisis,” the notion that precedents should not be overturned without strong reason.
When questioned by conservative senators he said there’s a model for overruling settled precedents, that begins with evaluating whether the prior decision was “grievously wrong” a term that would surface in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh explained it this way:
“You follow the decision that has been set forth by the Supreme Court, subject to the rules of stare decisis. And you see that time and again. That is part of stability. That is part of predictability. That is part of impartiality. That is part of public confidence in the rule of law that it is not just going to move pillar to post, that the law is stable and foundational. … Again, it is not — Brown v. Board shows it is not absolute. And that is a good thing, but it is critically important to the impartiality and stability and predictability of the law.”
REPUBLICAN JUSTICE AMY CONEY BARRETT
In her 2020 confirmation hearing, Republican Justice Amy Coney Barrett was more reserved on the Roe v. Wade precedent during her confirmation hearings. During her confirmation process, reports surfaced that Barrett had once openly advocated for overturning Roe v. Wade in a 2006 ad published in the South Bend Tribune by St. Joseph County Right to Life group, which she and her husband signed. Barrett was, at the time, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
During her confirmation hearing, Barrett said she was committed to obeying “all the rules of stare decisis.” Barrett had this to say:
“If a question comes up before me about whether Casey or any other case should be overruled, that I will follow the law of stare decisis, applying it as the court is articulating it, applying all the factors, reliance, workability, being undermined by later facts in law, just all the standard factors. … I promise to do that for any issue that comes up, abortion or anything else.”
Barrett was also pressed on why she would characterize Brown v. Board of Education, but not Roe v. Wade, as super precedent.
She said at the time:
“Roe is not a super precedent because calls for its overruling have never ceased, but that does not mean that Roe should be overruled. It just means that it doesn’t fall on the small handful of cases like Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. The Board that no one questions anymore.”
The links to quoted news source material are here:
WHAT THE CONSITUTION PROVIDES FOR ON IMPEACHEMENT
Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress. Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 provides that he House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment”. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 assigns the Senate sole responsibility to try impeachments. Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 provides that the sanctions for an impeached and convicted individual are limited to removal from office and potentially a bar from holding future office.
With respect to United States Supreme Court Justices, the House of Repres¬ent¬at¬ives has the exclusive power to impeach Supreme Court Justices and the Senate the exclusive power to hold a trial to determine whether removal is appropriate. The House can impeach a Supreme Court Justice with a simple majority vote. However, a Supreme Court Justice may only be removed from office following a trial and a vote to convict by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
The United States Constitution provides little guidance as to what offenses constitute grounds for the impeachment of federal judges. As with other government officials, judges may be removed following impeachment and conviction for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”; otherwise, under Article III, Section 1, judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior” essentially making Supreme Court Justice appointments lifetime appointments.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Historically, Supreme Courts are referred to by the last names of the Chief Justice presiding at a given time who is appointed by the President, such as the the Marshal Court, the Warren Court, the Burger Court, the Rehnquist Court and now the Roberts court. With the reversal of Roe v. Wade, what the country now has is the Der Führer Trump Court.
It is indeed a sad commentary when the impeachment of Supreme Court Justices is being openly discussed because of the belief that 3 Justices of the Supreme Court appointed by Der Führer Trump lied and mislead elected officials to get their lifetime appointments. The sad commentary is that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh could be impeached in particular for lying to the congress by the House of Representatives with a simple majority only to be found not guilty by the United States Senate with a two-thirds majority vote needed in the Senate to convict, which will never happen as long as there are 50 Republican Senators.
The outcome of their impeachments would be identical to the outcome of the 2 impeachments of Der Führer Trump where 50 Republican Senators refuse to convict Der Führer even though they were eyewitnesses and victims to the January 6 riot that Der Führer Trump orchestrated to overthrow the government.
If Democrat Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Susan Collins really feel they have been lied to by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, they should come out and say that both Justices need to be impeached and removed. Simply put, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached for lying to congress. The House of Representatives with a simple majority could vote to impeach but it is likely both would be found not guilty by the United States Senate where a two-thirds majority is needed to convict.
The United States Supreme Court since its very inception has been viewed with a unique sense of mystic or awe and respect because it consistently interpreted the United States Constitution as a “living, evolving document” meaning one that evolved and allowed and protected civil rights and remedies to conform with changing times, changing norms, changing viewpoints. Without such constitutional evolution, slavery would still exist in the United States, woman would not be allowed to vote, discrimination based on a person’s gender, race, color or religion would be allowed, interracial marriage would be illegal, and the doctrine of “sperate but equal” and Jim Crow laws would still be the law of the land.
Part of the greatness of the Supreme Court has always been that the public has had a tremendous respect for the Supreme Court because it has been viewed by and large as “fair and impartial” and “a political” not subservient to any political party nor religious philosophy or beliefs. With the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the denial and reversal of a well settled constitutional right for women, the United State Supreme Court has lost its legitimacy and credibility with the American people.
The Supreme Court is now the Der Führer Trump Court. It has become is a political, religious court not to be trusted by the American people.