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Clarence Thomas Brett Kavanaugh

With the U.S. Supreme Court one day into hearing a Mississippi case in which right-wing state officials are asking the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted Wednesday that the fate of millions of Americans' reproductive rights has been left partially up to a man who's been credibly accused of sexual assault.

"Brett Kavanaugh still remains credibly accused of sexual assault on multiple accounts with corroborated details."

The congresswoman suggested Justice Brett Kavanaugh should recuse himself from Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, considering multiple sexual assault allegations against him that the FBI failed to investigate.

As Common Dreamsreported, the FBI revealed last summer that a tip line set up during Justice Brett Kavanugh's 2018 confirmation hearing yielded 4,500 tips regarding the judge, who was accused by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez of sexual assault, but that federal investigators took no action regarding the information. The tips were instead sent to former President Donald Trump's White House Counsel's office.

The incomplete investigation and the numerous accusations are grounds for Kavanaugh's recusal, suggested Ocasio-Cortez.

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"Yet the court is letting him decide on whether to legalize forced birth in the U.S.," said the New York Democrat on social media.

Ocasio-Cortez was one of many reproductive rights advocates to express outrage as the Supreme Court, which is dominated by the right wing, heard opening arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, regarding Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. State officials are asking the justices to uphold the law, a decision which would gut the protections affirmed in 1973 by Roe v. Wade.

Aside from the numerous sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, Ocasio-Cortez said the case—and the potential overturning of Roe—lacks legitimacy because Kavanaugh, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett were all nominated by Trump, "who tried to overthrow the U.S. government" by inciting the violent January 6 riot at Capitol Hill and who was "elected via minority."

"Those three [judges] will decide whether the U.S. will legalize forcing people to give birth against their will," said the congresswoman. "Legitimacy requires consent of the governed. They are dismantling it."

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Rachel O'Leary Carmona, executive director of Women's March, was among those who echoed Ocasio-Cortez.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tweeted about her own choice several years ago to terminate a pregnancy.

"We can't let Trump's Supreme Court justices strip that choice, and the right to a safe, legal abortion from millions of people," said Jayapal. "Reproductive rights are HUMAN rights."

Julia Conley
CommonDreams