(The Center Square) – Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who’s running as a Democrat hoping to defeat incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in November, said Friday that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached if they lied under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings.
Crist’s call comes after Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined in a majority U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn two landmark abortion cases – Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The decision returns decisions on the legality of abortion back to the states.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, accused the conservative justices of lying without mentioning them by name.
“Today’s ruling makes clear that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied to Congress when they testified, under oath, that in their view Roe v. Wade was settled precedent,” Crist said in a Facebook post. “Perjury is a crime. If perjury is found to have occurred, the correct remedy is impeachment.”
He provided no evidence of either Gorsuch or Kavanaugh lying under oath.
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.”
Three justices who voted to overturn Roe were appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate: Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Trump’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, Gorsuch, “refused to take a position on Roe,” NPR reports. During his confirmation hearing in 2017, Gorsuch replied to a question posed by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., saying he “would have walked out the door” if Trump had asked him to vote to overturn Roe, NPR points out.
In 2018, Kavanaugh said in his opening remarks that Roe had been “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court,” and was “entitled the respect under principles of stare decisis.”
Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, was joined by the three justices appointed by Trump and Chief Justice John Roberts. Alito wrote: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
He also argued, “a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973. …
“Roe’s constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed.”
Trump told Fox News the ruling followed the Constitution, “giving rights back when they should have been given long ago. This brings everything back to the states where it has always belonged.”