Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tore into Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Tuesday after they expressed dismay at the Supreme Court’s leaked draft majority opinion that would overturn landmark abortion rights decisions.
“Murkowski voted for Amy Coney Barrett when Trump himself proclaimed that he was appointing justices specifically to overturn Roe,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“She and Collins betrayed the nation’s reproductive rights when they were singularly capable of stopping the slide. They don’t get to play victim now.”
The senators, who both claim to support abortion rights, provided key support to justices appointed by former President Donald Trump who now appear poised to gut Roe. v. Wade. (Collins voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018; Murkowski voted to confirm Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett in 2020).
Trump pledged during his 2016 campaign to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn the decision. All three of his picks were viewed as likely to do so. As nominees, those justices repeatedly avoided direct statements about Roe, including whether they’d vote to overturn it. However, they often commented on the importance of precedent.
After Politico reported on the leaked draft Monday, Collins and Murkowski expressed disappointment and claimed they were misled by certain justices during their confirmation hearings.
“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Collins said in a statement.
Murkowski told reporters that the leak “rocked my confidence in the court, because I think there was some representations made with regards to precedent and settled law.”
The current opinion is just a draft, and justices can still change their votes. If Roe is struck down, more than 26 states would likely ban or restrict abortion access, despite polling that has consistently shown a majority of Americans believe Roe v. Wade should be upheld and that decisions about abortion should be left up to women and their doctors.