Ocasio-Cortez Invites Kavanaugh Protester and Flake Confronter to SOTU

Ocasio-Cortez Invites Kavanaugh Protester and Flake Confronter to SOTU
Ana Maria Archila of progressive Center for Popular Democracy Action yelled at then-Sen. Jeff Flake last year in an elevator

By Connor D. Wolf | February 4, 2019

Newly minted lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) invited a progressive activist who made headlines during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, according to reports on Monday.

Trump plans to deliver the annual address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening. As her one guest, Ocasio-Cortez decided to invite Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the progressive Center for Popular Democracy Action.

Archila infamously confronted former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in an elevator last year during the Kavanaugh confirmation process.

“I just feel particularly moved that in her first participation in the State of the Union she is inviting me to join and inviting that moment of the elevator, my confrontation with the men who do not understand the life of women and the lives of people who are not in power,” Archila told The Intercept. “That she’s inviting that into the imagination of people again.”

The Kavanaugh confirmation process became incredibly heated last year.

Senate Democrats called for the judge’s nomination to be delayed or even dismissed ever since Trump announced his pick in July 2018.

Democrats put forth many different reasons for a delay or a denial before a series of sexual assault allegations came to the forefront.

Kavanaugh first started facing allegations when a letter from an unnamed woman to lawmakers detailing an alleged sexual assault was leaked on September 12. California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford revealed herself to be the accuser days after the letter she wrote came to public light.

She claimed he sexually assaulted her while they were teenage high school students decades ago in the Washington, D.C., area.

Kavanaugh vehemently and consistently denied any such thing occurred.

Related: Kavanaugh Ceremonially Sworn In as Family, Mentors Look On

Three additional women followed Ford in making accusations against Trump’s nominee. The Senate Judiciary Committee responded by launching an investigation, postponing a vote to advance the nomination, and scheduling public hearings.

Kavanaugh repeatedly denied the claims and ultimately no corroboration for those charges was ever found.

Kavanaugh and Ford both testified before the committee advanced his nomination on September 28. Archila confronted Flake in front of reporters the same day to demand he — the then-senator from Arizona — oppose the nomination because of the sexual assault allegations.

Flake later leveraged his swing vote on the committee to call for a limited investigation.

Senate Republicans had resisted calls by Democrats to launch an FBI investigation by arguing that the committee was capable of handling it themselves. The bureau had reviewed Kavanaugh’s background six times already at that point because of his earlier judicial positions.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released a summary of its investigation following its conclusion on October 4.

The FBI said in the report it could not find anyone to corroborate the sexual assault allegations made against Kavanaugh. Senate Democrats nevertheless expressed their opposition, given the limited nature of the investigation and the lack of questioning they said existed for key witnesses.

After all of this additional scrutiny, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the newest justice of the Supreme Court on Oct. 6, 2018 in a private ceremony and in a public ceremony on Oct. 8, 2018.

Check out this video:

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This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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