WASHINGTON: Freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has confirmed she will bring the sexual assault survivor who made headlines protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address today.
Late last year, a video of Ana María Archila pleading with then-Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator went viral. In the chilling footage, Archila was seen begging the Republican lawmaker to reconsider voting for Kavanaugh who was accused of sexual assault as a teenager by Christine Blasey Ford. “You’re telling me what happened to me doesn’t matter?” Archila told a meek Flake as he was stepping into a lift. “Don’t look away from me! Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land.”
She was right. Flake couldn’t look at Archila directly. I was working in a left-leaning New York City at the time and this video was blasted across the news channels over and over; bars, shopping malls, everywhere. Were we all watching the literal moment a powerful ruler’s conscience takes over? Yes. But would it be enough to see Flake – who’d earlier voted to move ahead with Kavanaugh’s confirmation – change his mind? At the eleventh hour, could one woman alter the course of history?
Hours after the elevator encounter, Flake decided to push pause on the trial and allow the FBI to further investigate the claims. In the end, Kavanaugh was unfortunately confirmed 50-48. To put that into perspective, appellate US Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed 96-3 upon her appointment into the High Court in 1993.
“[Ana’s] act of bravery elevated the stories of survivors across the country and had a profound impact, changing the vote’s proceedings and our national conversation around believing survivors,” Ocasio-Cortez posted to her Instagram with a video showing the women wearing pins that read “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
“Ana María is living proof that the courage that lies within each of us can change the world.” And in a world of murky truths and lies, isn’t this a hopeful tale to begin your Tuesday.
Trump’s address will happen today at 1pm AEST.