WASHINGTON — Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s guest for the State of the Union address is a woman who cornered Sen. Jeff Flake on live television to protest his support for Brett Kavanaugh.
Ana Maria Archila, who lives in the star freshman Democrat’s New York District, said she will wear white and a pin that the congresswoman gave her that says, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
“I never thought I’d be excited about being in the same room with Donald Trump,” said Archila, co-executive director of the left-leaning Center for Popular Democracy. Ocasio-Cortez invited her a few weeks ago, she said, adding, “We talked about making sure that we, with our presence, express the dignity of people who are under attack from this administration, the resilience. We will try to communicate that with the way we show up in the space.”
Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court justice, is also expected to attend Trump’s address. Justices typically attend such speeches delivered by the president who appointed them.
During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings in September, Archila and another woman confronted Flake in a Senate elevator and, live on CNN, yelled at the Arizona Republican for his intent to vote for the appellate court judge. Kavanaugh had been accused by Christine Blasey Ford of pinning her to a bed and groping her when the two were teenagers in the 1980s. Flake later said he wanted to delay the Senate vote to give the committee time to investigate. He ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh and is now retired from the Senate.
Kavanaugh angrily denied the accusation and was confirmed to the high court. But Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s emotional appeals to the Judiciary Committee were a cultural watershed amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh’s patron was Trump, who also has been accused of groping more than a dozen women and denies it.
Archila said that day was the first time she had revealed her own sexual assault as a child in Colombia.
The Center for Popular Democracy revealed the pairing with a video released on social media.
“Our own @AnaMariaArchil2 showed the world what courage & strength look like in the age of Trump. Tomorrow night, she will join another badass woman, @AOC @RepAOC for the #SOTU.”