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Ocasio-Cortez Invites Woman Who Confronted Flake in Kavanaugh Fight to SOTU

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) looks on during the Women’s March in New York City, January 19, 2019. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

Ana Maria Archila, the woman who publicly confronted Senator Jeff Flake over his support for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, will attend the State of the Union address on Tuesday at the invitation of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).

Archila, a longtime liberal activist and co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy Action, cornered Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator and berated him for supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite the numerous sexual-assault allegations leveled against the nominee by former classmates.

“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them,” Archila yelled tearfully at Flake as CNN cameras broadcast the incident live.

Archila is a Queens native and as such is now represented by Ocasio-Cortez, who upset six-term incumbent representative Joe Crowley (D, N.Y.) in November. Speaking to The Intercept this week, she praised Ocasio-Cortez for choosing to remind Americans of her confrontation with Flake.

“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, that she’s inviting that into the imagination of people again,” Archila said.

Archila’s confrontation with Flake appeared to change the senator’s mind, prompting him to call on his Republican colleagues to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote for one week to allow for an investigation into the sexual-assault allegations. After the probe failed to produce any compelling evidence of Kavanaugh’s guilt, Flake ultimately voted in favor of his confirmation.

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