Don’t expect to see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing all white on Capitol Hill this evening for the 2020 State of the Union address. The Democratic congresswoman from New York said she’s skipping President Trump’s speech this year in protest of his “lawless conduct” and “subversion of the Constitution.”
AOC announced the move on Twitter earlier today:
After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.
None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.
Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez is not alone. Representative Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat from Michigan’s seventh district, also said on Twitter that she would not attend, citing the president’s “contempt” for Congress, the Constitution, and the American people. Ditto for Maxine Waters.
State of the Union boycotts by sitting members of Congress are not all that uncommon. For instance, Representative Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican, skipped President Obama’s 2012 address, citing concerns that Obama would use the platform as an opportunity to boost his reelection campaign. (Because that qualified as controversial in 2012.) But the stakes are a bit higher this year: Trump is speaking to the same governmental body that impeached him less than two months ago—and he’s widely expected to be acquitted tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement may stir more of her colleagues to act similarly, given her influence within the party and powerful presence on social media. If you know the name of a few good seat fillers, now’s the time to come to the aid of your country.