AOC Warns of US Supreme Court’s Slide Towards Authoritarianism

Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned Sunday that the conservative supreme court is “creeping dangerously towards authoritarianism,” bringing up the remote possibility of impeaching justices for recent actions once again.

Her remarks arrived on the heels of a series of controversial and far-reaching Supreme Court decisions that struck down affirmative action, LBGTQ+ rights, and Joe Biden’s student loan relief scheme.

These are the types of rulings that signal a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism and centralization of power in the court,” she told CNN’s State of the Union. “In fact, we have members of the Court declaring that the Court is starting to take the role of a legislator right now, with justice Elena Kagan leading the charge.”

“They are expanding their role into acting as though they are Congress itself. And that, I believe, is an expansion of power that we really must be focusing on, the danger of this court and the abuse of power.” Ocasio-Cortez has revived old calls for Congress to consider removing conservative justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas due to their involvement in ethical issues, a plan that would be dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House.

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Meanwhile, the Democratic and independent group in the Senate is barely a majority. Claims have been made that Alito did not report receiving gifts from a conservative millionaire who pushed for the court to terminate Biden’s loan forgiveness program. An ethics monitor has been calling for Thomas to quit for the past month due to multiple allegations, including his acceptance of undisclosed gifts.

“We must pass much more binding and stringent ethics guidelines, where we see members of the supreme court potentially breaking the law,” she said.

“There also must be impeachment on the table. We have a broad level of tools to deal with misconduct, overreach and abuse of power in the supreme court [that] has not been receiving the adequate oversight necessary in order to preserve their own legitimacy.” “And in the process, they themselves have been destroying the legitimacy of the court, which is profoundly dangerous for our entire democracy.”

Ocasio-Cortez has asked Biden to do something the president has sworn he won’t do: increase the size of the Supreme Court from nine to thirteen justices. After Donald Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the conservative wing of the court now has a 6-3 majority. Her comments reflect a wave of Democratic fury at the decisions.

AOC Warns of US Supreme Court's Slide Towards Authoritarianism

Ayanna Pressley, a progressive Democrat from Massachusetts’ congressional delegation, was just as critical of the conservative majority as Ocasio-Cortez was on MSNBC’s Katie Phang show. “They continue to overturn the will of the majority of the people and to make history for all the wrong reasons, legislating from the bench and being political from the bench,” she said.

Alito authored the most contentious verdict from the panel last year, which overturned Roe v. Wade and abolished legal protections for abortion in the United States after almost 50 years. After giving a speech at the White House on Friday, Vice President Biden said, “This is not a normal court.”

The percentage of Americans who feel that judges make decisions based “mainly on the basis of their partisan political view rather than on the basis of the law” rose significantly from January 2022, when just 38% held this view, to 52%, according to a poll released on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. While 48% disapproved of the decision to discontinue affirmative action in higher education, 52% were in favor.

Pete Buttigieg, an out gay official in the government, was critical of a court decision that enabled a Colorado website designer to refuse business from a same-s*x marriage. “We’re seeing more of these cases, of these circumstances that are designed to get people spun up and [are] designed to chip away at rights,” he told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.

“You look at the supreme court taking away a woman’s right to choose, Friday’s decision diminishing … same s*x couples’ [quality of life], you look at a number of the decisions, they pose the question, ‘Did we just live to see the high-water mark of freedoms and rights in this country before they were gradually taken away?’”

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“Because up until now, not uniformly, but overall, each generation was able to say they enjoyed greater inclusion, greater equality, and more rights and freedoms than the generation before.” Separately on Sunday, two major Republican presidential contenders expressed their approval of the recent Supreme Court rulings, with one of them, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, calling the Democrats hypocritical for their opposition.

Christie said on State of the Union, “For decades, the Democratic party cheered a Supreme Court that went outside the constitution and made extra-constitutional decisions, in my opinion, because the decisions went in a philosophical direction that they liked.” When the court rules in a way that the plaintiffs don’t agree with, all of a sudden the court is “not normal.”

The evaluation is based on the outcomes. Instead, they should examine their methods of legal analysis. Ex-Vice President Mike Pence applauded the decision in an interview with CBS.

“I’m a Bible-believing Christian; I think marriage should be between a man and a woman; and I think every American has the right to live, work, and worship as their conscience requires,” he declared. “The Supreme Court drew a bright line and gave the right answer on religious freedom.”

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