Democrat House Reps Seek to Rein in “Fundamentally Unaccountable and Rogue” Supreme Court

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 13, 2024

Democrat House Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamie Raskin have revealed that they will introduce legislation in their quest to rein in a “fundamentally unaccountable and rogue” Supreme Court.

This announcement comes after many justices have faced criticism over their actions, most notably Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas.

AOC and Raskin Address Supreme Court Controversies

These latest comments came after Ocasio-Cortez and Raskin participated in a roundtable with expert panelists to discuss various ethical concerns many have about the Supreme Court.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking into microphones outside.

Source: Dimitri Rodriguez/Wikimedia Commons

During this roundtable, Ocasio-Cortez explained that Congress has the ability to rein in the Court if they deem it necessary. Ocasio-Cortez and Raskin both deem it necessary at this point in time.

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Congress Has Power Over the Supreme Court

Ocasio-Cortez also pointed out that Congress does have power over the Supreme Court and can make legislation to rein them in, if needed.

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A close-up of the U.S. Capitol rotunda in the daytime.

Source: Ian Hutchinson/Unsplash

She explained that “it is not a question on of if Congress has jurisdiction and power over the Supreme Court. It is, what power are we going to exercise in order to rein in a fundamentally unaccountable and rogue court?”

Upcoming Legislation

Now, Ocasio-Cortez and Raskin have decided that they will introduce legislation in an attempt to put restrictions on the Court, similarly to the restrictions that Congress has.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking with her hand raised.

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“Congressman Raskin and myself will be introducing forthcoming legislation to even have the Supreme Court be subject to the same $50 gift rule that he and I are subject to, as everyone else who are members of Congress,” she said.

Raskin Blasts Ethical Issues

Meanwhile, during the same panel and interview, Raskin blasted the many ethical issues that have arisen out of the Supreme Court recently, stating that the Court even has the “lowest ethical standards.”

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The official portrait of Rep. Jamie Raskin.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“We need to clean that up. And that’s why we said we’re going to start with something simple that the whole country will be able to understand immediately and intuitively,” he said.

The Supreme Court’s Recent Controversies

Ocasio-Cortez also insinuated that the Court has been “captured and corrupted by money and extremism.”

The U.S. Supreme Court building seen in the daytime.

Source: Claire Anderson/Unsplash

These comments from Ocasio-Cortez and Raskin come as many in Congress, particularly Democratic lawmakers, have criticized various controversies revolving around the justices.

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Clarence Thomas’ $2 Million Gifts

These remarks also come only a week after the advocacy group Fix the Court revealed that Justice Thomas accepted gifts that likely equaled more than $2 million over the past 20 years.

Clarence Thomas wearing a suit talking with his hands raised.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas has been in the public eye recently because of the discovery of the luxury gifts and trips he has been gifted over the years.

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Thomas and Harlan Crow

Thomas first made headlines when it broke that the Supreme Court Justice had received ample gifts and luxury trips from conservative billionaire Harlan Crow.

A close-up of the Supreme Court seen during sunset.

Source: Ian Hutchinson/Unsplash

Now, Fix the Court has found an additional 101 “likely gifts” given to Thomas that are worth almost $1.8 million. These gifts include free lodging and events from Crow and other billionaires.

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Restricting Gifts

This discovery has shocked many — especially Democratic lawmakers in Congress — as these luxury gifts were often never reported by Thomas.

A look up at the columns of the Supreme Court.

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This has led to many calling for stricter ethical guidelines to be put on the Court, as well as restricting the type and amount of gifts that justices are allowed to receive, similar to what Congress currently has in place.

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Alito’s Controversy

Thomas hasn’t been alone in bringing controversy to the Supreme Court. Justice Alito has also faced his fair share of headline-breaking news in recent weeks.

Justice Samuel Alito smiling.

Source: JoshEllie1234/Wikimedia Commons

Alito’s latest controversy began when it was discovered that his home had flown an upside-down American flag around the time of the January 6 Capitol riot.

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Alito’s Sign of Distress?

While an upside-down American flag can insinuate different things, it’s mainly known as being a sign of distress. After this event was reported years after the fact, Alito claimed his wife was responsible for placing the flag upside down.

A close-up of a red, white, and blue American flag.

Source: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

According to the justice, his wife only did this because she was in an argument with a neighbor. However, reporting also revealed that another home of Alito’s flew an “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which was used by January 6 rioters.

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Americans’ Approval of the Supreme Court

These controversies have subsequently left many Americans even more disappointed with the Court as a whole.

The official photo of the Supreme Court Justices in 2022.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to recent rulings and these public revelations, the Supreme Court now has an approval rating of only 40%, a new record low.

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