AOC: Supreme Court Rulings Show ‘Creep Towards Authoritarianism’

“They are expanding their role into acting as though they are Congress itself,” the New York Democrat said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruling that affirmative action in higher education and President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan are unconstitutional, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) warned Sunday that the court is “beginning to assume the power of a legislature.”

“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN’s State of the Union.

In striking down affirmative action in helping determine admissions decisions, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that each applicant “must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race.” And in re-imposing a massive amount of debt for 43 million borrowers, the court decided that Biden overstepped his authority through the 2003 HEROES Act, which the government had cited to defend the debt cancellation.

Together, the rulings “signal a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism and centralization of power in the court,” Ocasio-Cortez said, similar to Justice Elena Kagan’s dissent in the student loan case in which she wrote that the Supreme Court “substitutes itself for Congress and the Executive Branch.”

The New York Democrat also reiterated her concerns about ethics reform for the court in light of how justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito didn’t report gifts from right-wing donors.


“The Supreme Court has not been receiving the adequate oversight necessary in order to preserve their own legitimacy,” she said. “And in the process, they themselves have been destroying the legitimacy of the court, which is profoundly dangerous for our entire democracy.”

Ocasio-Cortez, the Vice Ranking Member on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, floated subpoenas and impeachment as potential options to get the court to fix conflicts of interests.