AOC, Raskin Criticizes Supreme Court’s Ethics Rules

After an announcement that they are seeking to introduce legislation to hold the members of the United States Supreme Court accountable for ethics violations, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) criticized the ethics rules at the court that allows justices to receive gifts during their service.

Speaking in an interview with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes on Tuesday, Raskin said, “It’s the highest court in the land with the lowest ethical standards.”

The interview comes amid reports of large gifts to Supreme Court justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

According to Raskin, the Supreme Court Justices are “the only governmental officials in the land who are not governed by a binding ethics code.”

“There is no process by which we can hold any of them accountable. It’s just outlandish for us to contemplate,” Raskin later said of reports of justices receiving gifts.

Raskin and Ocasio-Cortez are looking to introduce legislation to hold members of the high court accountable for ethics violations.

“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,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

Ocasio-Cortez also spoke against the independence of the Supreme Court, denouncing it as a “Scout’s Promise” approach to accountability in the highest court in the nation.

“To have any one of our coequal branches be completely unaccountable to the others is paving the path to authoritarianism, tyranny, the abuse of power in the United States and it is structurally completely unsustainable,” she stated, adding, “It is not a question 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.”

The scrutiny surrounding the Supreme Court and Justices Thomas and Alito has resulted in Thomas acknowledging unreported trips overseas paid for by businessman and GOP donor Harlan Crow.

Alito, on his end, stands accused of impropriety by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Alito’s integrity has also been questioned by Democrats due to reported displays of an upside-down American flag and an “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his homes after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Since the revelation, several Democratic lawmakers have called for his removal from cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol incident, including Trump’s presidential immunity appeal.

He has, however, rejected the recusal calls, insisting that he had nothing to do with the flag displays.