After student loan decision, AOC says the Supreme Court is on 'a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had harsh words for the Supreme Court after recent rulings on affirmative action and student loan forgiveness.Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Supreme Court is on a "dangerous creep" to authoritarianism.

  • Speaking to CNN, the New York Democrat said the court is taking over the role of a legislature.

  • They are "acting as though they are Congress," the lawmaker said, calling it a "dangerous" trend.

The Supreme Court's six conservative justices are on a frightening power trip, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday, arguing that recent decisions on student loans and affirmative action show that the right-wing majority is ignoring the will of elected officials and "beginning to assume the power of a legislature."

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Ocasio-Cortez said the court's recent rulings — striking down both race-based admissions in higher education and President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan — "signal a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism and centralization of power in the court."

"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, a Democrat from New York, said.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Congress had not intended to authorize Biden's debt relief plan under a 2003 measure known as the HEROES Act. But Ocasio-Cortez said that authorization for the plan could be found in another law passed by Congress, the Higher Education Act. Following the court's decision, the White House announced it would draft a new rule, citing that law, to provide loan forgiveness.

With the pandemic-era pause on loan repayments due to expire later this year, however — and any new debt relief rule, by law, requiring a 12-month wait — Ocasio-Cortez said the administration should at least "consider suspending interest payments."

She also urged her fellow members of Congress to step up their oversight of the nation's highest court, citing the revelation that members such as Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito failed to report large gifts from influential right-wing donors.

Oversight should include subpoenas, she said, to force the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to address the court's apparent conflicts of interests. The possibility of removing justices who are found to be corrupt can't be ruled out, she said, arguing there "must be impeachment on the table."

"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."

Read the original article on Business Insider