Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested that corruption within the Supreme Court would lead to the overturning of Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.
I agree with AOC’s pessimism, and the Court is going to axe Biden’s program. And I agree with AOC that some of the Supreme Court justices have behaved in a way that raises ethical questions. But AOC’s conclusion, that the Court is corrupt, and that because the court is corrupt they will shoot down Biden’s loan forgiveness plan, is not something I can endorse.
AOC crafts her messaging for social media
AOC’s entire schtick, every word out of her mouth, I suspect, is calibrated towards generating a social media presence.
She’s the consummate influencer – more influencer than legislator or leader.
So when an Instagram user asked AOC whether she believed there was “actually any hope” for SCOTUS to preserve Biden’s loan forgiveness plan, AOC’s response wasn’t necessarily geared towards offering a proper assessment of the situation. Still, instead, it was geared towards providing an assessment that would go viral.
“In every convo we’ve had with the White House,” AOC responded, “they feel very strongly about the chances of their case before the court. While I personally do not share their same sense of optimism – not because I doubt the legal case, but because I do not believe the SCOTUS corruption can be trusted – the Biden admin has been insistent that they feel they have a case.”
AOC continued. “I – and others – in turn have been very adamant on having a Plan B. What we should not accept is a situation where there’s no Plan B and the admin just shrugs in the event of a bad ruling. Absolutely not.”
Does AOC goes too far?
AOC is correct; the administration needs a Plan B because SCOTUS is going to take one look at the loan forgiveness plan and tear it to shreds.
But I can’t endorse the idea that the Supreme Court is wholesale corrupt.
What AOC means when she says the Court is corrupt is unclear. I assume she’s talking about the Clarence Thomas thing, where he spent decades receiving financial perks from GOP megadonor Harlan Crowe.
AOC made her comments before this weeks’ disclosure about Justice Samuel Alito, so we know that’s not what she meant – although, the Alito scoop gives AOC’s claim more credibility. Here’s the scoop in case you missed it: Justice Alito took a luxury fishing vacation with GOP Billionaire Paul Singer – who later had cases before the court. Alito tried to preempt the disclosure with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
The whole thing has been a bad look for the Supreme Court, raising legitimate questions about ethics and corruption, yes, but I can’t follow AOC to her conclusion that the Court is categorically corrupt.
Raising questions about the legitimacy of our institutions, in large part because those institutions render decisions or conduct actions that don’t align with your own desire, is one of the primary critiques against Trump. So I’m hesitant to say that an institution as vital to governmental function as the Supreme Court is outright corrupt.
AOC should be more careful with her words. That being said, Alito’s fishing trip is concerning given that Singer later had cases before the Court.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.