Not everyone is happy with the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision that the Biden student relief program was unlawful as it was not authorized by any legislation passed by Congress. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), a member of the progressive caucus within the Democratic party, decided to express her opposition to the ruling not through a discussion of the court’s decision on the merits. She instead elected to voice her opinion that the Court was bribed to reach the verdict it did. She in particular singled out Justice Samuel Alito for this claim.
“Justice Alito accepted tens of thousands of dollars in lavish vacation gifts from a billionaire who lobbied to cancel the student loan forgiveness” wrote the New York progressive. “After the gifts, Alito voted to overturn. This SCOTUS’ corruption undercuts its own legitimacy by putting its rulings up for sale” she tweeted.
Justice Alito accepted tens of thousands of dollars in lavish vacation gifts from a billionaire who lobbied to cancel the student loan forgiveness.
After the gifts, Alito voted to overturn. This SCOTUS’ corruption undercuts its own legitimacy by putting its rulings up for sale.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 30, 2023
She is referencing a flight taken by the judge that was paid for by a major Republican donor and that was not reported by Alito in his 2008 tax form. Alito himself was nominated for the position of associate justice on the Supreme Court by George W. Bush, a Republican president, back in 2005. Alito has denied any wrongdoing or law or ethics breaking through that paid flight.
He wrote in his own defense in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that “Until a few months ago, the instructions for completing a Financial Disclosure Report told judges that ‘[p]ersonal hospitality need not be reported’…This understanding of the requirement to report gifts reflected the expert judgment of the body that the Ethics in Government Act entrusts with the responsibility to administer compliance with the Act.”
He further added in his defense that “When I joined the Court and until the recent amendment of the filing instructions, justices commonly interpreted this discussion of ‘hospitality’ to mean that accommodations and transportation for social events were not reportable gifts. The flight to Alaska was the only occasion when I have accepted transportation for a purely social event, and in doing so I followed what I understood to be standard practice.”
Even if AOC’s charge that taking paid-for flights constitute corruption that invalids Supreme Court decisions were true, this metric would potentially invalidate a whole host of decision written by conservative and liberal justices alike given that they both have engaged in this activity.
She also complained about the Supreme Court’s decision regarding affirmative action saying that true colorblindness would abolish “legacy admissions, aka affirmative action for the privileged.”
If SCOTUS was serious about their ludicrous “colorblindness” claims, they would have abolished legacy admissions, aka affirmative action for the privileged.
70% of Harvard’s legacy applicants are white. SCOTUS didn’t touch that – which would have impacted them and their patrons.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 29, 2023
The constitutional lawyer, Robert Barnes, took on this argument by tweeting that “Here’s what affirmative action backers can’t admit as Henry Louis Gates himself admitted: affirmative action is for rich kids. It helps rich black & Hispanic kids get admitted to cover up for the discriminatory habits of admitting dumb legacy & donor kids. Adversity ain’t it.”
Here's what affirmative action backers can't admit as Henry Louis Gates himself admitted: affirmative action is for rich kids. It helps rich black & hispanic kids get admitted to cover up for the discriminatory habits of admitting dumb legacy & donor kids. Adversity ain't it. https://t.co/zStRBnqBvE
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) June 30, 2023