Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) from New York, a congresswoman known for her progressive views, strongly criticized Justice Samuel Alito of the Supreme Court following the court’s recent ruling on President Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative. AOC accused Justice Alito of engaging in corrupt behavior when he sided with the majority opinion, which resulted in the rejection of Biden’s proposed program.
Last week, on June 30, the Supreme Court deliberated on President Biden’s proposal to eliminate a substantial amount of student loan debt, shifting the financial burden onto taxpayers. With a 6-3 majority, the conservative justices determined that the president lacked the necessary authorization from Congress to forgive student debt, leading to the plan’s dismissal. This decision provoked anger among those on the left, prompting calls for Biden to consider expanding the number of justices on the court with individuals who hold liberal ideologies. AOC took her criticism a step further by personally targeting Justice Alito in her remarks.
Back in 2008, Justice Alito participated in a fishing excursion with Paul Singer, who serves as the chairman of the conservative think tank called the Manhattan Institute. Singer is additionally involved in a hedge fund that has been associated with cases presented before the Supreme Court. However, Justice Alito maintains that he did not violate any regulations in relation to those cases. It is worth noting that the Manhattan Institute, in conjunction with the Cato Institute, submitted a legal brief in the debt forgiveness case initiated by a coalition of states. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) now asserts that Alito’s actions constitute corruption, undermining the court’s credibility and suggesting that its judgments can be influenced by financial interests.
AOC’s argument contains a minor flaw. It is true that Justice Alito voted against the loan forgiveness program, but so did all the other conservative justices on the court. This is because erasing student debt is primarily supported by the left and is not aligned with conservative principles.
The question of whether Alito should have accepted Singer’s invitation for the fishing trip is debatable. However, Alito firmly maintains that he did not violate the ethical rules of the Supreme Court. Some liberals are now advocating for an update to these rules, which could indicate that Alito’s actions were within the existing framework. Nevertheless, the main point of contention is that AOC claims Alito’s vote against debt forgiveness was influenced by an alleged bribe from 15 years ago, even though his decision aligns with his political beliefs.