AOC and Raskin Say Will Introduce Ethics-Related SCOTUS Bill

House Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and vice-ranking member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) last Tuesday said they planned to introduce legislation to hold the Supreme Court “accountable” after the latest media smear campaigns against conservative Justice Samuel Alito.

Following a June 11 roundtable discussion held by Democrats on the Oversight Committee, Raskin and Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that the group explored various “avenues” the committee could take to hold the justices accountable.

Ocasio-Cortez claimed that Congress had “jurisdiction and power over the Supreme Court,” which is a separate and co-equal branch of the federal government. She suggested that lawmakers had the power to “rein in” a “rogue” Court, which she described as “fundamentally unaccountable.”

To that end, Ocasio-Cortez said she and Rep. Raskin would be introducing legislation to require the Supreme Court to abide by the same ethics rules that members of Congress must obey.

Raskin accused the “highest court in the land” of having “the lowest ethical standards.” He echoed the claims by Senate Democrats that the Supreme Court justices are the only government officials who are not bound by a code of ethics.

Raskin also complained that Congress has no process to hold the Supreme Court “accountable.”

The Oversight ranking member said the legislation would ban justices from receiving any gift valued at over $50. He argued that Supreme Court justices make $300,000 a year and should have to pay for their lunches and vacations themselves.

Senate Democrats are also pursuing legislation to impose a code of conduct on the Supreme Court.

Last Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) attempted to pass the Senate version through unanimous consent. However, the effort was blocked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

In blocking unanimous consent, Graham called the Democrat legislation an unconstitutional overreach and accused his Democrat colleagues of trying to undermine the legitimacy of the high court.