It is unlikely that anyone would confuse New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a legal or Constitutional scholar but that did not stop her from opining on the Supreme Court.
The progressive representative appeared on Sunday on the CNN show “State of the Union” with host Dana Bash where she was asked about the recent Supreme Court decision on student loan forgiveness.
The representative, who said she still owes student loans, was furious with the Court’s decision to end President Biden’s plan to remove some of the debt from some borrowers.
But she was also furious with the president himself for not wanting to pack the court as she, and other progressives, have suggested.
“I truly do. And this is not a new – this is not a new development in history. This is part of our system of checks and balances. The courts, if they were to proceed without any check on their power, without any balance on their power, it would be dangerous authoritarian expansion of power,” she said.
“In the Supreme Court, (they) are overturning abortion, that signals a dangerous, in fact, we have members of the court themselves, with justice Elena Kagan, saying that the court is beginning to assume the power of a legislature,” she said.
She asserted that Justice Clarence Thomas had violated the law by refusing to recuse himself from certain cases, even though no such law governs Supreme Court Justices.
“Where we see members of the Supreme Court potentially breaking the law, as we saw with the refusal of Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases implicating his wife in January 6,” she said before saying, “there also must be impeachment on the table.”
There is a law that does apply to federal judges recusing themselves in cases where their can even be the appearance of a conflict of interest, though it usually applies to judges who have financial interests in the parties involved in a case, the final arbiter of that would be the Supreme Court.
And if Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wants to be furious with someone for saying the president does not have the power to end student loan debt by fiat, she should listen to Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
The Supreme Court released its final decisions of the term Friday morning, handing down its highly-anticipated ruling on President Joe Biden’s student debt relief. The nation’s highest court weighed the Biden administration’s plan to erase up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers and up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants.
In the Dept. of Education v. Brown, the Court ruled 9-0 that they do not have standing and tossed the lawsuit. This involves individual borrowers. In Biden v. Nebraska, the justices ruled 6-3 against it. Biden’s debt-forgiveness program has been shut down.
In his opinion, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts cited a previous argument made by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
It came from a talk Rep. Pelosi was having with reporters during a press conference on July 28, 2021 when she admitted that the president did not have the authority to cancel student debt.
“People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not,” she said. “He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.”
Months later she said she supported his plan.
.@POTUS’ bold action is a strong step in Democrats’ fight to expand access to higher education. By delivering historic targeted student debt relief to millions of borrowers, more working families will be able to meet their kitchen table needs as they recover from the pandemic, she said.
On Friday, in a 6 – 3 opinion the Supreme Court ruled that the president cannot unilaterally cancel student loans or any amount of student loans.