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The Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee “is beginning the process of investigating the entanglements and conflicts of interest,” the congresswoman said during an interview with CNN that aired Sunday morning.
“I believe that if Chief John Roberts will not come before Congress for an investigation voluntarily, I believe that we should be considering subpoenas,” she added later.
AOC: If Chief Justice Roberts will not come before Congress for an investigation voluntarily, I believe that we should be considering subpoenas… pic.twitter.com/a7XwkQ1oN9
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 2, 2023
The Senate Judiciary Committee asked Roberts to testify about Supreme Court ethics and potential reforms for a hearing in early May, but the chief justice declined the invitation.
At the time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was on medical leave while recovering from shingles, leaving Democrats without a majority on the panel that could overcome GOP opposition if there was a vote on a subpoena. However, Feinstein has since returned to Capitol Hill.
“There also must be impeachment on the table,” she added. “We have a broad level of tools to deal with misconduct, overreach, and abuse of power. And the Supreme Court has not been receiving the adequate oversight necessary in order to preserve their own legitimacy. And, in the process, they themselves have been destroying the legitimacy of the court, which is profoundly dangerous for our entire democracy.”
Ocasio-Cortez also discussed reining in the power held by the nine justices — including the prospect of expanding the Supreme Court — following a series of conservative victories over the past year in rulings focused on abortion access, religious freedom, affirmative action, and President Joe Biden’s student debt plan.
“The courts, if they were to proceed without any check on their power, without any balance on their power, then we will start to see an undemocratic and, frankly, dangerous authoritarian expansion of power in the Supreme Court,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding, “which is what we are seeing now, from the overturning of abortion rights, to the ruling that discrimination and, frankly, stripping the full personhood and dignity of LGBTQ people in the United States.”
“These are the types of rulings that signal a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism and centralization of power in the court,” she added.