Justice Alito slammed for saying Congress has no authority over Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is coming under fire for his claim that Congress cannot govern the Supreme Court amid controversy and calls for the high court to adopt a code of ethics.
During an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the conservative justice said, “No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court – period.”
Donald Sherman, senior vice president for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, told theGrio that Alito’s assessment of the United States Congress’s constitutional powers is wrong.
“Congress has exerted its authority over the Supreme Court for centuries…including setting the size of the court [and] imposing ethics rules,” said Sherman.
Political strategist Alencia Johnson told theGrio that America’s founding fathers created three branches of government to ensure checks and balances and that Alito is incorrect in stating that Congress does not have the authority to keep the Supreme Court in line.
“So many of these conservative justices have done a lot of things recently that are really unorthodox,” said the founder and chief impact officer of 1063 West Broad. Johnson said the justices are doing what they can “to try to absolve themselves of the wrongdoing that they’re clearly practicing,” said Johnson.
“Maybe Alito is trying to make sure that the Supreme Court is above the law,” she added.
Alito’s remarks come after the Supreme Court has been under fire for its refusal to adopt a code of ethics despite several justices, including Alito, crossing ethical lines.
Last month, ProPublica released a scathing report revealing that Justice Alito accepted a luxury fishing trip with a GOP billionaire who had cases heard before the Supreme Court, as theGrio previously reported.
In recent months, it was disclosed that Chief Justice John Roberts’ wife raked in millions of dollars after helping top lawyers have their cases heard before the high court. Justice Clarence Thomas neglected to disclose luxury gifts he received from a wealthy GOP donor. And just days after Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the bench, a law firm acquired a property in which he held a stake.
Sherman told theGrio he found Justice Alito’s recent comment on the controversy “especially damning” because “he could have just said nothing.”
“It is especially obtuse for Justice Alito to be pushing back in this way given that he’s also sort of benefited from lavish gifts over the course of his tenure on the bench,” said Sherman.
For years, organizations have been advocating for the Supreme Court to adopt a code of ethics to ensure justice and equality; however, the court repeatedly refused to do so.
Johnson said the court’s neglect to adopt a binding code of ethics sends a message that “They don’t believe the American people know what’s best as it pertains to who is presiding over the cases that impact our livelihoods.”
Echoing Johnson’s sentiments, Sherman told theGrio: “The fact that the court has given no indication that they are creating a binding code of conduct and that Justice Alito is sort of affirmatively issuing advisory opinions to thumb its nose at Congress…demonstrates that Justice Alito thinks that he and his colleagues should be above the law.”
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