Ocasio-Cortez introduces articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito

Alex Wong/Getty Images via CNN Newsource

By Owen Dahlkamp

(CNN) — Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has introduced articles of impeachment against conservative Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas over their failure to disclose gifts they have received while serving on the court – a messaging move that will surely fail in the GOP-controlled House.

“Justice Thomas and Alito’s repeated failure over decades to disclose that they received millions of dollars in gifts from individuals with business before the court is explicitly against the law,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “And their refusal to recuse from the specific matters and cases before the court in which their benefactors and spouses are implicated represents nothing less than a constitutional crisis.”

“Congress has a legal, moral, and democratic obligation to impeach,” she said.

This is the latest example of House Democrats – led by some of their highest-profile members – prioritizing the Supreme Court in their campaign year messaging. They’ve previously signaled that, if they regain control of the House, they’d use the power of the gavel to investigate alleged ethical lapses by the justices.

Alongside Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Ocasio-Cortez hosted a panel on Supreme Court ethics last month that previewed how House Democrats would ramp up investigations into the justices should they gain a Democratic majority in the chamber this fall. Raskin is not a co-sponsor to the New York Democrat’s impeachment articles, but several other progressives joined her in introducing the articles. They include Reps. Barbara Lee of California, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Delia Ramirez of Illinois, Maxwell Frost of Florida, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Jamaal Bowman of New York and Jasmine Crockett of Texas.

Other legislation attempting to regulate the Supreme Court through an enforceable ethics code or expanding the number of justices on the bench has been introduced in the House. The bills aimed at the high court have little chance of success while Republicans control the House and can block legislation in the Senate with the filibuster.

Still, Ocasio-Cortez’s impeachment attempt is the most aggressive proposal by Democrats to crack down on a Supreme Court they believe is engaging in inappropriate conduct. Earlier this week, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Ron Wyden of Oregon called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether the hospitality Thomas received from his wealthy friends violated various laws.

Thomas has come under fire for failing to report on annual financial disclosures luxury travel enjoyed by him and his wife that was bankrolled by a GOP megadonor. It was also revealed last year that Alito flew on a private jet in 2008 owned by a hedge fund manager who had connections to cases before the court. Both justices have denied running afoul of the ethics and financial disclosure protocols followed by the justices.

Last year, under intense public and congressional pressure, the Supreme Court rolled out its own code of ethics, but the court leaves it to the individual justices to police his or her own compliance.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Share this article: