Jon Quealy, Common Dreams
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito of throwing a ‘tantrum’ in his written dissent to Friday night’s ruling over the abortion medication mifepristone and said the Court’s right-wing majority has become an ideological political force that must be checked by the two other branches of government.
Backed only by Justice Clarence Thomas, Alito’s dissent evoked the charge that President Joe Biden may not have honored a ruling by the court that was unfavorable to the administration’s position. As it was, an unknown majority on the Court decided to maintain availability of the widely-used medication, a relief—even if temporary—for reproductive rights defenders nationwide.
After one legal expert called the portion of Alito’s dissent challenging the hypothetical actions of Biden “unwarranted and completely unbefitting a Supreme Court Justice,” Ocasio-Cortez chimed in to say that the administration, had it been necessary, would have been right to have the FDA ignore a Court ruling that barred access to a legitimately approved drug used safely by millions each year.
“The court,” said Ocasio-Cortez, “has devolved into a highly politicized entity that is rapidly delegitimizing. Open discussion of checking the court’s abuse of power and defying Kacsmaryk possibly contributed to pause/consideration.”
Another perspective: despite Alito’s tantrum, this is a good thing.
The court has devolved into a highly politicized entity that is rapidly delegitimizing. Open discussion of checking the court’s abuse of power & defying Kacsmaryk possibly contributed to pause/consideration https://t.co/T9I29rll5k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 22, 2023
Ahead of the high court’s ruling on Friday, many advocates and lawmakers—including the New York Democrat—had called on Biden and the FDA to ignore the lower-court ruling of U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a far-right ideologue in Texas and Trump appointee.
“The court is a political entity currently engaged in overreach and abuse of power,” the congresswoman said in her Friday night rebuke. “In our system of checks and balances, SCOTUS’s reckless behavior warrants a check from the leg + executive branches. This is not unprecedented, it’s how our system is designed to avert tyranny.”
Dante Atkins, a progressive political strategist and former congressional staffer, said Ocasio-Cortez’s assessment was correct.
“The only people still pretending that the court is legitimate are a handful of Boomer Dems,” Atkins tweeted. “Both MAGA and most younger Dems recognize what it is: an unelected partisan super-legislature.”