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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says ‘dark money’ sways the Supreme Court

Two top Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, will host a Capitol Hill roundtable today, June 11, 2024, at 4 p.m. ET.

They say it will examine an “ethics crisis” within the U.S. Supreme Court, and discuss the ways that megadonors and dark money are “corrupting” the judicial system.

“The fact that millions of dollars of undisclosed gifts are funneling directly to the conservative justices is, in and of itself, a crisis,” Ocasio-Cortez told NPR’s Morning Edition. 

In November, all nine justices signed a first-ever code of conduct. The code was adopted after conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were criticized for failing to disclose gifts and travel from Republican donors.

“The mere appearance of being exposed or connected to any party in a judicial proceeding or in a court proceeding, in a way, is in and of itself compromising,” Ocasio-Cortez, the vice ranking member of the oversight committee, said in her interview with Michel Martin.

The following excerpt has been lightly edited for clarity. 

Michel Martin: What's your single biggest concern surrounding the Supreme Court?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: I think my single biggest concern is that there is a very clearly laid out dark money network that surrounds our court justices. And due to the complete lack of ethics enforcement around the Supreme Court, we are seeing a disturbing pattern in which the court's context, particularly around justices that have been receiving these largely, until now, largely unreported gifts, millions of dollars worth of gifts in the case of Justice Clarence Thomas, and the way that that is affecting, not just their rulings and their

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