Justice Alito Tells Democrats They Have No Authority To Regulate the Supreme Court

Justice Samuel Alito / Getty Images
July 31, 2023

Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito told Democrats last week that they lack the authority to regulate the High Court as the party tries to pass legislation to impose controls on justices.

"I know this is a controversial view, but I’m willing to say it," Alito told the Wall Street Journal editorial page. "No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court, period."

He added that "Congress did not create the Supreme Court."

The comments come after Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that would impose an ethics code on the Court. House Democrats have introduced legislation to impose term limits on members of the Court.

Democrats widely condemned Alito's comments.

"Alito’s next opinion piece in the WSJ is about to be ‘I am a little king, actually. The Constitution doesn’t explicitly say I’m not,’" Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said.

Rep. Katie Porter (D., Calif.) said "this view is more than controversial; it’s incorrect."

Congressional Democrats' interest in regulating the Court follows several decisions that affected affirmative action, abortion, and student loan forgiveness.

Alito would not say whether other justices share his view that Congress lacks authority to regulate the Court.

"I don’t know that any of my colleagues have spoken about it publicly, so I don’t think I should say," Alito said. "But I think it is something we have all thought about."

The interview comes after a Harvard professor told President Joe Biden to ignore the "MAGA" Supreme Court.