Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Justice Alito declines to step aside from Trump-related cases over flag spat

By 37ci3 May29,2024

WASHINGTON — Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Wednesday declined to recuse himself from two cases involving former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol after recent reports of controversial flags being flown on private property.

Alito said in letters to members of Congress that he requested his waiver. reported first According to The New York Times, the offer “does not meet the requirements” of the Supreme Court’s newly adopted ethics code.

In either case, Alito said, “a reasonable person not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to influence the outcome of Supreme Court cases” would conclude that no waiver was required. A letter and it was sent to Democratic senators else Sent to House Democrats.

He added that he had no involvement in the decision to fly either flag, saying they were raised by his wife, Martha-Ann Alito.

In the first incident, neighbors said an upside-down U.S. flag was flown in early 2021, starting Jan. 6, right after President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In another incident, a flag bearing the slogan “Appeal to Heaven” associated with conservative Christians was flown at a holiday home the following year.

Both flags have been embraced by some Trump supporters protesting the results of the 2020 election.

The Supreme Court is currently considering two cases that touch on January 6: Trump’s claim of presidential immunity in the election meddling suit, and an appeal by a man who was tried for his role on that day itself. Decisions should be made by the end of June.

Under the Supreme Court’s ethics rules, individual justices have the final say on whether to recuse themselves from cases.

The code of ethics was adopted last year after several ethics lawsuits, mostly against Alito and fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas. This has drawn strong criticism because judges can enforce it themselves.

In his letters, Alito cited the code, stating that a justice is presumed to be impartial and should recuse himself only if an “impartial and reasonable person” aware of the facts doubts that the justice “can fairly discharge his duties.”

Elaborating on the flag-waving, Alito said he was “very concerned” because of a “very bad neighborhood dispute” that his wife was not involved in. The New York Times wrote new details About that controversy in a story published Tuesday.

“A house in the street displayed a sign that attacked him personally, and a man who lived in the house dragged him along the street and abused him with what I consider to be the most vile epithets, including vulgar language. addressed to a woman,” Alito wrote.

He added that as soon as he found out about the flag, he asked his wife to take it down, but “she refused for several days.”

The New York Times account differed slightly, with a couple next door saying they called the police at one point because they felt Martha-Ann Alito was stalking them. The Times also reported that the confrontation between Alitos and the neighbors took place weeks after the upside-down flag had already been taken down.

As for the second flag, Alito said he could remember it being raised by his wife, but that it had nothing to do with its meaning or the “stop stealing” effort to overturn the results of the 2022 election.

In both cases, Alito emphasized that the spouse is a private citizen with a right to free speech.

“My wife likes to wave flags,” he said. “It is not me.”

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By 37ci3

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