Another Rioters' Flag Flew at Another Alito House

House Democrat introduces a censure resolution over 'Stop the Steal' symbol
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2024 10:50 AM CDT
Updated May 22, 2024 7:30 PM CDT
Alito Also Getting Flak From Republicans Over Flag
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The fallout continues for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito over the flying of a symbolic upside-down flag outside his house, a debate possibly complicated by a report of another flag carried by Jan. 6 rioters having been displayed at Alito's beach house. More:

  • Censure: House Democrat Steve Cohen of Tennessee introduced a motion on Tuesday to censure Alito "for knowingly violating the federal recusal statute and binding ethics standards and calling the impartiality of the Supreme Court of the United States into question," per the Hill.
  • The symbol: The upside-down flag is widely associated with the "Stop the Steal" movement asserting election fraud on behalf of Donald Trump. Alito says it was his wife, not him, who put the flag up in January 2021, as part of a dispute with a neighbor over political yard signs.

  • From GOP: CNN collects quotes from key Republican senators critical of Alito over the controversy. "Bad decision," said John Thune. "I don't know how you explain that." Lindsey Graham told the outlet "it creates a bad image" and "was a mistake." However, neither called for Alito to recuse himself from Trump- or election-related cases. Mitt Romey said the flag was "unfortunate and we ought to take a look at it," but another GOP senator, John Cornyn, said "there are more important things to worry about." Cornyn is in the mix to be the new GOP Senate leader.
  • Democrats: About 50 House Democrats, meanwhile, called on Alito to recuse himself from two upcoming rulings, one on Trump's immunity from prosecution and the other on Capitol rioters. "Reasonable people will doubt that you can be impartial in deciding whether Mr. Trump should face criminal prosecution for his actions arising from the 'Stop the Steal' movement," the lawmakers wrote in a letter, per the Washington Post. "This indisputable appearance of a conflict of interest requires that you recuse yourself."
  • Symbol No. 2: Another flag carried to the Capitol by rioters was spotted at Alito's vacation house in New Jersey last summer, reports the New York Times, which has photos. The "Appeal to Heaven" flag is a symbol of the "Stop the Steal" movement as well as a plea to make the nation more Christian. It's also called the Pine Tree flag. Ethics experts again were troubled by a justice taking a public political stance, with one calling it deeply disturbing "when a judge celebrates his predispositions by hoisting them on a flag." The flag at Alito's beach house shows up on Google street view.
(More Samuel A. Alito stories.)

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