Alito tells congressional Democrats he won’t give up flags

Justice Samuel Alito has steadfastly rejected calls to recuse himself Two cases in Supreme Court Former President Donald Trump is involved Two Flags That flew out of his houses.

In Wednesday’s letters House And Senate DemocratsAlito said he had nothing to do with the raising of the flags and that nothing about those incidents merits reversal under the Supreme Court. Code of conduct. Plus, he says, neither he nor his wife knew the meanings now attributed to the flags.

“A reasonable person unmotivated by political or ideological considerations, or unwilling to influence the outcome of Supreme Court cases, would conclude that this case does not meet the applicable standard for recusal,” Alito wrote in letters to Democrats. “Therefore I am obliged to reject your request for recusal.”

The Democrats took over The New York Times reported An upside-down American flag flew outside Alitos’ Virginia home and a separate “Appeal to Heaven” flag flew outside his vacation home. They argued that the two incidents create an improper impression that Alito should recuse himself from anything related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots or the 2020 election.

But after 2021, President George W. Alito, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by Bush, continued to say that he had nothing to do with flying any flag, only his wife’s interests. He emphasized that point in both of his letters.

On the upside-down American flag that briefly flew outside his Virginia home in 2021, he said he asked in letters to take it down, and he eventually agreed to do so.

“My wife’s reasons for flagging are irrelevant to present purposes,” he wrote.

Alito wrote that a house on the street displayed a sign that made a personal attack on his wife, and that a man who lived there at the time followed her down the street and “used foul language to abuse her in my presence. A woman would be spoken to.”

“My wife is a private citizen, and like every American she has First Amendment rights,” Alito continued. “She makes her own decisions, and I always respect that right.”

This is consistent with the Alitos’ position prior to 2021, when they were confronted as they were leaving their home by a Washington Post reporter who had been tipped off by a neighbor about the upside-down flag three years earlier.

When a reporter asked about the flag, Martha-Ann Alito said, “It’s an international distress signal!”

The Post has detailed the incident One Piece SaturdayThe decision not to publish the story in 2021 explains why.

“The judge denied the flag was hung upside down as a political protest, saying it stemmed from a neighborhood dispute and implied his wife had raised it,” the Post said.

The Post described a reporter meeting the Alitos outside their home in 2021, when Martha-Ann Alito told the reporter, “Ask them what they did!”

A Post reporter watched as Martha-Ann Alito got out of the car “and then brought out a novelty flag from their house, the kind that usually decorates a garden. She put it up on the flagpole. ‘There! Is that great?’ she screamed.”

In 2021 that report coincides with Tuesday A recent New York Times story Describes a neighborhood dispute. The Post said it did not publish the story because the ongoing neighborhood dispute with Mata-Ann Alito did not complicate justice.

“My wife and I jointly own our Virginia home. Therefore, she has a legal right to use the property as she sees fit, and I have taken no additional steps to expedite the flag down,” Alito wrote. Letters.

On the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, Alito says it was also flown by Martha-Ann Alito. He said he had nothing to do with it and that neither saw any other meaning in the flags.

She also said she didn’t fly it to associate herself with “Stop the Steel” or any other group.

“As I said about the other flag event, my wife is a free-spirited private citizen,” Alito wrote. “She makes her own decisions, and I respect that right. Our vacation home was bought with money from her parents and is titled in her name. It’s a place far from Washington. Relax.”

The judge said his wife was responsible for the flagpoles at the House and Senate Democrats’ Virginia home and New Jersey vacation home, and that she had displayed a variety of flags in the past, including patriotic flags, college flags and sports flags. Teams, flags of the places they visited and religious flags.

“My wife likes to fly flags,” Alito wrote. “Not me.”

Martha-Ann Alito noted that the “Appeal to Heaven” flag may date back to the American Revolution, but she believed it was displayed to convey a “religious and patriotic message.”

“She did not fly it to associate herself with that group or any other group, and a new group’s use of an old historical flag does not necessarily strip that flag of all other meaning,” Alito wrote.

One of the letters was addressed to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Subcommittee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse. Requested a meeting Along with Chief Justice John Roberts, Trump urged Alito to recuse himself from cases pending before the Supreme Court over presidential impeachment and the January 6 attacks.

A second letter was sent to a group of House Democrats, who called for Alito to recuse himself from the cases.

Last year, in response to a similar request to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr The Chief Justice said Because of separation of powers concerns, it would be inappropriate for him to appear to discuss ethics or other matters that might go before the court.

A meeting with members of only one party to discuss issues related to cases pending before the court would be unprecedented for a Chief Justice.

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report

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