Sen. Durbin demands Justice Alito recuse himself from Jan 6 cases after upside-down flag report

 May 19, 2024

Attacks on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito increased in the wake of a New York Times report that claimed he flew an upside-down American flag outside of his house in 2021.

According to Axios and additional reporting, there have now been calls for Alito to recuse himself from all 2020 election-related cases as a result of the Times' report.

An upside-down flag at that particular time was known to be a representation of the "Stop the Steal" movement.

Over the weekend, Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) was the highest-ranking congressman to call on Alito to recuse himself from related cases.

What's going on?

The flag report has given Alito's critics, of which there are many, a new line of attack and even an angle that would attempt to force him off of certain cases.

The Hill provided background on the bombshell report:

According to The New York Times, an upside-down version of the flag was flown outside the Alitos’ home in Alexandria, Va., on Jan. 17, 2021, and potentially for several days during that time. The justice said in a statement that he has “no involvement whatsoever in flying the flag” and said his wife, Martha-Ann, hung the flag as part of a dispute with neighbors.

Democrats, like Durbin, seized the moment and made a public call for Alito's recusal from such cases, which is especially notable as the Supreme Court will soon rule on two Jan. 6-related cases, including the question of whether or not Trump has presidential immunity against the charges he faces.

"Flying an upside-down American flag — a symbol of the so-called ‘Stop the Steal’ movement — clearly creates the appearance of bias," the Illinois Democrat said.

He added, "Justice Alito should recuse himself immediately from cases related to the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection, including the question of the former President’s immunity in U.S. v. Donald Trump, which the Supreme Court is currently considering."

"The Court is in an ethical crisis of its own making, and Justice Alito and the rest of the Court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust,” Durbin continued. "Supreme Court justices should be held to the highest ethical standards, not the lowest."

Social media reacts

News of Durbin's call for Alito's recusal sparked backlash across social media.

"Awww liberals are their fake outrage again. Cute," one X user wrote.

Another X user wrote, "Bless his heart. He needs to do better. Start by doing his job, taking a few ethics courses, then….maybe then…. He can demand something. Sit this one out durbin…."

Only time will tell if Alito ultimately recuses himself from the cases, but it's highly doubtful at this point.

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