US Judge Refuses to Resign Amid Controversy

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.30 - 2024 9:38 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faces intense criticism.

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US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faces intense scrutiny and calls for recusal from cases related to the January 6 Capitol riot and former President Donald Trump.

According to Tagesschau, the criticism stems from photos showing controversial flags at his properties, leading to accusations of bias.

Alito, however, has rejected these claims.

Controversial Flags

The controversy began when photos published by The New York Times revealed a flag with a pine tree and the words "An Appeal to Heaven" flying outside Alito's vacation home in New Jersey last summer.

Historically, this flag has roots in US history but has been recently adopted by ultra-right Christian nationalists and was seen during the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021.

Additionally, an upside-down US flag was reported to have flown outside Alito's home in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 17, 2021, shortly after the Capitol attack. This flag has also been used by Trump supporters and has symbolic ties to distress and protest.

The "An Appeal to Heaven" flag has been linked to ultra-right Christian nationalists. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Alito’s Defense

In letters addressed to members of Congress, the 74-year-old judge claimed his wife was responsible for raising the flags and dismissed the notion that these incidents warrant his removal.

"As soon as I saw it, I asked my wife to take it down, but she refused for several days," he explained, emphasizing that he did not know about the upside-down flag until it was brought to his attention.

Critics argue that the presence of these flags violates judicial ethics and compromises Alito's impartiality, particularly in cases related to the Capitol riots and Trump.

They have urged Alito to recuse himself from Supreme Court matters involving these issues to maintain the integrity of the judiciary.

The Supreme Court is currently deliberating on two significant cases related to the January 6 attack. These cases involve charges against the rioters and the critical question of whether Trump enjoys immunity from prosecution for alleged election interference.

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