Alito tells congressional Democrats he won't recuse over flags

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Calls turn for Alito to recuse himself

Flag reports punctual calls for Alito to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases 02:30

Responding to calls from legislature Democrats, Justice Samuel Alito is flatly rejecting calls to recuse himself successful two cases earlier the Supreme Court involving Donald Trump due to the fact that of two flags that flew extracurricular his homes.

In letters Wednesday to House and Senate Democrats, Alito said helium had thing to bash with the flying of the flags, and that thing astir the incidents merited recusal nether the code of conduct. In addition, helium says, neither helium nor his woman knew of the meanings that are present being ascribed to the flags.

"My woman and I ain our Virginia location jointly. She truthful has the ineligible close to usage the spot arsenic she sees fit, and determination were nary further steps that I could person taken to person the emblem taken down much promptly," Alito wrote successful the letters to Democrats.

Democrats had seized connected New York Times reports that an upside-down American emblem had flown extracurricular the Alitos' Virginia location and a abstracted "Appeal to Heaven" emblem had flown extracurricular his abrogation home. They argued the 2 incidents make an quality of impropriety that necessitate Alito recuse himself from immoderate matters related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot oregon the 2020 election.

But going backmost to 2021, Alito has consistently said helium had thing to bash with the flying of immoderate flag, which helium has said was solely an involvement of his wife's. He emphasized that constituent successful some of his letters.

On the upside-down American emblem that flew concisely extracurricular his Virginia location successful 2021, helium said successful the letters that helium had asked her to instrumentality it down, and she yet agreed to bash so.

"My wife's reasons for flying the emblem are not applicable for contiguous purposes," helium wrote, "but I cognize she was greatly distressed astatine the clip due, successful ample part, to a precise nasty vicinity quality successful which I had nary involvement."

Alito wrote that a location connected the thoroughfare displayed a motion attacking his woman personally, and a antheral surviving determination astatine the clip followed her down the thoroughfare and "berated her successful my beingness utilizing foul language, including what I respect arsenic the vilest epithet that tin beryllium addressed to a woman."

"My woman is simply a backstage citizen, and she possesses the aforesaid First Amendment rights arsenic each different American," Alito continued. "She makes her ain decisions, and I person ever respected her close to bash so."  

That is accordant with the Alitos' presumption dating backmost to 2021, erstwhile they were confronted arsenic they were leaving their location by a Washington Post newsman who had been tipped disconnected by a neighbour 3 years agone astir the upside-down flag.

When the newsman asked astir the flag, the Post said Mrs. Alito yelled, "it's an planetary awesome of distress!"

The Post elaborate the incidental successful a portion Saturday, explaining wherefore it decided not to people the communicative successful 2021.

"The justness denied the emblem was hung upside down arsenic a governmental protest, saying it stemmed from a vicinity quality and indicated that his woman had raised it," the Post said.

The Post the proceeded to picture the reporter's 2021 brushwood with the Alitos extracurricular their home, saying Mrs Alito told the reporter, successful evident notation to the neighbors, "Ask them what they did!'"

The Post newsman past observed Mrs. Alito get retired of the car "and past brought retired from their residence a novelty flag, the benignant that would typically decorate a garden. She hoisted it up the flagpole. 'There! Is that better?' she yelled."

That reporting successful 2021 is accordant with Tuesday's astir caller New York Times communicative detailing the vicinity dispute. The Post said it did not people the communicative due to the fact that it was an ongoing vicinity quality with Mrs. Alito that did not implicate the Justice.

On the "Appeal to Heaven" flag, Alito says it besides was flown by Martha-Ann Alito. He said helium had thing to bash with it, and neither of them saw different meanings successful the flags.

He besides said she did not alert it to subordinate herself with "Stop the Steal" oregon immoderate different group.

"As I said successful notation to the different emblem event, my woman is an independently minded backstage citizen," Alito wrote. "She makes her ain decisions, and I grant her close to bash so. Our abrogation location was purchased with wealth she inherited from her parents and is titled successful her name. It is simply a place, distant from Washington, wherever she should beryllium capable to relax."

Jan Crawford


Jan Crawford is CBS News' main ineligible analogous and a recognized authorization connected the Supreme Court. Her 2007 book, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for the Control of the United States Supreme Court" (Penguin Press), gained captious acclaim and became an instant New York Times Bestseller.

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