Leftist critics attack Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito over his wife flying an upside-down U.S. flag after 2020 election

 May 17, 2024

Leftist activists and media pundits have long attacked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his conservative activist wife Ginni for being too close to and biased in favor of former President Donald Trump.

Now their sights have shifted to Justice Samuel Alito and his wife Martha-Ann following a report that they flew a U.S. flag upside-down outside their Virginia home just a few days before President Joe Biden's inauguration, Newsweek reported.

And, as with Thomas, Alito's leftist critics are now demanding that he recuse himself from any cases involving Trump or Biden because of the reported partisan display.

A long-accepted and bipartisan display of protest

For many decades, an inverted American flag has been used by people across the political spectrum as a symbol of discontent and "distress" with the country, its leaders, or the direction it is headed.

In fact, per the official code for properly displaying the U.S. flag, specifically 4 U.S.C. § 8(a), "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

In the wake of the 2020 election, some distressed supporters of former President Trump took to flying their flags upside down as a form of protest against Biden -- a tactic that was also used by some pro-abortion protesters in 2022 after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, according to People magazine.

As that outlet described it, the act of flying an inverted American flag has become a "bipartisan act of rebellion" and "a symbol Republicans and Democrats alike are beginning to use more and more."

Alito's wife flew an upside-down U.S. flag after the 2020 election

Yet, despite the fact that Americans of all political stripes have displayed an inverted U.S. flag from time to time, a New York Times report about exactly that being seen outside Justice Alito's Virginia home in January 2021 has sparked a massive uproar.

The report noted that some of Alito's liberal neighbors snapped pictures of the upside-down flag on Jan. 17, 2021, mounted outside his home, which just 11 days earlier had been similarly seen among some of the Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in protest of the disputed 2020 election results.

"I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag," Alito told The Times in a statement. "It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs."

The outlet noted that Alito's wife, Martha-Ann, had been engaged in a long-running dispute with a liberal neighbor who had posted explicit anti-Trump signs in their front yard, and it is presumed by other neighbors The Times spoke with that Mrs. Alito flew the flag upside-down as both a political statement and in response to the neighbor's offensive signs.

Alito's critics now accuse him of ethics violations, demand his recusal

Of course, ignoring the fact that inverted flags have become increasingly commonplace, The Times reported that some judicial ethics "experts" have sought to hold Justice Alito to a higher standard, and even to apply a recently adopted ethics code for justices to the brief act that occurred more than four years earlier.

That would mean Alito's recusal from certain cases involving former President Trump or President Biden -- a demand that has frequently but unsuccessfully also been applied to Justice Thomas over the partisan actions of his wife.

It seems highly unlikely that Alito will bow to his leftist critics and recuse himself over this new dustup about his wife flying an inverted U.S. flag, but we can likely expect the partisan media and their activist comrades to push this story to its fullest extent for the foreseeable future.

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