Justice Alito's two-day absence from Supreme Court leads to questions

 June 22, 2024

America's highest judicial body has recently handed down a series of decisions which covered a range of issues, including gun rights and the use of expert testimony.

Yet despite the important rulings, one Supreme Court justice has been strangely missing from public view.

No explanation for Justice Samuel Alito's absence

According to CNN, Justice Samuel Alito was absent from the Supreme Court on Friday, just as he had been away on Thursday as well.

CNN noted that Alito's absence at the end of the Supreme Court's term is unusual and has not been met with an official explanation.

Meanwhile, New Republic columnist Talia Jane noted how "Alito's absence poses the possibility that the Supreme Court will have to extend its term into July to complete its decisions for the term."

This includes a decision in the Supreme Court's most closely watched case, which concerns whether former President Donald Trump enjoys immunity for actions he took after the 2020 election.

Alito faced scrutiny over use of flags

This is not the first time Alito has gotten attention in recent months, as the justice faced controversy after The New York Times reported that an upside down flag was flown outside of his house in early 2021. Alito later explained that the flag had been hoisted by his wife.

Another Times article noted that a flag associated with the American Revolution was also flown outside Alito's summer home in New Jersey.

Known as the "Appeal to Heaven" flag, it was carried by American patriots during the Revolutionary War and has since been embraced by some conservatives.

Liberals calls for Alito to recuse himself from Trump-related cases

News of the flags brought condemnation from Democrats like Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who called on Alito to recuse himself from cases related to Trump or the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

"I am sad, really sad and shocked to say that Justice Alito is rapidly showing himself to be unfit to serve on the United States Supreme Court," Breitbart quoted Blumenthal as telling MSNBC last month.

"At a minimum he has to recuse himself from these cases coming before the court that will determine whether or not Trump is held accountable," the left-wing lawmaker insisted.

However, the Times reported that Chief Justice John Roberts has pushed back on those complaints and said that Alito can decide for himself whether recusal is appropriate.

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