Law professor says Senate Democrats should subpoena Justice Alito over upside-down flag

 May 19, 2024

The New York Times reported last week that an upside-down flag was flown outside Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home in January of 2021.

That revelation was met with outrage from many on the left, with one legal expert saying the justice needs to face a subpoena. 

Call to compel "Alito's appearance and explanation"

Laurence Tribe is a professor at Harvard Law School, and he put out a demand to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin on Saturday.

"Talk is cheap," Newsweek quoted Tribe as writing in a post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

"Chairman Dick Durbin needs to do more than call on Alito to recuse himself from the insurrection cases," the liberal academic insisted.

"Durbin needs to step up and use the subpoena power to demand Alito's appearance and explanation before the Senate Judiciary Committee," Tribe went on to declare.

Durban claims Supreme Court is in "an ethical crisis"

Fox News reported that although Durban has yet to issue a subpoena to Alito, he did release a statement calling on the justice to recuse himself from cases involving former President Donald Trump.

"Flying an upside-down American flag — a symbol of the so-called 'Stop the Steal' movement — clearly creates the appearance of bias," Durban said, referring to those who believe the 2020 election had been stolen for President Joe Biden.

"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 Illinois Democrat asserted.

"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," Durban added.

Alito says flag was a response to insults from neighbors

Meanwhile, The Hill quoted Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin as saying that the presence of an upside-down flag at Alito's house demonstrated a "very clear conflict of interest."

Newsweek noted that for his part, Alito sent an email to the Times in which he denied having "any involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag."

"It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor's use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs," the Supreme Court justice explained.

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