New controversy for the American Supreme Court around a Trumpist flag

New controversy for the American Supreme Court around a Trumpist flag
New controversy for the American Supreme Court around a Trumpist flag

A flag used by Donald Trump supporters was seen flying outside a Supreme Court justice’s home, the New York Times reported Wednesday, less than a week after a similar controversy with another flag.

The New York daily revealed that an “Appeal to Heaven” flag was flown last summer on a flagpole outside conservative Justice Samuel Alito’s vacation home in New Jersey.

This flag dates from the American War of Independence and has recently become a symbol of support for the Republican billionaire, worn in particular by his supporters during the assault on the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021, as well as a symbol of Christian nationalism in the United States.

Last week, the 74-year-old judge already faced intense controversy after photos emerged of an American flag raised upside down in 2021 in front of his home in suburban Washington.

Originally a distress signal in the army, raising an upside-down flag had become in 2021 a sign of political protest and expressed support for the outgoing Republican president’s claims that the last election was “stolen” from him.

In an email response to the daily, Samuel Alito claimed to have “not been in any way involved in the hoisting of the flag” at his home, referring to a “brief” initiative by his wife in reaction to an “insulting display in the garden of ‘a neighbour”. The judge did not react Wednesday evening to the new revelations from the New York Times.

Several elected Democrats called on Samuel Alito on Friday to recuse himself from any case before the Supreme Court linked to the 2020 election or the assault on the Capitol. In particular the one on the criminal immunity claimed by Donald Trump in the federal proceedings against him for attempts to illegally reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The controversy had revived suspicions of bias surrounding the institution at a time when a divided country awaits its decision on the criminal immunity invoked by Donald Trump.

Influential Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, head of the Judiciary Committee, said that this upside-down flag “created an appearance of bias” and that the Court found itself “in an ethical crisis for which it is solely responsible.”

Another conservative Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas, 75, has so far ignored calls to recuse himself because of his wife’s involvement in the campaign to contest the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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