56 Comments

Wait, can we talk about the fact that he says he had no involvement in the neighborhood dispute, and two sentences later says the neighborhood berated his wife in his presence? So he just stood there while his wife was called “the vilelest epithet that can be hurled at a woman”?!

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yep. called her that in February, long after the flag was down. I think the legal term here is ex post facto excuse.

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author

Yeah, that's why I focused on the Kantor report there. But, yes, Allison, even if what Alito is saying were true as he presented it, it paints a very dysfunctional picture.

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Dysfunctional picture? You mean dysfunction as in 'dysfunctional household'? Flying those flags wasn't dysfunction. It was unethical. A Supreme Court justice has to be very particular and sensitive about making political statements. The right LOVES to bash Ruth Ginsburg and her insensitive statements towards Trump in 2016 which actually does them no favors because Ruth Ginsburg eventually owned up to those statements as she understood the ramifications of making a political statement and apologized. Samuel Alito has not, and will not apologize for any political statements he has made.

Alito is cut from the Clarence Thomas cloth of law making. Like Thomas, Alito has been guilty of taking lavish trips funded by billionaires and failing to report it: https://www.propublica.org/article/samuel-alito-luxury-fishing-trip-paul-singer-scotus-supreme-court

This is not to take away from the fact that Alito sold his stock in Bud Light shortly after the company made advertisements in an effort to woo the LGBTQ consumer and purchased Coors instead. When you consider the timing of Alito's actions as a whole, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that he's as MAGA as they come.

Alito has largely flown under the radar because when he was initially appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006 by George Bush, his voting record was more or less aligned with John Roberts. It's only the last few years his record has skewed more and more to the right.

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What are you talking about? The whole piece is about the ethics. This comment was discussing why I *didn’t* delve into the specifics of the household situation. Instead, I primarily focused on the ethical questions.

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Disjunction, I’ll say it is! Thanks Chris, for speaking truth in a way that we readers can understand.

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The Ted Cruz of the Supremes.

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May 30·edited May 30

Like you, I doubt CJ Roberts will do anything about Alito's very trolly nose-thumbing at the American public.

But this moment needs to be: a) seared into the minds of voters, as it is indicative of how unbound and reckless the Republican/conservative majority is, and b) thrown right back in the faces of Supreme Court justices whenever they speak admonishingly about how bad it is that the public disdains and mistrusts them.

We are being entirely appropriate in our opprobrium. The plummeting regard Americans have for SCOTUS is a result of their shoddy and even corrupt work product. *This is the legacy of the Roberts Court.*

They may sting at our outrage slightly, but they clearly only care inasmuch as it impacts their feels. It does not impact their legal behaviors, so we know what they value more: Power.

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Exactly.

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I take serious umbrage in Alito’s assumption but we’re all a bunch of uneducated idiots without a aware bone in our bodies. If what he says is, on any level, true, which I don’t believe for a hot second, then he is singularly the most blindly unobservant brain-dead bonehead in the place with a god-awful relationship with his so-called wife. Personally I think I’ll just call it as I see it. He’s a lying gas-lighting piss poor justice with aspirations to be on Trump‘s team for whatever reason. My guess is as simple as the magats are, control and money. Certainly not honor or service to his country. And he thinks the little crystal ball he’s living in is not see-through. I have to thank him for entirely destroying any residual respect or gravitas I ever possessed toward our justice system, and particularly toward the Supreme Court justices. That infected rat hole couldn’t be any more compromised had you set it on fire. He is not the only joke sitting on that bench. But he's certainly one of the most stupidly arrogant. Scrape em off Claire.

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Seeing as Trump has praised Alitos response and refusal to recuse, he has certainly earned that coveted spot on the team. D

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And if Alito wants to be on Trump's team, he is free to be on Trump's team. All we're saying is that he needs to decide to resign his position on the Supreme Court's team, and trade his robe for a blue suit with a red tie.

You'd think that someone who has decades of experience Handing Down Decisions could handle that, no?

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"aware" means "woke," donch'a know. And doesn't count, therefore.

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Right-wingers like to bring test cases these days. Here’s one I’d like to see from the other side. Let’s say the Court rules against California’s law against the importation of pork products from industrial farms where inhumane practices prevailed. And then let’s say that Gavin Newsome and the California legislature say: “Meh. This Court no longer has a shred of integrity, so we’re going to ignore its ruling and keep enforcing our laws. Try and stop us?”

After all, 4 of these outlaws voted to support Texas’ nullification of federal control over the border. Why should any state feel bound by anything this Court decrees?

What then?

This Court’s belief that it is above ethical accountability has been pushing people toward a showdown. So give them one. Go on and expose the reality that the Court pretends to ignore that Roberts and friends have broken this institution.

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I agree, although I observe that Newsome et. al are actually doing their part to get to a showdown - I believe it's now legal for Arizona doctors to practice in California, if they think their Arizona patients need reproductive healthcare that Arizona law prohibits. But it's really hard for non-sociopaths to get out in front of sociopaths, and proactively push a showdown.

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The fact he was in the military is a good catch. Yes. That has not been cited by the multiple sources I have read so far. That adds to the offense of misusing an upside-down flag.

As Ian Milhiser notes, and Sen. Whitehouse etc. have referenced, there is a federal law that specifically applies to justices. Alito wrongly claims Congress has no power to do that. Art. I, sec. 18 gives them the power to enforce judicial ethics, including the good behavior requirement of all federal judges.

Rep. Raskin in his op-ed wants the Justice Dept. to submit a recusal request based on the recusal law & constitutional requirements. We have reached a point that could be the right move. Letters aren't doing anything. You say it's up to the justices themselves now.

I doubt they will act, including the liberals. Sotomayor btw in the Order List on Monday followed the lead of the other two liberals and explained why she recused. The conservatives don't do that even though the ethical guidelines provide the option.

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Yes - thank you for the "ex-military" catch. I've not seen that mentioned by anyone else, and I've been following reporting about this court and Alito's flag blindness closely enough for that to interfere with my day job.

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We are well and truly screwed ... he's like a 13 year old spoiled kid ... wow

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“She makes her own decisions, and I honor her right to do so” 👀

This is pure trolling.

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"I honor her right to do so, by pointing out that this is all her fault, and that no one could possibly expect spouses to talk to each other" is even purer trolling, and I think that's an accurate statement of what Alito meant by "honor" .

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Alito can’t control his wife so his response is to control every woman in this country!

It’s too late for the cases before the SC now, but Robert’s sure as hell better add consequences for violating the so-called ethics code because as of now it’s useless. Of course he knows that and we know that, too.

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This is exactly how this "journalism" piece feels. "Alito can't control his wife." That feels like a misogynistic view. "A man should be able to control his wife." I am shocked to see a progressive take this position.

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Does anyone think this was all his wife's idea? Throwing your wife under the bus is not a feminist position.

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Journalism should be based on facts, not what someone thinks. You elevate yourself to the position of god when you say, "even though I have no evidence of this, this is what ACTUALLY happened." That is what bloggers say, not journalist.

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I'm guessing Alito is A-OK with Project 2025 being implemented after he & the other Justices do their best to help Trump win. No integrity, no ethics, no shame. Just an arrogant, MAGA Justice flying political flags and blatantly ruling on cases he has a vested interest in.

"Flags and other 'things my wife is responsible for' (wink wink)" 🤦‍♂️

How many “Stop the Steal” flags does Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito need to fly over one of his multiple homes before it’s a problem?

Hey Samuel: Next time try with this flag 👇

libtees-2.creator-spring.com/listing/wtpme2lb

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SCOTUS has been corrupt since at least 2000 when they overturned a free and fair election and installed Shrub Jr. It's also one of the three anti democratic institutions that our founders put in place to allow minority rule. The other 2 being the electoral college and the senate. If we want a true democracy, which we've never had, all three need to be abolished. So too the party system. Also wholly corrupted.

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The standard in B.(2) is meaningless. If you ask Alito to recuse, you have admitted bias against Alito, and are therefore not qualified to ask him to recuse. One can only ask Alito to recuse if one does not want Alito to recuse.

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For this crop of justices that is Catch 22.9 or probably Catch 22.2 if only Thomas agrees.

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That's exactly the point we're at in this country.

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There is a phrase that men of my age (boomers) use to describe a man who kowtows to his wife or girlfriend as Alito claims to have done. It’s extremely offensive, but I thought of it after reading Alito’s response.

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I didn't read this post until this morning, and there's one thing that stood out to me that hasn't been mentioned in the comments. Chris, you say Alito went even further than you thought he would.

I know I harp on this, here and anywhere I talk about this country, but it does worry me that even our best and our brightest so frequently and repeatedly find that our adversaries are behaving worse than we expect.

That says to me that the other side's understanding of the situation, and their intents and motives, are in such a different place from ours, that we're almost not inhabiting the same reality.

I worry that makes us very vulnerable, that we're always having to react to the latest outrage, and can seldom find a time to be proactive, or to even think of ways to be proactive.

I don't know what to do about this, and maybe that's why I keep bringing it up everywhere. I just keep thinking that if we do wake up to a fascist police state on the morning of January 21st, we really won't have time to be surprised.

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This justice enrages me in so many ways, sadly, I doubt even the Dems will attempt to do anything about it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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There isn’t anything they can do. The only possible solution is to win enough of a majority to pack the Court.

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A Supreme Court Justice sounding like the goofiest criminal defendant giving the lamest excuses. “Honestly, your honor, I didn’t notice that dead body in my house and have no idea how it got there!”

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And then telling the Senate, "my wife likes leaving dead bodies in the living room. I do not".

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Only Biden can force Alito and Thomas to recuse. He may however be afraid to be seen as interfering in the judicial process. I think it was Biden’s decision not to prosecute Trump for Jan 6 until his hand was forced by the hearings of the Jan 6 Select Committee of the House. The nation would overwhelmingly support Biden if he backed a move by Garland to recuse them. It will identify and portray him as an independent and decisive President; not a doddering old fool.

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Biden can’t force justices to recuse.

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I assume he means "push for political pressure that would force them to recuse". But, as he says in his second sentence, if we go there, the next fascist president will have a precedent for interfering with the DoJ AND with the court system.

It's hard to balance our reactions between "pushing hard enough to make something happen, that really needs to happen", and "pushing too hard, and handing future fascists a weapon that we won't want them to have". I pray for progressive politicians.

I also pray for the other kind ...

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They can bring all the political pressure they want. The justices won’t recuse.

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To continue this line of thought, the next step becomes what Trump and the Republicans are going to do anyway if they win in November: consider that the judicial branch has no power to enforce its rulings; that power, the police power, rests exclusively with the executive branch. And then it's just a game of whose orders the foot soldiers follow.

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Biden can task DOJ to move in SCOTUS to recuse Alito and Thomas.

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The justices will just deny the motion.

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I won't be surprised if (responding to your previous comment) Alito and Thomas don't recuse, and (responding to this comment) the Supremes deny the motion (how many votes would it take to accept the motion?).

I think this is like the mid-match part of a chess game, where a bunch of intermediate steps are necessary before you can announce "check". Taking actions that should be useful in a good-faith conversation, just to clarify that's not the situation we're not in, is frustrating to watch, but we can't be frozen in place.

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