Supreme Court Justice Alito faces fury after scathing report on ‘stop the steal’ flag outside his home

The Supreme Court justice said his wife, Martha-Ann, flew the flag in response to signs in neighbors’ gardens.

James Liddell
Friday 17 May 2024 12:20 BST
Related: Trump admits he told Secret Service to take him to Capitol on Jan 6

US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faces backlash after displaying an upside down American flag outside his home following the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021.

The symbol is used by some Maga supporters to contest the US presidential election results in 2020.

Photos taken by allegedly alarmed neighbours show the upside-down flag flying on Mr Alito’s lawn in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 17, 2021, The New York Times reported.

It is not clear whether Mr Alito explicitly meant to symbolize solidarity with Donald Trump, who lost the election to Joe Biden. After the result, protestors carried the emblem through city streets, coinciding with chants of “Stop the Steal.”

The images were said to have been taken 11 days after a far-right sect of Mr Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 while Congress was certifying Mr Biden’s win. The flag was outside Alito’s home as justices were considering cases related the 2020 election.

The Supreme Court justice told the outlet that his wife, Martha-Ann, flew the flag in response to signs in neighbors’ gardens.

Maga supporters parade the upside-down flag
Maga supporters parade the upside-down flag (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Mr Alito claims to have had “had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” he said in a statement emailed to the newspaper.

“It was briefly placed by Mrs Alito in response to a neighbour’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs,” he added.

The American flag should never be displayed upside down “except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property,” the US code states.

Mr Alito has already drawn criticism for the symbol which was hung outside his house mor than three years ago.

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance scathingly critiqued the jurist, claiming that “judges are supposed to avoid politics,” she wrote on X.

She added: “Justice Alito doesn’t seem to care. When I saw the NYT headline, I thought a vandal had placed the upside down American flag at the Alito’s house or the photo was a deep fake. It turns out, that’s not the case.”

Others were also quick to blast the justice on social media.

“A Supreme Court justice—Samuel Alito—flying an upside-down flag outside his house, indicating Stop the Steal. I have no words,” author Stephen King wrote.

‘So let me get this straight, A Supreme Court Justice’ spouse was mad that there was an anti Trump sign on her block… So she puts up a symbol in support for his attempted coup? And Sam Alito thinks that makes it okay?” actor Jon Cryer noted.

The controversy comes just weeks after the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Mr Trump is protected by presidential immunity in his federal election subversion case – hence avoiding the possibility of jail.

A ruling from the high court is expected in the coming weeks.

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