• Show Notes

Dear Reader,

It has been a busy stretch for Justice Alito. On May 16, the New York Times broke the story – with photographic proof – that an upside down flag flew over his suburban Virginia home in the days after January 6. This was the symbol Trump supporters employed to signal their support of their false claim that President Biden stole the election. Justice Alito did not deny what the picture made clear, but he blamed his wife for the decision to fly the flag. He claimed he “had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” and that “[i]t was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

To call this a breach of judicial ethics is comparable to calling the January 6 insurrection a “normal tourist visit.” He could not have created more of an appearance of impropriety if he flew a flag that actually said “impropriety” on it. His behavior off the Court has done a disservice to the high office he holds and further erodes public confidence in and respect for an institution that depends on both to function. 

His behavior on the Court has done its own share of damage. He is, of course, the author of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and the cavalier overruling of that longstanding precedent has been the single greatest hit to the Court’s reputation.