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US: Senate Democrats demand explanation from Chief Justice Roberts over Alito’s controversial flag display

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In a bold move, Senate Democrats have formally summoned Chief Justice John Roberts to address the recent scandal involving Justice Samuel Alito’s display of politically charged flags at his residence. The flags, associated with far-right movements, have raised serious concerns about judicial impartiality and ethics.

“By displaying the upside-down and ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flags outside his homes, Justice Alito actively engaged in political activity, failed to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary,” stated Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Subcommittee Head Sheldon Whitehouse in a letter to Roberts.

The senators are demanding that Roberts ensure Alito’s recusal from all cases related to the 2020 election, the January 6th insurrection, and former President Trump’s claims of presidential immunity. “His recusal in these matters is both necessary and required,” they emphasized.

The upside-down flag, signaling distress, has been used by “Stop the Steal” supporters to contest President Biden’s election victory. The “Appeal to Heaven” flag is emblematic of the radical Christian Nationalist faction within the MAGA movement, both of which were prominently displayed during the January 6th Capitol riot.

Durbin and Whitehouse reiterated their longstanding call for the Supreme Court to adopt a formal, enforceable code of ethics. They urged Roberts to meet “as soon as possible” to “address the Supreme Court’s ethics crisis.”

“Until the court and the Judicial Conference take meaningful action to address this ongoing ethical crisis, we will continue our efforts to enact legislation to resolve this crisis,” they warned.

The senators’ letter highlights the urgency of the situation, suggesting that failure to act could severely damage the Court’s credibility. The scrutiny on Alito’s actions comes amid broader concerns about judicial ethics, including allegations of misconduct involving Justice Clarence Thomas.

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