Alito upside-down flag ‘casts doubt’ on his impartiality: Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the flying of an upside-down flag outside Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s home “casts doubt” on the justice’s impartiality in handling legal questions connected to the criminal case against Trump for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.

Schumer, who called flying the upside-down flag “\really the wrong thing to do,” said he is consulting with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) about what steps to take next and is considering bringing a Supreme Court ethics bill to the Senate floor this week.

“I think what he did really was the wrong thing to do and it casts some doubt on impartiality and I’m discussing with Sen. Durbin where we should go from here,” Schumer told reporters Tuesday.

“We have a lot of bills we want to get on the floor but that’s one of them in high consideration,” he said of the ethics bill.

Alito has come under intense criticism since The New York Times reported Friday that an upside-down American flag was displayed on the justice’s lawn after the 2020 election.

The reversed flag has become a symbol of the “Stop the Steal” movement which claims without evidence that President Biden won the election because of widespread fraud.

Alito told Fox News that his wife put the flag up on his property after getting into a dispute with a neighbor who posted an anti-Trump flag.

Durbin on Friday called on Alito to recuse himself from a pending Supreme Court case on whether Trump should be immune from prosecution for acts committed while in office.

“Flying an upside-down American flag—a symbol of the so-called ‘Stop the Steal’ movement—clearly creates the appearance of bias. Justice Alito should recuse himself immediately from cases related to the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection, including the question of the former President’s immunity in U.S. v. Donald Trump, which the Supreme Court is currently considering,” Durbin said in a statement Friday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Monday said that Alito showed poor judgment in allowing the flag to be displayed in a disrespectful manner on his property.

“Emotions are apparently high in that neighborhood. But no, it’s not good judgment to do that,” Graham said. “He said his wife was insulted and got mad. I assume that to be true, but he’s still a Supreme Court justice, and people have to realize that [at] moments like that to think it through.”

But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday defended Alito and called on his critics to back off.

“It seems to me there are just non-stop attacks on the Supreme Court, week after week after week. So I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” he said when asked whether it was appropriate to display the flag in such a way at Alito’s home and whether he should recuse himself from Jan. 6-related cases.

“We need to leave the Supreme Court alone, protect them from people who went into their neighborhoods and tried to do them harm,” he said.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.