Martha-Ann Alito Condemns Pride Flags, the Left, and the Media

Martha-Ann Alito, wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, is incensed about seeing rainbow Pride flags during Pride Month, according to a new recording obtained by Rolling Stone. If it were up to her, she would be flying a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag in response. Or she might design her own flag, one sporting the Italian word for “shame.”

In recent weeks, Martha-Ann Alito has been at the center of a national firestorm over two flags seen flying at their residences that have been associated with right-wing movements that question the legitimacy of the results of the 2020 election. Justice Alito has blamed his wife for flying those flags — and rebuffed calls from Democratic lawmakers to recuse himself from upcoming decisions in cases related to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Like her husband, Mrs. Alito is unbowed by the criticism and controversy — as she makes clear in comments recorded by liberal documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor. Windsor, posing as a Christian conservative, spoke at length with Mrs. Alito at a dinner reception hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society last week. Windsor attended the dinner as a dues-paying member and bought a ticket; a colleague joined her.

Rolling Stone first reported on Windsor’s conversation with Justice Alito on Monday. While several outlets have recently relayed stories of Martha-Ann’s tense interactions with neighbors — apparently in response to a sign opposing Donald Trump — Windsor’s recording presents the justice’s wife in her own words. The audio, provided exclusively to Rolling Stone, paints a picture of a right-wing ideologue that matches with the private reputation that Mrs. Alito has developed in the Republican Party and judicial social circuits in the D.C. area and beyond.

In the most jarring moment in the recording, Windsor attempts to pose the same prompt that she presented to Justice Alito, about how, in order to take America back to “a godly place,” conservatives need to win. She doesn’t complete the thought before Mrs. Alito starts complaining about having to see rainbow Pride flags in June, which is Pride Month.

“You know what I want?” Mrs. Alito says. “I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag, because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month.”

Referencing her husband, Mrs. Alito says, “He’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag.’ I said, ‘I won’t do it because I am deferring to you. But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m gonna send them a message every day, maybe every week, I’ll be changing the flags.’ They’ll be all kinds. I made a flag in my head. This is how I satisfy myself. I made a flag. It’s white and has yellow and orange flames around it. And in the middle is the word ‘vergogna.’ ‘Vergogna’ in Italian means shame — vergogna. V-E-R-G-O-G-N-A. Vergogna.

“Shame, shame, shame on you,” she adds. (Last year, the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority ruled that businesses can discriminate against LGBTQ+ customers.)

In other points of the conversation with Windsor, Martha-Ann Alito agrees there is no negotiating with the radical left. She claims “the Femnazis believe that [Justice Alito] should control me,” adding, “So they’ll go to hell. He never controls me.”

Mrs. Alito indicates she is spoiling to “get even” by suing the media. When Windsor expresses her sympathies about the recent media coverage about her family, Mrs. Alito responds, “It’s OK. It’s OK, because if they come back to me, I’ll get them. I’m gonna be liberated, and I’m gonna get them.” She adds, “There’s a five-year defamation statute of limitations.” (Most states have a one- or two-year statute of limitations.)

Mrs. Alito has a long memory: She complains at length about a Washington Post style section item from two decades ago that critiqued her attire.

When Windsor tells Mrs. Alito she is being persecuted and depicted as “a convenient stand-in for anybody who’s religious,” the justice’s wife gets quieter, and her tone turns more serious: “Look at me, look at me. I’m German. I’m from Germany. My heritage is German. You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you. And there will be a way — it doesn’t have to be now — but there will be a way they will know. Don’t worry about it. God — you read the Bible. Psalm 27 is my psalm. Mine. Psalm 27, the Lord is my God and my rock. Of whom shall I be afraid? Nobody.”

“I don’t consider Martha-Ann a private figure, given that she’s married to a Supreme Court justice, and she’s a window into his thinking,” Windsor tells Rolling Stone. Windsor buys Justice Alito’s claims that it was Mrs. Alito’s decision to fly the controversial flags at their residences.

“She’s very, very enthusiastic about her flag waving,” says Windsor, who has been working on a documentary, Gonzo for Democracy, which will chronicle the growth of Trumpism, election denial, and religious extremism.

One longtime Republican operative — a fellow partygoer among the conservative elite — tells Rolling Stone that they were personally aware of Mrs. Alito privately cheering on Trump’s public pledge during the 2016 presidential campaign to “open up” U.S. libel laws, so that “we’re going to have people sue you [media outlets] like you’ve never got sued before.” During his term in office, Trump did not follow through on this particular campaign promise, though he is eyeing a possibly broader media crackdown for a potential second administration.

Mrs. Alito has for years harbored a disdain and bitterness toward others in the D.C. elite, whom she has bashed for supposedly excluding or shunning her and her husband, and for being too mean about them and their unabashedly conservative beliefs. Sources add that Mrs. Alito also has a longstanding reputation in influential GOP circles for ranting about politics, the culture wars, the left, and the burning grudges she’s nursed since at least the George W. Bush era.

Commenting on the Alito family’s dynamic, a well-connected GOP lawyer says that Justice Alito “is like if you turned National Review into a single person.” Martha-Ann Alito, the lawyer says, “talks like if Breitbart assumed a human vessel … They’re the Washington couple of Donald Trump’s dreams.”

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