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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s wife raised an inverted American flag at their home in January 2021, stating it was an international signal of distress. The flag was no longer displayed when a Washington Post reporter visited the Alitos on the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Martha-Ann Alito demanded the reporter leave, claiming the flag was not a political protest but related to a neighborhood dispute with their neighbors.

The dispute with their neighbors reportedly began when a neighbor posted a sign criticizing Trump near a school bus stop, followed by a derogatory sign directed at Martha-Ann Alito. The Alitos got into an argument with the neighbor, and after the neighbor used a derogatory term, Martha-Ann Alito raised the inverted flag. The symbol was associated with Trump supporters who falsely claimed widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Later on, it was revealed that a flag associated with the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was seen flying outside the Alitos’ vacation home in New Jersey. The flag, known as the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, dates back to the Revolutionary War and has become a symbol for Trump supporters. This revelation has sparked criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, with calls for Justice Alito to recuse himself from cases involving Trump and the Capitol attack.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune called the flag display a “bad decision” and questioned how it could be explained. Calls for ethics rules for the Supreme Court have been reignited, with Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin emphasizing the seriousness of a Supreme Court justice displaying such flags at his properties. Despite the criticism, some Republican lawmakers, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have defended Alito, accusing Senate Democrats of exaggerating the situation to undermine the court.

The controversy surrounding Justice Alito’s flag displays has reignited debates over ethics rules for the Supreme Court, which have been stalled for months. The news has drawn attention from key GOP senators as well as Democrats, with concerns raised about the implications of a Supreme Court justice displaying symbols associated with politically charged events. The broader implications of this situation on the public perception of the Supreme Court and the need for clearer ethical guidelines are being debated among lawmakers and commentators in Washington.

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