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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has found himself embroiled in yet another controversy after it was revealed that he flew an “Appeal To Heaven” flag at his New Jersey vacation home last year. The flag, a Revolutionary War-era symbol, is also associated with religious conservatives and some rioters from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. This revelation comes on the heels of a previous controversy in which an upside-down American flag was flown outside Alito’s house after the 2020 election, as reported by The New York Times.

The flag was reportedly flown at Alito’s Long Beach Island home in July and September of 2023, according to the Times, which cited a Google street view photo, three photographs, and accounts from neighbors and passers-by. The “Appeal To Heaven” flag, also known as the Pine Tree flag, has been used as a symbol of support for former President Donald Trump and religious conservatism, as well as by members of the “Stop the Steal” movement that challenged the results of the 2020 election.

Some participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection were seen flying the “Appeal To Heaven” flag, and it was even hung outside the office of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., last fall. Alito, who is set to rule on an election subversion case that could impact charges against Trump, was also found to have flown an upside-down American flag in 2021, leading to allegations of political bias. Alito claimed that his wife flew the flag due to a dispute with a neighbor over a political lawn sign.

Alito has owned the New Jersey house since 2014 and was spotted there last summer, according to the Times. However, unnamed neighbors cited in the report did not want to be identified for fear of antagonizing the justice. The Supreme Court did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment on the matter. The Pine Tree flag has historical significance dating back to the Revolutionary War and its “Appeal to Heaven” phrase, derived from philosopher John Locke, emphasizes the idea that protection and justice come from a higher power or the people themselves.

Beyond the controversy over the flags flown at his homes, Alito has faced ethics-related criticisms. The Supreme Court announced an ethics code last year that has been criticized for not being extensive enough by legal experts and judicial ethics advocates. One of the key concerns is the lack of enforcement mechanisms to hold justices accountable for violating the code. These controversies surrounding Alito add to the scrutiny he faces as a Supreme Court justice and raise questions about potential conflicts of interest or bias in his judicial decisions.

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