Former Alito Regulation Clerk ‘Aghast’ After Seeing Jan. 6 Flag Exterior His Residence, Calls For Recusal


A former regulation clerk for Supreme Court docket Justice Samuel Alito stated Wednesday she was shocked after studying two flags affiliated with rioters throughout the Jan. 6, 2021, rebellion had been flown exterior his houses, saying she believed he ought to recuse himself from a number of instances earlier than the courtroom.

Susan Sullivan, who labored as a clerk whereas Alito was a choose on the Third Circuit Court docket of Appeals, spoke to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell amid the controversy surrounding the flags.

“I was aghast when I saw those photographs because I’ve never known Justice Alito to be anything other than an honorable man, to be a man of integrity,” Sullivan, now a professor at Temple College, advised O’Donnell. “It is irrelevant if Mrs. Alito flew it or not. The fact is that flag was there.”

“This is not an insignificant symbol,” she went on. “Irrespective of why it is there, who put it there, it shouldn’t have been there. The problem is that flag is incendiary and it cannot do anything other than raise a reasonable inference of bias.”

Alito has sparked fierce criticism from Democrats after The New York Occasions first reported an upside-down American flag affiliated with the “Stop the Steal” motion was displayed exterior his house in Alexandria, Virginia, shortly after the Capitol assault. The justice has since stated the flag was hung by his spouse, Martha-Ann Alito, throughout a dispute with neighbors.

An “Appeal to Heaven” flag is seen exterior of Speaker of the Home Mike Johnson (R-LA) workplace on Capitol Hill on Could 23, 2024 in Washington, D.C. The flag was toted by rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Michael A. McCoy/Getty Pictures

The Occasions printed one other report every week later after discovering a second flag affiliated with insurrectionists was flown exterior the Alito’s seashore home in New Jersey in mid-2023. That image, an “Appeal to Heaven” flag, is affiliated with the Christian nationalist motion and false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

The dual reviews prompted many Democrats in Congress to name on Alito to recuse himself from a number of instances, together with former President Donald Trump’s claims of absolute presidential immunity that will seemingly free him from two of his felony indictments.

“I am confident that a reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude that the events … do not meet the applicable standard for recusal,” he wrote in a letter to lawmakers final month. “I am therefore required to reject your request.”

Sullivan rejected that declare within the Wednesday interview and an earlier opinion piece in The Philadelphia Inquirer, saying recusal was warranted particularly due to the choice earlier than the courtroom.

“[It is] the symbol of these people who attacked the capitol. They support Trump unconditionally,” she stated. “So if you have cases before the court that directly relates not just to the former president but to criminal cases that involve that election process…”

“The stakes have never been higher and recusal is, to me, it just defies logic that one would not recuse themselves from a case like this,” Sullivan added. “The stakes are too high.”

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