Justice Samuel Alito Throws His Wife Under the Bus for 2nd Flag Incident


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has spoken out at length about two Jan. 6-related flags flown at his Virginia and New Jersey homes—and has squarely aimed the blame at his wife.

“My wife is a private citizen, and she possesses the same First Amendment rights as every other American,” Alito wrote in two letters to members of Congress on Wednesday in which he refused to recuse himself from Supreme Court cases related to Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“She makes her own decisions, and I have always respected her right to do so,” he added.

Congressional Democrats had called on Alito to recuse himself from related cases after The New York Times reported that an upside-down American flag was flown outside the couple’s Virginia home in Jan. 2021, and an “Appeal to Heavenflag—associated with Christian nationalist movements and co-opted by Capitol rioters—was flown outside the couple’s beach home on the Jersey Shore last summer.

In his first comments on the Appeal to Heaven incident, Alito wrote, “I recall that my wife did fly that flag for some period of time, but I do not remember how long it flew. And what is most relevant here, I had no involvement in the decision to fly that flag.”

“My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not,” he wrote, adding that his wife has also flown patriotic, college, sports-related, and state flags.

Alito said his wife, Martha-Ann, described the Appeal to Heaven flag to him as one dating back to the American Revolution—and that he assumed she hung it “to express a religious and patriotic message.” He claimed in the letter that he and his wife were not aware of the flag’s affiliation with the “Stop the Steal” movement.

Justice Alito’s Beach Home Neighbors Sound Off on That Jan. 6 Flag

He also reiterated his previous explanation for the upside-down flag, writing that it resulted from a “very nasty neighborhood dispute in which I had no involvement.”

He said a house on their street had “displayed a sign attacking [Martha-Ann] personally” and that their neighbor trailed her down the road and berated her in front of him “using foul language.” The rant, he said, included “the vilest epithet that can be addressed to a woman.”

The Virginia neighbors at the center of the dispute, however, offered a different timeline in a report published by The New York Times on Wednesday. They said it was Alito’s wife who started the name-calling in Feb. 2021, and while they did indeed call her the c-word, it was weeks after the upside-down flag had been taken down. The outlet reported that the incident, which spurred a call to police, came after a series of nasty encounters between the couple and Martha-Ann.

The neighbor also admitted to placing signs in their yard after the Capitol riot that read, “You Are Complicit” and “Trump Is a Fascist”— but the first was directed toward Republicans in general, not the Alitos.

In his letters, Alito argued that the flag incidents did not merit recusal under the Supreme Court’s code of conduct.

“The two incidents you cite do not meet the conditions for recusal,” he continued. “As I have stated publicly, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the flying of that flag. I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.