Durbin Wants Alito Off All Election, Jan. 6 Cases

Justice's home reportedly displayed a symbol of the 'Stop the Steal' movement
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2024 4:40 PM CDT
Durbin Wants Alito Off All Election, Jan. 6 Cases
Associate Justice Samuel Alito. An upside-down American flag, a symbol associated with former President Trump's claims of election fraud, was displayed outside the home of Alito in January 2021, the New York Times reported.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Senate Judiciary Committee chair has called on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, whose home reportedly displayed an upside-down US flag shortly after the attack on the Capitol, to recuse himself from all cases concerning the 2020 election and Jan. 6 riot. "The Court is in an ethical crisis of its own making, and Justice Alito and the rest of the Court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust," Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said Friday, contending that displaying the flag, "a symbol of the so-called 'Stop the Steal' movement, clearly creates the appearance of bias." He said Alito also should recuse himself from Donald Trump's immunity case now pending before the court, the Hill reports.

Similar calls for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the cases because his wife, Virginia, worked to overturn the 2020 election results had no effect. Durbin has tried to put a new ethics code for the court in place; as of now, the justices decide on their own whether to recuse themselves over potential conflicts of interest. The court has countered that Congress isn't the boss of it. Charles Geyh, a professor at Indiana University's law school, said the likelihood of Alito recusing himself over this "is at or near zero," per NBC News. Durbin said the flap is an example of why Congress should pass legislation to set up a code of conduct for the justices. "Supreme Court justices should be held to the highest ethical standards, not the lowest," he said. (More Samuel A. Alito stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.