Dozens of House Democrats urge Alito to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases

A group of House Democrats on Tuesday called on Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from all future cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol or the 2020 presidential election.

In a letter addressed to the conservative justice, 45 Democrats pointed to recent New York Times reporting of a photograph — taken less than two weeks after the Capitol attack in 2021 — that showed an upside-down American flag on display outside Alito’s home.

At the time, this symbol was closely associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement, which tried to prevent the transfer of presidential power based on false claims of election fraud. Alito has said he had nothing to do with the upside-down flag and that his wife hung it amid a spat with neighbors.

“Your own public statement attempts to pass responsibility to your wife, but you nonetheless acknowledge that it was a political statement in support of Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election,” they wrote in the letter.

“Even if you had ‘no involvement’ in the display yourself, the fact of such a political statement at your home creates, at minimum, the appearance of improper political bias,” they added.

The letter, led by Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), specifically calls for Alito to recuse himself from the upcoming decision involving whether former President Trump is immune from criminal prosecution for his actions related to the 2020 election and another decision related to the Jan. 6 rioters.

It also follows a previous request from Democrats for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from Jan. 6-related cases because of his wife’s involvement in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential results. He has refused to do so.

“Sadly, you are now the second justice who has demonstrated at least an appearance of a conflict of interest related to the events surrounding the January 6 insurrection,” the members wrote.

They added that Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas, attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and was “actively strategizing” with Trump allies about how to overturn the election results, which the Democrats said is “precisely the same underlying conduct” in both of the upcoming cases.

“Although Justice Thomas seemingly acknowledged this conflict of interest by recusing himself from the Court’s case related to Trump attorney John Eastman, he has shockingly refused to recuse himself from Trump and Fischer,” they added.

The Hill has reached out to the Supreme Court for a response to the letter.

News that the flag hung outside Alito’s home in the days surrounding the Jan. 6 attack has spurred mounting criticism among Senate Democrats, who have similarly called on Alito to recuse himself from the upcoming cases.

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