Flag carried by Jan. 6 rioters flew at Alito’s vacation home: NYT

A second flag toted by rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was at one point displayed outside the vacation home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

An “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which has origins dating back to the Revolutionary War but is associated with Christian nationalism and “Stop the Steal” efforts in present day, was seen flying outside Alito’s New Jersey beach home in July and September 2023, according to the Times, which cited neighbors of the justice on Long Beach Island.

A Google street view image from late August also showed the flag, the Times reported, though it was unclear whether the flag was displayed for consecutive months.

The Hill requested comment from the Supreme Court’s public information officer.

The Times report, based on photographs and interviews with Alito’s neighbors, comes just days after the newspaper reported that an upside-down American flag flew outside Alito’s Virginia home in January 2021 — around the time rioters stormed the Capitol when Congress was set to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 election win over former President Trump.

The upside-down flag is also associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement that emerged from false claims of election fraud in 2020. Alito said his wife hung the flag during a spat with neighbors.

The revelation led to widespread outcry from legal scholars, ethicists and Democratic lawmakers, many calling for the longtime justice to recuse himself from cases involving the Capitol riot.

Around the time when the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, also called the Pine Tree flag, was allegedly flying outside Alito’s vacation home, a high-profile Jan. 6 case arrived at the Supreme Court.

The case, Fischer v. United States, challenges an obstruction law used to prosecute hundreds of rioters for their actions that day, including members of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Trump also faces the charge in his federal election interference case. The case was heard by the justices in April, and a ruling is expected in coming weeks.

Justice Clarence Thomas, another conservative Supreme Court justice, has also faced backlash for apparent close ties to the Capitol riot after his wife, Ginni Thomas, helped mount “Stop the Steal” efforts and attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally near the White House before the riot got underway.

The Supreme Court ethics code, announced last year amid backlash over several reports indicating justices flouted financial disclosure rules, directs any Supreme Court justice to “avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.”

Appointed to the nation’s highest court by then-President George W. Bush and confirmed in 2006, Alito is widely known as one of the Supreme Court’s most conservative justices.

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