Neighbors Called Police After Spat With Justice Alito’s Wife Grew Heated: Report

A young couple called the police in 2021, asking for help dealing with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann Alito, amid a neighborhood spat at the center of the controversy surrounding an upside-down American flag that was flown outside the justice’s home in Virginia.

Emily Baden told The New York Times in a recent interview she had moved into her mother’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2020 during the pandemic with her then-boyfriend. The first rumblings of any issues with the Alitos came after they posted a sign following the 2020 presidential election that read “Bye Don” and “Fuck Trump.” Then-President Donald Trump had just lost to Joe Biden.

Martha-Ann Alito approached Baden after a sign blew down several weeks later and told her she was glad it was gone and that it was offensive. It was the first time the pair had spoken. Baden pledged to keep the sign up at the time, she told the Times.

After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, Baden and her boyfriend posted new signs that read “Trump is a fascist” and “You are complicit,” but her mother later took them down amid concern that the messages would draw attention to her home.

By Jan. 17, 2021, the upside-down flag — a symbol of the far-right believers that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump — was hung outside the Alito’s home.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, pay their respects at the casket of the Rev. Billy Graham on Feb. 28, 2018, at the U.S. Capitol.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, pay their respects at the casket of the Rev. Billy Graham on Feb. 28, 2018, at the U.S. Capitol. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

Baden told the Times she drove by the Alitos’ house several days later, on the day of Biden’s inauguration, which Justice Alito skipped due to COVID concerns.

Baden detailed a sharp uptick in aggression during the drive, saying at one point that Martha-Ann Alito appeared to spit at her car, the Times reported:

“Mrs. Alito happened to be standing outside. According to interviews with Ms. Baden and her husband, as well as messages they sent to friends at the time, Mrs. Alito ran toward their car and yelled something they did not understand.

“The couple continued driving, they said, and as they passed the Alito home again to exit the cul-de-sac, Mrs. Alito appeared to spit toward the vehicle.”

The conflict continued for several more weeks, with Martha-Ann Alito calling the couple “fascists,” Baden said, while Justice Alito stood by silently before the pair walked away. At another time, Baden said, she called the justice’s wife a “c**t” and said she should be ashamed.

Baden filed a police report shortly afterward, but officers said there was little they could do after any altercations had already passed.

Reports about the flag have become the latest controversy to embroil the court as it considers several cases related to the Jan. 6 insurrection, as well as Trump’s sweeping claims that he is immune from prosecution for any act he carried out while in office. The former president has urged the court to agree, a decision that would put an end to several of the criminal indictments against him.

Alito has acknowledged the flag hung upside-down at his home but said he had “no involvement” in its flying.

“It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs,” he said in a statement earlier this month.