Justice Alito’s wife vows revenge for flag controversy in secret recording

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said that she wants to get back at people who raised a controversy after she and the justice were criticized last month for flying politically affiliated flags at their homes.

“You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you,” Martha-Ann Alito said in the recording of a private conversation at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3.

“There will be a way, it doesn’t have to be now, but there will be a way they know,” she added. “Don’t worry about it.”

The remarks were recorded by progressive filmmaker Lauren Windsor, who attended the event as a member of the society under her real name, though she posed as a conservative to elicit answers from Alito and others.

The recordings were published by MSNBC and Windsor’s activist site The Undercurrent — the second set released Monday after previous recordings of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Alito in Rolling Stone.

Alito’s flag controversy began last month when it was discovered that an “Appeal to Heaven” flag and an upside-down American flag were flown at the couple’s homes. The symbols have been associated with far-right politics, Christian nationalism, and those who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Alito said the flags were not political statements, but merely responses to personal attacks from his wife against a neighbor, though the neighbor has publicly doubted the justice’s story. The controversy has sparked widespread criticism from Democrats in Congress, including multiple high-profile members demanding he recuse himself from Jan. 6-related cases.

In the recording, Martha-Ann Alito also committed to flying a “Sacred Heart of Jesus” flag at her homes this month to protest the display of an LGBTQ Pride flag nearby. The Sacred Heart of Jesus flag is a symbol associated with the Christian right wing, specifically used to protest Pride.

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She said that her husband, the justice, has asked her not to put up flags at their properties.

“I won’t do that because I’m deferring to you,” Alito said she told her husband. “But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m gonna send them a message every day, maybe every week, I’ll be changing the flags.”

Alito added that she has designed her own flag in her head, which she wants to have made and flown. It features the Italian word “vergogna,” which means shame.

“Shame, shame, shame on you, you know?” Alito said, apparently referring to the flying of the Pride flag.

Windsor’s conversation with Justice Alito included him agreeing with her assertion that the U.S. should strive to be a Christian nation and his admission that much of the court’s business comes down to political ideology. Roberts fought against her ideas in the pair’s own recorded conversation.

Windsor told The Hill that she felt “justified” to record those at the meeting surreptitiously because the court is “shrouded in secrecy, and they’re refusing to submit to any accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious ethics breaches.”

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