Supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump hold an "Appeal to Heaven" flag

Supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump hold an "Appeal to Heaven" flag at the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Alito's Beach House Flew Second Flag Linked to Jan. 6, Christian Nationalism

"What is it going to take for Congress to rein in this out-of-control Supreme Court?" asked one critic. "Sen. Durbin should begin an immediate investigation into Justice Alito's behavior."

As Republican political leaders push Christian nationalism, The New York Timesreported Wednesday that an "Appeal to Heaven" flag was flown last summer at the New Jersey vacation home of right-wing U.S. Supreme Justice Samuel Alito.

The revelation comes as Alito is under fire for an upside-down American flag displayed outside his Virginia residence shortly after the January 6, 2021 insurrection and just before President Joe Biden's inauguration—which was exposed by the newspaper last week and sparked calls for the justice to recuse himself from cases involving the U.S. Capitol attack or 2020 presidential election. Alito blamed his wife for that display.

"The call for insurrection is coming from inside the beach house."

The Appeal to Heaven flag, "like the inverted U.S. flag, was carried by rioters at the Capitol," the Times explained Wednesday. "Also known as the Pine Tree flag, it dates back to the Revolutionary War, but largely fell into obscurity until recent years and is now a symbol of support for former President Donald J. Trump, for a religious strand of the 'Stop the Steal' campaign, and for a push to remake American government in Christian terms."

According to the paper:

Three photographs obtained by The New York Times, along with accounts from a half-dozen neighbors and passers-by, show that the Appeal to Heaven flag was aloft at the Alito home on Long Beach Island in July and September of 2023. A Google street view image from late August also shows the flag.

The photographs, each taken independently, are from four different dates. It is not clear whether the flag was displayed continuously during those months or how long it was flown overall.

While both Alito and the high court declined to comment, critics of the justice were quick to weigh in.

"The call for insurrection is coming from inside the beach house," declared Sarah Lipton-Lubet, president of Take Back the Court Action Fund. "Samuel Alito is giving Democratic leaders a rare second chance to prove that their concern for our democracy is sincere and that they are going to fight for Americans who have understandably lost faith in this court."

"How many more anti-American flags does Alito have to fly before Congress draws a line in the sand?" she asked, urging Democrats to subpoena not only Alito but also embattled conservative Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts.

Indivisible co-executive director Ezra Levin directed his response to the news at Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

"You have to hand it to the free press, but this is an embarrassment for the lazy Democratic leadership of the Judiciary Committee," said Levin. "The fact that a newspaper exposed Alito's troubling use of the same 'Appeal to Heaven' flag carried by insurrectionists on January 6th in mere days should light a fire under Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin."

"As the Supreme Court readies to rule on Trump's criminal liability for attempting to overturn the results of the election and the prosecution of over 300 January 6th rioters, Durbin has a responsibility to use every ounce of subpoena and investigative power he has to uncover just how compromised Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are," he argued. "For the sake of our democracy, Durbin's continued inaction here isn't an option and it's time he heard that message loud and clear."

Members of the group are caravaning across Illinois in a recreational vehicle—an overt nod to Thomas' controversial motor coach—to pressure Durbin "to use the tools that are afforded to him," in the words of Jessica Motsinger with Indivisible Metro East.

indivisible members hold signs in front of an RV(Photo: Indivisible)

Stand Up America managing director of policy and political affairs Brett Edkins on Wednesday demanded swift action from Durbin as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

"If Justice Alito had any shame, he would recuse himself from all cases involving January 6th," Edkins said. "His actions don't just cast doubts on his ability to 'faithfully and impartially' administer justice, they show him for what he is: a MAGA extremist."

"What is it going to take for Congress to rein in this out-of-control Supreme Court? Our fundamental freedoms and the integrity of our judiciary are at stake," he added. "Senate Majority Leader Schumer should bring a binding code of conduct for the Supreme Court to a vote on the Senate floor immediately, and Sen. Durbin should begin an immediate investigation into Justice Alito's behavior."

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