50,000 Signatures DEMAND Supreme Court Justices' Recusal

By Tommy Wilson | Tuesday, 21 May 2024 05:15 AM
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Image Credit : Pew Research Center

A petition demanding the recusal of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas from significant cases connected to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack has garnered 50,000 signatures.

The petition, initiated by MoveOn, was sparked by a report revealing that an upside-down flag, a symbol linked to former President Donald Trump's unfounded allegations of election fraud, was exhibited outside Alito's residence in January 2021.

The report, which included a photograph of the flag outside Alito's Alexandria, Virginia, home on January 17, 2021, just days after Trump supporters besieged the Capitol in an attempt to halt the certification of Joe Biden's electoral triumph, has raised questions about the conservative justice's impartiality. Alito informed the publication that his wife had "briefly placed" the flag during a disagreement with neighbors.

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The Supreme Court is currently deliberating on two cases related to the Capitol insurrection: one concerning the charges faced by the rioters and another assessing whether Trump is exempt from prosecution on election interference charges. The MoveOn petition argues that Alito "must be held accountable for this breach of ethics," calling for his immediate recusal or removal by Chief Justice John Roberts. The petition also urges the Senate Judiciary Committee to promptly investigate and address conflicts of interest.

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Launched on Friday, the petition had surpassed 50,000 signatures by Monday morning. It contends that the report about "this sign of partisanship and partiality on Alito's home is the latest in the trend of right-wing Supreme Court justices embracing conflicts of interest with relation to Trump's election cases." The petition also notes that public trust in the court has plummeted to historic lows, with Americans increasingly viewing it as a tool of a partisan right-wing agenda.

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Rahna Epting, MoveOn political action executive director, stated that the only way to begin restoring trust in the Supreme Court and ensuring a fair hearing on Trump's baseless immunity claims is for Justices Alito and Thomas to recuse themselves or be removed by Chief Justice Roberts. Epting criticized Justice Roberts' inaction, arguing that it has led to the Supreme Court's lowest public approval ever. She also called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate these conflicts of interest immediately and take action to hold corrupt or conflicted justices accountable, including considering impeachment.

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Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has urged Alito to recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election and the Capitol attack. Durbin stated that flying an upside-down American flag, a symbol of the so-called 'Stop the Steal' movement, clearly creates the appearance of bias. He also called for the court to adopt a binding code of ethics, arguing that the court is in an ethical crisis of its own making and that Justice Alito and the rest of the court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust.

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The court adopted a code of ethics in November last year following months of pressure in the wake of a series of reports about undisclosed luxury trips and gifts to some justices, including Thomas and Alito. However, the code lacks a means of enforcement. Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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