Justice Alito ‘agrees’ in secret recording that US should return to ‘place of godliness’

The conservative Supreme Court justice acknowledged that American society was polarized but said that there were differences of opinion on fundamental issues that ‘really can’t be compromised’

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Monday 10 June 2024 20:23
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Former Alito neighbour says Supreme Court justice is ‘at worst outright lying’ in his account of upside-down flag fracas

Embattled Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito agreed the US should “return to a place of godliness,” in a secret recording of candid comments made at an event earlier this month.

The conservative justice acknowledged that American society was polarized but said that there were differences of opinion on fundamental issues that “really can’t be compromised.”

Alito made the remarks during the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3. The conversation was recorded secretly by documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor and came amid a string of controversies surrounding the judge and his wife.

In the recording, Windsor – who also spoke to Alito at the 2023 event – said: “People in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that — to return our country to a place of godliness.”

“I agree with you. I agree with you,” replied Alito.

Embattled Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said he agrees the US should ‘return to a place of godliness,’ during a conversation that was secretly recorded earlier this month
Embattled Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said he agrees the US should ‘return to a place of godliness,’ during a conversation that was secretly recorded earlier this month (AP)

The pair also discuss the polarization of America, with Windsor saying: “I don’t know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that needs to happen for the polarization to end. I think that it’s a matter of, like, winning.”

Alito replies: “I think you’re probably right. On one side or the other — one side or the other is going to win.

“I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working — a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised.

“So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

During their 2023 conversation, which Windsor also recorded, Alito accused the media of “eroding trust” in the US justice system in the eyes of American citizens.

“It’s easy to blame the media but I do blame them because they do nothing but criticize us,” he said.

The Independent has contacted the Supreme Court for comment about the remarks made by Alito.

Alito is known for his right-wing views, having authored the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, which reversed five decades of settled law and ended a constitutional right to abortion.

The judge and his wife have been heavily in the media spotlight recently following controversy over several flags placed outside their homes in both Virginia and New Jersey.

It comes as Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito face backlash in the media following the flying of controversial flags at their homes in Virginia and New Jersey
It comes as Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito face backlash in the media following the flying of controversial flags at their homes in Virginia and New Jersey (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Last month, the New York Times revealed that an upside-down American flag was flown at the Alitos’ Virginia home following the 2020 presidential election - a symbol used by the “Stop the Steal” movement supporting Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

It was subsequently revealed that an “Appeal to Heaven” flag was flown at their New Jersey vacation home, a symbol carried by rioters on January 6.

Alito has twice blamed his wife, Martha-Ann Alito for the flying of the flags, and has refused to recuse himself from upcoming Supreme Court hearings on the January 6 insurrection.

Alito claimed that his wife flew the flag while “greatly distressed” about a “nasty neighborhood dispute.”

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