Chief Justice Roberts Declines Invite To Meet With Senate Dems On Alito
John Roberts, chief justice of the US Supreme Court, during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.
(Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a request from Senate Democrats for a meeting to discuss flags seen flying at Justice Samuel Alito‘s homes that have drawn ethics complaints from the Left.

Roberts conveyed his message in a brief letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts,” who sent a missive last week asking for an audience with the chief justice.

“I must respectfully decline your request for a meeting,” Roberts said, adding later, “Separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence counsel against such appearances.”

He continued, “Moreover, the format proposed — a meeting with leaders of only one party who have expressed an interest in matters currently pending before the Court — simply underscores that participating in such a meeting would be inadvisable.”

The controversy took flight with a pair of recent New York Times reports that said an upside-down American flag and an “Appeal to Heaven” flag were spotted at homes owned by the Alitos after similar flags were witnessed at the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.

Durbin and Whitehouse additionally urged Roberts to “ensure” Alito would recuse himself from any cases related to the 2020 election or the Capitol riot, including those that relate to the question of former President Donald Trump’s claims of immunity.

Alito told Senate Democrats on Wednesday he would not bend to their demands. He denied being involved in putting up either flag and said his wife, Martha-Ann, put them on display as she is “fond of flying flags” and has the same First Amendment rights as every other American.

“A reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude that this event does not meet the applicable standard for recusal. I am therefore duty-bound to reject your recusal request,” Alito said.

In his letter on Thursday, Roberts made reference to Alito’s response and noted how members of the Supreme Court “recently reaffirmed the practice we have followed for 235 years pursuant to which individual Justices decide recusal issues.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Chief Justice Roberts Declines Invite To Meet With Senate Dems On Alito