Samuel Alito Caught on Tape Agreeing That the U.S. Should Return to ‘Godliness’

The Scandalito continues: The Supreme Court justice was recorded saying some wild stuff at a fundraiser.

Politics
Samuel Alito Caught on Tape Agreeing That the U.S. Should Return to ‘Godliness’

Scandal-ridden Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said at a fundraising dinner that it’s difficult to live peacefully with ideological opponents and agreed that religious conservatives should fight to return the U.S. to a place of “godliness,” according to new reporting from Rolling Stone. We must remind you that Alito’s scandal before this one was blaming a flag associated with Christian Nationalism flying outside his beach home on his wife, Martha Ann. I’m beginning to suspect that Alito, the author of the opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, shares some of his wife’s views!

Documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor secretly recorded audio of a conversation with Alito at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3. (The event was held just a few days after Alito indignantly defended his wife’s various flags with far-right, insurrection-adjacent symbolism.) Windsor is a dues-paying member under her real name, though she asked questions as if she were a religious conservative.

Windsor asked Alito about political polarization, 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 responds:

“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.”

Hmm! What kinds of issues does Alito believe conservatives can’t compromise on? Abortion? The “sanctity” of marriage? Gun rights for domestic abusers? It’s all a big mystery with this guy.

Windsor later said to Alito: “People in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that—to return our country to a place of godliness.” To which the justice replied, “I agree with you. I agree with you.”

 

The Supreme Court Historical Society is the same group that right-wing activist Rev. Rob Schenck said he weaponized to get conservatives closer to the court. Schenck recruited couples to donate to the society and chat with the justices at events and hopefully strike up friendships. One Evangelical Ohio couple, the Wrights, gave an estimated $125,000 to the group and socialized with the Alitos, Scalias, and Thomases outside of its events. Then, in early June 2014, Alito—or his wife—reportedly leaked the outcome of the Hobby Lobby birth control case to the Wrights over dinner at his Virginia home, according to the New York Times.

Schenck informed Chief Justice John Roberts of this reported leak in a letter sent two months after the Dobbs leak, but he appeared to do nothing about it. Speaking of Roberts, Windsor also chatted with him at the June 3 dinner, and he sounded much less partisan than Alito. Windsor said that the Founders were “godly” and that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” and suggested the court “should be “guiding us in that path.” Roberts disagreed. “I don’t know that we live in a Christian nation. I know a lot of Jewish and Muslim friends who would say, maybe not,” he said. “It’s not our job to do that. It’s our job to decide the cases the best we can.”

But don’t start engraving any medals for that guy. After two top Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee requested a meeting with Roberts about getting Alito to recuse himself in cases related to January 6, Roberts declined, citing a desire to preserve judicial independence. So the Chief remains feckless at best, and enabling at worst.

Windsor told Rolling Stone that she went to the Historical Society event and recorded her conversations “because the Supreme Court is shrouded in secrecy, and they’re refusing to submit to any accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious ethics breaches.”

Former U.S. Attorney and law professor Joyce Vance said on Twitter of Alito’s remarks, “If Justice Alito is making comments like this to a random person at a get-together, what is he saying to his close confidants?” It’s a great question, and I think Democrats should hold Senate hearings looking into Alito’s behavior!

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