Nadler questions Supreme Court ethics after Alito flag debacle: ‘None of them have clean hands’

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) brought the question of Supreme Court ethics back to light after Justice Samuel Alito was criticized earlier this week for an upside-down American flag allegedly flying outside of his Virginia home in 2021.

“None of them have clean hands, none of them have clean hands,” Nadler said during an appearance Saturday on MSNBC’s “The Weekend.” “And again, I would say we need two things. We need to enforce a code of ethics. And we need term limits on the Supreme Court.”

Nadler, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Commitee, is just the latest lawmaker scrutinizing Alito after The New York Times reported Thursday that the upside-down flag flew outside his home in Alexandria, Va., on Jan. 17, 2021, and potentially for several days, shortly after Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

He said Alito did not deny that the flag flew “for several days” when the justice spoke with “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream Friday about the report.

“That tells me that that was okay with him,” Nadler said Saturday. “If it had been flown for a couple of hours and he found out about it and said ‘take it down,’ that might be a different thing, but it was flown for several days.”

“He should certainly recuse himself from any January 6 related case, from any case related to the to President Trump,” he continued, “Because he’s associated with the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement now whether he wants to be or not.”

Senate Judiciary Committe Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was the first to call on Alito to recuse himself from all cases related to the 2020 election and Jan. 6 insurrection. Shortly after, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said that Alito, a George W. Bush appointee, should at least apologize for “disrespecting” the American flag.

Following The Times’s report, Alito said he had “no involvement” with the flag. Instead, he claimed it was “briefly placed” by his wife in response to a neighbor’s use of insulting language on their yard signs.

Judicial experts told the outlet that Alito violated ethics rules over flying the flag, which could put his neutrality into question regarding Jan. 6 and presidential election cases.

Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas’s ethics have both been under the microscope after revelations that they accompanied billionaires on vacations and accepted lavish gifts without reporting them. Lawmakers have since pushed for a more defined ethics code for the higher court.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.