The Alitos and Roberts discuss politically sensitive topics in secret recordings made by liberal activist

Susan Walsh/AP

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito at the Capitol in Washington, March 7, 2019.


A left-wing activist on Monday released secret recordings of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, discussing a series of politically sensitive topics.

In a conversation with the activist, who identified herself as a religious conservative and did not reveal in the recordings she released that she was producing them and would make them public, Justice Alito supports her suggestion that “the people of this country who believe in God have to continue to fight for this – to return our country to a place of godliness.” “Well, I agree with you, I agree with you,” Alito said.

At another point, the activist presents herself as a devout Catholic, telling the court: “I don’t know if we can negotiate with the left in the way that, for example, needs to happen to end polarization. I think it’s about winning.

“I think you’re probably right,” Alito responds. “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 cannot be compromised. So it’s not like you’re going to split the difference.

The recordings were made by Lauren Windsor, a self-described documentarian who said she made the recordings at a dinner hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society last week. The subjects appeared unaware that they were being recorded by Windsor, who called the clips “infiltrated audio” on X.

Rolling Stone was the first to report on the recordings.

At last week’s event, Windsor also secretly recorded a conversation she had with Chief Justice John Roberts. During that exchange, the leader can be heard on tape refuting some of Windsor’s comments, including her position that the Supreme Court should “guide” the United States as a “Christian nation.”

“Yes, I don’t know if we live in a Christian nation. I know a lot of Jewish and Muslim friends who might say no,” Roberts says in the recording. “And it’s not our role to do that. It’s our job to decide cases as best we can.

CNN has not independently obtained the full audio of the comments made by Alito or his wife, nor the portions that were posted by Windsor le were part of a larger recording she made during the event. Roberts and Alito have not responded to CNN about the secret recordings.

The Alitos in particular have been embroiled in recent controversy following media reports of two provocative flags raised on the conservative jurist’s properties. The incident adds to a growing list of ethical controversies that have plagued the court in recent years and drawn attention from politicians and pundits on the other side.

In another clip in which Windsor again presents herself as a religious conservative, Martha-Ann Alito can be heard bemoaning a Washington Post-style reporter who wrote critiques of her, and goes on to complain about “femnazis.” , who she said “believe (Justice Alito) should control it.

The comment came after Windsor addressed the flag controversy, in which Justice Alito said his wife was responsible for raising two provocative flags seen at Alito’s properties, an upside-down American flag raised at his home in Virginia in early 2021 and a “Heaven Flag call” at his home in New Jersey last summer.

“Then they will go to hell,” Martha-Ann Alito says in the recording. “He never controls me.”

Later in her conversation with Windsor, Martha-Ann Alito says she wants to raise “a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month.” .

“And he says, ‘Oh, please don’t raise a flag,'” she said, apparently referring to justice. “I said, ‘I won’t do it, because I’ll leave it up to you.’ But when you’re free from this nonsense, I’ll put it together and message them every day, maybe every week, I’ll change the flags.’ »

James Duff, executive director of the Supreme Court Historical Society, criticized the recordings in a statement released Monday.

“We condemn the surreptitious recording of judges at the event, which is inconsistent with the spirit of the evening,” Duff said. “Participants are advised that discussion of current cases, cases decided by sitting judges, or a judge’s jurisprudence is strictly prohibited and may result in loss of membership in the Society.”