In secret recording, Justice Alito questions possibility of political compromise

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito » We hear him wondering if a compromise between left and right is possible in a conversation published on social networks. We also hear conservative justice agreeing with a woman who says the United States should return “to a place of godliness.”

The audio was posted Monday on X by liberal filmmaker Lauren Windsor. She said it was recorded at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner last week.

“One side or the other is going to win,” Alito said. “There may 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 cannot be compromised.”

Windsor then told Alito: “I think the solution really comes down to winning the moral argument. For example, the people of this country who believe in God must continue to fight for this, to return our country to a place of godliness.

“I agree with you,” Alito responded.

Windsor also spoke with Chief Justice John Roberts, who rejected a similar argument. When Windsor suggested that the court should lead the nation on a “Christian” path, Roberts responded, “I don’t know if that’s true.” »

The court declined to comment on the recordings.

Alito rejected calls to step down Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 defendants after stories emerged about controversial flags flying over his homes.

In letters to members of Congress, Alito said his wife, Martha-Ann, was responsible for flying both an upside-down flag over their home in 2021 and an “Appeal to Heaven” flag. ” on their New Jersey beach house last year. Both flags resembled those carried by the rioters who violently stormed the Capitol in January 2021, while echoing Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

Martha-Ann Alito spoke to Windsor about her flags on another recording made at the dinner, according to an additional recording edited by the filmmaker posted online. She said she wanted to fly a religious flag because “I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag next month”, an apparent reference to LGBTQ+ celebration protests during Pride Month in June .

Her husband asked her not to do it, she told Windsor. “He says, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag.'”

Martha-Ann Alito also imagined making a flag with “yellow and orange flames” and the Italian word for shame in the center.

Roberts declined an invitation meeting with Democratic senators to talk about the ethics of the Supreme Court and the flags that flew outside Alito’s homes.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Windsor said she recorded the conversations with Alito and Roberts because “the Supreme Court is shrouded in secrecy and they refuse to submit to any accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious violations of the law.” ‘ethics. that it is justified to take this type of measure.