Durbin: Justice Alito Must Recuse Himself From Cases Related To The 2020 Election After 'Appeal To Heaven' Flag Was Flown At His Home

Durbin also called for the passage of the SCERT Act, legislation that requires Supreme Court justices to adopt a binding code of ethics

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after a New York Times report that an “Appeal to Heaven” flag—a symbol carried on January 6—was flown at Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s vacation home:

“This incident is yet another example of apparent ethical misconduct by a sitting justice, and it adds to the Court’s ongoing ethical crisis.  For the good of our country and the Court, Justice Alito must recuse himself immediately from cases related to the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection.  And the Chief Justice must see how this is damaging the Court and immediately enact an enforceable code of conduct.

“This episode will further erode public faith in the Court.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has been investigating the ethical crisis at the Court for more than a year, and that investigation continues.  And we remain focused on ensuring the Supreme Court adopts an enforceable code of conduct, which we can do by passing the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act.”

Durbin has continuously called for the passage of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act, legislation that the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced last July.  The bill would require Supreme Court justices to adopt a binding code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the code of conduct and other laws, improve disclosure and transparency when a justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public.

Durbin has been calling on the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of conduct for more than a decade.  He first sent a letter to the Chief Justice on this issue more than 12 years ago.