Sen. Lee And Speaker Johnson Stand By Justice Alito Amid Flag Controversy

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has found support from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) following criticism over his display of an upside-down American flag and the historical “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his New Jersey home.

The astroturfed controversy comes on the heels of a New York Times article that used a picture of the flags to assert that he was involved with or supported the Capitol protest on Jan. 6 and that this somehow meant that he should step aside and recuse himself from any cases that can be viewed as related to them.

But the flags both have meanings outdating anything that’s happened so far this century, with upside-down flags being used to signal distress on the open seas since pirates were an serious political issue and the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, also called the “Pine Tree Flag,” being commissioned in 1775 by George Washington during the American Revolutionary War.

While Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) initially disapproved of Alito’s actions, Lee strongly defended the justice’s wife, Martha-Ann Alito, stating, “She is a free citizen. And a freedom-loving, American patriot” who “has every right to hang whatever flag she wants.”

Johnson emphasized that the flag has no connection to the “stop the steal” protests and revealed that he has consistently flown it outside his office. This comes despite a Rolling Stone article that sought to frame the flag as a “symbol of Christian warfare” and associate it with “right-wing religious extremism.”

The “Appeal to Heaven” phrase comes from John Locke’s “Second Treatise,” which discusses the people’s right to appeal to a higher authority when faced with oppressive rule.