Roberts rejects Senate Democrats’ request to discuss Supreme Court ethics and Alito flag controversy


WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday declined an invitation to meet with Democratic senators to talk about Supreme Court ethics and the controversy over flags that flew outside homes owned by Justice Samuel Alito.

Roberts’ response came in a letter to the senators a day after Alito separately wrote them and House members to reject their demands that he recuse from major Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 rioters because of the flags, which are like those carried by rioters at the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a member of the Judiciary panel, had written Roberts a week ago to ask for the meeting and also that Roberts take steps to ensure that Alito recuses himself from any cases before the court concerning the Jan. 6 attack or former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Justices decide for themselves when to step aside from cases, Roberts noted. Alito said he concluded nothing about the flags, both of which he said were flown by his wife outside their homes in Virginia and New Jersey, required his recusal.

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