Take My Wife, Please! At Home With The Alitos

It’s not every day we get a window into the marriage of a Supreme Court justice, especially a super-private one.

But recently, The New York Times revealed that an upside-down American flag appeared on a flagpole outside the driveway of the Alito family home in Alexandria, Virginia. This was flown just days after Jan. 6, 2021, when Capitol rioters had carried the same as an upside-down symbol of “Stop the Steal!”

So now the Alitos -- Sam and Martha-Ann -- have thrust themselves into the spotlight, becoming controversial public figures.

At first, Justice Alito blamed his wife, seeming to throw her under the bus (or the minivan) for something he said she had placed there “as a distress signal” during a neighborhood spat, and that he had nothing to do with it.

I got the feeling that by repeatedly saying “my wife,” he was trying to suggest a sort of light domestic comedy situation, a winking “amiright?” message to fellow husbands. It was as though he were linking himself to that “Oh, Luuuuucy!’  frustration of Ricky Ricardo as he taps his finger and rolls his eyes to the heavens.



That made me think that Mrs. Alito might have an unstoppably exuberant personality that favored flags as everyday communications. Like for instance, would she put up a “Twister” flag, a white banner with six rows of colorful dots, to announce “Ginny and Clarence are coming over to play our favorite game!”?

Or maybe she might have hung a flag with a symbol of a giant mug holding a cold, non-Budweiser-type brew to signal to the Mr. while driving up to the house after work that it was Netflix and chillin’ night?

But the situation turned out to be about as funny as a Pepe banner when  a second flag, also linked to the Jan. 6 riot, the white “Appeal to Heaven,” flag, was photographed flying at the Alitos’ beach house in southern New Jersey.

It seems justice can be blind, since among other excuses the male Alito claimed he hadn’t noticed either of the flags.

But this time, in letters to Congress this week, when he refused to recuse himself from 2020 election cases, Alito let his excuse freak flag really fly. He again put the blame on his flag-hoisting wife, but added that he supports her right to fly them.

“My wife is a private citizen, and she possesses the same First Amendment rights as every American,” the justice wrote. “She makes her own decisions, and I have always respected her right to do so.” He added: “My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not.”

For some reason, he never mentions Martha’s first name, despite it being such a patriotic one. And he also added something about her being the owner of half of their house in Virginia and all of their beach house (which she bought with inherited money) which would give her more rights, apparently.

In this latest version of excuses, he sounds more modern and progressive by saying that he respects her opinions and wouldn’t change them, something many contemporary spouses would say.

He's also changing his rationale from " I told her to take it down, and she wouldn't listen” to the seemingly more acceptable "She's got a mind of her own and makes her own choices.”

In a terrible irony, he is giving his wife a lot more agency in deciding whether to fly the flag than he is to the rest of the entire country’s American women -- who, because of his overriding of Rowe v. Wade, have been stripped of their ability to make their own reproductive decisions.

The Dobbs decision has already led to horrific consequences for women, like enduring fertility-killing infections or dying because of delayed medical attention by now-fearful doctors who must consult lawyers before acting.

Now, states like Louisiana are adding possible imprisonment for women in possession of abortion medications without a prescription.

In refusing to recuse himself over what he seems to see as trivial domestic matters, Alito is defying the constitutional and statutory standards applied to Supreme Court justices.  In a piece in the Times, Rep. Jamie Raskin wrote that the recusal statute explicitly treats Supreme Court justices like other judges: “Any justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

What’s more, spouses of public servants (especially high ranking  judicial ones) know they are subject to basic rules of comportment, like not being able to sport bumper stickers on their cars or signs in their yards expressing political opinions.  It’s a matter of respect.

It's also understood that only people with issues spit on their neighbors, which Martha-Ann reportedly did.

We now know more than we ever needed to know about their marriage.

In the end, who will judge the judges? As we’ve discovered with all of this, nobody.  The Supreme Court is its own arbiter of behavior -- and that is a red flag for America.

1 comment about "Take My Wife, Please! At Home With The Alitos".
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  1. M Gingrich from GI, May 31, 2024 at 9:14 a.m.

    Why has MediaPost become a leftist rag leading with this in their otherwise good emails? What does this have to do with Media, ad agencies, creative or the like? Let's not get into facts like that San Francisco has been flying an Appeal to Heaven (aka Pine Tree) flag for 60 years - let alone it's origin.

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