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Sen. Dick Durbin calls for Supreme Court's Alito to step aside from Trump cases

over upside-down flag

By Ehren Wynder
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faces a call from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin to step down from cases related to the 2020 presidential election due to an upside-down American flag shown flying on his property days after the Jan. 6 riot. The upside-down flag is a symbol often seen on the pro-Trump right. File Photo by Eric Lee/UPI
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faces a call from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin to step down from cases related to the 2020 presidential election due to an upside-down American flag shown flying on his property days after the Jan. 6 riot. The upside-down flag is a symbol often seen on the pro-Trump right. File Photo by Eric Lee/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Friday called for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from all cases related to the 2020 election because of an American flag displayed upside down in front of the justice's home.

One of the cases pertains to former President Donald Trump's claim of presidential immunity from prosecution over his efforts to reverse President Joe Biden's 2020 victory.

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Media reports showed an upside-down American flag outside of Alito's home in Alexandria, Va., days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The upside-down flag has long been used as an SOS signal but has been appropriated in recent years by people on the right who believe Biden stole the election from Trump.

"Flying an upside-down American flag -- a symbol of the so-called 'Stop the Steal' movement -- clearly creates the appearance of bias," Durbin said Friday.

"Justice Alito should recuse himself immediately from cases related to the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 insurrection, including the question of the former President's immunity in U.S. v. Donald Trump, which the Supreme Court is currently considering,"

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Alito has said he wasn't responsible for the flag's placement.

"I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag," he said. "It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor's use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs."

The Supreme Court is set to rule on Trump's immunity claim and on another case over an obstruction charge facing hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants.

The court's ethics code states justices should refrain from making political statements in order to maintain their impartiality on matters that come before the court.

Justice Clarence Thomas also has been asked to recuse himself due to his wife's involvement in the effort to overturn the 2020 election, but he has refused to do so.

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