Lawmakers Dial Up Pressure on Alito to Recuse From Elections Cases

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers called for Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. to recuse himself from cases related to Jan. 6, 2021, and demanded new ethics rules for the Supreme Court after revelations that flags carried by rioters at the Capitol were flown outside his homes.

With the Supreme Court just weeks away from issuing decisions on two major cases concerning former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the events of Jan. 6, lawmakers said the symbolism of the flags called into question Justice Alito’s neutrality.

In an interview on Thursday, Representative Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee who has introduced a resolution to censure Justice Alito, said Congress needed to take the firm position that the justice’s actions were a violation of judicial propriety.

“He’s not going to resign, he’s not going to recuse himself, and I don’t think Justice Roberts is going to be able to influence him in that regard,” he said, referring to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “So the best we can do is to kind of put a scarlet letter on him.”

The outcry over Justice Alito comes amid fears about whether the American public will regard the court’s rulings about Jan. 6 and Mr. Trump as fair ahead of the November election, with President Biden and Mr. Trump locked in a tight race. Still, the prospect of any legislative action is slim while Republicans hold a small majority in the House.

The calls for Justice Alito’s recusal began after The New York Times reported last week that an upside-down American flag — a symbol associated with 2020 election deniers and used by supporters of Mr. Trump at the Jan. 6 riot — had been hung outside Justice Alito’s house in Virginia just over a week after the insurrection.

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