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Samuel Alito.JPG
Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Samuel Alito.JPG
Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
USA News

US Supreme Court justice appears to back American return to 'godliness' in secret recording

by Reuters Journalist

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in a secret recording made public on Monday by a liberal activist can be heard agreeing with the sentiment that the US should return "to a place of godliness".

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the recording that activist Lauren Windsor posted on social media and provided to the media outlet Rolling Stone.

A spokesperson for the Supreme Court declined to comment. A Rolling Stone spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

In response to questions from Reuters, Windsor said in an email that she attended the 3rd June Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner as a dues-paying member, posed as a conservative Christian and approached Alito and asked him about how the country could become less politically polarised before she turned to religion.

In the recording, she said: "I think that the solution really is like winning the moral argument. Like, people in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that, to return our country to a place of godliness."

A voice that sounded like Alito's responded: "Well, I agree with you. I agree with you."

When asked about the current divide in American politics, the voice that sounded like Alito responded: "One side or the other is going to win. I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working — a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

Windsor said: "In saying that one side will win, and that some things can’t be compromised, he is admitting a lack of impartiality, which is bedrock to our system of justice."

James Duff, the executive director of the Supreme Court Historical Society, said in an emailed statement: "We condemn the surreptitious recording of Justices at the event, which is inconsistent with the entire spirit of the evening."

Alito has been under scrutiny following reports that flags associated with former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss flew outside two of the justice's homes, prompting Democrats to call for his recusal from pending cases related to the 2020 election.

The New York Times reported in May on two flags like those carried by some Trump supporters during the 2021 attack on the US Capitol that were flown at the justice's homes. An upside-down American flag flew at his Virginia home in the Washington suburbs, while a flag bearing the words "Appeal to Heaven" flew at his vacation house in New Jersey.

The "Appeal to Heaven" flag has come to symbolize hopes by some conservative activists for a more Christian-centered US government.

Alito, in a statement last month rejecting calls for his recusal, said he was not familiar with that meaning of the flag. He also told the lawmakers that the flag-flying in both instances was done by his wife, Martha-Ann Alito.

Reuters could not independently verify this.

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