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Durbin Calls on Justice Alito to Recuse Himself from Cases Related to the 2020 Election After a "Stop the Steal" Symbol Was Displayed in His Yard

Durbin also calls for the passage of the SCERT Act, legislation that requires Supreme Court justices to adopt a binding code of ethics

CHICAGO  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after a New York Times report that a “Stop the Steal” symbol—an upside-down American flag—was displayed in Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s yard:

“Flying an upside-down American flag—a symbol of the so-called ‘Stop the Steal’ movement—clearly creates the appearance of bias.  Justice Alito should recuse himself immediately from cases related to the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection, including the question of the former President’s immunity in U.S. v. Donald Trump, which the Supreme Court is currently considering.

“The Court is in an ethical crisis of its own making, and Justice Alito and the rest of the Court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust.  This latest story is further proof that Congress needs to pass the SCERT Act to create an enforceable code of conduct for the Supreme Court.  Supreme Court justices should be held to the highest ethical standards, not the lowest.”

Durbin also called for the immediate passage of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act, legislation that the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced last July.  The bill would require Supreme Court justices to adopt a binding code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the code of conduct and other laws, improve disclosure and transparency when a justice has a connection to a party or amicus before the Court, and require justices to explain their recusal decisions to the public.

Durbin has been calling on the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of conduct for more than a decade.  He first sent a letter to the Chief Justice on this issue more than 12 years ago.