Justice Alito questions possibility of political compromise in secret recording

FILE - Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) 鈥 Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is heard questioning whether compromise between the left and right is possible in a conversation posted on social media. The conservative justice is also heard agreeing with a woman who says the United States should return "to a place of godliness.鈥

The audio was posted Monday on X by . She said it was recorded at the Supreme Court Historical Society鈥檚 annual dinner last week.

鈥淥ne side or the other is going to win,鈥 Alito said. 鈥淭here can be a way of working, a way of living together peacefully, but it鈥檚 difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can鈥檛 be compromised.鈥

Windsor then told Alito: 鈥淚 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.鈥

鈥淚 agree with you,鈥 Alito responded.

Windsor also spoke with Chief Justice John Roberts, who rejected a similar argument. When Windsor suggested the court should lead the nation on a 鈥淐hristian鈥 path, Roberts responded, 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know if that鈥檚 true.鈥

The court declined to comment on the recordings.

Alito has rejected calls to step aside from cases involving former President Donald Trump and Jan. 6 defendants after stories emerged about controversial flags that flew above his homes.

In letters to members of Congress, Alito said his wife, Martha-Ann, was responsible for flying both an upside-down flag over their home in 2021 and an 鈥淎ppeal to Heaven鈥 flag at their New Jersey beach house last year. Both flags were like those carried by rioters who violently stormed the Capitol in January 2021 while echoing Trump鈥檚 false claims of election fraud.

Martha-Ann Alito spoke to Windsor about her flags on another recording made at the dinner, according to an additional edited recording the filmmaker posted online. She said she wanted to fly a religious flag because 鈥淚 have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month,鈥 an apparent reference to celebratory LGBTQ+ displays during Pride month in June.

Her husband asked her not to, she told Windsor. 鈥淗e鈥檚 like, 鈥橭h please don鈥檛 put up a flag.'"

Martha-Ann Alito also imagined making a flag with 鈥測ellow and orange flames鈥 and the Italian word for shame in the center.

to meet with Democratic senators to talk about Supreme Court ethics and the flags that flew outside Alito鈥檚 homes.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Windsor said she recorded the conversations with Alito and Roberts because 鈥渢he Supreme Court is shrouded in secrecy, and they鈥檙e refusing to submit to any accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious ethics breaches, I think that it鈥檚 justified to take these types of measures.鈥

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