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What A Day: Well recuuuuse me

FILE - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pauses after swearing in Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense during a ceremony with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, July 23, 2019. Nine days after The New York Times reported about the political symbolism of an upside-down American flag that flew at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home, the Washington Post acknowledged May 25, 2024, that it had the same story more than three years ago and decided not to publish it. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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FILE - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pauses after swearing in Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense during a ceremony with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, July 23, 2019. Nine days after The New York Times reported about the political symbolism of an upside-down American flag that flew at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home, the Washington Post acknowledged May 25, 2024, that it had the same story more than three years ago and decided not to publish it. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SCOTUS

Justice Samuel Alito threw his wife under the bus — again! — in a feisty letter refusing to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases, as his bizarre insurrectionist flag scandal rolls on.

  • It’s hard to imagine the vibe in the Alito home these days — but, going out on a limb here, we’re assuming it’s probably not great. The right-wing Supreme Court Justice faces calls to step away from any cases involving the Jan. 6th insurrection, including the question of criminal immunity for disgraced former President Trump, after flags associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement were spotted over his home in Virginia and beach house in New Jersey. In response, he’s launched what has to be the most intense round of wife-blaming in Supreme Court history.

 

  • On Wednesday, Alito released an absolute banger of a letter that made his wife look both petty and, for reasons still not explained, utterly obsessed with flags. Alito said his wife loves to collect and fly all kinds of random flags, apparently as a hobby (lol, okay). She raised an upside-down American flag, an insurrectionist symbol, after a “very nasty neighborhood dispute” in which he claimed to have no involvement. “As soon as I saw it, I asked my wife to take it down, but for several days, she refused,” he wrote in a letter to Congressional Democrats. He breezily insisted that his wife’s reasons for flying the flag were “not relevant.” And, because his wife co-owns their home, there were “no additional steps” he could have taken to pull the flag down. Like he could not just physically do it himself, no matter how it looked for one of the most powerful people in the country. Okay then! The other flag, the one at the beach house, was allegedly also his wife’s doing. So, obviously, nothing to see here, folks!

 

  • Alito’s letter is more than ridiculous. It makes a mockery of the court’s unenforceable code of conduct, which essentially leaves the justices to police themselves. That code was unveiled in 2023 after ultra-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas caused an uproar by taking lavish vacations on billionaire Harlan Crow’s superyacht and at his private resort in the Adirondacks. Like Alito, Thomas has refused to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases, even though his conservative-activist wife, Ginni Thomas, was active in “Stop the Steal.” As if to underscore the emptiness of Alito’s claim of impartiality, Trump took to Truth Social to praise the justice’s decision, congratulating him for having “guts” and “grit.”


Alito and Thomas are showing how much elections matter — because only presidents and the Senate can put decent, non-corrupt, non-wife-blaming jurists on the highest court in the land.

NEWS NEWS NEWS

Israel’s military operations in Gaza will likely continue through the end of this year, the country’s national security advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi, said in a radio interview Wednesday. Hanegbi seemed to dismiss the idea that the war against Hamas would end even after a military offensive in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees are seeking safety.

Bombs used in the Israeli strike this week that killed dozens of displaced Palestinians in an encampment were made in the U.S., according to the New York Times. The paper said U.S. officials have been encouraging the use of these American-made GBU-39s, on the basis that they supposedly cause fewer civilian casualties than other munitions. U.S. officials have said the strike did not violate President Biden’s red line for withholding arms shipments from Israel.

The jury in Trump’s hush-money trial wrapped its first day of deliberations on Wednesday, after sending some notes to the judge with questions. Legal experts say the longer they take, the more likely it is they can’t agree (which would mean a hung jury), but some anticipate a verdict by this weekend.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) narrowly beat out a pro-gun YouTube influencer (I’m so tired) Brandon Herrera, dubbed “the AK guy,” in a Republican primary runoff Tuesday in a district that includes the town of Uvalde, site of the Robb Elementary School shooting in 2022. The result dismayed some House Republicans who were hoping to boot Gonzales for his record of compromising with Democrats on gun control legislation.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are rolling out a new initiative called “Black Voters for Biden-Harris,” in the campaign’s latest push to rally support from Black voters whose enthusiasm seems to be waning as indicated by a series of recent polling. The duo visited Philadelphia Wednesday to kick off a week of action to mobilize Black voters in battleground states who will be crucial to their re-election prospects.

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This newsletter is sponsored by BetterHelp.

What A Day readers know better than anyone that keeping up with the news is an essential component of being an active citizen and participant in our communities. But in these divisive times, the day’s headlines can also leave us feeling overwhelmed. May is national Mental Health Awareness Month, so what better time to check in with your mental health, and talk to someone when the influx of current events feels like too much for one person to handle?

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