U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alito questions if left and right can compromise in secret recording

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The conservative justice is also heard seeming to agree with a woman who says the United States should return "to a place of godliness."

Filmmaker made recording at event last week

The Associated Press

· Posted: Jun 11, 2024 10:01 AM EDT | Last Updated: 14 minutes ago

An older cleanshaven man in a tie and judicial robes is shown in closeup.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is seen in this April 2021 photo. (Erin Schaff/Reuters)

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

The audio was posted on X by liberal filmmaker Lauren Windsor. She said it was recorded at the Supreme Court Historical Society's annual dinner last week.

Reuters reported that Windsor said in an email that she attended the June 3 dinner as a dues-paying member, posed as a conservative Christian and approached Alito.

"One side or the other is going to win," Alito said. "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."

Windsor then told Alito: "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."

"I agree with you," 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 "Christian" path, Roberts responded, "I don't know if that's true."

A clean-shaven man is shown in closeup wearing a judicial robe over a collared shirt and tie.

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts poses in this photo taken in October 2022. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

According to a report from Reuters, 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 says wife responsible for flags

Alito has rejected calls to step aside from Supreme Court 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 "Appeal to Heaven" 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's false claims of election fraud.

Roberts declined an invitation to meet with Democratic senators to talk about Supreme Court ethics and the flags that flew outside Alito's homes.

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

with files from Reuters

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