Alito dust-up has nothing to do with flags

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I have never been married, nor do I have any children.

I grew up around married people. I descend from a whole line of married people. I have friends who are married people. I deeply admire married people, and I think that they tend to be among the happiest folks in the universe.

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but it does not mean that the parties to that institution have actually been institutionalized and administered joint lobotomies where all semblance of individuality and agency has been sucked from them.

My olive-skinned, dark-eyed Italian mother was the aesthetic opposite of my freckled, redheaded Irish father.

Their personalities were also quite different, with mom being generally shy and sweet and my gregarious daddy having that stereotypical Irish temper. In general, they were polar opposites, separate human beings.

Which brings me to the other couple of the week.

Justice Samuel Alito’s wife Martha Ann has a penchant for flying flags that annoy liberals.

Predictably, there is now a ridiculous attempt to have Justice Samuel Alito recuse himself from deliberations over the Jan. 6 and immunity cases.

It’s predictable because the Democrats seem willing to use anything in their arsenal of moral outrage to delegitimize justices who render decisions they don’t like.

While most of the ire used to be directed at Clarence Thomas, the Democrats have shifted their hostility in recent years to Alito, likely because is the face of the Dobbs decision that overturned their sacrament, uh, right to abortion.

But beyond predictable, as I said, it’s ridiculous.

The way they have pivoted from accusing Harrison Butker of demeaning his wife because she chooses to stay home to saddling a husband with his wife’s personal views is almost comical.

But I’m not laughing, because it’s not funny to play games with our democratic system, as the liberals have been telling me since Nov. 6, 2016.

Some would argue that this is not just “a” random husband married to “a” random wife who likes to engage in cosplay with flags.

This is not my mother cringing at my father’s fashion choices. This is a Supreme Court justice who “must” uphold the appearance of neutrality, as if that’s been the rule of the game for every deceased female justice with her own rap name and line of T shirts and mugs.

Of course I do understand that appearances are extremely important.

Legendary Philadelphia lawyer Shanin Specter, son of the equally legendary senator Arlen Spector wrote this on Instagram: “I’m married too. I respect my wife too. She’s independent too. She puts up signs on our property too.

“What is messaged on our property — be it on a sign or a flag — will be assumed to be a statement from both of us. And that means my impartiality might reasonably be questioned were I to adjudicate a case involving such a message. Hence, Justice Alito should recuse.”

I was with him until that last line. It is true that a judge’s impartiality might be questioned for a lot of reasons.

I think Judge Juan Merchan’s impartiality is highly questionable due to his daughter’s activities, and yet I don’t believe that he should recuse himself from the “Trump hush money” case.

Just because we think that a judge might have a bias does not mean that he does, and we don’t get the right to make any jurist remove himself because of our subjective issues.

And finally, we really know what this is about.

As Machiavelli once famously wrote, the ends justify the means. The people who are coming for Alito want to judicially neuter him, not because they think he’s a bad justice but for precisely the opposite reason: they can’t attack his actual jurisprudence.

They can’t go after his legal expertise, so they will do what they tried to do when they defamed Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination hearing: they’re trying to destroy his character.

And they’re using his wife to do it.

Which is pretty pathetic, because no one takes a vow to be there for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health or till exterior decorating us do part.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

Christine Flowers is a Philadelphian who loves the Eagles but can leave the cheesesteaks. She writes about anything that will likely annoy the majority of people, and in her spare time practices immigration law (which is bound to annoy at least some people.)