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Opinion: Alito's Second Warning Sign

Justice administrators should show impartiality in their decisions, asserts Kirsi Goldynia. In agreement, the justices themselves emphasize the significance of excluding personal opinions in court cases.

Justice Alito and the flags. Lawmakers weigh in on the controversy surrounding Justice Samuel Alito...
Justice Alito and the flags. Lawmakers weigh in on the controversy surrounding Justice Samuel Alito after a second report of a controversial flag flown at his residence.

Opinion: Alito's Second Warning Sign

It's a well-known fact that we expect judgements to be unbiased from those who hold the highest positions in dispensing justice. Judges themselves recognize the significance of keeping personal opinions out of judicial matters. Justice Samuel Alito stated at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 2006, "A judge can't have any agenda, a judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case, and a judge certainly doesn't have a client."

And yet, when the New York Times revealed that an "Appeal to Heaven" flag associated with the "Stop the Steal" movement was flown at Alito's beach house, many Democrats began to question his impartiality regarding cases related to the January 6 insurrection. This isn't the first time Alito has faced controversy over a controversial flag on his property. The Times also reported that an American flag was inverted outside Alito's Virginia residence on January 17, 2021, days before Joe Biden's inauguration. The inverted flag, signifying distress, was adopted by Trump supporters believing the election was stolen. Although Alito claimed his wife had raised the inverted flag due to a dispute with a neighbor, he didn't respond to a request for comment about the "Appeal to Heaven" flag.

Julian Zelizer, in his article, said, "The flags bring into question the extent to which Alito is willing to openly express his political views and how they might influence his legal decisions. This news comes at a time when the Supreme Court is due to make a decision regarding Trump's claim of broad presidential immunity, which could potentially absolve him from federal cases he faces. In addition, the court is also considering a case challenging the usage of an obstruction law against people arrested during the January 6th events."

The perception that the Supreme Court can be the impartial arbiter above partisan politics has taken a major hit in recent years. The increasing politicization of the Senate confirmation process has made it harder for citizens to see the justices as nonpolitical figures.

Although some have called on Alito to recuse himself from any cases related to January 6, Michael J. Broyde claims there's no precedent for doing so in such cases. "In 2016, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described then-candidate Trump as a 'faker' and more, even expressing her desire to move to New Zealand if he won. Despite her regretting her comments, she continued sitting on cases involving Trump both as president and a private citizen."


Ex-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who was once a presidential hopeful, had some strong words for Trump in 2020. After Trump confused Haley with Nancy Pelosi, she questioned his mental fitness. In response to Trump's comments about her husband, who was deployed overseas, she labelled him "unhinged." However, Haley now intends to vote for Trump for president.

"It's disappointing, but not surprising. They all seem to come back to Trump in the end, don't they?" remarked SE Cupp. "It's still perplexing to me though. If someone can have the courage to oppose Trump, why not continue to do so?"

In the trial concerning Trump's hush money, his legal team presented their case on Monday, prompting a heated exchange between witness Robert Costello, a lawyer who used to advise former fixer Michael Cohen, and Judge Juan Merchan. Norm Eisen, who was present in the courtroom, recounted the exchange: "The drama started when Costello replied dismissively to one of the judge's rulings, 'Jeez'. Merchan dismissed the jury then warned the witness to maintain decorum and reminded him, 'You don't say “jeez” and then you don't say “strike it” ... and then if you don't like my ruling, you don't give me side eye and you don't roll your eyes. Do you understand that?'" This could potentially harm the defense, Eisen suggested, as juries tend to reflect the judge's demeanor.

The defense rested their case on Tuesday, and the court will remain closed until closing arguments resume on May 28.

SE Cupp: Nikki Haley’s mind-boggling U-turn on Trump. In this week’s episode of “Unfiltered,” SE Cupp blasts Nikki Haley’s

And finally, we have the case of Rishi Sunak, who is currently running for reelection. To gather signatures for his campaign, Sunak must venture into the pouring rain. But he faces another challenge as well - avoiding sticky situations in the process.

In 2021, Sunak faced controversy when he infringed upon the working hours of his office staff, compelling them to work during the weekends. He later apologized and promised to adhere to his staff's work-life balance in the future.

Due to these incidents, Sunak is now faced with the challenge of trying to avoid any further mishaps during the remainder of his campaign. As he navigates these tricky waters, he hopes to avoid any further controversy.

They say rain attracts snails, but perhaps this time, it's Rishi Sunak who must avoid the slime.

In this week’s episode of “Unfiltered,” SE Cupp examines Nikki Haley’s decision to vote for Trump after the former South Carolina governor called him unhinged, mentally unfit, and unqualified to be president.

On a rain-soaked Wednesday, United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that a sudden general election will take place on the 4th of July. This timing wasn't lost on Holly Thomas, who couldn't help but think, "A country potentially abandoning a heartless and incompetent British government? On July 4? Wounded imagination."

Sunak, who had no other choice but to call for a vote before the year's end, was likely hoping the news of declining inflation would set the stage for his campaign. However, Thomas is skeptical that many of her fellow Britons will overlook the fact that life in the UK has been becoming increasingly challenging since 2010, during the reign of various Tory leaders.

Thomas said, "People are remembering just how difficult life is right now, especially when it comes to the two issues weighing heavily on someone's mind: the economy and healthcare". Regarding healthcare, she added, "As of January 2024, one in five individuals in England have to wait four weeks or longer to see a general practitioner, according to NHS data".

When it comes to the economy, the UK hasn't quite fully recovered from the 2008 recession. As Thomas put it, "The sting is still felt by many, not just from the recession but also from the catastrophic consequences of the Tory-led Brexit. In fact, a recent independent report found that Brexit had a detrimental impact on the economy, causing it to shrink by over £140 billion ($178 billion) and creating nearly 2 million fewer jobs in the UK."


Thomas believes the Labour Party holds a significant advantage going into this election. She explained, "The appeal of the Labour Party is not what gives them an edge, but the complacency of the Tories, who seem oblivious to the fact that after 15 years of their atrocious governance, the British people are desperate for change."

In the United States, Trump's campaign recently shared a video featuring a fake newspaper detailing the potential consequences of a Trump victory in the 2024 election. The headline, "What's next for America?", even suggested the creation of a unified Reich. The Trump campaign claimed this was a mistake made by a misunderstanding staffer.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a specialist in fascist propaganda, examined the video and pointed out that "the images in this black and white video, along with the fonts and overall style, are strikingly similar to Nazi propaganda from the 1930s."

In Germany, officials are preparing for a potential Trump presidency.


"Germany is gathering with its close European allies, like Poland and France, to discuss what will happen if Trump is re-elected," a senior government official from Berlin said to Anna Sauerbrey. He continued, "If Donald Trump is reelected, we must try to stay united in the EU. Poland, France, and Germany would need to play a crucial role in leading the way."

Sauerbrey also wrote that regardless of who wins the 2024 U.S. election, the democratic backsliding that has taken place in the United States in the past decade has already left a mark on German society, and will likely continue to influence it.

Finally, Laura Beers reflected on the iconic movie "Notting Hill", which premiered 25 years ago. While it highlighted a different Notting Hill than the one we see today, Beers remarked, "In the 1990s, Notting Hill was still diverse and vibrant, a place where a group of 30-something professionals could perhaps settle. Today, it's turned into a glittering fortress of wealth and privilege, a place where everyday people simply cannot afford to live."

In 1999, the average price of a terraced house in Notting Hill was £383,039 (approx. £758,392 or $940,000 today), while Grant's character's home (now with its blue door repainted white) sold for over £4.5 million in 2014. Now, it's conceivable that it would go for double that amount.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces the date of the UK's next general election outside 10 Downing Street.

"The 'Notting Hill' of the 1990s seems like a distant memory", Beers concluded. "Now it's a place where, 25 years later, hardly anyone can afford to settle down."

Following the recent helicopter accident that caused the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Frida Ghitis shared her insights in her piece. She mentioned that while Iranian state-controlled media expressed somber sentiment, celebratory fireworks could be seen as well. This shows the disdain that the public has towards the regime and its actions.

Amidst this situation, Iran's influential figures will compete to grab key positions. This includes choosing a new president, concerning the second most powerful position in the country, and determining the successor to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. The person who assumes that role will thus have absolute power.

The recent protests at universities also raised concerns. When the House Committee on Education and the Workforce had a hearing on antisemitism on campuses the same day Harvard University banned 13 seniors who participated in pro-Palestinian protests, over a thousand people walked out of their commencement ceremony in disagreement. A similar situation unfolded at the University of California Los Angeles, where demonstrators were asked to disperse.


Despite this, Columbia University's graduation ceremony was canceled earlier, owing to the demonstrations. Haroon Mogul, a graduate from Columbia, pondered over the implications of these protests. While he shared concern over Israel's treatment of Palestinians, he focused on the inconsistency in addressing Israeli and Palestinian issues. The silence about anti-Arab or anti-Muslim sentiments on campuses and the threatening of consequences for pro-Palestinian demonstrators raises questions.

On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it was looking for warrants to arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three senior Hamas leaders - Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, and Ismail Haniyeh - for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This might have adverse effects on the war in Gaza.

If the ICC issues arrest warrants, it could change the dynamics. Since many of Israel's allies, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, are ICC members, they would be obligated to comply with the decision. This would make interactions with Netanyahu difficult. Peter Bergen remarked that this could help the Israeli public understand the situation in Gaza better, as the media self-censors in Israel, and thus, shows them a different image of the conflict.

Subsequently, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an order to stop Israel's military operation in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, and the UN Security Council passed a resolution requesting greater protection for humanitarian workers in Gaza.


Kerri Kennedy, a high-ranking official at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), described the challenges humanitarian workers face in Gaza. The AFSC's team members had their homes bombed, had to relocate repeatedly, and lost many family members due to air attacks. She urged Biden to push for Israel's compliance with international humanitarian and human rights regulations, to allow unrestricted humanitarian access, and to support a ceasefire.

In other news:

  • Carrie Sheffield shared a winning GOP strategy on abortion
  • Noah Berlatsky analyzed the validity of "Furiosa" regarding climate crises
  • Shermichael Singleton assessed Biden's Morehouse speech as his last address
  • Jill Filipovic compared a situation involving Diddy, Cassie Ventura, and the potential absence of video evidence
  • Catherine Tan debunked the false hope held by parents of children with autism regarding RFK Jr. and David Shanahan
  • Brian Castrucci and Frank Luntz raised the specter of the next pandemic
  • Mark Zandi examined one crucial number that would influence the fate of Biden and Trump
  • Will Cathcart spoke about Georgia's youth protesting against the government's proximity to Moscow
  • Joe Biden made amends for not visiting Africa

Moreover, the following pieces are worth a read:

  • Carrie Sheffield: A winning strategy for the GOP on abortion
  • Noah Berlatsky: What ‘Furiosa’ gets right about the climate crisis
  • Shermichael Singleton: Biden’s Morehouse speech was a farewell address
  • Jill Filipovic:What if there had been no video of what Diddy did to Cassie Ventura?
  • Catherine Tan:How RFK Jr. and Shanahan help deliver false hope to parents of children with autism
  • Brian Castrucci and Frank Luntz:Could the next pandemic be brewing?
  • Mark Zandi:The one number that could decide the fate of Biden and Trump
  • Will Cathcart:Georgia’s government turns to Moscow. Its Gen Z protesters aren’t having it
  • Joyce M. Davis: Biden makes amends for breaking his promise to visit Africa

And finally:

The shocking statement of this comedian might not surprise you

Despite Bill Maher's controversial image as a provocateur, his perception of the world differs in focus. His outlook isn't focused on shocking transgressions, but rather, a yearning for the past when Democrats were less 'woke' and Republicans less coup-prone, according to Nicole Hemmer's analysis of his latest book "What This Comedian Said Will Shock You."

This section remains unchanged.

Yet, while Maher might complain about how the society has changed, Hemmer highlighted that Maher himself "and his type of humor have been a significant part in shaping the political environment we have now."

The political comic, known for his shock methods, was surpassed by politicians and commentators who adapted the mocking of political correctness and wokeness into something more than mere jokes. They've been employing them to adjust policies and win elections. It's Maher's role in that tale, rather than anything in his book, that will astonish you.

Bill Maher on

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