The Times Threatens the Supreme Court

The New York Times believes that by right, it should have the Supreme Court in its pocket–as, to be fair, it did for quite a few years. So it is doing all it can to discredit the Court’s new conservative majority. It has directed its attacks mostly toward Justice Clarence Thomas, against whom the Times has levied baseless charges of ethics violations.

Yesterday the Times went after Justice Samuel Alito, probably the Court’s most conservative member. For what? “At Justice Alito’s House, a ‘Stop the Steal’ Symbol on Display.”

Well, that is pretty inflammatory! What is the story? It begins with the paper’s usual mis-recitation of history:

After the 2020 presidential election, as some Trump supporters falsely claimed that President Biden had stolen the office….

It’s a news story, just reciting the facts.

…many of them displayed a startling symbol outside their homes, on their cars and in online posts: an upside-down American flag.

As the Times grudgingly admits many paragraphs later, the upside-down flag is a longstanding distress signal, predating the 2020 election by many years. So what is the point?

One of the homes flying an inverted flag during that time was the residence of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in Alexandria, Va., according to photographs and interviews with neighbors.

Aha! It all has to do with the January 6 protest, a relatively mild one by recent standards, with which the Times and its allies are weirdly obsessed:

The upside-down flag was aloft on Jan. 17, 2021, the images showed. President Donald J. Trump’s supporters, including some brandishing the same symbol, had rioted at the Capitol a little over a week before.

There you have it. The paper apparently reached out to Justice Alito for comment, but you have to read deep into the story to see it:

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Justice Alito said in an emailed statement to The Times. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

Reading between the lines, we learn that the Alitos live in a deeply divided neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. Among other things, they have been subjected to demonstrations on their lawn. I take it that Mrs. Alito may have had enough. I have never met Mrs. Alito, but I am pretty sure I would like her.

So what’s the point?

Judicial experts said in interviews that the flag was a clear violation of ethics rules, which seek to avoid even the appearance of bias, and could sow doubt about Justice Alito’s impartiality in cases related to the election and the Capitol riot.

“Judicial experts” = leftists in the Times reporters’ rolodexes. The Times is concerned about the case now before the Court, relating to the scope of then-President Trump’s immunity as it relates to the January 6 protests. Which admittedly got out of hand, but to nowhere near the extent of, say, the George Floyd riots, which the Democrats encouraged, or the Democratic Party’s six-month illegal occupation of Wisconsin’s state capitol. So the paper is trying to put the squeeze on Justice Alito.

Its alleged “ethics” concerns are of course a joke. But the paper isn’t giving up, and it is trying to keep the pressure on Justice Thomas, too:

This spring, the justices are already laboring under suspicion by many Americans…

Actually, just NYT readers, who are not very numerous.

…that whatever decisions they make about the Jan. 6 cases will be partisan. Justice Clarence Thomas has declined to recuse himself despite the direct involvement of his wife, Virginia Thomas, in efforts to overturn the election.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with trying to overturn an election, as Al Gore can tell you. Or Al Franken, who did it successfully. Democrats are all for overturning elections, as long as they are the ones doing the overturning. And it is an article of faith among Democrats that one spouse’s actions can’t be attributed to the other, even in cases of obvious corruption involving joint checking accounts.

Can the New York Times actually influence Supreme Court justices like Thomas and Alito to change their votes to favor the Democratic Party? No. I think they have two goals: 1) to keep their left-wing base riled up, and 2) to drag down the reputation and influence of the Supreme Court, to the extent they are able to do so. Of course, this is the opposite of their policy when the Democrats controlled the Court. Then, they viewed the Court as a hallowed institution.

But that was then, and this is now.

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