The Alitos Let Their Freak Flag Fly High – And No One’s Gonna Do A Thing About It

INSIDE: Juan Merchan ... Donald Trump ... Rudy G
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (L) and Associate Justice Samuel Alito (R) pose for an official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building o... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (L) and Associate Justice Samuel Alito (R) pose for an official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building on October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Don’t Let Sam Alito Fall Off Your Radar

Senate Democrats? Fellow justices? Anyone?

Is the Alito household’s protest of Joe Biden’s election by flying an upside down American flag in the period between the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Inauguration Day going to just recede into oblivion? That’s it? We’re done with that? Time to move on?

Have the Republican Party’s sustained attacks on the court system and the rule of law become just more background noise to our national politics? Just par for the course here in 2024?

Elected Republicans keep showing up to support the insurrectionist former president at his criminal trial as a defiant workaround to the gag order imposed on him. It’s a jarring sight, but not as remarkable as a sitting Supreme Court justice sending out a distress signal that the government has been illegitimately taken over by Joe Biden:

  • Brian Beutler: “Here’s a simple objective for Senate Democrats: Reveal to the public whatever behind-the-scenes roles Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have played in the Supreme Court’s corrupt effort to protect Donald Trump from the law.”
  • Jesse Wegman: “In short, Justices Alito and Thomas appear to be breaking federal law, tanking what remains of the court’s legitimacy in the process. The challenge is whether anyone is willing to do anything about it.”
  • Jamelle Bouie: “Whether or not Justice Alito was part of the decision to fly the inverted flag, there is no question that he is a genuine Republican partisan who is more than willing to share views that echo narratives aired throughout conservative media.”

Alito’s own admission to the episode was mere hand-wave toward his wife and their “very political” neighbors as if he knew it would all blow over soon enough. No Senate hearings. Not even a sustained drumbeat from Democratic electeds.

Yesterday’s Big Blow Up in Court

Robert Costello looks to be the primary defense witness for Trump, and things did not go well, as he quickly ran afoul of the judge, who took the unusual step of throwing nearly everyone not a litigant out of the courtroom and closing it while he read Costello the riot act.

We didn’t know what was said behind closed doors until later in the day when the transcript was released:

Live Trial Coverage

TPM’s Josh Kovensky is back at it this morning. Follow along on what could be another unpredictable day in court.

What Comes Next?

Today: Trump’s defense case isn’t expected to last long – unless we get surprise testimony from Trump himself in his own defense. After testimony concludes, probably this morning, attention will shift this afternoon to preparing jury instructions and arguments to the judge about what they should say. Joyce Vance runs through that process so you can familiarize yourself.

Wednesday: Off Day/No Trial

Thursday: Partial trial day (if needed)

Friday: Off Day/No Trial

Monday: Memorial Day/No Trial

Tuesday: Closing Arguments

Trump Campaign Vid References ‘Unified Reich’

AP: “The word ‘Reich’ is often largely associated with Nazi Germany’s Third Reich, though the references in the video Trump shared appear to be a reference to the formation of the modern pan-German nation, unifying smaller states into a single Reich, or empire, in 1871.”

Reichsbürger Plotters Go On Trial in Frankfurt

The far-right coup plotters who wanted to violently overthrow the German government and install an obscure aristocrat as chancellor went on trial Tuesday in Frankfurt.

The Real Danger If Trump Is Reelected

Jacob Heilbrunn:

Mr. Trump’s economic and foreign policy nationalism would subvert the preponderance of power that America has enjoyed since 1945 and that he has promised to bolster. It has been threatened from without but never from within. As he vows to upend America’s relations with the rest of the globe, the danger is not that Mr. Trump would fail to live up to his principles. It’s that he would.

2024 Ephemera

  • Donald Trump out-raised Joe Biden in April, the first time this cycle that Trump’s beaten Biden in fundraising. Biden still enjoys a significant cash-on-hand advantage.
  • Election officials are increasingly targeting schools and other unconventional sources to address the rising shortage of election workers.
  • Statewide referenda seeking to protect abortion rights in Florida and Arizona are polling extremely well.

‘You’ve Been Served’

WaPo: How Rudy Giuliani tried, and failed, to avoid his latest indictment

More here:

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo

Comments are not currently available for this post.

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: