The Left is about power and achieving their political objectives by any means necessary. That includes trying to silence or sideline judges unlikely to be on their side.

One tactic is demanding that Supreme Court justices unlikely to be reliable ideological allies recuse themselves, or step away, from certain cases.

Liberals have come up with some convoluted accusations before, but their latest is the craziest yet.

They demand that Justice Samuel Alito recuse himself from any case involving the 2020 election or the events on Jan. 6, 2021. Why? Because his wife hoisted an inverted American flag up the flagpole at their home for a day or so in early 2021.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The New York Times described this inverted flag as a “‘Stop the Steal’ symbol” that some supporters of then-President Donald Trump displayed at the Capitol on Jan. 6 or to dispute the result of the 2020 presidential election.

Liberals want you to believe that this is why it flew at the Alito home, supposedly proving his bias and requiring his recusal. And they want you to believe it without them having to prove it.

Liberals are notoriously selective in their recusal demands. They connect imaginary dots, add a dose of innuendo and a pinch of rumor, to suggest that bias and corruption are the only possible explanation for a justice not doing liberals’ bidding.

The Left claimed that conservative Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife supposedly failing to report consulting income was an ethical apocalypse, but liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s spouse doing so was nothing at all. 

When Thomas stayed at the home—and traveled on the plane—of a close friend who had no business before the court, Senate Democrats claimed the “rich and famous” were subsidizing his “lifestyle.” But they uttered not a peep when the now-deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 2018 trip to Israel—including transportation, food, lodging, and everything else—was paid for by billionaire Morris Kahn, who did have business before the court.

They seemed distressed that Alito had once gone fishing with a rich friend (who also had no business before the court), but looked the other way at liberal Justice Stephen Breyer’s 2018 all-expenses-paid trip to Ireland and Spain, thanks to the largesse of the billionaire Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The federal recusal statute provides that a judge should recuse himself “in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The Supreme Court included this language in the ethics code that it adopted in November 2023.

Calling this inverted-flag fiction unreasonable doesn’t do it justice and actually gives unreasonableness a bad name.

Vietnam War protesters flew inverted American flags at marches and rallies in the late 1960s. The American Indian Movement flew it at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, as a symbol of their movement in the 1990s. And it has been used to criticize policies of every administration since then, including Trump’s.

The symbol has popped up at women’s rights marches and uprisings following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. And both liberals and conservatives, for different reasons, hoisted inverted flags during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a March 22 article, People magazine explained how it’s being used “by both sides of the political aisle.”

The point is that flying an inverted American flag is a symbol, statement, or reaction with many different meanings. What it means in a particular instance, and whether that meaning has any further significance, depends on the circumstances.

In a statement, Alito explained he had no involvement in flying the flag and that it “was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personal insulting language on yard signs.”

No one—neither Senate Democrats, nor their media enablers—has suggested a shred of evidence that this was anything else.

The independence of the judiciary from political manipulation was one of the reasons we declared independence from England in 1776. It’s a major reason that the American judiciary is superior to any other in the world.

Rather than a fundamental principle to be defended, the Left sees judicial independence as an obstacle to be overcome. They want a dependent, subservient judiciary that does their political bidding. To that end, they want to add unnecessary seats to the Supreme Court to stack it with political justices. They want to limit Supreme Court justices’ terms so impartial justices can be moved out sooner. And they attack justices who insist that the law and politics are not the same thing with lies, smears, and fictional “ethics” controversies.

This is one of them.

The Left’s campaign to politicize the judiciary may be working. Polls in the past few years have shown that more than 60% of Americans now say the Supreme Court decides cases based on politics rather than the law.

It’s bad enough that the Big Smear harms individuals and their reputations, attempts to ruin their integrity and public service, and even puts their lives at risk, but it is well on the way to destroying one of the most important safeguards of our freedom, perhaps permanently.