The Alitos and Roberts discuss politically sensitive topics in secret recordings by liberal activist


A left-wing activist on Monday released secret recordings of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, discussing a range of politically sensitive topics.

In conversation with the activist, who represented herself as a religious conservative and did not disclose in the recordings she released that she was producing them and would make them public, Justice Alito endorses her suggestion that “people in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that – to return our country to a place of Godliness.” “Well, I agree with you, I agree with you,” Alito says.

At another point, the activist represents herself as a devout Catholic, telling the justice, “I don’t know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that, like, needs to happen for the polarization to end. I think that it’s a matter of, like, winning.”

“I think you’re probably right,” Alito responds. “On one side or the other — one side or the other is going to win. I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working,  a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So, it’s not like you are going to split the difference.” 

The recordings were made by Lauren Windsor, a self-described documentary filmmaker who said she made the recordings during a dinner hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society last week. The subjects appear to be unaware that they were being recorded by Windsor, who called the clips “undercover audio” on X.

Rolling Stone first reported on the recordings.

During last week’s event, Windsor also secretly recorded a conservation she had with Chief Justice John Roberts. In that exchange, the chief can be heard on tape rebuffing some of Windsor’s comments, including her position that the Supreme Court should be “guiding” the US as a “Christian nation.”

“Yeah, I don’t know that we live in a Christian nation. I know a lot of Jewish and Muslim friends who would say maybe not,” Roberts says in the recording. “And it’s not our job to do that. It’s our job to decide the cases as best we can.”

CNN has not independently obtained the full audio of the comments made by Alito or his wife, and the portions that were posted by Windsor on X were part of a larger recording she made during the event.


Filmmaker reveals why she secretly recorded Supreme Court Justice Alito and his wife

Alito did not respond to questions from CNN about his comments or those of his wife, Martha-Ann. Roberts also did not respond to CNN about the secret recordings.

The Alitos in particular have been embroiled in recent controversy following media reporting about two provocative flags raised at the conservative jurist’s properties. The incident added to a growing list of ethics controversies that has plagued the court in recent years and drawn scrutiny from politicians and pundits across the aisle.

In a separate clip during which Windsor again represented herself as a religious conservative, Martha-Ann Alito can be heard bemoaning a Washington Post style reporter who wrote critically about her, and goes on to complain about “femnazis,” who she says “believe (Justice Alito) should control” her.

The comment came after Windsor brought up the flag controversy, in which Justice Alito said his wife was responsible for raising two provocative flags seen at Alito’s properties, an upside-down US flag hoisted at his home in Virginia in early 2021 and an “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his New Jersey home last summer.

“So they’ll go to hell,” Martha-Ann Alito says in the recording. “He never controls me.”

Later in her conversation with Windsor, Martha-Ann Alito says she wants to raise “a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month.”

In this file photograph, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., left, and his wife Martha-Ann Alito, pay their respects at the casket of Reverend Billy Graham at the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on February 28, 2018. An upside-down American flag, a symbol associated with Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud, was displayed outside of Alito's home days after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, The New York Times reports.

Hear secret recording of Martha Alito discussing flag controversy

“And he’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag,’” she said in apparent reference to the justice. “I said, ‘I won’t do it, because I’m deferring to you. But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m going to send them a message every day, maybe every week I’ll be changing the flags.’”

At another point during their conversation, Windsor says that Martha-Ann Alito’s critics are “persecuting” her and that she’s serving as a “convenient stand-in for anybody who’s religious.”

“I’m German. I’m German. My heritage is German. You come after me, I’m going to give it back to you,” Martha-Ann Alito said. “And there will be a way. It doesn’t have to be now. But there will be a way – they will know.”

James Duff, the executive director of the Supreme Court Historical Society, slammed the recordings in a statement on Monday.

“We condemn the surreptitious recording of Justices at the event, which is inconsistent with the entire spirit of the evening,” Duff said. “Attendees are advised that discussion of current cases, cases decided by current sitting Justices, or a Justice’s jurisprudence is strictly prohibited and may result in forfeiture of membership in the Society.”

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