Progressive Filmmaker Secretly Records the Alitos

Supreme Court justice sounds skeptical that compromise between the left and right is possible
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2024 6:02 AM CDT
Progressive Filmmaker Secretly Records the Alitos
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., left, and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, in 2018.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

A self-described "advocacy journalist" and documentary filmmaker posed as a Catholic conservative and secretly recorded Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito at an exclusive court gala. In the tapes, Alito questions whether compromise between the left and right is possible in the US and agrees the nation should return to "godliness." Laura Windsor shared her recordings with Rolling Stone and has been speaking with outlets including the New York Times.

  • Windsor: "I don't know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that needs to happen for the polarization to end," Windsor told Alito at the court's Historical Society's annual dinner on June 3. "I think that it's a matter of, like, winning."
  • Alito: "I think you're probably right. One side or the other is going to win," he responded. "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."
  • Windsor: "I think that the solution really is like winning the moral argument. Like, people in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that, to return our country to a place of godliness," she said, per the AP.
  • Alito: "I agree with you. I agree with you."
  • Recording: Listen to the exchange here.

  • Chief justice: Windsor also recorded Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, telling him the court had an obligation to put the nation on a "moral path" and a "Christian" path. Roberts disagreed. "Would you want me to be in charge of putting the nation on a more moral path?" he said. "That's for people we elect. That's not for lawyers." She pressed him similarly a few times, but he resisted. "No, I think the role for the court is deciding the cases," he said.
  • Alito's wife: Windsor spoke with Martha-Ann Alito and feigned support for her over the recent flag controversy at the Alito homes, per the Hill. The justice's wife thanked her and said she wanted to design her own "shame" flag and put it up to counter pride flags. "Oh, please don't put up a flag," her husband interjected. She agreed, adding she'd put it up "when you are free of this nonsense." Martha-Ann Alito also suggested she'd get revenge on those in the media who have gone after her. "Look at me, look at me," she said. "I'm German, from Germany. My heritage is German. You come after me, I'm going to give it back to you."
  • The ethics: The Times talks to journalism experts who questioned the ethics of Windsor's tactics. She justified her deception by saying the court has "refused to submit to any accountability whatsoever."
(More Samuel A. Alito stories.)

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