CLC’s Kedric Payne on Justice Alito’s Refusal to Recuse Himself From Jan. 6-Related Cases


Washington, DC — Today, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sent two letters to Congress, refusing to recuse himself from cases related to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. These letters were issued in response to widespread calls for Alito to recuse himself from these cases amid controversy surrounding actions undertaken by his wife that indicated his family may hold bias in these matters. Kedric Payne, vice president, general counsel and senior director for ethics at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, issued the following statement:

Justice Alito's public statement, on its face, seems to be a step toward more Supreme Court transparency, but instead, it reveals the truth that justices decide for themselves if recusal is reasonable.

“Those familiar with the Court's ethics code know that it creates an exception that swallows the rule by instructing justices themselves to interpret the recusal requirement ‘narrowly.’ The Court can no longer pretend that, without an enforceable ethics code and an internal ethics office, it can resolve the public's concern with its questionable ethics.