Post Opinion: This Flag Story About Justice Alito is BS

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Yesterday the Washington Post published an opinion piece by Kathleen Parker titled "Democrats weaponizing flags to intimidate Alito is an embarrassment." You've no doubt heard all of the upset about the flags posted outside Justice Alito's houses (one was flown outside a vacation house) since it has been treated as a major story by the national and international media. But as Parker points out, there's not much to it really, just a neighborhood dispute that turned ugly.


Martha-Ann’s flag, first hoisted at her home a few days after Jan. 6, initially sparked only the ire of a neighbor. Perhaps the neighbor has reason to dislike Martha-Ann, who is funny, feisty, unfiltered and the life of any party, according to mutual friends and my limited impression of her.

...this supercilious scandal isn’t about flags, but about — what else? — abortion. As one justice, who shall not be named, once put it to me: “Everything is about abortion.” This is especially true now. Justice Alito was the author of the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that ended the constitutional right to abortion. He has been in the crosshairs of Democratic political operatives ever since...

Long before the Proud Boys appropriated the upside-down flag to represent their backward dreamscape, it was a signal of distress, which surely describes what follows. The neighbor-nemesis, who claims she never saw the flag, has been in a sustained squabble with Martha-Ann over a sign the former erected on her lawn that read, Alito told Fox News, “F--- Trump.” Martha-Ann objected to the sign because it was near a school bus stop, he said.

If you're interested in a more detailed description you can read this one which was published a few days ago in the NY Times. Like other readers, I came away from it thinking that while I don't know Emily Baden, the neighbor who posted the signs and whose boyfriend called the police on the Alitos, I definitely know the type.


The police in Fairfax County, Va., received an unusual phone call on Feb. 15, 2021. A young couple claimed they were being harassed by the wife of a Supreme Court justice.

"Somebody in a position of authority needs to talk to her and make her stop,” said the 36-year-old man making the complaint, according to a recording of the call reviewed by The New York Times. The officer on the line responded that there was little the police could do: Yelling was not a crime.

The couple placed the call after a series of encounters with Martha-Ann Alito, wife of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., that had gone from uneasy to ugly. That day, Emily Baden, whose boyfriend (now husband) contacted the police, had traded accusations with Mrs. Alito, who lived down the street. In a recent interview, Ms. Baden admitted to calling her a lewd epithet.

Baden has an Instagram account and 4 years ago, during the summer of BLM, she posted a photo of a vandalized statue along with a message. The message was edited five days ago but it still reads "#amerikkka #f**kcops #demilitarizethepolice #blm #blacklivesmatter #icantbreathe #georgefloyd #sayhisname #whitesilenceisviolence @styleweekly #rva #richmond #virginia."

So not a fan of the police. 

She's also not a fan of Catholics. Her Instagram also includes a post she made while in Rome back in 2017. It contains a photo of some spray painted graffiti. Her description reads "Today I visited an anti fascist neighborhood filled with stuff like this. This one's my favorite. It appears to be a pregnant person stabbing the pope with a cross."


And way back in 2012 she posted another graffiti image, this one from New York city. It read, "I won't put chemicals or Republicans in my vagina."

So she's pro-choice, pro-BLM, anti-Republican, anti-Catholic and anti-police. Is it any wonder than when she moved into her mom's house a few houses up from the Alitos she would find a way to create drama? I don't think so. In fact, I'll tell you the least believable part of her ever expanding story.

Then came Jan. 6. Rocked by the violence and threat to democracy, the couple soon put up new signs in their yard, saying “Trump Is a Fascist” and “You Are Complicit.” Emily Baden said in interviews that the second sign was not directed at the Alitos, but at Republicans generally, especially those who weren’t condemning the Capitol attack.

I think this is a lie and I'll tell you why. My own mother recently moved from the house where I grew up in Virginia. The neighborhood has changed a lot since the late 70s when we moved there. It was always a pretty nice neighborhood but over the past couple of decades many of the smaller brick houses that originally lined the streets have been torn down and replaced with massive new houses which I've heard my mom and others refer to as McMansions. These are usually 4,000+ SF homes.

In any case, one of the homes that was rebuilt in this fashion is just down the street from the house where I grew up and the resident of that house is a US Senator known for being an outspoken conservative. I'm not going to identify him because that's not the point. The point is that my liberal mom and my even more liberal sister were well aware who was living in the house and I suspect every other liberal on the block knew about it as well. So, no, I don't believe the claim that "you are complicit" was a generic statement. I believe it was meant to be seen by Justice Alito and his wife who, after all, would potentially pass the house even if they couldn't see the sign from their own yard.


My impression that this was aimed at them is solidified by the fact that Emily Baden later returned to the neighborhood on inauguration day to see what was happening at the Alito's home.

The inauguration of President Biden, held three days later, was attended by six Supreme Court justices. Justice Alito and two others skipped it out of concerns about Covid, a court spokeswoman said at the time. That day, Ms. Baden and her then-boyfriend decided to drive past the Alito home. “There was a part of me that’s like, let’s see what’s going on,” Ms. Baden said.

Even after she and her boyfriend had moved out of her mother's house they came back a year later and joined a protest outside the Alito's house. They held signs which read "Fascist Alito" and "Alito was @ Jan. 6."

More than a year later, when Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion overturning the constitutional right to abortion, the block became the scene of clamorous protests targeting him and his wife. The younger couple had moved away, but during a visit home they joined in.

The visit home is treated as coincidentally overlapping with the protests but I don't buy it. I think the visit was probably timed to coincide with the protest, but again they won't admit that now. In any case, at least no one is claiming the signs which they held out in front of his house were not aimed at Alito.

Again, I don't know these people but I know the type. They clearly had a personal issue with the Alitos because of their politics and they gradually found a way to escalate that conflict, all the while pretending they weren't the ones escalating.


Baden is very pleased with the attention her story is getting. Her most recent Instagram post is a photo of her story in the NY Times. She wrote:

I never imagined my name and picture would be published in the New York Times. And getting to work with the brilliant Jodi Kantor was such an amazing experience that I will treasure forever. The fact that my name is printed in the same breath as “f**k trump” (an uncensored f**k I might add!) will absolutely be one of the highlights of my life.

Putting up a yard sign is the bare minimum act of protest/resistance, and millions of people do the same thing. If my absolute bare minimum act of resistance eventually leads to something positive for our democracy (recusal, term limits, an actual enforceable code of ethics—even just more people becoming aware of these things and becoming empowered to organize and resist) I will be SO proud. I love y’all so much and I genuinely love the USA which is why I’m so f**king angry about christofascists attempting to take it over. Read project 2025 if you don’t believe me, they say ALLLL the quiet parts out loud.

And, as always, f**k donald trump.

Christofascists. That's how she sees the Alitos and how she always saw them I would bet. There was never any chance this actress would not turn this into a show. But having an anti-police activist call the police on them really is a special bit of hypocrisy.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos