Politics

Justice Alito, in secretly recorded audio, apparently agrees nation needs to return to place of 'godliness'

In this March 7, 2019 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito testifies about the court’s budget during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE)

(WASHINGTON) — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts had no comment Tuesday after a woman posing as a conservative Catholic allegedly secretly recorded them at a black-tie event last week.

Lauren Windsor — seeking out the justices at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual gala — apparently attempted to engage them in the nation’s culture wars.

At one point, the liberal filmmaker started a conversation with Justice Alito, a well-known staunch conservative on the court.

She posted what appears to be edited audio of that exchange on X, detailed in an account first published by Rolling Stone.

ABC News has not authenticated the audio.

In one exchange, Windsor poses a leading question to Alito, suggesting that there can be no compromise between the right and the left.

Alito appears to agree, saying there are fundamental differences that are difficult to resolve.

In the edited recording, Windsor keeps pushing Alito, saying, “people in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that, to return our country to a place of godliness.”

Alito responds, saying, “I agree with you, I agree with you.”

Windsor also posted an exchange with Chief Justice Roberts, a moderate conservative, at the same event, in which she suggests to him that America is a Christian nation.

Roberts pushes back, saying, “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. And it’s not our job to do that. It’s our job to decide the cases as best we can.”

The Supreme Court Historical Society on Tuesday condemned the surreptitious recording of Roberts and Alito at the private gala, where Windsor said tickets cost $500 each.

“The Annual Dinner of the Supreme Court Historical Society is an occasion to recognize and support the educational and historical work of the Society over the last year. Society members are allowed to purchase two tickets, one for themselves and one for a guest,” James C. Defer, the society’s executive director, said in a statement.

“Our policy is to ensure that all attendees, including the Justices, are treated with respect. We condemn the surreptitious recording of Justices at the event, which is inconsistent with the entire spirit of the evening. Attendees are advised that discussion of current cases, cases decided by this Court, or a Justice’s jurisprudence is strictly prohibited and may result in forfeiture of membership in the Society,” he said.

ABC News has reached out to the chambers of the Chief Justice, Justice Alito and the court itself and received no response.

The secret recording controversy comes as the court prepares to release more than a dozen major decisions in the next three weeks and remains under close public scrutiny for its ethical practices and transparency.

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