(CNN) — An upside-down American flag – a symbol used by some supporters of former President Donald Trump who challenged the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory – hung outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito after the election, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The revelation is almost certain to prompt calls for Alito, a member of the court’s conservative wing, to recuse himself from several high-profile cases pending before the court this year involving the election and subsequent attack on the US Capitol, including the blockbuster question of whether Trump may claim immunity from federal election subversion charges.

The Times published a photo of the inverted flag, which it said was seen at the justice’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 17, 2021.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN, which has not independently verified the flag’s use.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Alito said in an emailed statement to the Times. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

The upside-down flag became a symbol of the “Stop the Steal” movement in the weeks and months following the election, in which Trump’s supporters falsely claimed that Biden’s win was illegitimate due to widespread fraud. The inverted flag was widely seen during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

The Times said it was not clear how long the flag flew outside of Alito’s home.

The story will heap further scrutiny on the high court at a time when it is already facing considerable blowback. Justice Clarence Thomas has been the subject of significant criticism and calls for recusal in election-related cases after his wife, conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, acknowledged she attended Trump’s rally before the Capitol attack and supported White House efforts to discredit the election results.

Thomas recently accused his critics of “nastiness” and “lies” in remarks to a judicial conference in Alabama.

Last fall, in response to a series of revelations about travel accepted by Thomas and Alito, the Supreme Court adopted a code of conduct for the first time. That code guides the justices to “refrain from political activity.”

“Two scenarios are plausible and neither one of them is attractive: Either the gesture was trivial pettiness and ought to be beneath the dignity of the court or it is was intended as meaningful symbolism in which case it is a real problem,” said James Sample, a Hofstra Law School professor who has studied judicial ethics.

Combined with the earlier Thomas revelations, Sample said, “The scenarios amplify the need for Congress to impose meaningful ethics enforcement on a court that steadfastly refuses to police itself.”

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