There has been a deluge of coverage and opinion on the Titan submarine disaster. Some of the reactions to it have been appalling. Recently, a liberal political pundit made one of those awful comments and brought a justice of the Supreme Court into it.
In a tweet published on June 21, Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, poked light at the Titan tragedy. There was a massive search for the submersible at the time since officials in the United States, Canada, and the Navy thought it only had a few hours of air left. Mystal made a snarky remark about the wealthy white people and advised that the next time they go on a vacation, they should invite Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Next time some rich white person wants to take Sam Alito on an expensive trip, please take him to see the Titanic.— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) June 21, 2023
The latest ProPublica revelation detailing Alito’s trip to Alaska with millionaire Paul Singer in 2008 is at the root of the public’s resentment of the justice. The judge flew in on the businessman’s private jet to an isolated lodge in the mountains so they could go fishing. It would have cost him $100,000 just for the one way charter of the private plane. Alito failed to mention the trip when filling up tax paperwork.
Singer’s company was involved in many cases that went to trial in the years following the trip. Alito did not withdraw from consideration of any of the cases. This has raised new concerns about the court’s self-policing and ethical standards. In a caustic op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, the justice said he had never felt he had to declare a vacation and rejected the claims of misconduct.
Mystal’s joke was terrible because it seemed to imply that he hoped Alito would drown at sea. When news spread on June 22 that the submarine had exploded on route to the Titanic debris, killing all five individuals on board, the consequences were devastating.