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Samuel Alito Does Not Live in Alexandria

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Samuel Alito Does Not Live in Alexandria

{Photograph} by Ianm35 by way of iStock/Getty Photographs Plus.

“One of many houses flying an inverted flag throughout that point was the residence of Supreme Courtroom Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in Alexandria, Va., in line with images and interviews with neighbors.” —The New York Instances, Could 16, 2024

“Repeating claims he made beforehand about an upside-down US flag that flew at his Alexandria, Virginia, house in early 2021, Alito stated the choice to position the flag was his spouse’s.” —CNN, Could 29, 2024

“The battle has solely heated up after revelations that an upside-down flag flew over Alito’s house in Alexandria, Va., within the days surrounding Jan. 6 and President Biden’s inauguration.” —The Hill, June 10, 2024

Samuel Alito lives in Fairfax County. His Fort Hunt neighborhood is about six miles from Alexandria’s metropolis corridor, about as near that constructing because the Jefferson Memorial is. His taxes go to Fairfax County. He’s about 5 miles south of the closest Metro station, and he’d probably should take a Fairfax Connector bus to get there. He can’t vote for who will exchange retiring Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. And but, within the eyes of many nationwide shops, Alito is an Alexandrian.

So why does a man in Fairfax have an Alexandria handle? As DW Rowlands wrote in Higher Higher Washington again in 2018, ZIP codes wreak a stunning quantity of informational havoc round this space. That’s why components of Prince George’s County have Hyattsville addresses regardless of being exterior the town of Hyattsville. Falls Church is an unbiased metropolis in Virginia, however some individuals who dwell exterior its borders in Fairfax County have Falls Church addresses. (Virginia’s unbiased cities are usually not a part of counties, which implies that Fairfax Metropolis isn’t in Fairfax County. Arlington is an city county and not using a metropolis. Virginia’s bizarre, man.)

This admittedly baffling association implies that occasions that happen nowhere close to unbiased cities within the Nationwide Capital area are sometimes geographically misattributed in information reviews, Dave Statter wrote in 2017:

Utilizing the ZIP code methodology, a suspect might be chased from the Metropolis of Alexandria’s western border to the Metropolis of Falls Church and by no means set foot in Fairfax County, though Falls Church and Alexandria are virtually 4 miles aside and don’t share a border. It’s magic.

The Metropolis of Alexandria has loads of challenges of its personal. (Although, as ALXnow’s Vernon Miles as soon as identified, a Goal in Fairfax mistakenly paid taxes to the town for years, so apparently the confusion sometimes redounds to the town’s profit.) However the decorations on a flagpole exterior a Supreme Courtroom affiliate justice’s home are usually not amongst them. As a resident of the town of Alexandria, I as soon as once more beg nationwide information shops to be taught the distinction. Take into account it my enchantment to heaven.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was beforehand with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington Metropolis Paper. He lives in Del Ray.

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