White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday said that President Biden “denounces” the threat by an activist group to lead a “night of rage” if the Supreme Court rescinds federal abortion rights.
A little-known group calling itself Jane’s Revenge proposed an evening of mayhem if the court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and returns abortion policy to states — as a leaked draft ruling indicates is possible.
“There’s a group that has been distributing flyers around Washington, DC, but also across the country and also online called Jane’s Revenge that declares there will be a night of rage, looting, burning, rioting if Roe is overturned,” Al Jazeera reporter Kimberly Halkett said at Jean-Pierre’s regular briefing.
“What message does this White House have in advance of that ruling as we get closer to it?” Halkett asked.
Jean-Pierre replied that “violence and destruction of property have no place in our country under any circumstance. And the president denounces this action.”
“Actions like this are completely unacceptable regardless of our politics,” Jean-Pierre added. “So we have denounced that and we will continue to denounce any violence or threats.”
Biden last week signed a bill to establish round-the-clock security for Supreme Court justices and members of their families. The legislation passed with bipartisan support after protesters associated with the group Ruth Sent Us descended on the homes of the court’s six conservative justices in response to the leak in May of a draft anti-abortion rights ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito.
On June 8, Nicholas Roske, 26, allegedly called 911 on himself to say he had a gun and knife near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland after finding the address online. He is charged with attempted murder.
It’s unclear when the court will issue its decision in the abortion case, which involves a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to release opinions on Thursday and Friday.
Jane’s Revenge posted a message online on May 30 calling for a “night of rage.”
“On the night the final ruling is issued — a specific date we cannot yet predict, but we know is arriving imminently — we are asking for courageous hearts to come out after dark,” the group said.
“Whoever you are and wherever you are, we are asking for you to do what you can to make your anger known. We have selected a time of 8pm for actions nationwide to begin, but know that this is a general guideline. There may be other considerations involved in planning time and place.”
The appeal continued, “to the cis male allies who would be interested in joining us in the streets, we say: you are certainly welcome, but you must use your privilege to shield and support us in a way that also enables us to get angry. Do not police us. Do not tell us what is and isn’t appropriate. But do aid us when we are in need.”
It’s also unclear where people would riot in cities such as Washington if justices do repeal abortion rights.
Anti-police brutality riots and protests centered on the White House in 2020 when then-President Donald Trump was in office, but Biden supports legal access to abortion, meaning the executive mansion isn’t an obvious target. The Supreme Court is located on the relatively suburban Capitol Hill and is surrounded by anti-riot fencing in anticipation of the ruling.