DOJ, AG Garland silent on abortion protests at SCOTUS homes

DOJ, AG Garland silent on abortion protests at SCOTUS homes

While the pro-abortion demonstrations outside the homes of several conservative Supreme Court Justices could be illegal under federal law, the Department of Justice has remained silent on the issue. 

Since the weekend, hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the homes of Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh to protest the leaked draft opinion striking down the landmark abortion Roe v. Wade ruling. 

Monday night saw the latest demonstration outside Alito’s home, where approximately 100 people gathered, held signs and chanted “our bodies, our voice!” as well as “Alito is a coward.”

The leaked opinion – written in February – was authored by Alito. 

The demonstrations could be considered illegal under 18 U.S.C. 1507 – which relates to Obstruction of Justice and states that anyone who has the intent of “interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the tent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer” and pickets or parades in or near a court building or residents “occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness or court officer” will face a fine or imprisonment of one year. 

The law also applies to a person who uses sound trucks or similar devices “or resorts to any other demonstration in or near such building or residence.” 

But Attorney General Merrick Garland has made no comment on the protests outside the justices’ homes.

Attorney General Merrick Garland
Attorney General Merrick Garland has not commented on pro-abortion protests happening outside of the homes of several Supreme Court justices.

“They are elevating their political interest in portraying the draft Supreme Court opinion as extreme over their constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully and protect both the Court and the justices,” Andrew McCarthy, senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a Post contributor told Fox News.

Meanwhile, several other demonstrations have been scheduled for this week. 

On Wednesday, the pro-abortion organization “Ruth Sent Us” will be hosting “walk-bys” outside the homes of all six conservative Justices – including Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch in addition to Alito, Roberts and Kavanaugh.

People holding a demonstration outside of Justice Samuel Alito's house in Alexandria, Virginia on May 9, 2022.
People holding a demonstration outside of Justice Samuel Alito’s house in Alexandria, Virginia on May 9, 2022.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

“Ruth Sent Us” did not comment on the demonstrations to The Post. 

It is unclear if they will include “picketing” or “sound-trucks.” 

Activist group “Shutdown DC” – which held the protest outside Alito’s home Monday night – did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. 

The Department of Justice has not publicly commented on the protests and did not immediately respond to The Post’s inquiries on whether they are monitoring these recent demonstrations and whether they consider them to be in violation of the law. 

People holding signs during a vigil outside of Alito's house after the draft of the court's decision leaked.
People holding signs during a vigil outside of Alito’s house after the draft of the court’s decision leaked.

The protests have been highly criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle – many of whom claim the demonstrations violate the Justices’ privacy as dozens gather outside their private homes. 

On Monday, the Senate unanimously approved legislation put forth by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would ramp up the personal security for the justices and their families.

“If the families of Supreme Court Justices have the same profile and exposure as the highest-ranking officials in our government, they deserve the same level of protection,” Coons said in announcing the legislation last week. “We must take threats that come from extremes on both sides of the political spectrum against Supreme Court Justices seriously, and that makes this bill an unfortunate necessity.”

“The events of the past week have intensified the focus on Supreme Court Justices’ families, who are unfortunately facing threats to their safety in today’s increasingly polarized political climate,” Cornyn added. “We must act to ensure Justices and their families are protected from those who wish to cause them harm by extending Supreme Court police security to family members.”

The White House has steered away from strictly condemning demonstrations, only coming out strongly on Monday saying the judges “must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.” 

Press secretary Jen Psaki has not discouraged protesters from traveling to the justices’ home, instead urging them to be peaceful and not resort to violence.

Source link