Top Senate Republicans lambasted left-wing activists for protesting outside the homes of justices who are poised to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade on Monday, even suggesting that the protesters be arrested.
Over the weekend, protesters led by “Shut Down DC” marched to the houses of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. Another group of activists is expected to arrive outside Justice Samuel Alito’s house on Monday night.
“The harassment, intimidation, threats, and property destruction that have occurred since the extraordinary release of the Supreme Court’s draft ruling are abhorrent, and no way to advocate for your point of view in a democracy.” This is unfortunately not the first time the court has been intimidated. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Democratic leaders encouraged this behavior from the start, and pro-abortion advocates went out to intimidate the court minutes after the draft was released,” Grassley concluded. “Peaceful protesting in court is one thing, but threats and pressure to influence the outcome of a court judgment will not be productive or condoned, and lawbreakers must be held responsible.”
The provision Grassley seems to be referring to is 18 U.S. Code 1507, which was invoked by numerous Republicans over the weekend in claiming that the protests outside the justices’ houses were illegal.
It’s against the law to “picket or parade” outside a courthouse or a judge’s home “with the goal of influencing any judge, jury, witness, or court official in the exercise of his duty,” according to the statute.
It’s unclear if the Department of Justice (DOJ) intends to begin enforcing that rule in relation to protests outside judges’ residences, or whether it feels the protests are illegal. On Monday, the department did not reply to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
Attempting to intimidate federal judges into making a certain decision goes considerably beyond the scope of typical First Amendment speech or protest. It’s an attempt to subvert the rule of law in favor of mob rule “In remarks on the Senate floor, McConnell remarked. “It looks that this is potentially unlawful. A federal statute prohibits ‘pickets or parades’ near areas that include a judge’s’residence,’ with the goal of influencing any judge, jury, witness, or court official.'”
McConnell continued: “Attorney General Garland’s Justice Department was fast last year to portray America’s worried parents as possible domestic terrorists. However, I haven’t heard anything about how the DOJ plans to deal with these intimidation techniques geared at federal judges.
The demonstrations are in response to a Politico report last week that revealed a draft Supreme Court decision prepared by Justice Samuel Alito that might overturn Roe v. Wade. According to the newspaper, the majority of justices in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health agreed with the outcome.
The Supreme Court is anticipated to issue its decision in the Dobbs case before the conclusion of its current term, which is projected to be in late June or early July.