U.S. Marshals told not to arrest protesters outside justices’ homes, documents reveal

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eputy U.S. marshals assigned to guard Supreme Court justices last year were directed to try not to make arrests, according to documents a U.S. senator revealed Tuesday, contradicting Attorney General Merrick Garland‘s assurances to Congress.

Sen. Katie Britt, Alabama Republican, confronted Mr. Garland with the training package used for the marshals deployed to protect justices. It said arrests were not to be a priority.

Conservatives have argued the protests, which erupted after a draft of the Dobbs ruling leaked last spring, violate a federal statute that outlaws protesting against a judge’s home with the intent of influencing a ruling.

Nobody was charged under that statute.

Mr. Garland told senators earlier this month that his prosecutors couldn’t bring cases unless the marshals made arrests, and the marshals on the scene didn’t think there was a reason to do that.

Ms. Britt said the guidance documents show they were directed not to.

“They were actively discouraged from doing so,” she said.

One section of the guidance specifically said making arrests was “not the goal” of the deployment, and another section said arrests should be “a last resort to prevent physical harm.”

 
 

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