The U.S. Department of Justice will provide extra security to the U.S. Supreme Court justices and their families as pro-abortion protests and threats of violence grow, a department spokesperson said Wednesday.
Bloomberg News reports the order came from Attorney General Merrick Garland in response to demands that his office stop illegal intimidation and protests outside the justices’ homes after news broke last week about a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade.
Several churches have been vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti since the Supreme Court leak, including a Catholic church in Boulder, Colorado, another in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Catholic News Agency reports; and a third, the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Houston, Texas. A Tabernacle also was stolen from Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church in Katy, Texas.
Police are investigating arson at two pro-life organizations in Wisconsin and Oregon, as well as vandalism at several pro-life pregnancy centers. Pro-life advocates also have shared videos and reports of being assaulted by abortion activists at rallies and events. And abortion advocates have threatened to bomb a church in New York City.
“Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court justices,” department spokesperson Anthony Coley said in a statement. “The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police.”
This past week, authorities erected a fence around the Supreme Court building and the U.S. Senate voted to increase security for the justices, their families and other court employees, according to the Washington Times.
Here’s more from the report:
Dozens of activists held noisy protests Saturday outside the homes of Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts in Chevy Chase, followed by a Monday demonstration at Justice Samuel Alito’s home near Alexandria, Virginia.
Alito, the author of the draft opinion, and his family were moved from their home to a secure location due to the threats of violence.
Federal law (18 U.S. Code § 1507) prohibits attempts to influence or intimidate judges, including by protesting outside their homes, but pro-abortion protesters have done so anyway and pro-abortion groups are planning more in the coming days.
Meanwhile, some Democrat leaders have condoned the illegal activity.
“So long as they are peaceful, that’s OK with me,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday.
Similarly, President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the White House “encourages” the protests outside of the judges’ homes as long as they are peaceful.
Garland’s announcement Wednesday came in response to Republicans’ calls to protect the justices, enforce the law and stop the illegal protests.
In a letter to the attorney general Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, slammed the protests outside the justices’ homes as “flagrantly illegal.”
“Federal law makes it a crime for a person, ‘with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty,’ to ‘picket or parade … in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge.’ 18 U.S.C. §1507,” Hawley said.
In a separate letter to Garland on Wednesday, Republican Govs. Larry Hogan, of Maryland, and Glenn Youngkin, of Virginia, also urged the Justice Department to “provide sustained resources to protect the justices and ensure these residential areas are secure,” the Washington Times reports.
Since the draft ruling was leaked, pro-life advocates also have been the targets of arson, vandalism, assaults and threats all across the country.
At least two pro-abortion groups have been calling for churches, especially Catholic Churches, to be the target of abortion activists’ outrage. And one group posted the addresses of the Supreme Court justices online to urge people to protest outside their homes.
“The leaked draft memo that states the Supreme Court has struck down #RoeVWade is an ATROCITY but It is not yet law & doesn’t have to be, but what they plan to do & will do if WE don’t stop them. Rise up! & RAISE HELL!” the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights wrote on Twitter.
Abortion activists are trying to intimidate the Supreme Court justices to change their minds and uphold Roe after the leaked draft opinion showed the maj…