Security tightened for Supreme Court judges as protests extend to Alito’s home

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Abortion rights activists gathered to protest outside the Virginia home of Justice Samuel Alito on Monday night draft opinion he wrote Which was leaked from the Supreme Court last week, indicating to the public that the Court will soon be in Roe v. Wade’s decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

While the protests extended to Alito’s home – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh also saw protesters at their Maryland homes over the weekend – the Senate unanimously voted Monday evening on a bill to provide security details for Justices and their families. Voted for The bipartisan bill, written by Sens Chris Koons, D-Del., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, heads to the House for a possible vote. If it passes, it will go to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Two federal law enforcement sources told ABC News on Monday that steps have been taken to increase security details around individual judges, including their homes. The US Marshals Service also said that they are assisting the Supreme Court martial in relation to the heightened security concerns in the wake of Politico. receiving draft opinion, But did not comment further on specific security measures.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the demonstrations on Monday evening as an attempt to influence judges and “replace the rule of law with mob rule.”

McConnell told the Senate floor, “We’ve seen angry crowds gather at judges’ private family homes. Activists have published a map of their addresses. Law enforcement has had to put up a security fence around the Supreme Court.” ” “Trying to intimidate federal judges into ruling a certain way is out of bounds for First Amendment speech or protest.”

McConnell cited a federal law – 18 US Code Section 1507 – that forbids “pickets and parades” intended to impress judges, suggesting that the law could make the actions of protesters illegal.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that while the “other side” has been vocal in opposing peaceful protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes, there has been a “hypocrisy of silence” from conservatives who are outside officials. Others have remained silent about the protests. homes.

“There are voices on the right who have called out this protest that has been taking place during years of silence over protests outside the homes of school board members, the Michigan Secretary of State, or given to women seeking reproductive health care. including threats, or even rebellion against our Capitol,” Saki said.

“So, I know there’s an outcry right now, I think, about the protests that have been peaceful today — and we certainly continue to encourage that outside judges’ homes and that’s the position of the president — But the silence is very deaf to all the other threats that we have seen to many people.”

Event organizer ShutdownDC has plans for more demonstrations this week.

More than 100 people came to the gathering outside Alito’s home in Alexandria, which included speakers, the lighting of a candle, quiet moments of reflection and unified chants, including, at one point, “Alito is a coward! Alito is a coward.” is!”

It was unclear whether Alito and his family were at home at the time – but law enforcement officers were on the scene as the protest remained peaceful.

Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin tweeted that state police were also assisting federal and local law enforcement “to ensure the safety of our citizens, including the Supreme Court justices who call Virginia home.”

The protesters are part of the majority of Americans who believe that Roe v. Wade should be upheld, according to a ABC News/Washington Post Poll Last week. But if the cry is reversed across the country, at least 26 states would either ban abortion or severely restrict access to it.

Judges are expected to convene in person next week – albeit in private – for their weekly conference on Thursday in the court building, marking the first official gathering of nine since the leaked draft to shock the court and across the country. waves were sent. The next possible opinion release day is next Monday.

For his part, Alito canceled an appearance at a judicial conference last week after the draft decision was leaked. Justice Clarence Thomas commented at the convention, saying that the judges “will not be intimidated.”

Thomas said, “We can’t be an organization that can be bullied just to give you the results you want. The events of this week’s earlier are a symptom of that.” Reuters,

Democrats will be forced to vote in the Senate on Wednesday to protect access to abortion. While this is all but certain to fail, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that it would be a worthwhile vote.

Schumer said, “Tomorrow, there will be no more hiding. No one else will be distracted. Where each member stands in this room is no more unclear.” “Senate Republicans will be faced with a choice. Either vote to protect women’s rights to exercise liberties over their bodies, or stand with the Supreme Court as the rights of 50-year-old women stand before our eyes. have been reduced to rubble.”

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