Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin appears to be stepping into a gap created by the Biden administration’s Justice Department to help ensure the safety of Supreme Court justices and their families.
Protesters have gone to the homes of conservative Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh in Virginia and Maryland following the leak of a draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Alito, who wrote the draft, Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas have reportedly signed on to the opinion, which would overturn the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Roe struck down all state laws banning abortion, making it a national right.
Some protesters outside Alito’s home could be heard yelling, “F*** you, Alito,” and “Abort the court.”
WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers will find offensive.
Last night, radical leftists held threatening and intimidating protests outside Justice Alito’s Virginia home.
“F— you Alito” they screamed.
These protests are technically illegal but, of course, no one was arrested.https://t.co/E4Ge8Fy4mh pic.twitter.com/KQcaJSuncj
— Steven Ertelt (@StevenErtelt) May 10, 2022
Youngkin told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday, “This leak was done in order to influence and, oh, by the way, to intimidate our justices.
Should protesters be allowed outside justices’ homes?
Yes: 0% (0 Votes)
No: 0% (0 Votes)
“And that’s exactly what these parades and picket lines and demonstrators are trying to do is influence and intimate our justices,” he added.
Youngkin said he and GOP Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday calling on him to enforce federal law and shut down the protests at justices’ homes.
Their letter reads, “While protesting a final opinion from the Supreme Court is commonplace when done on the steps of the Court or in the public square, the circumstances of the current picketing at the Justices’ private homes in residential neighborhoods are markedly different.”
The federal statute is clear. Today, @GovLarryHogan and I called on U.S Attorney General Garland to take action and enforce the law. https://t.co/J9tT41MHJE
— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) May 11, 2022
The two cited a federal law that makes it illegal to picket or parade at judges’ homes with the intent to influence them in the discharge of their duties.
Youngkin pointed out to Cavuto that Alito’s draft opinion is not a final ruling.
“It’s a draft ruling, and clearly these demonstrations are being pulled together to try to influence the final outcome, and that is prohibited based on federal statute,” he said.
“This is wrong. We have justices who have small children. They have neighbors and families,” Youngkin added.
Protesters have arrived to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home chanting “No uterus, no opinion” @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/yyeShldmC0
— Rafael Sánchez-Cruz (@rafasanchezcruz) May 7, 2022
Youngkin said he has asked local police to set up a perimeter around each of the justices’ homes in Virginia. State police stand ready to assist as needed.
Mount Vernon, Virginia 5.9.2022 the Fairfax Police at the private residence of Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito evacuated as Pro Abortion activists had a March, Rally, Protest at his home…#washingtondc #scotus #samuelalito #news #proabortionprotest pic.twitter.com/YO3S5rLG7W
— Corinne IRL (@CorinneIRL) May 10, 2022
Youngkin and Hogan told Garland in their letter, “It is in your hands to ensure that applicable federal law is enforced to preserve the integrity of our American judicial system and the safety of our citizens.”
They concluded by exhorting the attorney general to enforce the law.
“It is critical that our Department [of Justice] acts to preserve the safety and standards of the highest court in the land,” the governors said. “There is simply too much at stake.”
This is the moment when pro-abortion protesters arrived at Alito’s home. pic.twitter.com/Xs8vdZEDpS
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 10, 2022
At a news briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to concede that protesting outside of justices’ homes is wrong.
“Yes, we are a country that promotes democracy, and we certainly allow for peaceful protest in a range of places in the country,” she said.
Jen Psaki STILL won’t condemn protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices pic.twitter.com/vxEupJFtTB
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 9, 2022
On Tuesday, Psaki went further and said that “we certainly continue to encourage” protests at justices’ homes.