Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce federal law prohibiting attempts to intimidate U.S. Supreme Court Justices by protesting outside the Justices’ homes.
Marshall spearheaded a letter co-signed by 23 other state attorneys general on Wednesday demanding that Garland take action to enforce federal law protecting the Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. The Justices are being targeted by pro-abortion protesters who are surrounding the Justices’ homes.
Marshall said that he and his fellow state attorneys general wrote that these protesters are directly challenging the rule of law.
“Following last week’s leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion activists have begun protesting not just outside the Supreme Court, but outside the Justices’ homes, in the hope of pressuring the Justices to change their votes,” Marshall and his fellow AGs wrote. “As a former federal judge and the current head of the Department of Justice, you must surely appreciate the unique risks to both judges and the rule of law when judges are targeted at their homes. That is why Congress has long barred ‘picket[ing] or parad[ing]’ near a judge’s home ‘with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice.’ We the undersigned Attorneys General act daily to uphold the rule of law. These remarkable recent events provide you an opportunity to do the same.”
The AGs noted in their letter that Garland was not previously shy in using his authority to address a “threat” of parents voicing their opinions to school boards.
“You were quick to respond to the purported ‘threat’ of parents speaking out at local school board meetings (though the basis for your threat assessment was shaky to say the least),” the letter says. “Here, in the face of escalating extremism directed at the judicial branch, you have an obvious role to play. Congress recognized that pressuring judges to change their votes by protesting outside their homes directly threatens the rule of law. You profess to share those concerns, having unequivocally stated that attacking a courthouse ‘to prevent judges from actually deciding cases’ plainly constitutes ‘domestic extremism, domestic terrorism.’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the protesters at a press briefing on Wednesday.
“The president’s longstanding view has been that violent threats and intimidation of any kind have no place in political discourse,” Psaki said. “And we believe of course in peaceful protests.
“So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date. And we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges’ homes and that’s the president’s position.”
The pro-abortion protests are in response to a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion overturning the controversial Roe v. Wade decision. If the court actually releases that opinion, then the abortion issue will be sent back to the states. The state of Alabama is expected to outlaw abortion statewide. The voters of Alabama have already voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment banning the practice. A federal court has blocked enforcement of the Alabama abortion ban.
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