DOJ silent on abortion protests at justices’ homes despite federal law prohibiting ‘pickets’ to influence case

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The Department of Justice is remaining silent on continued protests by abortion activists outside conservative Supreme Court justices’ homes, despite a federal law that makes it illegal to attempt to “influence” federal officials and the outcome of a court case.

Pro-abortion protestors are targeting six Republican-appointed justices’ private homes following the leaked draft opinion last week that indicated the Supreme Court intends overturning the landmark abortion case Roe V. Wade.

Federal U.S. code 1507, states that any individual who “pickets or parades” with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer” near a U.S. court or “near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” will be fined, or “imprisoned not more than one year, or both.” Despite the federal statute’s language, Attorney General Merrick Galrland has not made a public statement regarding protests outside the homes of conservative justices. Fox News Digital asked the Department of Justice (DOJ), for comment on Garland’s silence, and why protestors were not arrested.

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According to senior fellow at the National Review Institute and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy, the Biden DOJ is being silent on this for the same reason as the White House: “They are elevating their political interest in portraying the draft Supreme Court opinion as extreme over their constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully and protect both the Court and the justices. “

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing to discuss the fiscal year 2023 budget of the Department of Justice at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Greg Nash/Pool Photo via AP) 

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing to discuss the fiscal year 2023 budget of the Department of Justice at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Greg Nash/Pool Photo via AP).
(AP)

“I would note that months ago, when Attorney General Garland unjustifiably dispatched the FBI to investigate parents who were protesting the inclusion of racist and anti-American materials in school curricula, Garland claimed that the Justice Department had an interest in protecting teachers and school administrators. McCarthy continued, “It was not true that schools were under siege. The relationship between parents and schools are a state issue and not a Federal one. Hypothetically, if a parent were ever to assault a teacher, it would not be a state crime, but a federal one.”

McCarthy referred to a DOJ memo from last fall, directing the FBI to investigate “threats of violence” at school board meetings in order to combat threats against school officials by angry parents. Garland received massive backlash for his directive because it came just days after the National School Board Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to Biden asking his administration to treat parent protests at school board meetings as possible acts of “domestic terrorism. “

“In contrast, the protection and security of the Supreme Court are federal matters, which are subject to federal law-enforcement. McCarthy stated that it is unacceptable that the Justice Department is so passive and inactive now, after it was loudly and active over a manufactured dispute as to which it did not have jurisdiction.” McCarthy spoke to Fox News Digital.

Protestors stand outside of conservative Supreme Court justices' homes to object to Roe v. Wade overturn.

Protestors stand outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices to protest Roe v. Wade’s overturn.
(Fox News)

America First Legal senior advisor Ian Prior also reacted to the department’s silence, telling Fox News Digital: “It says all you need to know about how politicized this Department of Justice is. Merrick Garland used the DOJ to attack parents four days after the Biden Administration received a NSBA letter. There were no FBI records about a rise in harassment or threats to school boards. “

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“Meanwhile, here you have protesters arguably violating federal law by protesting at Supreme Court justices’ homes to influence a legal decision, and we haven’t heard a peep from Garland. Prior continued, “This administration has shown nothing but contempt for anyone who doesn’t follow its radical policies and seems to be perfectly fine with extremist mob-like techniques to back those policies.”

Protestors stand outside of conservative Supreme Court justices' homes to object to Roe v. Wade overturn.

Protestors stand outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices to protest Roe v. Wade’s overturn.
(Fox News)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Monday in response to growing backlash at the protests outside of justices’ homes that President Biden “strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. “

“But this should not include violence, threats or vandalism,” Psaki tweeted. “Judges play an important role in society and must be able do their jobs without fear for their safety. “

However, Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino tweeted in response to Psaki’s statement Monday that the White House still has “no problem” with activists protesting outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes, despite Justice Alito reportedly having to leave his house due to the unrest.

Severino told Fox News Digital in a statement: “Merrick Garland appears much more interested in treating parents like terrorists than prosecuting protesters seeking to influence the justices at their residences, which the White House has made it clear it supports. ”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D.Ill., stated last week at a hearing that there is no room for mob violence, intimidation or personal threats against public officials. Period. It doesn’t matter if it affects their home or not. “

He said, when asked if protestors should show up at their homes, “No.” I don’t care about people who do it at my home and they have… It is demeaning, adolescent, and not convincing at any point when you’re trying for your case by doing something so outrageous. “

President Biden also “strongly” condemned an attack on a Wisconsin pro-life activist center, saying in a statement that the administration condemns “political violence of any stripe.”

“The White House released a statement Monday saying that the President has repeatedly made it clear that Americans have the right to express their opinions under the Constitution. “But that expression must not be violent, vandalism, intimidation or violence.”

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Abortion activists protested outside of Chief Justice John Robert’s and Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s homes over the weekend, and the group “Shut Down DC” is organizing another group that will be stationed outside of Justice Samuel Alito’s home on Monday evening.

Alito is the author of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to individual states.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote in a February draft opinion for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It’s time to heed the Constitution, and return the issue about abortion to the people’s elected officials. “

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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