DHS secretary: Roe reversal ‘heightened the threat environment’
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Sunday that federal authorities have seen a “heightened threat environment” during the past several months that has only increased with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion.
“We are very mindful that the Supreme Court’s decision in reversing and overturning Roe v. Wade has really heightened the threat environment, and we have deployed resources to ensure the safety and security of the Supreme Court and the justices,” Mayorkas told CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan.
The court’s decision late last month sparked mass protests in Washington, D.C., and other cities across the country. But protests against many of the justices were already abundant after a draft opinion in the case leaked to Politico in May.
A California resident was charged last month with attempted murder after he allegedly told officials he wanted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and was arrested near Kavanaugh’s residence prior to the final ruling. He later pleaded not guilty.
Kavanaugh and the other justices are traditionally provided security, but the recent threats reinvigorated a debate in Congress over expanding security details beyond the jurists themselves. President Biden signed a bipartisan bill last month extending around-the-clock protection for families of the justices and any officer of the court if deemed necessary.
“We do not condone violence, and law enforcement will and has responded to acts of violence when people do not honor their freedom to protest peacefully,” Mayorkas told CBS on Sunday.
When also asked by Brennan how concerned he is about a white supremacist march in Boston on Saturday reportedly organized by members of the far-right group Patriot Front, Mayorkas said his department is responding to violent individuals spurred by “ideologies of hate.”
“Domestic violent extremism is one of the greatest terrorism-related threats that we face in the homeland today,” Mayorkas said.