White House urges peaceful protests, support for judges in wake of abortion rights demonstrations
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday in the wake of abortion rights protests over the weekend that demonstrations should not involve violence and expressed President Biden’s support for judges.
“[Biden] strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism” Psaki said.
“Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety,” she added.
Dozens of protesters chanted outside the Washington, D.C.-area homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Robert over the weekend, and demonstrations are expected to continue throughout the week.
Protests are also planned in front of Justice Samuel Alito’s residence in Washington, WUSA9 reported.
Organizers of the demonstrations told the TV station that some of Kavanaugh’s and Roberts’s neighbors told them they were being disrespectful and disruptive.
Abortion rights supporters also rallied in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, New York and other cities over the weekend.
The White House also condemned an attack at an anti-abortion group’s office in Madison, Wisc., on Sunday, which the police are investigating as potentially arson.
“The President has made clear throughout his time in public life that Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view,” a White House official told The Hill on Monday. “But that expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate.”
Republican lawmakers have condemned the protests and warned about violence.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday called pro-abortion rights protests outside the homes of Kavanaugh and Roberts “mob violence.”
The protests follow a leaked draft majority opinion, published by Politico last week, that showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and hand the decision on abortion law to the states.
Alito wrote the draft opinion, and Kavanaugh is one of the five justices in the majority, while Roberts is in the minority.
The Supreme Court confirmed that the draft was “authentic” following the leak, but noted that the final decision has not yet been made.
This story was updated at 11:55 a.m.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.