McConnell criticizes protests outside justices’ homes
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday condemned protestors who gathered outside Supreme Court justices’ homes to protest a leaked draft opinion regarding the potential overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision.
“We’ve seen angry crowds assemble at judges’ private family homes. Activists published a map of their addresses. Law enforcement has had to install a security fence around the Supreme Court itself,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.
“Trying to scare federal judges into ruling a certain way is far outside the bounds of First Amendment speech or protest. It is an attempt to replace the rule of law with the rule of mobs,” he added.
McConnell also cited a federal law that forbids “pickets and parades” with the goal of influencing judges. He said the law could make the protestors’ actions illegal.
“Today’s Democratic Party is profoundly out of step with the American people on this issue. Their extreme position ignores modern science and public opinion,” McConnell also asserted.
His comments came after protests took place at the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. A group also planned to protest outside the home of Justice Samuel Alito’s home on Monday evening. Alito wrote the draft opinion that would overturn the landmark case.
If the Roe v. Wade decision is struck down, it could allow states to make abortion illegal. McConnell in an interview over the weekend also said a nationwide law banning abortion was possible. Such a law would likely require GOP majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican in the White House, however.
The Senate is looking to quickly pass legislation that would provide family members of Supreme Court justices with security.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that protests should not include any violence.
“[President 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,” the press secretary added.
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