Senate

Durbin calls protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes ‘reprehensible’

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, on Tuesday called the protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes “reprehensible” in an interview.

“I think it’s reprehensible. Stay away from homes and families of elected officials and members of the court,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman told CNN when he was asked about his thoughts on the protests. 

“You can express yourself, exercise your First Amendment rights, but to go after them at their homes, to do anything of a threatening nature, certainly anything violent, is absolutely reprehensible,” he added.

Durbin’s remarks come in contrast to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.), who was asked earlier this week whether he was comfortable with the protesting outside of the justices’ homes.

“If protests are peaceful, yes. My house — there’s protests three, four times a week outside my house. The American way to peacefully protest is OK,” Schumer said in response to a reporter’s question Tuesday.

But Durbin maintained during his CNN interview that it is “over the line” to protest outside of an elected official’s home when he was asked about Schumer’s position.

“I think when it comes to the home of an elected official, that’s over the line. It’s happened to me. I think it’s happened to most of us in elected position,” Durbin said. “If we want to bring women and men into this position accepting responsibility and sometimes controversy, we have to have reasonable lines drawn to respect their families.”

Durbin’s remarks come as protesters in recent days have demonstrated outside of the homes of three conservative Supreme Court justices — Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts — after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicated the high court wanted to overturn the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade.

The demonstrations were condemned on Monday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), while the White House has said President Biden supported peaceful protesting but did not condone violence. 

“[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,” Psaki noted.

Tags abortion Brett Kavanaugh Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Dick Durbin Dick Durbin John Roberts protests Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito SCOTUS Senate Supreme Court

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