State Watch

Youngkin requests security perimeter around Virginia homes of Alito, Thomas, Barrett

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is urging officials in Fairfax County to expand a security perimeter around the homes of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett. 

Youngkin’s letter to county officials comes after protesters have demonstrated outside Alito’s and Barrett’s homes in Virginia, as well as other justices’ homes in Maryland. 

“This request is based on credible and specific information received about upcoming activities planned at or involving the homes of the Justices in Fairfax County,” Youngkin’s letter to 11 county officials reads. 

“We believe for the safety of the Justices and their families, their neighbors, and the law enforcement heroes dedicated to preserving peace and order in our communities,” the perimeter should be expanded to “ensure both the safety of the Justices, their neighbors and the demonstrators.”

The protests began after Politico leaked a draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court, written by Alito, that shows the high court voting to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

The draft decision was written in February and is not the final decision of the court, but has riled up both pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion activists. 

Abortion rights activists have taken their grievances to the doorsteps of conservative justices.  

Youngkin said state police could assist in operations to get the perimeter expanded before planned protests on Wednesday night. 

Some of the protests were organized by Ruth Sent Us, a progressive activist organization named after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“At the homes of the six extremist justices, three in Virginia and three in Maryland. If you’d like to join or lead a peaceful protest, let us know,” their site read last week. 

Thomas said at a conference earlier this month that people need to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with” in regards to the court’s decisions.

“It bodes ill for a free society,” he added of the protests, saying the court “can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want.”

No reports have emerged of protesters at Thomas’s home, as of Wednesday evening.

The White House has urged protesters to remain peaceful, while Republicans have decried the effort as intimidation and potentially illegal.

“I fundamentally believe such demonstrations and picketing should not be allowed at the Justice’s homes as they are meant to intimidate and influence the Justices, not to mention, scaring their families and small children,” Youngkin said in his letter. 

Youngkin also joined Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in writing a letter to the Department of Justice on Wednesday asking for additional resources to keep Supreme Court justices safe. 

“Today, @GovernorVA and I sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the Department of Justice to provide adequate resources to keep the Supreme Court justices and their families safe amid ongoing protests at their homes,” Hogan tweeted.

Later on Wednesday, Garland ordered the safety of the justices to be ensured by the U.S. Marshal Service. 

“The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police,” the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Tags abortion Amy Coney Barrett Clarence Thomas DOJ Fairfax County Glenn Youngkin Glenn Youngkin Larry Hogan Merrick Garland Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito Supreme Court justices Virginia

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