Skip to main content

'A Federal Statute Prevents This': Silence from Justice Dept. as Ongoing Protests Target Justices' Homes

Share This article

More than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade, protests continue outside the homes of the six conservative justices.

The agenda is the same every week. On Wednesday nights, protestors head to the homes of Justices Brent Kavanaugh and John Roberts. Then on Thursday, it's the home of Justice Amy Comey Barrett. Friday's protest is at Justice Clarence Thomas' house, and on Saturday's, it's in front of Justice Samuel Alito's home.

As local, state, and federal lawmakers argue over whose job it is to deal with the protesters, those marching vow, "No privacy for us, no peace for you."

A poll from the Judicial Crisis Network shows a majority of American voters don't approve of protests outside the homes of the justices. Sixty-one percent of registered voters said they undermine democracy, and 58 percent want Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce a federal law that prohibits the protests.

"There's a federal statute designed to protect not just judges and justices but also prosecutors and witnesses in federal court and in federal trials," explained The Heritage Foundation's Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky.

While Garland initially helped the justices get around-the-clock security, since then there's been only silence from the Justice Department. 

At the beginning of July, the Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court called on the governors of Virginia and Maryland to enforce state and local laws regarding the picketing, but both governors pointed back to the federal government. 

In a statement to CBN News, Virginia Republican Gov. Glen Younkin's spokesperson said, "Governor Glenn Youngkin has been working with state and local officials and holds the Justices' safety as an utmost priority. Governor Youngkin has asked for every resource of federal law enforcement, including the U.S. Marshalls to be involved. He has requested that the Attorney General of the U.S. should do his job by enforcing the much more robust federal law."

Youngkin and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), have encouraged the enforcement of local laws, and a few weeks ago, the Montgomery County Police Department announced it would begin arresting protestors who violate local disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct statutes. 

"Noise amplifying devices. If it's amplifiers, speakers, bull horns, those types of things, playing loud music, that's where we're saying we need you to not bring these things. You can still come. You can still protest. But you cant use these noise amplifying devices," MCPD Public Information Dir. Shiera Goff, told CBN News.

When it comes to the legal question of stopping these protests and who can do it, Spakovsky said both the state and federal governments have a role to play here. 

"Not only is there a federal statute that prevents this, but, for example in Virginia, where several of the justices live, there's a state statute on this also that protects the tranquility and peace of people's neighborhoods where they live. That is fully in accord with the First Amendment," Spakovsky noted. 

Amid the ongoing protests and national unrest, Justice Thomas is stepping down as a law lecturer at George Washington University. While Thomas has not commented on his decision, a petition to have him relieved of the role recently garnered over 11,000 signatures. 

***Please sign up for CBN Newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

Share This article

About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT