White House condemns protests at homes of Supreme Court justices after Republicans cry harassment

Conservatives having a meltdown over SCOTUS protests, claim demonstrations are illegal

By Jon Skolnik

Published May 9, 2022 12:12PM (EDT)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Conservatives are having a meltdown over pro-choice demonstrators who descended on outside the homes of various Supreme Court justices this past weekend in protest of the court's impending rescission of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case establishing America's constitutional right to abortion. 

About 100 protesters on Saturday evening appeared outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts, hoisting pro-choice signs and chanting various slogans to express outrage over the court's direction on abortion. 

"The whole world is watching!" the group chanted, according to a video posted online. "My body, my choice."

The protests come just days after a bombshell report by Politico, which published a leaked draft majority opinion indicating that the court already voted to overturn Roe back in February. 

This weekend, hordes of online conservatives decried the demonstrations, arguing that the public is endangering the justices, whose jurisprudence, they say, must remain insulated from what they see as a left-wing public pressure campaign. 

RELATED: So what happens now, after the downfall of Roe? Not anything good

Congressman Jim Banks lashed out at President Joe Biden for what he described as "harassment and intimidation of SCOTUS Justices in their own homes."

"The whole point of the judiciary is that its holdings must be grounded in law and immune from public pressure," tweeted former Donald Trump aide Steven Miller. "Demonstrating outside an official's home is always wrong, but doing so for the purpose of physically intimidating and menacing a judge threatens our entire legal system."

Conservative political commentator Liz Wheeler called the left "evil" over the demonstrations, tarring the protesters as "mobs of angry leftists."  


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"Imagine how scared [Brett Kavanaugh's] young daughters must be," she raged. "THAT is why the left is doing this - to scare Kavanaugh into fearing for his family so badly he caves to the rabid pro-abortion left. The left is evil."

RELATED: Will pro-choice protesters attack Catholic churches? The right seems to think so

Stephen L. Miller, a contributing editor at the conservative magazine The Spectator, accused the media of hypocrisy. "Going to be fun comparing the media coverage and tone of screaming protestors outside SCOTUS justices homes to mothers at school board meetings," Miller wrote

One Fox News host called for Biden's impeachment over the protests. 

Newsmax columnist James Hirsen, meanwhile, went so far as to claim that the demonstrations were a "violation of federal law." 

According to 18 U.S.C. 1507, anyone "with the intent of influencing any judge … in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." However, it's not apparent that the protesters were intent on changing the court's mind, given that Roberts has already confirmed the authenticity of the draft decision overturning Roe and subsequent reporting shows the conservatives unlikely to switch their votes. Furthemore, the First Amendment protects the right to peaceful assembly.  

On Monday, the White House and a number of Democrats also came forward to express concern over the demonstrations, echoing the dubious right-wing framing of protesters being violent and threatening.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jenn Paski said that President Biden "strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety."

RELATED: Republicans aren't even bothering to lie about it anymore. They are now coming for birth control

"This is wrong, stupid, potentially dangerous, and politically counterproductive," echoed Democratic commentator Paul Begala. 

Thus far, there have been no reports of violence or vandalism in connection with the recent pro-choice demonstrations.


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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