House GOP: Protesting Outside Justices’ Homes is Illegal
Prominent lawmakers within the House GOP have levied accusations against the Biden administration and other Democratic lawmakers for encouraging unlawful activity, saying that the recent pro-abortion protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices are against the law.
“I’m disappointed that this White House is still encouraging people to break federal law and go and protest in front of the houses of Supreme Court justices, as Jen Psaki encouraged yesterday,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told reporters on Wednesday.
Within the past few days, pro-choice protestors have gathered at the private residences of Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Samuel Alito over a leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“It is unlawful — it is against the law in this country to protest a sitting judge,” said House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.). “We want to maintain the independence of our courts. And the fact that that is being encouraged by this administration is shameful. It’s unconstitutional. It’s meant to intimidate the justices.”
According to The Hill, federal law prohibits “pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” when it’s “with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer.”
House lawmakers were not the only ones to say the protests were unlawful.
“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. It appears this may possibly be flat-out illegal,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.