White House warns of ‘violence, threats or vandalism’ after protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated the Biden administration’s support for the right to protest, but said judges should not feel their safety is at risk.

[email protected] is a firm believer in the constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats or vandalism. Judges serve an extremely important function in our society and they must be able to do their job without worrying about their safety. personal.” PSAKI said in a tweet Monday morning.
Last week, Politico released a leaked draft notice written by conservative judge Samuel Alito showing that the court was about to overturn Roe v. Wade in a case involving a Mississippi abortion law. The opinion would be the most consequential abortion ruling in decades and would transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America. Protesters on both sides of the issue rallied almost immediately, fanning out across the country, from the Supreme Court marches to Georgia to California.

And over the weekend, abortion rights protesters gathered outside the private homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

“Let’s keep abortion safe and legal,” chanted a few dozen protesters in the tree-lined streets outside the judges’ houses. Many held handmade signs.

“Keep your prayer beads out of our ovaries,” they said.

The protests were organized, in part, by Kavanaugh neighbor Lacie Wooten-Holway, who told the Washington Post“I’m holding peaceful candlelight vigils outside his house. … We’re about to have the apocalypse, so I’m not going to be civil with this man at all.”
While protests across the country are largely peaceful, law enforcement officials in the nation’s capital are bracing for potential security risks. Last week, an 8-foot-tall non-scalable fence was installed around parts of the Supreme Court building, and crews installed Jersey concrete barriers blocking the street outside the court – a sign that officials fear that the protests, which so far have been peaceful, could become less so.

National Fusion Center Association law enforcement officials held a call last Wednesday with approximately 150 attendees to alert state and local partners to nationwide protests that have resulted in physical clashes, other demonstrations possible and the rise in social media chatter, according to people familiar with the call.

The office of a conservative political organization that lobbies against abortion rights was vandalized and damaged by fire Sunday morning in Madison, Wis., in what police are investigating an arson attack.

Following court confirmation that the leaked draft opinion was genuine, President Joe Biden condemned it. PSAKI also reiterated White House calls for Congress to act to codify women’s reproductive health protections established in Roe v. Wade.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would introduce a bill codifying Roe for a vote on Wednesday. The Senate already voted once on the Women’s Health Protection Act in March, but it is expected to fail again in the Senate amid widespread Republican opposition to the measure. He lacks the support to exceed the 60-vote threshold needed to pass legislation in the House.

CNN’s Whitney Wild, Hannah Sarisohn, Eric Levenson and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.

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