Wednesday, the head of the Department of Justice ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to “help safeguard” the safety of Supreme Court justices, following the leak of a draft judgment overturning Roe v. Wade, which infuriated abortion-rights advocates.
The draft, which indicated that the court was prepared to tear down the nearly 50-year-old legal protections for abortion, prompted protests at the Supreme Court headquarters and outside the residences of some conservative justices.
The Justice Department stated in a statement that Attorney General Merrick Garland “continues to be briefed on security considerations pertaining to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Justices.”
Virginia attorney general urges DOJ to protect Supreme Court justices: 'Do your job'https://t.co/vbO1SnpI6X
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 12, 2022
The DOJ stated that Garland, himself a previous Supreme Court nominee, “ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to help protect the safety of the Justices by providing additional support to the Supreme Court Marshal and Supreme Court Police.”
It was ordered by Chief Justice John Roberts that the Marshal of Supreme Court investigate the leak. First draft, prepared by conservative Justice Samuel Alito and circulated in February, does not represent a final conclusion in the case,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in a statement.
He emphasized in a statement that, if this betrayal of the Court’s trust was meant to damage the integrity of our activities, it will not succeed. “The Court’s work wont be unaffected in any manner,” the court said.
BREAKING: After days of dangerous and illegal intimidation of Supreme Court justices, compromised Garland DOJ finally announces added security for Supreme Court by US Marshals. https://t.co/LEVrkHNrO1 pic.twitter.com/16Qt8lMAdo
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) May 11, 2022
As a result of the appointment of three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees, the conservative justices now enjoy a 6-3 majority on the high court, prompting wild speculation about the court’s possible politicization. It is feared that Alito’s draft could be used to overturn other rights, such as same-sex marriage, because of the legal rationale in it.
Barricades and fences were put up around the Supreme Court building to keep the crowds at bay.
Some have also popped up at Alito’s home in Virginia, as well as Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland homes. Those demonstrations were slammed by conservatives and right-wing media, who accused the protestors of trying to intimidate the judges.
Others, on the other hand, have stood up for the demonstrators who went to the houses of the judges to voice their concerns. When asked about the pattern on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., responded, “If the protests are peaceful, yeah.”
“Three or four times a week, people demonstrate in front of my house. Using the American method of peacefully protesting is OK, Schumer affirmed. If they are tranquil then it is fine with me.
The Senate passed a bipartisan bill on Monday that would give the immediate family members of Supreme Court justices additional security protections.
Late in June or early in July, we should expect the court to render a decision on the abortion issue. On Thursday, the nine justices will meet in private for the first time since Alito’s draft was leaked.