Monday’s unanimous U.S. Senate vote approved a bill to give Supreme Court justices additional security for their families.
The bill’s passage comes as protests have erupted across the country — including in front of justices’ homes — following The leakage of a Supreme Court draft opinions suggesting that the conservative bloc majority is ready to undo the abortion protections that were established in the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
The Supreme Court Police Parity ActIf the Marshal of Supreme Court considers it necessary, he would amend existing statutes in order to increase security protection for the immediate family members justices.
In Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) introduction of the bill, he condemned the recent protests in support of abortion rights that have taken place in public areas outside of some justices’ homes, wrongly implying that the protests have not been peaceful.
“Threats to the physical safety of Supreme Court Justices and their families are disgraceful, and attempts to intimidate and influence the independence of our judiciary cannot be tolerated,” Cornyn said in a statement.
Other commentators including Fox News constitutional consultant Jonathan Turley, have used similar language to criticize the protests, describing them as “harassment of judges and their families” — despite the fact that the demonstrations have been peaceful, and are an exercise of citizens’ First Amendment rights.
Around 150 protestors demonstrated in Fairfax County Virginia on Monday evening. outside the home of Justice Samuel AlitoThe author of the leaked draft opinion was. On Saturday, around 100 protesters gathered outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Many of these protesters also marched in support of the Constitution. marched to Chief Justice John Roberts’s home, which is nearby.
Commentators and social media users praised the speed with which the Senate passed additional protections for justices. They pointed out that lawmakers have failed to pass the urgently needed protections for abortion rights in the same manner. They also attacked statements that mocked the protests.
“The Senate voting unanimously on a bill that would expand security protections to the family members of Supreme Court justices show [sic] how they can work fast when it’s something that benefits their own,” one Twitter user pointed out.
“The sidewalks adjacent to a powerful person’s property are not more sacred than 73 million women’s bodies,” wrote Daily Beast columnist Erin Gloria Ryan. “And yet, from the way some voices have responded to protests outside of SCOTUS homes, you’d swear the real victim here was Brett Kavanaugh.”
“Protesting at people’s homes is not my go to move unless a lot of options have been exhausted and…. *waves around* we’re here folks,” tweeted Democratic Party strategist Atima Omara. “Folks are about to lose civil rights and bodily autonomy in a democracy on the brink. When is it okay to protest exactly, when we’re in jail?”
Meanwhile, conservatives have spread false rumors alleging that justices’ lives have been in danger as a result of the demonstrations.
Ilya Shapiro, a conservative attorney and frequent blogger Fox News guest, said on Saturday evening that he had “heard that Justice Alito has been taken to an undisclosed location with his family” due to the protests. When pressed by Politico to explain where he had gotten that information, Shapiro admitted that he didn’t know where it had originated.
Protesters also demonstrated in front Sen. Susan Collins’ Maine home, where Collins is a Republican who often promotes herself as an advocate for abortion rights. Who voted to confirm the following conservative picks?to the Supreme Court, dismissing warnings regarding their views on abortion. Collins voted against legislation to codify the existing abortion protections earlier in the year. RoeShe was recently She stated that she would vote again against the bill when it comes up for a vote at the Senate this week.
Demonstrators used sidewalk chalk in front of the senator’s homeOver the weekend, I pleaded with her to support the legislation. Apparently, the chalk warranted a call to the police, who arrived at the scene and deemed the writings as “not overtly threatening.”
In a statement, Collins called the chalked message in front of her home a “defacement of public property.”
Activists pointed out that the bill could increase interactions between police officers and protesters and could lead to further crackdowns on freedom speech across the country.