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McConnell, Grassley slam protests outside justices’ homes, say lawbreakers ‘must be held accountable’

McConnell, Grassley slam protests outside justices’ homes, say lawbreakers ‘must be held accountable’
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McConnell, Grassley slam protests outside justices’ homes, say lawbreakers ‘must be held accountable’

McConnell, Grassley slam protests outside justices’ homes, say lawbreakers ‘must be held accountable’

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Top Senate Republicans on Monday condemned left-wing activists for protesting outside the home of judges who are expected to vote to end Rowe v. Wade, even calling on protesters to stand trial.

Protesters, led by “Shut Down DC,” visited the homes of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh and Chief Justice John Roberts over the weekend. The group plans to send another group of protesters to the home of Justice Samuel Alito on Monday night.

“The harassment, intimidation, threats and destruction of property that we have seen since the unprecedented leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion is unacceptable, and there is no way to advocate for your point of view in a democracy. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the court has been threatened,” the Senate judiciary said. Chuck Grassley, a ranking member of the committee, told Gadget Clock Digital, R-Iowa.

“Democrat leaders set a tone early on to encourage this behavior, and pro-abortion activists began threatening the court just minutes after the draft was leaked,” Grassley continued. “Peaceful protest in court is one thing, but threats and coercion to influence the outcome of a court decision will not be effective, will not be tolerated, and violators must be held accountable.”

Sen.  Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks during testimony from Supreme Court nominee Amy Connie Barrett on the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks during testimony from Supreme Court nominee Amy Connie Barrett on the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by SUSAN WALSH / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

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Law Grassley cited 18 U.S. code § 1507, which many Republicans quoted over the weekend as alleging that protests outside the judges’ homes were illegal.

The law states that it is illegal to “picket or parade” outside the court or the judge’s residence “with the intention of influencing any judge, judge, witness, or court official to discharge his duties”.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The department did not respond to a request for comment from Gadget Clock Digital on Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R.K., said Monday he thinks the protests could be illegal.

The reporter called for violence against pro-life activists, saying they should not have “peace or security” until they died.

“Trying to intimidate federal judges into governing in a certain way is beyond the scope of normal First Amendment speeches or protests. It is an attempt to replace the rule of law with the rule of the people,” McConnell said in a comment on the Senate floor. “It seems likely that the flat-out may be illegal. There is a federal law on books that criminalizes ‘picket or parade’, including ‘intent to influence any judge, judge, witness or court office’, as the judge’s ‘residence’.”

McConnell added: “Last year, Attorney General Garland’s judiciary was quick to treat concerned American parents as potential domestic terrorists. But curiously, I haven’t heard any announcements from federal judges about how the DOJ can handle these intimidating tactics.”

There is no room for mob action, intimidation or personal threats against any government official. Duration. Whether it’s involving their home or otherwise it’s out of line.

– Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, D-Isle.

Like Grassley, McConnell blamed Democrats for the “hysterical, potentially dangerous climate.” He said White House press secretary Jane Sackie had been “repeatedly seen supporting” the gathering at the judges’ home until they became violent.

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But not all Democrats are so unequivocal in protest. Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, D-Ill., Said last week that it was never acceptable for a person to show up at home in this fashion.

“There is no place for mob action, intimidation or any personal threat against a government official. Duration. Whether it involves their home or otherwise it is out of line,” Durbin said at a hearing.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Isle, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, questioning Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Washington.  (AP Photo / Evan Bhuchi)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Isle, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, questioning Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Bhuchi)
(AP Photo / Evan Bhuchi)

“I don’t care about those who do it in my house, and they have,” Durbin added. “It’s abusive and adolescent and not believable at all when you’re trying to appeal your case by doing something so offensive.”

The protests follow a Politico story last week that published a draft Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Rowe v. Wade. The story goes that Dobbs vs. Jackson was enough judges to support this result to carry the majority of women’s health.

The Supreme Court is expected to make its final decision in the Dobbs case before the end of its current term, which will be in late June or early July.

Kelly Lacko and Adam Sabes of Gadget Clock contributed to this report.

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