US Marshals Sent To SCOTUS’ Homes Following Death Threats

OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion

As we reported this week, “the Senate has passed a bipartisan bill, the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, which would ‘provide Supreme Court justices and their families around-the-clock security protection as well as allow the Supreme Court Police to arrest individuals who interfere with the court’s ability to perform its duties.

The bill also creates a criminal penalty for individuals who impede or obstruct those duties.”
around-the-clock security protection,” Fox News reported.

The bill was introduced in a bipartisan manner by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.

But in the House, Democrats say that the bill should be expanded to include law clerks, and have come up with their own bill.

Fox News reported that House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., in a statement released Friday, said the security protection should be extended to law clerks and staff who “have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety.”

“Violence or the threat of violence against judges, their clerks, or the families of judicial-branch officials is never acceptable,” Hoyer said. “Our majority is determined to protect those who serve our country in the federal judiciary, and we believe that this effort must extend not only to the family members of judges and justices but to the family members of the clerks and staff who support them and have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety, which is done in Rep. Stanton’s Supreme Court Families Security Act.”

Republicans say that Democrats are merely trying to ‘stall’ or include complications to the bill.

There are no reported instances of protests against clerks as of this date.”

As reported by the Justice Department, the U.S. Marshals Service is now providing “around-the-clock security” at the personal homes of all Supreme Court justices, not just the conservative ones who have been threatened.

In light of the recent protests following the leak of a draft opinion signaling the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which could allow states to determine their own laws regarding fetal viability, US Attorney General Merrick Garland called on the USMS to guard and protect the homes of justices on the high court.

“At the Attorney General’s direction, the U.S. Marshals Service accelerated the provision of round-the-clock security at the homes of all Justices, among other actions, last week,” a Justice Department press release states.

Garland denounced the “rise of violence and unlawful threats of violence” directed at elected and appointed officials, saying it is “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.”

“I want to be clear: While people vote, argue, and debate in a democracy, we must not — we cannot — allow violence or unlawful threats of violence to permeate our national life. The Justice Department will not tolerate violence or threats of violence against judges or any other public servants at work, home, or any other location,” Garland continued.

The Justice Department has also been in meetings to “enhance coordination, intelligence sharing, and technical support as it relates to judicial security” following demonstrations outside the homes of several Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices earlier this month.

Garland’s orders came in response to a Department of Homeland Security memo declassified earlier that day that warned of “increased” violence if the Supreme Court issued a ruling similar to what was leaked on May 2.

The declassified memo states that these threats ‘are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling.’

‘Some racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists’ advocacy of pro-life narratives could be connected to their desire to ‘save white children’ and ‘fight white genocide,” reads the memo.

In addition, it warns against acts committed by pro-abortion and pro-choice groups and individuals.

However, the memo makes clear that demonstrations and ‘strong rhetoric’ do not inherently constitute illegal activity.

‘The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics does not constitute domestic violent extremism or illegal activity and is constitutionally protected,’ it asserts.

Authorities are investigating social media threats following a Supreme Court leak revealing that a conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this month.

A threat to the Supreme Court building includes burning it down or storming it along with assassinating justices and their clerks. Also, pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups have made threats against places of worship and abortion clinics on the internet.

Despite declining to comment on the validity of the memo obtained by Axios, DHS told reporters that it “is committed to protecting Americans’ freedom of speech and other civil rights and civil liberties, including the right to peacefully protest.”

Due to the leaked draft opinion, fencing was placed around the Supreme Court earlier this month. In late June or early July, the court is expected to rule in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Last week, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to acknowledge that protesting outside of the homes of justices is wrong.

“Yes, we are a country that promotes democracy, and we certainly allow for peaceful protest in a range of places in the country,” she stated.

In addition, she added on Tuesday that “we certainly continue to encourage” protests outside the justices’ homes, which is illegal according to federal law.

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