Protesters have been gathering outside the homes of all six conservative Supreme Court justices in recent weeks. Now, in a remarkable act of cowardice, the court is asking officials to quell the demonstrations, claiming they are violating state and county protesting laws. The requests are the latest attempts to coddle a deeply unpopular court and insulate its conservative members from outrage over their anti-democratic decisions.
The requests are the latest attempts to coddle a deeply unpopular court and insulate its conservative members from outrage over their anti-democratic decisions.
Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley last week sent letters to Maryland and Virginia’s governors, both Republicans, and to the Democratic county leaders in Maryland’s Montgomery County and Virginia’s Fairfax County, asking them to put an end to the demonstrations, NBC News reported. Some conservative politicians have equated the protests to the deadly Capitol insurrection. In May, lawmakers responded by passing a bill giving judges’ families increased security.
“For weeks on end, large groups of protesters chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed Justices’ homes in Maryland,” Curley wrote in her letter to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. She advised him to put the protest down by enforcing a state law banning people from disrupting someone else’s “tranquility,” and she described loud protests as “exactly the kind of conduct that Maryland and Montgomery County laws prohibit.” She sent a similar letter to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
This wave of protests first erupted in May, when someone leaked a draft of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning federal abortion rights. Hogan and Youngkin, who both oppose abortion, have pushed federal officials to interpret obscure protest laws as bans on demonstrations outside justices’ homes. But Hogan’s communications director acknowledged in a tweet Saturday that both federal and local officials have said they don’t have grounds to apply the law to non-violent protests.
A spokesperson for Youngkin said he “agrees” with the marshal’s assessment that the Supreme Court justices are under serious threat (they’re not).
But local officials in Virginia and Maryland poured cold water on these feverish claims when leaders of both Montgomery County and Fairfax County said the protests are within demonstrators’ First Amendment rights.
That said, the protests are still irking our conservative Supreme Court justices, who evidently aren’t satisfied with just trampling on Americans’ civil rights. They think they deserve to trample in peace.