On March 4, 2020, Senator Chuck Schumer stood in front of the Supreme Court declaring to Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch that they “have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
On June 8, 2022, a man was arrested for attempting to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh. And now, in August 2022, one hundred days since the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked, the country is witnessing a dangerous intimidation campaign against the Supreme Court, with protesters converging on the homes of Supreme Court justices, harassing them at restaurants, and calling for their death on social media platforms like Twitter.
Many of the initial protests on homes were driven by a dark-money group called “Ruth Sent Us” that offered stipends to demonstrators. Other groups, including ShutDown DC and Downright Impolite, jumped into the fray. The protests have not ceased since early May—they did not even pause the evening of the Kavanaugh assassination attempt.
A group called “Jane’s Revenge”—which is more of a radical militant network akin to the Weather Underground—has inflicted threats and violence against pro-life pregnancy centers and churches. Democrats did not bat an eye.
Shortly after the Dobbs leak, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting that the Justice Department “provide appropriate resources to safeguard the Justices and enforce the law as it is written.” It is clear from the law they referenced, 18 U.S.C. § 1507, that it is illegal to picket at the justices’ residences in an attempt to influence them.
A month later, shortly after the attempt on Kavanaugh’s life, the Justice Department finally responded. The Attorney General of the United States declined to enforce the law. This inaction came from a colleague and friend of Kavanaugh who worked with him on the D.C. Circuit for 12 years.
After the Court released its decision in Dobbs, the violence continued, as did the menacing of the justices who were part of the majority. This time it extended outside their private residences. When protesters showed up at a restaurant where Kavanaugh was dining, demanding the manager kick him out, ShutDownDC offered bounties for spotting and reporting any of the Republican-appointed justices.
There is no denying that Garland is cowering before the woke mob. He won’t protect Supreme Court justices but was quick to go after parents who complained at school board meetings as if they were potential terrorists. Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in response to questioning from Senator Tom Cotton on why § 1507 was not being enforced that “[o]ur agents are . . . up to their necks enforcing all sorts of laws.” Well.
The bigger picture is that the attorney general is operating according to a partisan compass rather than an objective commitment to the law. And the faction he is appeasing is not a broad constituency of Democrats, but the far Left. JCN recently released the results of a poll in which 58% of respondents agreed that Garland should enforce the law that prohibits protests at the justices’ homes. That included 56% of independents and 50% of Democrats.
The same poll found 61%, including 60% of independents and 52% of Democrats, agreeing that these types of protests undermine our democracy. Some 71%, including 69% of independents and 61% of Democrats, agree that activist groups paying “bounties” for tips about where justices are dining goes too far.
Most Democratic voters want the law to be enforced and judges not to be harassed. But the dark money Left is very invested in this intimidation campaign and has the deep pockets to pursue it. Remember that this is the faction that wants to pack the Supreme Court. They could not muster the votes to support that, but they have found plenty of Democratic politicians who would rather carry water for them than ensure the justices’ safety.
Motivated in part by abortion but also by other causes that are subjects of ongoing litigation, the protests continue at the justices’ homes for the indefinite future because Attorney General Merrick Garland refused to do his job. As long as this inaction continues, the justices’ safety is endangered.
The price is to be paid not only by the justices threatened by the likes of Senator Schumer and radical protesters, but by all of us who depend upon the rule of law. That is why Attorney General Garland must stop cowering before the woke mob and enforce the law.
Editor’s note: This article has been emended since original publication.