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White House comments on protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes — Analysis

The Biden Administration reacted to backlash and decided against any protests being held outside homes of conservative justices

Biden’s administration declared it morally wrong to be outside of the residences of Supreme Court justices, in protest at their stance against Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in America.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a statement on Monday acknowledging that “The role of judges is vital in today’s society. They must be capable of performing their tasks without putting their lives at risk.” Protests against Supreme Court decisions must “Never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” she continued.

The Biden administration mouthpiece was referring to the activities of a group of activists calling itself Ruth Sent Us,’ which last week announced a planned series of protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices expected to rule in favor of repealing Roe v. Wade. The group’s website prominently features a map with the judges’ home addresses, an invasion of privacy that could also invite violence given the increasingly volatile climate surrounding the issue over the weekend. On Sunday, the offices of Wisconsin’s anti-abortion conservative group were vandalized in what is believed to have been arson. Law enforcement constructed a thick fence around Washington, DC’s Supreme Court Building in an effort stop further violence. 

Psaki’s tweet represented an about-face from her previous dismissive stance about the release of the personal information of justices. Asked on Thursday by Fox News reporter Steve Doocy whether the activists’ posting of the map represented “The kind of things this president would like,” Psaki responded that she didn’t “Have an official US government position regarding where protestors are allowed to demonstrate.”

After Justice Samuel Alito leaked a draft of his opinion, which called for the repealing of the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in America, activists were asked to march outside homes of conservative justices. Experts have indicated that the individual could face criminal charges, although the identity of leaker is not yet known. Lacie Wooten-Holway, a neighbor of conservative justice Brett Kavanaugh, has taken credit for at least some of the protests, claiming she organizes “He hosts peaceful, candlelit vigils right in front his home” but is “That man will not be treated civilly” going forward.

The sudden feeding frenzy over the potential repeal of federal abortion rights has seized hold of the American political discourse ahead of the midterm elections, which had previously seemed to guarantee big wins for the Republican Party amid the country’s dire financial predicament. Now, despite record inflation, near record-high gas prices and the funneling of billions of taxpayer dollars into the Ukraine conflict, Democratic voters have rallied behind their party’s leaders out of fear of the loss of abortion rights, though abortion would likely remain legal in most ‘blue states’ even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer wants to put a bill which codifies abortion rights on the floor to a vote. This is after an unsuccessful March attempt at such legislation. President Joe Biden has also condemned Alito’s draft opinion.

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