Supreme Court: Protests at Our Homes Must Stop

Court asks Virginia and Maryland to end the demonstrations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2022 5:30 AM CDT
Supreme Court: Protests at Our Homes Must Stop
Television crews film near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in Chevy Chase, Md., on June 8. An armed man who threatened to kill Kavanaugh was arrested near the justice’s house.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The marshal of the US Supreme Court has asked Maryland and Virginia officials to enforce laws she says prohibit picketing outside the homes of the justices who live in the two states. “For weeks on end, large groups of protesters chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed Justices' homes,” Marshal Gail Curley wrote in the letters to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, and two local elected officials. Curley wrote that Virginia and Maryland laws and a Montgomery County, Maryland, ordinance prohibit picketing at justices' homes, and she asked the officials to direct police to enforce those provisions.

Justices' homes have been the target of abortion rights protests since May, when a leaked draft opinion suggested the court was poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. The protests and threatening activities have “increased since May," Curley wrote, and have continued since the court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade was issued. “Earlier this week, for example, 75 protesters loudly picketed at one Justice's home in Montgomery County for 20-30 minutes in the evening, then proceeded to picket at another Justice's home for 30 minutes, where the crowd grew to 100, and finally returned to the first Justice's home to picket for another 20 minutes," Curley wrote in her letter to Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

“This is exactly the kind of conduct that the Maryland and Montgomery County laws prohibit.” In her letter to Jeffrey McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, she said one recent protest outside an unspecified justice's home involved dozens of people chanting, “no privacy for us, no peace for you!” The direct request by the court puts it at odds with the Justice Department, which, while providing US marshals, has not taken steps to limit the protests as long as they are peaceful. Govs. Youngkin and Hogan, both Republicans, have both previously expressed concerns about the protests. (An armed man was arrested near Brett Kavanaugh's home after making threats.)

(More US Supreme Court stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.