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Attorney General Merrick Garland has ordered the U.S. Marshals to bolster security for the Supreme Court and its justices, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
The Supreme Court and several conservative justices have faced heightened threats in the wake of a leaked majority opinion indicating the court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade. There have been near-constant protests outside the now fenced-off Supreme Court building, as well as sporadic demonstrations outside the homes of Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.
“The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police,” the DOJ wrote, adding that Garland is receiving continuous briefs on the situation.
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Garland’s order came days after the Senate unanimously voted to beef up security for the Supreme Court as well, though the House of Representatives has yet to vote on the bill.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced the Supreme Court Police Parity Act alongside Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., last week.
“Attempts to intimidate Supreme Court Justices by the Radical Left are sadly nothing new, but dangerous nonetheless,” Cornyn said in a statement. “We must protect the Justices and their families in case these protests do turn violent.”
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The legislation allows Supreme Court police to arrest individuals who interfere with the court’s ability to perform its duties, and also creates a criminal penalty for individuals who impede or obstruct those duties.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki offered a tepid response to the protests at justices’ homes, as well as the vandalism against churches and anti-abortion organizations across the country on Monday.
“We know the passion. We understand the passion. We understand the concern. But what the president’s position is, is that that should be peaceful – the protests,” she said.