Maryland and Virginia’s governors responded to a Supreme Court marshal’s request to enforce laws prohibiting protesting at residences of judges.
“For weeks on end, large groups of protesters chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed Justices’ homes in Virginia,” Marshal Gail Curley wrote to Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This is exactly the kind of conduct that Virginia law prohibits.”
Similar correspondence was sent by Curley to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and various county officials in both states.
Law enforcement officers have been present at Supreme Court justices’ homes since protests began after a draft opinion in a Mississippi case seemed to indicate Roe v. Wade would be overturned. Maryland and Virginia’s governors both argue that responsibility for managing such protests is the duty of federal law enforcement.
More protesters were seen picketing outside the justices’ homes, located in suburban areas of Virginia and Maryland, during the extended 4th of July holiday weekend.
“The governor agrees with the Marshal that the threatening activity outside the Justices’ homes has increased,” Youngkin’s spokesperson Christian Martinez said in a statement made after Curley beseeched the governor to “enforce state law” by banning demonstrations outside the homes of justices.
“He welcomes the Marshal of the Supreme Court’s request for Fairfax County to enforce state law as they are the primary enforcement authority for the state statute,” the statement added, opining Attorney General Merrick Garland needs to “do his job” by enforcing federal laws.
Hogan similarly blames Garland for not cracking down on the protests outside the homes where justices and their families live.
“Two months ago, Governor Hogan and Governor Youngkin sent a letter calling on Attorney General Garland to enforce the clear and unambiguous federal statutes on the books that prohibit picketing at judges’ residences,” Hogan spokesman Michael Ricci wrote on Twitter. “A month later, hours after an assassination attempt on Justice Kavanaugh, the Department of Justice finally responded, declining to enforce the laws.”
Ricci added that Hogan directed Maryland State Police to review enforcement options for cracking down on the protestors without violating their First Amendment rights.
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