U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court justices get around-the-clock security after leak of draft abortion opinion; 25 state AGs call for action

  • Print.

Supreme Court building

Image from Shutterstock.

U.S. Supreme Court justices began getting around-the-clock security last week, as protesters who fear an end to abortion rights gathered outside the homes of conservative justices.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the move in a May 18 press release.

According to the press release, the U.S. Marshals Service “accelerated the provision of around-the-clock security at the homes of all justices, among other actions” as a result of direction by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Garland also met with DOJ and Supreme Court officials to discuss the security needs of justices and ongoing efforts “to enhance coordination, intelligence sharing and technical support,” the press release said.

“The rise of violence and unlawful threats of violence directed at those who serve the public is unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy,” Garland said in the press release. “I want to be clear: While people vote, argue and debate in a democracy, we must not—we cannot—allow violence or unlawful threats of violence to permeate our national life. The Justice Department will not tolerate violence or threats of violence against judges or any other public servants at work, home or any other location.”

The protests followed the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

In a May 11 letter, 25 state attorneys general urged Garland to prevent protesters from intimidating justices by protesting outside their homes, Law.com reports.

The letter said a group called Ruth Sent Us called on supporters to publish the justices’ home addresses for walk-by protests.

Congress has long-barred picketing or parading near a judge’s home “with the intent of interfering with, obstructing or impeding the administration of justice,” the letter said.

“We the undersigned attorneys general act daily to uphold the rule of law,” the letter said. “These remarkable recent events provide you an opportunity to do the same.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Incoming justice Jackson refuses to say whether SCOTUS leak was good or bad”

ABAJournal.com: “Justice Thomas: Leaked draft opinion on abortion is ‘like kind of an infidelity’”

ABAJournal.com: “Alito sidesteps question about collegiality during remote appearance at law school”

ABAJournal.com: “Could SCOTUS leaker be charged with crime? Espionage Act wouldn’t apply, but other laws might”

ABAJournal.com: “Is Alito right about the ‘unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion’? Scholars disagree on the history”

ABAJournal.com: “Legal experts fear loss of abortion right could usher in end of same-sex marriage, other rights”

ABAJournal.com: “What is the potential impact of the abortion case before the Supreme Court?”

ABAJournal.com: “Rare but not unprecedented Supreme Court leak considered ‘staggering’”

ABAJournal.com: “What does the original Roe v. Wade really say?”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.