In reaction to a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion activists had held angry protests outside the homes of Republican-appointed justices with an obvious intent to intimidate and influence them to instead uphold the abortion-legalizing precedent.
Those protests appear to violate a specific federal law against harassment and intimidation of judges, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki has not only declined multiple opportunities to condemn the unlawful gatherings but has actually even condoned and encouraged them, Breitbart reported.
In doing so, President Joe Biden’s chief spokesperson repeatedly harped on the fact that the protests have — thus far — remained peaceful, and disingenuously compared the protests against Supreme Court justices outside their homes, which is expressly prohibited by federal law, with other lawful if distasteful protests that have occurred outside the homes of school board members or state-level officials.
A clear violation of specific federal law
The federal law in question that appears to have been ignored and left unenforced by the Biden administration is 18 U.S. Code Sec. 1507, which deals with specific circumstances in which “picketing and parading” as a form of protest is unlawful.
“Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge … in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
It seems abundantly clear to all that the angry protests outside the personal and private residences of certain Supreme Court justices, which are also clearly intended to intimidate or influence those jurists into changing their stance on abortion rights, are explicitly covered by this particular statute and are therefore illegal.
Psaki encourages more protests against Supreme Court justices
Yet, when asked during Tuesday’s press briefing about the protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, Psaki danced around the issue and refused to condemn the unlawful gatherings.
“The President’s longstanding view has been that violence, threats, and imitat- — intimidation of any kind have no place in political discourse. And we believe, of course, in peaceful protest,” Psaki said. She then accused Republicans of having previously remained silent about protests against school board members, the Michigan Secretary of State, abortion clinics, and even the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.
“So I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date — and we certainly continue to encourage that — outside of judges’ homes,” she added. “And that’s the President’s position. But the silence is pretty deafening about all of the other intimidation that we’ve seen to a number of people.”
The reporter then referenced the fact that these protests are different from others in that they involve a “pending court case” and, as such, are specifically prohibited by federal law — unlike the other examples the press secretary cited.
Psaki was unmoved, though, and replied, “Well, but I think that intimidation and protests — and intimidation outside of the homes of school board members, the Michigan Secretary of State — you know, intimidation and threats against people seeking legal reproductive healthcare — and against our Capitol and American democracy also warrant some outrage. And we haven’t really seen that.”
This sort of response from the White House to clear intimidation and threats against sitting Supreme Court justices in the middle of a pending case is unthinkable and unacceptable, as Biden’s chief mouthpiece has not only refused to condemn clear violations of federal law but actually had the gall to encourage further violations with a wink and a nod while drawing false comparisons to other acts that aren’t comparable.