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Small groups of protesters arrived Saturday night at the homes of several Supreme Court justices in Northern Virginia, capping a day of rallies for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that gave legal protection to most abortions.
Since the leak of a draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health, some pro-choice activist groups encouraged crowds to protest outside judges’ homes, and a few answered the call Saturday night.
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At the homes of Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barret, Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, small groups of protesters held signs, chanted and marched through suburban neighborhoods for a few minutes, then left.
“Alito, we can’t sleep and neither can you!” said a group of six protesters picketing near Alito’s home around 8 p.m.
If the annulment of Roe v. Wade comes to fruition, “we’re going to lose same-sex marriage, we’re going to lose a lot of laws that protect trans people,” a protester told Fox News Digital.
A draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was disclosed earlier this month stating that the Supreme Court has the power to overturn Roe as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, another decision that reinforced judicial priority for access to abortion.
The draft opinion, which was upheld as authentic by the court but does not represent the final decision, would effectively send abortion restrictions back to the states for them to decide.
“States rights…led us to civil war,” the protester said. “Is that where we want to go, back to the pre-civil war era? That’s what it’s about for states.”
Another group of six protesters marched around a quiet culdesac near Barrett’s home – where several Fairfax County police officers stood guard – chanting common protest slogans like “keep abortion safe and legal” and “our bodies, our lives, our rights to decide.” The group left after about 12 minutes.
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A larger cohort of about a dozen marched to Kavanaugh’s house, and later to Roberts’ nearby residence. “Our rights are not up for debate,” chanted the group, among other slogans, before leaving after about 10 minutes.
The silent picketing followed more than a week of calls to protest outside the homes of appointed judges under Republican presidents.
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A group of seven protesters showed up at Barrett’s house dressed in red garb from Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a feminist dystopian novel and Hulu show that features women being systematically oppressed and raped by men.
Pro-choice protesters marched to the homes of Roberts and Kavanaugh on May 7 and held a “candlelight vigil for Roe v. Wade”.
Saturday’s visits to the judges’ home followed a day of nationwide protests calling for Roe’s protection from Wade.
More than 40 Republicans this week pushed for a resolution condemning protests outside judges’ homes, pointing out federal law which makes it illegal to “picket or march” outside a courthouse or a judge’s residence “with the intent to influence a judge…in the performance of his or her duties”.
Republicans have called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce this law all week. Garland and the DOJ were initially silent on the issue, but addressed the protests in a statement Wednesday.
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“Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court justices,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.
“The Attorney General has directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the safety of the justices by providing additional support to the Supreme Court Marshal and Supreme Court Police,” the statement added.
This week, protesters also picketed the home of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week.