The Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) has had time to identify and investigate thousands of January 6 Capitol trespassers or visitors — and prosecute 1,000 of them so far, found time to investigate mothers in Loudoun County, Virginia, and even made time to go after a pro-life dad in Pennsylvania who dared to protest at an abortion clinic. But DOJ has had no interest whatsoever in enforcing a federal law to protect the lives of conservative Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.
On May 2, 2022, Politico published an article entitled “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows.” That article was based on a leak of the draft Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), which 53 days later would be finalized and issued, overturning Roe v. Wade.
In response, the Left exploded in rage against Justice Alito who was identified as the opinion’s author, as well as against the justices who were believed to have joined him (Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett). As usual, no one could know how Chief Justice Roberts would vote, but it was a certainty that the Democrat-appointees (Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) would dissent. (Roberts eventually concurred in the Court’s judgment upholding the Mississippi law which banned most abortions after 15 weeks, but refused to join Justice Alito’s opinion overturning both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.)
Justice Samuel Alito later described the justices as “targets for assassination” as leftwing activists apparently believed they could stop the release of the Dobbs decision by killing one or more conservative justices. A leftist activist from California, Nicholas Roske, traveled to Washington armed with a pistol, ammunition, and a knife, and was arrested outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. On social media, Roske stated, “I could get at least one, which would change the votes for decades to come, and I am shooting for 3.” (Many press outlets refused to report that Roske was not just an abortion enthusiast, but “frequently portrayed himself online as a transgender woman named Sophie….” and as an “Mtf” meaning male-to-female.)
Roske was not the only threat. “U.S. Supreme Court Police … reported a ‘significant increase in violent threats’ that include social media posts directed at sitting justices and the Supreme Court building.” Social media posts suggested “burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering justices and their clerks.” Protests occurred daily at the homes of the pro-life justices.
In response, the Biden Justice department did little to protect the pro-life justices away from the Supreme Court, even though it is a violation of federal law to attempt to picket or parade in an effort to intimidate a judge at the judge’s home:
Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, 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, juror, witness, or court officer…. shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. [18 U.S.C. § 1507 (emphasis added).]
If the protests had occurred outside the homes of pro-abortion Justices Breyer, Kagan, or Sotomayor, how would DOJ have reacted? We don’t know, but the DOJ couldn’t be bothered to take action to protect the pro-life justices. If the refusal to enforce the law had been based on a view the law was overbroad and likely unconstitutional — a position taken by Professor Jonathan Turley — that would be one thing. But no such reason was given.
Attorney General Merrick Garland first “blamed the U.S. Marshals … for not making any arrests during his sworn testimony before Congress,” but last month Alabama Senator Katie Britt broke the news that DOJ whistleblowers revealed that the DOJ had “discouraged the U.S. Marshals Service from arresting protesters illegally demonstrating at the homes of the Supreme Court justices.” Shockingly, the DOJ warned federal marshals that “it would be ‘counterproductive’ for the marshals to make arrests on cases that the DOJ ‘will not charge and prosecute.’” In other words, Garland not only refused to enforce the law, but lied to Congress when he blamed the Marshals Service.
As usual, the response of Republicans was to write letters to Biden appointees who either do not read those letters, or do not care what they read.
On May 11, 2022, a group of 50 House Republicans led by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) wrote a scathing letter to AG Garland, expressing their “profound concern and deep dismay as the rule of law in the United States is completely eroded under [Garland’s] leadership.” The representatives decried the DOJ’s “failure to act [as] a shameless and implicit endorsement of mob rule in America.” Also on May 11, 2022, governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Glenn Youngkin of Virginia sent a letter to Garland asking the DOJ to “provide appropriate resources to safeguard the Justices and enforce the law as it is written.”
On June 23, 2022, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote a letter “demanding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland turn over documents that could explain why the Department of Justice has repeatedly refused to prosecute any threats against Republican-nominated Supreme Court justices.”
Last month, Senator Britt reported that as of March 28, 2023 “not a single person has been prosecuted for illegally harassing Supreme Court justices outside of their homes. The reason is crystal clear: the Department of Justice has willfully chosen not to enforce federal law.”
When the Dobbs decision was finally released on June 24, 2022, it was clear that the threats had not worked and the protests began to die down. However, no one can know what will be the long-term effects of these protests. With the Garland precedent of non-enforcement of laws protecting justices established, one wonders if conservative justices will respond by becoming more timid in their decision making, fearing retaliation against their family members.
It is also considered curious that Chief Justice Roberts refused to ask for the help of any federal law enforcement agency to investigate the leak, but rather gave the job to the Marshal of the Supreme Court, who reports to him directly. The Marshal proceeded to engage the firm of former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, widely regarded a Deep State operative based on his role in writing the PATRIOT Act. On January 19, 2023, the Court issued a Statement “Concerning the Leak Investigation,” explaining that the investigation turned up nothing – and it was not possible to know who “disclosed the document or how the draft opinion ended up with Politico.”
In the wake of the release of evidence of the DOJ’s telling U.S. Marshals to stand down, and AG Garland’s lying to Congress about it, a few have called for Garland’s impeachment. But it appears that there is no will among House Republicans to impeach Garland, or to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas who has let the border leak like a sieve, or impeach President Biden who by now could be impeached on a half-dozen different bases. Sending strongly worded letters will not restrain the Deep State. The House Republicans control the purse strings of government, and can defund any agency or program they want, but so far have refused to do even that. Increasingly Americans are viewing House Republicans as inept at best, or possibly part of the problem.
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