Republicans are accusing the Department of Justice of “actively” seeking to “dissuade” the U.S. Marshals Service from enforcing 18 USC 1507 to protect the Supreme Court justices.
In a May 3 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Sens. Katie Britt of Alabama, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah reveal that they have obtained “post orders” dated May 19, 2022, that claim “USMS is not in a position to enforce” federal and state law.
“This is the exact kind of thing from the Biden DOJ that continues to cause people across Alabama and America to fear that there is a two-tiered system of justice in our country,” Britt said in an emailed statement to The Daily Signal. “The simple fact of the matter is that the Administration agreed with the protestors’ politics and willfully chose not to enforce the law.”
The U.S. Marshals Service should not engage protesters “unless they attempt to enter private property,” the post orders said, according to the senators. This matches what members of the U.S. Marshals Service told The Daily Signal on the ground at Chief Justice John Roberts’ home in January.
June 4 post orders, which came four days before authorities arrested a man for attempting to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, reportedly warned the marshals that they “should not engage in protest-related enforcement actions beyond that which are strictly and immediately necessary and tailored to ensure the physical safety of the Justices and their families.”
Like similar materials that Britt revealed in March, the post orders also allegedly ordered U.S. Marshals Service personnel that “[a]ny contemplated USMS enforcement action should be coordinated in advance” with the appropriate U.S. attorney’s office.
“In light of all the clear evidence that DOJ actively sought to dissuade USMS personnel from enforcing Section 1507,” the senators wrote, “the Deputy Attorney General’s April 19th testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the March 29th statement made by USMS Director Davis, and your continued failure to amend your March 1st testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee all raise a number of troubling questions regarding DOJ’s dishonesty and impropriety with respect to its handling of this matter.”
Shortly after the leak of the draft opinion indicating Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned, the radical pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us began urging protesters to go to the homes of the “six extremist justices, three in Virginia and three in Maryland.” Those justices were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch.
ShutDownDC, a leftist protest group that has protested at the family homes of Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and commentator Tucker Carlson, also called for protesting at the justices’ houses and even offered bounties for sightings of the justices. Far-left protesters with Our Rights DC and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights joined these groups in targeting the justices’ homes.
This protesting has frequently occurred in spite of 18 U.S. Code 1507, which forbids picketing or parading “in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” with the intent of intimidating or influencing that person.
As the senators pointed out, Garland has since admitted that it is a federal crime to protest outside a judge’s home with the intent of influencing that judge, but he has not enforced that law, though both Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan requested that he do so. Garland also claimed in March that the U.S. marshals “on scene” make the decision “whether to make an arrest.”
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan has also launched an investigation into the directions given to the marshals, writing in a letter to U.S. Marshal Service Director Ronald Davis that “the training materials provided to the U.S. Marshals strongly suggest that the Biden Administration is continuing to weaponize federal law enforcement agencies for partisan purposes.”
“While authorities apprehended the man who intended to do harm to Justice Kavanaugh, we are aware of no other arrests or charges for agitators demonstrating outside of the justices’ homes—despite the actions clearly violating federal law,” Jordan said in the letter, according to The Hill.
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