Last week, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. gave his first public speech since his draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked, despite continued protests outside his house by pro-abortion activists.
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Alito spoke from a remote location seven miles from the Scalia School of Law at George Mason University on Thursday, expressing growing concerns for the safety of Supreme Court justices since Politico posted Alito’s draft opinion.
As reported by The Washington Post, Alito offered “a detailed examination of statutory textualism” before addressing the most pressing issue – Roe v. Wade and the troubling fallout since the leak.
As the evening came to a close, the final question was if the justices could still sit down for a meal together.
“I think it would just be really helpful for all of us to hear, personally, are you all doing okay in these very challenging times?…” asked the questioner.
Alito was hesitant to comment.
“This is a subject I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about today regarding, you know — given all the circumstances,” Alito responded.
Having paused for a moment, he continued.
“The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we’re doing our work,” he explained. “We’re taking new cases, we’re headed toward the end of the term, which is always a frenetic time as we get our opinions out.”
“So that’s where we are,” he stated plainly.
Activists had gathered outside the virtual speech at George Mason University. They shouted in unison, “Hey hey, ho ho, Alito has got to go! Hey hey, ho ho we must defend Roe!”
Activists have also converged on the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices after the pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us published the addresses of six members.
Now, as the Supreme Court prepares to deliver its ruling on the Roe v. Wade abortion case, the federal government anticipates an increase in political violence.
It's about to get real violent over Roe v Wade, and they haven't even overturned it yet … pic.twitter.com/F4sxfwkxb0
— WilliamA33 (@WilliamA_33) May 4, 2022
According to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo obtained by Axios on May 13, the U.S. government expects threats against Supreme Court Justices, clerks, lawmakers, clergy and health care providers to rise over the next few weeks.
The declassified memo states that these threats ‘are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling.’
‘Some racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists’ advocacy of pro-life narratives could be connected to their desire to ‘save white children’ and ‘fight white genocide,” reads the memo.
In addition, it warns against acts committed by pro-abortion and pro-choice groups and individuals.
However, the memo makes clear that demonstrations and ‘strong rhetoric’ do not inherently constitute illegal activity.
‘The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics does not constitute domestic violent extremism or illegal activity and is constitutionally protected,’ it asserts.
Authorities are investigating social media threats following a Supreme Court leak revealing that a conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this month.
A threat to the Supreme Court building includes burning it down or storming it along with assassinating justices and their clerks. Also, pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups have made threats against places of worship and abortion clinics on the internet.
Ahead of last night’s #Antifa riot in Portland over abortion, they gathered in front of the federal courthouse & created a mini autonomous zone with blockades. At night, they smashed up buildings, businesses & started fires. Video posted by @StanPulliam: pic.twitter.com/vrkG4u42W7
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) May 4, 2022
In 1973, the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling ruled that abortion was constitutionally protected, so no state could completely prohibit a woman’s ability to end her pregnancy.
According to Republicans, the decision should be returned to the states so they can decide how to regulate abortion. However, 13 states already have laws that would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned in a few weeks.
A spokesperson for The Department of Homeland Security told Axios that the department ‘is committed to protecting Americans’ freedom of speech and other civil rights and civil liberties, including the right to peacefully protest.’
‘DHS is also committed to working with our partners across every level of government and the private sector to share timely information and intelligence, prevent all forms of violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe,’ they declared.
With news of the leak, extremists began engaging in aggressive and violent acts – leading to the building of a tall fence around the Supreme Court Building just a few weeks ago.
Fencing now surrounds the U.S. Supreme Court following protests and the leak of the draft decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade. pic.twitter.com/654yZgtuEJ
— Mitchell Miller (@mmillerwtop) May 5, 2022
After news of the leaked decision broke, pro-choice demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court. Pro-life activists joined in the protests, which grew violent as pro-choice activists became incensed at their presence.
The Supreme Court fence is there to protect the building, the Justices, and their staff.
About a week after the disclosure, irate pro-abortion demonstrators arrived outside the residences of Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh.
Furthermore, protesters appeared outside churches the following weekend after the leaked document circulated.
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Wisconsin Family Action in Madison, an anti-abortion group, was targeted with Molotov cocktails by Antifa militants.
— El American (@ElAmerican_) May 9, 2022
The extremist group most known for rioting and violence also scribbled a taunting statement on the wall that read, ‘If abortions aren’t safe you aren’t either.’
Officials were investigating a fire at the headquarters of anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action that they said was arson. The building was spray-painted with the words, "If abortions aren't safe then you aren't either."@7NewsDC DETAILS: https://t.co/8BgeyneqnA pic.twitter.com/7nUzPmj0gl
— Ashlie Rodriguez 7News (@Ashlie7News) May 9, 2022
In anticipation of possible civil unrest after the official ruling, numerous government and private sector organizations are communicating and coordinating to prepare.