Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is teaming up with neighboring state Governor Larry Hogan to bring an bar protestors from gathering outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices. In a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland the governors call for the enforcement of a federal law that prohibits protests geared toward swaying a judicial decision in a pending case. Following the leaked report that the Supreme Court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade protestors have mounted large demonstrations outside the family homes of Justices Samuel Alito (Alexandria, VA) and Brett Kavanaugh (Montgomery County, MD).
On Wednesday, Youngkin and Hogan sent a letter to Garland’s office urging the Attorney General to bring an end to the protests outside the Justices’ homes. “It is in your hands to ensure that applicable federal law is enforced to preserve the integrity of our American judicial system and the safety of our citizens,” wrote Youngkin and Hogan in the joint letter.
“While protesting a final opinion from the Supreme Court is commonplace when done on the steps of the Court or in the public square, the circumstances of the current picketing at the Justices’ private homes in residential neighborhoods are markedly different,” said the two governors in the joint letter.
Youngkin appeared on Fox News to announce he and Hogan’s joint efforts to halt protests at the Justices’ homes, saying he was already coordinating with local authorities to create perimeters that would limit pedestrian and vehicles from accessing Justice Alito’s homes. “This is just fundamentally wrong to have people showing up at the justices’ homes and trying to influence and intimidate them,” he said. “It says clearly in the federal statute that this is wrong, and the attorney general needs to enforce it,” said Youngkin.
The federal law cited by in the governor’s joint letter stems from the 1965 case Cox v. Louisiana that ruled, “a State may adopt safeguards necessary and appropriate to assure that the administration of justice at all stages is free from outside control and influence.” The Justices presiding over the case wrote, “There is no room at any stage of judicial proceedings for such intervention; mob law is the very antithesis of due process.”
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