Peaceful protests have always been a cornerstone of American democracy. Sadly, many Americans in recent years have crossed the line from “peaceful” into harassment or worse.
During her news briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about pro-abortion activists who have contrived a plan to show up at the houses of conservative Supreme Court justices in the wake of a leaked draft of a decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
The group Ruth Sent Us published what it says are the home addresses of six justices and called for protesters to march there on Wednesday.
“So, you guys had some time yesterday talking about what you think are the extreme wings of the Republican Party,” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy said. “Do you think the progressive activists that are now planning protests outside some of the justices’ houses are extreme?”
“Peaceful protest? No. Peaceful protest is not extreme,” Psaki said.
“But some of these justices have young kids,” Doocy said. “Their neighbors are not all public figures. So would the president think about waving off activists that want to go into residential neighborhoods in Virginia and Maryland?”
“Peter, look, I think our view here is that peaceful protest — there’s a long history in the United States and the country of that,” she responded.
“These activists posted a map with the home addresses of the Supreme Court justices,” Doocy said. “Is that the kind of thing this president wants to help your side make their point?”
Psaki refused to publicly condemn these actions and instead rambled on about how Biden understands the “passion” and the “sadness” of those who fear they no longer will be able to kill babies in the womb.
Doocy continued to press her.
“So he doesn’t care if they’re protesting outside the Supreme Court or outside someone’s private residence?” he asked.
“I don’t have an official U.S. government position on where people protest,” Psaki said. “I want it — we want it, of course, to be peaceful. And certainly, the president would want people’s privacy to be respected.
“But I think we shouldn’t lose the point here: The reason people are protesting is because women across the country are worried about their fundamental rights that have been law for 50 years. Their rights to make choices about their own bodies and their own health care are at risk.”
First of all, nearly everything in that sentence is a lie. There is no such thing as a “fundamental right” to end an innocent life, and getting an abortion is a decision not only about a woman’s body but also about the body of an innocent child.
In addition, the Supreme Court decision would not allow abortion nationwide. It would simply return the determination on abortion laws to the states, which is where it has always belonged.
Second, Psaki’s refusal to publicly condemn leftists publishing justices’ addresses online and planning to march on their private residences is sickening.
Ruth Sent Us, apparently named after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, posted the addresses of conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett on its website. The group also shared Chief Justice John Roberts’ address, even though many of his decisions can hardly be considered conservative.
On the site, the group explained its plan to march outside the houses of all six “extremist” justices on Wednesday, saying, “We must rise up to force accountability using a diversity of tactics.”
The group said its plan is to lead “peaceful protests,” so depending on the property laws, it might be true that people are not legally barred from protesting outside of the justices’ houses. However, as Red State pointed out, federal law prohibits “demonstrations launched in front of the homes of judges and anyone involved in court proceedings with the intent to influence their decision.”
Whether legal or not, it is generally accepted in society that people’s homes are private places where they should not have to fear being harassed.
Given the extreme reaction to the draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade, one can only hope that any protests at the justices’ homes will not become violent.
It would have been easy for Psaki to say, “We encourage people to protest in public spaces instead of at private residences.”
Instead, she said the government had no position, which many leftists can interpret as a green light for their actions.
Peaceful protesting is all well and good, but harassing people at their homes is not. If the Biden administration wanted to keep its promise to return normalcy and civility to politics, it would discourage such behavior.
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