North Texas Daily

Increasing security for Supreme Court Justices is necessary

Increasing security for Supreme Court Justices is necessary

Increasing security for Supreme Court Justices is necessary
June 10
15:00 2022

Over the last few weeks a tremendous controversy has erupted in the U.S over a leaked memo of the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The pending case deliberates over the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi state law that bans most abortions.

The case indicates the majority of Supreme Court justices could potentially be ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized abortion throughout the United States.

Upon release of the memo, some abortion rights activists have protested in front of the homes of several conservative Supreme Court justices who have implicated they might support overturning Roe V.
Wade. Such protests in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices is inappropriate and actually violates
the law.

This matter is of vital concern since ensuring the safety of the members of the U.S Supreme Court is crucial — irrespective of where one lands on the ideological perspective. The Supreme Court Parity Act — which extends security protection to Supreme Court justices and their families — ensures the safety of these officials and their families. The act potentially keeps the justices from making influenced decisions and protects the Supreme Court from being tampered with.

Senior Sen. John Cornyn aptly justified the Supreme Court Parity Act, saying that “The events of the
past week have intensified the focus on Supreme Court Justices’ families, who are unfortunately facing threats to their safety in today’s increasing polarized political climate.”

Cornyn’s analysis puts the issue into greater context: putting the family of justices in harm’s way is unjust and inappropriate. Such legislation that provides vitally needed protection to Supreme Court justices and their families, since there has been a major increase of threats of violence against members of the Supreme Court, is necessary.

Banning protests in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices has legal precedent since U.S Code 1507 prohibits such activity as “picketing and parading” and expressly forbids such interference and obstruction of justice.

Ensuring the safety of the Supreme Court justices and members of the legislative and the executive branches of government is a bipartisan issue and should be a concern of every American, regardless of political party or ideology. This is especially the case now in our increasingly heated and polarized political environment — where some government officials have been violently attacked.

It is not appropriate to protest in front of the homes of the U.S. Supreme Court justices since such activities undermines their safety and impedes their ability to come and go from their homes safely and blocks them from exercising their sworn constitutional duties.

Abortion rights proponents are justified in expressing their concerns over the potentiality of Roe v. Wade
being overturned and have a First Amendment right to express their dissatisfaction with this prospect.

However, every American should be safe in their own home. These protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices could potentially spiral out of control, and could result in bodily injury to the Justices and their families.

As enshrined in the First Amendment, free speech and the freedom to assemble are sacred. Protesting in front of Supreme Court justices’ homes could lead to violent acts being perpetrated against their families.

Protesting is an important part of the American experience, but those who protest in America should do so
in legally designated areas prescribed by law.

Would those who support these protests be equally supportive if said protests were conducted by conservative activists who were displeased by the judicial verdicts of the Court’s more progressive justices?

Featured Illustration by Erika Sevilla

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Lee Enochs

Lee Enochs

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