Officials condemn violence and threats after high court leaks over abortion case

WASHINGTON (CNS) – Biden administration officials issued a statement against the violence on May 9 following protests outside the homes of two Supreme Court justices in the Washington area, as well as a wave of vandalism and disturbances targeting groups that oppose abortion. Some of them include Catholic churches.

Referring to US President Joe Biden by the President of the United States’ Twitter handle, or @POTUS, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said he “strongly believes in the constitutional right to protest.”

“But that should never include violence, threats or vandalism. Judges perform an extremely important function in our society, and they must be able to do their job without worrying about their personal safety,” she tweeted.

The statement came after news organizations reported protests outside the home of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and the nearby home of Chief Justice John Roberts. Others said another judge and his family had to be taken to an undisclosed location due to threats, but that turned out to be unfounded.

After online news site Politico published a report in late May from a leaked draft opinion that a majority of Supreme Court justices appear set to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision legalizing abortion, those who oppose its reversal took to the streets. protest. But disgruntled vandalism of the potential decision also appears to be on the rise.

The New York Times reported on May 7 that part of the wall at Wisconsin Family Action’s Madison headquarters was set on fire, leaving behind graffiti that read, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you won’t neither are you.

Bishop of Madison Donald J. Hying, in a May 9 statement, called the vandalism a “brazen act of violence, which all citizens should condemn, as an attack on the respect and interest we owe each other in the search for the common good”.

Officials with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Religious Liberty said they documented nine similar incidents over the weekend after the leak, spanning from New York to Los Angeles.

Most were disturbances or destruction of property like the one reported by The Denver Channel in Colorado, an ABC affiliate, where staff at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Boulder removed graffiti, paint and broken glass over Mother’s Day weekend.

Although the leaked project is not final, Chief Justice Roberts confirmed its authenticity and called for an investigation. The draft, according to the Politico report, shows the five-judge roster against Roe v. Wade – enough to nullify it. The court’s final decision could be announced within the next two months.

Authorities in Washington, weary after what happened in the January 6, 2021, attacks on the nearby US Capitol, erected tall, elusive fences around the Supreme Court, where punches were thrown and tensions rise among those who disagree.

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