A neighbor of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett had blunt advice for protesters marching outside the House of Justice on Wednesday.
After a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion indicated that the court had voted to overturn precedents on abortion, pro-abortion protesters demonstrated outside the private homes of the court’s conservative-leaning judges.
What did the neighbor say?
Protesters gathered outside Barrett’s home in Virginia on Wednesday. The protesters were dressed as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale.
To to the daily signal, only seven protesters showed up. They demonstrated outside Barrett’s home for just 10 minutes, the news agency said, before exiting the Falls Church, Virginia, neighborhood.
“It’s none of your business, why are you here?” said a neighbor who spoke to a reporter. He also reiterated that it was “inappropriate” to protest outside Barrett’s home.
“You have the right to protest, but not in front of someone’s house. They live here – this is where she lives,” he added. “You shouldn’t be doing this.”
The man then gave blunt advice to the protesters. “Go home and get a family,” he said.
Are the protests legal?
Freedom of protest is a fundamental American right enshrined in the First Amendment. However, protests outside the private homes of judges can be illegal.
Especially federal law 18 U.S.C. §1507 — part of a chapter on obstruction of justice — seems to ban the very thing pro-choice advocates have been doing.
The statute reads:
Anyone who, with intent to disrupt, obstruct or impede the administration of justice, or with intent to influence any judge, jury, witness or court official in the performance of his duty, pickets or parades in or near any building of a court of law of the United States, or in or near any building or residence occupied or used by any such judge, jury, witness or court official, or with such intent uses a tone truck or similar device, or resorts to any other demonstration, or in the vicinity of such a building or residence, shall be liable under this title to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or both.
First Amendment scholar Tabatha Abu El-Haj told the Washington Post the law appears applicable in this situation.
“The law seems to apply to both because … they seem to be running pickets and parades with the appropriate intent and in the relevant locations,” Abu El-Haj said, “but also because the law has a catch-all for any other demonstration in or.” in the vicinity of any such building or residence.'”
There are also a Virginia law that seems to ban the protests.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) push the Justice Department to end the protests outside the judges’ private homes.
https://www.theblaze.com/news/amy-coney-barrett-neighbor-advice-protesters Amy Coney Barrett’s neighbor offers blunt advice to protesters outside her home: ‘Go home and get a family’