U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland could face impeachment proceedings over the Department of Justice’s failure to enforce a federal statute that prevents picketing or parading outside of Supreme Court Justices’ homes, should Republicans take the majority in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.
Conservative Supreme Court Justices were subjected to demonstrations outside of their residences in Maryland and Virginia following the unprecedented leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization draft decision in May, indicating the longstanding Roe v. Wade decision would be overturned. The leak was possibly an attempt “to intimidate one or more justices to reverse their vote or to ignite a liberal brushfire to pack the Supreme Court before Democrats lose Congress in November,” as Breitbart News reported.
The justices stood firm in their decisions and did not cave to pressure from the left, media, and protestors following the leak. On June 24, the official decision came down, which found abortion to be unconstitutional, overturning Roe and making abortion an issue for state legislatures to decide.
“According to 18 U.S. Code § 1507, it is illegal to attempt to influence a judge’s ruling or interfere with the discharge of their duty with pickets or parades near any building occupied by a judge,” Breitbart News previously reported. The statute makes the protests outside of justices’ homes illegal, but it was not enforced by President Joe Biden’s DOJ overseen by Garland. While speaking with the Washington Free Beacon, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) did not dismiss the idea of a Garland impeachment inquiry.
“That’ll be a decision that will be made by the entire conference,” said Jordan, who — if Republicans take back the House — is slated to head up the House Judiciary Committee.
“The key question we would like to find out, if in fact the American people put us in control, is was this similar to what happened with parents at school board meetings?” Jordan noted. “In other words, was the Biden White House working with some outside left wing influence groups, and also then communicating that information to the DOJ?”
As protests commenced following the leak, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) and Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) penned a letter to Garland on May 11, calling on him to enforce 18 U.S. Code § 1507.
Today, @GovernorVA and I sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the Department of Justice to provide adequate resources to keep the Supreme Court justices and their families safe amid ongoing protests at their homes. pic.twitter.com/6D0bMGSp3q
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 11, 2022
Days later, on May 18, Youngkin appeared on Fox News Channel’s Jesse Waters Tonight and noted he did not believe Garland would enforce the statute despite his and Hogan’s pleas, the Washington Examiner noted.
Authorities arrested Nicholas John Roske on June 8 near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland residence, as Roske allegedly planned to assassinate Kavanaugh. “Police and court documents say that Roske had in his possession a Glock-17 pistol, a tactical knife, pepper spray, zip ties, and a crowbar,” Breitbart News noted.
“This leak was done in order to cause chaos — and it did,” Youngkin told Breitbart News in June, and continued:
The whole purpose was to encourage people to parade and picket to try to intimidate and influence justices — and that’s wrong. It’s just flat wrong, and to do it in front of their homes is just unfathomable. We know that it puts their lives at risk because we see what happened with the murder attempt on Justice Kavanaugh. I’ve been worried about their families, I’ve been worried about their neighbors. And by the way, I’m worried about the protesters because we should keep them safe too. That’s why I’ve been so focused on not just politely requesting but imploring that U.S. Attorney General [Merrick] Garland enforce the law. There’s a federal statute that says that if you parade or picket in front of a Justice’s home in order to try to influence them, which is exactly what this is, that is punishable with up to a year in prison. These folks, he should arrest these people and put them in prison. He should. It’s just wrong.
Protests continued following the official decision coming down on June 24. Earlier this month, Supreme Court Marshal Gail A. Curley sent letters to state and county officials in Maryland, including Hogan, calling for authorities to enforce state and county laws that make picketing and protesting outside of a person’s homes illegal, as Breitbart News reported.
NEW: #SCOTUS Marshal sends letters to MD authorities, asking for full enforcement of state/local laws banning picketing outside Justices’ homes. pic.twitter.com/pRGRXknL1F
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) July 2, 2022
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