Senate Judiciary Committee members from both parties denounced a protest targeting the Maryland home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saying the families and homes of government officials are not fair game.
The liberal group ShutDown D.C. organized the protest Monday in response to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling earlier this month, allowing Texas’s six-week abortion ban to go into effect.
More than 50 protesters walked from a Chevy Chase, Maryland park to Kavanuagh’s house chanting slogans and bearing signs such as “safe abortion is a human right” and “hey Kavanaugh resign now,” Bethesda Magazine reported.
“This protest looks like another blatant attempt to intimidate the judiciary and anyone who disagrees with the radical agenda pushed by partisan advocates,” said Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) similarly criticized protests targeting public figures’ homes.
“We all know that you have to have a tough mental hide to be in this business,” Durbin said. But “it is absolutely unacceptable from my point of view to involve and major public figure’s family or their home, or to involve yourself in criminal trespass in the name of political freedom of speech.”
“There are proper venues to express yourself and I don’t believe a person’s home or their family should be fair game in this business,” he added.
On the eve of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, ShutDown D.C. organized a similar protest in front of the Washington home of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Grassley noted that a member of the group faced criminal charges related to the Hawley protest.
“When it comes to criminal trespass, we got a belly full of that on January 6th,” Durbin said. “I don’t care whether you’re right or left, that is unacceptable as far as I’m concerned in expressing your political feelings.”
The comments came at the start of a confirmation hearings for nominees to the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second and Ninth Circuit, as well as the so-called “Tenth Justice"—the U.S. Solicitor General.
- With assistance from Madison Alder