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SCOTUS Marshal Seeks Halt Of Protests Outside Justices' Homes

The Supreme Court's chief security officer requested Maryland and Virginia officials move to halt protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices. In letters to Maryland officials, Court Marshal Gail Curley said "threatening activity" has increased at justices' home since May, when the disclosure of a draft opinion in the case that later overturned Roe v. Wade was widely reported. Curley noted to Gov. Larry Hogan that Maryland law prohibits picketing in front of private homes, Politico reports. "For weeks on end, large groups of protests chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed justices' homes," Curley wrote. In one incident, 75 protesters loudly picketed at one justice's home for 20-30 minutes before relocating to another justice's' home for 30 minutes, where the crowd grew to 100. Demonstrators returned to the first justice's home to picket again. Curley said state and county laws "provide the tools to prevent picketing activity at the justices' homes, and they should be enforced without delay."

The debate over protests at justices’ homes has risen since the disclosure of the draft opinion. Curley sent similar letters to Virginia officials including Gov. Glenn Youngkin, citing Virginia statutes. In May, Hogan and Youngkin called on the Justice Department to provide adequate resources to protect Supreme Court justices and their families. A Hogan spokesman, responding to the marshal’s letter, said the governor had urged the Justice Department to act under a “clear and unambiguous” federal statute, and that the constitutionality of the state statute in question was under review by the Maryland Attorney General’s office. Hogan has directed state police to review enforcement options.