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Supreme Court urges MD, VA officials to enforce anti-picketing laws on abortion ruling protests outside justices’ homes

  • July 05, 2022

following protests outside the homes of high court justices who live in the state.

In separate letters to GOP Gov. Larry Hogan and Montgomery County County Executive Mark Ehrlich, Marshal of the Court Gail A. Curley said state and local authorities should be doing more to keep the justices safe.

“I would respectfully request that you direct the Maryland State Police to enforce Maryland and Montgomery County laws that squarely prohibit picketing at the homes of Supreme Court Justices who reside in Maryland,” Curley wrote to Hogan on Friday.

Both letters were released to the media Saturday.

Similar letters were sent to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Jeffrey MacKay, Board of Supervisors chair in Fairfax County, Virginia, just outside Washington.

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The protests began outside the homes of conservative justices shortly after a draft opinion was leaked May 2 indicating the court was on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that protected abortion across the land. 

Protests have continued since then, especially after the court issued its official ruling last week ending Roe.

“For weeks on end, large groups of protesters chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed Justices’ homes in Maryland,” she wrote. “Earlier this week, for example, 75 protesters loudly picketed at one Justice’s home in Maryland 20-30 minutes in the evening, then proceed to picket at another Justice’s home for 30 minutes, where the crowd grew to 100, and finally returned to the first Justice’s home to picket for another 20 minutes.”

“This is exactly the kind of conduct that the Maryland and Montgomery County laws prohibit,” Curley wrote.

She did not name the justices the demonstrators targeted.

The letters follow the arrest of an armed man last month who allegedly made threats against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh near the justice’s suburban Washington home located in Montgomery County.

The suspect, identified in court records as Nicholas John Roske of California, allegedly called a local 911 dispatcher claiming to be armed, suicidal and that he had traveled to the area to “kill” a Supreme Court justice.

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