WASHINGTON (WJLA) – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin are calling on the Justice Department to provide resources to protect the Supreme Court justices and their families amid ongoing protests outside their homes.
The governors sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Wednesday.
The Justice Department today released the following statement from spokesman Anthony Coley:
“Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Justices. The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police.”
Those protests, like the one Monday night outside Justice Samuel Alito's Alexandria home, have been happening since last week's leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting plans to overturn Roe v. Wade.
There were also demonstrations at the Maryland homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh over the weekend.
Youngkin sent a request to Fairfax County asking for extra protection. Jeff McKay, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sent Youngkin a letter in response to the governor's request.
"Our Fairfax County Police Department remains committed to keeping the Justices, their families, the affected neighborhoods, and demonstrators safe. We will enforce laws that serve to protect persons and property," McKay wrote. "Our police officers are equally committed to protecting the First Amendment guarantees afforded to those who gather to exercise their freedom of speech. These two endeavors are not mutually exclusive. Your suggestion to establish a 'perimeter' for the purpose of 'limiting unauthorized vehicle and pedestrian access' to neighborhoods surrounding the homes of the Justices is paramount to a checkpoint that federal courts have held violates the Fourth Amendment. There are obvious First Amendment concerns as well."
"The Fairfax County Police Department is aware of planned protests in several locations in the county and throughout the DC metro area," police said. "As a precaution, we have staffed additional resources to maintain the safety and security of the public, while ensuring First Amendment rights are protected. Our Civil Disturbance Unit is trained to handle crowds that gather to express their views and our officers are well versed on the laws that govern such gatherings."