Supreme Court’s marshal asks governors to disperse protests outside homes of justices

·2 min read

The growing outrage directed at conservative justices on the US Supreme Court in the wake of its landmark decision overturning Roe v Wade has begun to concern the marshal of the court, Gail Curley.

Ms Curley wrote to the governors of Maryland and Virginia, as well as to county officials overseeing areas where some justices live, and demanded that they enforce laws banning protests outside of the private residences of individual justices, citing local anti-picketing laws unique to each state.

“This is exactly the kind of conduct that Maryland and Montgomery County laws prohibit,” wrote Ms Curley in the letter to Maryland officials, which like the Virginia letter was dated Friday and released to reporters a day later.

Ms Curley went on to describe an instance in the past week when a group of protesters in Maryland picketed outside of the homes of two justices.

The Independent has reached out to a court spokesperson for more information.

State officials in Maryland had a less-than-enthusiastic response to the court marshal’s request. The executive of Montgomery County, Democrat Marc Elrich, condemned the court’s decision to publicly release the letter, which he said would only further inflame the protests.

Its release "is counterproductive, and using the media only further draws attention to the security of the Justices' homes and neighborhoods,” he argued in a statement to CNN.

"Quite frankly, discussing security concerns publicly is irresponsible and disappointing behavior,” said Mr Elrich.

And a spokesperson for Republican Gov Larry Hogan responded similarly, ridiculing the Supreme Court’s marshal for failing to research the issue and noting that the state attorney general’s office was not even confident in the anti-picketing laws’ constitutionality.

The court has faced a furious backlash to its decision to wipe away federal protections for abortion rights, with progressives denouncing the entire institution as illegitimate and calling on President Joe Biden to expand the bench beyond nine justices to eliminate the conservative bloc’s majority.

Mr Biden has declined to do so, and compromised with his party’s left flank by budging on his opposition to changing the Senate’s filibuster rule to support an exception to the rule that would allow Democrats to codify abortion rights into law with 51 votes.