By Hudson Crozier
What happened: While abortion supporters protested outside the homes of Supreme Court justices last year over the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, the Department of Justice instructed U.S. Marshals not to arrest them despite federal law, according to training materials released by Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.).
What does the law say? It criminalizes parading, picketing, or “any other demonstration” near a judge’s residence “with the intent of influencing” them. Protesters did this for months, beginning shortly after a draft of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked. The publication of the justices’ home addresses lead to an assassination attempt on Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
What did the DOJ do? The department claimed that the law only applied to “threats and intimidation” and told law enforcement not to arrest “unless absolutely necessary,” adding that arrests would be “counter-productive” because the department “will not charge and prosecute” such cases anyway.
Did Merrick Garland lie to Congress? The attorney general previously testified that the Marshals had “full authority” to arrest the protesters. But a whistleblower leaked the DOJ’s training materials because they were "concerned about the attorney general’s misleading testimony,” according to Sen. Britt’s office. Garland now claims he’s never seen the documents.
A trend: Under President Joe Biden, the DOJ has displayed a clear pro-abortion bias in its condemnation of the Dobbs decision, its creation of a “Reproductive Rights Task Force,” and its targeting of far more pro-life activists under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act than pro-choice agitators breaking the same law. Garland has denied accusations of partiality, but Republicans in Congress such as Sen. Britt don’t buy it.