Ashley Moody Calls on Merrick Garland to Protect Supreme Court Justices

Last week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce federal law against attempts to intimidate U.S. Supreme Court Justices by protesting outside the justices’ homes.

Along with 24 other attorneys general, Moody called on Garland take action to safeguard and ensure the integrity of the rule of law.

“The integrity of our courts is paramount to a free and democratic society. Any attempt to threaten or intimidate United States Supreme Court Justices so they change their votes should be thoroughly investigated by the Department of Justice—not just for the safety of judges and their families, but for the independence of our nation’s entire judicial system,” Moody said.

In a letter to Garland, the state attorneys general wrote: “Following last week’s leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion activists have begun protesting not just outside the Supreme Court, but outside the justices’ homes, in the hope of pressuring the Justices to change their votes. As a former federal judge and the current head of the Department of Justice, you must surely appreciate the unique risks to both judges and the rule of law when judges are targeted at their homes. That is why Congress has long barred ‘picket[ing] or parad[ing]’ near a judge’s home ‘with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice.’ We the undersigned attorneys general act daily to uphold the rule of law. These remarkable recent events provide you an opportunity to do the same.

“You were quick to respond to the purported ‘threat’ of parents speaking out at local school board meetings (though the basis for your threat assessment was shaky to say the least). Here, in the face of escalating extremism directed at the judicial branch, you have an obvious role to play. Congress recognized that pressuring judges to change their votes by protesting outside their homes directly threatens the rule of law. You profess to share those concerns, having unequivocally stated that attacking a courthouse ‘to prevent judges from actually deciding cases’ plainly constitutes ‘domestic extremism, domestic terrorism.’ You can and should act accordingly by faithfully executing federal law to prevent protestors from attempting to intimidate the justices of the Supreme Court, both to protect the justices and to safeguard the rule of law,” they added.

The following attorneys general joined Moody in signing on to the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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