In the News

Over 40 House Republicans push resolution to condemn SCOTUS opinion leak, protests in front of justices' homes

Fox News: Tyler Olson

FIRST ON FOX: House GOP Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson and 40 other Republicans Thursday are introducing a resolution decrying protests in front of Supreme Court justices' homes, amid demonstrations over an upcoming abortion ruling. 

The resolution also condemns the leak of a draft opinion in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which Politico reported last week. The unprecedented leak revealed that the Supreme Court likely has enough votes to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The resolution from Johnson, R-La., begins by expressing "support for the enforcement of section 1507 of title 18, United States Code, with respect to protests outside the homes of sitting Supreme Court Justices."

That federal law makes it illegal to "picket or parade" outside a courthouse or a judge's residence "with the intent of influencing any judge… in the discharge of his duty."

Republicans called for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce that law all week. Garland and the DOJ were initially silent on the matter but addressed the protests in a statement Wednesday. 

"Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Justices," Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley said.

The statement added, "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."

Johnson's resolution, which is joined by 40 other House Republicans, continues to raise concerns that the leak of the draft opinion, "constitutes a grave breach of judicial ethics and a blatant attack on the independence of the Court." And it notes that after the leak "activists sought to intimidate Justices of the Supreme Court by protesting outside their homes."

The resolution, which is unlikely to pass in the Democrat-controlled House, concludes by expressing concern about "the erosion of Americans' faith in our institutions" and calling on the DOJ to enforce section 1507 of title 18. 

Johnson's resolution is just the latest move by high-ranking Republicans railing against the protests and the DOJ's handling of them. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent letters to Garland Wednesday demanding that his department step up its response. 

Also Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 House Republicans led by Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., railed against Garland for allowing "mob rule" by not prosecuting demonstrators they said were violating the law. Johnson and Stefanik also signed onto that letter.