NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
FIRST ON FOX: Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on him to prosecute “pro-abortion activists” the senator says “have begun a campaign of violence, destruction, and intimidation” after the Supreme Court leak.
Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the Tuesday letter from Hawley to Garland calling on the attorney general to “vigorously investigate and prosecute the crimes committed in recent days,” pointing to video footage of “pro-abortion activists surrounding the homes of Supreme Court Justices in an attempt to influence” their opinion on the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The case asks the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade — which would return the decision to allow abortion to the state level — and was the subject the rare leak from the high court.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
“This conduct has only one purpose: intimidation,” the Missouri Republican wrote. “It is also flagrantly illegal.”
“Federal law makes it a crime for a person, “with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty,” to “picket or parade … in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge.” 18 U.S.C. §1507,” Hawley continued. “The First Amendment is no shield to this illegal conduct.”
“Those upset by the leaks have plenty of places to protest that do not involve intimidation and do not place the Justices and their families at risk,” Hawley added. “And the Supreme Court already upheld a statute similar to this one, stressing that these laws are critical to democracy.”
Hawley called the “unlawful picketing by these radical activists” as “nothing less than an attack on the Court itself,” and pointed to “harrowing reports have arisen in recent days of radical pro-abortion activists attacking pro-life persons and organizations.”
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 05: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland addressed the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images)
The Missouri Republican highlighted how “criminals firebombed a pro-life organization in Madison, Wisconsin” and tagged it with the message “if abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either” over the weekend as well as the vandalization of a Boulder, Colorado Catholic church.
“Anti-religion vandalism in recent days also goes well beyond mere spray paint on doors,” Hawley wrote. “One radical organization suggested that its members had already stolen from a Catholic church the holiest of its contents—the Eucharist—and intend to destroy it in an act of gross sacrilege.”
“These acts of vandalism are not just hateful; they also clearly violate federal law, which prohibits “intentionally damag[ing] or destroy[ing] the property of a place of religious worship,’” the senator added.
Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. Whatever the outcome, the Politico report represents an extremely rare breach of the court’s secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Hawley also pointed to Los Angeles religious services being disrupted by “radicals” over the weekend and warned that the activists have future plans to disrupt services again.
“You must not allow this brazen and unlawful intimidation to go unchecked. Last fall, your Department committed substantial resources to investigating parents at school board meetings,” Hawley wrote. “Failure to vigorously investigate and prosecute these crimes would send the message that your Department is only interested in prosecuting the Biden Administration’s political opponents—like parents speaking at school board meetings—leaving victims of actual crimes committed by the far left to fend for themselves.”
The protests targeting the homes of Supreme Court justices and acts of vandalism against pro-life groups across the country came after the leaked draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito.
Fencing went up around the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., amid the protests that erupted following the leak.