Last Updated on May 16, 2022
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute leftist demonstrators who have been picketing outside the homes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Picketing outside the home of a judge with intent to influence an upcoming decision is a federal offense, punishable by up to a year in prison.
Rep. Jim Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, said Garland’s inaction against Supreme Court protesters stands in sharp contrast to how the Justice Department took “aggressive action” against parents at school board meetings and the “disproportionately harsh treatment” against January 6 protesters. Banks later suggested that Garland’s radically different approaches are politically motivated.
“The evidence shows that under your leadership, the Department has one rule for the Biden administration’s friends, and a different, much harsher rule, for its opponents,” Jim Banks wrote in a letter to Garland that was obtained by Fox News. “This is a dangerous path,” he continued.
Under a 1950 law, an individual who “pickets or parades” near a judge’s residence with the intent of influencing or impeding their decision is punishable by up to a year in federal prison.
Banks went on to condemn the recent attacks on Catholic churches and the firebombing of a Wisconsin-based pro-life non-profit. The Wisconsin attack was later claimed by a left-wing extremist group called “Jane’s Revenge”, who threatened more attacks if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“Your supine response to this unprecedented and ongoing attack on the Supreme Court, and the apparently coordinated threats to churches and to Americans who value life stands, in stark contrast to your aggressive action against parents protesting at school board meetings, and your disproportionately harsh treatment of the January 6 defendants for their alleged crimes of trespassing, obstruction, and parading or picketing,” Banks wrote to Garland on Monday.
Republicans have also called on Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin to take action, as the majority of the targeted justices live in Northern Virginia. In a written request to the deep-blue Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Youngkin requested that the local police department establish an “expanded security perimeter around the homes of the three current Supreme Court Justices who reside in Fairfax County.”
“The Virginia State Police have offered and stand ready to provide their assistance to Fairfax County Police,” Youngkin’s letter continued. “We are prepared to provide the manpower and resources necessary to ensure a safe perimeter, which should include limiting unauthorized vehicle and pedestrian access, and be established prior to planned events on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.”
Authorities fear that the situation could escalate when a final decision is handed down over the coming weeks.