More than 500 literary figures are demanding that Penguin Random House rescind its book deal with Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, due to her voting positions with abortion-rights cases.
Barrett, whose book deal has a reported value of $2 million, was one of five conservative justices — along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito — who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24.
In the letter to Penguin Random House, the left-leaning signatories initially claimed they "care deeply about freedom of speech."
However, the group also believes it's their responsibility to uphold the principles of the First Amendment with a "duty of care."
"We recognize that harm is done to a democracy not only in the form of censorship, but also in the form of assault on inalienable human rights," the letter states.
"As such, we are calling on Penguin Random House to recognize its own history and corporate responsibility commitments by reevaluating its decision to move forward with publishing Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's forthcoming book."
The signatories also allege that Barrett's willingness to inflict "her own religious and moral agenda" into her court opinions should be a disqualifying move for getting a personal book published, since it violates "international human rights."
The letter additionally directed Penguin Random House to drop Barrett, citing its own Code of Conduct language.
"This is not just a book that we disagree with, and we are not calling for censorship. Many of us work daily with books we find disagreeable to our personal politics," the letter continues. "Rather, this is a case where a corporation has privately funded the destruction of human rights with obscene profits."
The signees of the letter include: employees of Penguin Random House, employees of HarperCollins, employees of Barnes & Noble, press officers, members of the press and Erica Rosbe, whose screenwriting credits include TV's "Rick and Morty" on Cartoon Network (Adult Swim).
As Newsmax chronicled in June, the 5-4 vote to overturn Roe included Chief Justice John Roberts writing a separate, quasi-dissenting opinion, reasoning he would have upheld the Mississippi-based Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling — which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy — but would not have taken additional steps to wipe out the Roe precedent.
Back in May, an initial draft opinion for the Dobbs case had been leaked to the media, setting off a firestorm of condemnation from Democrats and other liberals decrying the possibility of Roe being overturned.
Protests outside the suburban homes of conservative justices soon followed.
In early June, a California man was arrested and charged with attempted murder after being found outside Kavanaugh's Maryland residence — armed with a gun, burglary tools, zip ties and pepper spray.
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