Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to explain why the Department of Justice has yet to enforce a federal law prohibiting intimidation of Supreme Court Justices.
The ranking member of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on The Constitution, Cruz sent a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., last Thursday, asking him to bring Garland before the committee on Wednesday.
"I am requesting [Garland's] attendance so he may detail the steps the Department of Justice is taking to protect our Supreme Court Justices in the wake of an unprecedented harassment and intimidation campaign," the Texas Republican wrote.
"18 U.S.C. § 1507 criminalizes any attempt to influence a judge in the exercise of his or her duties by picketing them at their home. Congress passed this law to allow judges at every level of the judiciary the freedom to exercise their judicial power free from outside influence or intimidation.
He continued: "Article III of the Constitution guarantees judicial independence by granting judges life tenure and salary protection so they are not influenced by anything but the law and facts in the case before them. Unfortunately, despite clear evidence that federal law was violated by mobs of protestors at the Justices' homes, the head of the Department of Justice, and chief law enforcement officer of the United States, flatly refused to enforce federal law."
Despite the Supreme Court marshal asking Maryland and Virginia officials to enforce laws that ban protesting outside justices' homes and the governors of Virginia and Maryland urging Garland to "enforce the law as it is written," Garland has failed to do so, Cruz notes.
In early June, an alleged assassin was arrested outside the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Armed with a gun, a knife, pepper spray, and burglary tools, the California man later confessed that he planned to kill the conservative justice because he feared he would overturn Roe v. Wade following the leak of a draft opinion indicating the court was poised to do so.
In a decision that has sparked protests across the country, the high court's conservative majority overturned Roe on June 24, finding that it was wrongly decided in 1973.
Intimidation attempts have also occurred outside the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
"In response to these threats, Attorney General Garland merely stated, 'The Justice Department will not tolerate violence or threats of violence against judges or any other public servants at work, home, or any other location,'" Cruz said in his letter. "Attorney General Garland's refusal to act, however, calls into question the sincerity of this statement."
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