Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Newsmax on Wednesday that those people protesting the potential U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision are “pushing the envelope” by protesting at the homes of the justices.
“This is a federal offense,” Blackburn said during “American Agenda.” “It is a crime, a felony offense, to try to intimidate (or) harass a judge to try to influence the outcome of a decision. So, they know that they are committing a crime, but it appears that people are trying to push the envelope when you have these protests that are right at the edge of a justice's property, when they're disrupting the entire neighborhood.”
Blackburn’s comments came hours after state and federal law enforcement arrested a man with a gun and knife near the Maryland home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the early hours Wednesday.
According to a criminal complaint by the F.B.I., the agency is charging California resident Nicholas John Roske with the attempted murder of Kavanaugh after Roske called the Montgomery County, Maryland, Emergency Communications Center about 1 a.m. Wednesday, telling the dispatcher that he had a gun in his suitcase, was suicidal, and had traveled from California to kill Kavanaugh.
U.S. Marshals assigned to protect Kavanaugh reported seeing Roske near the home, and that he made eye contact with them and then walked away, but was later taken into custody without incident, according to the complaint.
Roske could face 20 years in prison if convicted of the charge, according to the Washington Post.
“This is something that we have been watching, and are very concerned about,” Blackburn said. “Indeed, this arrest last night shows that there are people who are going to push this limit as far as they possibly can.”
Blackburn said protests and demonstrations should be kept in the “public square” and the private homes of officials should be off limits.
“There is a place to protest. Go to the public square. We believe in petitioning your government. We believe in peaceful protests, but there is a place there is a time and place,” she said. “For this, at the edge of someone's property, blocking the streets, trying to run up, knock on the door, the harassment that comes with this is not appropriate, and that they know they're disturbing the peace. They know that they are pushing the limits, but they have done it, anyway.”
She said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been pushing for more funding to protect justices.
“There was unanimous agreement that there were additional funds needed so the F.B.I. could provide additional protection at the homes of these justices with the U. S. Marshal service of the court,” Blackburn said. “Now we know that the governors of Virginia and Maryland have put additional protections around these justices, also.”
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