President Biden on Monday expressed his support for judges after protesters converged on the private homes of two Supreme Court justices in the DC area over the weekend. "Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety," said a statement tweeted on Biden's behalf by press chief Jenn Psaki, per the Hill. The president "strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest," said the statement. "But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism." The protests outside the homes of Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts in Chevy Chase, Maryland, came in the wake of the leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Similar protests are expected to continue this week, including at the Washington home of Samuel Alito, author of the draft opinion, per WUSA 9. Law enforcement officials in DC are bracing for the possibility that protests in general will turn violent, as evidenced by the 8-foot fence erected around the Supreme Court building, reports CNN. And in Madison, Wisconsin, police are investigating an attack on an anti-abortion group's office as a possible arson. A White House official addressed the concern about violence, reports the Hill.
Biden "has made clear throughout his time in public life that Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view," said the official. "But that expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate." One of the protest organizers at Kavanaugh's home is a neighbor quoted thusly by the Washington Post: "I organize peaceful candlelit vigils in front of his house," says Lacie Wooten-Holway, 39. "We're about to get doomsday, so I’m not going to be civil to that man at all." (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)