In the wake of a foiled assassination plot against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and ongoing protests outside the homes of his conservative colleagues, critics have assailed the lack of federal law enforcement efforts to thwart those responsible, and according to GOP strategist Karl Rove, if arrests do not start happening soon, “open season on judges” will essentially have been declared, as Breitbart reports.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Rove blasted the apparent unwillingness of federal authorities to take action against pro-abortion protesters who have continued to march outside the residences of several high court justices ever since left-wing activist group Ruth Sent Us published their home addresses.
Since those protests began, commentators such as former Supreme Court clerk Mike Davis have slammed Attorney General Merrick Garland for refusing to enforce a federal statute specifically designed to combat this type of threatening conduct toward members of the judiciary.
As Davis pointed out, 18 U.S.C. § 1507 makes it a federal crime to picket or parade “near a building or residence occupied or used by [a federal] judge, juror, witness, or court officer” with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty.”
Referencing those provisions, Rove said, “The American Civil Liberties Union says this statute, we interpret it the following way, we point to a Supreme Court case that suggests that as long as [protesters] keep moving in front of the house, if they are stationary, they should be arrested but if they are moving in front of the house have a right to try and influence a Supreme Court justice. That is ridiculous.”
Suggesting that there is no more time to waste when it comes to enforcing the statute against those who routinely appear outside the justices’ homes, Rove opined, “We either ought to apply the law, or we ought to just simply say it’s open season on judges. ‘Cause that’s what we’re doing.”
Fellow panelist Juan Williams, unsurprisingly, came to the defense of the demonstrators, saying, “You have a right to protest anywhere in America. Now clearly, these people should not be violent, and they shouldn’t threaten. But the idea that they’re influencing. I don’t think it’s about the influence.”
Rove shot back, asking Williams, “So because you disagree with a prospective decision, you think people have a right to show up in front of a house and try and intimidate a judge to change their mind?”
Davis aptly asserted last month that continued inaction on the part of Garland and others in the Justice Department under the current circumstances would clearly amount to a “dereliction of duty,” and considering that not even last week’s prospective murder attempt on Kavanaugh has yet been enough to force his hand, Rove’s characterization of where things stand appears to be sadly accurate.