When the U.S. Supreme Court was preparing to hear the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – which pro-choice advocates feared might lead to the overturn of Roe v. Wade — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen warned the nine justices they could unleash a “revolution.”
“I hope the Supreme Court is listening to the people of the United States because I think if you want to see a revolution go ahead, outlaw Roe v. Wade and see what the response is of the public, particularly young people. I think that will not be acceptable to young women or young men.”
Shaheen was echoing the words of her political ally Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who stood on the steps of the Supreme Court building and declared: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have unleashed the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
With this backdrop, abortion activists immediately took to the streets when a draft opinion showing five votes to overturn Roe was leaked to the press last month. The Department of Justice threw up barricades outside the Supreme Court building in response to the threats of violence. And an extremist group, Ruth Sent Us, which opposes any restrictions on abortion up to birth, organized multiple protests at the homes of Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Among the chants from protesters using megaphones outside Justice Barrett’s home was the cry, “Save the fetus, f— the child.”
Both Barrett and Kavanaugh have school-age children in their homes.
Even Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a liberal Democrat, called the targeting of justices “reprehensible.” “Stay away from the homes and families of election officials and members of the court,” he said.
In response to word the Supreme Court might reject Roe, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster called it “a heinous attack on women.
“Sadly, this is not surprising given the shameless politicization of the Supreme Court and Republicans’ relentless assault on the rights of women in the Granite State and across the country,” she added.
When asked about the protests at the justices’ private homes last month, Kuster shrugged off any concerns. “These people know they are in very high-profile positions. They have security,” Kuster said.
Justice Kavanaugh needed that security early Wednesday morning.
An armed man who had traveled from California to find and kill Kavanaugh was arrested by police. He was outside Kavanaugh’s home at 1:50 a.m., armed with a gun, knife, and pepper spray. He told police he was specifically motivated by his pro-abortion politics.
It was just the latest example of violence from advocates for abortion rights. “Since the leaked opinion surfaced, churches, crisis pregnancy centers, and billboards openly support protecting life in the womb have sustained vitriolic attacks, vandalism with pro-abortion mantras, and been burned to the ground by arsonists.” The Federalist reports.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed the finger at Democrats who have engaged in heated rhetoric directed at the court.
“This is where we are: an assassination attempt against a sitting justice or something close to it. This is exactly the kind of event that many worried that the unhinged, reckless, apocalyptic rhetoric from prominent figures toward the court, going back many months, and especially in recent weeks, could make more likely,” McConnell said.
Is McConnell right? Does Shaheen regret her talk of “revolution?” She declined to respond to multiple requests for comment.
Does Kuster have second thoughts about dismissing concerns over attacks on the Supreme Court? She also declined to comment on Wednesday’s events.
Her would-be opponents, however, had plenty to say.
“Congresswoman Kuster is participating in the destruction of American democracy by condoning violence against Supreme Court Justices,” said Keene Mayor George Hansel. “We can’t accept that any longer. We need someone representing us that can be trusted to uphold our institutions.”
Hansel is one of the Republicans running in the primary for the chance to challenge Kuster in November. Another candidate, Lily Tang Williams, also called out Kuster’s rhetoric.
“What she said isn’t appropriate for a member of Congress. We have an independent judiciary. Threats like these [at the homes of justices] are a threat to our democracy. Representative Kuster just accused Republicans — the entire party — of wanting to ‘overthrow democracy,'” Williams said. “Well, who is threatening our courts and ignoring the law? Who is really attacking democracy?”