White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the White House supports Americans’ constitutional right to protest, but that those rights do not apply to “violence, threats, or vandalism” as it takes place against Supreme Court judges.
The comments come after a weekend of protests outside of the homes of justices who supported the drafted document that would see Roe V Wade overturned.
Psaki: "We have been clear, and the President's position has long been that we should not see protest that takes the form of violence, that takes the form of vandalism." pic.twitter.com/aqFIuHeqCj
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 9, 2022
“POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” tweeted the outgoing press secretary on Monday.
.@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) May 9, 2022
“Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety,” the tweet, published on Monday, continued.
Psaki has stood by the Biden Administration’s position that they believe in peaceful assembly, saying on Friday that “The President believes in peaceful protest.”
“He believes that’s part of our democracy and part of the history of the United States in this country,” Psaki said to the press.
“But he also respects and understands the independence of the third branch of government. And I mean, obviously the Justice Department, but also the role of the Supreme Court and what they play. So I wouldn’t say he has a view on that. He believes in peaceful protest, but they’re going to make decisions they make and we’re not going to prejudge the final opinion.”
According to the Code of Virginia, “Any person who shall engage in picketing before or about the residence or dwelling place of any individual, or who shall assemble with another person or persons in a manner which disrupts or threatens to disrupt any individual’s right to tranquility in his home, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.”