About 100 protesters marched to Justice Samuel Alito's home in Alexandria, Va., on Monday night as tension over abortion rights continues to simmer in the wake of the breached draft opinion showing a majority of the Supreme Court prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The peaceful grassroots demonstration makes Alito the third justice to see protests at their private residence after the breach of the draft opinion last week. Protests over the weekend at the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts sparked criticism from conservatives who argued that the abortion-rights groups behind the moves had crossed a line by pressuring Supreme Court jurists in their private spaces.
It's unclear if Alito, the author of the draft opinion published by POLITICO, was home during the abortion-rights vigil on Monday night. Demonstrators held signs aloft that read “Repro Freedom for All,” and lit candles in front of the home's driveway, chanting slogans such as “Our body, our rights, our right to decide!” and “Abort the court!”
With Republican lawmakers divided on whether to pursue a national abortion barrier in the wake of a likely Roe overturn as soon as next month and Senate Democrats poised to fall short in their latest abortion-rights push this week, attendees were prepared to look beyond Congress.
“I would hope it motivates people to the polls,” 22-year-old student Heather-Ann Irons said in an interview on the sidelines of the protest. But, she added: “I think what's more important is building community and increasing grassroots funds for people who actually need access to abortion. There's only so much you can do with voting.”
Amid conservative fury kicked up by the protests at Kavanaugh's and Roberts' homes, the Senate unanimously approved legislation on Monday night that would bolster security for the high court's justices. Before the Monday night protest, Alito canceled a planned appearance in Nashville, Tenn., and unconfirmed reports circulated on conservative media suggested he may have gone into hiding.
And White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a statement underscoring President Joe Biden's support for protests that “never resort to violence, to threats, to intimidation in any way, shape, or form.”
Abortion-rights demonstrations will continue on Saturday, as more than 30 progressive advocacy groups including Planned Parenthood and the Women’s March plan to hold a nationwide day of protest.
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