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The Republican governors of Virginia and Maryland have responded to a letter from the Supreme Court’s top-ranking security official calling on them to utilize police and law enforcement to prevent picketing at the homes of justices.
“The governor agrees with the Marshal that the threatening activity outside the Justices’ homes has increased,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin spokesperson Christian Martinez said in response to a letter from Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley calling on the governor to “enforce state law” that prohibits picketing outside the homes of the justices.
“He welcomes the Marshal of the Supreme Court’s request for Fairfax County to enforce state law as they are the primary enforcement authority for the state statute,” the statement added.
Youngkin also called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to “do his job” by “enforcing the much more robust federal law.”
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“Every resource of federal law enforcement, including the U.S. Marshals, should be involved while the Justices continue to be denied the right to live peacefully in their homes,” the statement said.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also received a letter from Curley requesting that the “Maryland State Police, in conjunction with local authorities as appropriate, enforce laws that prohibit picketing outside of the homes of Supreme Court Justices who live in Maryland.”
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Hogan’s Director of Communications Michael Ricci responded to that letter in a Twitter post and also pointed the finger at Garland.
“Two months ago, Governor Hogan and Governor Youngkin sent a letter calling on Attorney General Garland to enforce the clear and unambiguous federal statutes on the books that prohibit picketing at judges’ residences,” Ricci wrote. “A month later, hours after an assassination attempt on Justice Kavanaugh, the Department of Justice finally responded, declining to enforce the laws.”
The statement continued, “Now a different federal official is writing to us with conflicting information. Had the marshal taken time to explore the matter, she would have learned that the constitutionality of the statute cited in her letter has been questioned by the Maryland Attorney General’s office.”
Ricci added that Hogan has instructed Maryland State Police to further review law enforcement options “in light of the continued refusal by multiple federal entities to act.”
Last month, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske arrived at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home with designs on killing Kavanaugh and then himself, prosecutors say. Roske ended giving himself up without harming anyone.
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Hogan, along with Youngkin, have called on the Department of Justice to enforce the federal statute that prohibits protests, pickets and other forms of intimidation outside the home of judges.
It is illegal under federal law to attempt to influence a judge’s ruling or interfere with the discharge of their duty. The Justice Department, however, has thus far refused to interfere with demonstrators outside the homes of several Supreme Court justices, including Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh.
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While the DOJ has provided security at the justices’ homes, they have allowed protests and picketing to continue unimpeded.
Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report