May 02 2023
WASHINGTON– U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) joined Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in leading a group of Republican senators to introduce the Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act. This legislation would increase the maximum term of imprisonment from one year to five years for violating the federal law (Section 1507) that explicitly prohibits attempts at influencing the decision-making process of a judge.
“Intimidating members of the judicial branch into ruling a certain way goes against everything our justice system and democracy were founded on. We cannot continue to let this behavior go unchecked or tolerate further targeted acts of violence and harassment. Our legislation prioritizes the safety of Supreme Court justices and their families and ensures accountability for those responsible for adopting such disturbing, lawless tactics,” said Boozman.
“Conservative Supreme Court justices are facing increasing protests from far-left extremists trying to intimidate or punish the justices for their decisions. This legislation will help protect all Supreme Court justices from threats of violence so they can do their jobs as impartial interpreters of the law,” said Cotton.
“As we saw last summer, the woke liberal mob will go to great lengths to target those they disagree with – even illegally intimidating Supreme Court Justices at their private residences,” said Blackburn. “It’s extremely concerning that none of these protesters have been arrested for breaking the law, and the DOJ has not issued any guidance on enforcing this statute. The Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act will deter intimidation of our Justices and send a message that the Biden administration has refused to send: Justices must be allowed to do their jobs without fearing for the safety of themselves or their families.”
In the aftermath of the unprecedented May 2022 leak of the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, far-left protesters immediately began demonstrating outside of the private residences of Supreme Court Justices. Subsequently, a map with the home addresses of five Republican-appointed Justices—Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett—was posted online.
Federal law explicitly prohibits attempts at influencing the decision-making process of a judge. Specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 1507 states that any individual who, “with the intent of influencing any judge…in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades…in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge” is subject to criminal monetary penalties or a maximum of one year of imprisonment, or both.
The Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act:
- Increases the maximum term of imprisonment for violation of Section 1507 from one year to five years.
- Deters the intimidation of our Supreme Court Justices, especially at a time when the Biden DOJ refuses to enforce the law.
- Ensures that future administrations that are willing to enforce the law can send a strong message to these far-left protesters that Supreme Court Justices must be allowed to do their jobs without fearing for the safety of themselves or their families.
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Katie Britt (R-AL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) are also cosponsors of the bill.
Click here for bill text.