Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) promised to work with both federal and local law enforcement to ensure the safety of Supreme Court justices whose homes have become the focus of protests after the leak of a draft opinion signaling that the conservative majority would overturn Roe v. Wade.
The announcement represents another facet of a new push to protect the justices, at least some of whom live in Virginia, including the Senate unanimously passing a bill Monday evening that would provide top-level security services to justices and their families.
“Virginia State Police will assist federal and local law enforcement as needed in order to ensure the safety of our citizens, including Supreme Court Justices, who call Virginia home,” Youngkin said in a tweet.
Virginia State Police will assist federal and local law enforcement as needed to ensure the safety of our citizens, including Supreme Court Justices, who call Virginia home.
— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) May 10, 2022
In a protest organized by ShutDownDC, people marched to Justice Samuel Alito’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, where they held a “vigil for abortion rights,” as described on the group’s website. Protesters could be heard chanting various pro-abortion rights slogans during the walk to Alito’s home.
“Our bodies, our life,” one of the leaders of the protest could be heard chanting, with people responding, “Our right to decide.”
Youngkin, whose tweets came in response to reporting on the protest, said his administration has been “coordinating” with the Fairfax County Police Department and the Virginia State Police in order to ensure no violence.
“Virginia State Police were closely monitoring, fully coordinated with Fairfax County and near the protests,” Youngkin said.
The demonstration Monday night appeared to be a peaceful one.
Protests in favor and against the overturning of abortion rights spread across the United States in the week after Politico obtained and published a leaked draft opinion, written by Alito, in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Mississippi abortion case.
The opinion is not final, and votes among the justices might change before a ruling is dealt in the coming months. The leak prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to order an investigation by the marshal of the court. In a statement, the court confirmed the draft that was leaked is “authentic” but stressed it does “not represent a decision by the Court.”
Protests occurred over the weekend outside the homes of Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The White House defended “peaceful” protests that have taken place outside of the Supreme Court and the homes of the justices, though press secretary Jen Psaki advised demonstrators Monday against using intimidation tactics following reports of vandalism at an anti-abortion center in Wisconsin.