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U.S. Marshals Help Supreme Court Security After Draft Abortion Opinion Leaked

The Supreme Court Marshal has been assisted by the US Marshals – the law enforcement arm dedicated to protecting the nation’s highest court – in protecting judges since a draft leaked last week opinion suggesting landmark abortion law Roe v. Wade would be vacated.

“The US Marshals Service (USMS) has a strong partnership with the Supreme Court Police, and at the request of the Supreme Court Marshal, the USMS is providing assistance if needed,” the US Marshals Service said in a statement. . “The USMS is currently assisting the Supreme Court Marshal in response to heightened security concerns resulting from the unauthorized release of the draft notice; however, the USMS does not comment on specific security measures.”

CBS News has obtained multiple bulletins and analysis from state law enforcement reflecting heightened vigilance since the leak. Although they do not cite specific or credible threats of violence, some offer early warning indicators or calls for violence that had already been published before the leak.

Last week, Politico released a draft opinion from February suggesting a majority of justices were in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, and Chief Justice John Roberts later confirmed the draft opinion was genuine. The final opinions, issued in June, may differ from the draft opinions.

Abortion at the Supreme Court
An abortion rights protester places portraits of some of the United States Supreme Court justices during a protest outside the United States Supreme Court, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Washington.

Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP

Since then, there have been abortion rights protests across the country, and demonstrations have taken place outside the homes of Roberts and Justice. Brett Kavanaugh. A demonstration is scheduled for Monday evening in front of the home of Judge Samuel Alito, author of the project.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned the protests, saying “attempting to scare federal judges into ruling a certain way goes way beyond the bounds of First Amendment speech.”

The Senate on Monday passed by unanimous consent a bill that would extend security protections to immediate family members of Supreme Court justices. The bill was introduced by Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas last week.

“Threats to the physical safety of Supreme Court Justices and their families are shameful, and attempts to intimidate and influence the independence of our judicial system cannot be tolerated,” Cornyn said in a statement. . “I am pleased that the Senate quickly approved this measure to extend Supreme Court police protections to family members, and the House must pass and pass it immediately.”

The bill still needs to be approved by the House before heading to the president’s office for his signature.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Monday that while President Biden “firmly believes in the constitutional right to protest,” those protests should never include “violence, threats, or vandalism.”

“Judges serve an extremely important function in our society, and they must be able to do their job without worrying about their personal safety,” Psaki wrote.

Catherine Herridge, Matthew Mosk and Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.