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Biden doesn’t have a view on whether protesters should pressure Supreme Court justices: Psaki

White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Friday that President Biden does not have an opinion on the use of protests to influence Supreme Court opinions.

Speaking in a press gaggle Friday, Psaki said that Biden believes in “peaceful protests,” but stopped short of endorsing attempts to pressure Supreme Court rulings. Citing his belief in the separation of powers in government, Psaki clarified the president is cautious of overstepping his position.

“The president believes in peaceful protests. He believes that is part of our democracy and part of the history of the United States in this country,” Psaki said. “But he also respects and understands the independence of the third branch of government – and obviously the Justice Department. But also the role of the Supreme Court and what they play.”


“So I wouldn’t say he has a view on that. He believes in peaceful protests, but they’re gonna make decisions they make, and we’re not gonna pre-judge a final opinion,” she added.

Later, Psaki said it is “our preference” that the final opinion not “look like the leaked opinion.”

The Supreme Court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to an unprecedented leak of a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. 

The draft leak obtained by Politico was written in early February. It was not immediately clear if it has been rewritten or revised. The Court has declined to verify or disavow the document. Analysts have suggested the leak may represent an attempt to pressure a Supreme Court justice to change his or her vote on the pivotal case.

Chief Justice John Roberts called the leak of a drafted court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade “absolutely appalling” in a talk Thursday. The justice went on to dismiss any question that the leak would affect the Supreme Court’s final decision.

Official portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts.

“A leak of this stature is absolutely appalling,” Roberts said. “If the person behind it thinks that it will affect our work, that’s just foolish.”

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