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Rep. Banks calls on Garland to prosecute pro-choice activists harassing conservative Supreme Court justices

EXCLUSIVE: The chair of the largest conservative caucus in Congress blasted Attorney General Merrick Garland for failing to prosecute pro-choice activists harassing conservative Supreme Court justices at their homes after a leaked opinion suggested they would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling that legalized abortion. 

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said Garland’s treatment of the Supreme Court protesters stands in sharp contrast to how the Justice Department took “aggressive action” against parents at school board meetings and the “disproportionately harsh treatment” against defendants in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Banks, the leader of the Republican Study Committee, suggested Garland’s prosecution choices are politically motivated.

“The evidence shows that under your leadership, the Department has one rule for the Biden administration’s friends, and a different, much harsher rule, for its opponents,” Banks said in a letter to Garland obtained first by Fox News Digital. 

“This is a dangerous path,” Banks said of selective prosecution. 

GRASSLEY: DOJ NEEDS ‘ROBUST RESPONSE’ TO PROTESTS AT JUSTICES’ HOMES AFTER ACTION ON PARENTS LAST YEAR

A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed receipt of Banks’ letter and said the department will review it. 

Republicans contend that the protests at the homes of the six conservative Supreme Court justices – Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – are illegal. A 1950 law establishes a criminal penalty of up to one year in prison for an individual who “pickets or parades” near a judge’s residence with the intent of influencing that judge or impeding the administration of justice. Threats of violence against justices are also illegal.

Protesters hold up signs during a pro-choice demonstration, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in New York.

In his letter to Garland, Banks condemned the recent destruction and disruptions at Catholic churches, as well as the firebombing of a Wisconsin pro-life group’s office where a message was spray-painted: “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.” 

AG MERRICK GARLAND ORDERS US MARSHALS TO BOLSTER SUPREME COURT SECURITY

“Your supine response to this unprecedented and ongoing attack on the Supreme Court, and the apparently coordinated threats to churches and to Americans who value life stands, in stark contrast to your aggressive action against parents protesting at school board meetings, and your disproportionately harsh treatment of the January 6 defendants for their alleged crimes of trespassing, obstruction, and parading or picketing,” Banks wrote to Garland on Monday.

Damaged books are strewn across the office of Wisconsin Family Action director Julaine Appling in Madison, May 8, 2022.  

The Justice Department was initially silent about the continued protests by pro-choice activists outside conservative Supreme Court justices’ homes, but on Wednesday spokesman Anthony Coley issued a statement saying Garland was dispatching extra security to the justice’s residences.

OVER 40 HOUSE REPUBLICANS PUSH RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN SCOTUS OPINION LEAK, PROTESTS IN FRONT OF JUSTICES’ HOMES

“Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Justices,” Coley said in a statement. “The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police.”

Banks, however, says the Justice Department has taken “no obvious steps” to deter, investigate or prosecute the pro-choice activists. He told Fox News Digital that Garland has acted like “Joe Biden’s personal prosecutor.”

“The pro-abortion rioters are attacking an entire branch of our government, and AG Garland must step up and start equally enforcing the law,” Banks said. 

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