President Biden’s administration is bracing for a wave of violence from pro-choice activists if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in June, Axios reported Wednesday.
A leaked May 13 memo from the Department of Homeland Security reportedly details ongoing investigations into threats to “burn down or storm” the Supreme Court building, according to Axios. Threats against the court arose last month after a draft majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade leaked to the press. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down the ruling next month.
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The court’s conservative justices have already faced targeted protests outside their homes following the leak. The DHS memo reportedly says those protests “are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling.”
The memo goes on to clarify that rhetoric supporting violent extremism does not itself constitute extremism.
“The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics does not constitute domestic violent extremism or illegal activity and is constitutionally protected,” the memo reportedly reads.
The Senate unanimously voted to beef up security for justices following last month’s leak. The legislation allows Supreme Court police to arrest individuals who interfere with the court’s ability to perform its duties, and also creates a criminal penalty for individuals who impede or obstruct those duties.
“Attempts to intimidate Supreme Court Justices by the Radical Left are sadly nothing new, but dangerous nonetheless,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who introduced the legislation, said in a statement at the time. “We must protect the Justices and their families in case these protests do turn violent.”
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The U.S. has already seen examples of pro-choice violence in the wake of the leak, with an unknown assailant throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of a Wisconsin pro-life group in early May.