The uproar surrounding the recent leak of a draft opinion of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that foreshadows the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade has led the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to warn law enforcement of possible criminal activity. A DHS memo specifically addresses potential violence against justices sitting on the court and members of the clergy nationwide.
The memo originated with the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis describes the potential for “threats to public safety in response to the abortion debate.” It states that domestic violence extremists (DVEs) and criminal activists have “adopted narratives surrounding abortion rights” that encourage violence. The risks are elevated for acts against government, religious, and “reproductive health care personnel.”
DHS says that it has identified at least “25 violent threats on social media.” Those include threats to burn down or forcibly storm the U.S. Supreme Court in order to “murder Justices and their clerks.” Other threats have been made against members of Congress and peaceful lawful demonstrators.
The memo also provides that grievances from changes in abortion access “could fuel violence by pro-choice abortion-related violent extremists.”
DHS also mentioned threats from the “Boogaloo Boys” that allegedly encourage violence against pro-abortion protestors, which the agency said are being made in the hope they “will spark a civil war.”
Some House Democrats have taken steps to block bipartisan legislation designed to increase security for family members of the Supreme Court justices. The White House press office has called on Congress to move forward with passing the bill, using the DHS memo as evidence of the need for the statute.
A senior Republican congressional aide told the Washington Free Beacon that some House Democrats are acting to stall the bill because “they are convinced that inciting frenzied protests” against the conservative justices is a way they can regain momentum before this year’s midterm elections.
Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AR) authored the proposed bill and cited social media content specifically identifying clerks who may have leaked the draft opinion as a basis for the new law. A similar bill proposed in the Senate adds additional security for family members of justices but not for judicial clerks.
Some Twitter users have posted direct death threats against the conservative members of the court. Justice Samuel Alito has attracted the most attention as the author of the draft opinion, although there have been explicit threats made on the life of any justice who votes to overturn Roe v. Wade.