The White House on Thursday defended the actions of protesters who tracked down the location of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and forced him to leave the restaurant he was dining at earlier in the week.
During a press briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre maintained that people have the right to “peacefully protest,” even if that means infringing on a public official’s privacy and disrupting a private business.
“Peaceful protest, people should be allowed to be able to do that,” Jean-Pierre told Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy.
When Doocy pushed back against the press secretary, asking her if that applied even to protests around a restaurant, Jean-Pierre replied in the affirmative.
“If it’s outside a restaurant, if it’s peaceful, for sure,” she said.
While the White House was quick to blow off the incident, Morton’s Steakhouse, the restaurant where Kavanaugh was dining on Wednesday, released a statement denouncing the abortion rights protesters’ “selfishness” and lack of “decency.”
“Honorable Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and all of our other patrons at the restaurant were unduly harassed by unruly protesters while eating dinner at our Morton’s restaurant,” the statement read.
“Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner. There is a time and place for everything. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency,” the statement continued.
Kavanaugh, one of the five Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn the federal abortion protection of Roe v. Wade, was forced to leave the Morton’s restaurant through a back exit after protesters gathered in front of the building Wednesday evening. The protesters were tipped off to the justice’s location when the leftwing activist group ShutDownDC posted on Twitter.
“We got a tip from someone who spotted [Kavanaugh] around 7:40,” the group tweeted. “DM us if you want to join him… we’re sure he can pull up a seat!”
Later in the week, ShutDownDC tweeted that it would pay users $50 to $200 for information about the locations of the court’s conservative justices.