Republican Lawmakers Seek to Protect Supreme Court Justices

( — With tensions high in 2023, there are protests throughout America on a regular basis. Lives have been lost in the confusion, and people go to work in fear.

The most influential offices in American government and politics are not immune to the issue, and perhaps even more susceptible. Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn wants stiffer penalties for those who threaten the safety of United States Supreme Court Justices. She is proposing a bill to the House to address the growing problem.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution ensures the rights to free speech and to assemble peacefully. With such freedoms, disagreements are bound to arise, but America is supposed to be a place where those disagreements have room to unfold without fear of compromising safety.

Supreme Court Justices have the arduous, incredibly challenging task of deciding the nation’s most controversial cases. As justices, they also determine how those decisions apply as precedents for future lawsuits. In other words, they make the tough calls.

One of the most sensitive decisions in American history was Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that labeled the choice of whether to continue a pregnancy as a woman’s right under the Constitutional protection of privacy. Roe was overturned in 2022, and the Supreme Court opinion explained that such a decision was not considered a “right” at the time the protection of privacy was enacted.

Attempting to force a decision upholding Roe, protestors gathered outside the personal residences of the conservative Justices in January of 2022, the 50th anniversary of Roe, to intimidate them and their families. The Biden Administration refused to prosecute the protestors, and United States Marshalls were encouraged to avoid arresting any of them.

Not stepping on the freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly, Blackburn and ten other Republican lawmakers want to raise the punishment from one year to five years for protestors who use illegal intimidation to influence Supreme Court decisions. The senators joining Blackburn in this push are Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Katie Britt (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and John Boozman (R-AR).

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