The Justice Department has enlisted the US Marshals Service to provide security for the Supreme Court and Supreme Court justices amid outrage over the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.
In a statement, a DOJ spokesperson confirmed that Attorney General Merrick Garland had ordered Marshals to “help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police” after pro-choice demonstrations formed outside the Supreme Court building and several justices’ homes in recent days.
The protests were organized after a leaked draft opinion indicating a majority of the court had voted to strike down the 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide was published by Politico earlier this month.
In the leaked opinion, Justice Samuel Alito offered a strong rebuke of the Roe decision, calling it “egregiously wrong from the start.”
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito continued in the draft opinion, referring to a 1992 case in which the Court reaffirmed the earlier decision. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
A day after the leaked opinion was published, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document – but blasted its leak to the media as a “betrayal” that was “intended to undermine the integrity of our operations.”
In a statement, the US Marshals said they were assisting with security, but would not comment on specific measures they had taken to protect the court and the justices.
“The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) has a strong partnership with the Supreme Court Police, and upon the request of the Marshal of the Supreme Court, the USMS does provide assistance as needed,” a spokesperson said.
“The USMS is currently assisting the Marshal of the Supreme Court in response to increased security concerns stemming from the unauthorized release of the draft opinion; however, the USMS does not comment on specific security measures,” they added.