U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Monday led a group of 10 Republican senators in introducing the Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act. This legislation would increase the maximum term of imprisonment from one year to five years for violating the federal law (Section 1507) that explicitly prohibits attempts at influencing the decision-making process of a judge.
Senator Blackburn was joined by U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.).
“As we saw last summer, the woke liberal mob will go to great lengths to target those they disagree with – even illegally intimidating Supreme Court Justices at their private residences,” said Senator Blackburn. “It’s extremely concerning that none of these protesters have been arrested for breaking the law, and the DOJ has not issued any guidance on enforcing this statute. The Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act will deter intimidation of our Justices and send a message that the Biden administration has refused to send: Justices must be allowed to do their jobs without fearing for the safety of themselves or their families.”
“Conservative Supreme Court justices are facing increasing protests from far-left extremists trying to intimidate or punish the justices for their decisions. This legislation will help protect all Supreme Court justices from threats of violence so they can do their jobs as impartial interpreters of the law,” said Senator Cotton.
“Justices must be able to rule without fear of retribution or intimidation, and the politicization of our judicial branch is unacceptable and downright dangerous,” said Senator Cornyn. “By increasing the maximum term of imprisonment for those attempting to influence judicial decision making, we can ensure Supreme Court justices can operate with impartiality and uphold the Constitution without worrying about their safety or that of their family.”
“Protesting at the homes of Supreme Court justices and their families is an unlawful and dangerous intimidation tactic, as we’ve witnessed over the last year,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to join Senator Blackburn in working to stop this indefensible conduct.”
“The Biden administration has weaponized the judicial system for two years already,” said Senator Hawley. “Making matters worse, when Republican-appointed Justices are under attack, this Department of Justice won’t defend them. It’s time for Congress to step into the breach.”
“Last summer, in an attempt to intimidate U.S. Supreme Court Justices from doing their job, progressive activists protested outside of their homes. We must ensure that Justices are able to carry out their duties without fear for their safety or that of their families. The Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act is a necessary step to deter intimidation and ensure that those who seek to influence the decision-making process of our Justices face the full force of the law,” said Senator Rubio.
“There is no other way to view the threats and protests we’ve witnessed recently against Supreme Court justices and other federal jurists as anything other than attempts to influence their decisions through fear and intimidation. This legislation should not be needed to protect the judiciary, but it is. Enacting this bill will make it crystal clear to everyone that these threatening activities are illegal and will be punished,” said Senator Hyde-Smith.
“Protesters attempting to influence judicial decisions through harassment, intimidation, or violence outside the homes of Justices and judges need to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The rule of law cannot be replaced with mob rule in the United States. The integrity and effectiveness of our judicial system hinges on the ability of judges to impartially interpret the law and rule on the legal merits of cases without fearing retribution to themselves or their families. I’m proud to co-sponsor the Protecting Our Supreme Court Justices Act to ensure we have a strong deterrent that can keep our Justices, judges, and their families safe while safeguarding the rule of law,” said Senator Britt.
“Supreme Court justices should be able to carry out their duties without fear of intimidation,” said Senator Wicker. “This legislation would help ensure their safety and protect our highest court.”
“Intimidating members of the judicial branch into ruling a certain way goes against everything our justice system and democracy were founded on. We cannot continue to let this behavior go unchecked or tolerate further targeted acts of violence and harassment. Our legislation prioritizes the safety of Supreme Court justices and their families and ensures accountability for those responsible for adopting such disturbing, lawless tactics,” said Senator Boozman.