Can you imagine the outrage if someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail into an abortion clinic in Madison, Wisconsin, earlier this week? Or how about doing the same to the headquarters of Planned Parenthood? The response would have been immediate and nationwide. Every major media outlet would still be obsessed with it today.
Instead, the reaction from local, state and federal elected officials was late and weak — and most of the media outlets have moved on. We, however, will not forget.
Early in the morning on Mother’s Day, a leftist anarchist group attacked Wisconsin Family Action’s office in the capital city. They broke windows and threw two Molotov cocktails into the office of the pro-family and pro-life organization. Their attack caused significant fire damage.
The anarchist arsonists painted graffiti on the side of the building by the offices. The message was similar to those posted at pro-life crisis pregnancy clinics and churches across the country. It said, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
Protests took place during the same weekend outside the private homes of members of the Supreme Court. As someone who has been the victim of aggressive and obnoxious protests outside of my personal home, I can tell you that they are no fun. In our case, they scared an elderly widow who lived two houses away and a young family right next door.
Most of the images from the protests in Wisconsin were of the 100,000 people in and around the state Capitol. Others were outside of the official Executive Residence in Maple Bluff. But thousands of protestors also blocked off the street in front of our home in Wauwatosa — where our sons Matt and Alex were still going to the local high school at the time.
On some of the days that protesters stood out in front of our home, the only people inside were my elderly parents. Many would argue that the protests were not right. Bad as it was, doing so was still legal — as long as they were peaceful.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden supports peaceful protests outside the homes of the Supreme Court justices. During a White House press briefing this week, Ms. Psaki said, “I know there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date. And we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges’ homes and that’s the president’s position.”
Not surprisingly, the president’s position — according to his press secretary — does not support the rule of law.
Federal statute, 18 U.S. Code § “1507 - Picketing or parading,” is quite clear. It says:
“Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
Protesters are attempting to influence a judge by protesting near the residence of a judge. They are guilty of a federal crime. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the U.S. Justice Department to take action.
When concerned parents showed up at school board meetings to raise their concerns about closures, mandates and curriculum, the Biden administration sought to assist those labeling these parents as “domestic terrorists.” It was disgraceful.
One parent, a Loudoun County father who showed up at school board meeting because his daughter was sexually assaulted by a boy wearing a dress in a girls’ bathroom, was actually arrested. Scott Smith attended the meeting to express his frustrations about how the school handled the assault.
The high school boy was ultimately convicted, but only after he was transferred to another school where he committed yet another sexual assault of a different female high school student. He was also convicted of that crime.
The National of School Boards Association sent a letter to Mr. Biden around the same time asking for help from the federal government and suggesting some of these outspoken parents were domestic terrorists. Attorney General Merrick Garland responded, in part, saying, “While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.”
How are the protests in front of the homes of justices on the Supreme Court not an effort to intimidate them? In this case, there is actually a federal law that makes it illegal to do so in front of the residence of a judge. They should be prosecuted.
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.