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The White House was criticized Monday for its timing after responding to pro-choice protests that have broken out across the country and discouraging “violence,” and “threats of vandalism.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement Monday on Twitter.
“@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety,” she wrote.
WHITE HOUSE ENCOURAGES ‘PEACEFUL PROTESTS,’ WON’T TELL ABORTION ACTIVISTS TO AVOID SCOTUS JUSTICES’ HOMES
Psaki was asked at a press conference last week about activist groups posting the location of the Supreme Court justices’ homes.
“Look, I think the president’s view is that there’s a lot of passion, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness from many, many people across this country about what they saw in that leaked document. We obviously want people’s privacy to be respected. We want people to protest peacefully if they want to — to protest. That is certainly what the president’s view would be,” Psaki said. Earlier in the press conference, she encouraged peaceful protesting and said “we should not be resorting to violence in any way, shape, or form.”
SUPREME COURT SET TO OVERTURN ROE V. WADE, DRAFT OPINION SHOWS: REPORT
Critics slammed the press secretary’s statement on Monday, with some suggesting the White House was abandoning their base and others arguing the statement arrived too late.
Sarah Jones, a senior writer for New York Magazine, said “gee, why aren’t people are more eager to vote for this party.”
“Democrats bring a knife to a gunfight, and then use the knife to stab themselves,” The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz said.
Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., responded to Psaki’s tweet and said “too late.”
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., similarly said, “a day late and a dollar short.”
“You had the chance to lower the temperature last week, but you refused. This statement is disingenuous at best & does little to repair the heinous acts committed by the pro-choice movement against religious institutions & SCOTUS justices,” he continued.
Brandon Friedman, a former deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, said that Democrats need a new candidate for president in 2024.
“This WH is incapable of navigating the current threat environment,” he said. “Democrats in 2022, at every level, should look elsewhere for political advice.”
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Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he was “appalled” by the initial White House response to the publishing of the justices’ addresses. “”It really to me to, you know, to allow the doxxing of Supreme Court justices. And as she says, ‘there’s a lot of passion.’ As you say, it was obviously done precisely to intimidate them, and it does expose them to additional threats,” Barr said on Saturday.
Politico first reported the leaked draft opinion, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, which signaled that the conservative majority in the court might be getting ready to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote in the leaked draft for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”