(The Hill) — Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday responded to abortion rights activists protesting at the homes of Supreme Court justices in light of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, saying he does not have a problem with it if the protests remain peaceful.
“Are you comfortable with the protests that we saw outside the homes of Supreme Court justices over the weekend?” a reporter asked Schumer at a press conference.
“If protests are peaceful, yes. My house — there’s protests three, four times a week outside my house. The American way to peacefully protest is OK,” Schumer said before checking his ringing phone, noting his wife was calling him.
“Maybe there’s a protest outside,” the New York senator joked. He then reemphasized his earlier point that as long as the protesters remain peaceful, it’s all right that they demonstrate outside the justices’ homes.
Schumer’s comments come after protesters in recent days gathered outside the homes of Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts and the leaked draft opinion’s author, Samuel Alito. The protests have sparked mixed reactions, with some feeling that they are an inappropriate escalation in political demonstrations and others feeling that they are a fair response to the potential loss of a constitutional right.
ShutDownDC, an organization that is planning another demonstration in Alito’s neighborhood this week, defended the move in a previous statement to The Hill, saying that “it’s clear that the Justices don’t want to hear public opinion.”
“If they won’t listen to us at the building that symbolizes the power they have over us, then they’ll have to listen enough to us at a building that symbolizes just how personal this is—their homes,” a ShutDownDC communications team member said.
The news comes as the Senate on Monday passed a bill Monday by unanimous consent that would extend security protections to the immediate family members of Supreme Court justices.
Last week, Politico published a draft majority opinion that indicated the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a federal right to abortion, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. If the draft is reflected in the court’s final ruling, it would effectively end abortion protections at the federal level.