FALLS CHURCH, Virginia—Seven activists quietly walked in circles while dressed as “handmaids” near Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s house on May 11.
The activists wore red robes, white bonnets, and black face masks, a reference to The Handmaid’s Tale, a novel about a dystopian America controlled by religious extremists who oppress women.
The activists all appeared to be women, with one exception. They all spoke with a similar clipped, angry tone.
“Please don’t write and release and overturn Roe v. Wade,” the leader of the protesters said. “If nothing else, we have a right to express our displeasure at their tromping all over stare decisis.”
The leader later gave her name as Cassandra and announced that the event was not a protest.
“This is performance art,” she said.
She added that she would not give her name because her group’s leader, a neighbor of Brett Kavanaugh’s, had his or her personal information posted online and received death threats.
Several of the activists carried cardboard pro-abortion protest signs. These included “It’s Time to Ovaryact,” “We Did Not Elect People of Praise,” and “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries.”
“Settled precedent is settled precedent, and every single one of these justices sat in front of the entire Congress and blathered on about stare decisis, settled law. And here they are, [expletive] on 50 years of settled law,” Cassandra said.
Cassandra refused to say whether the “performers were from a particular activist group, or whether their “performance art” was a way around Virginia’s laws against protesting outside residences.
“Any person who shall engage in picketing before or about the residence or dwelling place of any individual—or who shall assemble with another person or persons in a manner which disrupts or threatens to disrupt any individual’s right to tranquility in his home—shall be guilty of a Class-3 misdemeanor,” Virginia law reads.
Originally, eight “performers” planned to appear, Cassandra said, but one got stuck in traffic.
Police did not interfere with the “performance art.”
On their way into the neighborhood, a few conservative neighbors of Barrett shouted, “Let’s go Brandon” and “No more mandates for vaccines” at the protesters.
For several minutes, the “performers” walked in circles around a cul-de-sac.
One “performer” said the group didn’t trust conservative media.
For the most part, the “performers” refused to answer substantive questions about abortion, although they appeared to have a good grasp of legal issues. Cassandra said that the Supreme Court justices should follow “stare decisis,” a legal doctrine that cases with similar facts should follow precedent.
She also noted that the protesters were careful to follow the law in all their actions, including their choice of parking spot.
“We parked very legally,” said Cassandra. “We want to stay within the bounds of the law. What would the point be if we wanted her to stay within the bounds of the law only to have us break it?”
After circling the cul-de-sac for several minutes, the “performers” walked away in the same direction from which they came.