WASHINGTON — Republican New York Rep. Claudia Tenney strongly criticized pro-abortion rights protestors for demonstrating at the private homes of Supreme Court justices, drawing on her own experiences as the daughter of a judge.
“My dad was a judge in the New York State Supreme Court … for 35 years,” she told The Daily Wire, referring to the late John R. Tenney, who served as a justice for the Supreme Court of New York between 1969 and 2003.
Though protestors did not show up at their home, she said “a lot of people threatened his life, called our house, threatened the lives of our family.” Tenney also said the protests strike a chord with her since she used to deal with similar demonstrations at her private residence.
“It’s personal to me, because they used to come, when I was the candidate for Congress, and be outside of my house watching me,” she said, referring to her 2018 campaign. Tenney said protestors critical of Republicans and former President Donald Trump would come up her dead-end street and videotape her.
“To go to my home where I am home alone with my dog, or I might be home with my family, I just think it’s crossing the line,” she said.
Her comments come amid demonstrations in front of the private residences of Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito over the past week since the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion showing that the court is likely preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The congresswoman, who led her colleagues in calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce the law against the protestors seeking to intimidate the justices, emphasized that the demonstrations are “really serious.”
Garland finally directed the U.S. Marshals Service to “help ensure” the safety of Supreme Court justices on Wednesday.
“They’re disrupting and trying to influence the deliberation process of the U.S. Supreme Court,” she said. “It’s one thing to show up at the Supreme Court and express your First Amendment views … but to go to someone’s house, especially a mother of seven, and to try to intimidate or do this to her at her home, I think is inappropriate.”
The New York Republican was referring to the Wednesday evening protest in front of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s home, in which a small group of pro-abortion rights protestors dressed as handmaids demonstrated by walking around her cul-de-sac with signs.
“It’s just inappropriate to be harassing them at their house,” she said of the protestors, suggesting that outside the Supreme Court is a much more suitable place for peaceful protest.
“Robust debate is is what we want,” she added, “not intimidation and this type of thing that’s happening.”
“There’s nothing more democratic than the court sending a decision that was politically made back to the states, back to us to discuss and for the people and the states to decide,” she continued, pointing to the fact that if Roe is overturned, the power to decide abortion laws will return to the states.
The Supreme Court justices met privately on Thursday for the first time since the leaked draft opinion shook the nation, according to the Associated Press. The justices revealed that at least one decision will be announced on Monday.
Politico broke the news May 2 that the Supreme Court had seemingly voted to strike down the landmark decision, reporting that Justice Samuel Alito had written an opinion draft that is an “unflinching repudiation” of Roe v. Wade.
The draft majority opinion, which is not final, says Roe v. Wade was egregiously wrong.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”