FAIRFAX, Va.—Minutes after protesters chanting about abortion depart, children in Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s neighborhood call “Mommy!” as they play outside.
For weeks now, protests at the homes of the six conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices have drawn law enforcement’s attention, filled residential neighborhoods with shouted obscenities, and disrupted neighborhood traffic.
The protests are a response to a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that suggests the conservative justices intend to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Despite the loud dinner-hour protests in residential neighborhoods, law enforcement and neighbors have proven astonishingly tolerant of the disruption.
Every Monday since May 10, a group of about 15 protesters has marched through Alito’s neighborhood, shouting obscenities, banging drums, shouting into megaphones, and blasting music, according to police Captain Alan Hanson.
“We’re just kind of using discretion and letting First Amendment trump, as long as there’s no violence or destruction,” he said.
The protests last for 30 minutes to an hour at a time. The whole time, protesters circulate the street, screaming the whole time.
“Alito is a coward, Alito is a fascist,” the group chanted.
Tonight, Hanson had about nine police officers spending more than an hour in Alito’s neighborhood. Today, the protests resulted in about a full day of police time spent without catching a criminal.
Fairfax County, where Alito’s neighborhood is located, was facing the biggest police staffing shortage in its history just a year ago.
“We put some man-hours into it, to be sure,” Hanson said. “It’s out of an abundance of caution just to provide protection to the community, to the focus of the protests, to the protesters themselves.”
It’s illegal in Virginia to picket outside a residential home, Hanson said. But because the protesters walk as they scream “Alito is a fascist,” there’s nothing the police can do.
“You can’t picket a specific residence. However, as they march through the neighborhood, they’re not picketing necessarily a specific residence,” he said. “That’s the tack that they take.”
For Alito’s neighbors, this legal loophole means that practically everyone on his block endures a weekly screaming session.
One neighbor eagerly greeted the protesters and walked with them for a while.
But only one neighbor was willing to give his first name to The Epoch Times.
“I don’t think you intimidate judges or justices,” said Lou, a man who lives near the justice’s house.
“The people that live right near Alito, I feel like it’s hard for them to explain to their kids why people are protesting because they’re kind of young to understand the whole concept,” another neighbor, who preferred to remain anonymous, said.
The obscenities the protesters chanted and the obscene signs they carried are also hard to explain to children, she said.
The same neighbor added that although she had met Alito’s wife and thought she was a nice woman, being picketed at home was “part of the job” for a justice.
The same neighbor added that she didn’t know if the protests would end soon or continue for the foreseeable future.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t last too much longer,” she said. “But who knows?”
Most of Alito’s neighbors said they were unwilling to share their opinion on the protests.
“I just can’t comment on it,” one neighbor said. He refused to elaborate.
“I’d rather not,” said another.
“I’m trying to put our daughter to bed,” one said, declining an interview.
The only neighbor to oppose the protests only gave one quote and declined a full interview.
“Whether you’re on the left or the right, I don’t think you should protest the residence of a judge. They have a big building where they work where you can protest them,” he said. “With a federal judge, you aren’t allowed to protest their residence, so why are you allowed to do it with a Supreme Court judge?”
The protesters shouted, “Hey hey, ho ho, this Christofascist’s got to go,” as they marched through the neighborhood. Cars slowed to move around them.
All protesters refused to speak with The Epoch Times.