Ever since the Dobbs decision, many analysts and pundits have assumed that Republicans will overreach and have it backfire in the midterms. They may not be the only side with that risk, however. Performative protests have continued at the Supreme Court, as Allahpundit noted yesterday, and also at the justices’ homes. And their neighbors have become fed up with the activists — even those sympathetic to their point of view, the Washington Post reports today:
The 46-year-old artist, who lives a half-block away, first marched for abortion rights as a middle-schooler with her mom on the National Mall. The court’s recent moves to overturn Roe v. Wade prompted her to chalk out a message on her driveway: “Reproduction Rights are Human Rights.” And she has had more than 200 yard signs printed and distributed that echo the widely held sentiments of her left-leaning jurisdiction just north of Washington: “Chevy Chasers for Choice.”
But two months after the demonstrators arrived — often loud and vulgar — Strulson has come to see their methods as so disturbing that come Wednesday evenings, she and her family head out to a restaurant for a long dinner.
“I understand where their passion comes from,” she said, “but I’ve had enough.”
The mood seems to be shared up and down their narrow street of towering trees, tightly spaced homes and families with young children.
“The vast majority of people here are pro-choice,” said Lyric Winik, speaking on her front porch, several homes down from the conservative justice. “And the very vast majority of people here think that these protesters have gotten out of control.”
First off — what’s the point of the protests at the homes of Kavanaugh and the other justices? One can maybe understand an intimidation campaign after the leak, as illegal as it was. At least at that point, they could still hope to manipulate the justices into reversing course from the leaked opinion before the final decision was published. It’s been almost a month since Dobbs officially overturned Roe, however, and sent abortion policy back to the legislatures and the people.
The Supreme Court doesn’t have another abortion case on its docket now. There’s literally no case to argue at this point; it’s all pointless venting. And every day that these intimidation campaigns take place at their houses is another day in which the justices will be sure never to grant cert in another case again, keeping the issue as far from themselves as possible.
The same is true to a lesser extent for the protests at the Supreme Court, too. It’s a photo op, and a particularly silly one with the “invisible handcuffs” on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Why protest at the Supreme Court instead of lobbying Congress and state legislatures? Why, in fact, is AOC and Omar at the Supreme Court instead of on the job in Congress to effect the kind of political change they demand?
The place to have these debates is at the legislatures, not in front of the Supreme Court and especially not in front of the homes of the justices? It’s a ridiculous sight to have members of Congress demanding that the Supreme Court dictate laws to the American public when they have every opportunity to do it themselves, and do it legitimately under the Constitution.
It’s stupidly performative, and even worse, it contributes to a sense of unease and radicalization. Even the natural allies of the agitators have had enough of this; one can imagine what neutrals think of it at this point. How much agitation will people stand in their communities before opting for law and order and a sense of rationality at the ballot box?
Perhaps Democrats are about to find out.