During an event hosted by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP), the Chicago Thinker‘s Daniel Schmidt pressed former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on her support for unlawful protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes following the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
These protests occurred after the pro-abortion outfit “Ruth Sent Us” publicized the supposed home addresses of six Supreme Court justices and announced a “walk-by” of the homes. Psaki refused to condemn the doxxing or calls for protests outside of the judges’ homes, saying that “there’s a lot of passion, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness from many, many people across this country.”
Days later, pro-abortion activists rallied outside the justices’ private residences. Some notable spectacles included protesters chanting “we will not go back” outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home and women wearing outfits from Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale outside of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s home. The protests allegedly forced Justice Alito to move to an undisclosed location.
Psaki explicitly endorsed these protests, stating, “I know that there’s an outrage right now … about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges’ homes.”
According to 18 U.S. Code § 1507, it is illegal to protest outside of a judge’s home “with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge.”
At the IOP event, Schmidt repeated to Psaki her endorsement of the unlawful protests. Psaki interrupted Schmidt after quoting her saying that “we certainly continue to encourage [people protest] outside of judges’ homes,” claiming that she “never said that.”
“I said peacefully,” Psaki interjected, later adding that she “never encouraged anyone to protest.”
Schmidt continued to press Psaki, asking her if she regrets encouraging people to illegally protest outside of justices’ homes. “Even if it is peaceful, it still is a federal crime,” Schmidt clarified.
In her response, Psaki asserted that “facts matter and facts are important,” and that she doesn’t “think it’s the role of the government to tell people where they can or cannot peacefully protest.” She did not address the unlawful nature of the protests outside judges’ homes which she endorsed.