Fights against the Dobbs Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade used threats, arson, and other criminal tactics. Protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices in Virginia are just one example of those crimes.
Forget federal law.
It’s not surprising that the Biden Justice department is not pursuing those who organized the protests at justices’ houses. The DOJ’s prosecutors are not only ambivalent about the situation, but federal law also has more hurdles than Virginia law to prove a case. A conviction requires that the defendant has the intent to intimidate the justices.
Although you might believe there was an intention to do so, be aware that Dobbs will be a 21-year-old female defendant who will speak out about how Dobbs impacted her femininity and value as a person. That’s why she protested.
It is very risky to prove intent.
Virginia’s state law provides all the necessary tools to prosecute protestors who show up at their homes to harass Supreme Court justices.
Protesting someone in Virginia is illegal. You can also file a civil action. If a protest is held at someone’s residence, you can get injunctive relief or punitive damages. Let me get into the details.
First the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not protect protesting at someone’s house. While the First Amendment may be implicated in the protest, it is not absolute. States might find compelling reasons not to allow marches in front of a house.
Virginia Code Section 18.2-418 has made this clear. This law sets out the legislative purpose for the home protest ban. It is to ensure that everyone can “enjoy their homes a sense of well-being and tranquility and privacy and, when they are absent, carry with them the security that their homes will be enjoyed again.”
Some may surrender and complain that Fairfax County, where the Virginia Supreme Court justices reside, has a corrupt county prosecutor who refuses to enforce the law.
Steve Descano is the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney. He is clearly a crime-enabling nut. Descano, one of the infamous Soros DAs has seen crime and mayhem rise under his watch. His tenure is marked by violence, mayhem, and bail-free releases. Ten years ago, reckless driving at speeds exceeding 90 mph was a crime.
But not anymore. Descano has made Fairfax highways into raceways. Here, modified Toyotas are raced on the Beltway at breakneck speeds by souped-up Hondas.
Descano will not enforce the law, because he is in agreement with the protesters.
This is where Virginia law can again provide an answer to Descano’s ideologically motivated inaction.
Virginia state officials are able to take action against the increasing threats of protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices.
Hans von Spakovsky noted that the Virginia State Police has broad powers to prosecute crimes, such as illegal protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices. This is in accordance with the clear Virginia code. Virginia Code 52.8 gives the Virginia Superintendent for State Police the power of the local sheriff. The state police can also do what the Fairfax County Sheriff won’t do due to Descano.
Colonel Gary Settle, the superintendent of Virginia State Police, is responsible for the protection and prosecution of Supreme Court justices at home and any protestors who disrupt their peaceful enjoyment.
It is possible to wonder what would happen if Settle didn’t enforce the law. Virginia has a solution to this problem, too.
Governor Glenn Youngkin is empowered by the law to direct Settle, his criminal investigative branch to enforce the law. Virginia Code 52-8.1 states that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate any matter referred by the Governor, in addition to all other powers and duties.
Then you might wonder: What next? You might wonder, what if the Virginia State Police arrests the criminal protesters? Nobody will prosecute them.
It is not true. Virginia law is again in force. Virginia Code 2.2-511 gives the governor the authority to request that the attorney general of Virginia be authorized to “initiate and conduct to initiate or conduct criminal proceedings in the circuit courts in the Commonwealth.”
It is not certain that the case would be brought in Fairfax County if the plot was to intimidate or scare the justices at their homes. No matter where an action takes place, conspiracies are part and parcel of the same criminal act.
All this is great news. This is especially true because leftist foes in Dobbs are becoming more violent and militant. It’s time to be courageous, not cautious when justices or citizens cannot peacefully enjoy their homes. The law and those responsible for enforcing and maintaining it must be reactivated and restored when it is under attack. If the law isn’t enforced, violence, threats, and disorder will follow.