Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute criminal protests outside the home of judges.

“We continue to be baffled over the lack of prosecutions under Title 18, Section 1507 of the U.S. Code. We understand it is the policy of the Justice Department not to discuss any pending or potential investigations, but this is an urgent matter of national importance,” wrote the senators. 

Last week, a man attempted to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh after learning where the justice lived by watching videos of the protests in front of his house. Reports indicate that those seeking to intimidate the justices at their homes plan to expand their campaign of harassment to their children’s schools.

“While judges serve a public office, the principle of judicial independence means that their deliberations should be free from influence outside the courtroom. . . . This means especially that their deliberations should be free from harassment and intimidation, nowhere more than in their homes where their families reside,” they continued. 

“The responsibility of a judge—or justice—is to follow and apply the law according to his or her judgment. It is not to do so according to the judgment of their community, or the desires of their political party, or the will of the mob. It is only their judgment that counts. This is why they are given life tenure, so that external considerations—such as politics or public opinion—will not influence their constitutional duties.

“Given these important distinctions it is only fitting that Congress prohibited the parading and picketing of judges’ houses in order to influence their decisions. It is a measure that preserves judicial independence,” the lawmakers explained.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) also signed the letter.

The letter is available here.