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In an uncivil age, calls for “civility” are about squashing effective protest

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Vox, May 2022

On the weekend of May 7, protesters angered by the leaked draft of a pending Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade assembled in front of Supreme Court justices’ houses. A crowd of a few hundred people first gathered at the house of Justice Brett Kavanaugh before moving over to Chief Justice John Roberts, who lives in the same Chevy Chase, Maryland, neighborhood. The crowd then headed back to Kavanaugh’s house while police guarded properties.

While the protest was peaceful, it caused a firestorm online, where some liberals joined conservatives in condemning the protesters for entering these neighborhoods. On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a statement apparently decrying the very idea of protesting the justices. Protesting “should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” Psaki stated on behalf of President Biden. “Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.”

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