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Should the public be allowed to protest outside of Supreme Court justices’s homes?

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The leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion to overturn abortion rights spelled out in Roe v. Wade sent shock waves throughout the nation, leading to protests in Washington, D.C., and in front of the homes of several conservative justices, who have indicated they would support the preliminary decision.

The pro-abortion crowds that have gathered outside the justices’s homes in recent days appeared to be peaceful in nature—though they drew condemnation from high-ranking Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike who’ve raised concern about the jurists’s safety. In response to the public commotion surrounding the leaked opinion, the U.S. Senate swiftly passed a law expanding protection and security to the justices’s families, CNN reports.

Sidewalks, parks, and other public venues are traditionally thought of as “public forums,” capable of hosting political speech and debate, says Claudia Haupt, associate professor of law and political science at Northeastern. But while the First Amendment guarantees the right to peaceful assembly, so-called “time, place, and manner” restrictions have been enacted by local governments across the country and upheld by the courts, Haupt says.

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