By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday to increase security for Supreme Court justices as protests at their homes have grown heated in light of the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade.
That bill heads to the House for consideration after passing the Senate with unanimous consent.“Threats to the physical safety of Supreme Court justices and their families are disgraceful, and attempts to intimidate and influence the independence of our judiciary cannot be tolerated,” said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who helped lead the move for more security. “I’m glad the Senate quickly approved this measure to extend Supreme Court police protection to family members, and the House must take up and pass it immediately.”
Sen. Cornyn’s office said the bill “would allow the Supreme Court of the United States Police to provide the families of Supreme Court justices with around-the-clock security protection.”
The protests began after a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling included language that would overturn Roe v. Wade, removing the federal right to abortion and allowing individual states to decide for themselves how to handle the issue.
Supporters of the expected decision have rallied outside the Supreme Court to demonstrate in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
Protesters of the potential ruling also have met outside the court, but have also been raucous in the residential areas where justices appointed by Republican presidents live.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade would be a historic ruling, and news that it may be overturned has been met with celebration from pro-life supporters and dismay by pro-choice supporters.
“Upholding the rule of law (and) maintaining the faith of the people require that the court allow Roe to remain the law of the land,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said after the draft ruling leaked. “If the court chooses to terminate Roe, Democrats will not relent in fighting back against the dire threat posed to women’s health, safety (and) well-being.”
For pro-lifers, the ruling is long overdue.
“Did you know the majority of pro-life advocates are women?” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the pro-life group March for Life. “Or that the United States is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy?”
An official ruling from the Supreme Court is expected soon.
“I am glad to see this bipartisan bill unanimously pass the Senate in order to extend security protection to the families of Supreme Court members,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who also helped lead the effort.
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.