Protesting at Justice’s Homes Should be a Subject of Condemnation, not Prosecution

Below is my column in the Hill on the call for the use of a federal law to arrest protesters outside of the homes of justices. The crushing irony is that many of these critics have spent years calling for the denial or curtailment of the free speech of others. Yet, these justices being targeted in their homes would likely narrowly construe or bar the use of this law.

Here is the column:

The leaking of a Supreme Court justice’s draft opinion on abortion rights, followed by the “doxing” and targeting of individual justices at their homes, has led to calls for prosecution under a federal law prohibiting “pickets and parades” at the residences of judges or jurors. While I have condemned these protests, I believe the use of this law to arrest protesters would be a serious blow to free speech and would be difficult to defend in the courts.

Ironically, those who are harassing these justices likely would be protected by the very people they are targeting.

Under a federal law, 18 U.S.C. 1507, any individual who “pickets or parades” with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer” near a U.S. court or “near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” will be fined or “imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”

On the key element of location, there is no question that protesters are picketing and parading near the residences of justices. (In one case, though, a protester in prior months thought she was targeting Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home but picketed the wrong house; neighbors never told her of her mistake.)

Even after some groups supplied maps and addresses for the justices’ homes, President Biden could not muster the courage to denounce such acts. Days after insisting that the White House took no position on either the leaking of the draft opinion or the doxing of justices, White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a tepid statement criticizing harassment, vandalism or violence directed at the justices.

Attorney General Merrick Garland also has failed in his leadership of the Justice Department. While Garland was quick to form a national task force to address parents protesting at school board meetings, he has had little to say about the targeting of  justices.

Yet, demands that Garland arrest all of the protesters is a case of the pendulum swinging too far in the opposite direction. Such prosecutions could create a massive chilling effect on free speech, even if any convictions are unlikely to be upheld. After all, protests are common at the court itself, which is covered under the same federal provision; if it is unlawful to seek to influence a pending decision through picketing “near a U.S. court,” such protests could be viewed as crimes under this interpretation.

Obviously, picketing a justice at home is more direct and threatening, even with security standing outside. Yet, the focus of our laws should not be on the act of protesting but on actual threats or violence committed against justices or their families.

The claim that such protests are acts of intimidation has been before the courts since the 19th century. In Vegelahn v. Guntner, 167 Mass. 92 (1896), for example, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that a labor union could be found guilty of an intentional tort by picketing a business. Oliver Wendell Holmes, then a state court justice who later famously joined the U.S. Supreme Court, dissented and rejected the notion that protests “necessarily and always thereby convey a threat of force.”

Even under the vague intent element under the statute, protests are criminal only if they are done with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer.” Certainly, today’s protesters are upset about Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and they want to see Roe v. Wade preserved. However, few seriously believe that protesting at justices’ homes will make them more inclined to yield to mob demands. This is unadulterated rage by people who no longer recognize any limits of decency or civility in our political discourse.

If charged, the protesters likely would insist they were denouncing the justices’ views, not trying to coerce a change in those views. Many wanted to vent their rage directly at justices or use the home protests as a way to make the evening news.

Of course, the Constitution often supports those who would deny such protections to others. Many Democrats and liberal organizations have long advocated for sweeping investigations, criminalization or sanctioning of free speech as well as both state and corporate censorship. At the reported encouragement of Biden administration officials, the National School Boards Association sent a letter calling for a Justice Department task force on threats by parents at school board meetings, despite the small number of such incidents. This included the suggested use of national security offices, which also were referenced in the Justice Department’s press release.

Likewise, many Democrats have sought to bar Republican candidates from election ballots for questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election or calling for a challenge to the certification of that election. Many of them are still demanding criminal charges against figures like former President Donald Trump for “inciting an insurrection” with his speech on Jan. 6, 2020. And some are using the same kind of overheated language as Trump, such as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tweet: “To my friends in the LGBTQ+ community — the Supreme Court is coming for us next. This moment has to be a call to arms … We will not surrender our rights without a fight — a fight to victory!”

Many Democrats also supported sweeping bans on protests near abortion clinics, like a law in Massachusetts that was struck down unanimously in McCullen v. Coakley in 2014. In a concurrence joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, then-Justice Antonin Scalia declared that “Protecting people from speech they do not want to hear is not a function that the First Amendment allows the government to undertake in the public streets and sidewalks.”

The same is true for the public streets and sidewalks near the homes of justices.

These protests are worthy of condemnation, not criminalization. Just because something is legal does not make it right. Fortunately, for these protesters, the people inside the homes they are targeting will likely protect them from prosecution — because the court will likely follow the lead of Oscar Wilde who said, “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

273 thoughts on “Protesting at Justice’s Homes Should be a Subject of Condemnation, not Prosecution”

  1. I disagree with JT on this, just as I disagreed with him on his support of the Westport Baptist ruling. Our Constitution offers every citizen the right to peaceable assembly and political speech. But some will take advantage and test the limits of their ability to use the 1st Amendment to harass and intimidate with mob techniques. Those who organize with that intent should face some kind of civil or criminal opprobrium. If you allow free speech to become menacing and ad-hominem, you essentially hand the public square over to the malcontents and anarchists. As was learned the hard way in Israel, if you condone an protect malicious character assassination, it lowers the inhibitions against actual assassination.

    The great struggle for our democracy, from the standpoint of the moderate centrist, is to corral the militant, activist fringes back toward the center, and incent them towards civility, intellectual modesty and goodwill toward all their fellow citizens.

    I think a disturbing the peace infraction is warranted, particularly for the organizers. They should get a fine and face the target of their wrath in person to apologize.

  2. Michael Sussman’s Trial Starts Monday

    The trial of Michael Sussmann centers on the narrow legal question of whether he lied when he claimed — less than two months before the 2016 election — that no client had spurred him to bring the tip to authorities, and whether that information was relevant to how FBI agents investigated the matter.

    But the case, which begins Monday in federal court in downtown Washington, may also serve as a kind of Rorschach test for those still smarting over the 2016 election and eager to see political opponents suffer legal consequences for what happened.

    The charge was brought by special counsel John Durham, a holdover from the Trump administration who has spent years probing whether U.S. agencies unfairly investigated the former president’s first campaign. The two-week trial will delve into the murky world of campaign research, lawyers and the role the FBI played in that election.

    “What this case is really about is opposition research. And that may look unseemly, but that’s the rough-and-tumble world of national political campaigns,” said Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches at George Washington University Law School. “That doesn’t make it a criminal offense, and that’s the difference here.”

    On Sept. 19, 2016, Sussmann met with James Baker, who at the time was the FBI’s top lawyer, and told him about computer data suggesting some kind of communication between Trump’s company and Alfa Bank.

    In a text message setting up the meeting, Sussmann claimed he was not representing any particular client in bringing the matter to the FBI’s attention. Durham’s office charges that claim was a lie.

    Sussmann’s lawyers counter that even if Sussmann lied, his lie was irrelevant to how the FBI investigated the data claims — and therefore was not criminal. They argue that many FBI officials had long known Sussmann was a lawyer representing Democrats.

    To prove their point, they told U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper there are 327 FBI emails from the period in question that, they say, show various FBI officials understood Sussmann had clients who were Democrats. The judge has signaled he is willing to allow some of that evidence but doesn’t want to spend time reading hundreds of emails to the jury.

    Edited From:

    It’s odd Professor Turley hasn’t told us this trial starts Monday. Does he have doubts about the case? One of Turley’s colleagues at George Washington University, Randall Eliason, thinks Sussman’s behavior was ‘unseemly’ but not criminal.

    1. Somebody needs to be held accountable for directing the FBI against a political enemy based on a fraud.

      I believe the DOJ needs a specialized investigatory unit, the Rapid-Response Election Integrity Office (EIRRO), all staff pre-vetted for political neutrality, and having guaranteed immediate access to the senior lawyer on every federal office campaign. Any and all suspicions of campaign / candidate wrongdoing would be directed at EIRRO for rapid investigation / resolution. Other rules would deter floating these accusations in the public media.

      We need a system which deters the type of dirty tricks that wander into illegality.

      Both parties need such deterrence. The public needs a neutral referee with the power to crush campaign misbehavior at the earliest juncture. We need a smart team that knows how to avoid being duped.

    2. That summary is inaccurate on a key detail.

      On 9/18/2016, Sussmann texted the FBI Gen. Counsel, Jim Baker, seeking a meeting and saying that “I’m coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company – want to help the Bureau.” They met the next day. Durham claims that at the meeting, Sussmann claimed not to be there “on behalf of” any client, and Durham says that this was a material lie — that Sussmann was there “on behalf of” a tech exec (named Joffe) and the Clinton Campaign.

      Sussmann’s lawyers seem to argue that the phrase “on behalf of” has more than 1 legal meaning — that it can mean both “representing” (and Sussmann has stated that he was representing Joffe in the meeting with Baker, but Sussmann claims that he was not representing the Clinton Campaign at the meeting with Baker) and “seeking a benefit for” (which Sussmann claims was not the case). Sussmann did not seek a benefit for Joffe, and AFAIK, Durham hasn’t alleged that Sussmann sought a benefit for Joffe.

      The Post/your edit substitutes “no client had spurred him to bring the tip to authorities,” replacing the key ambiguous phrase — “on behalf of,” a phrase that’s quoted over and over again in the indictment and the motions — with a phrase that isn’t ambiguous. But the case hinges, in part, on the meaning of “on behalf of.”

      Baker has testified that he cannot remember what Sussmann said at the meeting about whether Sussmann was there “on behalf of” a a client.

      Baker has also testified that within a few days of the meeting, he recalls Sussmann being clear that he represented a tech client.

      If anyone really wants to understand the details of the case, I recommend Marcy’s Wheeler’s columns over the WaPo’s columns:

      Turley is going to play his usual Fox News role and take Durham’s allegations as fact.

      I’m quite curious to see how things play out in the trial.

    3. Pretty heavily spun version of the case.

      This case is NOT about opposition research.

      Though the charge is lying to the FBI – specifically about who hired him – the core – and why it is CLEARLY material, is that not only did Susman make FALSE reports to the FBI, but he either KNEW those reports were false or by lying he hid from the FBI those he worked for who KNEW the reports were false.

      The CIA determined that the Alpha bank claim was A HOAX – the data was not captures of network traffic – it was human manipulated.

      We NOW know that all the allegations in the steel dossier were MADE UP.

      So what we actually have is Sussman using FAKE information going to the FBI to get them to start an investigation – which they did, into a political enemy using fraudulent claims as the basis.

      By denying the FBI information on the source of the claims, the FBI was unable to do what should ALWAYS be the first step – and investigate the credibility of those making the Claim. It was several more months before the FBI manage to interview Danchenko – the primary author of much of the steel Dossier. A significant part of the inability to question Danchenko was because Sussman lied about who he was working for.

      I would go further still – if you wish to beleive that Sussman is guilty of no wrong doing – then inherently the FBI is.

      It is clear today that the foundation of the FBI Trump investigation – and the Special Counsel investigation was ROTTEN to the CORE.

      The FBI is not permitted to open an investigation absent a credible claim of criminal conduct.

      All of us NOW know they never had that. You are now admitting that at the core this was a political dirty trick.

      It was either a political dirty trick the FBI was in on – or one it was deceived into beleiving.

      If Trump hired George Papadoulis to construct a dossier of Biden claiming that Biden was a pedophile, and then gave Micheal Cohen the Dossier to sell to the FBI, And Cohen told the FBI he was just a concerned citizen not a Trump operative, and then the FBI spent years tearing the Biden family apart – without ever looking into where the claims regarding Biden came from or whether they were just made up.

      You would be jumping up and down demanding Cohen’s head, Trump’s head, Papadoulis’s head, lots of heads in the FBI.

      This is far beyond Opo Research, it is far beyond political dirty tricks. This was not sold to the press, It was sold to law enforcement, and that TOO makes the lie material. When the Clinton campaign says Trump is a Russian operative – that carries very little weight with most people. When the FBI says they are investigating whether Trump is a Russian operative that is nearly taken as gospel.

      This is also very important because the people who are involved, Such as the media – specific players, parts of the DNC, and Mark Elias, and the intelligence community are the same players involved in the Hunter Biden Laptop, and the 2020 successful effort to make the election lawless, as well as likely behind the ballot harvesting conspiracy.

      You say this is about opo research and political dirty tricks – and it is. But it is also about credibility.
      It is about being lied to and manipulated by much the same people over and over.

      It is also about integrity and trust. Should we trust that the same people who acted immorally, unethically, and likely illegally to win the 2016 election be expected to have changed their colors in 2020.

        1. The Trial is in DC in front of a DC jury – it will take a miracle for Durham to get a conviction no matter how good his evidence is.

            1. Anonymous, John B. Say is already hedging by setting up the excuse that the trial is being held in D.C.

              He’s going to blame any acquittal on the fact that the trial was held in D.C. and with a D.C. jury and somehow the location was unfavorable to Durham’s views on the charges. Essentially he’ll argue a more conservative friendly court would give Durham’s claims more leeway.

              He’s so deep into his hoax conspiracy that he won’t accept the facts coming out in the trial.

              Marcy Wheeler has done an amazing job breaking down the details of this complicated case and I’ve been follow it for months. From my perspective it seems Durham’s arguments are not going to succeed as many of his supporters believe. Looking forward to the trial next week.

              1. It is not the “location” that is the problem.

                We have already seen Mueller’s star chamber Trials.

                We have already seen Mueller’s victims convicted of crimes that Mueller’s report says never happened because they had the wrong politics.
                We have seen the radically disparite treatment o DC courts of Kavaugh protestors and J6 protestors.
                We have Seen DC courts dish out sentences that exceed those of guesome double homocides in LA – for non violent actions that are protected by the first amendment.

                I do not exprect Durham to win in DC.
                He has already won out of court.

                The Steele Dossier and the Alpha bank claim are both HOAXES – not merely LIES, but HOAXES. Planned efforts to decive using manufactured false evidence.

                If everyone involved is not a criminal – they are all immoral and unethical.

                Regardless this Fraud/Hoax was sold to the FBI an they acted on it for more than two years.

                If as Sussman claims the FBI knew from the start – that merely makes the +FBI co-consirators.

                Regardless, this resulted in the full force of government being directed at innocent people – that is criminal.

                So who is it that you think is guilty of this enormous violation of dozens of peoples rights ?

                1. “ So who is it that you think is guilty of this enormous violation of dozens of peoples rights ?”

                  Those who violated the law of course. You think it’s the government that violated the rights of those who broke the law AND plead guilty. But that’s not as simple as you want it to be.

                  You claim they are hoaxes without proof. You just “know” they are because the lack of evidence is your proof.

                  Marcy Wheeler has been following the Sussman case in excruciating detail and she does an excellent job of putting the whole case into its proper context using actual evidence. Not speculation and conjecture like you do. She bases her predictions or analysis using real available evidence. You do not.

                  What you are relying on as the basis for your arguments is conspiracy theories that you “know” have to be true because the lack of evidence is the biggest clue to you. You prefer the witch-hunt method of proving your preconceived notions instead of actual evidence.

                  “ It is not the “location” that is the problem.”

                  Yes it is. You’re trying to convince yourself that it’s not what you’re implying, but you are.

                  “ I do not exprect Durham to win in DC.
                  He has already won out of court.”
                  No he hasn’t. He created his own conspiracy theory in order to justify his charge against Sussman. The problem is Durham approached the case by first levying the charge without properly investigating it and then investigating the charge and finding out he may not have a case. Durham in the most basic of explanations did exactly how you view things. Go on a witch-hunt to validate a conspiracy theory that has little to no evidence to substantiate it.

                  The trial will expose Durham’s mistakes and assumptions. Only time will tell if it’s true.

                  It’s clear your understanding of our legal system and constitutional rights are lacking, only because you want to view them in a certain way that ignores the basics of what laws and courts say or do. You’re entitled to that opinion, but that doesn’t mean you are correct.

                  1. Svelaz -= even NYT and WaPo have accepted that the Steele Dossier is a Hoax, as was the Apha Bank nonsense.

                    Join the real world.

                    The obly outstanding question regarding collusion delusion hoax and conspiracy is what immoral and unethical conduct engaged in by HFA and Perkin’s Coi and Sussman and the FBI and Mueller was also criminal.

                    That is all.
                    Everything else has been proven.

                    It is not my job to reprove to you what you can find – even in NYT and WaPo

                  2. Svelaz, there is no conspiracy theory here.

                    There is an actual conspiracy – proven beyond any doubt at all.
                    In fact though it has been pulling teeth it is essentially admitted.

                    The only question outstanding are were part of the immoral and unethical selling of a HOAX to the FBI also criminal.

                    That is the only issue in the Sussman trial.

                    Sussman is not contesting any part of the charge against him EXCEPT whether the lies he told were material – if the FBI already knew he was lying the lie is not material.

                  3. Svelaz – you are hoping for something that we are well past.

                    The defense is not going to try to prove anything except that the FBI knew Sussman was lying.

                    There is no chance they are going to claim the hoax was not a hoax.
                    That would literally be perjury.

                    The defense’s only challenge to the evidence of a hoax, will be that a hoax is not a crime.

            2. “I said the trial, not simply the jury’s verdict.”

              Sussman and democrats have already lost the battle with respect to much of the country.

              This is much like the Kyle Rittenhouse trial – there are a small number of left wing nuts who think there is an actual controlvery here,
              and there is some drama, because almost anything can happen in court.

              But in the Rittenhouse case – most of the country knew that absent some surprising revaliation, Rittenhouse had engaged in self defense and killed or injured people who were thugs who asked for i
              Thy same is true here – legal or not the conduct of democrats, as well as the FBI were immoral and unethical – WRONG.
              No trial is needed to establish that, and only a few nutjobs who think that Trump is Hitler on steroids and therefore no level of immoral or unethical conduct is off the table to defeat him.

              For the left “The Ends justifies the means”.

              Just look at rhe few victories Sussman has gotten – Durham has exposed an obvious conspiracy – that is not even in question, but he will not be able to present evidence of a conspiracy – because he did not charge Sussman with conspiracy – that is a proper decison on the part of the judge. And Durham has good reason to not charge conspiracy YET, But there is no secret there is a conspiracy. You can argue that it was not an Illegal conspiracy – that it is not illegal to foist a HOAX on law enforcement – but there is zero doubt that is what occured,

              The only real Drama right now is whethe Durham can get a DC Jury to convict. That is it.

              I would further note that there are actually only a few choices here – Sussman is guilty – or the FBI is guilty.

              One of the huge factors Sussman has going against him at trial is that a finding that Sussman is innocent – that the FBI was not deceived means the FBI knowingly conducted an investigation of innocent people and groups.

              I would note – that is Sussmans defense. He is not claim – I did not lie, or the Steele Dossier was credible, or the Alpha Bank data was not fraudulent,. He is claiming the FBI knew I was lying and knew it was all a hoax from day one.

              That may be a good outcome for Sussman – but it is not so hot for the FBI.

              Regardless – if a DC jury convicts – that will surprise me. That is just an indictment of DC.

              1. “ I would further note that there are actually only a few choices here – Sussman is guilty – or the FBI is guilty.”

                How about neither?

                Why would one have to be guilty? The only reason you purport this false choice is because you claim the information is a hoax. A claim that is devoid of any evidence.

                The trial will provide more evidence that you wouldn’t have considered. It’s best to wait and see how Durham’s evidence or claims hold up to real scrutiny and questioning.

                1. There is no neither – we know the Steele Dossier was a hoax, We know the Alpha bank claim was a hoax.
                  Neither of these will be contested.

                  You and maybe Nutacha are the only people left on the planet who do not userstand this whole thing was a HOAX initiated by the Hillary For America campaign.

                  The entire hoax is completely proven, and no one is contesting it.

                2. Honestly – you are still trying to claim the Steele Dossier is credible or the Alpha Bank claim is credible ?

                  No one is contesting that anymore.

                  I can not force you to accept the earth is round.

                  But it is already established that Danchenko wrote the Steele dossier – and his sources were Gossip from the DNC and Glenn Simpson.

                  NO russians anywhere.

                  Denachenko told the FBI this in Jan 2017 – which is why xfh and xfr died in early jan and why Flynn could not have violated 18 USC 1001 – because there was no valid investigation at the time.

                  One of the questions is given that this was all dead in early 2017 – how did Rosenstein apoint a special counsel ?
                  DOJ and FBI already knew this was all a fraud.
                  BTW we have that from SEVERAL of Strzok’s memos.

              2. “He is claiming the FBI knew I was lying and knew it was all a hoax from day one. ”

                John, you’re either willfully ignorant about what Sussmann is actually claiming (my guess is: you’ve never read any of the motions he’s submitted), or you’re lying. Your claim is ludicrously false.

                1. You should quit guessing
                  You are bad at it
                  Regardless guesses are not arguments

                  There is no question sussman lied multiple times
                  Orally and in writing

                  I would note there is a difference between sussmans motions and Durham responses
                  Dismantle mostly makes legal arguments
                  Durham confounds them with evidence

                  Regardless most of us do not give a $hit about sussman or what happens to him

                  Whether he is found guilty by a dc jury the left has already been found guilty

                  You sold a hoax to the country

                  Sussman is not arguing that the Steele dossier or alpha bank claim were true

                  He is arguing I was part of a conspiracy to hoax the fbi and country but I did not commit a crime – technically

                  It was all the BIG LIE

                  Like everything else from the left

                  1. John B. Say, your anger and rage is clouding your judgment. You’re the one who is making claims without evidence. There is no hoax. That’s entirely a figment of your partisan imagination.

                    You have not provided any evidence that anything about Sussman’s information is a hoax other than, “I know it is”.

                    Marcy Wheeler provided all of Sussman’s and Durham’s filings and it’s pretty clear Durham is using a conspiracy theory that has no evidence. He’s already retreated from several claims and he’s going to great lengths to avoid putting one of Sussman’s witnesses on the stand precisely because it will shoot down his conspiracy theory reliant approach.

                    “ He is arguing I was part of a conspiracy to hoax the fbi and country but I did not commit a crime – technically”

                    He’s not arguing any of that. That’s simply the lie you want to believe in because of your rage against the…left. Unfortunately the facts don’t support your fantasy about the left.

                    1. Svelaz,

                      You are no better at evaluating my emotions than my thoughts. You are not an empath or clairvoyant.

                      Get over yourself – stick to actual arguments.

                      I do not want anyone protesting anything in front of anyone’s home.
                      Left, Right, …. Do not care.
                      Protesting for something I like ? – Nope still can’t do.
                      And the right to privacy and property guarantee that.
                      And we already have myriads of laws that come CLOSE to providing that.

                      But that is not the current law. The current law protects judges in their homes and at their courthouses.
                      The former – constitutional, the latter – unconstitutional.

                      I have no problem with pro abortion protestors.

                      I have a problem with any protestors in front of anyone’s home.

                      Go to the courts, go to the mall, go to the capital and protest.
                      Yell and Rant and say whatever you want.
                      I am fine with that.

                      But not at peoples homes.

                      I am not angry with abortion protestors,

                      As I have already explained – Rowe was Wrong, but draft Alito is not any more constitutional.
                      There is not a right to abortion, there is a right to remove a fetus from your body – even if it might die.

                    2. You get so many things wrong – because you live inside a bubble.

                      You constantly jump to arguments that make it clear – not only don’t you know me, you do not know the right or the left.

                      You live in a world of carcitures.

                      You badly need friends with different views from your own – not because they are right – though it would be hard for them to be as wrong as you, but so that you could actually learn how innaccurate your views of others are.

                    3. Please do not parrot nutcases.

                      Not interested in marcy wheeler.

                      If you had READ any of what you claim to have read.

                      Durham has not charged Sussman with conspiracy, there fore he may not argue conspiracy at the trial.
                      But even the Judge noted that there is plenty of evidence to support a conspiracy claim.

                      Frankly the conspiracy is self evident. If Marcy Wheeler actually thinks there is no conspiracy she should join you in a logic class, plus a getting in touch with reality class.

                      Cooper correctly prohibited Durham from arguing conspiracy, without charging it.

                      Durham has self evidently exposed a gigantic conspiracy.

                      But for a conspiracy to be criminal – it must be a conspiracy to commit a crime.

                      Absolutely Durham was trying to sneek conspiracy claims in the back door to make convicting Sussman easier, and the judge properly stopped it.

                      Conversely Durham is problem correct to not charge conspiracy at this time. If he gets a conviction of Sussman – Nearly Everyone who was part of the collusion delusion conspiracy faces possible conviction for CRIMINAL conspiracy.

                      Once a crime is proven the conspiracy is easy – and self evident.

                      If Durham gets a conviction – which anywhere but DC would be a slam dunk, then dozens of people will likely be charged with conspiracy.

                2. You accuse me of lying
                  But like a typical leftist
                  You do not say what the lie was

                  Rather than spray epitaphs
                  Make you claims with facts,evidence

                  Ad hominem is not argument
                  Ad hominem without support is moral failure

                  1. John,

                    “ You accuse me of lying
                    But like a typical leftist
                    You do not say what the lie was”

                    He literally pointed it out to you. This is what he is referring to,

                    “ He is claiming the FBI knew I was lying and knew it was all a hoax from day one.”

                    1. Apolgies if english is not your first language – but you are STILL unclear.

                      Are you saying I am lying about what Sussman is arguing ?

                      If so – that is nonsense. Read the briefs.

                      Sussman is LITTERALLY arguing that even though he lied, it is not material because the FBI knew he was lying.

                      Sussman has to do that – he told the same lie several times, orally and in writing.

  3. If God revoked your unalienable rights and decided that you deserved to die in a nuclear war, would you obediently go along with God’s decision, or would you resist God?

  4. Perhaps all politics is local after all. I have recently learned that the governors of Virginia and Maryland are requesting that the U.S. Attorney General intervene to cause the protests at Supreme Court justices’ homes to cease.
    It is truly a shame that it has come to this. I am glad that these governors have spoken up, though.

    1. I am glad that these governors have spoken up, though.

      Governors stand for election. Garland is a political operative, pushing the Democrat narrative, immune from accountability.

      That the governors are demanding action, is just more evidence the Biden administration is clueless as to the mood of the people….across the political spectrum.

  5. (OT)

    The January 6th Committee has subpoenaed 5 members of Congress:
    • Kevin McCarthy
    • Scott Perry
    • Jim Jordan
    • Andy Biggs
    • Mo Brooks
    The Committee had previously asked them to appear voluntarily, but they refused. Will they obey the subpoenas? They can certainly show up and plead the 5th, like Roger Stone did. Or they can defy the subpoenas and see whether their colleagues will vote to refer them to the DOJ for contempt.

    1. I hope the congressmen refuse to participate. (they have no unique input to aide in the drafting of legislation). I hope Pelosi does refer them to Garland, and he charges them. By the time it comes to trial, Republicans will has issued a subpoena for Pelosi, and all her staff, and all communications.

      Has this ever happened before? Congress demanding their peers to sit for interrogations?

      1. All members of Congress have “unique input to aide in the drafting of legislation.” It is literally part of their job.

        The J6 Committee is clearly dealing with some relevant legislation, including the Vote Count Act.

        The House and Senate Ethics Committees sometimes subpoena their peers in ethics violation investigations.

        1. The Jan 6 committee is not wanting ALL congress persons to testify. Ethics violation?

          Which is it? Ethics, or crafting legislation?

          You’re all over the board. Just admit the partisan, Democrat Jan 6 committee, is nothing but election interference for the 2022 midterms.

          1. “The Jan 6 committee is not wanting ALL congress persons to testify.”

            So what?

            “Ethics violation?”

            Your question has no verb, and I don’t know what you’re asking. (Are you asking whether it’s an ethics violation to not ask everyone in Congress to testify? Are you asking whether a subpoena from the J6 Committee — which is not the House Ethics Committee — indicates an ethics violation? …)

            “Which is it?”

            What is the referent of “it”? Didn’t your English teacher teach you to make sure that the referent of a pronoun is clear?

            1. “make sure that the referent of a pronoun is clear?”

              I see your nervous ‘tell’ has appeared.

              When caught making stupid comments, default to pedantry.

              1. It’s not a “nervous tell,” and if you’re unwilling to clarify what you’re asking, then your unclear question will remain unanswered.

  6. The Ultimate Can Of Worms!

    Alito’s Opinion Raises Endless Questions

    Federal courts, no matter how much they might want to get out of the business of deciding abortion cases, would face complex questions of constitutional law. Under Alito’s draft, abortion restrictions must only have a “rational basis” to pass constitutional muster. Permissive as this is, it will still present questions: Would it be rational for a state to prioritize fetal life over the life of the mother? Does protecting the fetus take priority over serious risk to maternal health? Is it rational for a state to prohibit contraceptive methods, such as intrauterine devices or morning-after pills, which prevent implantation of a fertilized embryo? Can a state prohibit in vitro fertilization because it involves the destruction of such embryos?

    Again, these are not far-fetched hypotheticals. Louisiana lawmakers are weighing a measure that would “ensure the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization by protecting them by the same laws protecting other human beings.” This language could transform IUDs or discarding embryos created for IVF into homicide cases.

    The rise of telemedicine and the availability of abortion-inducing medication — which now accounts for more than half of all abortions — mean that abortion is increasingly untethered from physical clinics and state borders. Do states that prohibit abortion have the power to prevent their citizens from obtaining abortions elsewhere, or to punish them if they do?

    What happens if a woman takes abortion medication in a state where that is legal but expels the fetus in a state that prohibits abortion? Could states seek to punish out-of-state doctors who prescribe medication abortions — or, alternatively, shield in-state physicians from being held to account by states where abortion is illegal? State laws in this area would raise unresolved questions about the constitutional right to travel, the reach of the commerce clause, and the extent of extraterritorial jurisdiction — issues that make deciding what constitutes an “undue burden” on abortion rights simple by comparison.

    Edited From:

      1. Iowan, these fears were all addressed in 1973. This court is re-opening all those fears.

    1. If a man kills a pregnant woman, he is charged with two homicides – one of the woman – one of the baby.

      Abortion is homicide.

      [California] Penal Code – PEN
      PART 1. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25 – 680.4] ( Part 1 enacted 1872. )

      TITLE 8. OF CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON [187 – 248] ( Title 8 enacted 1872. )

      CHAPTER 1. Homicide [187 – 199] ( Chapter 1 enacted 1872. )


      (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.

      Embryos, fetuses, newborns, infants, toddlers, babies, etc. require full care and nurturing for 6 years.

      There is no difference between embryos fetuses, newborns, infants and children regarding their dependence on parents and their required care level.

      All babies need full and constant care from the completion of fertilization to the age of ~six – when they are in the womb and when they are outside the womb.

      If one doesn’t kill a 20-year-old woman, she will be a 21-year-old woman in one year.

      If one doesn’t kill a human fetus, it will be a human infant in less than a year…and so on.

      By continuing to endure and to develop and grow in the womb, the baby is choosing life and stating expressly through implication that it chooses to live and persist.

      The inverse is false and not true – the baby does not die spontaneously and the baby does not choose death.

      To stop the fetus from living is abortion – aborting the process of nurturing, sustaining and continuing the life of the baby human.

      Abortion is homicide.

      Homicide is “man” “kill.”

        1. Why would they?? Murderers are being spewed out into the streets daily by lefties. Check out New York City. Happens all the time.

  7. “Protesting at Justice’s Homes Should be a Subject of Condemnation, not Prosecution”

    – Professor Turley

    Protests should be done at the place of business, in this case, the Supreme Court or the Capitol Building.

    Publishing addresses and following individuals home is criminal stalking, harassment, assault, improperly influencing a court, et al.

    These activist extremists are not, however, protesting adjudication, they are committing subversion and treason against America, Americans and the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution.

    There is no right to abortion provided in and by the Constitution, and it is not conceivable, plausible or possible that homicide as abortion is addressed by the 9th Amendment.

    The Supreme Court correctly decided (tentatively) that Roe v Wade was erroneous and unconstitutional.

    Abortion is a matter of Congressional or State legislation.

    The local government must detain and charge these individuals to the fullest extent of the law, beginning with, the very local and simple, disturbance of the peace.

  8. Chief Justice Roberts had better speed up his “investigation” and reveal to the public the names of the leaker and accomplices now, not six months or a year from now. They know dam well who the leaker is at this point. Reveal their identify and make a public spectacle of the leaker(s) now. Do not delay.

    1. How ’bout you “reveal to the public” the name of the dastardly poster, “ANONYMOUS.”

      You certainly have the courage of your convictions, no?

  9. Turley: Forget Women And Doctors!

    We Need To Focus On The Rights Of Justices

    Justice Alito’s opinion has the potential to upend millions of lives. Millions of women ‘and’ children could wind up in long term poverty if abortion rights are negated. The field of women’s health will suffer as well. Medical practitioners throughout the red states could lose their rights to free speech with regards to patient counseling.

    Yet Professor Turley keeps demanding that our focus be on the court’s conservative majority. Because ‘they’ now feel unsafe! Apparently it never occurred to them that taking away women’s rights would incite waves of bitterness. Turley would have us believe, however, that the Federalists are only concerned with the Constitution. Like these justices haven’t spent their entire careers scheming to take away said rights.

    The idea seems to be that these conservatives came to the court as wide-eyed innocents caring only about the Constitution. And talking to each other they realized that Roe was an end-run around the Constitution. So their only desire is to rectify an unfortunate mistake. And the 5 conservatives are really pained to be thought of as the ‘bad guys’ here.

    Americans can be sure that state legislatures throughout the old confederacy will respond with compassion to women’s needs. Never mind that those states have the highest rates of child poverty and infant mortality. Never mind that those states have the lowest rates of health insurance. Never mind that those states clung to Jim Crow laws as long as possible. We must trust that their legislatures will keep women’s health in mind.

    1. Please cite the Constitution and Bill of Rights for a “right” to abortion.

      Of course, abortion is not a right; abortion is a matter for Congressional or State legislation.

      You are inciting to riot, subversion, insurrection, treason, etc., as America is under the dominion of the U.S. Constitution, which you conveniently ignore, and which the SCOTUS deferred to.

    2. Millions of women at the polls will get exactly what they desire. The women(people) are in charge of their destiny

        1. Half the eligible voters are women. A sizeable number of men, depend on those women to sate their sexual desires. I can see where the power in this equation rests. ,

    3. +100.

      First he wrote about how awful it was that someone leaked the draft. Then he wrote about how awful it is that people are protesting outside some of the Justices’ homes.

      But he cannot bring himself to write about how awful Alito’s draft opinion is.

      Here’s an interesting discussion of Alito longstanding hostility to abortion rights, with implications for whether Alito lied in his confirmation hearings:


        Yes, Anonymous, we have known since Alito’s confirmation in 2007 that he wanted to nix Roe. That has been the desire of most Federalists.

        Yet the conservative commenters here keep pretending this opinion reflects some new discovery by the court. As though Alito just realized the court was terribly mistaken in ’73. And they’re only trying to rectify this oversight to keep the constitution pure.

        What a crock of sh’t!!

        1. Yet the conservative commenters here keep pretending this opinion reflects some new discovery by the court.


          Just going to ignore Casey in total? Ignore the people in states slowly marching back Roe?

          There is nothing new here. What you see is the constitution working just as designed.

      2. Here’s an interesting discussion of Alito longstanding hostility to abortion rights,

        Lots of legal scholars are hostile to Blackmans decision that lacked constitutional grounding. Hostile to the decision, not necessarily abortion.

        In 50 years, Democrats have had multiple opportunities to codify Abortion in Federal law. They never tried. But in less than 2 weeks, both houses have now voted on abortion. KNOWING it would fail. Why? As always with Democrats, politics are more important than results.
        Democrats much preferred using abortion as a political cudgel, against Republicans in electoral politics. Women’s rights be damned. But that is the Democrat playbook, talk about supporting some class of persons….to get elected, but then work against them.

        1. If you read the article, you’ll see that Alito is hostile to abortion.

          Do you care to discuss Luppen’s article?

  10. Can I protest on the sidewalk outside Obama’s Washington DC mansion? Can I protest outside Obama’s Chicago mansion? Can I protest loudly outside Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard mansion? Can I protest loudly outside Obama’s Oahu mansion?

    How many mansions does one man need? Do we taxpayers pay for SS protection at every Obama mansion?

    Gotta heat them, cool them, electrify them, and clean them waterfront estates, right? But but but….Climate change!

    1. You can protest on the public sidewalk outside both Obama’s AND Trump’s mansions!

      1. The protesting in front of Alito’s home violates federal and state law. There are videos of the protestors in the street. That is illegal as well. Listen to AG Barr. The police should be telling people to leave, and if they don’t, they should be arrested.

        The left is hypocritical, violent and sometimes dumb or dumb liars. We have those types on this blog. (start at 4:30)

        1. S. Meyer,

          “ The protesting in front of Alito’s home violates federal and state law.”

          No the protests do not violate federal and state law. It’s a constitutionally protected activity. Turley is saying on this column the protest are legal.

          Streets are public spaces and if they are not impeding traffic they are legally protesting.

          1. Svelaz, if you weren’t a functional idiot, you would have recognized that I was talking about what Barr said, not Turley. I even provided the video.

            1. S. Meyer, it doesn’t matter who said what, you’re both wrong and Turley is pointing out that the protests are perfectly legal. He just doesn’t believe it’s right.

              Your bad English skills are fouling your already poor arguments. That’s on you.

              1. The former AG of the US is wrong, according to Svelaz, a functioning idiot. Svelaz doesn’t know what the former AG is wrong about or why, but what can one expect from an idiot?

                1. Anonymous (S. Meyer),

                  Yes the former AG is indeed wrong. I have been pointing out exactly why he’s wrong. Even Turley is saying what the AG wants is not possible.

                  1. What was former AG Barr wrong about?

                    What is Turley saying that AG Barr said.

                    Don’t misquote or misunderstand what was said as you did in your confusion over the fact that for a textbook to be considered excellent, it needs to be accurate.

    2. Obama preaches about YOUR carbon footprint needing to be reduced while he is a special elite person who can own and live in as many large waterfront mansions as he desires. To hell with the peasants.

  11. According to various Washington Post reporting, other high-ranking officials receive home protection also. Guards living nearby, some streets permanently closed, etc.

    Maybe the high court justices could cite 14th Amendment (equal treatment). They are just as important as presidents and members of Congress. They deserve better security.

    The above mentioned law is clearly unconstitutional. Protest is always trying to “influence”, so the law is unconstitutional but Congress could prohibit protesters at someone’s residence while allowing it at their workplace (official government building or government event).

  12. Despite the fact that I am a long-time admirer and follower of Prof. Turley’s work and blog, I respectfully disagree with him here. Surely Justices are entitled to peace, quiet, and freedom from being hassled by non-residential interlopers hollering in quiet neighborhoods at all hours of the day and night. At least as important, the justices’ neighbors are also entitled to peace and quiet.

    I think it’s also worth pointing out the economic effect on property values of allowing these crazies to disrupt the calm of a residential neighborhood: It will reduce such values. Protesters do not have that right – no way, no how. . .not now, not ever.


    1. The Justices’ neighbors are among those protesting. Those neighbors apparently care more about women’s reproductive rights than about their property values.

  13. I disagree with Turley on this:

    1. The 1st amendment allows reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. The prohibition of protest outside homes seems reasonable to me. It could be distinguished from protesting outside courts or other public buildings or places of work.

    2. There appears to me probable cause to believe that a motive here is to influence the justices’ decision. The protests were sparked by the leak and are targeting justices who are reported to be inclined to uphold the Mississippi law. Imagine one of them announced he or she is changing her vote. Would the protests at his or her home continue? Once arrested, the protesters’ devices could be searched to find further evidence of motive.

    3. One purpose of criminal law is deterrence. If arrests would have the effect of chilling protests outside justices’ homes when the purpose is to influence their decisions that would be a good thing. There are many other places where protesters can protest to influence a decision.

  14. When I lived in a community which had no green-yellow-red traffic signals at intersections, it was because no one had been killed at one of those intersections.
    As soon as a school child riding a bicycle was killed at an intersection, within months there was a traffic signal.

    The point is that nothing will be done about the 100’s of protesters outside the homes of the Justices…….until and unless the first clearly violent incident occurs.

  15. Did you know that 2 out of 3 Americans live in a “Constitution Free Zone”? According to some federal agencies if you live within 100 miles of an international border, you have no rights whatsoever.

    In this zone (where most Americans reside) you were already stripped of those rights, without any vote and without the legally required constitutional-amendment process. [source:].

    1. Dubya had “free speech zones” where people where locked behind fences or police barricades to voice their concerns, of course, far away from Dubya.

    2. We have NO rights unless we support and defend our rights – both our natural rights and Constitutional rights.
      “The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”
      Article 2 Section 13 Colorado State Constitution.

  16. Has the good professor ever commented on the recent case out of NY (I believe) where a judge had her child killed by someone not happy with a decision?

  17. The protests were choreographed by left wing organizations not by concerned individuals. If I’m subjected to fines for running my law mower, doing outside construction or watering my lawn before or beyond certain times than protesters cursing, chanting and using bullhorns should be subjected to arrest and fine as well. Their protests are offensive to everyone in the neighborhood and should be curtailed to the location of the Supreme Court not the residence of any citizen.

    As for the leaker why has this individual/s not be located? If it was a President Trump supporter he/she would have been identified an hour after the leak.

        1. “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

          – Barack Obama

          “We will stop him.”

          – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page

          “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

          – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

          “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before 40.”

          – Peter Strzok to FBI parmour Lisa Page

          Obama Coup D’etat in America – “Fundamentally transform” the United States of America by using the Federal Bureau of Investigation, American Intel, etc.

          What actual American wants to destroy (i.e. transform) his own country using its corrupt cops?

          It gets weird!

          Where are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, Ben Franklin et al. when you need them?

          Answer: They’re in the Declaration of Independence.

          To wit,

          “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

        2. Roberts is even afraid of the corrupt FBI not toeing the line. So Roberts called the SCOTUS Marshall, to investigate. An agency lacks the power to issue simple warrants. Roberts has already buried the name, I will not come out. The computer systems in the court have to be more sophisticated than the farm supply coop I retired from. Copy machines have user log in numbers. Copy machines have a hard drive that retains a copy of everything. The on desk terminals do not allow the use of flash drives. Computer data knows who accessed the opinion when. This is not a particularly complicated who done it.

          1. Iowan, my question was posed to Epstein, not to you. Are you telling us that Epstein is your sock account?

              1. And I’m telling you: unless Epstein is a sock of yours, you cannot tell me why Epstein assumed what he did, you can only tell me why you assume it.

  18. First off Jon, who are the ‘figures like Donal Trump’ you refer to? Are there a lot of failed one term president’s who tried to self coup their way into a second term running around?

    And one might say a large segment of our citizenry are experiencing the unadulterated rage of an activist court trying to turn a public health issue into a religious one by retracting key women’s rights. But that’s just me…

    You know what else is me? When I played ball in college and was involved in a game that degenerated into a brawl on the court I was rewarded for trying to hold a teammate back by some b hole running out of the stands to jack me up with a cast on his arm. Good times…

    My point being this, basketball aside. The right is reaping the rewards for many of their anti abortion tactics now and it is including and being visited upon their judges. It was kind of inevitable regardless of whether it’s right or not….

    But if kids in college can get slammed with a cast for trying to break up a fight then it’s not out of the realm of imagination that mercenary justices can have demonstrations in their front yard.

    However I do love seeing you try to dance the free speech line here. Do the right wing forces you represent actually not see that if you’re going to try to co opt free speech as a red herring that there will not be blowback? Really interested to get your take on this question, Jon.


Leave a Reply