Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin proposed an amendment to the state budget Thursday which would make it a felony to protest in front of a judge’s home with an intent to intimidate.
“I approve the general purpose of this bill, but I am returning it without my signature with the request that thirty-five amendments be adopted,” Youngkin wrote to the Virginia legislature.
Amendment 35 would make picketing in front of a judge’s home a Class 6 felony, which could result in one to five years in prison and an up to $2,500 fine. (RELATED: CNN Anchor Presses Democrat On Whether Party’s Rhetoric Had Something To Do With Kavanaugh’s Would-Be Assassin)
Anyone who pickets “with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing or intimidating [a judge or justice] in the discharge of his or her duty” outside a court building or a judge’s residence or the residence of a judge’s immediate family member would be guilty of a felony under the proposed amendment.
After catching heat from the right for not cracking down on protests at the homes of SCOTUS justices, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is proposing a new felony offense for disruptive or “intimidating” protests involving courts.https://t.co/kH9d7svMR7 pic.twitter.com/CW0VWs5amg
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) June 16, 2022
The amendment would include those who use, “any sound-truck, bullhorn, or similar device, or resorts to any other demonstration of any kind,” with an intent to intimidate.
Last Wednesday, police arrested an armed man near the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The man said he was motivated by anger about the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade. He was armed with a handgun, a knife and pepper spray and arrived to Kavanaugh’s home by taxi.
“This is exactly the kind of event that many worried the unhinged, reckless, apocalyptic rhetoric from prominent figures toward the Court, going back many months, and especially in recent weeks, could make more likely,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time.