Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy sparred with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on pro-abortion protesters “intimidating” Supreme Court justices.
Doocy questioned President Joe Biden’s position on pro-abortion protesters’ encounters with the justices after Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was forced to exit from the back of Morton’s restaurant in Washington, D.C., as protesters gathered out front demanding he be kicked out.
“We have been pretty clear on this, the president has been very clear that we condemn any intimidation of judges in this specific question here,” Jean-Pierre said. “[The president] has signed a piece of legislation making sure that they have the protection that they need.”
“But you never said, ‘Don’t go to their houses,'” Doocy interrupted. “So, as long as they’re peaceful, would you say, ‘Don’t go to a restaurant that a Supreme Court justice is at?'”
Jean-Pierre said the administration condemns any kind of intimidation of the Supreme Court justices. She added that the administration encourages peaceful protests.
“So, it’s okay if protesters know that a justice is out to eat at a restaurant that they can go and protest, as long as they are what you consider peaceful,” Doocy said. “That’s okay?”
The press secretary repeated that the administration encourages peaceful protests but will condemn all forms of intimidation against the justices. (RELATED: WH Press Sec Refuses To Get Specific On Who Is Threatening Violence Over Roe v. Wade)
“So, where’s the line? If protesters can go to a justice’s house and they can go to a restaurant, where is it that you don’t think it’s appropriate for a group of protesters to go?” he asked.
“I just laid out … we condemn intimidation, we condemn any violence and we’ve been very clear, it is a clear definition of what violence is and what intimidation is,” she said. “Peaceful protest, people should be allowed to be able to do that.”
“In a restaurant?” Doocy pressed.
“If it’s outside of a restaurant, if it’s peaceful, for sure,” she said.
“Really?” he asked. “So these justices, because protesters do not agree with an opinion that they signed onto, have no right to privacy, is what you’re saying.”
Jean-Pierre said citizens have the right to peacefully protest in a democracy. When Doocy asked if the justices have a right to privacy, she said people have a right to both privacy and peacefully protesting.
The Fox News reporter suggested allowing a group of angry protesters to demonstrate in front of the justices’ whereabouts could create “a potential really bad situation.”
“You just said it’s okay if [the protesters] go to a restaurant,” he said.
“I said peaceful protest should be allowed. We do condemn intimidation and we condemn any violence, whatever type of violence,” she said.
She added that Biden signed legislation, the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, to provide around-the-clock protection for the justices and their families following the draft majority opinion leak slated to overturn Roe v. Wade in May.
“We have shown how we want to make sure that intimidation and violence is not the way to go,” she said. “It is not the way to have a political discourse. I’m done here, Peter,” she concluded.
Following the draft leak, left-wing and pro-abortion groups mobilized to demonstrate in front of both the Supreme Court and the justices’ homes. Mass protests continuously took place in front of the homes of the justices to protest the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade after the left-wing group Ruth Sent Us published the justices’ personal addresses.
Authorities arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Roske for attempted murder June 8 after he showed up on the street of Kavanaugh’s home with burglary tools and a firearm. Roske admitted to attempting to kill the justice, saying that he had been angered by the leaked draft majority opinion.