Attorney General Merrick Garland

AG Garland ‘Never’ Saw Training Material For US Marshals Not To Arrest Protestors At SCOTUS Justices’ Homes

Attorney General Merrick Garland
by Katelynn Richardson, Attorney General Merrick Garland (Source: Screengrab)

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday he “never” saw training material instructing the U.S. Marshals not to arrest protestors outside Supreme Court justices’ homes following the Dobbs decision leak last summer.

The training slides, which Republican Alabama Sen. Katie Britt obtained, differ from Garland’s earlier testimony that Marshals were told they had “full authority” to make arrest decisions under any federal statute.

Marshals instead were told there should be no criminal enforcement actions “unless absolutely necessary” and that making arrests is “not the goal” of being present at the justices’ residences, according to the training slides.

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Protestors were outside of conservative justices’ homes every week for months, bringing bullhorns and chanting slogans that left even neighbors upset.

One man was arrested in June for attempting to murder Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after he showed up outside his home with a gun and tactical knife.

During Tuesday’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Britt questioned Garland about the slides and his earlier testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the DOJ’s failure to prosecute any individuals under a federal law that bars picketing or parading near a justices’ home with the “intent of influencing any judge.”

“I’ve never seen those slides,” Garland responded when Britt asked if he would amend his testimony.

“What I said before was correct, that their first and principal job was to protect the lives and property of the members of the Court,” Garland said. “And as I said at the time, I’m the first Attorney General who has ever ordered Marshals to protect the residences of the Justices and protect them 24/7. That’s their principal responsibility, but that doesn’t mean that they are in any way precluded from bringing other kinds of arrests.”

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“The Marshals have been advised and they know – the Marshals on the ground – they have full authority to arrest people under any federal statute, including that federal statute,” Garland previously said during a March 1 Senate Judiciary hearing. “But they have to make that determination.”

In reference to the law that prohibits picketing outside of justices’ homes, the slides say that its language “logically goes to criminal threats and intimidation, not 1st A protected protest activities.”

The slides also reveal that the DOJ did not intend to bring charges, telling Marshals it would be “counter-productive” to make arrests the DOJ U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) would not prosecute. It advises Marshals to coordinate with the USAO prior to taking “enforcement action.”

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According to a press release, Britt obtained the slides from a DOJ whistleblower who was “concerned about the Attorney General’s misleading testimony,” according to a press release.

Activists again protested outside Kavanaugh’s home in January to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, chanting “cut his time short, rapists should not rule the court,” according to the Daily Signal.

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