Supreme Court justices should be able to feel safe at home

Federal lawmakers are not the only ones with a responsibility to help safeguard the judiciary. That duty also lies with those who have protested outside Justice Kavanaugh’s house in advance of the coming abortion rights ruling. No matter how passionately activists feel about an issue — and we believe strongly that overturning Roe would be a disastrous mistake — these feelings do not justify invading public officials’ private lives and those of their families.

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This is especially true for judges. Respect for the institution of the court, the rule of law and the orderly adjudication of public matters demands that protests, no matter how justified, stay in the public square. Otherwise, activists on any side of any issue — be it voting rights or minority protections or environmental rules — could use protest to intimidate judges. Judges must be expected — and also given the space — to make their best determinations based on deep thinking, rationality and the law, not without regard for the public reaction, but at least without worry that their families will be besieged.

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