Washington Post profiles woman protesting outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Thursday we learned that a group called Ruth Sent Us was encouraging protests outside the homes of six Supreme Court Justices. The group posted a map giving the street and city of each home. As my friend Jeryl Bier noticed, they claimed on Twitter that these weren’t the exact locations and therefore they hadn’t technically given out the addresses.


That was a lie. While the map did not contain house numbers, the group also posted Tik Tok videos of protesters at each of the six homes. In several cases those videos showed protesters slowly walking past a sign or mailbox with the house number. In others cases they simply showed the house. The Tik Tok videos were linked on the same site with the map so anyone making a small amount of effort to connect the dots could find the exact residence in each case. Yesterday Google took down the group’s map for violating its terms of service. I asked the group about the removal of the map but they didn’t respond.

The planned protests got a brief mention in a story by Dave Weigel which appears to be the only mention it received from any major news site. But today the Post published a lengthy profile of a woman named Lacie Wooten-Holway who has been holding protests outside the homes of Justice Kavanaugh and also Chief Justice Roberts.

For months, Wooten-Holway, a 39-year-old teaching assistant and aftercare staffer, mother of two and the youngest of five sisters, has taken the unusual step of protesting a neighbor.

Usually she is the only neighbor there — a reminder that with every march and chant she is breaking an unspoken contract of civility.

In Chevy Chase, just beyond the District line, geniality among neighbors has long been part of the social code. But Wooten-Holway — who has had an abortion and is a survivor of sexual assault — cannot separate the politics from the personal.


Just to make this clear, the story reveals that Wooten-Holway has had two abortions, one at age 18 and one at age 21. The first happened when she got pregnant on a trip to London. The second happened after she got pregnant by a boyfriend while living with her parents. The sexual assault, which based on her own testimony could be described as a violent, even life-threatening rape, happened a decade later in 2013 and did not result in a pregnancy. I’m making this all clear because the Post doesn’t do a very good job of explaining it.

She’s furious at the thought of a world without Roe — that a few male justices are making that decision for millions of women, that Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault, which he denied, has this power.

If the conservative justices are considering rolling back a precedent that protects what people choose to do with their own bodies, she says, then no home address is out of bounds.

She clearly has a particular problem with Justice Kavanaugh who she believes is guilty of sexual assault himself.

As hundreds of women mobilized in the nation’s capital to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination to the court, Wooten-Holway marched with them.

Footage of Wooten-Holway in the crowd of people protesting appeared on CNN that day, her hands above her head holding a graphic sign of a caricature of Kavanaugh groping Lady Justice, one hand over her mouth, saying “Don’t Scream!”


Here’s the cartoon in question. There’s a photo of Wooten-Holway sitting on the porch of her house with this sign taped in the window.

When Wooten-Holway started her protests she actually held them at the wrong house. She wonders why none of the neighbors corrected her.

In the past, a few of Wooten-Holway’s protests against Kavanaugh were mistakenly held in front of the wrong house. She wonders why no one on that street set her straight.

Neighbors had noticed them. Cars drove by and parked in nearby driveways. People slowed their pace while walking their dogs to get a closer look. Not once, she said, did someone tell her they were chanting in front of the wrong home.

“If that’s them protecting the Kavanaughs, then that’s really kind, and that’s what neighbors do, right?” Wooten-Holway said. “The difference is here he has people who will protect him. I don’t. And neither did my kid.”

What to make of all of this? Wooten-Holway was the victim of a sexual assault and has clearly been traumatized by it. I hope the bastard responsible rots in jail for his crimes. But Justice Kavanaugh was not that man. The allegations made against Kavanaugh had little to no outside support, not even from the accusers best friend who was supposedly present at the party in question. More to the point, since she lives in Maryland Wooten-Holway’s right to an abortion won’t be impacted even if the Supreme Court’s decision matches the leaked draft. Abortion will remain legal in Maryland.


I think what she’s doing is wrong and a very bad idea. Progressives just have to ask themselves how they’d feel about conservatives holding protests at Justice Kagan’s house and maybe it will make sense to them. I seriously doubt if the protests were being held at Kagan’s house that the Washington Post would have published such a sympathetic profile of the protesters.

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