(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that while she believes that people “peacefully protesting” outside the homes of Supreme Court justices is freedom of expression, she’s “not suggesting anyone break any laws” like that one in Virginia that prohibits protests outside private homes.
“You suggested that peacefully protesting outside the homes of judges and Supreme Court justices is part of freedom of expression and part of, sort of, what we do in the United States, but there’s a law of Virginia that actually prohibits protests outside private residence, even when done peacefully,” a reporter said.
“So I’m wondering if any sort of demonstrations outside of private homes might run afoul of that law and other laws like it in other parts of the country,” he said.
“We’re certainly not suggesting anyone break any laws. I would note that the president’s view has long been — and I tweeted this earlier this morning and repeated — and made a number of these comments last week as well that violence, threats, and intimidation have no place in political discourse,” Psaki said.
“Yes, we are a country that promotes democracy, and we certainly allow for peaceful protest in a range of places in the country. None of it should violate the law; no one is suggesting that, and it should never resort to violence, to threats, to intimidation in any way, shape, or form, but that is what our position is and the president’s position is,” she said.
“You were unequivocal in condemning the violence, but as you know, there’s also some allies who are protesting outside justices’ homes, including Brett Kavanaugh, who — if there’s any kind of a compromise — conservative ruling that preserves some of Roe, he could be part of that with Roberts. So, my question is: Is it appropriate to protest outside people’s homes? And is it productive or not productive?” another reporter asked.
“Look, I would say, in terms of the productive question, that’s not for me to speak to. Obviously, these justices make decisions as an independent body. How they are influenced or if they are influenced is not for me to make a determination of,” the press secretary said.
“We do believe in peaceful protests. We do not believe in or support any intimidation of any kind — obviously, the violation or breaking of any law, as somebody raised before, or threats or intimidation of any individual. What we do support is people peacefully protesting, and they do that in a range of places,” Psaki said.
“But you wouldn’t wave anybody off for tactical reasons?” the reporter asked.
“We’re not here to give tactical advice to protesters. What we are here to call for is peaceful protest, for people not to resort to violence, to vandalism, or certainly intimidation of any kind,” Psaki said.