WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court police surrounded their building with a set of 9-foot metal barricades sometime late in the evening or early morning on May 5.
Shortly after noon, the Supreme Court police were still busy zip-tying placards to the barricades. Two officers had to walk behind a small crowd of shouting pro-abortion demonstrators.
“Area Closed by order of the Supreme Court Marshall,” the placards read.
A day ago, the court was separated from the public by waist-high movable fences small and light enough to jump over or knockdown. The new fence is large, heavy, and durable.
Although the Supreme Court’s police did not provide comment, several Washington police officers said the barricades were likely to prevent violence from reaching the Supreme Court.
The barricades were up “Just in case,” said officer Adams.
Adams said that so far, the protests haven’t been that bad. Although one pro-abortion protestor hit a pro-life protester last night, there hasn’t been any extreme violence in Washington.
“We had that one agitator, but that’s pretty normal,” he said.
Washington police are used to protests, he said. As the home of Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court, local officers see a wide variety of demonstrations.
Although there’s been a lot of shouting, the protests so far have mostly only been hard on people’s ears, he said.
“This doesn’t bother me,” Adams said. “It’s the drums. When they bring those up and they hit the drums, that rings in my head.”
So far, protests have been relatively small during the day, then much larger after 5 p.m. when people left work.
Overall, police remain uncertain how big the protests will become or how long they will continue, Adams said. It’s hard to draw conclusions from the first week.
“We don’t know what it’s gonna look like on the weekend either,” said Adams.
But the big moment for protests might be whenever the Supreme Court announces its final decision, Adams said. If the court chooses to decide as the leaked opinion suggests, it will be a monumental pro-life victory.
Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the majority opinion as authentic but said it didn’t represent a decision.
Pro-abortion protestors strongly oppose the leaked opinion.
“I can’t imagine if once they officially say it, then if it’s gonna get worse,” Adams said.
According to officer Parker, police started putting up the barricade around midnight. They started on the rear side of the Supreme Court building because protesters were also out late.
“I don’t really know why, but I’m guessing they plan on playing something out that’s not very cool,” said Parker.
Another officer agreed that the barricades were likely to hold back protesters.
“The one thing I could think is what’s going on now,” he said.
In front of the barricades, a group of pro-life protestors and a group of pro-abortion protesters stood outside the Supreme Court.
At first, the pro-life protesters stood closest to the wall. Then the pro-abortion protesters surrounded them and started yelling at them.
The pro-life protesters moved, ceding the pro-abortion protesters the space near the wall.
The pro-abortion protesters chanted loudly, while many of the pro-life protesters quietly prayed the rosary.
Several pro-life protesters with megaphones attempted to shout against the pro-abortion protesters, but the chanting was loud and consistent enough that they were mostly outmatched.
“Keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” the pro-abortion protesters chanted for minutes at a time.