Just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade, handing the power to make abortion laws back to the states, protests continued on June 25 outside the Supreme Court building and, later in the evening, outside the homes of Republican-appointed justices.
In the sweltering afternoon weather, demonstrators who opposed the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization held handmade signs and voiced shock and outrage in a series of interviews with The Epoch Times.
“It feels like being treated as not a full citizen,” said Dina, a protester who held a sign reading “Alito and Thomas Revel in Their Cruelty," referring to Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
Sam Goldman, a 35-year-old kindergarten teacher from Philadelphia, called the ruling and the Supreme Court "illegitimate." She suggested that any abortion bans were akin to "forced motherhood."
Protesters Call to Pack the CourtNumerous protesters encountered by The Epoch Times explicitly advocated for packing the Supreme Court with additional justices.
Zoe Warren, 19, a student organizer at the University of Washington from Bethesda, Maryland, said she believes that the court should have four more justices to match the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals that now exist.
Ben, a protester who wore a mask while speaking with The Epoch Times, said he believes that the Supreme Court doesn't fully represent the people. He held a sign reading “Expand the Court” and another sign reading “We Demand Bodily Autonomy.”
“We have a responsibility as a country to make sure that our Supreme Court actually is representative of the people, and right now that’s not the case. There’s like six Supreme Court justices right now that represent a minority of the American people,” he said.
He also said he had been to Black Lives Matter protests and abortion protests in the past, as well as the 2016 Women’s March.
Ben was accompanied by his 3-month-old son: “His first protest.”
The Supreme Court voted 6–3 on June 24 to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion 15 weeks after pregnancy. The vote strikes down the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, as well as a 1992 decision known as Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The Roe v. Wade ruling had, for decades, enabled abortions for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy nationwide. The Casey decision had reaffirmed the Roe ruling and prohibited laws that place an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion. With the repealing of Roe and Casey, lawmaking powers pertaining to abortion return to states.
Small, Vocal Protest Outside Chief Justice Roberts’s HouseAn hour before dark on June 24, in the affluent Maryland suburbs of Washington, a mixture of Montgomery County Police and U.S. Marshals stood guard near the home of Chief Justice John Roberts.
The leafy street was silent. The protesters, as it turned out, were protesting near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house, located about a half-mile away through a sea of mostly Democratic or left-leaning yard signs, flags, and other political signifiers.
Roberts and Kavanaugh are among the six originalist justices to uphold Mississippi's abortion law in Dobbs v. Jackson. Kavanaugh also joined four of his colleagues in overturning Roe v. Wade altogether.
Although Roberts took the position that Roe should be upheld, he was still among the targets of "Ruth Sent Us," a pro-abortion group leading protests outside those six justices’ homes in the greater Washington area.
In a June 24 post on Twitter, the group asked protesters to “start at all #SCOTUS6” on June 25, listing the names and slightly anonymized physical addresses of Justices Alito, Roberts, Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Kavanaugh.
Protesters say their rallying near justices’ houses is fully protected under the First Amendment, although critics have said such protests violate a federal statute against the intimidation of judges through “picketing or parading.”
The protests started in May, after a draft of the Dobbs decision was leaked and before the ruling had formally been made. The leaker of that draft opinion still hasn’t been identified.
By dusk, 15 or so demonstrators had reached Roberts’ house—enough to briefly swell a crosswalk.
“I’m very upset with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision,” one of the protesters, Zelda MacFarland, told The Epoch Times.
Another protester, Cassandra Mendell, told The Epoch Times that she was inspired to protest by her “AFAB [assigned female at birth] child.”
“As my child, who has a uterus, stated to me, ‘What if I were raped?’” she said, as the nearby shouts of “[Expletive] you, Roberts!” intensified.
Mendell suggested that concerns about judicial intimidation were overblown.
“People are just walking up and down the street making their opinion known. I mean, people walk down the street and talk all the time,” she said. “Obviously, it hasn’t done anything to intimidate them.”
Protests Turn EdgierBy 10 p.m., the demonstration outside the Supreme Court was smaller, but edgier. Multiple men could be seen in all black, wearing balaclavas—the signature garments of Antifa’s Black Bloc and other militant left-wing groups known for stoking violence at protests.
Classical music was either being played live or piped in via speakers from the Court—the same tactic that 7-Eleven gas stations in high-crime areas use to deter loitering.
Chaos erupted over an interaction by law enforcement with at least one male protester. Some people said they heard that the protester had been arrested or detained, while another man told The Epoch Times that he had been released.
“They just escorted him out," the man said.
A small group of protesters, including the men in all black, were seen chasing law enforcement who they said had ejected a protester. The group of protesters shouted, “Let him go!” over and over again.
A few minutes later, they ran off again, shouting that their friend had, in fact, been released. They soon discovered that it was the wrong person.
The Epoch Times reached out to the D.C. Metro Police for comment on the claims regarding the ejection of a protester, but didn't receive a response by press time.
“I would like to believe that the police are here to help protect us,” one female speaker holding a microphone said, only to be interrupted by boos and laughs from the crowd.
"They just protected the white man,” another protester cut in.
The woman responded, “That’s also what I think.”
At one point, a grizzled anti-circumcision protester also jumped into the fray, only to be roundly shouted down by the crowd.