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Rep. Raul Grijalva took the low road in refusing to protect Supreme Court families

AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
 2022-06-16

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Within the next two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a ruling that could light a powder keg in America.

A leaked early draft opinion , indicating the justices are preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, was enough to prompt a 26-year-old California office manager to plot murder. That, and a belief that the conservative court would loosen gun laws.

In the wee hours of June 8, police say the man took a cab to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home after finding his address on the internet. He brought with him a gun, a knife, pepper spray, duct tape, zip ties and a crowbar, among other things.

Fortunately, sanity kicked in and the man called 911 to turn himself in.

Six days later, against a backdrop of rising threats to Supreme Court justices, Congress passed a bill to provide expanded security to Supreme Court justices and their families.

The Supreme Court Police Parity Act breezed through the House on Tuesday, passing on a 396-27 vote.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva was among the 27 Democrats who voted no. (The bill earlier passed the Senate on a unanimous vote.)

Grijalva tried, and failed, to take the high road

Grijalva grappled to claim the high ground in voting with other liberal Democrats to deny protection to the husbands and wives and children of the justices. He didn’t quite reach it.

I am concerned at the speed which Republicans are willing to act to protect the Supreme Court, but not the lives of children from gun violence,” he said, in a written statement to The Arizona Republic’s Tara Kavaler.

So, because Republicans have shamelessly refused to pass any gun reforms to try to protect children, Grijalva refused to provide additional protections to the Supreme Court justices who face the chilling prospect of attack?

If that doesn’t fly, how about this one?

Looking ahead: What would a ban on abortion in Arizona look like?

“The Supreme Court justices would continue to have federal protection without this legislation,” Grijalva continued. “I voted against the Senate version of the bill because it did not go far enough to extend protections to Supreme Court justice employees and the rest of federal bench.”

So, because the bill doesn’t extend protection to the Supreme Court's staff and to lower-court federal judges, Grijalva voted against expanding Supreme Court protection on the eve of a ruling that is sure to provoke rage from sea to seething sea?

Justices' families could easily be targeted

Just last month, a molotov cocktail was tossed into the headquarters of an anti-abortion group in Madison, Wis. A message was scrawled onto a wall by a group calling itself Jane’s Revenge: “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”

Earlier this month, a pro-life Christian pregnancy center in Buffalo, N.Y., was firebombed and a message painted onto the wall: “Jane Was Here.”

Earlier this week, a pregnancy resource center in Des Moines, Iowa, was attacked and vandalized.

Jane’s Revenge has targeted crisis pregnancy centers and anti-abortion groups in at least seven states and Washington, D.C.

Is it really a stretch to think terrorists would target the home or the family of a Supreme Court justice who votes to overturn Roe?

It’s not, which makes Grijalva’s vote all the more outrageous.

I'm going to take the high road here and presume that Grijalva's vote wasn't political payback. That he would have voted the same way were it the liberal contingent of the court that is under fire.

It should be beyond dispute that the men and women who are the ultimate arbiters of what is constitutional and what is not ought not have to fear for their lives or the lives of their loved ones as they consider these highly charged cases that could transform America.

Whether we agree with that transformation or not.

Grijalva is right that protections should be extended to federal judges and their families when warranted. But to use that as the excuse to hold off on expanding protections to the Supreme Court on the eve of an abortion ruling that is likely to ignite America?

That’s just wrong, Rep. Grijalva.

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com . Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts .

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Rep. Raul Grijalva took the low road in refusing to protect Supreme Court families

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