Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose statement that he and the Justice Department take threats against Supreme Court justices “extraordinarily seriously” is in question, has been summoned by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to testify on the matter before a Judiciary Committee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a hearing for Tuesday.
Scheduling the hearing was initiated by Cruz who sent a letter to committee chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., requesting that Garland appear before the Committee to “detail the steps the Department of Justice is taking to protect our Supreme Court justices in the wake of an unprecedented harassment and intimidation campaign,” according to Fox News.
Cruz has argued that the lax commitment to protecting conservative justices is unacceptable, noting that statute 18 U.S.C. 1507 criminalizes attempts to influence, endanger, or intimidate a judge.
18 U.S.V. 1507 was ratified in September 1950 — enacted to ensure that judges enjoy “freedom to exercise their judicial power free from outside influence or intimidation.”
Cruz also noted that Article III of the U.S. Constitution guarantees judicial protection.
Despite these judicial provisions, however, Cruz argues that the Justice Department has done little to stop the harassment and threats conservative justices have received following recent rulings.
Cruz wrote: “Unfortunately, despite clear evidence that federal law was violated by mobs of protesters at the Justices’ homes, the head of the Department of Justice, and chief law enforcement officer of the United States, flatly refused to enforce federal law.”
Cruz noted the Supreme Court Marshal petitioned Maryland and Virginia officials to “enforce laws that prohibit picketing outside the homes of the Justices who live in the two states.”
Cruz noted that the governors contacted the Justice Department, but to no avail.
“The governors of Virginia and Maryland called upon Attorney General Garland to ‘enforce the law as it is written,’” Cruz’ letter stated.
“Attorney General Garland … has ignored such calls, doing so with near-tragic results.” Cruz added.
The Daily Beast reports that a Social Justice Group is offering $200 to those who report sightings of conservative justices — ostensibly, so mobs can be notified and urged to harass them.
Cruz noted in his interview with Fox:
“Intimidation attempts have also occurred at the homes of Justice Alito, Justice Thomas, Justice Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts. In response to these threats, Attorney General Garland merely stated, ‘The Justice Department will not tolerate violence or threats of violence against judges or any other public servants at work, home or any other location.’”
Cruz added: “Attorney General Garland’s refusal to act, however, calls into question the sincerity of this statement.”
In May, a spokesperson for chairman Dick Durbin, said:
“Chair Durbin has been clear that we must condemn all violence and threats of violence against public officials in the strongest possible terms—regardless of whether it comes from the right or the left.”
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