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Senators condemn protest at Kavanaugh’s home after Texas abortion law allowed to take effect

Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post)

Senators from both political parties on Tuesday criticized an abortion rights demonstration outside the home of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh a night prior.

A group of about 50 people gathered at his residence in the D.C. suburbs to protest the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to block a Texas law banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and called for Kavanaugh’s resignation.

Speaking at the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) called the protests “another blatant attempt to intimidate the judiciary” and anyone who “disagrees with the radical agenda.”

He was joined in his denunciation by Democratic senators Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.), who said those unhappy with the court’s action should express themselves at the ballot box or outside the courthouse.

Durbin called it “absolutely unacceptable to involve any major public figure’s family or their home” in the “name of freedom of speech.” There are “proper venues to express yourself,” he said. Leahy condemned the effort to “try to intimidate” Kavanaugh’s family.

Analysis: Supreme Court order on Texas abortion ban shows threat to Roe v. Wade

On Monday night, abortion rights advocates carried a banner with the message “Repro Freedom for All” and signs calling for Kavanaugh’s resignation as they convened outside the justice’s home, according to a report from WTOP.

A spokesperson for the Supreme Court declined to comment.

The protesters object to the court’s ruling last week to allow the Texas law to take effect while litigation continues. In a 5-4 order, the court’s conservative majority — including Kavanaugh — said there are “serious questions” about the law’s constitutionality. The measure allows private individuals to sue anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion after the six-week mark.

But the court’s majority said the abortion providers and advocates who had challenged the law could not show they were suing the right people.

The Biden administration subsequently sued the state of Texas to try to block the law that it says conflicts with the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision that guarantees the right to abortion before viability, typically between 22 and 24 weeks. The Justice Department has asked a federal judge in Austin to issue an injunction blocking the law’s enforcement.