Fox News is reporting that multiple members of Congress have been arrested at an abortion rights protest on the Capitol grounds Tuesday afternoon. Protestors had gathered once more outside the Supreme Court building, and they were allegedly blocking traffic in the area. Capitol Police say they had previously warned the protestors to disperse or be detained.
While staff for both Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) have confirmed the arrest, there are those online who claim the confirmations are false.
Multiple tweets by Steven Crowder and the Hodge Twins claim that neither AOC nor Omar were actually arrested. They cite photos of the women without handcuffs as their source.
The Capitol Police also tweeted regarding the protest: “It is against the law to block traffic, so officers are going to give our standard three warnings before they start making arrests.”
A follow-up tweet later stated that due to protestors failing to remove themselves from the street, they would be making arrests. All total, the Capitol Police would arrest 34 people. Sixteen of those detained are said to be members of Congress.
A video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) shows the Congresswoman being led awy by the officers. The image shows AOC’s arms “crossed behind her back,” but one cannot determine whether she was handcuffed as no cuffs are visible in the image.
Another tweet from a reporter for a Michigan news outlet claims that both AOC and fellow “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were arrested at the protest. However, their staff has not released information that could either confirm or deny this claim.
Since a leaked draft opinion regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on a Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Center, was released, abortion rights activists have camped out daily in front of the Supreme Court building. The decision would later be confirmed in a June 30 official ruling. The opinion would give the ability to decide how abortion is carried out by each state.
Once the opinion was leaked, protestors flocked not only around Capital Hill, but they also protested at the homes of the more conservative Justices – Alito, Kavanaugh, Coney Barrett, and Gorsuch. Long-time Justice Clarence Thomas has also been a target of criticism, whether in opinion columns or by political pundits. Even Justice Roberts, who said he had conflicting feelings about the vote, has been subject to protestor harassment. A fence has been erected around the Supreme Court building, and, after the final ruling was handed down, the Justices were provided with extra security.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the subject of an attempted assassination plot. However, the would-be assailant called the police before he stepped on Kavanaugh’s property. The alleged perpetrator had flown from his home in California to carry out the crime, but turned himself in before going through with it. Local police would assist in taking the man in with the help of federal marshals. The man would later tell investigators that he was upset by the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and he intended to kill “a certain Supreme Court Justice” before decisions on guns and abortion were handed down.
By the end of June, the Supreme Court would officially rule on the MS abortion case, which overturned Roe v. Wade, a case that had previously deemed abortion a constitutional right. A New York gun rights case ruling also appears to support the Second Amendment. Prior to the ruling, a citizen of the state of New York could only get a concealed carry permit if that person showed “cause” for the permit. The Court ruled that citizens need not show cause, and the state law was a violation of the Second Amendment.
Many legal scholars said that the protests were a violation of a law that says protestors should not work to influence the decision of a federal judge, particularly by intimidation. Protestors continue to gather on Capital Hill, nearly three weeks after the ruling.
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