UPDATED 4:40 PM PT – Saturday, July 9, 2022
The White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was grilled by a reporter on the White House’s stance on abortion rights protesters accosting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at a restaurant this week. Pierre said “it’s ok” for abortion rights protesters to accost Supreme Court justices.
During a Friday press conference, she was asked by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy if President Joe Biden found it appropriate for protesters to “intimidate Supreme Court justices when they’re out to eat.” Pierre asserted that the administration condemns the intimidation of judges and added that the administration had drawn the line as to which actions against judges would be permitted. She noted that protesters organizing outside of restaurants was well within the guidelines. Her response lead Doocy to push the issue further. He questioned if there was anywhere where she doesn’t think it’s appropriate to go.
“We have been pretty clear on this,” Pierre stated. “The president has been very clear that we condemn any intimidation of judges in this specific question here. He has signed legislation making sure they have the protection that they need.”
The secretary once again sidestepped the question and asserted that the administration condemned ”intimidation” but noted that demonstrators should be permitted to peacefully protest anywhere.
“If protesters know a justice is out to eat at a restaurant then they can go and protest as long as they are what you consider peaceful?” Doocy questioned.
“Well we have said that what we want to see is peaceful protest,” the secretary voiced. “That’s what we have said. We want to see protests that are peaceful but when it comes to intimidation that is something we have condemned.”
The reporter went on to ask whether justices were afforded the same rights to privacy as anyone else. He questioned whether the protesters even had the right to be there.
“People have the right, this is what a Democracy is,” she said. “Of course. People have a right to privacy, but they also have a right to be able to protest peacefully.”
Karine Jean-Pierre on Brett Kavanaugh being forced out of a DC restaurant by protesters over his opinion:
"This is what a democracy is."
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 8, 2022
Doocy was unsatisfied with Pierre’s response and questioned whether allowing protesters to follow justices around could potentially create a dangerous situation for them. He also claimed that protesters would likely ”be angry.” The White House Press Secretary went on to repeat her previous answer to the reporter.
The discourse comes after Kavanaugh was forced to escape through a back door of a restaurant in Washington.