FBI says it 'will not tolerate violence' ahead of Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision

Justices have been targeted in recent weeks as tension grows around abortion rights.

Updated: June 11, 2022 - 4:05pm

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week issued a pointed warning that it would work to prosecute any acts of violence committed surrounding the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade anticipated later this month. 

In a joint statement with U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI's Washington Field Office said that the two agencies are "committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans to express their views peacefully during demonstrations that take place on a regular basis in the nation’s capital, including at the Supreme Court."

"We also have a responsibility to ensure public safety and the orderly conduct of government business," the statement continued. "We will not tolerate violence, destruction, interference with government functions, or trespassing on government property. We are committed to working closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to stop any individuals who intend to commit violence or criminal activity under the guise of carrying out a demonstration.”

The statement comes as tensions surrounding American abortion rights are coming to a head. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling later this month that will overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that nationalized abortion rights in the United States. 

A leak of that decision last month—an unprecedented security breach of the Supreme Court—ignited fiery backlash from abortion rights supporters and praise from anti-abortion activists. 

Activists have in recent weeks been taking protests to the homes of Supreme Court justices; the controversy reached a fever pitch this week when an individual was reportedly arrested en route to assassinate the Trump-appointed justice Brett Kavanaugh.