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EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans are putting pressure on the Department of Justice to take action against violent activists who have targeted crisis pregnancy centers and places of worship in an attempt to intimidate pro-life Americans and justices.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, is leading Republicans in this charge, telling Fox News Digital that it is a “shame” that DOJ “will not act” and protect Supreme Court justices and pro-life centers.
“This Department of Justice has shown that it is at the highest levels very political,” Buck said. “It has targeted parents attending school board meetings. It has used the FBI to target these parents, and yet it has completely ignored statutes that are on the books that are intended to protect judges and the independence of the judiciary.”
The congressman referenced federal U.S. code 1507, that says anyone who “pickets or parades” with the “intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer” near a U.S. court or “near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” will be fined, or “imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
Anti-abortion activists participate in2 the 49th annual March for Life as they march past the U.S. Supreme Court on January 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. The rally draws activists from around the country who are calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
“This is a really serious violation of federal law, and they should take it seriously,” said Buck, referring to mobs of protestors who have frequently gathered outside the justices’ homes following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that stated the court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Just last week, an armed man was taken into custody outside Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland with the alleged intent of assassinating the justice, stemming from anger over the draft leak’s anticipated overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“I’m concerned about the threats against the Supreme Court justices. I’m concerned about the ability of these organized crime units across the country to act in a concerted way to threaten Americans. And I think the federal government has a role in stopping this. It failed to do it before, and it shouldn’t fail to do it again,” Buck told Fox News Digital.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Nicholas Roske, the man who was charged with his assassination attempt. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Facebook) (Getty Images/Facebook)
Since the leak, a group called “Jane’s Revenge” has claimed responsibility in recent weeks for more than a dozen attacks against crisis pregnancy centers and declared it is “open season” on pro-life centers.
Buck told Fox News Digital that although he doesn’t know much about the specific group, he guesses that Jane’s Revenge is “just a new name for an old group of people who are hell-bent on creating a violent atmosphere and trying to intimidate those who disagree with them politically.”
He also said that the Republicans plan to pressure Democratic leadership in the House to hold hearings on attacks on pro-life centers. And if they don’t, Buck promised that Republican lawmakers will hold hearings after the 2022 midterm elections, when he expects the GOP will retake the majority in Congress.
WASHINGTON D.C. – JUNE 21: Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court Tuesday ahead of possible announcement on Dobbs v. Jackson (Photo by Joshua Comins/Fox News)
Buck is planning to send a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland by the end of the week, warning that this “tide of violence” will continue after the court’s official opinion in Dobbs is released. The rule is expected by early July.
In the letter reviewed by Fox News Digital, Buck juxtaposes the Biden administration, which has yet to take action to stop action of illegal intimidation, with the former Clinton administration, which made it a federal crime to destroy abortion clinics, including those with pregnancy services, or places of worship.
“The assault on pro-life Americans’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religion must be stopped,” the letter to Garland will state.
Original co-signers joining Buck include GOP Reps. Greg Steube of Florida, Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Bill Posey of Florida, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Brian Babin of Texas and Burgess Owens of Utah.
DOJ did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. The FBI last week told Fox News that it is investigating the crimes against pro-life centers.
Kelly Laco is a politics editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Kelly.Laco@Fox.com and on Twitter: @kelly_laco.