(TargetLiberty.org) – Last year, the U.S. Marshals Service, who had been dispatched to protect the homes of Supreme Court Justices, were told to refrain from arrests “unless absolutely necessary,” according to training documents which were obtained by Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala, office.
In one segment of the training document, it notes that arrests needed to be avoided “unless absolutely necessary” especially when they involved protesters in public spaces. A whistleblower “concerned about the attorney general’s misleading testimony before the Judiciary Committee” gave the document to Britt’s office according to a spokesperson.
Attorney General Merrick Garland had been the one to assign the U.S. Marshals Service to protect the homes of Supreme Court Justice following the lead of the decision in the Dobbs case which overturned Roe v. Wade. The leak led to a number of protests breaking out.
Conservatives have argued that the protestors violated federal law which blocks protests from taking place outside of Justice’s house in order to influence the decision on a case. Garland had previously claimed that the U.S. Marshals had “full authority to arrest people under any federal statute, including that federal statute.”
The training materials however showed that the Department of Justice lawyers had decided that if the statute is applied during a peaceful protest, it could be seen as a direct violation of the First Amendment. They specifically note in the training material that “the ‘intent of influencing any judge’ language thus logically goes to threats and intimidation” and not the peaceful protest activities protected by the first amendment.
During the congressional hearing on Tuesday, Britt asked Garland about the document, which Garland claimed to have never seen before.
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