Editorial: Pro-choice activists’ tactics against restaurant judges hinder cause | Editorial


By the Editorial Board

In a disturbing new trend that all serious abortion rights activists should immediately condemn, a pro-choice group is offering online payouts to restaurant staff who scout conservative Supreme Court justices at area restaurants. Washington and warn protesters so they can harass the judges. It’s hard to overstate how counterproductive such tactics are to the legitimate cause of restoring women’s biological rights – a cause that is bound to lose mainstream support with sweeping and provocative stunts like this.

The Supreme Court majority fury that overturned Roe v. Wade last month is real and justified. The New Majority zealously eviscerated Roe at the earliest opportunity, putting its own ideological agenda above a woman’s equal right to control her body, above respect for established law, and above opinion. of a clear majority of Americans. They undermined the right to self-determination and endangered the health and lives of countless women and girls across much of America. The High Court richly deserves its profound and probably lasting loss of legitimacy across the country.

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But no one deserves to be chased out of a restaurant by a mob, no matter how justified. That’s what happened recently to Judge Brett Kavanaugh at Morton’s the Steakhouse, a toney restaurant in the District of Columbia. When the restaurant later issued a statement defending Kavanaugh’s right to eat there without being harassed, protesters harassed the restaurant chain itself, with online trolling and a flood of bogus reservations made under wacky names.

These are cheap plays that rob a valid and important protest movement. More worrying is the organized effort by pro-choice activists to offer bonuses to restaurant workers who tell the group about the Conservative justice watch at their tables, so protesters can be sent there. As The Washington Post reports, the group (we refrain from naming him here, to avoid helping spread their dangerous campaign) is offering $50 to restaurant staff who alert them to a judge’s sighting, and $200 $ if justice is still there when the protesters arrive. . If violence ensues, do they receive a bounty?

The response from the Biden administration should be a clear and unequivocal rejection of these tactics. Instead, he offered mixed messages. Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg told an interviewer: ‘Any public figure should always, always be safe from violence, bullying and harassment, but should never be safe from criticism or persons exercising their First Amendment rights.”

But these tactics are bullying and harassment, and could lead to violence. The appropriate place to protest this and other contempts of the Supreme Court is at the ballot box. The ongoing struggle for abortion rights is too crucial to allow it to be commandeered by those who will undermine its legitimacy and drive out its allies.

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