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Video: New 8-foot barriers erected at Supreme Court amid growing protests

Fence erected around the U.S. Supreme Court. (Army National Guard photo by Capt. Joe Legros)
May 05, 2022

Crews erected new high fencing outside the Supreme Court late night Wednesday as protests have raged on in the days after a leaked Supreme Court document revealed the majority of justices had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Local Capitol Hill reporter Mitchell Miller posted a video showing the newly installed taller, non-scalable barriers.

The fence is reportedly 8-feet high and appears to be the same as the one erected around federal buildings after the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

A tractor-trailer was spotted delivering the fence late Wednesday night.

Shorter barriers were previously set up around the building

Hundreds of protesters who swarmed the Court in the hours after the leak on Monday had approached the barriers and leaned over them.

By Tuesday, the protests had grown significantly in size.

Demonstrations included loud chanting and some tense encounters with anti-abortion demonstrators, but have so far remained peaceful around the Court.

Protests also erupted in cities nationwide, and one protest in downtown Los Angeles escalated into violence with two police officers hurt after protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers.

A breach of the Supreme Court’s long-held tradition of secrecy toward deliberations is rare. While some have reacted in outrage and support of the opinion itself, others – including members of Congress – reacted in outrage over the implications of the leak itself, such as on trust in the Court.

On Tuesday, Roberts had confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft, and ordered an investigation into the leak.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” Roberts said in a statement. “We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce — permanent employees and law clerks alike — intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court.”

 “This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” he added.

In the 98-page leaked “1st Draft” opinion dated Feb. 10, 2022, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “must be overruled.” He added that “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

The draft opinion confronts the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that challenges Mississippi’s law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

A source close to Supreme Court deliberations told Politico that Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett had voted alongside Alito.

Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were working on dissents to the opinion, the source added. It was unclear whether Chief Justice John Roberts had voted.