The Department of Homeland Security warned in a memorandum of possible increased violence related to the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in a Mississippi case that could redefine Americans’ access to abortion.
“The volume of violent threats targeting Supreme Court Justices, members of Congress, other public officials, clergy, healthcare officials and providers, and others associated with the abortion debate are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling,” the DHS memorandum, dated May 13, reads, according to CBS News.
The document, titled “Potential for Threats to Public Safety in Response to Abortion Debate,” has been circulated to state and local law enforcement across the country, CBS reported.
The memorandum noted an increase in threats against reproductive health care facilities, and social media posts suggesting “burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering Justices and their clerks, members of Congress, and lawful demonstrators.”
The national debate on abortion was reignited after a draft Supreme Court majority opinion striking down the court’s 50-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision was published by Politico earlier this month.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court’s conservative majority, according to Politico.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito continued.
If the court’s official ruling hews to Alito’s draft, 26 states are set to fully ban the procedure.
The ruling is expected within the next two months. The case before the court is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, focused on a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortion after 15 weeks. Roe guarantees the right to abortion until a fetus is deemed viable, estimated at 24 weeks.
The draft has stirred abortion-rights activists to protest the draft’s assault on a constitutional right. Protesters gathered outside the homes of conservative justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts following the leak.
Justice Clarence Thomas denounced the protests, saying conservatives would never use such tactics.
“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way,” Thomas told an audience in Dallas last week. “We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately and not to repay tit for tat.”