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Rand Paul wants lie detector to find who leaked shock Supreme Court memo on plans to overturn Roe v Wade

Right has accused leaker of inciting violence

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Friday 20 May 2022 00:57 BST
Rand Paul calls for lie detector test to find Roe v Wade leaker.mp4

Senator Rand Paul wants the Supreme Court to administer a lie-detector test to find out who leaked a draft decision that would overturn the landmark abortion ruling in Roe v Wade.

“I’d ask them, under oath, and with a lie-detector test, did you leak this document?” the Kentucky Republican told Fox News on Thursday, “Because this shouldn’t happen. Liberal or conservative, we don’t want violence, but we also don’t want somebody working at the Supreme Court who is a liar and who is dishonest.”

A variety of Republican legislators and commentators have argued that the leaked opinion is a left-wing attempt to intimidate or even cause violence against the Court’s conservative majority.

“It’s not just a breach of decorum that they leaked this Roe decision early. This is really about somebody instigating and trying to foment violence,” Mr Paul added, condemning as well the peaceful protests that have occurred outside of some Justices’ homes in recent days following the leak.

Justice Clarence Thomas said at a recent event that conservatives themselves “didn’t throw temper tantrums” and “would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way.”

Mr Paul’s stance on rooting out political violence, real and imagined, is somewhat inconsistent. Though he was among the Republicans who condemned the 6 January breach of the US Capitol by Trump supporters to stop the certification of the 2020 election, he also voted against a congressional investigation into the riots. He also attended a “Save America Summit” at one of Donald Trump’s golf resorts hosted by the group that organised the fiery rally that directly preceded the riots.

Last week, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill providing police protection to the families of Supreme Court Justices.

On Wednesday, Department of Justice and Supreme Court officials met to discuss security following the leak and the protests. The DOJ has authorised the US Marshals to provide “around-the-clock security” at the homes of all Justices.

“The rise of violence and unlawful threats of violence directed at those who serve the public is unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement of the meetings. “I want to be clear: while people vote, argue, and debate in a democracy, we must not – we cannot – allow violence or unlawful threats of violence to permeate our national life. The Justice Department will not tolerate violence or threats of violence against judges or any other public servants at work, home, or any other location.”

Some have argued its a violation of federal and local law to protest directly outside of Justice’s homes, though speech law contains some ambiguities about when it’s ok to protest the judicial process. For instance, the Supreme Court has upheld the right to protest outside of the court’s chambers.

Others have defended the protests.

“There’s protests three, four times a week outside my house,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier this month. “The American way to peacefully protest is okay.”

Though the protests have thus far been peaceful, a leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security suggests security officials are worried about an increase in violence toward Justices, public officials, clergy, and health providers following the likely end of Roe.

Threats are “likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling,” the memo reads, Axios reports.

As the Supreme Court deliberates, the court’s mashal is investigating the source of the leak.

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