(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: United States Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers opening remarks on crime gun intelligence during the Police Executive Forum, at the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) headquarters in Washington, DC,
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday that it was stepping up security for members of the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of an anticipated ruling by the high court that could scale back abortion rights.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the U.S. Marshals Service to provide additional support to the court’s existing police force, the Justice Department said. It did not provide further details.
Abortion-rights supporters have held protests outside the homes of at least three conservative members of the court since the leak of a draft opinion suggesting the court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that enshrined the right to abortion.
Protesters have also rallied outside the court building itself since the leak was published by Politico two weeks ago.
Justice Clarence Thomas, a member of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, said last week the court would not be “bullied.”
Polls show that a majority of Americans support the right to abortion. A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week found that 50% of Americans approved of the court, down from 57% in December 2021.
The Marshals Service, with 5,400 employees, is responsible for providing security at federal courts.
U.S. Justice Dept bolsters Supreme Court security ahead of abortion ruling