Out White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to respond to a Fox News reporter’s questions about the president’s position on protests of Supreme Court justices, but when it became apparent that he just wanted to argue for Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s “right to privacy” at restaurants, she shut him down.
Fox’s Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre about a protest that occurred outside the Morton’s Steakhouse restaurant in D.C. last Wednesday in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and ending the federal right to an abortion in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision last month. Kavanaugh was eating in the restaurant at the time.
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In that decision, the Court held that there is no right to privacy in the U.S. and therefore the government may interfere with pregnant people’s bodily autonomy and compel them to carry a fetus to term. Kavanaugh voted with the majority in that decision.
Doocy started by asking Jean-Pierre, “Does the president think it’s appropriate for abortion rights protesters to intimidate Supreme Court justices when they’re out to eat, like Brett Kavanaugh, who had to sneak out of a steakhouse last night?”
“We have been pretty clear on this, the president has been very clear, that we condemn any intimidation of judges in this specific question here,” Jean-Pierre responded. “We have condemned that.”
Doocy and Jean-Pierre went back and forth a bit with Doocy pressing her to condemn protests at homes and restaurants and wanting to know what places Biden approves or condemns protesting, while Jean-Pierre kept on repeating that the issue is whether protests are peaceful or not, not about their general locations.
“So these justices, because protesters do not agree with an opinion that they signed on to, have no right to privacy, is what you’re saying?” Doocy asked.
Jean-Pierre responded that people have a right to “protest peacefully,” but Doocy kept on demanding that she condemn the peaceful protestors exercising their First Amendment rights because they were “creating a potential really bad situation” because “they’re angry.”
“The president has signed legislation that was passed bipart- in a bipartisan way in Congress to make sure that the judges have the protection that they need,” Jean-Pierre said. “So we have shown how we want to make sure that intimidation and violence is not the way to go.”
“I’m done here, Peter.”
Fox News’ Peter Doocy spends his entire questioning time during the White House press briefing asking about Justice Brett Kavanaugh sneaking out of a restaurant to avoid protesters.
Doocy: “These justices … have no right to privacy?” pic.twitter.com/z6rDyLhdSH
— The Recount (@therecount) July 8, 2022