WASHINGTON—The Oversight Project announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the agency’s failure to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted earlier this year. The requests sought documents and communications regarding the recent intimidatory protests carried out by radical abortion supporters outside the homes of Supreme Court justices in the wake of the leaked Dobbs draft decision and later the court’s official ruling in the case.
The Oversight Project specially focused on 18 U.S.C. § 1507, a statue which bars certain protests at courthouses and justices’ residences designed to influence their decisions. Individuals have been prosecuted under Section 1507 as recently as several years ago, when the statue was used against protestors who disrupted Supreme Court oral arguments.
The Oversight Project requested records from various offices within the Department of Justice, including the Office of the Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Following the leak of the draft decision, radical abortion supporters appear to have violated state and federal law by protesting outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, with Maryland police even arresting a man who claimed he was going to attempt to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Administration officials failed to publicly condemn the behavior for days, and still have not prosecuted those who seem to have broken the law.
The Oversight Project requested documents and communications from the DOJ earlier this year. The initial request was ignored by the Biden administration, in violation of the FOIA statute. Plaintiffs filed another request. The department repeatedly missed deadlines on that request, as well. However, they did grant the request “expedited processing,” meaning it is entitled to faster processing than most “regular” requests. Despite this, the Oversight Project has heard nothing from DOJ about either request for well over a month.
Roman Jankowski, senior investigative counsel for the Oversight Project, released the following statement upon filing of the lawsuit:
“The Biden DOJ’s silence on these radical protests and obviously intimidating tactics was, and remains to be, deafening. The American people deserve to know why Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland not only refused to publicly and unequivocally condemn this behavior, but also why they continue not to prosecute or hold accountable those who facially broke the law in an attempt to influence the proceedings of the Supreme Court. We think there are answers to those questions in the documents we have requested, and we have a right by law to those documents.”
To see what these radical protests looked like, check out the Daily Signal’s exclusive coverage here.
Read the Oversight Project’s lawsuit here.