Montgomery County police in Maryland are warning the public that officers will enforce laws against disturbing the peace at protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices.
On its website Wednesday night, Montgomery County police posted the following message:
“The Montgomery County Department of Police is committed to preserving the First Amendment rights of all individuals. There are content-neutral Montgomery County Code and Maryland Law provisions that restrict protesting and assembling in a private neighborhood, as well as disturbing the peace.”
Maryland’s common laws that affect protests and disruptive assemblies include:
- A person may not willfully and without lawful purpose obstruct or hinder the free passage of another in a public place.
- A person may not willfully act in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public peace.
- A person may not willfully fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order that a law enforcement officer makes to prevent a disturbance to the public peace.
- A person who enters the land or premises of another, whether an owner or lessee, or a beach adjacent to residential riparian property, may not willfully … disturb the peace of persons on the land, premises by making an unreasonably loud noise, or act in a disorderly manner.
- A person from any location may not, by making an unreasonably loud noise, willfully disturb the peace of another … on the other’s land or premises, in a public place.
In early May, after Politico leaked an initial majority draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito — which had been rumored to be a strike-down of the Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973 — abortion rights activists began showing up outside the homes of the Supreme Court’s conservative-leaning justices.
On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade by a 5-4 decision.
According to Axios, roughly 20 officers from Montgomery County and the U.S. Marshals Service are outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house, monitoring the situation.
Last month, police arrested a man with a loaded gun (a semi-automatic Glock 17 pistol) outside Kavanaugh’s Maryland home.
On Wednesday night, the Twitter handle @LiteraryMouse provided an update outside Kavanaugh’s home — from the protesters’ perspective.
“We’re here at Kavanaugh’s to fight for our basic right to bodily autonomy.
“Tonight, Montgomery County Police are telling us we cannot chant, drum, or make any loud noise as we exercise our First Amendment Rights.”