By Seth Cutler
Article Source

It is illegal under federal law to try to affect a judge’s ruling or interfere with the discharge of their duty. However, the Department of Justice has thus far refused to interfere with demonstrators outside the homes of several Supreme Court justices, including Justices Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh. While the DOJ has provided security at the justices’ homes, they have allowed protests and picketing to continue unimpeded.

John Daukas, retired Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, told Fox News that the ongoing pressure from activists for an as-of-yet unreleased decision is a clear violation of federal law.

“It certainly is illegal,” Daukas told Fox News Digital. “And it is right there in the sweet spot of the statute.”

According to 18 U.S. Code § 1507: “Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”

The law, Draukas says, “is designed exactly to prevent people from intimidating, harassing, or influencing any judge.”

The 1507 statute was put into law on Sept. 23, 1950, to curb public intimidation of judges ruling on the legality of Jim Crow laws. The federal government at the time aimed to curb the influence on judicial review of laws implemented during reconstruction.

“The judiciary is supposed to ignore public sentiment and public opinion and follow the law and do what the law says,”

Draukas told Fox News Digital. “And that’s their job. And that’s why it’s not okay to intimidate judges or harass judges. In other words, there is no reason — there’s no legitimate reason — to try to influence a judge by picketing and so forth, because the judge is not supposed to listen to that kind of thing.”

Daukas went on to suggest that a subject this important and in the public eye would be handled by at least the attorney general.

“I’ve worked with many, many, really terrific, wonderful people at the Department of Justice who were dedicated civil servants. And there are a tremendous number of great people there. But, you know, policy starts from the top here. And I think this is all coming from the White House and then down to the attorney general, who’s the one who sets the policy and the priorities.”