The Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm focusing on religious liberty, is threatening to sue protesters who harass religious worshipers and those who hold demonstrations on the steps of the nation’s churches in the wake of a leaked draft majority opinion by the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
The law firm made its intentions known in a May 6 letter (pdf) directed to a shadowy group calling itself Ruth Sent Us, which has been targeting churches and Supreme Court justices’ homes.
Although the letter does not accuse Ruth Sent Us of specific crimes, it notes that since “the police brutality protests” of mid-2020 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has identified “129 incidents of vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes directed at Catholics.”
Ruth Sent Us claims to be inspired by the late liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, 2020, and was replaced on the court by conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Ginsburg “spent her entire life moving the needle towards justice for all,” the group says on its website.
“Our 6-3 extremist Supreme Court routinely issues rulings that hurt women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights. We must rise up to force accountability using a diversity of tactics,” the website continues.
Ruth Sent Us is also offering money for sympathetic artwork.
“Are you a muralist or chalk artist? Are you a graphic designer who would like to contribute remotely? Large-scale art will be included in the protests against the Supreme Court. Stipends available,” the site states.
The draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would uphold Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which allows abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation only for medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality. The document has been welcomed by conservatives and constitutionalists but has become a lightning rod for the left. Well-funded abortion lobbies have mobilized protesters around the Supreme Court building, which increased its security to deal with potential threats. There have been protests nationwide, including at houses of worship on Mother’s Day and at the homes of Supreme Court justices.
The White House has refused to condemn both the unprecedented leak of the high court’s work product and the targeting by demonstrators of justices at their homes.
The letter from Thomas More Society president Thomas Brejcha, and two of its special counsel, Charles LiMandri and Paul Jonna, states that on Feb. 28 of this year, Ruth Sent Us “chose to trespass at and disrupt a Catholic Mass being held in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco[,]” and “recorded the abusive event and then promoted it on various social media platforms.”
“Then, on May 3, you re-posted a portion of the same video, and explained, ‘Whether you’re a ‘Catholic for Choice’, ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe. Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8.’ In a separate tweet on the same day, you wrote, “We’re calling for interrupting mass or picketing churches nationwide on Mother’s Day.’ Finally, on May 4, you again tweeted the video and explained, ‘We protest at churches, to make sure people understand why Roe is falling – extremist Christians plotted it, and all extremist church-goers are complicit.’”
The Thomas More Society warned Ruth Sent Us “that even if your planned protests do not rise to the level of a hate crime, they could still subject you to significant legal liability under both California and federal law.”
“Please be advised that for the past 25 years, we have defended the pro-life cause and represented churches and people of faith across our nation, successfully vindicating the legal rights of pro-life and religious individuals at all court levels,” the letter states.
“We will gladly represent any church or person of faith who seeks legal recourse against you or your protestors for your unlawful disruption of any religious worship services.”
Over the weekend, chanting demonstrators protested outside the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, The Epoch Times reported.
Left-wing group ShutDownDC plans a protest outside of opinion author Justice Samuel Alito’s home the evening of May 9. The group’s website described the event as “a vigil for all these rights that Alito is threatening to take away.”
The Ruth Sent Us website invites people to a “walk-by” protest May 11 “[a]t the homes of the six extremist justices, three in Virginia and three in Maryland. If you’d like to join or lead a peaceful protest, let us know.”
Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly told the media the protests won’t matter because the Supreme Court cannot be “bullied.”
The Epoch Times reached out to Ruth Sent Us for comment but did not receive a reply as of press time.