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Originally published in American Greatness 

An attempt to accost Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at Morton’s Steakhouse, a popular D.C. hangout, made national news last week. The move represented a mobile continuation of the tactic of targeting conservative justices outside their homes.

The targeting of Kavanaugh was led by antifa-aligned protest group Shutdown D.C., which has drawn attention in recent years for advocating the targeted protesting of political opponents. The group has since escalated by tweeting out a bounty for information about the location of conservative justices and posting flyers similarly offering money in exchange for facilitating harassment.

In response to the ongoing targeted abuse of judges, the head of security for the Supreme Court wrote a letter to Virginia and Maryland governors urging them to take action using existing state and local laws. Governors Larry Hogan and Glenn Youngkin (both Republicans) had previously written a joint letter to Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the Department of Justice to enforce federal laws prohibiting the targeted intimidation of judges. Youngkin had also asked local county government officials to provide additional security for the homes of justices, but was given short shrift by the overwhelmingly Democratic county board of supervisors.

Meanwhile, Shutdown D.C. continues to operate openly and unapologetically.

For its part, the Biden Administration has all but openly endorsed the tactics of personally targeting opponents, hiding behind claims that actions by groups like Shutdown D.C. represent genuine “democracy” in action, rather than intimidation by a tiny subset of professional activists.

Originally created out of a coalition of environmentalist groups in preparation for a planned “Climate Shutdown” on September 20, 2019, Shutdown D.C. became one of the leading elements of a planned “uprising” (their words) in the event of a Trump election victory in 2020. The plan included occupying federal buildings and targeting key House and Senate members. They even discussed sabotaging communications equipment in a training call with infamous anarchist organizer Lisa Fithian, who noted, “In a situation of a coup or an insurrection or an uprising, whoever’s got the guns, often can win. We should be clear. Trump’s gotta go.”

Shutdown D.C. played a key role in developing target lists for harassment, carefully mapped to sophisticated ArcGIS software. One of their targets was Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). On January 4, Shutdown D.C. illegally protested outside Hawley’s Virginia home, terrifying his wife Erin and family. Shutdown D.C. organizer Patrick Young was eventually charged with illegal trespass, pled no contest, and charges were dropped after Young promised to maintain distance from the senator’s family.

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