WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – Police today replied, “We just follow the law” in response to criticism of their inaction during yesterday’s confrontation outside the US Supreme Court. “Nothing that happened is our fault.”
Making headlines around the world, some in the crowd of demonstrators on the sidewalk at First Street NE hooted and jeered as Justices arrived in their limousines. Their numbers were so large that they entirely blocked the sidewalk and most of the road, preventing several Justices from entering.
Observers were unanimous that the demonstrators – who were concerned about many different issues and in some cases not in agreement with each other about particular issues – were non-violent and generally good-humored. “We just wanted a chance to tell the judges what we think,” said Horace Peaceable, a demonstrator from Fargo, North Dakota.
The Court’s scheduled session for the day had to be canceled because of the inability of all Justices to enter the chambers. “Not a problem,” said a statement later released by the Court. “We’ll just forget about the cases we were going to deal with today.”
However, Washington police were widely criticized by commentators for not clearing a path through the demonstrators.
Responding, chief Bart “Bad” Penny denied that his police had the authority to remove demonstrators who were only exercising their right to free speech.
Penny was unexpectedly supported by Chief Justice Bob Johnson when the latter was interviewed on Fox News. “The Court has ruled that people have the right of free speech on our sidewalks, including shouting their opinions at people trying to enter a building adjacent to that sidewalk. If it’s good enough for women seeking a medical procedure, it’s good enough for us. We can live with it even if it means we have unscheduled days off. After all, as it says in the Constitution, fair is fair.”