Former Vice President Mike Pence has called on President Joe Biden to step up following the unprecedented leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
In a statement Saturday, Pence said Biden should speak out against plans to harass the court’s conservative-leaning justices who signed on to the as-yet-unofficial ruling written in February by Justice Samuel Alito.
Pence’s statement came ahead of planned protests outside justices’ homes on Sunday.
“President Biden should speak out forcefully, make it clear that those who support his view on abortion, on the Supreme Court, let their voice be heard, but heard peacefully and respect the law,” Pence said in a Saturday morning interview with The Daily Wire.
“The president of the United States is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America,” he continued. “And he ought to make it very, very clear that anyone who would engage in violence or threaten violence or disrupt religious services would be held to the strictest account.”
Asked Thursday if Biden condones the publishing of the Supreme Court justices’ home locations, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s view “is that there is a lot of passion.”
“I don’t accept that,” Pence said Saturday regarding whether he believes Psaki’s response was adequate. “Americans can be passionate without breaking the law. And there’s no excuse for violence against persons or property in the name of any political causes.”
The Daily Wire added:
Pro-abortion disruptions of Catholic masses would also violate the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which prohibits “violent, threatening, damaging and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right” to obtain abortions.
It also bans the use of force, physical obstruction, injury, or intimidation to “injure, intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship.”
Pence also lashed out at the leak of the draft opinion, calling it a “despicable act” and adding that “those responsible need to be held to account.”
“But I hope and pray that the draft opinion becomes adopted as the majority opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States and we send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” he said.
“I’ve long believed that Roe v Wade was not only morally wrong but deeply legally flawed,” he continued. “And even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a defender of abortion rights, found it difficult to defend on a legal basis.”
He said his hope is that “the five justices will have the courage of their convictions” and that the question of abortion will be returned to the states and “the American people where it belongs.”