Supreme Court justices pin Biden’s solicitor general on selective prosecution

by WorldTribune Staff, April 22, 2024

More than 300 Jan. 6 defendants, including former President Donald Trump, have been charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), which entails obstruction of an official proceeding.

During arguments before the Supreme Court on April 16 in the case of Fischer v. U.S, justices grilled Biden administration Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar on the Biden team’s selective use of the obstruction charge as applied to protesters and rioters.

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito alluded to inconsistencies with Biden pursuing Jan. 6 defendants relentlessly while looking the other way when people on the Left, including members of Congress, disrupt government proceedings.

“Would a sit-in that disrupts a trial or access to a federal courthouse qualify [as illegal obstruction]?” Gorsuch asked Prelogar. “Would a heckler at today’s audience qualify or a heckler at the State of the Union address? Would pulling a fire alarm before a vote qualify for 20 years in federal prison?”

(View the full oral arguments from April 16 here.)

New York Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman used the fire alarm stunt before a key spending vote last September. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge carrying negligible penalties, and then boasted about not being charged for obstructing House proceedings.

Gorsuch, using the catchphrase favored by liberal news media and others about urban riots, asked Prelogar why “a mostly peaceful protest … that actually obstructs and impedes an official proceeding for an indefinite period would not be covered” under the obstruction statute.

Prelogar at one point said that for a criminal charge under the statute at issue, “we would have to have the evidence of intent.”

The Washington Examiner noted in an editorial: “Yet it is clear that at least a significant subset of the Jan. 6 rioters, while knowing they should not be in the Capitol, and thus being criminally liable for trespassing or disorderly conduct, were clueless about the congressional proceedings rather than intentionally trying to interfere with them. Yet this administration is throwing the book at scores of them.

“The point isn’t that the Capitol rioters should avoid all penalties but that the Biden administration is choosing for ideological reasons when and how to apply laws against illicit protests.

“The Biden Justice Department tries to imprison innocent anti-abortion protesters while letting hundreds of attacks on pro-life centers go unpunished. It targets parents as domestic terrorists while refusing to enforce specific laws against demonstrations at the homes of Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices. Examples of double standards are almost countless.”

Trump said in a statement:

Why are Palestinian protesters, and even rioters, allowed to roam the Cities, scream, shout, sit, block traffic, enter buildings, not get permits, and basically do whatever they want including threatening Supreme Court Justices right in front of their homes, and yet people who truly LOVE our Country, and want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, are not allowed to “Peacefully Protest,” and are rudely and systematically shut down and ushered off to far away “holding areas,” essentially denying them their Constitutional Rights. America Loving Protesters should be allowed to protest at the front steps of Courthouses, all over the Country, just like it is allowed for those who are destroying our Country on the Radical Left, a two tiered system of justice. Free Speech and Assembly has been “CHILLED” for USA SUPPORTERS. GO OUT AND PEACEFULLY PROTEST. RALLY BEHIND MAGA. SAVE OUR COUNTRY! “THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF.”

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