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President Biden criticises abortion protests at judges’ houses

President Biden has criticised a protest by pro-choice activists outside the homes of two conservative Supreme Court justices this weekend.

A group of about 100 people marched from the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Maryland to that of Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday night.

Separately, an anti-abortion centre suffered an arson attack on Sunday.

The White House said protest should never include “violence, threats, or vandalism”.

“[President Biden] strongly believes in the constitutional right to protest,” said a statement from his press secretary Jen Psaki.

“But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.”

Organisers of Saturday night’s demonstration outside the judges’ homes called it a candlelight vigil.

Chanting slogans and carrying signs, the group marched from Mr Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland to Mr Roberts’ home less than a mile away.

Another group is expected to protest outside the home of Justice Samuel Alito on Monday.

Mr Kavanaugh – who was confirmed to the court amid sexual assault allegations in 2018 – has faced protests at his home in the past, as have other justices.

In the Midwest, vandals set fire on Sunday morning to the headquarters of Wisconsin Family Action, an anti-abortion group, in what police called a targeted attack.

A message that read: “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” was spray-painted outside the building, and an unignited petrol bomb was also found at the scene.

A recently-leaked draft opinion suggests a majority of the nine-strong Supreme Court would overturn the nation-wide right to abortion. The court’s final ruling is expected in June.

The document, penned by conservative Justice Alito, called the 1973 Roe v Wade decision – which legalised abortion across the US – “egregiously wrong from the start”.

If Roe is overturned, a ban on almost all abortions would go into effect in 13 states straight away, with others expected to follow. Abortion would still be legal in around half of US states, it is forecast.

Lawmakers in New York announced new legislation to expand abortion access on Monday. Several other left-leaning states have taken similar actions.

New York also said it plans to offer funding to groups that help people travel to the state for abortions.

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