Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to use a lie detector to uncover who leaked an explosive draft opinion that suggests the judicial body could overturn federal abortion protections.
GOP lawmakers have for weeks demanded consequences for whoever was responsible for leaking the draft to Politico earlier this month.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity on May 3 and vowed to open an investigation into who committed the ‘betrayal of the confidences of the court.’
‘I think here are forensic ways to figure out – it’s a very small group of people. We’re not talking about hundreds of people. I think we might be talking about a dozen people that would be suspects in this,’ Paul told Fox & Friends.
‘And frankly, there are times when I think employment could ask for a lie detector test.’
He continued, ‘I’d bring in the 12 people and I would ask them all under oath and with a lie detector test: “Did you leak this document?” Because this shouldn’t happen.’
Paul denounced the protests outside conservative Supreme Court Justices’ homes that have sprung up in the wake of the leak, before turning his ire back to the leaker.
‘Liberal or conservative, we don’t want violence,’ the legislator said, adding: ‘But we also don’t want somebody working at the Supreme Court who is a liar and who is dishonest.’
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul called for both the leaker and activists protesting outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes to be arrested
He called for the leaker to be ‘barred from practicing law and face criminal charges, blasting the leak as a ‘serious offense.’
Pro-choice protesters have targeted the homes of justices including Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, and Samuel Alito to voice outrage over the court’s potential decision.
The White House was forced to respond to the demonstrations after growing pressure from Republican lawmakers.
‘[President Joe Biden] strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,’ now former Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted early last week.
‘Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.’
No major incidents have been reported at any of the demonstrations outside justices’ homes.
But Paul on Thursday called for those activists to be arrested.
‘ I am as stalwart defender of the First Amendment as anyone, but disorderly conduct is not protected by the First Amendment. You have no right to chanting keep people awake all night in the neighborhood,’ the legislator claimed.
Pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators have been protesting nationwide after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicated the court could overturn Roe v. Wade
That includes protests like this one outside of Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home
‘I think you are invading their privacy, you’re invading their private property. Even if you stand on the sidewalk, you do not have a right to keep people awake all night. You should be arrested for disorderly conduct.’
The Kentucky Republican noted that he’d ‘seen political violence firsthand’ – citing well-publicized incidents like getting mobbed by dozens of critics alongside his wife in the summer of 2020 and in 2017 when a neighbor tackled him and broke the senator’s ribs.
‘As someone who has experienced a lot of it – I was mobbed with my wife by over 100 people in DC, I had six ribs broken in a politically-motivated and cowardly attack from behind. I was with Steve Scalise on the ball field when he was shot,’ Paul said.
‘I have been there. I’ve seen political violence up close.’
He compared all of those incidents to the leaker’s actions and accused the yet-unknown person of ‘fomenting violence.’
The leak was ‘not just a breach of decorum,’ Paul claimed, but rather ‘somebody instigating in trying to foment violence.’
‘I am very concerned about our Supreme Court Justices,’ Paul said.
Last week the Senate passed a bipartisan bill granting police protection to the families of justices after demonstrations outside Kavanaugh and Roberts’ homes.
There are 18 states that have near-total bans on their books, while four more have time-limit band and four others are likely to pass new bans if Roe is overturned
The draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito (front row, far left), a conservative jurist
That Monday night protesters gathered outside the home of Alito, who authored the explosive memo.
Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving justice whose wife was recently found to have pushed Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud theories, condemned the progressives protesting earlier this month.
Conservatives, Thomas said during an event on social and racial inequality in Dallas, ‘didn’t throw temper tantrums’ and ‘would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way.’
‘It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately, and not to repay tit for tat,’ Thomas cautioned the right-wing and libertarian audience at the conference.
The draft opinion is linked to the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, in which Mississippi authorities are trying to institute a ban on abortions after 15 weeks instead of the 24-week viability threshold granted by Roe.
In addition to lowering the limit, Mississippi also asked the high court to overturn Roe altogether.
If the landmark case is overruled, 26 states are poised to limit or ban abortion altogether.