Justice Barrett gets standing O: ‘Nice to have a lot of noise made not by protesters outside my house’

Justice Amy Coney Barrett received a standing ovation and applause at a speaking event Thursday night, and said it was a nice change of pace from protesters who have been targeting her private home for months.

“It’s really nice to have a lot of noise not made by protesters outside my house,” she said as roughly 2,000 attendees at the Thursday evening gala event at Union Station in Washington, D.C., welcomed her to the stage.

Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett poses during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 23, 2021.
(Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS)

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Since a draft version of the Supreme Court opinion that would eventually overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May, pro-choice activists have targeted the private homes of the conservative justices of Supreme Court, including Justice Barrett, who is also the mother of seven children.

The demonstrations have largely gone unchecked by law enforcement. In October, the Justice Department was sued by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that claimed the DOJ failed to comply with FOIA requests for documentation explaining why the department failed to enforce a federal law that protects Supreme Court justices from certain demonstrations at their private residences.

The group’s lawsuit against the Justice Department said its request for records from various offices, including the Office of the Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, were all denied.

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Abortion-rights activists with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights chant after marching to the home of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on June 18, 2022 in Falls Church, Virginia.
(Getty Images )

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Thursday’s event was hosted by the Federalist Society, an influential conservative lawyers group, in celebration of the Society’s 40th anniversary. Barrett said in her brief remarks that she has “benefited immensely” by the group’s work.

Justice Samuel Alito also spoke and received an extra standing ovation for writing the opinion in the case that overturned Roe and returned the power of legislating abortion rights back to the states. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who also joined the majority opinion with Barrett and Alito, attended the event.

Abortion-rights advocates stage a protest outside the home of U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on May 11, 2022 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
((Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images))

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The event capped the first day of the Federalist Society’s Annual Lawyer’s Convention taking place this week in Washington, which is the first official meeting of conservative-types following the midterm elections. Republican Senators Mike Lee, of Utah, and Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, were also in the audience.