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Justice Kavanaugh leaves a D.C. restaurant after abortion rights protesters show up

Supreme Court Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch, left, and Brett Kavanaugh.Doug Mills/pool/file

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh didn’t have time for dessert while he was out to eat on Wednesday night.

He made a quick exit out the rear of Morton’s, a steakhouse in downtown Washington, D.C., when abortion rights protesters showed up at the restaurant after learning he was dining there, Politico reported.

The protesters were taking part in a direct action organized by Shut Down DC, a group that came together several years ago in response to the youth climate strike movement.

When the protesters found out that Kavanaugh — one of six conservative Supreme Court justices who voted to strike down Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion — was at the establishment, they arrived out front, Politico reported.


Soon after, they called the manager and demanded that he kick Kavanaugh out, Politico reported. The group later tweeted that Kavanaugh “snuck out the back with his security detail.”

Kavanaugh neither heard nor saw the protesters, and he was able to eat a full meal “but left before dessert,” a person familiar with the situation told Politico.

While the high court issued no official comment on the incident, Morton’s was none too happy with the situation, with Politico describing the steakhouse as “outraged” by what unfolded.

A representative for the restaurant said that Kavanaugh and all of their other patrons were “unduly harassed by unruly protesters while eating dinner.”

“Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner,” the statement to Politico said. “There is a time and place for everything. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.”

The protesters, meanwhile, were adamant they had made the right call.


“No rights for us, no peace for you,” the group tweeted on Friday.

Kavanaugh had emphasized on several occasions during his confirmation hearings before the Senate in 2018 that Roe was “settled as precedent,” but sided with the conservative majority last month in ruling to overturn the decision.

Since the draft opinion was leaked, weekly demonstrations have occurred outside Kavanaugh’s home and those of other justices who backed the decision. A California man was arrested in June after making threats against Kavanaugh, and he was later charged with attempted murder.

President Biden signed a bill extending security protections to the immediate family members of those on the bench last month. The Supreme Court’s chief security officer has also asked top officials in Virginia and Maryland to direct “police to enforce laws that she says prohibit picketing at justices’ suburban homes,” the Washington Post reported.

See reactions to the situation below:

Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.