Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) grilled a pro-censorship activist over social media posts threatening conservative Supreme Court justices.
The House Oversight Committee's panel on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties panel held part seven of a hearing titled “Confronting White Supremacy: The Evolution of Anti-Democratic Extremist Groups and the Ongoing Threat to Democracy,” where it listened to several witnesses including activist Alejandra Caraballo, an instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic and a major advocate for online censorship.
Rep. Mace asked all witnesses if they thought social media rhetoric was an issue and a threat to democracy. All answered in the affirmative. They answered the same when she asked if they believed targeting public figures with violence for performing their duties was a threat to democracy.
Mace thanked the witnesses before singling out Caraballo. The South Carolina Republican noted that “only a few weeks after the attempted attack on a Supreme Court justice on June 25. One of the witnesses Alejandra Caraballo tweeted out the following in response to a decision on abortion, overturning Roe v. Wade – and I'll quote directly from the tweet.”
Mace was referring to the June 8 assassination attempt of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his home in Maryland.
Caraballo's tweet read: “The six justices who overturned Roe should never know peace again. It is our civic duty to accost them every time they're in public. They are pariahs. Since women don't have their rights. These justices should never have a peaceful moment in public again.”
Mace recounted how she was “physically accosted” on January 5 at Washington's Navy Yard by one of her constituents and said she “fervently” blames social media rhetoric for that incident. Mace further noted that as recently as November 19, Caraballo said that the Supreme Court isn't a “legitimate court” but “an organ of the far right.”
“Do you stand by these comments, this kind of rhetoric, social media? And do you believe it's a threat to democracy?” Mace asked Caraballo.
Caraballo thanked Mace for “the opportunity to clarify and provide context” the tweets.
Mace interrupted her: “The question is yes or no? Do you believe your rhetoric is a threat to democracy when you're calling to accost a branch of government – the Supreme Court?” “I don't believe that's a correct characterization,” Caraballo responded.
Mace asked, “Did you not tweet that you thought that the Supreme Court justices should be accosted?”
“What I'm saying is that's not an accurate characterization of my statements,” Caraballo responded.