Families of Supreme Court justices to receive security protection

The bill was initially delayed in the House as Democrats tried to further expand the measure to include protections for the families of court workers.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill that will provide 24-hour security protection for the families of Supreme Court justices.

The new law, which passed the House this week and the Senate last month, comes eight days after a man carrying a gun, knife and zip ties was arrested near Judge Brett’s home Kavanaugh after threatening to kill the judge.

The bill calling for expanded security protections was unanimously approved by the Senate and passed shortly after a draft court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and would sharply reduce abortion rights in about half of the states.

Supporters of the legislation said threats against judges have increased since then, with protesters sometimes gathering outside their homes. The judges were protected around the clock by US marshals. The new law extends this protection to their families.

The bill was initially delayed in the House as Democrats sought to expand the measure to include protections for the families of court workers.

Republicans stepped up pressure to pass the proposal after Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, Calif., was arrested at Kavanaugh’s home. Roske was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, charged with a single count of attempted murder of a United States judge. Prosecutors say he traveled from California to the judge’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, intending to kill Kavanaugh.

According to court documents, U.S. Marshals stationed outside Kavanaugh’s home saw an individual later identified as Roske exit a taxi that had pulled up outside the residence just after 1 a.m. Roske would wear black clothes and carry a backpack and a suitcase. When Roske saw the marshals, they said, he turned and walked down the street.

Shortly after, the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center received a call from someone identifying themselves as Roske and saying “he was having suicidal thoughts and had a gun in his suitcase.” The caller admitted that he had come from California to kill a specific justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The House passed the bill Tuesday 396-27. Democrats have said they will separately pursue protections for the families of court workers.

About Sandra A. Powell

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