WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — The House on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation that would allow round-the-clock security protection for the families of Supreme Court justices, a week after a man was found with a gun, knife and zip ties, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. was arrested near his house. After threatening to kill Nyaya.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously last month, but it remained sluggish in the House as Democrats sought to broaden the measure to include protections for the families of court staff. Republicans pressed for the bill to be passed after Kavanaugh’s house arrest, saying Democrats were essentially trying to intimidate judges as the court weighs a potentially historic ruling on abortion.
The House passed heavy security measures on 396-27. All votes in opposition came from Democrats.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said, “By passing this bill, we’re sending a clear message to left-wing extremists: You can’t intimidate Supreme Court justices.”
The Senate voted to expand security protections shortly after the leak of a draft court opinion, which Roe v. Wade and sharply reduce abortion rights in nearly half of the states. Proponents of the law said the threats to the justices have since increased, with protesters sometimes gathering outside their homes.
“We don’t have time when it comes to protecting court members and their families,” said R-Texas Sen. John Cornyn, sponsor of the bill. “If, heaven forbid, something were to happen … Shame on the members of the House of Representatives. It would be on them for their failure to act on this common-sense, bipartisan bill.”
Democrats noted that Supreme Court justices already have round-the-clock security details. He said he also supported providing protection to immediate families. But they wanted “a small concession” to include protection for the families of court employees, such as law clerks who work for justices and help them prepare cases.
“Democrats also want to protect employees and families who are receiving threats from right-wing activists,” said Rep. Ted Liu, D-California.
But last week’s arrests clearly put new emphasis on the bill and put new pressure on Republicans to seek votes. Democrats said they would seek separate protections for the families of court workers.
“We can no longer delay passing the only version of the bill they will clearly agree to,” Liu said of the Republicans.
In the Kavanaugh case, authorities have charged 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske of Simi Valley, California, with attempted murder of justice. Dressed in black, he arrived by taxi outside Kavanaugh’s Maryland home at around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
He saw two US marshals who were guarding the house and drove in the other direction, calling 911 to say he was having suicidal thoughts and also planned to kill Kavanaugh, according to court documents.
Roske said he found Justice’s address on the Internet.