Senate passes bill to expand protection for Supreme Court justices to their families

Senate passes bill to expand protection for Supreme Court justices to their families
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

A bipartisan bill passed in the Senate last night that will provide additional security for Supreme Court justices and their families. The bill passed on a voice vote and was unanimous. This legislation puts the court on the same level as the executive and legislative branches to provide security which includes protection for their families as angry mobs gather outside their homes. The bill moves to the House now.

This is a rare example of unanimous bipartisan cooperation. The leaked draft of an opinion written by Justice Alito on the overturning of Roe v Wade has sparked protests outside the Supreme Court and has escalated to include protests at the homes of conservative justices, potentially creating a security risk of the families of the justices. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Coons (D-Del) introduced the bill. It is a technical change that allows law enforcement to provide around-the-clock security to immediate family members. Cornyn’s press release explained it’s the same type of protection provided to certain Article I and Article II officers and their families.

Both senators released statements after the vote.

“Threats to the physical safety of Supreme Court Justices and their families are disgraceful, and attempts to intimidate and influence the independence of our judiciary cannot be tolerated,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m glad the Senate quickly approved this measure to extend Supreme Court police protection to family members, and the House must take up and pass it immediately.”

“I am glad to see this bipartisan bill unanimously pass the Senate in order to extend security protection to the families of Supreme Court members,” Sen. Coons said.

Protests were held last weekend outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts in the Washington and Maryland suburbs. The same happened outside Justice Alito’s home last night though it is not clear if he was home. It’s been reported that he and his family have been moved to an undisclosed location. The potential for something bad to happen rises with each protest. Black bloc and Antifa-type people joined in with the protesters at the Alito home. That protest was advertised in advance and protesters were offered a stipend for participating. Who is funding these protests?

Extra security measures are being taken at the Supreme Court. Senate Minority Leader McConnell delivered a scorching speech on the Senate floor and reminded everyone about the hideous and hateful statements made in the past by the likes of Chuck Schumer. Schumer specifically called out Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in 2021 during a rant and said they would pay for the votes they were making. The Senate Majority Leader apparently thinks it’s fine to incite violence at such a volatile time.

Police have set up a tall fence and blocked off streets this week as people have protested in front of the Supreme Court Building, which is across from the U.S. Capitol. They have also shut down the plaza and steps in front of the building.

“Trying to scare federal judges into ruling a certain way is far outside the bounds of normal First Amendment speech or protest,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said ahead of the vote.

Joe Biden has been silent about the threats and protests after the leak from the court. His cowardice is disgraceful. For almost fifty years, Biden has tried to straddle the fence on Roe v Wade. He was anti-abortion, with exceptions for rape and incest and the life of the mother, before he was radically pro-abortion and supporting abortion right up to the time of delivery. Biden has no center on the issue, he simply goes with whatever he’s being pressured to do by the progressive wing of his party.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki finally posted a tweet that condemns “violence, threats, or vandalism” on behalf of Biden while also mentioning that judges deserve security in their jobs. Gee, thanks, Jen. What about the Supreme Court justices, though? Any comment specifically for them since that is the issue right now?

This is a dangerously incompetent administration. Let’s hope the justices and their families remain safe as the protests will only get worse as the time for the final opinion to be released by the Supreme Court approaches.

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