Congress Votes to Expand Security for Supreme Court After Man Charged With Trying to Kill Kavanaugh
Last month saw dozens of demonstrators protesting near the homes of right-leaning Supreme Court justices after a memo was leaked suggesting the court would reverse the Roe v. Wade case and put an end to federal protections for abortion in the US.
The US House has overwhelmingly passed a bill to expand security for Supreme Court justices
, clearing the way for President Joe Biden to sign the document, approved by the Senate about a month ago, amid concerns over abortion ruling-related threats to judges.
On Tuesday, the lawmakers voted 396-27 to approve the bill, which stipulates round-the-clock police protection for the immediate families of the justices, similar to protective measures pertaining to officials in the executive and legislative branches.
All of the “no” votes were Democrats, who unsuccessfully tried to extend the protections to the families of court employees.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blamed Democrats for “these unnecessary delays”, which he said “put the safety of the justices and their families in danger”.
“By passing this bill as-is, we are sending a clear message to the left-wing radicals: You cannot intimidate the Supreme Court justices,” McCarthy underlined.
The document follows a man identified as Nicholas John Roske from Simi Valley, California, being detained and charged with the attempted murder of Justice Brett Kavanaugh last week after expressing unhappiness about the expected reversal of a landmark decision legalising abortion nationwide.
The 26-year-old was carrying a handgun he had purchased in order to kill Kavanaugh as well as ammunition, a crowbar, pepper spray and other items, according to an affidavit signed by an FBI agent.
Roske was also upset about last month’s deadly mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas
, and was concerned that Kavanaugh will vote against gun regulations in another major upcoming ruling in a firearms rights case, the Justice Department reported.
In a separate development last week, pro-abortion activists staged a protest in front of Kavanaugh’s home, with online footage showing a small group of people marching near the house, banging drums and chanting slogans as police officers watched the event. Some of the signs included the slogans "mind your own uterus" and "woman is not a womb".
In May, scores of demonstrators protested near the homes of right-leaning Supreme Court justices after Politico cited a leaked draft majority opinion by US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito as saying that the court had favoured overturning its decision in the Roe v. Wade case
that essentially legalises abortion nationwide.
At the time, President Joe Biden did not condemn the protesters’ actions and said that “Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view,” adding that “expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate”.
Politico’s leaked document was confirmed to be authentic, but it does not represent the court's final decision in the case, something that is expected before the end of this month.
The Roe v. Wade case is related to the landmark 22 January 1973 ruling by the US Supreme Court that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion violates a woman’s constitutional right to privacy.