House passes Senate bill ensuring safety for families of Supreme Court justices
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The House on Tuesday passed Bill 396-27 aimed at increasing the safety of immediate families of Supreme Court justices, approving a measure that had already passed unanimously in the Senate.
The bill comes after a man was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill Judge Brett Kavanaugh and protesters demonstrated outside the homes of Tory judges following the leaking of a draft notice in a case highly publicized abortion.
The bill provides round-the-clock protection for the families of Supreme Court justices, similar to what is already provided for some members of the executive and legislative branches.
All 27 no votes were from Democrats.
The Senate bill was introduced three days after Politico released the leaked draft opinion, which suggested the Supreme Court intended to overturn Roe v. Wade. While the Senate acted quickly, the House waited more than a month before approving the bill.
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The bill expands an existing law that currently only covers judges themselves, as well as officers and employees of the Supreme Court in the performance of their duties.
Before announcing that the House would vote on the bill, Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Arizona, introduced an alternative bill that would give additional protections to court personnel such as court clerks, but the Minority Leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it was unlikely to pass the Senate.
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“The security issue is with the Supreme Court justices, not the anonymous staff that nobody knows,” McConnell said.
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Following the leak of the draft notice, a left-wing organization posted the locations of the judges’ homes. This has led to protests outside their homes that have drawn support from the White House, despite federal law prohibiting such activity if it is intended to influence a judge.
California man Nicholas Roske traveled from his home state to Maryland, allegedly to kill Kavanaugh. Roske ended up calling 911 from outside Kavanaugh’s house. In a recording of the call, he could be heard talking about the plan and how he decided he didn’t want to go through with it.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.