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House Democrats to Pursue Broader Supreme Court Security Bill

May 13, 2022, 11:56 AM

House Democratic leadership plans to take up a Supreme Court security bill that would protect families of both justices and employees rather than a narrower Senate-passed bill, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.

The Supreme Court Police Parity Act (S. 4160) passed by the Senate May 9 would extend security to the immediate families of justices while a proposal by Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) seeks to include protection for families of court employees, such as clerks.

“Our Majority is determined to protect those who serve our country in the federal judiciary, and we believe that this effort must extend not only to the family members of judges and justices but to the family members of the clerks and staff who support them and have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety,” Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement Thursday night.

The efforts to boost security for the families of those working at 1 First Street come after a leaked draft opinion that showed a majority of the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade prompted protests at several justices’ homes. The Justice Department announced May 11 that it would provide security for the justices through the US Marshals Service.

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized Democrats for “standing in the way of concrete action.”

“House Democratic leadership wants to drag this out,” McConnell said.

Another House proposal, introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.), is identical to the Senate bill.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday blocked an attempt to unanimously pass a separate bipartisan bill (S. 2340; H.R. 4436) that would shield federal judges’ personal information online.

Paul, who also blocked quick consideration of similar legislation in 2020, wants it also to include members of Congress.

—With assistance from Nancy Ognanovich

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at malder@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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