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House Passes Supreme Court Protection Bill, Sends to Biden (1)

June 14, 2022, 7:43 PM

The House passed a Supreme Court security bill on Tuesday, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature just days after an armed man was arrested near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and charged with attempted murder.

The vote on the bill was 396 to 27.

The Senate in May passed the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, which would authorize police protection for families of Supreme Court justices and for staff of the court if the court marshal decides it’s necessary.

House Democrats held up the bill for a month in an attempt to amend it to add security for families of staff members. They argued that unfounded accusations against staff members over the leak of a draft opinion overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion decision had put such families in danger of reprisal.

The plans to amend the Senate bill were shelved by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Monday after Senate Republican leaders told him they wouldn’t support changes to the bill.

The only “no” votes in the House came from Democrats. In addition to progressives who had fought for the families of staff to be protected, moderate Democrats from New Jersey voted no.

That group had fought for a provision to block the personal information of federal judges such as home addresses from being published, said Representative Josh Gottheimer. The push came in the wake of the 2020 shooting of District Judge Esther Salas’ son in her home by a deranged lawyer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Kavanaugh is already protected so the delay hasn’t been harmful to him.

The Justice Department is pursuing attempted murder charges against the California man, Nicholas John Roske, 26. Police said he confessed to planning to kill the justice after becoming enraged over the leaked draft of a decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Roske also told detectives he believed the justice would vote to loosen gun controls in a pending Supreme Court decision.

(Updates with reasons cited for ‘no’ votes starting in sixth paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net

Megan Scully, Larry Liebert

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.