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Rand Paul Blocks Judge Security Bill in Bid to Add Lawmakers (1)

Dec. 16, 2020, 10:26 PMUpdated: Dec. 17, 2020, 12:26 AM

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked a bipartisan bill that would protect federal judges’ personal information from being shared online in a bid to have the legislation also cover members of Congress.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) had moved Wednesday for unanimous consent on the legislation introduced after U.S. District Judge Esther Salas’ son was shot and killed at their family home in New Jersey.

The shooter, who had been involved in a case heard by the judge and dressed as a delivery driver during the attack, also wounded her husband.

Paul said he agreed with the legislation’s intent, but wants to also protect lawmakers. Paul cited a 2017 shooting ambush on lawmakers practicing for the Congressional baseball game, during which Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was wounded.

“Extending the provisions of this bill to the members of Congress would better protect all of us, our families our neighbors, and our constituents,” Paul said. “It’s a very minor request that I’m asking. It’s an amendment that would not change anything or lessen anything about the bill.”

Paul himself was attacked by a neighbor at his home in 2017 and was injured.

While Menendez said Paul’s addition was a “laudable goal,” he said the bill is for the federal judiciary for the “special threats they face.” Menendez said he looks forward to working with Paul on his concern.

Menendez is sponsoring the bill, S.4711. Co-sponsors include Sen. Cory Booker (D.N.J.) and fellow Judiciary Committee members, Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and John Kennedy (R-La.).

(Adds co-sponsors and bill number in last paragraph.)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com; John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com