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Senate pushing for higher protection for SCOTUS justices


The Senate could approve legislation as soon as Monday evening that would ramp up personal security and other protections for Supreme Court justices and their families after the leak of a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade touched off pro-abortion protests around the country.

Last week, Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, which would provide justices and their families with protective details similar to those given to members of Congress and White House officials.

“If the families of Supreme Court Justices have the same profile and exposure as the highest-ranking officials in our government, they deserve the same level of protection,” Coons said in announcing the legislation last week. “We must take threats that come from extremes on both sides of the political spectrum against Supreme Court Justices seriously, and that makes this bill an unfortunate necessity.”

“The events of the past week have intensified the focus on Supreme Court Justices’ families, who are unfortunately facing threats to their safety in today’s increasingly polarized political climate,” Cornyn added“We must act to ensure Justices and their families are protected from those who wish to cause them harm by extending Supreme Court police security to family members.”

On Monday, Fox News reported that Senate Republicans and Democrats were consulting with their fellow members to determine whether there was any objection to the legislation. If there are none, the bill could be brought to the floor and passed by voice vote.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., speaks to Secretary of State Antony Blinken as he testifies during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Sen. Chris Coons asserted that Supreme Court Justices deserve the same level of protection as the highest-ranking officials in government.
AP/Carolyn Kaster
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks on the economy during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 04, 2022.
Sen. John Cornyn said the response to the Roe V. Wade draft opinion has “intensified the focus on Supreme Court Justices’ families.”
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Supreme Court Police Officers stand watch behind a fence surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court Building on May 07, 2022 in Washington, DC.
A protective barrier was erected outside the Supreme Court after the draft opinion was released.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Cornyn’s office could not provide The Post with a timeline for potential passage, but said the senator was “working to pass this bill as soon as possible.” Coons’ office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. 

On Saturday, approximately 100 sign-holding demonstrators marched outside the Maryland homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, chanting “The whole world is watching!,” “We will not go back” and “My body, my choice.”

The pro-abortion organization “Ruth Sent Us” has scheduled Wednesday “walk-bys” outside the homes of the six conservative Supreme Court justices, including Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch in addition to Roberts and Kavanaugh.

On its website, the organization had posted a map with the locations of all the justices’ homes; however, it was later removed from Google due to “a violation of our Terms of Service and/or policies.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a mild criticism of the protesters Monday, saying that the judges “must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety” — though she did not say that protesters should not go to the jurists’ homes.

In addition to the Wednesday walk-bys, the left-wing group Shutdown DC was planning a Monday night candlelight vigil outside the home of Alito, who authored the draft opinion that was published by Politico last week.

Malina Brannon, a student at Georgetown University, looks towards police offcers through unscalable high fencing outside as she protests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2022.
Pro-choice activists have staged protests outside the homes of conservative justices.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein



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