After the attempted home invasion and murder of Justice Kavanaugh this week, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shamed House Democrats, demanding they pass the Supreme Court Families Security Act that very day. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response was to do nothing, and offer to help next week, perhaps. Extremists are targeting Supreme Court Justices and their families, and Pelosi has refused to lift a finger to help. Lifting a finger is about all the House Democrats’ leader would have to do to add a layer of security for Justices’ immediate family members – if she could only find the time.
Just a Bill, Sittin’ Here on Capitol Hill…
If you only read one piece of legislation from the 117th Congress, you couldn’t make a better choice than the House’s Supreme Court Families Security Act or its Senate mirror, the Supreme Court Police Parity Act of 2022. The brevity and focus of the legislation conspire to recommend it as a model for any proposed law. The operative language is chiefly one sentence and simply adds to the list of people “the Marshal and the Supreme Court Police shall have authority” to protect by adding:
“[A]ny member of the immediate family of the Chief Justice, any Associate Justice, or any officer of the Supreme Court if the Marshal determines such protection is necessary.”
The Marshall of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police have the legal grant of authority to protect Justices wherever they may be. This legislation grants them the same power to protect Justices’ immediate families. It is remarkably uncontroversial. So much so that it passed the US Senate on May 9 – the same week it was introduced – unanimously. Rep. Greg Stanton, a Democrat from Arizona, sponsored the House bill, which he introduced the following day. It hasn’t moved at all since then.
Do it Today
The proposed law includes no funding requests or other potential issues for even the most persnickety legislator. Why the inaction on the House side, then? Speaking after news broke of the attempted murder of Justice Kavanaugh, McConnell said House Democrats were obstructing the measure. He chided, “they need to stop their multi-week blockade against the Supreme Court security bill and pass it before the sun sets – today.”
Why not pass it? One reason could be to let conservative justices sweat out the security of their families’ safety. That seems more credible than the stated reason unnamed “Democratic aides” gave The New York Times, saying “the delay would be brief as House and Senate negotiators work through the scope of the added protection and whether the families of clerks would be offered more security.” Talk about a red herring. There are four clerks per justice, each working for one year at the Court. Why would the families of these 36 lawyers need protection?
No, She Didn’t…
Ruth Sent Us, the progressive protest group that publishes the location of conservative justices’ homes, does not target clerks. They gave no nod to the personal security of justices this week and instead doubled down on the doxing of those whose rulings they despise. On Thursday, the group “suggested targeting the children of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.”
“The group tweeted an infographic with the name of Barrett’s church. It also identified the school that Barrett’s children attend, and encouraged protesters to ‘voice your anger’ by demonstrating there.”
If the families of law clerks face genuine threats, they should be protected. However, the clear and present danger against the Justices and those with whom they co-habitat is of a different order.