He wanted to kill Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to give his life purpose. Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, was charged with the attempted murder of a United States Supreme Court Justice on Wednesday, June 8. Montgomery County, Maryland, police arrested an armed Roske near Kavanaugh’s home in the wee hours of Wednesday morning after he traveled there via taxicab to kill the judge.
Planning for Murder
Among other implements, such as a “tactical knife,” duct tape, pepper spray, and a crowbar, Mr. Roske also carried a Glock 17 9mm pistol with two magazines and ammunition. He told a county detective, after being Mirandized, that he was there to kill Kavanaugh because of the leaked opinion in the abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal charges by FBI Special Agent Ian Montijo, two US deputy marshals first saw Mr. Roske at Justice Kavanaugh’s house at 1:05 a.m. He got out of a cab at the judge’s residence, caught sight of the two lawmen, and walked away from the suburban home. Roske called Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center and “told the call taker that he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase.”
After finding Kavanaugh’s address on the internet, Roske bought the gun and other implements “for the purpose of breaking into the Justice’s residence and killing the Justice as well as himself.” The report did not indicate if Mr. Roske planned on visiting violence on Kavanaugh’s wife and two teenage daughters. The failed assassin was also motivated by the judge’s likely vote in the significant Second Amendment case currently before the Court, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. According to Special Agent Montijo:
“ROSKE indicated that he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws. ROSKE stated that he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice …”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Wednesday that “President Biden condemns the actions of this individual in the strongest terms, and is grateful to law enforcement for quickly taking him into custody.” Meanwhile, top Democrats have been criticized for years over uncivil language and attitudes toward justices. Shouting to the world outside the Supreme Court, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) threatened Justices Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch in March of 2020. The Court was in session, hearing a different abortion case, when Schumer bayed:
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Schumer later said he was threatening political consequences against Donald Trump and said, “I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language.” More recently, prominent Democrats from the president on down refused to condemn the publication of justices’ home addresses and frequent protests there. Kavanaugh’s house was repeatedly visited. Called to condemn the aggressive incidents, then-White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki said, “So I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date,” and then, “we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges’ homes, and that’s the president’s position.”
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