The federal court system’s policymaking body called on Congress to pass legislation that would increase security for judges. “The safety of judges and their families is essential — not just to the individuals involved, but to our democracy,” said U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, chair of the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Security, reports Politico. “Our system of justice depends on judges who are free to carry out their Constitutional duties without fear of reprisal or violence.” The conference urged passage of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act, which would give judges the power to force public websites to remove personal information about them and their family members, such as home addresses and license plate identifiers. The legislation is named after the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. He was murdered in July 2020 by a disgruntled attorney in an attack at the judge’s home.
The call for increasing security for judges comes just a few months after the alleged assassination attempt against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in June after publication of the court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. After the court issued its ruling a few weeks later, protesters marched outside justices’ homes in Maryland and Virginia. The security bill has faced roadblocks in Congress, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) insisting that it be extended to protect members of Congress. He was the victim of a violent attack by a neighbor in 2017, and has complained of threats to him and his family.