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Garland Hopes Marshals Won't Protect Justices Indefinitely

Attorney General Merrick Garland hopes the enhanced security he authorized last year for Supreme Court justices and their families won’t be provided indefinitely by the U.S. Marshals Service. “This is a task we’d gladly turn over to the Supreme Court Police,” Garland told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “We’re hoping this isn’t a long-term solution for the justices, because there are a lot of courts around the country,” he said, reports Politico. “And the marshals have traditional security responsibilities — and that’s to say nothing of their fugitive apprehension responsibilities.” Garland ordered deputy U.S. marshals to the homes of Supreme Court justices last May, after protests broke out after the Politico report that a high court majority had voted privately to overturn the right to abortion established a half-century ago in Roe v. Wade.

The Marshals Service is seeking $21 million to pay for 42 more deputy marshals in the next fiscal year,. Garland said that Congress passed legislation last year to expand the Supreme Court Police’s authority to provide security for the families of justices, but did not provide money to cover the expansion. The Supreme Court’s own budget request seeks $5.9 million more to beef up security. Last June, police arrested a California man outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home in the middle of the night after the man said he’d traveled to kill the justice. The suspect, Nicholas Roske, allegedly told police he was angry about Supreme Court decisions on abortion and guns. He was later charged in federal court.

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