House Democrats stall measure boosting security for SCOTUS justices, claim bill should include law clerks

Posted 45 days ago


A bipartisan bill that successfully passed in the Senate to ramp up security protections for Supreme Court justices amid ongoing protests outside their homes is facing pushback from House Democrats who say the measure should be extended to law clerks.

The Senate-passed measure, dubbed the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., amid ongoing protests following a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court which signaled federal protections for abortion granted under Roe v. Wade could soon be overturned.

The measure would provide Supreme Court justices and members of their families around-the-clock security protection. The legislation also allows Supreme Court police to arrest individuals who interfere with the court's ability to perform its duties and creates a criminal penalty for individuals who impede or obstruct those duties.

But Democrats in the House, including Democratic leadership, claim the bill does not go far enough in offering security protections and want it to be extended to others who work within the Supreme Court.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., in a statement released Friday, said the security protection should be extended to law clerks and staff who "have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety."

"Violence or the threat of violence against judges, their clerks, or the families of judicial-branch officials is never acceptable," Hoyer said. "Our majority is determined to protect those who serve our country in the federal judiciary, and we believe that this effort must extend not only to the family members of judges and justices but to the family members of the clerks and staff who support them and have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety, which is done in Rep. Stanton’s Supreme Court Families Security Act.

"While the Senate passed a bill this week that would extend protection to Supreme Court justices’ family members, we believe that it is critical to safeguard ... (Read more)