Chief justice thanks Congress, court personnel for ensuring judges’ physical safety in annual report

FILE – Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday thanked members of Congress and other court personnel for helping to ensure judges’ safety amid heightened threats against Supreme Court justices and other officials.

“The law requires every judge to swear an oath to perform his or her work without fear or favor, but we must support judges by ensuring their safety,” Roberts said in the opening of an annual report on the federal judiciary. “A judicial system cannot and should not live in fear.”

Roberts thanked members of Congress for “attending to judicial security needs” and expressed gratitude for the variety of court officers who “are on duty as we ring in the year, working to ensure that judges can sit in courtrooms to serve the public throughout the coming year and beyond.”

Supreme Court justices’ security became an area of particular concern earlier this year, following the high court’s controversial decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The decision, as well as an earlier version of the opinion that was leaked in May, triggered protests outside of several justices’ homes.

Concerns about the justices’ security were heightened in early June when a man with a gun and a knife was arrested outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home and charged with attempted murder.

Congress extended security protections to the family members of Supreme Court justices and “any officer” of the bench, if the court marshal deemed it necessary, in the wake of the incident.

However, lawmakers have also faced increased numbers of threats, with Capitol Police recording more than 9,000 threats in the last year. 

Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was violently assaulted in the couple’s San Francisco home in late October, suffering a skull fracture and injuries to his right arm and hands. The 42-year-old man accused of attacking Pelosi was reportedly looking for the Speaker, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time.

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Chief Justice John Roberts John Roberts Nancy Pelosi supreme court abortion ruling Supreme Court justices U.S. Congress U.S. Supreme Court

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