Senate

Senate passes security bill for Supreme Court family members

The Senate on Monday easily cleared a bill to extend security protections to the immediate family members of Supreme Court justices.

The bill — spearheaded by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) — passed the Senate by unanimous consent, meaning all 100 senators had to sign off in order for it to pass without a formal vote.

It still now heads to the House for passage. 

“Threats to the physical safety of Supreme Court Justices and their families are disgraceful, and attempts to intimidate and influence the independence of our judiciary cannot be tolerated,” Cornyn said in a statement. 

“I’m glad the Senate quickly approved this measure to extend Supreme Court police protection to family members, and the House must take up and pass it immediately,” he added. 

Coons, in a statement, said that he was “glad to see this bipartisan bill unanimously pass the Senate in order to extend security protection to the families of Supreme Court members.”

The bill would formally allow the Supreme Court of the United States Police to provide around-the-clock protection to family members, in line with the security some executive and congressional officials get. 

The bill was introduced by the two senators on Thursday, roughly three days after the leak of the draft decision, penned by Justice Samuel Alito, that would strike down the constitutional right to an abortion. Politico, citing a source, reported that four other justices — Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett — were prepared to vote with Alito, giving them a majority to strike down Roe. 

The report sparked near immediate protests outside the Supreme Court, where law enforcement officials subsequently put up a “non-scalable” fence.

Groups gathered over the weekend to protest outside the homes of Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, while a group is also planning to hold a “vigil” outside Alito’s home on Monday night. 

Senate