Supreme Court justice warns Congress of security threats to lower courts

Supreme Court justice warns Congress of security threats to lower courts
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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Thursday warned Congress about the security threats faced by judges in the nation’s lower federal courts.

Alito told a House Appropriations subcommittee that safety risks to district and appeals court judges are more serious “in some respects” than those to his colleagues at the Supreme Court.

“District judges, trial judges at all levels have much greater contact with members of the public and are often involved in cases where emotions run very high, so many of the instances of unfortunate attacks on judges have been on trial-level judges,” Alito said during a hearing on the Supreme Court’s 2020 budget request.

Alito's remarks came in response to a question from Rep. Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightOvernight Energy: Coal industry seeks fee rollbacks amid coronavirus | Ex-lawyer for trophy hunting group joins Trump agency | EPA sued over reapproval of Roundup chemical Coal industry asks for financially beneficial rollbacks amid coronavirus House Democrats jam GOP with coronavirus bill MORE (D-Pa.), who asked whether Congress should boost funding for security at lower courts.

Cartwright cited Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJuan Williams: Mueller, one year on House Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak Trump 'strongly considering' full pardon for Flynn MORE's criticism of a federal district court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Trump associate’s court case stemming from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's Russia investigation.

Stone last month posted and then deleted an image on Instagram featuring Jackson with crosshairs beside her head. Jackson imposed a gag order on Stone, barring him from discussing or speaking out about the case.

“It’s deeply disturbing to me and to all of us to see the specific judges questioned not only on intellectual grounds, but personal grounds,” said Cartwright.

Alito declined to say whether the lower courts needed more funding, but said he is “very cognizant of the security needs of judges at those levels.”