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.

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“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 CartwrightAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress The 11 House Dems from Trump districts who support assault weapons ban House Dems up funding for science agencies, ignoring proposed Trump cuts MORE (D-Pa.), who asked whether Congress should boost funding for security at lower courts.

Cartwright cited Roger StoneRoger Jason Stone3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone's request to dismiss charges Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference 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) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal 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.”