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 CartwrightHouse Dems up funding for science agencies, ignoring proposed Trump cuts Overnight Energy: Dems press Interior chief to embrace climate action | Lawmakers at odds on how to regulate chemicals in water | Warren releases climate plan for military Interior chief dismisses climate concerns in first Natural Resources hearing: 'I haven't lost any sleep over it' MORE (D-Pa.), who asked whether Congress should boost funding for security at lower courts.

Cartwright cited Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCounterprotesters outnumber far-right extremists at DC rally Judge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order Federal prosecutors allege Roger Stone violated gag order with Instagram posts 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 MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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.”