[guest post by Dana]
But first, as you recall, Justice Kavanaugh was the target of a death threat yesterday. A suspect, armed with a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, zip ties, pepper spray, and duct tape was arrested near Kavanaugh’s home. The suspect told law enforcement that he intended to break into Kavanaugh’s house and kill him.
After yesterday’s events, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy attempted to bring the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, which has been delayed by Democrats since it passed the Senate one month ago, to the floor – without much success:
‘Over a month ago, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to provide more security for Supreme Court Justices and their family… But House Democrats have let that bill gather dust. This is the same Party whose heated rhetoric has encouraged political pressure on conservative Justices.’
…McCarthy attempted to bring the bill to the floor on Wednesday evening the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, but when the president presiding over the session asked for a bipartisan effort to bring it to the floor, only Republicans said that they did not object while Democrats did not respond.
Nancy Pelosi,who wants to see said protections in the bill extended to clerks and other staff, attempted to defend further delay of getting the bill onto the floor for a vote:
Nancy Pelosi defended her decision not to bring a bill for a vote that would provide more security for Supreme Court Justices and their families until next week by saying Thursday that ‘no one is in danger over the weekend.’
‘The Justices are protected,’ she reiterated.
‘There will be a bill,’ Pelosi added, ‘but nobody is in danger over the weekend because of not having a bill.’
It’s mind-numbing that Pelosi insists that the Justices are not going to be in danger this weekend, given yesterday’s obviously dangerous situation. She simply can’t predict with any assurance that they won’t be in danger. She does not know that. And it’s even less likely to be true given that protesters continue to march in front of the Kavanaugh home today. You know how people complain about how ugly and polarized we are as a nation? Well, actions like Pelosi’s only serve to increase polarization. Agreeing or disagreeing with any position a Justice might take on an issue should not factor into the obvious and increasing need for extended protections for their families. And if it does, then shame on that politician for the craven politicization of an issue of basic safety and decency.
And here’s the bottom line: If Kagan or Sotomayor had a death threat made against them and the suspect was arrested near their homes, Pelosi would have moved heaven and earth, and with an absolute urgency made sure this bill was passed immediately, even in its current form. And that would have been the morally right thing to do. As it stands, however, playing politics with fathers’ and mothers’ and childrens’ lives is an ugliness that everyone on both sides of the aisle should collectively condemn.
P.S. President Biden condemned the actions of the suspect yesterday, and also reiterated the need for the assured safety for the justices and their families, without any caveats:
“The president condemns the actions of this individual in strong terms and is grateful to law enforcement for quickly taking him into custody,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“As the president has consistently made clear, public officials, including judges, must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety or that of their families, and any threats of violence or attempts to intimidate judges have no place in our society,” Jean-Pierre continued.
[Ed. I want to make it clear that I used the report at the Daily Mail for this post because it had the greater compilation of quotes from other briefer reports on the issue.]