On Monday, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would extend security and other protections to immediate family members of Supreme Court justices amid heightened unease over the upcoming abortion ruling. The bill would provide security measures similar to the protections that family members of executive and legislative branch officials have in place already.
Introduced last week by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, the bill was unanimously supported. The bill, known as the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, is now headed to the house.
In a statement before the final vote, John Cornyn said, “We must act to ensure Justices and their families are protected from those who wish to cause them harm by extending Supreme Court police security to family members—citing the events of the past week.
After the draft opinion to overturn Roe V. Wade was made public in the past weeks, protesters held demonstrations and protests in front of the supreme court and other official buildings. Since then, protesters have started to appear in the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. Another protest was planned for Monday night outside of the house of Justice Samuel Alito, who originally wrote the said draft.
Following this, tall fences were put up around the Supreme Court as protesters grew to protest both sides of the abortion debate.
In a separate statement from John Cornyn, Coons also released a statement before the vote stating that the bill was “an unfortunate necessity” and needed to address “extremes on both sides of the political spectrum.” Coons says, “Millions of Americans who turned into … Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing couldn’t miss seeing her husband and daughter on national TV. If the families of Supreme Court Justices have the same profile and exposure as the highest-ranking officials in our government, they deserve the same level of protection.”
The bill would ensure round-the-clock protection for Justices and their family members.