WASHINGTON, DC. (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) — The House voted 396-27 on Tuesday to pass a bill extending security protections to Supreme Court justices’ immediate family members.
The bill — the Supreme Court Police Parity Act of 2022 — will now be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. It was introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and passed the Senate in May.
All Republicans voted for the measure, while the more liberal members of the Democratic caucus and New Jersey Democrats voted against the bill. New Jersey Democrats wanted to extend protections to include federal judges, after a New Jersey federal judge’s son was killed in a shooting at her home. However, the final measure does not include that language, but does allow the Marshal of the Supreme Court to provide security to “any officer” of the bench if the Marshal deems it necessary.
The bill has been in the spotlight following the leak of a draft majority opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The leak has sparked public outcry and led to an increase in protests over the potential for the landmark ruling to be overturned.
Supreme Court justices are currently covered by federal security protection under US Code. The bill would extend those protections to immediate family members of the justices as well if the Marshal of the Supreme Court “determines such protection is necessary,” according to the text of the legislation.
Security protections surrounding the high court received fresh attention after the Justice Department charged a man who was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland in June with attempting or threatening to kidnap or murder a US judge.
In an interview Tuesday, Marcus Jones, the chief of police in Montgomery County, Maryland, where multiple justices live, said that the surge in protests outside judges’ residences has “added an incredible amount of work for our officers where the justices live.”
“We’re responding on each of these — whether it’s one person or whether it’s 75 people,” Jones said.
Jones said that in the week after the draft opinion that would overturn Roe was first leaked, there were several “consistent” protests at residences in his county. Since then, they have been occurring sporadically.
The House did not move immediately to take up the Senate bill, however, because Democrats had sought to change the bill to also include security for the family members of Supreme Court clerks and staff if deemed necessary by the Marshal of the Supreme Court.
But as calls from Republicans grew to pass the Senate bill through the House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed her leadership team that the House would pass the Senate bill, according to a person who heard her remarks, a move poised to end an increasingly acrimonious standoff with Republicans over the issue.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Pelosi “was listening to the group” at the leadership meeting “to see how members felt” about moving the Senate bill — and the House version.
“As all of you know, I would have preferred to move a bill which was a little more comprehensive,” Hoyer said on Tuesday.
These are the 27 House Democrats who voted against the measure:
- Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
- Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey
- Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey
- Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey
- Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan
- Rep. Maxine Waters of California
- Rep. Albio Sires of New Jeresey
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado
- Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas
- Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York
- Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada
- Rep. Norma Torres of California
- Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona
- Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas
- Rep. Jesus Garcia of Illinois
- Rep. Barbara Lee of California
- Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts
- Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio
- Rep. Nydia Velázquez of New York
- Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington
- Rep. Donald Payne of New Jersey
- Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York
- Rep. Marie Newman of Illinois
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