House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) insisted Thursday that Supreme Court justices have adequate protection after a bid to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his Maryland home was foiled one day earlier.
As Pelosi left her weekly press conference, she was brought up short by a reporter who told her: “You said the justices are protected, but there was an attempt on Justice Kavanaugh’s life.”
“And he’s protected,” Pelosi snapped back. “He’s protected. The justices are protected.”
Congressional Republicans have urged the House to approve a Senate-passed bill that would give the nation’s leading jurists and their families the same level of security as legislators and White House officials. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent, but the measure has languished before the House for the past month.
Early Wednesday morning, 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske was arrested near Kavanaugh’s Maryland home and later charged with attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice.
Following his arrest, Roske allegedly told an FBI agent that he was upset about a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling and the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 kids and two teachers.
On Wednesday night, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) ripped Democrats after his bid to move the Senate-passed bill was blocked.
“House Democrats are leaving, today they want to leave for a long weekend … I spoke to the majority leader [Steny Hoyer] this morning. I told him nobody on this side would object to unanimous consent,” McCarthy raged on the House floor. “He could run that bill to the floor right now and send it to the president so we can protect the Supreme Court.”
“How many times do they have to be threatened? How many people have to be arrested with a gun outside their home? What would have happened had he not called 911?” added McCarthy, referring to Roske. “He didn’t just have a gun. He had zip ties. But somehow you want to leave. This bill could be on the president’s desk right now.”
House Democrats say they want the expanded security protection to apply to Supreme Court clerks and other staffers, not just the justices. If such a bill is approved by the House, it would then have to go back to the Senate before going to President Biden’s desk.
“This issue is not about the justices. It’s about staff and the rest,” Pelosi said Thursday, later adding: “We’re working together on a bill that the Senate will be able to approve of, because that’s what — we can pass whatever we want here. We want it to be able to pass the Senate. So, I don’t know what you’re talking about, because evidently you haven’t seen what the debate is — not debate, but language is.
“There will be a bill,” the speaker concluded. “But no one is in danger over the weekend because of our not having a bill.”
In the aftermath of the attempted assassination, a clip resurfaced of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) from 2020 in which he warned Kavanaugh and fellow conservative justice Neil Gorsuch that they “will pay the price” for rolling back abortion rights.
“You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” Schumer said at the time.
After a rare rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts, who called the remarks “inappropriate,” Schumer walked back his statement the following day.
“I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They didn’t come out the way I intended to. My point was that there would be political consequences — political consequences — for President Trump and Senate Republicans if the Supreme Court, with the newly confirmed Justices, stripped away a woman’s right to choose,” the now-Majority Leader said. “Of course, I didn’t intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise.”
“I am from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language,” Schumer added. “I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat.”
A Schumer spokesperson told The Post Thursday that the senator has “been clear that he supports peaceful protests and is thankful law enforcement arrested the person yesterday.”