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Monday, January 30, 2023
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Chief Justice Roberts Warns About Danger to SCOTUS Justices

'A judicial system cannot and should not live in fear...'

(Headline USAWith security threats to Supreme Court justices still fresh in American memories, Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday praised programs that protect judges, saying that “we must support judges by ensuring their safety.”

Roberts and other conservative Supreme Court justices were the subject of mobs, some at their homes, after the May leak of the court’s decision that ultimately prohibited infanticide.

Justice Samuel Alito has said that the leak made conservative justices “targets for assassination.” And in June, a man carrying a gun, knife and zip ties was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house after threatening to kill the justice, whose vote was key to overturning the court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Roberts, writing in an annual year-end report about the federal judiciary, did not specifically mention the abortion decision, but the case and the reaction to it seemed clearly on his mind.

“Judicial opinions speak for themselves, and there is no obligation in our free country to agree with them. Indeed, we judges frequently dissent — sometimes strongly — from our colleagues’ opinions, and we explain why in public writings about the cases before us,” Roberts wrote.

After the leak and threat to Kavanaugh, lawmakers passed legislation increasing security protection for the justices and their families.

In addition, in December, lawmakers passed legislation protecting the personal information of federal judges including their addresses.

Roberts thanked members of Congress “who are attending to judicial security needs.” And he said programs that protect judges are “essential to run a system of courts.”

He concluded that, “A judicial system cannot and should not live in fear.”

The justices will hear their first arguments of 2023 on Jan. 9

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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