Attorney General Merrick Garland says threats against federal judges are a “dangerous problem."
I have “delved very deeply into this problem with respect to judicial security, and it is a big problem, it is a dangerous problem," Garland said Wednesday during an appearance before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies on the DOJ's budget request for 2022, according to The Epoch Times.
“And as we have a rise in domestic violent extremism, it is a serious threat,” he said. “This amount of money, we believe, will enable us to upgrade the home security systems and to provide Marshals intelligence for better tracking threats against judges.”
The Times reported the budget request includes $1.5 billion, or 12% more than the current budget, to fund DOJ efforts to fight international and domestic terrorism.
Part of the money is aimed at supporting the U.S. Marshals Service, which is responsible for judicial security.
During the hearing. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, brought up the case of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. Her son and husband were both shot in their New Jersey home in July 2020. Her son died and husband is still recovering.
After the shooting, Salas called for the protection of judges who have to make tough calls. She asked for personal information of federal judges to be removed from the Internet and urged law enforcement to do more.
“My life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same,” Salas said. “A madman, who I believe was targeting me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house.”
The Epoch Times said the Judicial Security Committee of the Judicial Conference issued five security-related recommendations, which were later approved. Those included seeking legislation to enhance the protection of judges’ personally identifiable information, particularly on the Internet and additional funding for home security measures and for the U.S. Marshals Service.
“Judges need to be safe and secure, and the threats need to be addressed seriously, both protection and ultimate prosecution of perpetrators,” Moran said.
“This is exactly right,” Garland responded. “You can’t have a democracy with due process of law if judges are afraid to make the decisions.”
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