The Senate passed a bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing security for Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court Police Parity Act, introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX), was passed Monday with unanimous consent, meaning no senators objected. The bill now must be passed in the House before heading to President Joe Biden’s desk.
According to a news release from Sen. Coons’ office, the bill would “provide the families of Supreme Court Justices with around-the-clock security protection.” The bill would presumably extend protection to Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas who allegedly urged then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. It would also include the family of recently-confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“Millions of Americans who tuned into Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing couldn’t miss seeing her husband and daughter on national TV,” Coons said in a statement. “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 Supreme Court security bill’s passage in the Senate comes as abortion rights protests continued Monday. After protesting at the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts over the weekend, protesters took to Justice Samuel Alito’s home Monday night. Alito wrote last week’s leaked majority opinion indicating the court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“The events of the past week have intensified the focus on Supreme Court Justices’ families, who are unfortunately facing threats to their safety in today’s increasingly polarized political climate,” Sen. Cornyn said in a statement. “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.”
“The Marshal of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Police are responsible for the protection of the United States Supreme Court and its facilities,” the statement said. “The U.S. Marshals Service has a strong partnership with the Supreme Court Police, and upon the request of the Marshal of the Supreme Court, the USMS does provide assistance as needed.”
CNN contributed to this report.