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Pelosi, Senate Democrats weigh in on DHS memo, slow-moving House bill to protect judges


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As the Biden administration warns of a possible escalation in violence following an upcoming Supreme Court ruling on abortion, leading House Democrats appear to remain at odds with their party in the Senate on the whether Congress should take action to tighten security. for the judges of the court, or leave it to law enforcement.

Speaking to Fox News on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, apparently voiced her opposition to protecting judges and their families, insisting that they are the ones responsible for enforcing the laws. laws that should determine whether the threats they receive warrant a response.

CORNYN SAYS HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE MAKING ‘UNNECESSARY’ CHANGES TO BLOCK SAFETY BILL FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. (L), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (M), Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. (R)
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images | Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“I think any need for protection should be tied to the threat that’s out there,” Pelosi said. “And that’s a judgment that is made by our law enforcement.”

Asked about a bipartisan measure that was successfully passed by the Senate in a unanimous vote and whether she would bring that bill up for a vote in the House, Pelosi reiterated that she believes additional protection “depends on the threat and that it depends on law enforcement.”

Pelosi, Senate Democrats weigh in on DHS memo, slow-moving House bill to protect judges

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The legislation, dubbed the Supreme Court’s Policing Parity Act, was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., amid protests over a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that flagged federal protections for abortion granted under Roe vs. Wade could soon be overthrown.

The measure would provide Supreme Court justices and their family members with around-the-clock security protection. The legislation also allows Supreme Court police to arrest individuals who interfere with the court’s ability to carry out its duties. functions and creates a criminal sanction for persons who obstruct or impede these functions.

Some House Democrats say the bill doesn’t go far enough in offering protections and have called for additional protections for lawyers and other Supreme Court staff.

Last week, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said in a statement that security protection should be extended to paralegals and staff who “have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety”.

Pelosi, Senate Democrats weigh in on DHS memo, slow-moving House bill to protect judges

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the House Democrats press conference on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
(Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Violence or the threat of violence against judges, their clerks or the families of judicial officials is never acceptable,” Hoyer said. “Our majority is committed to protecting those who serve our country in the federal judiciary, and we believe that this effort should extend not only to family members of justices and justices, but also to family members of court clerks and staff who support them and have increasingly faced threats to their physical safety, which is done in Rep. Stanton’s Supreme Court Family Safety Act.

BIDEN’S ROE V. WADE DECISION ADMINISTRATION PREPARES FOR NATIONWIDE VIOLENCE

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told Fox News on Thursday that he thinks House Democrats should not “delay” the process of promoting the measure passed by the Senate.

“They want to expand the categories of people covered. I totally agree, but they shouldn’t delay the whole process to achieve that goal,” Durbin said. “We should actively work on it. It should have been done a long time ago.”

Durbin also said he takes political violence “very seriously” following the release of a May 13 memo from the Department of Homeland Security that details ongoing investigations into threats to “burn or take fire.” ‘Storm’ the Supreme Court building.

Pelosi, Senate Democrats weigh in on DHS memo, slow-moving House bill to protect judges

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“I think we see evidence of that in so many different places on so many different levels,” Durbin said of the political violence. “I take that very seriously when we talk about domestic terrorism. You know, a lot of that is politically inspired and most of it is politically inspired. And so whether it’s on the right or the left, we have to make it clear that violence is never ever acceptable as an expression of your political feelings.”

The court’s conservative justices have already faced targeted protests outside their homes following the leak and the DHS memo, first reported by Axios on Wednesday, reportedly said the protests “are likely to persist and may increase before and after the official court ruling is released.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told Fox News on Thursday that he hopes the House will “follow the Senate’s lead” and push forward the measure to provide additional security for judges and their families.

HOUSE DEMOCRATS SNACK MEASURE IMPROVING SAFETY FOR SCOTUS JUDGES, CLAIMS BILL SHOULD INCLUDE LEGAL CLERKS

“Every officer of the law is entitled to absolute protection and respect,” Blumenthal said. “All violence is abhorrent. There is a role and a place for peaceful protest and a perfectly appropriate time, place and manner, but violence must be deterred by strong measures and I hope the House will follow the decision of the Senate. lead.”

Pelosi, Senate Democrats weigh in on DHS memo, slow-moving House bill to protect judges

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 15, 2020 in Washington, DC
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, pool)

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Having had the opportunity to comment on the DHS memo warning of escalating violence after the delivery of a ruling on Roe v. Wade, Blumenthal said he was “deeply concerned about violent extremism and domestic terrorism on the far right” and insisted that racists in America, based on briefings from the intelligence community that he examined, “currently poses the most persistent and deadly threat to our homeland security.”

“There is a real and present danger of violent extremism around Roe, but also other things that could happen,” he said.

Anders Hagstrom and David Spunt of Fox News contributed to this article.

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