Congress Stepping Up Efforts to Protect Federal Judiciary

Dr. E.C. Beuck

In recent years, the federal judiciary has come under increasing threat in the course of their duties. During the fiscal year of 2021, there were a combined 4,511 threats and inappropriate communications against federal judges, federal court employees, and jurors. This is a 387% increase as compared to 2015, which experienced only 926 such incidents
. Given the important role that the federal courts have in maintaining our democracy and the rule of law, Congress has considered several pieces of legislation to better protect them in the course of their duties.

The Daniel Anderl Judiciary Security and Privacy Act (S. 2340), named in honor of the son of Judge Esther Salas who was killed on July 19, 2020 by an individual impersonating a package delivery driver, is one such piece of legislation. According to the Act, greater effort will be taken to protect the personally identifiable information of judges from resale by data brokers, as well as allow for federal judges to redact their personal information on federal government websites.

Another Act that was being considered by Congress was The Supreme Court Police Parity Act (S. 4160). Under this act, security currently provided to Supreme Court Justices would be extended to include their immediate families, and so would security be granted to the immediate families of other Supreme Court personnel, subject to the discretion of the Marshal of the Supreme Court. It was ultimately passed by the Senate unanimously, and in the House through a vote of 396 to 27. President Biden signed the bill into law yesterday, June 16th.

Each of these efforts is important to maintain the ability of the judicial branch based throughout our country to rule on the constitutionality of federal laws as well as the disputes that arise from them. Without their safety being assured, and the safety of their families taken into account as a part of that, the rule of law might be increasingly impacted to the degree that it becomes harder to hold the U.S. government accountable.

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Holding a PhD in Political Science, I write about current events and on political topics related to international relations, international law, conflict both between and within states, and the interactions between technology and politics.

Washington, DC
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