The House on Tuesday passed a bill providing security protections to family members of Supreme Court justices.
The Supreme Court Police Parity Act passed the House by a vote of 396-27, with only Democrats voting against it, sending it to the desk of President Joe Biden for his signature.
Tuesday’s vote comes after the Senate approved the bill introduced by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Coons, D-Del., in May via unanimous consent, meaning all 100 members of the upper chamber approved the measure without a formal vote.
It was introduced in the wake of protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices following a leaked opinion to overturn the landmark abortion ruling in Roe vs. Wade and offers “around the clock security protection” to family members of justices and “any officer of the bench” if deemed necessary by the court marshal.
Supreme Court justices already receive federal protection.
The bill was held up as some House Democrats sought to pass an expanded bill that also provided protection for Supreme Court staff, including judicial clerks, if deemed necessary.
Cornyn said the amendment made a “mockery” of the legislation and amounted to a “transparent attempt to stall the legislation.”
“The line between legitimate public discourse and acts of violence has been crossed, and House Democrats cannot continue to turn a blind eye,” he said. “We don’t have time to spare when it comes to protecting the members of the court and their families.”
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the expanded version of the bill was “not going to pass the Senate.”
“The security issue is related to Supreme Court justices, not nameless staff that no one knows,” he said.
The 27 House Democrats who voted against protection for the families of Supreme Court Justices are: Reps. Joyce Beatty (Ohio), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Veronica Escobar (Texas), Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.), Jesús García (Ill.), Sylvia Garcia (Texas), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Steven Horsford (Nevada), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Tom Malinowski (N.J.), Marie Newman (Ill.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Bill Pascrell (N.J.), Donald Payne (N.J.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.), Albio Sires (N.J.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Norma Torres (Calif.), Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.), Maxine Waters (Calif.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.).
House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said he was “surprised” by the pushback to the expanded bill.
“I can’t really give you an explanation, because adding more employees doesn’t seem like a very controversial thing to do,” he said.
The Senate bill was drafted after an organization known as ShutdownDC organized a candlelight vigil outside the home of Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the leaked draft, and similar protests were held outside the homes of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts.
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