WASHINGTON (CNS) — A federal grand jury on June 15 indicted Nicholas John Roske, the man who was found outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh a week earlier with a gun, knife and pepper spray, saying he planned to kill the judge. .
A 26-year-old California man has been charged with one count of attempted assassination of a United States judge.
Roske’s indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland was filed a day after the House of Representatives finally approved a law allowing round-the-clock security for the families of Supreme Court judges.
The measure was passed unanimously by the Senate in May but was delayed by House Democrats who wanted the measure to also include protection for the families of court employees.
According to court documents, Roske arrived in a taxi outside Cavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase shortly after 1:00 a.m. on June 8 with a gun, pepper spray, a knife, and burglary tools. Federal officials said Roske said he bought the gun to kill Kavanaugh and also planned to kill himself.
Two U.S. marshals — part of the security provided to judges after the draft abortion opinion was leaked in May — were noticed by Roske, but he was not detained until he called 911. He was arrested by Montgomery County police after he told a dispatcher his whereabouts. and said he wanted to kill himself.
Roske was reportedly upset by a leaked draft opinion that said the Supreme Court could reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide in his long-awaited ruling in the Mississippi abortion case.
He also said he was upset about the school shooting in Uwald, Texas and thought Kavanaugh would vote to loosen gun control laws. The gun control comment likely refers to the current challenge pending the Supreme Court’s ruling on New York’s concealed carry permit requirement.
“Obviously we will not tolerate this behavior,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters on June 8. prevent them and hold accountable those who commit them.”
Protests in the Supreme Court and outside the homes of some conservative judges began after the leaked May 2 opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy with the potential risk of overturning Rowe as well.
The draft opinion, written by Judge Samuel Alito, said that Rowe “was blatantly wrong from the start” and that “Rowe and Casey should be dismissed.” Casey v. Planned Parenthood is a 1992 decision that confirmed Rowe.
After initial protests over the draft, Garland announced on May 18 that he was tightening security at all judges’ homes. A security fence also surrounds the Supreme Court building and nearby streets are sealed off.
Alito’s draft opinion states that the court’s 1973 ruling on Rowe had exceptionally weak reasoning, “and the decision had devastating consequences.”
“Rowe and Casey are far from achieving a nationwide settlement of the abortion problem, they have ignited debate and deepened divisions,” he added.
A Politico report on the project said that Alito’s opinion was supported by Judges Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, and that Judges Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were working through the controversy. It was unclear how Chief Justice John Roberts planned to vote.
The Department of Homeland Security report said that the leak of the draft report sparked a wave of threats against officials and others and increased the likelihood of extremist violence.
Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim
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