“The Senate by unanimous consent passed a bill that provides the U.S. Marshals Service and Supreme Court an additional $19.4 million to cover increased security costs. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) and Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) beseeched House leaders to pass the bill before adjourning last month. ‘The need for and urgency of this security funding is plain,’ they wrote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently disagreed.”
Democrats and Supreme Court Security
By: The Editorial Board
July 8, 2022
Washington is crazytown these days, as protesters harass Supreme Court Justices at home, and this week they pursued Justice Brett Kavanaugh while he was having dinner at a Morton’s steakhouse (see Notable & Quotable nearby). Will this finally be enough to get Congress to act to better protect the Justices and their families?
The Senate returns Monday after a two-week recess, and the first order of business should be passing legislation that funds security to protect the Justices’ families. House Democrats waylaid the bill before the break in what seemed to be an act of spite for the decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
House Democrats begrudgingly passed a Senate bill in June to extend police protection to the Justices’ immediate families, though only after a man with a gun, knife and burglary tools was arrested outside Justice Kavanaugh’s Maryland home. Twenty-seven Democrats voted against the bill.
But Congress also must provide the resources to fund the expanded protection. The Senate by unanimous consent passed a bill that provides the U.S. Marshals Service and Supreme Court an additional $19.4 million to cover increased security costs. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) and Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) beseeched House leaders to pass the bill before adjourning last month. “The need for and urgency of this security funding is plain,” they wrote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently disagreed.
Rather than send a clean bill straight to Mr. Biden’s desk, House Democrats added two unrelated amendments that require the legislation to go back to the Senate for another vote. Yet the Senate had adjourned for two weeks, so the soonest it can vote on the legislation is July 11, which is Monday.
One amendment imposes a 75-cent excise tax on Covid-19 vaccines to fund the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is in no imminent danger of going broke. The other declares that it is the “sense of Congress” that the cost of insulin is “often prohibitive” and can “lower medication use.”
Both measures enjoy bipartisan support, but they’re extraneous to the security bill. Perhaps Democrats were trying to spite the Justices while dodging accusations of partisanship. As a friend once advised, when you’re trying to figure out political motives, think lower.