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President Biden on Thursday signed bipartisan legislation to bolster security protection for Supreme Court justices and their families.
The bill passed the House in a 396-27 vote on Tuesday, less than a week after an armed man was arrested outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home and charged with attempted murder. The White House said in a press release on Thursday evening that Biden had signed the bill.
The legislation, which passed the Senate last month, will provide security protections to Supreme Court justices and their families on par with those granted to some members of the executive and legislative branches.
Supreme Court justices already had security details, but the new law will allow around-the-clock protection for families of the justices and any officer of the court if deemed necessary.
The bill was introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) in May, days after a leaked draft opinion signaling that the court was poised to overturn the landmark abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade fueled protests outside of the homes of conservative justices and other demonstrations throughout the country.
The bill’s passage in the House was delayed amid a standoff over House Democrats’ demands that protections also be extended to Supreme Court staff like judicial clerks. Senate Republicans objected to that idea, however.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Monday evening that the lower chamber would vote on the Senate-passed version. All “no” votes came from Democrats.
The White House condemned the threat against Kavanaugh last week and urged any protests around the forthcoming abortion ruling to remain peaceful.
At the same time, Biden has criticized the draft ruling and warned that it could pave the way for the erosion of other rights beyond abortion rights.