Democratic Reps. Mikie Sherill of New Jersey and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on New York.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
- The House passed a bill to extend Supreme Court police protections to justices’ family members.
- The vote comes over a month after it quickly passed the Senate and just days after a man threatened to kill Brett Kavanaugh.
- 27 Democrats voted no, largely because they believed the bill should’ve included other provisions.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill by a 396 – 27 vote margin that will extend Supreme Court police protection to family members of the nine justices.
The Senate easily passed the bill via unanimous consent over one month ago following the leak of a draft opinion revealing that the high court is poised to revoke the constitutional right to an abortion originally set forth in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Security barriers have since been erected around the Supreme Court building.
Tuesday’s vote also comes days after a man was arrested after threatening to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Some Republicans have since sought to blame Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for the incident, pointing to comments he made on the steps of the building over two years ago.
Following the incident, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared last Wednesday that the Democratic-controlled House must pass the bill “before the sun sets today.”
The House had been delayed in taking up the bill in part because Democrats insisted on extending the security protections to Supreme Court clerks and staffers as well. Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas — one of the authors of the bill — took issue with that, arguing last month that the House version of the bill contained “divisive provisions,” including “potentially extending police protection to the very person who leaked the draft opinion.”
The House ultimately passed the Senate version on Tuesday, with 27 House Democrats voting against the bill. They included a smattering of progressives who were reportedly dissatisfied that the bill was not tied to legislation from Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas that would protect abortion providers, according to Politico.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York told The Washington Post that the bill sends the wrong message amid lack of broader action on gun control.
“I think that it is just preposterous how quickly this body will move to protect itself and how slowly we move to protect children and people in grocery stores,” she told The Post. “I do not believe in saying that this is a big club and the American people aren’t in it.”
Also voting no were seven of New Jersey’s nine members of Congress, who were unhappy since the bill did not include protections for lower court judges;Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherill had introduced a bill that would’ve allowed judges to shield personal information from the public after New Jersey District Judge Esther Salas’ son was shot at their family home in 2020.
“We fully support expanding security for Supreme Court Justices and their families. We also firmly believe that those expanded protections should apply to federal judges and their families, who face similar threats, with less protective resources,” said New Jersey Democratic Reps. Sherill, Josh Gottheimer, Tom Malinowski, Albio Sires, Bill Pascrell, and Bonnie Watson Coleman in a joint statement following the vote.
“We stood alongside our friend Judge Esther Salas and voted no today because we could not support passing legislation that continues to ignore the pleas of all federal judges for greater security,” they added. “Federal judges regularly face threats to their safety as well as their families due to their work to protect our communities and our democracy.
House Democrats who voted against the bill include:
- Mikie Sherill of New Jersey
- Albio Sires of New Jersey
- Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey
- Tom Malinowski of New Jersey
- Bill Pascrell of New Jersey
- Donald Payne of New Jersey
- Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey
- Jamaal Bowman of New York
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
- Nydia Velázquez of New York
- Adriano Espaillat of New York
- Joyce Beatty of Ohio
- Cori Bush of Missouri
- Veronica Escobar of Texas
- Sylvia Garcia of Texas
- Raul Grijalva of Arizona
- Stephen Horsford of Nevada
- Pramila Jayapal of Washington
- Barbara Lee of California
- Norma Torres of California
- Maxine Waters of California
- Marie Newman of Illinois
- Chuy García of Illinois
- Ed Perlmutter of Colorado
- Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts
- Rashida Tlaib of Michigan
- Brenda Lawrence of Michigan
Read the original article on Business Insider