One of the U.S. Supreme Court justices still flies commercially, and another justice had his home broken into twice.When are we going to start seriously protecting these respected jurists?
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was recently spotted flying commercially from Washington, D.C. to New York City, Above The Law reported Thursday.
A tipster told the legal industry blog two federal marshals and a New York City Police Department cop escorted her off the plane.
But, as ATL points out, this type of arrangement reflects the reality that there’s no single protocol to protect the U.S. Supreme Court justices.
The question mark reflects the ambiguity over who protects the justices. Sometimes it’s the U.S. Marshals Service, sometimes it’s local police, and sometimes it’s the Supreme Court Police. Here it sounds like a joint effort between the Marshals and the New York Police Department.
Justice Stephen Breyer’s security has also called into question whether the country is doing all it can to protect its justices.
Breyer’s Caribbean home was targeted by a knife-wielding robber in February 2012 while Breyer, his wife, and house guests were in residence, NBC News reported at the time.
Then in May that same year, the justice’s Washington D.C. home was broken into, The New York Times reported at the time.
When the justices are in Washington, they often rely on the high court’s security team, leaving them woefully exposed compared to other high-profile public officials in the capital.
The justices don’t necessarily need the ultra-intense security teams of the president or vice president, but they should be protected enough that their security is never in question.
At the very least, the court should have its own plane that all the justices share, ATL proposes.
As the court takes on increasingly polarising and politicized cases, the justices’ safety could become a real concern. It’s the nation’s responsibility to make sure they are adequately protected.
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