U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, whose son was murdered at home by a disgruntled attorney, pleaded for tighter security for judicial officers after an armed man was arrested near the Maryland residence of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with an intent to kill him.
The California man, identified as Nicholas John Roske, was arrested Wednesday morning and later admitted his intent to kill Kavanaugh and himself, according to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint. He was found with a gun, knife, and pepper spray, and is being charged with attempting to murder a United States Supreme Court justice.
The incident resonated deeply for Salas, whose 20-year-old son Daniel was killed in a racially motivated attack on her New Jersey home over 22 months ago by a man upset over her handling of a case.
During an interview on “America Reports” Wednesday, Salas said the Kavanugh incident highlights the urgency to pass the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act, which would bolster privacy protections for federal judges and impose restrictions on the sale or dissemination of federal judges’ personal information, with criminal penalties.
“The fact of the matter is, I do have to say that the rule of law is not different for Republican. The rule of law is not different for Democrat,” Salas said. “The rule of law is not different for an Independent. The rule of law is what this country has been founded on, and we as judges, our democracy, it mandates that we pass the Daniel Anderyl bill and do it now. Enough is enough.”
“I think that members of Congress can see the escalation in the numbers of threats against judicial officers,” she told host John Roberts. “It’s just got to stop.”
Since her son’s death, Salas has made it her mission to ensure judges are provided with greater security and protection and their personal information is scrubbed from “open sources,” or websites that can be found by any member of the public through even a basic internet search.
Salas recently told Fox News that the Daniel Adneryl bill, named for her son, has been stalled in Congress, but believes that protecting judges and their families should be a bipartisan effort.
“The one thing we can all agree on is these are real, clear, and present dangers, and we as…citizens of America, I don’t care where or who you know, where you feel you stand with certain topics, this is a bipartisan, bicameral bill,” she said.
“The bill is ready to go. It’s been ready to go for months. I lost my only child. I had four miscarriages. Daniel was a gift from God, and I lost him 22 months and 20 days ago. Yes, I’m counting. I’ll be counting for the rest of my life. And I tell you now that we have to do something,” Salas pleaded, before adding, “My boy and his death is a testament to what will happen if we do not do something to protect the judiciary. “