With a new annual budget request posted Thursday, the Supreme Court told Congress that it needs nearly $6 million in new security funding to expand the protection justices receive following threats to the court last summer.
“On-going threat assessments show evolving risks that require continuous protection,” the court said in its budget request. “Additional funding would provide for contract positions, eventually transitioning to full-time employees, that will augment capabilities of the Supreme Court police force and allow it to accomplish its protective mission.”
Thursday’s submission to Congress is the first annual budget request the Supreme Court is making to Congress since Justice Brett Kavanaugh was targeted with an alleged assassination attempt last summer.
That attempt, along with how lower court judges and their families have been the target of violence, has raised the issue of judicial security – which tends to have broad, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. Also raising questions about the justices’ safety were the protestors that demonstrated outside the justices’ homes in the wake of a leaked draft opinion last spring that would go on to overturn national abortion rights protections.
After the Kavanaugh incident, Congress passed supplemental funding last year to boost the justices’ security.
The new budget documents referenced that additional funding and said with the next round of annual spending, $4 million of what it requested would go to the “annualization of police pay adjustments and protective activities that were funded” with the supplemental security bill.
Overall, the Supreme Court is asking for $150,824,000 in the coming appropriations process for 2024.