Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday hammered Democrats in the House for not passing a Supreme Court security bill in the wake of a man being arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home Wednesday morning.
The comments by McConnell, R-Ky., came as details were still emerging about the man, who was arrested in the early morning hours Wednesday. Sources confirmed to Fox News that the suspect was carrying a gun and a knife when arrested and had made violent threats against Kavanaugh.
The man’s name is being withheld at this time, but sources say he is in his 20s and from California and was picked up on a nearby street. He did not get to the Kavanaugh home.
“This is where we are… if these reports are correct, an assassination attempt against a sitting justice, or something close to it,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
“This is exactly the kind of event that many worried the unhinged, reckless apocalyptic from prominent figures toward the court, going back many months, and especially in recent weeks, could make more likely,” McConnell added.
McConnell attacked House Democrats for not passing legislation to increase security for justices, which the Senate passed unanimously amid protests at justices’ homes last month. Those protests followed the leak of a draft opinion, published by Politico that indicated the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“House Democrats have spent weeks blocking the measure that passed here unanimously related to security for Supreme Court justices,” McConnell said. “That needs to change, and it needs to change right now… No more fiddling around with this… They need to stop their multi-week blockade against the Supreme court security bill and pass it before the sun sets today.”
House Democrats had hoped to expand the Supreme Court security measure to include security for other court employees. But it’s nevertheless remained stagnant as the Supreme Court marches toward the end of its term.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Wednesday that “very positive discussions” are ongoing between House Democrats and senators behind the bill to ensure the “i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.”
McConnell also said that many feared the leak of a draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, published by Politico last month, could fuel similar threats.
The GOP leader called the leak “a breach of the court’s rules and norms.” If the apparent draft opinion stands when the court issues its final ruling, it would overturn Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion, allowing states to ban it if they choose.
McConnell was not the only Republican to immediately react to the threat to Kavanaugh Wednesday.
“The arrest of this individual proves these threats to the Justices’ lives are horrifyingly real, and it’s unconscionable for House Democrats to leave their families without police protection for even one more day,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.
“Thank God that law enforcement stopped this lunatic. Political violence is un-American. President Biden needs to personally and forcefully condemn violence and threats against Supreme Court Justices – his oath of office demands nothing less,” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., added. “Majority Leader Schumer needs to publicly recant of his lunatic shrieking on the steps of the Supreme Court that ‘Brett Kavanaugh will reap the whirlwind.’ This isn’t ‘a lot of passion’ – someone could get killed.”
A spokesperson for Schumer pointed to comments the majority leader subsequently made walking back the comments Sasse alluded to. “I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat,” Schumer said in 2020.
The spokesperson also said Schumer supports peaceful protests and is thankful law enforcement arrested the person threatening Kavanaugh Wednesday.