WASHINGTON — Two senators are hoping to pass bipartisan legislation this week that would extend security protections to immediate family members of Supreme Court justices amid heightened tensions over a forthcoming abortion ruling.
Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, aim to pass the Supreme Court Police Parity Act through an expedited process as soon as Monday or Tuesday, an aide to Coons confirmed to NBC News.
The bill, which was introduced last week, would provide security in line with protections for family members of certain executive and legislative branch officials.
“We must act to ensure Justices and their families are protected from those who wish to cause them harm by extending Supreme Court police security to family members,” Cornyn said in a statement, citing “the events of the past week.”
The lawmakers are hoping to pass the legislation by unanimous consent, a process that would forgo a roll call vote so long as no senators object to the measure. After that, it would go to the House.
The push comes as protesters have held demonstrations after Politico published a leaked draft opinion that indicated a majority of justices were prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Over the weekend, protesters demonstrated outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. Another demonstration appeared to be scheduled for Monday night outside the home of Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the leaked draft.
In a separate statement, Coons called the bill an “unfortunate necessity” but one that was needed to address “extremes on both sides of the political spectrum.”
“Millions of Americans who tuned into…Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing couldn’t miss seeing her husband and daughter on national TV,” Coons said. “If the families of Supreme Court Justices have the same profile and exposure as the highest ranking officials in our government, they deserve the same level of protection.”
Jackson was confirmed by the Senate last month. She will succeed Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires at the end of the court’s term this summer.