Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t the only justice whose safety was threatened following the leak of the draft opinion showing Roe v. Wade would likely be overturned.
Authorities arrested 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske near Kavanaugh’s home in the middle of the night on June 8, 2022, after the opinion leaked in May. Roske had traveled from California to Maryland armed with weapons and burglary tools to try to kill the justice, according to a DOJ affidavit.
But Kavanaugh was not Roske’s only target.
“Im gonna stop roe v wade from being overturned,” Roske told a friend, according to an FBI Search warrant obtained by Fox News, saying he would “remove some people from the Supreme Court.”
That friend told Roske that “two dead judges ain’t gonna do nothing,” adding, “The whole government is f***** There’s no fixing that You would die before you killed them all.”
“Yeah,” Roske responded, “but I could get at least one, which would change the votes for decades to come, and I am shooting for 3. All of the major decisions for the past 10 years have been along party lines so if there are more liberal than conservative judges, they will have the power.”
Republican senators reminded the public of Roske’s intentions during a Senate Judiciary hearing on Supreme Court ethics reform on Tuesday, during which Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley accused Senate Democrats of holding Supreme Court security funding hostage.
“We have had three different credible assassination attempts, or threats, against justices, we still have people illegally going to the justices’ homes to attempt to influence their decisions in cases… we have constant threats and danger to their children, we had radicals post publicly the school location of one of the justices’ children,” the senator said.
“And in that context, to say that we will deny them millions of dollars in security funding unless they do what this body wants, I think is the height of irresponsibility,” he added.
Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy also referenced Roske’s intentions as he reminded Democrats of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s 2020 warning on abortion cases: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Kennedy slammed Schumer in particular for the comment, “You won’t know what hit you.”
“A man with a gun, ammunition, knife, pepper spray, and zip ties went to a justice’s home to assassinate him,” Kennedy said. “Actually, his stated goal was to murder three justices.”
“Not so suddenly, the ends justified the means for activists,” the senator said. “Even inside the court itself, the Dobbs decision was not leaked by a left-wing blogger. Why? That’s worth asking. You don’t need to be Einstein’s cousin to figure it out: They aren’t getting their way. They aren’t getting their way, so they want to change the rules.”
Justice Samuel Alito has said that the Dobbs leak made the justices targets for assassination — and that it was part of an effort to intimidate the justices.
“It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft… from becoming the decision of the court,” he said. “And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside—as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court.”
Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino emphasized this point to The Daily Signal as well.
“The leak of the Dobbs draft opinion put all of the justices who were in the majority in a very dangerous position,” she said on Wednesday. “Whoever leaked the opinion knew that the likely effect would be intimidation, threats—or worse.”
Roske’s assassination ambitions flared up after he saw the justices’ addresses posted online, he told authorities. Shortly after the Dobbs leak, the radical pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us posted the justices’ addresses and began urging protesters to go to the homes of the “six extremist justices, three in Virginia and three in Maryland.”
Those justices were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch.
“If you’d like to join or lead a peaceful protest, let us know,” Ruth Sent Us said. “Our 6-3 extremist Supreme Court routinely issues rulings that hurt women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights. We must rise up to force accountability using a diversity of tactics.”
ShutDownDC, a leftist protest group that has protested at the family homes of Hawley and commentator Tucker Carlson, also called for protesting at the justices’ houses and even offered bounties for sightings of the justices.
Far-left protesters Our Rights DC and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights joined these groups in targeting the justices’ homes, even though 18 U.S. Code 1507 forbids picketing or parading “in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” with the intent of intimidating or influencing that person.
The DOJ affidavit describing Roske’s arrest notes that “an inventory search of the seized suitcase and backpack revealed a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, paper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles, and other items.”
The Supreme Court leaker has not been identified.
“I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody,” Justice Alito said in remarks to George Mason University in late April.
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