July 14, 2022
The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.
Governor of Maryland
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear Governor Hogan:
We write with great concern for the safety of the United States Supreme Court Justices who reside in Maryland. As you are aware, recent decisions by the Supreme Court have sparked protests around the county, including at the homes of the Justices themselves. Members of the public certainly have the First Amendment right to protest, peacefully assemble, and redress grievances with their government. However, activities at the homes of Justices took a frightening turn when an individual flew from California to Maryland and showed up at the home of Justice
Kavanaugh with a plan, and the tools, to assassinate him.
It is incredibly fortunate that with the quick actions of law enforcement, this would-be assassin was captured before he could carry out his plan. But this incident also underscores the dangers the Justices are facing at this time in our history. This is not only true for Supreme Court Justices, as threats to members of the judiciary across the nation have increased significantly over the last several years. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. federal judges were the target of more than 4,500 threats and inappropriate communications in 2021, and they say the risk is “growing exponentially”.
Recently, the Supreme Court Marshall reached out to you, Virginia Governor Youngkin, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay requesting help in protecting the safety of the Justices residing in Maryland and Virginia. We want to echo this request and urge you to direct the Maryland State Police to enforce Maryland laws related to protests at the homes of these Justices.
Our federal judiciary is the branch of government that, by design, is insulated from public opinions and political pressure as it interprets the laws of the land. Judges, including our Supreme Court Justices, should not live in fear of harassment and reprisals for simply doing their jobs. There is no doubt that the federal government – both Congress and federal law enforcement – must act to provide more protection for Supreme Court Justices. In the meantime, Maryland’s government has a moral obligation to protect the lives of these Justices who reside within our borders.