The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill providing additional security to Supreme Court justices and their family members Tuesday — six days after an assassination attempt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh was stopped and more than a month after the legislation cleared the Senate by unanimous consent.
The 396-27 vote clears the way for President Biden to sign the measure into law, which he is expected to do.
Republicans had urged the House to pass the Supreme Court Police Parity Act almost from the moment the Senate approved the measure on May 9.
Their appeals took on additional urgency after 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske was arrested near Kavanaugh’s Maryland home June 8 and later charged with attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice.
Following his arrest, Roske allegedly told an FBI agent that he was upset about a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling and about the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 kids and two teachers.
Hours later, House Democrats — including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — blocked an effort by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to pass the bill by unanimous consent.
Ocasio-Cortez later told her supporters that she had blocked the bill due to dissatisfaction with the pace of gun control legislation.
“Oh, so we can pass protections for us and here easily, right? But we can’t pass protections for everyday people? I think not,” she said in an Instagram video. “I’m going to need a roll call vote on that.”
The following day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi waved away Republican concerns about the safety of the justices.
“This issue is not about the justices. It’s about staff and the rest,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at the time, later adding: “No one is in danger over the weekend because of our not having a bill.”
The bill would provide any immediate family member of a Supreme Court justice or officer of the high court with similar protective measures as those given to members of Congress and White House officials — if such protection is deemed necessary by the Marshal of the Supreme Court.