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FIRST ON FOX – The Justice Department defended its actions to protect the safety of Supreme Court justices in a letter to the governors of Maryland and Virginia the same day a gunman was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home.
The letter, dated June 8, is from Acting Deputy Attorney General Peter Hyun. He responds to a May 11 letter from GOP Govs. Larry Hogan and Glenn Youngkin have been sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland to ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to do more to protect judges.
The six GOP-appointed court members were then and still face protests in their homes after Politico released a leaked draft notice saying the Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“The Department is committed to taking all appropriate measures to enhance security for the judges and the Court,” Hyun’s DOJ response said.
That response came the same day a California man was arrested near Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland, apparently intending to assassinate Justice. That man, Nicholas John Roske, was indicted on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to assassinate Kavanaugh.
Roske was arrested at the Kavanaugh home early in the morning of June 8, allegedly in possession of a firearm, two loaded magazines and additional cartridges, according to a DOJ press release.
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The governors’ May 11 letter further demanded that the department prosecute the protesters for allegedly violating a law banning picketing the homes of federal judges to influence a case.
“On May 18, 2022, the Attorney General convened law enforcement officials from the Supreme Court and the Department to discuss the justices’ security needs,” the DOJ letter also states. “This meeting follows the Department’s May 11, 2022 announcement that the Attorney General had directed the U.S. Marshal’s Service to provide security for the justices by providing additional support to the Supreme Court Marshal and the District Police. Supreme Court.”
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The letter adds that the Marshals Service continues to protect the judges and that the DOJ shares information with other agencies about their safety.
The DOJ letter also declines to discuss the concerns of many people that protests outside judges’ homes could violate federal law.
“Your letter also suggests that certain individuals may have violated federal criminal law. We appreciate the opportunity to have your perspective on this matter,” the Justice Department letter continues. “It is long-standing Department policy and practice that we cannot discuss this information further with you or confirm or deny whether or not an investigation has been initiated.”
The letter adds: “Please do not construe this acknowledgment as confirmation or denial of an investigation into the matters described in your letter.”
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The DOJ has apparently taken no public action to investigate or arrest protesters outside judges’ homes, despite growing public pressure to do so.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment. Hogan’s office said the governor still wants the federal government to step up its defense of the judges.
“The outrageous threats against judges and their neighbors are exactly why the governor continues to call on the federal government to step up law enforcement and ensure their safety,” said Hogan communications director Mike Ricci. “The stakes are simply too high for anything less.”
Fox News’ Bill Mears and Firdausa Stover contributed to this report.
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