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FBA Asks for Proactive Approach to Judicial Security
In a letter to the chair and ranking member of the House Judiciary
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, the Federal Bar
Association (FBA) has asked that a number of security concerns be addressed to
ensure the safety of federal judges and their families.
“The Federal Bar Association is committed to assuring that federal judges and
other Judicial Branch ofﬁcials are able to perform their duties in safety, which
is critical to the rule of law in our country,” Thomas R. Schuck, president of
the FBA, wrote to Representatives Howard Coble (R-NC) and Robert Scott (D-VA).
The FBA letter addressed judicial security as the subcommittee began
consideration of H.R. 1751, the Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection
Act of 2005.
“We recommend that Congress ensure a reasonable minimum level of home
security for Article III judges and the members of their immediate family,”
Schuck said in the letter, “either fully or partially funded or defrayed with
tax incentives.” To provide reasonable levels of security when judges and
members of their family are not in secure locations, the FBA recommended funding
for remote car starters, global positioning devices on judges’ cars, and
personal pagers that would send an alert when activated.
The association also supports the timely implementation and funding of DOJ
recommendations made in a March 2004 Inspector General’s report, which would
affect the U.S. Marshals Service’s judicial security process; greater
collaboration between the USMS and the Administrative Ofﬁce on security issues;
adequate funding for and sharing of the USMS threat assessments among federal
districts, state courts, and state law enforcement agencies; funded training by
the USMS of federal judges, their staff, and family members, as appropriate, to
identify and deal with threatening or suspicious behavior outside of protected
areas; Congressional action to protect personal information about judges and
members of their immediate families: legislation restricting the publication of
personal information about federal judges and their employees; and review of
current laws for their adequacy to protect federal judges and family members
from harassment that does not rise to the level of threatening behavior.
Read more about what the Federal Bar Association has to say on judicial
security by visiting www.fedbar.org/legis.html#judicialsecurity.