Judicial Security: Responsibilities and Current Issues [Updated July 9, 2007]   [open pdf - 186KB]

"The importance of judicial security was underscored by the murders of family members of a Chicago federal judge on February 28, 2005, and the killings less than two weeks later of a state judge, a court reporter, and a sheriff's deputy in an Atlanta courthouse. Shortly after these incidents, the House and the Senate held hearings and legislation was introduced to (among other things) improve courtroom security for judicial officers; safeguard judges and their families at home; restrict postings of personal information about judicial officials and their families on the Internet; extend or make permanent the authority to redact certain information from judicial officers, judicial employees, and their families' financial disclosure forms; and increase penalties for attacks against them and other law enforcement personnel. Although several judicial security bills were introduced in the House and Senate in the 109th Congress, the security provisions enacted were in an appropriations act (P.L. 109-13), which included funding for intrusion detection alarms in judges' homes. Early in the 110th Congress, the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees introduced H.R. 660 and S. 378, companion bills similar to the bills introduced in the previous Congress. H.R. 660 was referred to three committees: Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Government Reform. On May 3, 2007, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on H.R. 660; and on June 13, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee amended H.R. 660 and ordered the bill reported."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33464
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