Gunman arrested outside Brett Kavanaugh's home

Man Found Outside Kavanaugh’s Home Charged With Attempted Murder

Police officers stand guard outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in anticipation of an abortion-rights demonstration on May 18, 2022.

(Bloomberg) -- A man who was armed with a pistol outside Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home Wednesday and said he wanted to kill him faces federal attempted murder charges, according to a complaint filed in US District Court in Maryland.

By Greg Stohr

Word Count: 436
Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, told detectives he believed the justice he intended to kill would vote to loosen gun controls in a pending Supreme Court decision. Roske was scheduled to appear before US Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan Wednesday.Roske was seen by two US deputy marshals getting out of a taxi near a justice’s home dressed in black and carrying a backpack and a suitcase, according to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint. The Supreme Court identified the justice as Kavanaugh, who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and whose home has previously been targeted by protesters.

“The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh,” Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in an email.

Roske was taken into custody by the Montgomery County Police and allegedly also told detectives that he was upset about the recent leak of the court’s draft decision regarding the right to abortion and the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

A search of his backpack and suitcase revealed he was carrying a tactical knife, a pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, and various hardware, according to the affidavit.

Kavanaugh’s home has been the site of protests since Politico published the draft opinion May 2. Politico said Kavanaugh was one of five justices who at least tentatively voted to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which established the constitutional right to abortion in 1973.

The Supreme Court has ramped up security since then, surrounding its building with eight-foot unscalable fencing. The building has been closed to the public since the pandemic began in March 2020. The court is scheduled to rule by the end of its term in late June or early July.

Politicians said justices needed to be better protected after the incident. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the reported incident “an assassination attempt against a sitting justice, or something close to it.” He called on the House to act by the end of the day on Senate-passed legislation that would enhance security for Supreme Court justices and their family members.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, said Wednesday he is “hopeful we can get an agreement soon” to enhance Supreme Court security.

Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters Wednesday that threats of violence against justices “strike at the heart of our democracy.”

–With assistance from Sabrina Willmer, Erik Wasson and Chris Strohm.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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