A 26-year-old California man has been charged with attempted murder following threats against conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The man was arrested early Wednesday morning near Kavanaugh’s home in the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase. He was carrying a semi-automatic firearm, a knife and a bulletproof vest.
Police arrested a gunman outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who is now facing charges of attempted homicide. “The man was armed and had made threats against Judge Kavanaugh,” a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said in Washington on Wednesday. The responsible public prosecutor’s office in the neighboring state of Maryland announced that the 26-year-old had carried, among other things, a pistol with two magazines, additional ammunition, pepper spray, a hammer and cable ties.
He is charged with attempting to kill a US judge, which could mean up to 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. Nicholas R., who is from California, took a taxi to Kavanaugh’s house in the early hours of Wednesday morning. When he saw two police officers there, he went in the other direction. A short time later, the man called the police and said he was carrying a gun and was considering suicide. Police officers arrested him a little later, it was said.
According to a sworn testimony provided by FBI officials, the man said he was angry about a pending Supreme Court decision on abortion rights and about the shooting at a Texas school in May. The man assumed that Kavanaugh wanted to represent decisions that would further relax gun laws in the United States. The Supreme Court is set to make a decision that could overturn gun control laws in New York.
The incident came ahead of a much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights. A draft judgment leaked in early May shows that the conservative majority of judges at the court are close to delivering the landmark Roe v. Wade” to overturn the 1973 right to abortion in the United States. States would then have a free hand to ban abortions or drastically restrict access to abortions.
The court’s final decision is expected later this month. After the draft judgment became known, there had already been protests in front of the houses of several conservative Supreme Court judges, including Kavanaugh, who was appointed by ex-President Donald Trump. The security measures in front of the judges’ houses and in front of the courthouse itself were then increased.
Kavanaugh is one of six US Supreme Court justices considered conservative. They face three more liberal judges. However, compared to some of his conservative peers, Kavanaugh is considered more moderate.