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Armed man arrested outside Justice Kavanaugh’s home

The confrontation comes a month after protests at the justice’s home following the leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn federal abortion protections. 

GREENBELT, Md. (CN) — Police apprehended a California man with a gun and knife outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the 26-year-old threatened to kill the Trump appointee early Wednesday morning.

Some hours later, federal prosecutors brought a criminal complaint naming Nicholas John Roske as the man detained outside the justice’s home. Roske has been charged with the attempted murder of a federal judge and will appear before a judge in Greenbelt, Maryland, this afternoon. 

The government says Roske was aggravated by the court’s leaked draft of an opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Roske also is purportedly concerned in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that Kavanaugh will vote to loosen gun control laws. Roske told officers he purchased a pistol and planned to break into Kavanaugh’s house where he would kill the justice and then himself. 

Two U.S. marshals spotted Roske outside Kavanaugh’s home at around 1:05 a.m., according to the complaint. Roske got out of a taxi wearing black clothing and carrying a backpack and suitcase. When Roske noticed the marshals, he walked away and then called 911 to report having suicidal thoughts. Roske told the 911 operator he had a firearm in his suitcase and that he had traveled from California to kill a Supreme Court justice. 

Roske was still on the phone with emergency operators when officers from the Montgomery County Police Department approached and took him into custody. 

In an ensuing search of Roske’s belongings, police found a tactical chest rig, knife, pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light, duct tape, and hiking boots. 

First reported by The Washington Post, the incident comes as the high court nears the end of its term with only weeks left to hand down rulings on abortion access, gun rights and religion in public schools, among other top policy issues.  

“At approximately 1:50 a.m. today, a man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s residence,” Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe confirmed this morning. “The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh. He was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District.”

Last month demonstrators — including Kavanaugh’s own neighbors — gathered outside the justice’s house to protest the court’s leaked draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade. Justice Samuel Alito — who authored the draft — also had protestors outside of his home, as did Chief Justice John Roberts. Since the draft opinion was leaked, an 8-foot “unscalable” fence was erected outside of the Supreme Court building. 

News of the protests led the usually partisan Senate to unanimously pass a bill that would expand security for the justices and their families. Led by Democratic Senator Chris Coons and Republican Senator John Cornyn, the bill is currently stalled in the House. 

The court has faced increased scrutiny this term as the conservative supermajority sits primed to make rulings out of step with the American public. Legal experts have questioned the court’s legitimacy and rebuked what they see as partisan decision-making by some justices.

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