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Attorneys General lead push to protect federal judges, families

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Posted at 11:27 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 13:27:50-05

PHOENIX — Attorneys General are leading a push to protect federal judges and their families after an increase in threats toward the cohort.

Arizona AG Mark Brnovich reportedly led a bipartisan coalition that sent a letter to Congress asking for legislation to keep the personal information of federal judiciary members confidential.

The letter supports the passage of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act or other similar legislation. The Act is named after the 20-year-old son of Judge Esther Salas of New Jersey who was killed in July after an attorney in a prior case went to their home and shot Salas' husband and son. The judge's husband survived the attack.

The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act was introduced a few months ago and would require personal information to remain confidential, prohibit data brokers from selling or providing information, and allow judges and immediate family a way to remove their information online.

The AGs also addressed four federal judges who have been murdered since 1979, including Arizona District Judge John Roll who was shot and killed during the mass shooting that left U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords seriously injured and multiple others dead.

"Incidents, inappropriate communications, and threats against federal judges and others protected by the U.S. Marshals Service have been steadily climbing in recent years, as evidenced by a spike in such incidents from 2,357 in 2016 to 4,449 in 2019," a press release says.

Some states have passed state-level legislation, but the letter sent to Congress aims to put federal legislation in place.