Court Security Bill Passes Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – Federal, state and local judges are facing greater threats, from the deadly attacks inside an Atlanta courtroom to the horrible murder of Chicago Federal Judge Lefkow’s family.  In response to these and other horrific incidents the House Judiciary Committee passed the “Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act of 2005,” a bill that increases protections for judges and other officers of the court.   The bill included two provisions offered by Congressman Schiff:

Provides Grants to Each State:  Since most criminal prosecutions occur at the local level, grants will be distributed to states so they may individually assess and enhance their local security procedures. 

Increases Funding for U.S. Marshals: This provision created a proactive unit within the U.S. Marshals for the protection of judicial officers.  This unit will investigate threats and provide a protective detail to members of the judiciary and federal prosecutors.

“This legislation sends a powerful message to those who would threaten, intimidate or attack members of the Judiciary,” said Congressman Schiff.  “As a former federal prosecutor I understand the chilling affect these violent assaults have on the courtroom.  This bill provides critical tools to increase the protection of judges, lawyers, jurors and other court staff.”  

Congressman Schiff is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on the Judicial Branch and a member of the House Judiciary Committee.  He is also a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.  He represents California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.