According to U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, a gunman who killed her son and wounded her husband in 2020 also targeted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is an Obama appointee and one of three liberal justices currently on the high court. Speaking for an episode of the CBS program 60 Minutes that’s slated for this coming Sunday, Salas revealed that authorities found a dossier on Sotomayor in a locker that the gunman, Roy Den Hollander, used. The gunman, who was a lawyer who once had a case before Salas, committed suicide after his attack on the judge’s family.
As Salas explained it, authorities “found another gun, a Glock, more ammunition,” but “the most troubling thing they found was a manila folder with a workup on Justice Sonia Sotomayor.” According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court declined to comment on the substance of Salas’s revelations. Instead, the spokesperson noted that the court doesn’t “discuss security as a matter of court policy.”
Meanwhile, during her CBS appearance, Salas added as follows:
‘Who knows what could have happened? But we need to understand that judges are at risk. That we put ourselves in great danger every day for doing our jobs.’
Check out her comments below:
In the description of CNN, “Salas and others are working to pass legislation that would protect judges’ personally identifiable information from publication on public internet sites.” Last year, the then-director of the Administrative Office of the US Courts told Congress “that there were 4,449 threats and inappropriate communications in 2019, up from 926 such incidents in 2015, according to the US Marshals Service,” the outlet adds, seemingly indicating that substantive threats to the safety of judges across the country have only risen in number.
Ex-President Donald Trump has repeatedly targeted judges with his own rhetoric, including in the context of his recent fight against the documented outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Although there is no apparent direct, tangible connection between the ex-president’s rhetoric and the attack on Salas’s family or targeting of Sotomayor, Trump even singled out the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court for criticism. After a loss at the court when the justices declined to hear a lawsuit seeking the invalidation of Joe Biden’s election victories in four key states, Trump tweeted that he and his supporters would “fight on!” The following month, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.