The Supreme Court is the highest in the country, and thus it makes sense that the justices of this court would be given some protection.
The US Supreme Court is often threatened by people who are upset at decisions they have made or rulings they have handed down, which is why they need to be protected regularly.
All federal judges, including the justices of the Supreme Court, have a small security detail dedicated to them for their lifetime as long as they are in office. This article discusses the agency that provides security to the Supreme Court Justices.
Do Supreme Court Justices Have Secret Service Protection?
No, Supreme Court justices are not protected by the US Secret Service. The Supreme Court has had its police force, known as the US Supreme Court Police (SCOTUS Police), since 1935.
The Secret service agency was established in 1865 to counteract the spread of counterfeit and protect the US currency. Until 1901, the agency’s full-time job was to protect the US presidents and their families.
Supreme Court Justices: Are They In Danger?
As the most powerful court in the country, there are threats to the Supreme Court Justices. The Supreme Court has always been a target for assassination.
It makes sense that the most influential judges in the country would target political activists and others who disagree with the court’s decisions.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, there is approximately a 50% chance that a Supreme Court Justice will be the victim of murder or assassination within the next 14 years.
It may sound shocking, but it’s a real possibility. There have been many attempts on members of the Supreme Court, and some have been successful.
Why Do Supreme Court Justices Need Secret Service Protection?
Supreme Court justices are among the most influential people in the world. The job of a Supreme Court Justice is a high-profile one, which means that they are in danger of being attacked because of their decisions.
Supreme Court Justices need protection because they have just as much power as our nation’s Chief Executive. They don’t hold the office of President, but they do hold a powerful position on the court.
US Supreme Court Justices enjoy police protection due to their position and the controversy surrounding their rulings.
The current membership consists of nine justices who decide some of the nation’s most contentious issues each year, including abortion rights, gun control, capital punishment, immigration reform, and same-sex marriage, to name a few.
What Is The Current Security Situation For Supreme Court Judges?
The Supreme Court is the top justice body in the United States, and its Justices currently have a security detail. Supreme Court justices are some of the most secure individuals in the United States.
The primary agency in Washington, DC, that provides security for the court is the Supreme Court Police.
The Supreme Court building is one of the most fortified buildings in Washington, DC. Security forces protect it from arresting and detaining anyone who enters the building without a valid pass.
The Supreme Court building is guarded by three rotating shifts of armed security police, making it one of only two federal court buildings that have its police force.
Each shift is supervised by a sergeant and is composed of at least 20 officers. For special events, such as oral arguments before the court, additional police are added.
Supreme Court Police
The Supreme Court Police (SCPD) is a police agency responsible for law enforcement, security, and traffic safety in the US Supreme Court building and surrounding grounds in Washington, DC.
The SCPD is a unique agency. Its jurisdiction is limited to a small, designated area; it only has arrest powers on the Supreme Court grounds and adjacent sidewalks and streets.
The SCPD is one of the few police forces globally with jurisdiction over one building and no other territory or population. The department currently employs about 190 sworn officers.
They are authorized to carry firearms, but they have some interesting tools in their arsenal.
The duties of Supreme Court Police include the following :
- To provide security cover to the Judges of the Supreme Court.
- To patrol within the precincts of the Supreme Court building.
- To protect life and property within the precincts of the Supreme Court building.
- To provide and ensure courtroom security during proceedings
- The Supreme court police are responsible for protecting visitors and all others who visit the supreme court.
The History Of The US Secret Service
The Secret Service is charged with investigating crimes related to the country’s money and financial systems and other cybercrimes.
The USSS was initially founded to combat the fast-rising counterfeiting cases of US currency, which was rampant during the Civil War era but has since evolved into a full-time protector of the President.
After President McKinley’s unfortunate assassination in 1901, Congress decided to expand the agency’s duties to full-time protection to include the Presidency and Vice Presidency from physical harm and all their family members.
The Secret Service agency offers protection to:
- The USSS guards the nation’s highest leaders, including the President and Vice President, as well as their families and residences from potential attacks.
- They also guard any visiting foreign heads of state, dignitaries, and diplomats.
- Former US Presidents and their spouses
- The white house
It was formerly a part of the Department of the Treasury but has now become an independent agency. The Secret Service has three distinct areas of responsibility:
- Oversee legitimate threats to National Security: protection of the Presidency and Vice Presidency and their families, along with the foreign heads of state and other individuals officially designated for protection when they visit the US.
They are tasked with foreign powers, terrorist groups, and persons or organizations engaged in espionage threatening the United States’ national security.
- They serve as an economic safeguard; they investigate counterfeiting of US currency and financial crimes against financial institutions and fraud that affect the nation.
- Cyber investigations; include many crimes such as computer and credit card fraud and even cyberterrorism.
The Secret Service’s cybersecurity division has been a relatively quiet organization; until recently.
Hackers are getting more sophisticated, and with the influx of new technologies and social media, the division is increasingly working to stay ahead of potential threats.
As the technology landscape evolves at breakneck speed, the division is forced to rethink its strategy.
In doing so, it hopes to more efficiently protect the government’s digital assets and the nation’s most critical systems from cyber attacks.
The Supreme Court Police have guarded the Supreme Court for over 80 years. In the past, it was considered a high honor to be given protection by the agency.
Nowadays, however, it’s more of an expectation that any person of importance or celebrity will receive protection while they are in office.
While the Supreme Court may not have a full-time secret service detail, they have the same privileges as the President. It is believed that this allows them to go about their daily life without being constantly harassed by strangers.