(NewsNation) —Threats have been issued to Supreme Court justices since the leak of an opinion draft signaling the court would overturn the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade.
A metal fence has been put up around the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. and rumors of protests planned at justice’s homes have alerted authorities to rising threats facing justices as protest both against and in-favor of the decision have popped up nationwide.
Todd Kiel, a retired diplomatic service agent who protected diplomats and cabinet secretaries said Supreme Court Police, who are tasked with protecting justices, have to take outside threats “seriously.”
Kiel also said the unknown person who leaked the draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, must also be considered a threat.
“They have to look at an internal threat,” Kiel said. “An internal threat is extremely challenging. Potentially an internal threat is coming from someone who has access, someone who has an ID badge, someone who can get close to the justices.”
Republican and Democratic senators came out this week and acknowledged the need for increased security around justices following threats which are believed to be credible.
“Provide protective details for the judges and their families who have already been threatened with violence,” said Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware introduced a bill that would provide more police resources and around the clock security to justices and their families at work and at home.
“It’s not just an attack against the independence of the judiciary. This risks violence against members of the Supreme Court and their families,” Cornyn said.
Security for Supreme Court justices has thus far been about the only thing Republicans and Democrats have agreed upon in the aftermath of the leak.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the leak “illegal” and said it was an attempt by Democrats to “bully” and “intimidate” Supreme Court justices in a statement earlier this week.
Democratic Governors in blue states like California and Illinois meanwhile used the leak as an opportunity to reaffirm their state’s stance that abortions are a woman’s right.