One month after the shooting death of the son of a New Jersey judge, the governing body of the United States federal courts is advocating reforms to increase protection for members of the federal judiciary.
The federal Judicial Conference on Friday announced its adoption of five recommended safety reforms following the death of the son of New Jersey federal Judge Esther Salas. The recommendations include:
- Seeking legislation to enhance the protection of judges’ personally identifiable information, especially on the internet.
- Coordinating with the U.S. Marshals Service to support the development of a resource to monitor the public availability of judges’ personally identifiable information, inform judges of related security vulnerabilities and advise the appropriate law enforcement of inappropriate communications.
- Supporting additional appropriations for the upgrade, installation and continued sustainment of the Home Intrusion Detection Systems program to ensure its alignment with current security capabilities and technologies.
- Supporting funding for additional deputy U.S. Marshals in accordance with the District Staffing Model and pursuant to the U.S. Marshals Service annual appropriations request.
- Supporting a direct appropriation to the Federal Protective Service to fund the required upgrades for and cyclical maintenance of the security camera systems it manages at federal courthouses.
“Each of these provisions are long-standing issues of concern to the Judicial Security Committee,” 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Judge David W. McKeague said in a news release. McKeague chairs the Judicial Conference’s Judicial Security Committee, which convened an emergency meeting after the death of Salas’ son and the attack on her husband.
“We believe a comprehensive approach must be taken to address the security vulnerabilities that exist today,” McKeague said.
Authorities say Salas’ son, Daniel Anderl, was killed July 19 by Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer who was found dead the next day from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hollander had posed as a FedEx delivery man to gain access to Salas’ home. Her husband, Mark Anderl, was also shot but survived the attack.
“My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench,” Salas said in a video statement released earlier this month.
“I know this is a complicated issue, and I don’t pretend to know or have all the answers, but together we can find a way,” she continued. “Let’s commence a national dialogue, let’s work collaboratively to find a solution that will safeguard the privacy of federal judges.”
The Judicial Conference has pledged to “aggressively advocate for the recommended legislation and funding needs to carry out these initiatives.”
Indiana’s federal judiciary includes 15 judges: six in the Southern District of Indiana and nine in the Northern District. There are also 13 magistrates in the Hoosier state, with seven in the Southern District and six in the Northern District.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals includes 14 judges serving Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Of those appellate judges, five have offices in Indiana: Judge Michael Kanne in Lafayette; Judge David Hamilton in Bloomington; and Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Daniel Manion and Kenneth Ripple in South Bend.
— Associated Press contributed to this report.