Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018.
Tom Williams | Pool | Reuters
A man armed with a handgun, knife, and pepper spray was arrested early Wednesday morning near the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, law-enforcement authorities said.
The man told police he was there to kill Kavanaugh, who lives in Chevy Chase, a suburb just outside of Washington, D.C. according to authorities.
The man, who is not from Maryland, arrived near Kavanaugh’s home in a taxi. Authorities said he was stopped by police near the residence, but not at it.
The Supreme Court in a statement said: “At approximately 1:50 a.m. today, a man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s residence. The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh.”
“He was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District,” according to the Supreme Court.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement said that both the U.S. Marshals Service and Montgomery County Police acted “quickly to apprehend the suspect and prevent him from causing any harm.”
Kavanaugh’s home, like those of other conservative Supreme Court justices, was the site of protests last month after the leak of a majority draft opinion that would overturn the constitutional right to abortion. That draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito, another conservative.
Police stand outside the home of U.S. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh as abortion-rights advocates protest on May 11, 2022 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images
The Supreme Court is expected in the next several weeks to issue a final decision on a Mississippi abortion law that was the subject of the draft opinion. Wednesday incident occurred hours before the court released a ruling on a case unrelated to abortion.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of the continued heightened threat environment across the United States,” which said that in coming months DHS “expects the threat environment to become more dynamic as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets.”
Montgomery County Police Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service said the agency was looking into the arrest.
Security has been tightened at all nine of the justices’ homes since last month, after the unprecedented leak of the draft.
The Department of Justice in mid-May that the Marshals Service is providing “around-the-clock security” at the homes of all nine justices.
A spokesman for the Marshal Service told CNBC that security measures are still in place at the justices’ homes.
Hogan, the Maryland governor, said in a statement that he and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin “will continue to partner with both federal and local law enforcement officials to help ensure these residential areas” where Supreme Court justices live “are secure.
“I call on leaders in both parties in Washington to strongly condemn these actions in no uncertain terms. It is vital to our constitutional system that the justices be able to carry out their duties without fear of violence against them and their families,” Hogan said.