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Would-Be Assassin Arrested Outside Brett Kavanaugh’s Home As House Dems Stall on SCOTUS Security

Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh / Getty Images
• June 8, 2022 12:05 pm

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An armed man was arrested near Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh's home early Wednesday morning, and confessed to plans to assassinate the justice.

The gunman is 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, according to court filings unsealed on Wednesday. The defendant told authorities he planned to kill the justice and then himself, citing the leak of a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and a pending Second Amendment decision as his motivation. The arrest follows a warning issued by the Department of Homeland Security last month that noted the potential increased threat of violence to justices, clerks, and clergy, which could heighten after the official ruling. The would-be assassin was taken into custody with a knife, pepper spray, and a gun, according to an NBC News report.

The breach near Kavanaugh’s home is the latest threat to the Court. The Washington Free Beacon reported in May that a radical leftwing group, ShutdownDC, is crafting plans to obstruct three critical points on Capitol Hill to block access to the Court building altogether on June 13. At a briefing the Free Beacon attended, one organizer said the group’s goal is to "expand the current political crisis." A New York Times opinion writer in May had also urged pro-abortion activists to escalate protests targeting Kavanaugh.

Roske was spotted by marshals protecting the Kavanaugh home when he climbed out of a cab carrying a backpack and a suitcase, according to Wednesday's filing. He spotted the marshals, then backed away from the property. Shortly thereafter, Roske called 911 and confessed to suicidal ideation and his assassination plot. Authorities immediately took him into custody.

The gunman was well outfitted for his deadly purpose. Roske was carrying a Glock 17 handgun with two magazines, a pistol flashlight, pepper spray, zip ties, duct tape, and burglary tools like a crowbar and a nail punch. He wore padded hiking boots.

The Senate passed a bipartisan measure beefing up Court security in May, after leftwing groups began picketing the justices’ homes. The bill is languishing in the House, where Democrats have shown no urgency about the issue. A senior GOP congressional aide told the Free Beacon that Democrats hope the protests will energize their base ahead of the midterms and "have every intention of riding it out as long as they can."

Some House Democrats are pushing a poison pill provision that would extend security to law clerks or other Court staff. A Senate aide told the Free Beacon that measure is dead on arrival in the Senate.

The foiled attack comes as leftwing violence to pro-life advocates is on the rise. Abortion activists on Tuesday firebombed a pro-life pregnancy center in Buffalo, N.Y., the second attack of its kind since the leaked Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health opinion. From Washington, D.C., to Washington State, other pro-abortion activists have vandalized houses of worship and other pro-life pregnancy centers.

The Post said Kavanaugh's would-be killer, who was found with burglary tools in his possession, was equally mad about a string of mass shootings over the past few weeks.

Roske has been charged with one count of attempting to kidnap or murder a Supreme Court justice. He is being tried at a federal court in Greenbelt, Md.

Kevin Daley contributed to this report.

Update 4:36 p.m.: This piece has been updated with information on the would-be assassin from unsealed court records.