More than 1,000 federal judges have asked the U.S. Courts system for help removing personally identifiable information from the internet under a program implemented after a New Jersey judge’s son was murdered at their house.
That is nearly one-third of the active and retired federal judges eligible for the program, a spokesman for the U.S. Courts system told CNBC on Friday. The response to the online scrubbing program was detailed in the agency’s annual report, released Thursday.
The report also details what it called “a dramatic rise in threats and inappropriate communications against federal judges and other court personnel” in recent years.
Those incidents numbered 4,511 in 2021, a more than four-fold increase from 926 in 2015, according to the report. It cited the U.S. Marshals Service, the agency responsible for protecting federal judges and courthouses.
“Some cases have involved litigants angered by judges’ decisions in cases,” the report said. “And the home addresses of judges handling controversial cases have been circulated on social media.”
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The Justice Department’s internal watchdog in a 2021 report found that the Marshals Service lacked enough resources to adequately protect federal judges and prosecutors.
Last June, a California man armed with a handgun, a knife and pepper spray was arrested outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Federal authorities said the man, Nicholas John Roske, planned to kill Kavanaugh in part because of his expectation that the Supreme Court would overturn the federal right to abortion. The court did so less than two weeks later.
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