Armed man arrested near home of US Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh

Police officers stand outside the Maryland home of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in anticipation of an abortion-rights demonstration, on May 18, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - An armed man who made threats against Justice Brett Kavanaugh was arrested near the justice's home in the early morning hours on Wednesday (June 8), the Supreme Court said.

The man told police he wanted to kill the justice, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.

The Post said initial evidence indicated the man was angry about the leaked draft of an opinion overturning the constitutional right to abortion and about recent mass shootings.

"The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh," Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in an email.

The Montgomery County Police Department said it took a man from California into custody after responding to a call at 1.42am on Wednesday.

The department, which declined to say whether the man had a gun, said the case had been transferred to the FBI.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Post said the man was carrying burglary tools in addition to a weapon and did not reach Kavanaugh's property.

Kavanaugh's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, has been the site of protests since Politico published the draft opinion May 2.

Politico said Kavanaugh was one of five justices who at least tentatively voted to overturn the landmark Roe versus Wade ruling, which established the constitutional right to abortion in 1973.

The Supreme Court has ramped up security since then, surrounding its building with eight-foot unscalable fencing. The building has been closed to the public since the pandemic began in March 2020. The court is scheduled to rule by the end of its term in late June or early July.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday called the reported incident "an assassination attempt against a sitting justice, or something close to it."

McConnell called on the House to act by the end of the day on Senate-passed legislation that would enhance security for Supreme Court justices and their family members.

"No more fiddling around with this," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

Brett Kavanaugh (above, with wife Ashley) is said to be one of five justices who at least tentatively voted to overturn the landmark Roe versus Wade ruling, which established the US' constitutional right to abortion in 1973.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, said on Wednesday he is "hopeful we can get an agreement soon" to enhance Supreme Court security.

Hoyer said he is negotiating with Senators Chris Coons and John Cornyn on details and, if changes to the Bill discussed on Tuesday are accepted by all parties, the House can vote soon as well. He said the justices are protected in the meantime.

Attorney-General Merrick Garland told reporters on Wednesday that threats of violence against justices "strike at the heart of our democracy."

Abortion-rights protesters have also targeted the homes of other conservative justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who lives about a half mile from Kavanaugh.

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