The importance of judicial security was underscored by the murders of family members of a Chicago federal judge on February 28, 2005, and the killings less than two weeks later of a state judge, a court reporter, and a sheriff's deputy in an Atlanta courthouse. Shortly after these incidents, the House and the Senate held hearings and legislation was introduced to (among other things) improve courtroom security for judicial officers; safeguard judges and their families at home; restrict postings of personal information about judicial officials and their families on the Internet; extend or make permanent the authority to redact certain information from judicial officers, judicial employees, and their families' financial disclosure forms; and increase penalties for attacks against them and other law enforcement personnel. Although several judicial security bills were introduced in the House and Senate in the 109th Congress, the security provisions enacted were in an appropriations act (P.L. 109-13), which included funding for intrusion detection alarms in judges' homes. Early in the 110th Congress, the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees introduced H.R. 660 and S. 378, companion bills similar to the bills introduced in the previous Congress. H.R. 660 was referred to three committees: Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Government Reform. On May 3, 2007, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on H.R. 660; and on June 13, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee amended H.R. 660 and ordered the bill reported. After a February 14, 2007, hearing on judicial security and independence, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S. 378 on March 1, 2007, and reported the bill on March 29, 2007. On April 19, 2007, the Senate passed S. 38 by a vote of 97-0. A third bill (H.R. 1130, the Judicial Disclosure Responsibility Act), to extend the authority of the federal judiciary through 2009 to redact certain personal information of judiciary officers, judicial employees, and their families from financial disclosure statements, was passed by both the House and Senate. The President signed H.R. 1130 into law (P.L. 110-24) on May 3, 2007.
"Updated July 9, 2007." Title from PDF title screen (viewed March 30, 2011).
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