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California Man Charged With Attempted Murder of Supreme Court Justice


FILE - A demonstrator holds up a a sign with pictures of Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch, as people protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, May 3, 2022.

A California man has been charged with the attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Authorities say 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske was arrested near Kavanaugh's home early Wednesday morning in Maryland, just outside Washington.

According to court documents filed by federal prosecutors, Roske was spotted by two U.S. marshals protecting Kavanaugh's home after Roske had arrived by taxi. Roske then called emergency operators and told them he had suicidal thoughts and was planning to kill Kavanaugh. He was still on the phone with operators when he was arrested.

The documents said Roske was carrying a suitcase and backpack that contained a gun, ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, heavy adhesive tape, plastic restraints known as zip ties and other items.

Roske was formally charged in a federal courtroom several hours after his arrest.

He told police he was mad about the court's potential move to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court ruling that legalized abortion. He was also angry about the spate of mass shootings that have occurred in recent weeks.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters Wednesday that "threats of violence, and actual violence against" the justices "strike at the heart of our democracy, and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable."

All of the Supreme Court justices have been provided round-the-clock security after a leaked document indicated the court was considering overturning Roe v. Wade. Some abortion-rights advocates protested near Kavanaugh's home, and some people threatened violence should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press.