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An armed man who threatened to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was arrested outside the justice’s home in Maryland on Wednesday in the latest instance of violence and intimidation toward pro-lifers since the unprecedented Supreme Court draft opinion leak last month.
Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, was carrying a gun, ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, a screwdriver, zip ties, and other gear when he was arrested by Montgomery County Police Department officers in the early morning hours Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint.
Roske, who is charged with attempted murder of a federal judge, told police that he was upset about Kavanaugh’s positions on Roe v. Wade and the Second Amendment, the complaint said.
The arrest follows weeks of heated rhetoric from pro-choice advocates following the May 2 draft opinion leak that signaled the conservative majority Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Immediately after the leak, pro-choice protesters descended on the Supreme Court, Catholic churches, pro-life organizations, and the justices’ private residences.
Within a week of the leak, vandals targeted at least five pro-life, crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) across the country and at least one pro-life organization.
“More of this. May these people never know a moment of peace or safety until they rot in the ground,” Caroline Reilly, a reporter for Rewire News Group, tweeted after vandals threw a Molotov cocktail into the headquarters of the Wisconsin pro-life organization Wisconsin Family Action.
Just Tuesday, another pro-life Christian pregnancy center in Buffalo, New York, was allegedly targeted by vandals and lit on fire. Police in Amherst, New York, have since launched an investigation, treating the case as an act of arson.
After Roske’s arrest, the group Ruth Sent Us, a pro-abortion group that has coordinated many of the protests since the Supreme Court leak, vowed to protest again “peacefully” outside Kavanaugh’s home Wednesday night.
The group later shared a tweet containing Kavanaugh’s home address.
President Biden, who previously encouraged protests outside the justices’ homes, said Wednesday that he condemned Roske’s actions “in the strongest terms” and supports legislation to fund increased security for the high court and judges.