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Did Democrats threaten to cut funding for Supreme Court security?

In Democrats’ push for a binding code of ethics for the Supreme Court (which is probably unconstitutional), it is alleged that fifteen Democratic Senators threatened to withhold funding for Supreme Court security if they do not adopt such a binding code of ethics. Senator Josh Hawley is one person who made this accusation:


Another who made this point is Senator Ted Cruz:

Tweeter and blogger John Hoge was legally required to make a Monty Python reference (as are we):


But the Washington Post rides in to the rescue, with this defense:

To quote from the opinion piece:

[Senator] Hawley cited a month-old letter from 15 Senate Democrats to the top Republican and Democrat on a subcommittee in charge of the Supreme Court budget. The letter, which came shortly before the Thomas disclosures, concluded by urging the withholding of $10 million in funding unless Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. notifies Congress that the court ‘has put into effect a public code of ethics for justices.’

Then Hawley got to the crux of the matter.

‘That’s an interesting number to me,’ he said, adding: ‘$10 million. $10 million. Why $10 million?’

Hawley’s staff then brought out a placard showing the Supreme Court’s 2024 budget request. He noted that it included $4,028,000 in security funding from the Chips and Science Act and $5,897,000 in additional security funding.

‘Four plus six equals 10,’ Hawley said, rounding the above figures. He added, ‘So in other words, the threat is: We will deny you security unless you do what we want. … Now members of this body say we will deny you security for you, your families, your children unless you do what we want. Extraordinary.’


We have read the letter, and it doesn’t specifically say the money has to come from court security, but it has to come from somewhere, right? When threats are increased against the Supreme Court, it seems like a bad time to cut their budget.

The irony is that this seems likely to backfire in important ways. We have long argued that the ‘Defund the Police’ movement effectively killed the gun control movement, as did official tolerance for rioting. A regular person thinks, ‘if someone tries to hurt me or my family, I might not be able to rely on the police to save me. I might have no one to depend on but myself.’

Now the Supreme Court justices might believe that they might someday find themselves without security to protect them. Indeed, they witnessed the Biden administration sitting on their hands as people protested at their homes, in a plain attempt to intimidate them:

Those justices might also realize that the day might come when someone might try to break into their homes and attempt to do them (or their families) harm—and they and the other adults in their families would be the only people who could protect them. That is not going to encourage them to interpret the Second Amendment narrowly.


As it is, we are reliably informed that most judges already carry whenever they legally can.


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