A bill to ban information about judges will stumble in the Senate

“That never seems to be enough and it’s unfortunate that the federal judiciary will pay the price for this reclamation.”

Menendez and Sen. Corey Booker (DNJ) played a key role in the legal pressure following the murder of Esther Sales, the 20-year-old son of a federal judge in New Jersey, which was shown by a disgruntled attorney. At his home in July 2020 with a gun. The bill is named in memory of Sal’s son, Daniel Erndral.

In the law argument, Menendez did not mention President Donald Trump’s literal attacks on the judiciary or how it could irritate members of those people, but said the purpose of the law is to protect judges’ freedom to rule without fear or favor.

“The law stands for the independence of our federal judiciary and the safety of all who serve it,” Menendez said.

The initial proposal by federal court officials earlier this year also raised concerns among some transparency and First Amendment advocates. The judiciary demanded “limited criminal enforcement powers,” as well as action to force the removal of information posted on the Internet about judges and their families.

Critics blamed a wide range of information eligible for the ban, including credit card and vehicle license plate numbers, as well as the judge’s spouse’s employer name, primary and secondary home addresses and items such as clubs and religious affiliations. Groups.

Prosecutors said it was difficult to see the public interest in discussing certain details, such as credit card numbers, but they said other relationships could highlight conflicts of interest that could affect how a judge does his job.

“People should be able to talk about whether the judge needs to be reused because of some conflict of interest,” Eugene Voloch, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Politico in September. “These are perfectly legal things for people to talk about.”

Menendez and Booker have updated the current version of the law, in which the judge does not attempt to ban postline postings about religious and civic groups that may be related, but covers many other data called for by the judiciary to be banned. Proposals for criminal enforcement power and penalties for violators of the removed order are also absent from the current version of the bill, which allows the court to order relief and pay indefinite “costs” to violators, as well as order attorney’s fees. .

New Jersey senators have added a waiver to disclose information when it is “displayed as part of a news story, commentary, editorial or other speech on a topic of public concern.”

Menendez said on the Senate floor that the changes are the result of discussions with various officials and organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Together, we carefully updated the legal language to report on issues of public concern and balance, in line with our urgent need to better protect the safety of joint judges and their families.”

While the ACLU welcomed the changes, the group said in a letter to legislators last week that it was not supporting or opposing existing legislation and warned of the possible cooling effect.

“We are concerned that the bill remains sensitive to a constitutional challenge. We believe it is incumbent on us to explain these concerns, although we are not taking a formal formal position. [the bill] This time, ”the letter said. “The First Amendment protects speech in general and not just with those of public concern,” noting that “speakers can lead to self-censorship.”

The amended law still creates a system where federal judges could be asked to rule on whether or not their colleagues’ personal details were included in a “public concern” discussion or were inconsistent for such a discussion. And while the bill clearly applies to social media posts, it’s not clear how the exception will work even in the case of short-message sites like Twitter, where information about the judge can be posted more like an additional reference in a single post. .

The bill would allow judges to compile a list of personal data seeking to restrict and present court administration officials in Washington and Washington, who would be successful on social media and Internet sites for such information. Court administrators will be able to issue present orders on behalf of the judges.

As Paul called for legislation to cover legislators, he said he doubted Menendez and others would sympathize. “I don’t know about you, but regularly the sheriff and the police have to come to our house to threaten my house and I’m not alone.” The Kentucky junior senator also complained about news coverage that included aerial shots of his home.

“They … put a satellite picture of my house on the nightly news. You know, basically pointing out where every crazy person in the world can go to find my home. So, I mean we don’t have to do something, ”Paul said.

Rep in October. An allied bill was introduced by Mickey Sheryl (DNJ) and is pending before the House Judiciary Committee.