Justice Department watchdog: Marshals Service has 'inadequate' resources to protect judges


“We concluded that the USMS's resources and proactive threat detection capabilities are inadequate to fully meet its protective services obligations to judges and other USMS-protected persons,” the report said.

It comes as threats against federal judges are skyrocketing. The report said that from 2016 to 2019, the Marshals Service saw an 89 percent increase in “security incidents,” inappropriate communications and threats directed at the people it’s supposed to protect. The rate of threats directed at judges has jumped even more: by 400 percent in 2020, according to 60 Minutes.

And last July, a gunman murdered Judge Esther Salas’s son and injured her husband in an effort to kill her. The killer, Roy Den Hollander, hated women and — according to The New York Timesoften described himself as anti-feminist. The day after killing the judge’s son, he was found dead in an apparent suicide. A list of potential targets found in his rental car included the names of three other female judges, the paper reported.

Congressional efforts to better protect judges have failed. Last December, a bill that would have let judges take down social media posts containing their personal information languished in the Senate. In the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, federal judges sought more than $113 million to protect their buildings from such attacks. That money has yet to materialize.

In an appendix to the Inspector General’s report, USMS officials said they concurred with its recommendations.