On Sunday while appearing on “60 Minutes” US District Court Judge Esther Salas shared that the gunman who killed her son and wounded her husband in 2020 also had set his sights on Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Salas shares that authorities found a dossier on Sotomayor in a locker that was used by the gunman, Roy Den Hollander.
When Salas learned the FBI had found a gun in the gunman’s locker, she says she realized she was not the only one in Hollander’s sights. ”They found another gun, a Glock, more ammunition. But the most troubling thing they found was a manila folder with a workup on Justice Sonia Sotomayor,” says Salas. She says it was chilling to see a Supreme Court member in his sights. ”Who knows what could have happened? But we need to understand that judges are at risk, That we put ourselves in great danger every day for doing our jobs.”
Hollander was a lawyer who had a case before Salas. He took his own life after killing Salas’ son Daniel.
“They found another gun, a Glock, more ammunition. But the most troubling thing they found was a manila folder with a workup on Justice Sonia Sotomayor,” Salas said in the interview.
Salas told 60 Minutes that in the months following her son’s death judges have continued to face new threats.]
She shared one such threat, “‘We,'” quote, ‘must start killing these corrupt politicians and judges, and their families,’ end quote.”
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court declined to give comment on Salas’ revelation stating the court does “not discuss security as a matter of court policy.”
Chief Justice John Roberts has not made any comments about the attack but has spoken out about his concerns about security. He even issued a rare rebuke to then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for statements that he made about Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the court steps in 2020.
“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest level of government are not only inappropriate, but they are also dangerous,” Roberts said at the time.
Salas is working to pass legislation that would protect judges’ “personally identifiable information from publication on public internet sites.”
“Who knows what could have happened?” Salas stated. “But we need to understand that judges are at risk. That we put ourselves in great danger every day for doing our jobs.”
Last year, James Duff, then-director of the Administrative Office of the US Courts, told Congress that there were 4,449 threats and inappropriate communications in 2019, up from 926 such incidents in 2015.