Sen. Bob Menendez reaffirmed his promise to fight for the memory of Daniel Anderl, the son of Judge Esther Salas who was killed in his New Jersey home.
The bill was blocked on the floor by Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul, who insisted the same privacy protection be afforded to elected Members of Congress.
“I promised Judge Salas that her son’s death would not be in vain, and we may not have achieved it tonight with Sen. (Cory) Booker, but we will make this happen, hopefully sooner rather than later, but we are going to make this happen,” said Sen. Menendez.
Death of Daniel
In July 2020, a man posing as a FedEx delivery driver opened fire upon Salas’ family, critically wounding her husband Mark Anderl and killing her son Daniel.
The man, a “men’s rights” activist, found Judge Salas’ personal information in the public domain.
“America’s federal judges must be able to render rulings without fearing for their lives or the lives of their loved ones. We must better protect federal judges’ personal information from those who would seek to do them harm,” said Menendez.
Protection Under the Act
The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act would exclude personally-identifiable information of federal judges and immediate family members from being publically available. A version of this bill was signed into law in New Jersey earlier this year.
The protected information would be extended to home addresses, social security numbers, contact information, home or other address displayed on property tax records, vehicle information, photos of their vehicle and home, and the name of the schools and employers of their immediate family members.
The legislation establishes guidelines for federal agencies and commercial data collectors to create safeguards to protect the personal information of active, senior, recalled or retired federal judges and their immediate family. It would authorize the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to monitor and assess online threats, analyze complaints and address acts of aggression and violations, and authorize funding for the United States Marshals Service to expand their current capabilities.
“The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2020 is a bipartisan, bicameral and commonsense plan to safeguard the personal information of federal judges and their families,” said Menendez.
According to New Jersey’s senior senator, federal judges and their families will continue to be able to seek relief through the courts for the knowing and willful publication of their personal information, and the party responsible for the violation will have to pay the costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
This bill enjoys widespread support among those in the judicial system, including the National Association of Attorneys General, National Judicial Conference, the Federal Judges Association, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the American Bar Association, the National Hispanic Bar Association, and the National Bar Association.