National Public Radio (NPR) today reports that Judges who oversee some of the most emotional cases to reach a courtroom are crying out for more security. Two major groups representing immigration and Social Security judges appeared in Washington on Monday to ask the federal government to do more to protect them from violent threats.
In what may have been the worst episode, a man who was apparently angry over cuts to his Social Security benefits opened fire in the lobby of a Las Vegas courthouse in January. A security officer there died in a hail of gunfire. So did the gunman.
Judge Randall Frye, president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, fears more violence could be on the way.
We render decisions at the end of a hearing, right there, in real time, looking eye to eye with the person who is claiming relief. So if we have to deny their case, they are right there, experiencing all that emotion. And all that potential anger if a case doesn’t go their way.
– Judge Dana Leigh Marks, president of National Association of Immigration Judges
“Over the past four years, there have been approximately 200 similar kinds of threats and, unfortunately, some of those threats have been acted on,” says Frye, who hears Social Security disability claims in Charlotte, N.C. Hear NPR story here: