A California man was charged with attempting to murder United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday, 8 June, ahead of the landmark ruling on abortion rights in the country.
Nicholas John Roske, 26, had planned to murder Kavanaugh with a pistol he had purchased, before he was arrested from near the judge's residence in Maryland on Wednesday. He had also been carrying a crow bar, pepper spray, and other items, news agency Reuters reported, citing an official document.
Since reports of a leaked draft opinion, published on 2 May, indicated that the court court was poised to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalised abortion nationwide, protests have been staged outside Justice Kavanaugh's home in the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase.
According to the affidavit cited by Reuters, Roske told the authorities that he was troubled by the draft opinion and was also upset over the recent school shooting in Texas. He said he was concerned that Kavanaugh would vote against gun regulations in an impending firearms rights case, as per the report.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for attempted murder of a US judge.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that President Biden condemned the actions targeting Kavanaugh "in strong terms".
"As the president has consistently made clear, public officials, including judges, must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety or that of their families, and any threats of violence or attempts to intimidate justices have no place in our society," she said.
(With inputs from Reuters)