WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed out of committee the bipartisan Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act. The bill—named for Judge Esther Salas’s son, who died protecting his family from a disgruntled litigant—would protect judges’ sensitive personal information from being sold by commercial data brokers online, limit the posting of judges’ personal information on government websites, and set up a process overseen by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to enable judges to request that other websites remove sensitive personal information when there is no legitimate public interest to publish such information. The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act was led in the Senate by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who recommended Judge Salas to President Barack Obama for appointment to the federal bench; Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Senator John Kennedy (R-LA); and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); and has since been co-sponsored by numerous Senators from both parties.
“I made a personal commitment to Judge Salas that I would push for legislation to better protect those who serve on our federal judiciary. Today, we are one step closer to fulfilling that promise with this important legislation passing the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Menendez. “Over the past several years, we have witnessed increased threats against the men and women who serve on our federal judiciary. To ensure the sanctity of judicial independence and to help prevent another devastating tragedy like the one endured by Judge Salas, I urge my colleagues in Congress to swiftly pass this commonsense, bipartisan bill.”
“I am grateful that Senators of both parties came together today to support the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act— urgently needed legislation that will help protect the privacy and safety of federal judges and their families,” said Booker. “No person who takes on the responsibility of serving as a federal judge should ever have to live in fear that they or their family could be targeted by someone who is able to access their personal information easily online. As we continue to grieve and stand with the Salas family in honoring the memory of their son Daniel, we must never forget that tragic day, and we must ensure that this legislation is passed by the full Senate.”
“Last year, Judge Salas, her husband Mark, and their son Daniel were the targets of a horrific crime that took Daniel’s life. I want to commend Judge Salas, Judge Joan Lefkow, and so many others who have worked hard on this legislation that bears Daniel’s name to help spare other families what their families suffered,” said Durbin. “The reality is that, by doing their job of administering justice in cases and controversies, federal judges put themselves—and their families—at risk from those who are unhappy with the outcome. I’m proud to support this careful and considerate bipartisan compromise that is responsive to this urgent issue.”
“I’m glad this legislation to provide more security for our federal judiciary has passed in committee,” said Graham. “The tragic and senseless death of Daniel Anderl is a grim reminder of the problems our federal judiciary and their families face. I will continue to do everything in my power to work with my colleagues to make sure Mr. Anderl did not die in vain.”
“Serving as a federal judge shouldn’t put your life or the lives of your family at risk,” said Feinstein. “I’m glad our bill to better protect federal judges’ private information passed out of the Judiciary Committee today with strong bipartisan support. I hope we will be able to bring it up before the full Senate quickly and enact it into law.”
The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 21-0-1.