Courthouse Security

Judge urges congressional condemnation of criticism of judges

A federal judge whose family was murdered is urging the Senate to condemn harsh remarks about the judiciary.

U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow told the Senate Judiciary Committee the safety of judges around the country is at stake. She says, "Fostering disrespect for judges can only encourage those who are on the edge, or the fringe, to exact revenge on a judge who ruled against them." In her prepared remarks for today's hearing, she also urged Congress to "publicly and persistently repudiate" what she calls "gratuitous attacks on the judiciary" that occurred after the Terri Schiavo case. For example, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said of the Schiavo case, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."

Lefkow's husband and mother were killed in her Chicago home in February by a man upset with her decision to dismiss his medical malpractice case.