Joan Lefkow, the Chicago federal judge whose family was murdered, asked U.S. senators today to condemn harsh remarks about the judiciary by commentators like Pat Robertson and members of Congress, the Associated Press reports. “Fostering disrespect for judges can only encourage those that are on the edge, or the fringe, to exact revenge on a judge who ruled against them,” she said in prepared remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Congress should “publicly and persistently repudiate gratuitous attacks on the judiciary” that have occurred in the days since the Terri Schiavo case, Lefkow told a hearing on courthouse security. Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and head of the Christian Broadcasting Network, said ABC’s “This Week”: “Over 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings,” he said. Lefkow said that kind of “harsh rhetoric is truly dangerous.” She wants increase funding for the U.S. Marshals Service, which protects judges and legislation to ban putting personal information about judges and other government officials on the Internet without their permission.