When Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed in his Caribbean vacation home 10 days ago, the crime was unremarkable except for one fact: a machete-wielding intruder was able to walk right into the residence of one of the highest members of the U.S. government, says the New York Times. In an era when many top officials are blanketed in security, the Supreme Court justices are exceptions.
According to longtime observers and Congressional budget requests, security arrangements vary depending on a justice's location. In the capital, the justices are protected mainly by the court's own small force, said spokeswoman Kathy Arberg. When the justices leave Washington, the United States Marshals Service takes over, and local police departments help, too. Protection may be relatively light because justices have worked to preserve their freedom of movement, and the Supreme Court has a lucky history — its members have not met with serious violence.