U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J) and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today joined U.S. District Judge Esther Salas following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021.
The legislation, named for Judge Salas’s son who was murdered during a violent home invasion last year, would safeguard the personally identifiable information of federal judges and their immediate families that could leave them vulnerable to potential threats.
The senators appeared with Judge Salas and her husband Mark at the Hart Senate Office Building
following Booker’s shepherding of the markup through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mark also sustained injuries in the attack that resulted in the death of Daniel Anderl at the judge’s family home.
“I stand here as a proud citizen of this country, as a proud mother on behalf of Daniel,” said Judge Salas. “Today is a good day.”
The judge thanked the senators for their work on the legislation, and vowed that she and her family would do “everything within our power to avoid a tragedy like this happening again to some poor unsuspecting judge and their families.
“We thank the senators in advance; we thank Congress in advance for working together to make sure this never happens again,” Judge Salas said.
The legislation has bipartisan support and passed unanimously out of committee.
Menendez choked up when he considered a question about its chances of passing, with the judge and her husband standing beside him.
“No one is more powerful and persuasive than Judge Salas,” New Jersey’s senior senator said. “Only when you take tragedy and turn it into a powerful argument, that’s the most powerful argument and Judge Salas and Mark have been … beyond remarkable. We’re going to work to find every moving vehicle that is possible. Nobody suggests judges shouldn’t have the protection. The question is whether that protection should be expanded. We will have discussions. …We want the judiciary protected on all sides.”
Judge Salas also credited the work of U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), and in conclusion, remembered her late son and the work ahead. “Today, Danny is with us,” the judge said. “I will never stop telling our story. We suffered through 17 months. I will continue to shine a light on it. I will do my best and my part to make sure we never forget Daniel; to protect our personal information so people can’t use it to target us and literally shoot us down in our homes.”