What We’ve Learned About the Would-Be Kavanaugh Killer

BUCK: An update here on the armed man who was arrested right outside Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland. He went up to police. First of all, the fact that there are still protests going on outside the justices’ homes is wrong, but I guess we’re just supposed to accept that. Fortunately, there’s a law enforcement presence at the homes, obviously, and there needs to be. But this individual, he has been identified as John Roske of California, Nicholas John Roske.

And he was carrying a gun, a knife and pepper spray, along with apparently zip ties, a crowbar, a screwdriver, and I may be missing one. He had all these implements, weapons on him. Clearly, this individual is… In the NYPD, you would have called him an EDP, an emotionally disturbed person.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: That is a professional term used for someone who is crazy in a way that can be a danger or risk to himself or those around him. But it is also a reminder that when the political temperature rises so rapidly because from the very top — whether it’s the White House spokesperson or top Democrat senators — saying things about the revocation of fundamental rights and the destruction of women’s freedom and the servitude of their wombs, et cetera, et cetera, people who are already susceptible to political violence and to motivations for political violence are more likely to act. And this is a highly sensitive moment for the country right now with these justices. We’re still waiting to find out what the final decision is on Roe v. Wade.

CLAY: Which is why I said that I think they need to put out the opinion. I understand some people say you can’t change the process and the protocol. I disagree. I think you need to put out the opinion right now. And also that Chief Justice John Roberts needs to join the majority, make it 6-3, so we’re not talking about one Supreme Court justice being killed. Buck, I hate to even have to discuss this. But let’s be honest. This guy, by the way, I’m reading directly from the affidavit, he “had a Glock 17 pistol, two magazines, tactical chest rig and knife, a pistol light, pepper spray, zip ties and other tools to aid him and assist him in being able to break into Brett Kavanaugh’s house.”

Let’s pretend that he’s able to succeed and assassinates Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. It’s an awful, awful thing, but he was trying to do this. And to your point, he’s probably got major mental issues. But he’s sane enough to have put together this plan to have found where Brett Kavanaugh lives, to have procured all of these attributes, all of these assets, in order to act on his plan. Let’s presume that he got it done, Buck. What happens? Think about how crazy this is.

Right now, there’s a 5-4 majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. On the death of Kavanaugh it falls to 4-4. It doesn’t get overturned. And Joe Biden would have the ability to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court with a lifetime appointment because he has a Senate majority with the tie-breaking vote from Kamala Harris to be able to replace Brett Kavanaugh. Now, I don’t know how the American political establishment would react to effectively allowing a left-wing assassin to kill a Supreme Court justice and then allow a Democrat left-wing justice to replace him.

BUCK: By the way, I believe that is unprecedented. I don’t think has a federal judge of any kind ever been assassinated. I don’t know of any.

CLAY: There have been judges, but we’ve never seen anything like this for a Supreme Court justice.

BUCK: Federal judges, yes, but Supreme Court justice, I don’t believe we’ve ever had an assassination of a Supreme Court justice.

CLAY: To my knowledge, I don’t believe we’ve ever had an assassination of a Supreme Court justice. And, by the way, hopefully we never do. People will say, why are you talking about it? Because this was this guy’s goal. He was trying to kill Kavanaugh so that Roe v. Wade doesn’t get overturned.

BUCK: And let’s remember, the person who works inside the Supreme Court, who leaked this opinion, did so with this intention, create pressure, create a political hurricane that would knock down the judges that were finally going to do what was constitutionally sound on Roe.

CLAY: Which is why I was so angry about the leak. Look, Bush v. Gore didn’t leak early, decisions on who was going to end up being the President of the United States. It’s unprecedented to have a draft opinion leak like this. And what it did was put a target directly on the five justices in the majority because if this is going to be a 5-4 decision…

And again, I would continue to say John Roberts, whatever his trepidation may be, needs to join and make this a 6-3 decision because the Supreme Court justices are still going to have targets on them if it’s 5-4. And the idea is one of them is no longer a justice, gets assassinated like this guy was trying to do, Roe v. Wade gets overturned in the other direction. So it needs to be 6-3 at a minimum.

BUCK: Judges traditionally have been quite safe. I just did a quick search on this. You can, fortunately, thankfully, count on one hand the number of federal judges who have ever been assassinated in 200-plus years of our history.

CLAY: Yes. Having said all that, this guy was trying to assassinate Brett Kavanaugh, and this is why the addresses being distributed so widely by Democrat protesters are so dangerous. This is why the White House’s refusal to condemn protest is so dangerous. All of this. This guy way may well be mentally disturbed, but the intent of his action was not mentally insane.

He understood that if he assassinated… Think about this, Buck. What would happen? Are we going to even be able to have another Supreme Court justice put on the bench? Would even Democrats…? Would Joe Manchin think it was appropriate for Joe Biden to replace an assassinated Republican justice with a left-wing justice? This is the kind of scary calculus that we’re in the middle of right now.

BUCK: The federal marshals are the ones who protect —

CLAY: Thankfully.

BUCK: — federal judges. But with this decision from the DOJ currently to allow these continued intimidation protests, which are still ongoing… We asked our friend Karol Markowicz about this in the first hour; they’re still happening. They should not be allowed to happen. But as that is going on, it just creates more chaos, more problems, more noise. It makes securing and protecting these justices a more difficult proposition for law enforcement. Let’s be honest about this.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: More resources, more noise, more personnel and more resources necessary. More people that are around and in the lives of these justices at their places of residence. So I think it’s exactly what we said in the beginning. It was enormously irresponsible, the Democrat reaction to this. There are people who said that the leak was a heroic act, which is disgusting.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: Those people are morons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of morons who get paid plenty of money to be lib anarchists on TV. But this is a situation now where we see… It’s days — hopefully days — away from this decision, what do you think, Clay, the next two weeks we’ll probably get it?

CLAY: I hope. It seems like the fever pitch had been dialed down a bit, and then we get this news that broke this morning right before we’re about to come on the air. And my advice — and I said it on the show, Buck, when I came right back after the news had broken, I said — is we’ve got to get this opinion out as soon as you possibly can because of the target that’s here. I would just reiterate again, Chief Justice John Roberts needs to be in the 6-3 majority. Needs to support the other five justices.

BUCK: He’s not going to do it.

CLAY: I’m calling him out.

BUCK: I know you’re calling him out, saying he should. I’m saying 10-to-1 odds, he’s not doing it.

CLAY: I think if he truly cares about the health and safety of the justices on the court he will, because my concern is this Buck, if it’s a 5-4 decision, the same motivations that characterized this attempted murder of Kavanaugh will also exist for years into the future as long as Joe Biden is in office and Democrats have potentially a majority in the Senate. And even if they don’t, then you’re back to 4-4. It’s scary.

BUCK: You are talking about crazy people, and anybody who would engage in violence against a judiciary is obviously evil and a lunatic at some level. I think, though, Clay, if the decision comes down, the, “Oh, we’re just going to reverse it back in a year or two,” that gets really big. I know they say they want a court packed. I know people talk about this. But it’s a very different thing to say, “Roe endured,” versus, “Oh, we’re just going to switch it back.” At that point, everybody realizes… I’m not discounting what you say, but I do think there’s a difference. The pressure before the decision is substantially more, though, there will be a tail, a kind of an aftermath of this as well.

CLAY: I think in 2024, Democrats are going to run on, “We have to win the presidency and the Senate so that we can put justices back on the Supreme Court to overturn this.” I don’t think it’s going to go away.

BUCK: I think I’ve also been surprised by how little this has resonated. When I say movement, obviously the Democrat base it’s hair on fire. They completely freak out about this. But we really see what we would expect, which is what do the people that Democrats need…? What does that middle 10% or middle 5% of the country care about? They don’t care about Roe. They care about prices inflation, the border, crime.

CLAY: Yeah, safety.

BUCK: All the polls show that. So I think the Democrats are, once again, going to have a hard time.