Goodman legislation to protect Supreme Court justices heads to governor.

OLYMPIA — A bill to increase protections for Supreme Court justices is one step closer to becoming law. The state legislature passed House Bill 2056, sending it to the governor’s desk. Sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, the legislation grants authorization to bailiffs of the Washington Supreme Court to conduct threat assessments on behalf of Supreme Court justices and to obtain criminal history records, including non-conviction data, for the investigation of threats against a justice. 

Under House Bill 2056, all credible threats must then be referred to local law enforcement for further action. Any outcome or anticipated actions related to these threats must then be reported back to the bailiffs of the Supreme Court. 

“Our Supreme Court must maintain its independence to pursue justice under the law and ensure our constitution is upheld,” Goodman stated. “Threats to justices, who are only trying to make fair decisions, undermine our court system and constitution. Protecting our justices protects our democracy.” 

House Bill 2056 creates a clear definition of a threat and addresses the rising concern of threats against public officials, like judges. The legislation also highlights the necessity for Supreme Court bailiffs to be trained and have experience in threat assessment. It provides a more robust framework for ensuring the safety and security of Supreme Court justices. 

House Bill 2056 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.