Man Sentenced for Threatening SCOTUS Justice

( – On April 2, Neal Brij Sidhwaney, 43, of Fernandina Beach, Florida, was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison by United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard for threatening to kill a Supreme Court justice.

On July 31, 2023, Sidhwaney called the U.S. Supreme Court twice, leaving an “expletive-laden, threatening voicemail message” aimed at Chief Justice John Roberts. According to court documents, Sidhwaney’s messages included his name, along with instructions for the U.S. Marshals to ensure Roberts received his message that he would kill him. In August, Sidhwaney was arrested and charged with making an interstate threat to injure. Following his arrest, Sidhwaney underwent a competency hearing ordered by a federal magistrate judge. Though Sidhwaney denied that he had psychotic symptoms, according to a copy of his forensic psychological evaluation included in court records, “delusional thought processes” were evident during the examination. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Sidhwaney pleaded guilty to the charges on Dec. 15.

Following his imprisonment, Sidhwaney will have three years of supervised release.

In the last decade, threats against public officials have increased. In June 2022, California resident Nicholas John Roske was arrested with a bag containing a gun and burglary tools near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after a Supreme Court draft decision regarding overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked. Roske was charged with allegedly attempting to kill Kavanaugh and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, in court filings, his attorneys say they are talking with prosecutors about “a pretrial resolution.”

According to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education (NCITE) Center report, 501 threats against public officials have resulted in federal charges since 2013. The most common threats were against the military, law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors. In 2017 and 2021, the report noted the threats spiked, coinciding with years after national elections.

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