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June 06, 2022

Statement of ABA President Reginald Turner Re: Killing of retired Wisconsin judge John Roemer

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2022 — The American Bar Association is saddened and disturbed by the killing of retired Wisconsin judge John Roemer and offers its condolences to his family and friends. While the details of his murder are still under investigation, information suggests it was related to a prison sentence Judge Roemer adjudged more than a decade ago.

Judicial independence is a bedrock of our democracy. The physical safety of judges is imperative, so that they are able to decide matters that come before them based on the facts presented and the law. Most unfortunately, in 2021, the U.S. Marshals Service reported more than 4,500 threats against our judiciary, a five-fold increase from 2015.

The ABA calls on Congress to act to improve the security of our judges with stronger measures and increased funding. Passage of the bipartisan Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act would enhance judicial security by restricting the disclosure and publication of judges’ personally identifiable information.

The safety of our judges needs to be a priority if our justice system is to function effectively.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.