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Man charged with attempted murder of US judge

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A California man has been charged with attempting or threatening to murder or kidnap US Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The man, Nicholas Roske, 26, was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland on Wednesday (US time) with a suitcase of firearms.

US authorities allege that Mr Roske crossed the US from California intending to kill “a specific United States Supreme Court Justice”, according to an FBI affidavit filed to the US District Court.

“Roske indicated that he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws,” it said.

The document said Mr Roske was arrested after he was spotted by two US deputy marshals getting out of a taxi in front of Justice Kavanaugh’s house.

He was carrying a suitcase and backpack filled with a tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol, two magazines, ammunition, pepper spray and zip ties, the FBI said.

He also had a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, gun light and duct tape, the affidavit said.

Protection for US Supreme Court justices has been increased ahead of an expected controversial abortion rights ruling, after a leaked draft ruling in May that is expected to strike down the right to abortion.

The FBI document, said Mr Roske had become suicidal and “began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice”, after breaking into Justice Kavanaugh’s home.

Mr Roske has reportedly told officers he was “upset” about the abortion leak as well as the recent mass school shooting in Texas.

US authorities allege Mr Roske believed Justice Kavanaugh would issue rulings to loosen gun control regulations and support curtailing abortion rights.

Mr Roske appeared in federal court on Wednesday where he acknowledged the nature of charges brought against him.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 22.

The White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told US media that President Joe Biden “condemns the actions of this individual in the strongest terms”.

Mr Bates said Mr Biden was “grateful to law enforcement for quickly taking him into custody”.