Armed man arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home over threats to judge

An armed man was arrested near the home of Brett Kavanaugh after making threats against the US supreme court justice.

The FBI said the man, Nicholas Roske, told law enforcement he was upset about a leaked draft opinion that showed the court had provisionally voted to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established the right to abortion.

Roske said he had traveled from California “to kill a specific United States supreme court justice”, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent.

He was armed with a tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol, pepper spray, zip ties and a hammer, the FBI said.

Roske was charged with attempted murder.

He was arrested early on Wednesday morning in Montgomery county, Maryland, after he called the county emergency communications center.

“Roske informed the call taker that he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase,” the FBI said.

Roske also told law enforcement he believed Kavanaugh would side with decisions which would loosen gun laws.

A spokesperson for Montgomery county police said: “At 1.42am Montgomery county police department responded to a call for service in the area of supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

“An adult male from California was taken into custody … and transported to a Montgomery county police station. The case was transferred to the FBI.”

Kavanaugh was one of three justices confirmed under the presidency of Donald Trump, giving conservatives control of the court by a 6-3 margin.

His confirmation hearings were hugely controversial. Kavanaugh vehemently denied allegations of historic sexual assault.

The leaked draft opinion on Roe v Wade prompted widespread protest. The court is also expected soon to release a ruling which most observers expect will strike down a New York state law which puts limits the carrying of handguns.