Attorneys for the man accused of attempting to murder Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh told a federal judge Wednesday they have no concerns about their client’s competency.
During a status conference in the case against Nicholas Roske, Maryland federal judge Peter J. Messitte told defense attorneys there was a “very high likelihood” he would order a mental evaluation for Roske following the next update from both parties on the status of the case in 45 days.
Earlier this year, Roske flew from California to the Washington, DC, area with a pistol, ammunition and burglary tools, allegedly intent on killing Kavanaugh, according to an FBI affidavit, telling law enforcement he was upset over the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion on abortion rights, along with an upcoming ruling on gun control and the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He has pleaded not guilty.
When asked by the judge if he had any concerns about Roske’s mental competency, Andrew Szekely, an attorney for Roske, said no.
Messitte said he will need to be satisfied with Roske’s competency if the parties decide to enter a plea agreement. The judge also said that, if at the end of the 45 days a plea agreement has not been accepted, the court would need to start laying out a timetable for a trial.
Roske, dressed in a crimson prison uniform flanked by deputy US Marshals, answered several basic questions from the court on Wednesday, telling Messitte his last job was as a substitute teacher and that he had been taking some medication in prison.
When asked if he knew where he was right now, Roske said: “A federal courthouse.”
At an event in Washington on Tuesday night, Justice Samuel Alito called the leak of his draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade last spring a “grave betrayal” and “shock,” saying that it put the lives of some of the high court’s conservative justices at risk.
Alito said the leak made the justices who were thought to be in the majority “targets for assassination” because it gave some people a reason to think they may be able to prevent the release of the final opinion “from happening by killing one of us.”