Two Supreme Court justices, alluding to recent threats against members of the high court, asked Congress yesterday to authorize court employes to drive justices to and from work.
Noting that Congress authorizes transportation for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Justice Byron R. White suggested that the law be amended to entitle the court's eight other members to the same service.
"Recent events around the country and the world have suggested the need for some vigilance," White told a House Appropriations subcommittee. "In light of recent events, all of us should be more careful about where we go and what we do."
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that authorizing such chauffeur service to each justice is a good idea "if one justice has received threats or finds himself in a difficult situation."
Neither White nor O'Connor mentioned recent death threats made in letters received by Justices Harry A. Blackmun and Lewis F. Powell Jr.
White said he was not sure that every justice would want to be chauffeured, and added that the suggested amendment would not require additional court vehicles or employes. He suggested that Congress could place a $10,000 ceiling on the annual cost of such service.