Durbin, Obama urge passage of court security bill
Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama are pushing the U-S House to approve a measure designed to improve federal court security before the Congress adjourns for Christmas.
The Court Security Improvement Act would increase penalties for people who threaten or harass judges. The law also would allow the hiring of additional U-S Marshals to protect federal judges.
The law is a result of the 2005 murders of federal Judge Joan Lefkow's family members in Chicago.
The plan would not grant permission to judges to carry concealed firearms, as many House Republicans hoped it would. But Durbin says he hopes House Speaker Dennis Hastert will push for passage of the measure anyway.
If the measure doesn't pass this week, Durbin and Obama say they will try to pass it _ or something similar _ next year.