Gov. Murphy signs ‘Daniel’s Law’ to protect judges' personal information
Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill into law that protects the personal information of judges and other law enforcement personnel from being publicly available.
Daniel's Law is named after Daniel Anderl, the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, who was slain at the family's home in July by a disgruntled attorney who had targeted Salas and other judges. The law imposes penalties on anyone who publishes personal identifying information such as home addresses or phone numbers.
“Daniel's Law will make a difference. It will protect judges from senseless acts of violence,” Salas said at the bill signing. “In the seconds before his death, Daniel told me to keep talking to him. Well Daniel, on behalf of all New Jersey judges, I thank you son for all you have done. Not just for daddy and I, but for all judicial officers.”
The FBI says Roy Den Hollander targeted Salas and may have been seeking to kill another female judge in New York state. Den Hollander was an anti-feminist attorney whose online manifesto showed resentment for the judge.
“This gunman in particular targeted Judge Salas, not only because he disagreed with her rulings. But also because he could not accept the judgment of a wise Latina in power,” Sen. Bob Menendez said.
The bill signing had a rare appearance by New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.
“I cannot find the words to talk about the unspeakable events of last July. I don't know that they exist,” Rabner said. “But I believed that Judge Salas would respond with grace, with strength and with purpose, and you have done all of that and more.”
“With today's bill signing I believe, symbolically, Daniel is doing what he did for his father and I, he is protecting the lives of countless judicial officers,” Salas said.
Den Hollander took his own life a day after the slaying as police closed in on him.
Legislation similar to Daniel’s Law has been proposed in Congress that would apply nationwide.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.