Updated 3:40 p.m.
Beginning April 5, visitors to the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in downtown Washington will not be allowed to bring in more than 3.4 ounces of liquid into the courthouse.
Court security officers will require visitors to dispose any liquids, gels and aerosols in excess of 3.4 ounces outside before coming into the courthouse at 333 Constitution Avenue N.W.
A notice of the new policy was posted today on the court’s web site. Court officials declined to say whether an incident involving a liquid triggered the new policy.
"It's important that we do we all we can to stop the bad guys form trying to hurt members of the court family," said Ed Sloane, chief deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Columbia. "This is a deterrent to stay up with technology to keep these bad guys from doing something to this courthouse.”
Chief Judge Royce Lamberth said in December that government officials are weighing the possibility of prosecuting Guantanamo detainees in D.C.'s federal courthouse. Sloane said he did not have an update.
Courthouse visitors are still allowed to buy drinks from the courthouse cafeteria and from vending machines inside the building. A person who leaves the courthouse with a drink will not be allowed to re-enter the building with it, according to the notice.
The court’s security officers, the notice said, are allowed to make exceptions to the new policy for “child care, medical, or other special needs.” Also, jurors who display their summons are exempt from the policy, in addition to judges, court staff, and other building tenants.