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July 29, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a Senate version of H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act, which ends domestic bulk collection and reforms the government’s surveillance of United States citizens. On May 22, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the USA FREEDOM Act by a vote of 302-121. Senator Leahy’s version of the bill includes a new definition of “specific selection term” that addresses many of the concerns aimed at the House-passed compromise legislation. “Senator Leahy’s introduction of the USA FREEDOM Act reinforces our commitment to protecting the civil liberties and rights of all Americans.
July 28, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott issued the following statement on today's decision by a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding the district court's decision in Bostic v. Rainey, which ruled Virginia's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional: "I applaud the Fourth Circuit for upholding the lower court's decision in Bostic v. Rainey. This decision is based on sound legal reasoning consistent with a growing list of decisions by courts all over the country, beginning with the Supreme Court's 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia.
July 24, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations on the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan released today: "I strongly commend Chairman Ryan for endorsing sentencing reform in his Anti-Poverty Plan. Studies of mandatory minimum sentencing have concluded time-and-time again that they fail to reduce crime, they waste the taxpayers’ money, they often require the imposition of sentences that violate common sense, and they unnecessarily destroy families and communities. I am pleased that Chairman Ryan has specifically endorsed the Smarter Sentencing Act, which I have introduced with Republican Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho. Our bill reduces the harm of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses by granting discretion to federal judges to sentence below the mandatory minimum.
June 9, 2014 Floor Statements
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and legacy of Raymond H. Boone, Sr., who passed away on June 3, 2014. Ray devoted his entire life to fighting for justice and equality, becoming one of the most trusted voices in news in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Born in Suffolk, Virginia, Ray earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in political science from Howard University. Ray's first foray into the newspaper business was as a reporter for the Quincy, Massachusetts Patriot-Ledger and later he worked for the Suffolk, Virginia News-Herald. He also worked as a reporter for the Norfolk, Virginia Journal and Guide. He eventually made his way to Richmond, where he became the editor of the Richmond Afro-American Planet, a position he held for 15 years.
May 22, 2014 Floor Statements
Mr. Speaker, I join the author of the bill, the gentleman from Wisconsin and chair of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Mr. Sensenbrenner; my colleague from Virginia, the chair of the full committee, Mr. Goodlatte; the gentleman from Michigan and ranking member, Mr. Conyers; Mr. Nadler; and my colleague from Virginia (Mr. Forbes) for proposing this amended version of the USA FREEDOM Act. I commend my colleagues for working together to develop a bipartisan approach to addressing some of the shortcomings in our foreign intelligence surveillance statutes.
May 20, 2014 Floor Statements
Madam Speaker, while I support the bipartisan efforts we are taking today with several bills to enhance our effort to prevent, investigate, and prosecute acts of sex trafficking, I must raise serious concerns about H.R. 4225, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014, which I cannot support in its present form. To be sure, the bill has the laudable goal of prosecuting those who knowingly facilitate sex trafficking by advertising certain prohibited sex acts. However, I must object to the mandatory minimum sentencing provisions which this new offense would trigger under existing statutes.