More on Judiciary
June 14, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the shooting at a congressional baseball practice earlier this morning. Congressman Scott was not at the practice. “I was shocked and saddened to learn of this morning’s shooting at a Congressional baseball practice. My thoughts and prayers are with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, my colleagues, their staff, their families, and the United States Capitol Police Officers who responded heroically to stop the shooter. I will continue to monitor developments of this horrific incident closely.”
June 12, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott issued the following statement to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia: “In 1959, Mildred and Richard Loving were charged with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. This injustice launched a courageous legal challenge that culminated in the Supreme Court ruling on this day, 50 years ago, that the United States would no longer allow race-based restrictions on the right to marry. The Loving Court unanimously stated that marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ confirming that America is a place of equality and freedom.
May 25, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1761. I first want to point out that the case outlined by the chair of the Judiciary Committee that failed in Federal court could have been brought in State court and the defendant would have been subjected to extremely long, lengthy prison time for the heinous conduct that he had participated in. Mr. Speaker, this legislation expands the use of preexisting mandatory minimum sentences. Although the bill does not technically create new mandatory minimums, it does expose additional defendants to preexisting mandatory minimum sentences of 15, 25, and 35 years.
May 22, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1862. While I support the underlying goal of punishing sex offenders, the existing Federal statutes already severely punish these offenses. This legislation, unfortunately, will impose a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. This expansion of mandatory minimum sentences of life without parole comes on the heels of Attorney General Sessions' memorandum of May 12, 2017, which has been roundly criticized for rescinding the Holder memo. The Sessions memo directs all Federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and the maximum sentence to include mandatory minimum sentences. This directive takes away from Federal prosecutors and judges the ability to individually assess unique circumstances of each case, including any factors that may mitigate against imposing a life sentence in every case.
May 22, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1842. While I support the underlying goal of punishing sex offenders, the existing sentencing laws already provide serious punishment for this conduct. Unfortunately, this legislation expands nonmandatory minimums to additional offenders. This expansion of mandatory of minimums comes at the heels of Attorney General Sessions' memo, which has been roundly criticized for rescinding the Holder memo and directing all Federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and the maximum sentence, to include mandatory minimum sentences.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, S. 1127, in the U.S. Senate. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) are reintroducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and maximum sentences in their cases, returning to stricter enforcement of mandatory minimum sentences. The Justice Safety Valve Act would give federal judges the ability to impose sentences below mandatory minimums in appropriate cases based on mitigating factors.
May 12, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ memorandum to all federal prosecutors establishing new policies for charging criminal offenses and seeking sentences when convictions are obtained: "Today, the Department of Justice announced the issuance of a memorandum from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to all federal prosecutors establishing new policies for charging and sentencing in criminal cases.
May 10, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey: “The President’s firing of FBI Director Comey is alarming; especially in light of the Bureau’s ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. The Department of Justice must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to ensure an independent and thorough investigation of these allegations. Additionally, Congress must establish a non-partisan commission to further investigate Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election. These actions will safeguard any investigation from political interference by either the President or Congress.”
January 29, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s Executive Order stopping immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, suspending all refugee resettlement for 120 days, and barring all Syrian refugees indefinitely: “President Trump’s immigration executive order runs afoul of American values and our constitution by essentially creating a religious test for entry into the United States and denying due process to green card holders who have been unable to reenter the country. Furthermore, by slamming the door shut to refugees fleeing unimaginable violence overrunning Syria and Iraq, the President has seriously damaged the moral credibility of the United States and only bolstered anti-American sentiment that is a key recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, such as ISIS.
September 28, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, the terrorist attacks perpetrated against our Nation 15 years ago killed nearly 3,000 people. No one can fully fathom the grief still felt by families to lose their loved ones in such a horrific way. We understand the need to continue to seek justice against those who may have aided and abetted the individuals that orchestrated these attacks. However, this legislation is not the right way to go about achieving that justice. JASTA abrogates a core principle in international law--foreign sovereign immunity. There are already several exceptions to this immunity recognized by our Nation and others, but JASTA goes much further than any present exception or recognized practice of any national law. Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman from Texas just suggested, one fundamental indication of fairness of legislation is not how it would work to our benefit, but what we would think if it were used against us.