More on Judiciary
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.
September 26, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3537, the so-called Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016. The legislation would add 22 synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. While some of these drugs may be indeed dangerous to the public, we know very little about many of them and adding them to Schedule I would seriously hinder research. Furthermore, by adding these synthetic drugs to Schedule I, the legislation would significantly expand the mandatory minimum found in title 21, section 841(b)(1)(C) of the U.S. Code. If an individual is convicted of selling, distributing, or making one of these drugs, he would be subject to a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence if someone is seriously injured or dies from using these drugs.
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s request that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division open a pattern-or-practice investigation of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail: “I commend Attorney General Herring for requesting a federal pattern-or-practice investigation of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. The circumstances surrounding the death of Jamycheal Mitchell last year and the recent death of Henry Clay Stewart raise serious questions and concerns about this facility. These investigations can determine whether or not the constitutional rights of the incarcerated, as well as federal law, have been violated.
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia in Howell v. McAuliffe striking down Governor Terry McAuliffe’s April 2016 executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 formerly incarcerated individuals: “Yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia is very disappointing. Virginia is one of the few states in the Union that still permanently disenfranchises formerly incarcerated individuals who have already paid their debt to society. The history behind the reasoning for this provision of Virginia law is striking and appalling.
July 8, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on last night’s shooting of police officers during a peaceful protest in Dallas: "Less than a month after the mass shooting of club goers in Orlando, the Nation has witnessed yet another mass shooting. This time the targeted victims were police officers, who put their lives on the line each and every day. Last night’s shooting is especially tragic in that this ruthless, coordinated attack occurred as Dallas police officers were seen interacting collegially with peaceful protestors – the type of interaction we strive to see between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect.
July 6, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Police Department: “The recent police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is deeply troubling and is another sad reminder of the need for stronger oversight of law enforcement practices. The video of this tragic incident raises serious concerns about the tactics used by law enforcement and highlights the need for improved evidence-based police training.
June 9, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting an update on the implementation of the Death in Custody Reporting Act, which requires states and federal law enforcement agencies to report to the Department of Justice information regarding the death of any person in the process of arrest or who is otherwise in law enforcement custody, including jails, prisons and juvenile facilities. Congressman Scott sponsored the legislation in 2013 and it was signed into law by the President on December 18, 2014.
May 18, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Joined by leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) today introduced legislation to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Do No Harm Act would clarify that no one can seek religious exemption from laws guaranteeing fundamental civil and legal rights. It comes in response to continued efforts across the country to cite religious belief as grounds to undermine Civil Rights Act protections, limit access to healthcare, and refuse service to minority populations.
May 16, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I appreciate the gentleman from New York and certainly the gentlewoman from Ohio for organizing this Special Order to discuss the need for criminal justice reform. Mr. Speaker, we have serious, fundamental problems with our criminal justice system today. For too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics with crime policy by enacting so-called tough on crime slogans and sound bites, such as three strikes and you are out, mandatory minimum sentences, and--if you get it to rhyme, apparently, it is better--if you do the adult crime, you do the adult time. As appealing as these policies sound, their impacts range from a negligible reduction in crime to actually increasing the crime rate.