More on Judiciary
September 28, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1693, the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act: “For years, we have known that harsh drug sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine have created a racially disparate impact on Black communities. The bipartisan EQUAL Act is the next step on the long road toward eliminating this unfair sentencing disparity. In 2009, I led the effort in the House to eliminate this disparity in the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act.
September 2, 2021 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision against blocking SB8, a state law that effectively bans abortion in Texas: “Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and their health care. That has been understood by courts and lawmakers for decades. The Supreme Court failed to block SB8, which clearly violates the precedent set fifty years ago in Roe v. Wade, especially insofar as it makes no exceptions for the life and health of the mother. This law jeopardizes the health and safety of women all over the country, and this ruling opens the door to further abortion restrictions in other states.
July 29, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) introduced the Restoring Justice for Workers Act, legislation to end forced arbitration clauses and protect workers’ ability to pursue work-related claims in court. The bill would overrule the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis that allowed employers to continue to require workers to sign forced arbitration clauses. These arbitration clauses, which are often buried in the fine print of employment contracts, prevent workers from banding together to enforce their legal rights.
July 21, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Don Bacon (R-NE) applauded the passage of the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act out of the House Judiciary Committee 36 to 5. The bipartisan legislation would eliminate the federal crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity and retroactively apply it to those already convicted or sentenced. “The failed war on drugs, which started 50 years ago, has devastated lives, families and communities across our country. For decades, the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine has been used to fuel a mass incarceration epidemic that has unjustly put millions behind bars for too long and cost taxpayers billions of dollars without benefiting public safety.
WASHINGTON, DC – Within the first two weeks of re-entry, individuals released from correctional facilities are 129 times more likely to die from an opioid overdose than the general population. To help ensure that individuals can access the care they need, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reintroduced the Supporting Positive Outcomes After Release Act. This legislation would require states to suspend, rather than terminate, an individual’s Medicaid coverage while they are incarcerated, ensuring access to addiction treatment, mental health services, and medications in the critical, immediate days and weeks after release.
May 21, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after speaking with U.S. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta: “Hampton Roads is still shocked by recent events of police-involved violence in our community. That is why I had a conversation yesterday with Associate Attorney General Gupta regarding the investigation of the shooting of Donovon Lynch in Virginia Beach and the disturbing traffic stop of Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario. Associate Attorney General Gupta told me that officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) are monitoring the Commonwealth’s actions and that they are aware of the publicly available discrepancies in the accounts of these events.
April 20, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement: “While nothing will bring George Floyd back to his family and loved ones, the verdict was just. Derek Chauvin was afforded the due process that George Floyd was denied and found guilty by a jury of his peers. This verdict is a start, but it does not absolve Congress and the federal government of our responsibility to reform policing across the country, and it is a reminder of the need for the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act."
April 15, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for a federal investigation into the police conduct and treatment of Donovon Lynch and Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario. On Tuesday, April 13th, Congressman Scott personally spoke with Attorney General Garland and was assured that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) takes these matters seriously. DOJ usually does not publicly announce their intent to conduct an investigation. “The residents of Hampton Roads deserve transparency, accountability, and most of all, they deserve the truth about these incidents,” the Congressman wrote.
March 19, 2021 In The News
Kevin Ring worked on Capitol Hill during the crafting of the 1994 Crime Bill, which imposed tougher prison sentences and bolstered the War on Drugs. As he remembers it, members of both parties were obsessed with appearing tough on crime. “You couldn’t go far enough,” said Ring, who’s now the president of sentencing reform organization Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “Three strikes? How about two strikes? How about one strike? We couldn’t be punitive enough to satisfy what we thought was public anger about crime and drugs.” Over 25 years after the 1994 Crime Bill and 35 years after the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the War on Drugs is considered by experts and government officials alike to be one of the biggest failures of American governance in the 20th century.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Don Bacon (R-NE) introduced the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act. The bipartisan legislation would eliminate the federal crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity and retroactively apply it to those already convicted or sentenced. The sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine, at one point as high as 100 to 1, helped fuel the mass incarceration epidemic. 81% of individuals convicted of crack cocaine offenses in 2019 were Black, while historically 66% of crack cocaine users have been white or Hispanic. In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act reduced the sentencing disparity from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1, and in 2018 the FIRST STEP Act made that reduction retroactive.