More on Judiciary
August 12, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the violent clashes at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA: "I am deeply concerned about the unfolding situation in Charlottesville where white nationalists have violently clashed with counter-protesters. While I respect their First Amendment right to assemble and freedom of speech, this sort of violence and hate speech has no credible role in our public discourse.
August 2, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Representatives Bobby Scott (VA-03) and John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), the ranking members of the House Committees on Education and the Workforce and the Judiciary, respectively, issued the following statement after reports surfaced that the Department of Justice plans to attack and undermine affirmative action programs in colleges and universities. “While we cannot comment on the veracity of this alleged memo, we are deeply concerned by news reports that the Department of Justice intends to challenge the application of affirmative action programs in colleges and universities. What is already clear is the Trump Administration’s public record of attacking civil rights protections on multiple fronts. As ranking members, we led 86 Members of the House in an amicus brief in support of affirmative action programs in higher education.
July 13, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the support of leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, today reintroduced 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.
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.