More on Judiciary
October 22, 2018 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring outlined a new proposal to reform Virginia’s cash bail system: “I commend Attorney General Mark Herring for applying a common sense approach to bail reform. Many defendants cannot afford to post cash bail, creating a justice system where individuals are incarcerated simply because they are poor. Unfortunately, too many of these individuals end up losing their jobs, and eventually their homes, because they are locked up awaiting trial. Some defendants are eventually sentenced to no jail time at all or to a sentence that could have been served on weekends, allowing them to preserve their jobs and homes. The economic instability inflicted on these individuals with our current bail system too often leads to unnecessary recidivism.
October 5, 2018 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, issued the following statement in advance of the Senate vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court: “Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record gives every indication that his addition to the Supreme Court will establish a reliable majority that will undermine core constitutional rights now enjoyed by all Americans.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Education and Workforce Committee, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter signed by 67 Members of Congress to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in response to the agency’s recent revisions to the Transgender Offender Manual. The revisions as written by the BOP make it harder for transgender prisoners to be placed in appropriate facilities and housing, increasing the likelihood of sexual assault and rape. “Prisoners should never face rape or sexual assault as part of their sentence and the Supreme Court agrees,” said Ranking Member Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Nadler (D-NY). “With these changes to the Transgender Offender Manual, the Bureau of Prisons will knowingly place transgender prisoners at risk by denying them appropriate facility placements – violating the bi-partisan and unanimously passed Prison Rape Elimination Act, as well as the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments.
June 20, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after re- introducing H.R. 6145 the Fairness and Accuracy in Criminal Background Checks Act of 2018, along with Representatives Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Elijah E. Cummings (MD-7), and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18): “Although considered the gold standard of criminal background checks, FBI records routinely fail to accurately report important information. For example, these reports frequently omit the outcome of arrests, information that is often beneficial to workers subject to these reports.
June 15, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for yielding the time, and I thank her for her leadership in opposing this bill. I, too, oppose the bill. This bill is yet another in a long line of so-called tough-on-crime bills that Congress has enacted since President Nixon declared a war on drugs nearly 50 years ago. These laws have, without question, failed to win the so-called war. But they have succeeded in placing the United States as number one in incarceration rates in the world to the extent it is so bad that some studies have actually shown that our incarceration rate is so bad that it actually adds to crime because so many children are being raised by parents who are incarcerated.
June 7, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after voting for H.R. 3249 the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2018, which would establish a grant program that is supposed to curb gang activity: “Once again, we were asked to vote on a crime bill that was not subject to a hearing. We have no input from experts as to the value and effectiveness of this grant program. In the absence of expert advice in developing this bill, I supported it because it authorizes evidence-based and data-driven intervention and prevention initiatives. These programs are essential to reducing violent crime and include juvenile justice programs, drug and mental health treatment, and violence-reduction programs.
May 22, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) submitted the following statement into the Congressional Record regarding his position on H.R. 5682 the FIRST STEP Act: “Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the gentleman from Georgia, Representative Doug Collins, and the gentlemen from New York, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, for their hard work and dedication in improving this bill over the last several weeks. Historically, the United States of America has been plagued with serious, fundamental problems within our criminal justice system. For far too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics and disapprove of common-sense policy that is specifically geared towards reducing crime by instead enacting so-called ‘tough on crime’ slogans and soundbites, such as ‘three strikes and you’re out,’ ‘mandatory minimum sentencing,’ and even rhymes such as, ‘you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.’
May 22, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the gentleman from Georgia, Representative DOUG COLLINS, and the gentleman from New York, Representative HAKEEM JEFFRIES, for their hard work and dedication in improving this bill over the last several weeks. Historically, the United States of America has been plagued with serious, fundamental problems within our criminal justice system. For far too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics and disapprove of common-sense policy that is specifically geared towards reducing crime by instead enacting so-called ``tough on crime'' slogans and soundbites, such as ``three strikes and you're out,'' ``mandatory minimum sentencing,'' and even rhymes such as, ``you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.'' These policies may sound appealing, but their impact ranges from a negligible reduction in crime to an actual increase in crime.
May 16, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 5698 the Protect and Serve Act: “The evidence shows that violence against law enforcement has been in overall decline for 25 years, and I want that decline to continue. What has changed in recent years is a rising demand by citizens for police accountability. The appropriate response to strained police-community relations is not to criminalize what is already a crime. Instead, we should support bills like the Congressional Black Caucus’s Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, which helps law enforcement obtain training on de-escalation techniques and policing persons who are disabled or mentally ill.
April 12, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 2. We often get distracted by debating the title of a proposed constitutional amendment without getting into serious discussion about whether or not the specific provisions will actually help balance the budget. If we are ever going to balance the budget, the fact is it is going to require Members to cast some tough votes, and many of these votes will be career-ending votes, and a constitutional amendment calling itself the balanced budget amendment cannot change that reality.