Justice, Civil Liberties, & Government Accountability
What Hank believes:
- The criminal justice system is ridden with injustice that penalizes minority and poor Americans.
- Mandatory minimum sentencing is fundamentally unfair.
- The death penalty is immoral.
- The government should serve and protect – not harass or inconvenience – American citizens.
- The government should not detain or spy on Americans without a warrant.
- Congress should exercise its government oversight prerogatives to their fullest in an effort to destroy waste and corruption.
- The federal government's reckless borrowing and spending threaten America's economic and national security, and unfairly and unethically burden future generations who will be responsible for repaying today's debts.
- It is irresponsible and unsustainable to increase spending while cutting taxes, as the Bush Administration did.
What Hank has done:
Congressman Johnson's Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which is folded into the George Floyd Justice in Polciing Act, passes the House in June 2020.
Voted on December 13, 2019, in favor of Articles of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump in Judiciary Committee based on the abuse of power and the obstruction of Congress.
December 6, 2019, Congressman Hank Johnson voted to protect access to the ballot and pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
In 2019, Congressman Hank Johnson was named chairman of Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.
Introduced the Effective Death Penalty Appeals Act in 2009, which would ensure that death row inmates have the opportunity to present newly discovered evidence of innocence.
- Cosponsored the successful Second Chance Act of 2007, which will lower crime rates in communities by increasing the care and aptitude with which the criminal justice system deals with ex-prisoners, probationers, and recidivists.
- Cosponsored the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed the House. It enables the federal government to assist local law enforcement with the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.
- Cosponsored the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which passed the House. It directed the Department of Justice to open an office for the investigation of unsolved civil rights crimes committed before 1970.
- Cosponsored the COPS Improvement Act, which passed the House. It expands the authority of the Attorney General to make grants for public safety and community policing programs.
- Cosponsored the Stop AIDS in Prison Act, which passed the House. It would direct the Bureau of Prisons to implement a comprehensive policy to provide HIV testing, treatment, and prevention for inmates in federal prisons and upon re-entry to the community.
- Voted, during the first 100 Hours of this historic 110th Congress, to reestablish the PAYGO system, which requires that new spending or tax breaks not be added to the federal deficit; costs must be offset elsewhere in the budget.
- Original cosponsor of H.J.Res.120, proposing a Constitutional amendment limiting the pardon power of the President.
- Original cosponsor of H.Con.Res.86, condemning the racist and hate-based attacks on our college campuses and reaffirming our support for inclusion and safety in our institutions of higher learning.
- Original cosponsor of H.R. 4140, the No Unconstitutional Strike against North Korea Act. This bill prohibits the Armed Forces from engaging in hostilities in North Korea without an official declaration of war.
- Introduced H.R.3664 on September 21, 2017, to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to provide that the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation may only be removed for certain causes, and for other purposes.
November 9, 2017, Congressman Hank Johnson, reintroduced three criminal justice reform bills in efforts to restore credence between police and the communities they serve. As well as eliminating discrimination and disparities in the justice system.
Congressman Johnson introduced the Cooling Off Period Elimination Act of 2017 or the COPE Act, the Police Accountability Act and the Grand Jury Reform Act.
Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, is an original cosponsor of the USA PATRIOT Act Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3846).
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) earned a 100 percent civil rights voting record for the 112th Congress from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership to promote and protect the rights of all people in the United States. In 2018, he is still acknowledged for his efforts in maintaining civil liberties.
What Hank will do:
- From his post on the Judiciary Committee, continue to support efforts to rid our criminal justice system of discriminatory practices.
- Serve as a check against undue government interference in the daily lives of Americans.
- Continue to provide federal and local law enforcement with the resources needed to fight crime effectively and humanely.
- Work to form a bipartisan consensus which resolves that, by avoiding unnecessary wars and eliminating unfair subsidies to powerful constituencies, we can balance the budget without cutting vital social services like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps.
More on Justice, Civil Liberties, & Government Accountability
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, pressed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray for answers around gun violence, the murders in March 2021 of eight people – six of whom were Asian-American women in Atlanta – and on how the Bureau is combatting the rise of domestic terrorism, including white supremacists. Below is a transcript and video link of the exchange.
It’s been busy couple of weeks here in Georgia and in Washington since I last wrote.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, held a hearing on “Civil Enforcement of Congressional Authorities” to explore the methods by which Congress can compel enforcement of its authorities, including through civil judicial enforcement of subpoenas for the production of documents and testimony. The witnesses discussed the historical context of inter-branch disputes, and the lessons learned from past (and ongoing) efforts to enforce congressional investigative authorities.
Today I convene the subcommittee for a bipartisan hearing on “Civil Enforcement of Congressional Authorities.” This is an important issue for the Committee, for the institutional interests of Congress, and for the enduring strength of our constitutional system.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), a senior member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, introduced the Stronger Communities Through Better Transit Act (H.R. 3744), which would provide $20 billion annually for four years ($80B total) to transit systems for their operating budgets.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressmen Hank Johnson (GA-04), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (CA-50), sent a letter to Comptroller General of the United States U.S. Government Accountability Office Gene L. Dodaro seeking a review of decision-making practices at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) following descriptions of what the government argued is permissible before the Supreme Court in United States v. Arthrex, Inc.
TULSA, OK – On Monday, May 31 and Tuesday, June 1, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) – the Congressional Black Caucus Whip – visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, to commemorate and recognize the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre when a mob of white residents set fire to Black Wall Street on May 31 and June 1, 1921.
Hundreds of Black-owned businesses and homes in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, were destroyed and an estimated 300 Black residents were murdered. More than 10,000 Black residents left homeless.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, introduced H.R. 3466, The Tulsa-Greenwood Massacre Claims Accountability Act. He made the announcement this week during a Constitution Subcommittee hearing titled: “Continuing Injustice: The Centennial of the Tulsa-Greenwood Race Massacre.”