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

October 22, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, introduced the House companion bill to the Senate’s “Fair Access to Financial Services Act.”

October 9, 2020 Press Release

LITHONIA, GA – Since taking office in 2007, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) has worked to help secure more than $61 million for constituents seeking help with federal agencies from his offices in Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of DeKalb, Gwinnett and Newton counties and all of Rockdale County.

October 7, 2020 Blog Post

Kayla J received her passport thanks to great constituent services“I work overseas as a science teacher. Unfortunately, a few weeks before my scheduled flight I realized my passport was missing.

September 30, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, participated in a Judiciary Committee hearing on Copyright and the Internet in 2020: Reactions to the Copyright Office’s Report on the Efficacy of 17 U.S.C. 512 After Two Decades.

September 26, 2020 Press Release

ATLANTA, GA – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, participated in a Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and House Judiciary Committee oversight visit to investigate Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, where multiple immigrant women have been subjected to alleged hysterectomies and other medical procedures performed without their consent.  

September 22, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, held a hearing on the problem of “court capture” — the growing influence of ideology, special interest groups, and dark money on the federal judicial process – and its consequences for the rule of law, the public’s faith in an independent judiciary, and the separation of powers.   

September 18, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, released the following statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

September 15, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, today announced he introduced The Open Courts Act of 2020, H.R. 8235, which would modernize the federal judiciary’s court records system (called CM/ECF) and make court records freely available to the public (PACER). The new system will provide a centralized, easily searchable site to file and read court records and monitor docket activity. The Act includes a process to cover the costs of these long-overdue reforms without requiring new appropriations.

September 15, 2020 Blog Post

Section-by-Section Explanation of H.R. 8235 Open Courts Act

September 15, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06) and Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Hank Johnson (GA-04) and Al Lawson (FL-05) held a call with regional reporters calling on the Senate to take up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House in June with bipartisan support. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act reimagines policing for the 21st Century by banning chokeholds, stopping no-knock warrants, combatting racial profiling, eliminating qualified immunity, and mandating data collection, including body cameras and dashboard cameras.

Office Locations

Recent Votes

Date Roll Call Bill Vote
10/2/2020 218 H.RES.1154 Yea
10/2/2020 217 H.RES.1153 Yea
10/1/2020 216 H.RES.1164 Yea
10/1/2020 215 H.RES.1164 Yea
10/1/2020 214 H.R.925 Yea