Senate Democrats Block Republican Justice Act


 

Senate Democrats voted against a motion to start a debate on and consider amendments to the Justice Act on the basis that it doesn’t go far enough in addressing police brutality and systemic racism.

In a letter addressed to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on June 23, 2020, three Senate Democrats (Senators Booker, Harris, and Schumer) noted that the bill is not “salvageable“ and that they need “bipartisan talks to get to a constructive starting point.”

At issue is that the Bill doesn’t contain provisions: 

- Addressing qualified immunity doctrine which protects police from legal accountability (civil lawsuits) for misconduct; 

- Supporting independent investigations into deadly use of force incidents at state level; 

- Addressing harmful police practices like racial and religious profiling; and

- Banning use of “no-knock“ warrants in drug cases. 

For more on letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, see: https://www.booker.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Booker,%20Harris,%20Schumer%20Letter%20to%20McConnell.pdf

For Sen. Tim Scott’s response, see: https://www.scott.senate.gov/media-center/press-releases/senator-tim-scott-delivers-fiery-speech-on-senate-floor-after-senate-democrats-stonewall-legislation-on-police-reform-across-america