GOHMERT COURTHOUSE SECURITY BILL PASSES HOUSE VOTE
November 9, 2005
PREVENTS, PROTECTS & PUNISHES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (TX-01) today issued the following statement after the House passed his bill, H.R. 1751, the Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act of 2005:
"It was most gratifying today to have passage of my court security bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. After many months of hard work, consultation and negotiation, along with a couple of hours of debate today on the House floor, the bill passed by a vote of 375 to 45.
"This legislation will work to prevent future attacks at our nation's courthouses, such as what happened at my former courthouse in East Texas. That tragic day in February, we lost a brave man, Mark Wilson, who stepped up to attempt to save the lives of innocent citizens at the Smith County Courthouse and was killed the same day. Deputy Sherman Dollison was also badly injured. With passage of the Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act, we are taking an important step to ensure we prevent similar events from ever happening again.
"This Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act is a culmination of many individual proposals, and it is a good, strong bill that addresses weaknesses in our criminal code and the way we protect our judges, law enforcement personnel, first responders, court personnel, and their families.
"Violent crimes in our courthouses must cease and those who commit these heinous crimes must be punished accordingly, including the death penalty for murdering judges, law enforcement officials or their families. This is a vital piece of legislation that will seek to ensure the safety and security of what should be America's last bastion of civility - our Nation's Courthouses."
Rep. Gohmert immediately began working on ways to improve the security and protection of judges, law enforcement, prosecutors, and other personnel in a direct response to the February attacks at the Smith County Courthouse in Tyler, Texas. After meeting with federal, state, and local officials in East Texas, Gohmert introduced his courthouse security legislation and worked until it was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gohmert also discussed the bill with U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow, whose husband and mother were tragically murdered earlier this year. Judge Lefkow was most gracious and expressed gratitude for Gohmert's work on the bill.
"No judge should have to endure the family and personal devastation Judge Lefkow has been forced to endure," Gohmert said.