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Public Statements

Issue Position: Judiciary

Issue Position

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Families in many communities across the nation are affected by rising crime rates. Whether its violent gang members on the streets or child predators, more must be done to keep our families, communities and children safe from crime.

Congressman Smith supports tough penalties to keep dangerous criminals off our streets and to deter crime by would-be offenders. Congress must provide effective tools to our state and local law enforcement officials, who are our first defense against violent gangs, drug traffickers, and child predators.

Congress also must ensure that federal criminal penalties are imposed consistently so that similarly-situated offenders are treated in the same manner.

Congressman Smith also believes that protecting the rights of crime victims who play a key role in bringing offenders to justice must be a priority for lawmakers.

Federal Marriage Amendment

The definition of marriage has become the subject of much debate, and individuals have widely differing opinions on whether same-sex marriage should be recognized by law. Congressman Smith believes that traditional marriages have been the cornerstone of societies throughout history.

He strongly supports maintaining the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman under the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Congressman Smith also feels there is a need to be tolerant of others with different views on this and other issues.

Guantanamo Bay

A recent Supreme Court ruling allowing Guantanamo Bay detainees to challenge their detention in federal court has led to the ordered release of several Guantanamo Bay detainees into the U.S. The court order sets a dangerous precedent and poses a significant national security threat to the American people.

While Congressman Smith supports fair and just treatment of our enemies, he strongly opposes the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the U.S. Known-terrorists cannot be allowed to roam American streets.

Congress must provide the courts and government with clear guidelines for the detention of foreign terrorists. That's why Congressman Smith introduced the Enemy Combatant Detention Review Act of 2008 to establish clear rules regarding the detention of known terrorists.

Intellectual Property

Few issues are as important to the U.S. economy as our ability to protect the ideas, inventions and creations of American innovators. Companies that develop and distribute intellectual property--including the entertainment, high-tech and pharmaceutical industries--account for over half of all U.S. exports, employ 18 million Americans and represent 40 percent of the country's economic growth.

Given the current state of the economy, protecting America's intellectual property is more important than ever. In 2007, Congressman Smith introduced the PRO-IP Act to strengthen laws against counterfeiting and piracy and to provide new resources for enforcement.

The bill pass the House of Representatives with overwhelming, bipartisan support in 2008. President Bush signed the PRO-IP Act into law in October 2008. The new law helps protect American innovations and promotes a strong American economy.

Patent Reform

Strong patent laws are necessary to protect intellectual property and encourage creativity. The current patent system is plagued by legal gamesmanship that rewards lawsuit abuse over creativity.

In 2007, Congressman Smith cosponsored the Patent Reform Act, which has broad support in the business community and represents the most significant update to patent law since the 1952 Act was written. The bill passed the House in 2007.

The Patent Reform Act updates current law to better protect intellectual property, enhance patent quality and increase public confidence in the integrity of patents. Specifically, the bill helps individuals and companies obtain money for research, commercialize inventions, expand businesses and create new jobs.

Congressman Smith has made great strides in addressing the new patent issues created by ever-changing, complex business models in the high-tech and financial services industries. He is a leading voice in Washington, lobbying for Patent Reform, and remaining committed to protecting the ideas of individuals and businesses that expand the American economy.


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