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Public Statements

Issue Position: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Issue Position


"We commemorate the historic steps taken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Lyndon Johnson and other leaders of that era who worked to guarantee equal opportunities for all citizens. We best honor the struggle of the civil rights movement by keeping vigilant in our efforts to build a society that reflects our values of fairness and liberty." -- Rep. Adam Schiff on the 40th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Expanding Civil Rights:

Congressman Schiff is an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation introduced in March 2011 to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA is a bill passed in 1996 which defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law, and states that same-sex marriages do not have be recognized across state lines. DOMA is an unneccesary intrusion into areas that are traditionally state authorities. Additionally, many commentators question whether it violates the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection under the law.

In addition to the Respect for Marriage Act, Congressman Schiff is an original cosponsor of the Employment Non Discrimination Act of 2011, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of actual or percieved sexual orientation.

Protecting Our Civil Liberties:

As we work to prevent future terrorist attacks from occurring on our soil, we must also work to guard our civil liberties and not allow the terrorists to undermine our democracy by an unduly invasive response.

In response to reports exposing the Administration's domestic surveillance program, Congressman Schiff has introduced the NSA Oversight Act -- bipartisan legislation to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to respond to changes in technology and new threats, but that will retain court supervision over domestic electronic surveillance.

Electronic surveillance of those seeking to harm our country must be targeted and aggressive. It must also be constitutional and respect the privacy of law-abiding Americans. Congressman Schiff secured passage of an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 that reiterates that a court order is required by law in order to engage in domestic electronic surveillance. Congressman Schiff has repeatedly spoken on the House floor in support of greater oversight -- you can read his remarks from January 2007

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