Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Voting and Civil Rights

Domestic Wiretapping: 
As a senior member of the Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees, Congresswoman Jackson Lee fully understands that we live in a dangerous world. However, she is also proud of, and deeply committed to, the democratic values that have made the United States a beacon for the world. She believes that adherence to these democratic values must be the pillar by which America gives no quarter to terrorists who would do our country harm while at the same time ensuring fidelity to the distinctively American commitment to the rule of law, the dignity of the individual, and separation of powers.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee believes that it should be the policy of the United States that the objective of any authorized program of foreign intelligence surveillance must be to ensure that American citizens and persons in America are secure in their persons, papers, and effects but makes terrorists everywhere else in the world feel insecure. The best way to achieve these twin goals is follow the rule of law. And the exclusive law to follow with respect to authorizing foreign surveillance gathering on U.S. soil is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which can and should be modernized to accommodate new technologies and to make clear that foreign to foreign communications are not subject to the FISA, even though modern technology enables that communication to be routed through the United States.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is indispensable and must play a meaningful role in ensuring compliance with the law and the Congress must have regular access to information about how many U.S. communications are being collected and the authority to require court orders when it becomes clear that a certain program or surveillance of a target is scooping up communications of Americans.

Congress should not grant amnesty to any telecommunications company for helping the NSA spy illegally on innocent Americans because the availability of amnesty will have the unintended consequence of encouraging telecommunications companies to comply with, rather than contest, illegal requests to spy on Americans. Finally, authorization to conduct foreign surveillance gathering on U.S. soil must never be made permanent. The threats to America’s security and the liberties of its people will change over time and requires constant vigilance by the people’s representatives in Congress. Congresswoman Jackson Lee supports the USA Freedom Act passed by Congress and signed into by President Obama. With this new legislation there will be fewer opportunities for the collection of unauthorized personal information data collection by oversight agencies.

Federal Hate Crimes Legislation:    
Hate crimes are destructive and divisive. A random act of violence resulting in injury or even death is a tragic event that devastates the lives of the victim and their family, but the intentional selection and beating or murder of an individual because of who they are terrorizes an entire community and sometimes the nation.  For example, it is easy to recognize the difference between check-kiting and a cross burning; or an arson of an office building versus the intentional torching of a church or synagogue. The church or synagogue burning has a profound impact on the congregation, the faith community, the greater community, and the nation.

Voting Rights for District of Columbia Citizens:
Congresswoman Jackson Lee believes that we must not lose sight of one indisputable and shameful fact: nearly 500,000 people living in the District of Columbia lack direct voting representation in the House of Representatives and Senate. Residents of the District of Columbia serve in the military, pay billions of dollars in federal taxes each year, and assume other responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. For over 200 years, the District has been denied voting representation in Congress–the entity that has ultimate authority over all aspects of the city’s legislative, executive, and judicial functions.
If a person can be called upon to pay federal taxes and serve in the armed forces of the United States, then he or she should at least have the opportunity to vote for a representative who could at least cast a symbolic vote in this chamber on critical matters facing our nation. Issues like war and peace, equality and justice.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee believes that taxation without representation is tyranny. As a supporter of freedom, democracy, and equality, she continues to argue that it is long overdue for the citizens of the District of Columbia to have a representative in Congress who can vote on the vital legislation considered in this body.

Voting Rights for the Nation:
Recently Congresswoman Jackson Lee had the honor to present the Barbara Jordan Gold Medallion for Public-Private Leadership to a pioneer in her own right Hillary Rodham Clinton. This prestigious award is presented annually to a woman of demonstrated excellence in the public or private sector whose achievements are an example and inspiration to people everywhere, but especially to women and girls.

A terrible blow was dealt to the Voting Rights Act on June 25, 2013, when the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Shelby County v. Holder, 537 U.S. 193 (2013), which invalidated Section 4(b), the provision of the law determining which jurisdictions would be subject to Section 5 “pre-clearance.” The reason the Court gave for its ruling “times have changed.” Times have changed, but what the Court did not fully appreciate is that the positive changes it cited were due almost entirely to the existence and vigorous enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. And that is why the Voting Rights Act is still needed today.



More on Voting and Civil Rights

Aug 16, 2017 Press Release

August 15, 2017                                                                                                  202-225-3816
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        Contact: Rucks Russell 


Jan 30, 2017 Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            Contact: Glenn Rushing

January 30, 2017                                                                             202-225-3816


Press Statement


Jan 25, 2017 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Contact: Glenn Rushing

January 25, 2017                                                                                             202-225-3816


Press Statement


Jan 23, 2017 Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Contact: Glenn Rushing

January 23, 2017                                                                                               202-225-3816



Dec 14, 2016 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Contact: Glenn Rushing

December 14, 2016                                                                                            202-225-3816


Press Statement


Dec 7, 2016 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Contact: Glenn Rushing

November 18, 2016                                                                                           202-225-3816


Press Statement

Nov 29, 2016 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Contact: Glenn Rushing

November 28, 2016                                                                                          202-225-3816

Press Statement


Nov 1, 2016 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  Contact: Glenn Rushing

October 31, 2016                                                                             202-225-3816

Sep 29, 2016 Press Release

                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact: Michael J. McQuerry

                       September 29, 2016                                                                                      202-225-7080

Press Statement

Sep 28, 2016 Press Release

                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  Contact: Michael J. McQuerry

                          September 28, 2016                                                                                    202-225-7080

Press Statement