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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed September 7th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 247 Yea / 152 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedAugust 31st, 2018

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What is it?

This bill —  the Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 — would more broadly define “crime of violence” under federal law by listing which offenses qualify as crimes of violence. That’d be in addition to the current definition that includes offenses that have “as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another.” The bill would address a 2017 Supreme Court ruling which found the definition of “crime of violence” unconstitutional because of its vagueness.

Additionally, this bill defines offenses that are considered crimes of violence, including:

  • Abusive sexual contact;

  • Aggravated sexual abuse;

  • Sexual abuse;

  • Assault;

  • Arson;

  • Burglary;

  • Carjacking;

  • Child abuse;

  • Communication of threats;

  • Coercion;

  • Domestic violence;

  • Extortion;

  • Firearms use;

  • Fleeing;

  • Force;

  • Hostage taking;

  • Human trafficking;

  • Interference with flight crew members and attendants;

  • Kidnapping;

  • Murder;

  • Robbery;

  • Stalking;

  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle;

  • Using weapons of mass destruction; and

  • Voluntary manslaughter.

Impact

Defendants accused of “crimes of violence”; law enforcement; courts; and the federal criminal code.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA) introduced this bill to clarify the definition of “crime of violence” under federal law in response to a 2017 Supreme Court decision that found the definition to be vague and unconstitutional.

The case, Sessions v. Dimaya, involved a lawful permanent resident named James Dimaya who was convicted of felony burglary in California. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-citizens convicted of an aggravated felony that’s a “crime of violence” are subject to deportation.

Writing in his concurrence with the court’s four liberal justices that the current law was too vague, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote:

“Just as Blackstone’s legislature passed a revised statute clarifying that “cattle” covers bulls and oxen, Congress remains free at any time to add more crimes to its list. It remains free, as well, to write a new residual clause that affords the fair notice lacking here. Congress might, for example, say that a conviction for any felony carrying a prison sentence of a specified length opens an alien to removal. Congress has done almost exactly this in other laws… What was done there could be done here.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / LPETTET)

AKA

Community Safety and Security Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to clarify the definition of "crime of violence", and for other purposes.