Text: H.R.3993 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/25/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3993 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3993

 To amend title 28, United States Code, to require certain disclosures 
                     related to amicus activities.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 25, 2019

   Mr. Johnson of Georgia (for himself and Mr. Cohen) introduced the 
  following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend title 28, United States Code, to require certain disclosures 
                     related to amicus activities.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Assessing Monetary Influence in the 
Courts of the United States Act'' or the ``AMICUS Act''.

SEC. 2. DISCLOSURES RELATED TO AMICUS ACTIVITIES.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 111 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 1660. Disclosures related to amicus activities
    ``(a) Definition.--In this section, the term `covered amicus' means 
any person, including any affiliate of the person, that files not fewer 
than 3 total amicus briefs in any calendar year in the Supreme Court of 
the United States and the courts of appeals of the United States.
    ``(b) Disclosure.--
            ``(1) In general.--Any covered amicus that files an amicus 
        brief in the Supreme Court of the United States or a court of 
        appeals of the United States shall list in the amicus brief the 
        name of any person who--
                    ``(A) contributed to the preparation or submission 
                of the amicus brief;
                    ``(B) contributed not less than 3 percent of the 
                gross annual revenue of the covered amicus for the 
                previous calendar year if the covered amicus is not an 
                individual; or
                    ``(C) contributed more than $100,000 to the covered 
                amicus in the previous year.
            ``(2) Exceptions.--The requirements of this subsection 
        shall not apply to amounts received by a covered amicus 
        described in paragraph (1) in commercial transactions in the 
        ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the 
        covered amicus or in the form of investments (other than 
        investments by the principal shareholder in a limited liability 
        corporation) in an organization if the amounts are unrelated to 
        the amicus filing activities of the covered amicus.
    ``(c) Registration.--
            ``(1) In general.--Each covered amicus shall register as a 
        covered amicus with the Administrative Office of the United 
        States Courts.
            ``(2) Contents.--The registration described in paragraph 
        (1) shall include--
                    ``(A) the name of the registrant;
                    ``(B) a general description of the business or 
                activities of the registrant;
                    ``(C) the name of any person described in 
                subsection (b)(1);
                    ``(D) a statement of the general issue areas in 
                which the registrant expects to engage in amicus 
                activities; and
                    ``(E) to the extent practicable, specific issues 
                that have, as of the date of the registration, already 
                been addressed or are likely to be addressed in the 
                amicus activities of the registrant.
            ``(3) Deadline.--Each amicus shall submit to the 
        Administrative Office of the United States Courts the 
        registration required under this subsection not later than--
                    ``(A) 45 days after the date on which the amicus 
                becomes a covered amicus; and
                    ``(B) January 1 of the calendar year after the 
                calendar year in which the amicus was a covered amicus.
    ``(d) Audit.--The Comptroller General of the United States shall 
conduct an annual audit to ensure compliance with this section.
    ``(e) Publicly Available Lists.--The Administrative Office of the 
United States Courts shall periodically update the website of the 
Administrative Office of the United States Courts with the information 
described in subsection (c)(2), which shall be made publicly available 
indefinitely.
    ``(f) Prohibition on Provision of Gifts or Travel by Covered Amici 
to Judges and Justices.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), no 
        covered amicus may make a gift or provide travel to a judge of 
        a court of appeals of the United States, the Chief Justice of 
        the United States, or an associate justice of the Supreme Court 
        of the United States.
            ``(2) Reimbursement for travel for appearances at 
        accredited law schools.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to 
        reimbursement for travel for an appearance at an accredited law 
        school.
    ``(g) Civil Fines.--
            ``(1) In general.--Whoever knowingly fails to comply with 
        any provision of this section shall, upon proof of such knowing 
        violation by a preponderance of the evidence, be subject to a 
        civil fine of not more than $200,000, depending on the extent 
        and gravity of the violation.
            ``(2) Use of fines.--Amounts collected from fines issued 
        under paragraph (1) may be used to maintain the website 
        described in subsection (e)(2).
    ``(h) Rules of Construction.--
            ``(1) Constitutional rights.--Nothing in this section shall 
        be construed to prohibit or interfere with--
                    ``(A) the right to petition the Government for the 
                redress of grievances;
                    ``(B) the right to express a personal opinion; or
                    ``(C) the right of association, protected by the 
                First Amendment to the Constitution of the United 
                States.
            ``(2) Prohibition of activities.--Nothing in this section 
        shall be construed to prohibit, or to authorize any court to 
        prohibit, amicus activities by any person or entity, regardless 
        of whether such person or entity is in compliance with the 
        requirements of this section.
    ``(i) Severability.--If any provision of this section, or the 
application thereof, is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of 
this section and the application of such provision to other persons and 
circumstances shall not be affected thereby.''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for 
chapter 111 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following:

``1660. Disclosures related to amicus activities.''.
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