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(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Page S3620]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                           OFFICER SAFETY ACT

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I would like to make clear for the record 
a matter relating to the Officer Safety Act of 2012. I thank my 
colleague from Iowa for working with me on this legislation. I 
cosponsored this bill after changes were made, in the nature of a 
substitute amendment, to clarify the limited scope of the legislation. 
The Officer Safety Act clarifies when an officer is ``acting under the 
color of his office'' for removal purposes only. As my colleague has 
stated previously, the bill provides no liability protection. Whether a 
law enforcement officer is deemed to have been ``acting under the color 
of his office'' for removal purposes under 28 U.S.C. Sec.  1442(c), as 
amended, is a separate question from whether that officer should 
subsequently be held liable for his conduct, whether the officer should 
be considered immune from suit, or whether the officer's defense in a 
criminal trial has merit.
  The clarification of ``color of . . . office'' and the expansion of 
removal eligibility granted by this legislation is not meant to affect 
those latter determinations of liability and immunity. The bill is 
simply meant to give these law enforcement officers the ability to make 
arguments pertaining to liability, immunity, and potential criminal 
defenses in Federal rather than in State court. Does my colleague 
  Mr. GRASSLEY. My colleague from Illinois is correct.