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William M. Stanley, Jr., '94 in the News

Friday, March 22, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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In a September 10, 2018 story on this website, we reported that "on Sept. 5, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) returned the Traffic and Parking Ticket Penalty Amendment Act of 2018 to the D.C. Council, ending a longstanding practice of the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that automatically suspended the driving privileges of District residents for unpaid traffic debt or failure to appear at a traffic hearing. The bill, which will now per the D.C. Home Rule Act undergo congressional review, also promises to restore driving privileges to District residents whose licenses remain suspended due to the practice — roughly 126,000 residents suffered suspension due to traffic debt since just 2010."

"The successful campaign, which marks a historic shift in the District’s approach to poverty and procedural justice, was championed by Tzedek DC, an independent public interest law center headquartered at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) The UDC Law Legislation Clinic provided key advice in the effort, and seven UDC Law students worked on the campaign with Tzedek DC, which culminated in the unanimous passage of the legislation by the D.C. Council in July."

William M. Stanley Jr. and a Washington Post photo of the DC DMV

A few weeks ago, Tzedek was again heralded in a Washington Post story for this advocacy, which also mentioned the efforts of UDC Law alumnus Virginia State Sen. William M. Stanley Jr., '94 (R-Franklin) the sponsor of legislation that would have ended the practice of suspending drivers licenses for those Virginians unable to pay fines.

According to the Post, Stanley derided the notion that Virginia should suspend licenses of those who don’t pay fees and fines is “horse hockey,” and said “This person doesn’t have their license, can’t drive, can’t pay court costs or fines and basically becomes a ward of the state,” he said. “They have to look to government dependency.”

Although he has not yet been successful, we congratulate Sen. Stanley for taking a stand for common sense and justice - and we hope and trust that Tzedek, UDC Law and its alumni will continue to be at the center of this much needed reform.

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