Lamar S. Smith
|Lamar S. Smith|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 21st district
January 3, 1987
|Preceded by||Tom Loeffler|
|Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology|
January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Ralph Hall|
|Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary|
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||John Conyers|
|Succeeded by||Bob Goodlatte|
|Chairman of the House Ethics Committee|
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||James V. Hansen|
|Succeeded by||Joel Hefley|
|Bexar County Commissioner of the 3rd Precinct|
|Preceded by||Jeff Wentworth|
|Succeeded by||Walter Bielstein|
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 57th district
December 15, 1981 – November 15, 1982
|Preceded by||James Nowlin|
|Succeeded by||Chock Word|
|Born||Lamar Seeligson Smith
November 19, 1947
San Antonio, Texas
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Lynn Schaefer|
|Residence||San Antonio, Texas|
|Alma mater||Southern Methodist University, Yale University|
Lamar Seeligson Smith (born November 19, 1947) is the U.S. Representative (Republican) for Texas's 21st congressional district, serving since 1987. The district includes most of the wealthier sections of San Antonio and Austin, as well as some of the Texas Hill Country. He sponsored the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act (PCIP). He also co-sponsored the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.
Early life, education, and legal career
In 1969, he was hired as a management intern by the Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. He was a business and financial writer for the Christian Science Monitor (1970–72). He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1975 and went into private practice in San Antonio with the firm of Maebius and Duncan, Inc.
In 1978, he was elected chairman of the Republican Party of Bexar County. In 1980, Smith was elected to the Bexar County based-57th District of the Texas House of Representatives. He served on the Energy Resources Committee and the Fire Ants Select Committee. In 1982, he was elected to the 3rd Pricinct of the Bexar County Commission.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1986, four-term incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Loeffler of Texas' 21st congressional district decided to retire to run for governor of Texas. Smith led a crowded six-way primary with 31% of the vote and then defeated Van Archer in the run-off election 54%–46%. He won the general election with 61% of the vote.
During this time period, he never won re-election with less than 73% of the vote.
Smith's district was significantly altered in the 2003 Texas redistricting. While he lost most of the Hill Country to the 23rd District, he picked up a significant portion of Austin, including the area around the University of Texas, a traditional bastion of liberalism. Smith won re-election with 62% of the vote, Smith's lowest winning percentage since his initial run in 1986.
In 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States threw out the 23rd District in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry on the grounds that it violated the rights of Latino voters. The 23rd is the largest district in the nation (not counting the at-large districts), stretching across 800 road miles from El Paso to San Antonio. Due to its size, nearly every district in the El Paso-San Antonio corridor had to be redrawn. Smith regained most of the Hill Country, but kept a large portion of his share of Austin, including the area around the University of Texas.
In November 2006 the Texas Legislative Council  found that nearly two-thirds of voters in District 21 cast ballots for statewide Republican candidates in 2004. In the November 2006 open election, Smith faced six candidates. He defeated Democrats John Courage and Gene Kelly 60%–24%-9%. This was Smith's lowest winning percentage of his career.
He only faced one candidate, Libertarian nominee James Arthur Strohm, and defeated him with 80% of the vote.
He faced two candidates, Democratic nominee Lainey Melnick and Libertarian nominee James Arthur Strohm, and won with 69% of the vote.
Smith faced five challengers in the 2012 general election on November 6, 2012: Candace Duval (Dem), John-Henry Liberty (Lib), Fidel Castillo (Grn), Bill Stout (Grn), and Carlos Pena (Ind). He won the race with 63% of the vote.
Smith has consistently supported restrictions on abortion. In 2009, Smith voted to prohibit federally funded abortions. In 2006, Smith voted for the Abortion Pain Bill, which would “ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child,”  and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would “prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.”  In 2008, the National Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion-rights advocacy group, gave Representative Smith a rating of 100 on a point system in which points were assigned for actions in support of legislation they described as pro-life.
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act
On April 23, 2006 CNET reported that Smith was introducing a bill that "would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers." The move sparked a negative response among technology enthusiasts in opposition to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
- Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011
On June 23, 2011, H.R. 2306 was introduced to Congress by Barney Frank and co-signer Ron Paul. The intent of the bill was to end the Federal prohibition on Cannabis, turning over the regulation of marijuana to states (similar to alcohol). The bill was the first of its kind since prohibition began. H.R. 2306 would limit federal powers to interstate transfer; while laws for cultivation, sales, use, and taxation would be determined by each state. This bill was well received by the public, especially medical marijuana patients and activists.
Lamar Smith informed reporters that he had no intention of considering the bill or providing it with a hearing. With Smith's position as chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, he has great influence on what bills will be considered.
Smith stated that "Marijuana use and distribution is prohibited under federal law because it has a high potential for abuse and does not have an accepted medical use in the U.S., The Food and Drug Administration has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease." According to the National Cancer Institute, "Cannabis and cannabinoids have been studied in the laboratory and the clinic for relief of pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and loss of appetite," though "there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest Cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy." Smith also stated that "Decriminalizing marijuana will only lead to millions more Americans becoming addicted to drugs and greater profits for drug cartels who fund violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Allowing states to determine their own marijuana policy flies in the face of Supreme Court precedent."
On June 24, 2011, Lamar Smith's Facebook page was flooded with protests from citizens, asking him to change his position on the bill and calling for a fair hearing. Smith's Facebook page was temporarily taken down soon after, to be returned void of all comments related to H.R. 2306 and with future comments disabled. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) encouraged MMJ patients and activists to contact Smith via his phone, which was soon turned to an automatic answering machine, stating the office was closed.
In 2011 Smith had received $37,250 in campaign contributions from the Beer, Wine and Liquor Lobby,[clarification needed] and $65,800 total between 2009 and 2011. He received more than $133,000 from the Content Industry, including Industry groups and individual companies through mid-2011. Another $60,000 was donated by these companies in the 2012 Election Cycle. Maplight.org listed the Beer, Wine, and Liquor Lobby as third among Smith's top ten campaign contributors, and Content Industry as #1.
- Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
In 2011 Smith co-sponsored the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a bill that made significant changes to the U.S. patent system. The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law will switch U.S. rights to a patent from the present first-to-invent system to a first inventor-to-file system for patent applications filed on or after March 16, 2013.
- Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
On October 26, 2011, Smith introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), also known as SOPA. The bill sought to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. SOPA faced significant opposition from internet freedom advocacy groups and web companies, and on January 15, 2012, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor cancelled a planned vote on the bill.
- Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers (PCIP) Act
On May 25, 2011, Smith introduced the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011, which sought to change sentencing rules and mandated that ISPs keep logs of customer data (such as name, IPs, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers) for at least a year. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, (D-California) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) criticized PCIP. Lofgren said a better name would be "Keep Every Americans' Digital Data for Submission to the Federal Government Without a Warrant Act". Conyers said the bill would allow use of the information for purposes entirely unrelated to fighting child pornography.
Smith will serve as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology for the 113th Congress, replacing Ralph Hall. Smith has previously served on the Committee on Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary (Chairman), the Republican Study Committee, and the Tea Party Caucus.
Smith is a Christian Scientist. His wife, Elizabeth Lynn Schaefer, is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. He divides his time between homes in San Antonio and Hyannisport, Massachusetts. They have two children, Nell Seeligson (born 1976) and Tobin Wells (born 1979), from his previous marriage.
- Past Bexar County Commissioners. Bexar.org. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- Jackson, Leahy, Smith and Ryan named policymakers of the year, Politico, Published 2011-11-29, Accessed 2012-02-01.
- Representative Lamar S. Smith. Independenceave.org. Retrieved on 2012-02-15.
- Legislative Reference Library | Legislators and Leaders | Member profile. Lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- TX District 21 – R Primary Race – May 03, 1986. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- TX District 21 – R Runoff Race – Jun 07, 1986. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- TX District 21 Race – Nov 04, 1986. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- TX – District 21 Race – Nov 02, 2004. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- Gary Martin, "Courage, other veterans speak out against Bush", San Antonio Express-News, February 8, 2006.
- Greg Jefferson, "Remap is looking good for incumbent Smith", San Antonio Express-News, September 3, 2006.
- TX – District 21 Race – Nov 07, 2006. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- TX – District 21 Race – Nov 04, 2008. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- TX – District 21 Race – Nov 02, 2010. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- "Project Vote Smart – Representative Smith on H Amdt 509 – Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Project Vote Smart – Representative Smith on HR 6099 – Abortion Pain Bill". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Project Vote Smart – Representative Smith on S 403 – Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act". Votesmart.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "National Right to Life". Nrlc.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Project Vote Smart – Representative Lamar S. Smith – Interest Group Ratings". Votesmart.org. 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Declan McCullagh , "Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill", CNet, April 24, 2006.
- H.R. 2306: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011. GovTrack.us. Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
- Marijuana bill officially introduced to Congress by Ron Paul, Barney Frank – latimes.com. Latimesblogs.latimes.com (2011-06-23). Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
- New NCI Resource About Cannabis (Marijuana) – National Cancer Institute. Cancer.gov. Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
- Reefer Madness: Alive And Well In The Federal Government! | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform. Blog.norml.org (2011-06-24). Retrieved on 2012-1-26.
- Lamar Smith: Campaign Finance/Money – Summary – Representative 2012. OpenSecrets. Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
-  Opensecrets.org, Retrieved on 2012-22-02.
- Lamar Smith (R-TX) U.S. House | MAPLight.org – Money and Politics. MAPLight.org. Retrieved on 2011-11-16.
- Lee, Timothy (2012-01-14). "Under voter pressure, members of Congress backpedal (hard) on SOPA". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- Smith, Erica (2012-01-16). "Internet giants to protest controversial legislation with blackouts". STLToday.com (St. Louis Today). Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- Kang, Cecilia (October 26, 2011). "House introduces Internet piracy bill". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- McCullagh, Declan (July 28, 2011). "House panel approves broadened ISP snooping bill". CNET. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Gross, Grant (July 28, 2011). "House Panel Votes to Require ISPs to Keep Customer Records". PC World. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List". Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith official U.S. House site
- Lamar Smith for Congressman official campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 21st congressional district
James V. Hansen
|Chairman of House Ethics Committee
|Chairman of House Judiciary Committee
|Chairman of House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
|United States order of precedence|
|United States Representatives by seniority