Senator Josh Hawley Introduces 'Back the Blue' Bill in Honor of David Dorn

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Yesterday was a big day for Missouri’s junior Senator, Josh Hawley. He was one of three U.S. Senators included on President Trump’s “shortlist” for potential SCOTUS nominees. (My colleague, Shipwreckedcrew, has an interesting write-up on the new additions to the list here.)

For his own part, Hawley demurred, noting on Twitter:

Hawley’s a fine constitutional/legal scholar and I expect I’d appreciate his jurisprudence but, personally (and as a Missourian), I’d rather keep him in the Senate for a while. The legislation he introduced yesterday is one of the reasons why.

As reported by KMOV:

The bill would amend the “Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968” to authorize $15 billion for the U.S. Attorney General to fund more officer hiring and salary increases for state and local law enforcement.


The bill, which was named after a retired St. Louis Police Captain killed while protecting a store in St. Louis on June 2, would allow federal funds to be used to increase the number of officers and raise salaries up to 110% of the local median earnings. It would also exclude cities that defund their police.

Clearly, this is designed as a counter-measure to the push by many on the left to “defund the police.” (Momentary tangent here — does it strike anyone else as extraordinarily odd that the party that usually embraces the notion of throwing money at a problem to make it better is advocating the exact opposite when it comes to policing?)

The official name of the bill is the “David Dorn Back the Blue Act.” It is extraordinarily fitting to name the bill in honor of retired police Captain David Dorn. His murder is a tragic example of what happens when lawlessness and mayhem are allowed to run rampant. There’s a line where peaceful protests crossover into rioting, looting, opportunism, and violence. The answer to holding that line is strong, well-trained law enforcement.

I wrote recently about the peace walk held here in St. Louis in honor of Captain Dorn late last month. It was a moving experience, punctuated by the dedication of the officers who lined the route of the march. Many of the marchers made a point to stop and thank each of the officers we encountered along the way. That’s what made the murder of 29-year-old Officer Tamarris Bohannon later that same day all-the-more heartbreaking.

Hawley’s proposed bill is another tribute to the memory of Captain Dorn. As Hawley told Fox News yesterday:

“Police departments across the country are under siege — underfunded, facing increased retirements and struggling to make new hires,” Hawley told Fox News. “But, as violence and rioting sweeps across American cities big and small, our courageous law enforcement officers are more vital now than ever.”


He added, “Democratic politicians are bending to radical activists who want to defund the police. We should do just the opposite. Our officers deserve a raise, not defunding. They deserve our unqualified support, and this bill would give it to them.“

Hawley shared his thoughts about the bill on Twitter yesterday:

Whether it will ultimately be passed remains to be seen. I’m not holding my breath, even though in normal times, this would be a no-brainer. These aren’t normal times, however, and too many people — including many in the political class and the media — have swallowed the lie that police are the bad guys.

Thank you, Senator Hawley, for introducing this effort to push back on that fiction.