U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson is the new chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee – Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

Johnson, who represents the 4th Congressional District that includes portions of DeKalb County, said he is honored to be elected by his peers to serve.

He said that intellectual property laws protect the rights of owners of patents, trademarks and copyrights, help drive America’s competitiveness and export growth, create millions of jobs, and affect virtually every segment of the U.S. economy.

Rep. Henry “Hank” Johnson

Rep. Henry “Hank” Johnson

“Georgia is home to a burgeoning tech and creative sector,” he said. “As we work to modernize and streamline our patent and trademark laws, I look forward to helping Georgia’s and the nation’s businesses grow while at the same time working to protect the rights of creators, artists and inventors.”

Johnson said that the Internet is a ubiquitous tool in our lives, and that as the Trump Administration tries to kill net neutrality,  he is ready to take on the challenge of ensuring that the Internet remains open to all content regardless of source.

“Content must be available without discrimination and accessible to all,” he said.

The judicial subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the administration of the federal courts, federal rules of evidence, civil and appellate procedure, judicial ethics, and the Legal Services Corporation and Johnson says that he is eager  to roll up his sleeves and work to ensure that the Legal Services Corporation is adequately resourced and unbridled in its ability protect the rights of the indigent.

“ I will be a champion for the interests of the judiciary as a co-equal branch of government,” said Johnson, the fifth highest ranking Democratic on Judiciary Committee.

 A former judge and criminal defense attorney, Johnson has served on Judiciary since his election to Congress in 2007 where he has championed civil liberties, consumer protections and workers’ rights.

In the 111th Congress, he chaired the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts & Competition Policy.