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S. 1029: Courthouse Dogs Act

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About the bill

Who let the dogs out? A bipartisan group of senators.


At least eight states allow dogs in courtrooms, to ease witnesses while on the stand, particularly during the recounting of traumatic testimony such as child abuse or sexual abuse.

But not everyone agrees with the practice. In a first, a New York state lawyer in 2011 appealed his client’s rape conviction on the grounds that the alleged victim was accompanied by a comfort dog while giving her testimony, biasing the jury. The court ultimately disagreed, upholding the original decision, but the issue was thrust into the spotlight.

What the legislation does

The Courthouse Dogs Act would clarify that federal courts can allow licensed therapy dogs or “certified facility dogs” on the premises.

The dog must be accompanied by ...

Sponsor and status

John Cornyn

Sponsor. Senior Senator for Texas. Republican.

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Last Updated: Dec 23, 2019
Length: 4 pages
Apr 4, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)

Passed Senate (House next) on Dec 19, 2019

This bill passed in the Senate on December 19, 2019 and goes to the House next for consideration.

3% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs (details)


Apr 4, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Dec 19, 2019
Passed Senate (House next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the Senate. It goes to the House next. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

If this bill has further action, the following steps may occur next:
Passed House

Signed by the President

S. 1029 is a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 1029. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

How to cite this information.

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Where is this information from?

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