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Rave Act Passes Congress

Via Instapundit:
JOE BIDEN'S DUMB ANTI-RAVE BILL has passed both houses of Congress. Biden -- and everyone else involved with this lousy piece of legislation -- should be doubly ashamed: first for being associated with such a crappy bill, and second for sneaking it through without hearings and attaching it to an unrelated piece of feelgood legislation.
It is truly a lousy bill, and we are all the more dismayed that a Democrat, Senator Joe Biden, is behind it. And that in the Senate, the bill passed 98 - 0.

Why did this bill pass without hearings? Because our congresspersons and senators are scared to death of being perceived as soft on crime. They wanted to get the amber alert bill passed and were going to put up with any rag tag legislation that got tacked on to do it. Sensenbrenner has been the key driving force in the House behind the Amber alert bill.

As DNC says,
Save the Children, Screw the Rest of Us: RAVE Act, Measure to Limit Judicial Sentencing Discretion Pass House and Senate

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) took advantage of Congress' engrained inability to vote against anything that might "save the children" to win passage of two measures destined to cause pain and misery for untold numbers of adult partygoers, club owners, event organizers and criminal defendants. Biden, an inveterate drug warrior who authored the notorious "crack house" legislation of 1984, hitched his widely criticized RAVE Act (S226, now known officially as the "Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act," Biden having dropped the inflammatory moniker after running into unexpected opposition last year) to the popular Amber Alert bill (S151/HR1104), which sets up a national system of alerts for kidnapped kids and increases child pornography penalties, while Feeney used the bill to pass a measure to limit the ability of federal judges to grant downward departures in sentences -- a measure not limited to sex crimes against children and much more likely to be used to prevent federal judges from lightening sentences for drug offenders.

....Under Biden's RAVE Act, anyone who organizes an event or owns a venue where someone uses an illegal drug can be held liable for that drug use. Although expressly crafted and advanced as an attack on the rave culture, the bill's implications are frighteningly broad. It could be used against promoters of hemp fests, rock concert promoters or even -- in theory -- against professional sports franchises if fans are smoking joints in the stands.
Drug Policy Alliance will have more shortly on the details of the Rave Act. We're on the road this weekend --San Antonio for an ABA Criminal Justice Section Council Meeting and to lecture on the problems with eyewitness identification testimony--the hotel, while charming, has a 28.8 connection in the rooms. We just got hotel security to open up the business office with a high speed connection so we could read the over 200 emails and comments TalkLeft got today and do some last-minute Lexis research for our talk tomorrow.

The new legislation will be a hot topic at tomorrow's meeting here, with some very knowledgeable legislative experts advising us what really happened and what it all means. We'll report here after the meeting. We're particularly looking forward to hearing what Ron Weich has to say.

In the meantime, read the great sites on the right. We probably won't be able to update the newsfeed on the left until Sunday.

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