Hatch and Kennedy Unite to Promote Hate Crimes Bill
Sens. Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy have joined forces to promote a federal hate crimes bill. We strongly oppose it. Conservative Republicans are usually on our side on this one, and we hope they hold their ground despite Hatch's defection on the issue. The Dems are out to lunch on this misguided, ill-advised bill. They should be the ones taking the following position:
They [Republicans] are concerned that the bill would violate free-speech rights and give the Department of Justice free rein to step over local authorities to prosecute many types of violent crimes. Many worry that the expansion of federal authority could include crimes such as any rape, which is usually targeted at women. "It actually punishes someone for what he thinks," said one Senate staffer whose boss opposes any form of the legislation. "That's pretty scary."
Here are our bullet points for opposing hate crime legislation, from an article we wrote in 2000 (and reprinted on TalkLeft last June):
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