- Today Sen. Patrick Leahy delivered on his promise to
hold a federal hate bill hearing. Yet it was meant to only further his
agenda, strongly slanted against opponents of the hate bill.
- Attorney Gen. Eric Holder and three other hate bill witnesses
chosen by Leahy had a four-to-two advantage over opponents of S. 909, the
Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The two pro-freedom witnesses
surprisingly included Gail Heriot, one of the six members of the US Commission
on Civil Rights who have publicly opposed the hate bill. Leahy's time restrictions
(little more than two hours) forced these outnumbered patriots, led by
the excellent arguments of Sen. Jeff Sessions, to severely narrow their
objections. An issue of such danger and complication demands at least three
days of hearings, with more than just two witnesses permitted to object!
- Here are some of the arguments which Judiciary Democrats,
Holder and Leahy's three witnesses gave:
- · Hate crimes are an increasing "serious
national problem that devastates entire communities." The federal
government doesn't want to take over all hate crimes enforcement but should
be empowered to provide "backstop" intervention in case the states
can't or won't prosecute hate criminals.
- · The hate bill will never threaten freedom
of speech. It is only directed against violent hate crimes.
- · It will not enforce "double jeopardy"
(empowering the government to retry an individual acquitted by the state
of a hate crime the government thinks he committed).
- · Pro-hate bill testimony was heavily woven
with the assertion that the Holocaust Museum shooting is a wakeup call,
proving the need to legislate against prevalent and increasingly violent
- Most Judiciary Republicans were absent or called away
from the hearing by debate over healthcare reform on the Senate floor.
Yet Sen. Orrin Hatch, before having to leave, expressed the dominant question
of Republicans through the hearing: Can Holder or anyone else give examples
of how US states currently fail to enforce the law against hate criminals?
Repeatedly, Holder was asked this question and couldn't answer.
- Republican Senators and their two witnesses attacked
the hate bill, saying that FBI statistics show hate crimes are actually
declining. They asserted that the hate bill is "overly broad"
and gives the Attorney General, a political appointee, the right to pick
and choose whom he and the government want to indict. These defenders of
freedom also correctly stated that the hate bill empowers the government
to retry individuals acquitted of a hate crime by the states. They said
the hate bill gives Americans no equality before the law-a fundamental
privilege of being a citizen.
- Under questioning, Attorney Gen. Holder was surprisingly
forthright in admitting that the hate bill is not intended to protect everyone,
or even the majority. He said only historically oppressed minorities were
to benefit. This means Jews, blacks, homosexuals, women, etc. Holder made
it clear that if a white Christian male, including a serviceman or police
officer, was the victim of a violent hate crime by any minority he would
have to find redress from traditional law. He could not avail himself of
the triple penalties and rapid government/justice system response given
a protected minority.
- There was no time for discussion of other major problems
with S. 909, such as the following:
- · S. 909 gives at least initial preferential
rights and protection to homosexual pedophiles-any homosexual who screams
"Hate crime!" This problem was repeatedly expressed by House
Judiciary Republicans seven weeks ago but omitted today.
- · Terms such as "actual or perceived sexual
orientation," "gender identity," etc., are the conceptual
pillars of the hate bill. But Democrats can offer no precise definitions
of these amorphous terms.
- · Similar "anti-hate" laws have destroyed
free speech in other countries of the Western hemisphere. There was no
mention in the hearing today of hate laws in the outside world.
- · The specific text of the 1968 hate law needs
to be cited and examined. Title 18, Sec. 2a says anyone whose speech "induces"
a hate crime may be punished "as a principal." The dangers of
this federal statute were repeatedly emphasized by House Republicans earlier,
especially Rep. Gohmert, but left out today.
- · This bill blatantly violates the 14th Amendment.
Holder repeatedly admitted S. 909 gives preference to a minority over the
majority. Yet he was not challenged on the way this violates the 14th Amendment,
which forbids legal preference.
- · S. 909 violates the 10th Amendment to the
Constitution. Democrats argued today that it is a good thing to establish
a "uniform, seamless" relationship between federal and local
police by abolishing at least six major barriers to federal takeover of
state law enforcement. There was no time for significant rebuttal.
- The above are only some of the enormous concerns to which
Leahy denied a hearing by limiting time and witnesses. If the hearing today
had allowed at least one more opposing witness, such as hate law authority
Robert L. Knight, or another day's testimony, these issues and more might
have been addressed. This was truly a kangaroo hearing, meant to give only
the illusion of due process. It was acted out on a steeply slanted playing
field; Leahy intended to move the outcome in one direction: passage of
S. 909 by a similarly biased Senate.
- TAKE ACTION!
- Continued to call all Senators asking them not to vote
for the pedophile-protecting hate bill (names at <http://www.truthtellers.org/>www.truthtellers.org).
Call 1-877-851-6437 toll free or 1-202-225-3121 toll.
- There may still be opportunity in the Senate mark-up
session for Republican Senators to express objections and even amendments
to S. 909. Continue to encourage opposition among Republican Senators,
particularly those on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Tell them: "Please
continue to do all you can to speak out against the pedophile-protecting
hate bill S. 909."
- Also, encourage staffers to watch NPN's gripping 9-minute
video, "Stop the Pedophile-Protecting Hate Bill!" at <http://www.truthtellers.org/>www.truthtellers.org.