Skip to comments.House passes 'thought crimes' bill 237 to 180
Posted on 05/03/2007 1:02:59 PM PDT by EShellenberger
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would punish offenders more severely if a criminal assault or murder could be proven to have been motivated by the attackers alleged hatred for the victim because of the victim's "sexual orientation," though that term is not defined in the legislation.
A news release from the Family Research Council (FRC) called the legislation "a direct violation of the 14th Amendment which affords equal protection under the law."
Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, top Republican on the Judiciary Committee agreed.
"Our criminal justice system has been built on the ideal of equal justice for all," Smith said. "Under this bill justice will no longer be equal, but [will] depend on the race, sex, sexual orientation, disability or status of the victim."
FRC says the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007," H.R. 1592, which passed by a vote of 237 to 180, would, "grant certain victims of crimes allegedly motivated by bias greater protection than other victims of violence.
"Criminalizing thoughts as well as actions, and creating special categories of victims is unconstitutional," said Tony Perkins, FRC president. "The actions of a majority of the House today undermine the promise of equal protection under the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
"This legislation creates second-class victims and a legal system of 'separate and unequal,'" he added.
The Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee defended the bill.
"It does not impinge on public speech or writing in any way," Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)argued.
But Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, warned that the true intent of the bill was "to muzzle people of faith who dare to express their moral and biblical concerns about homosexuality." If you read the Bible in a certain way, he told his broadcast listeners, "you may be guilty of committing a 'thought crime.'"
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) explained his opposition to the bill in a news release issued just after the vote was taken.
"The law should not distinguish between victims or levy higher penalties based on a criminal's supposed motive," Wilson wrote. "Our legal system was founded on the principle that justice is blind. It is our duty to uphold this standard."
But the South Carolina Republican also echoed Dobson's concerns.
"[C]ertain provisions of this bill would inhibit the free practice of religion and compromise First Amendment rights," Wilson explained. "For these reasons, I could not support this legislation."
Twenty-five Republicans crossed party lines to support the bill. Fourteen Democrats did the same to oppose it.
The White House issued a "Statement of Administration Policy" shortly before the vote indicating that President Bush might veto the legislation, if it passes the Senate and is sent to his desk.
"The Administration favors strong criminal penalties for violent crime, including crime based on personal characteristics such as race, color, religion, or national origin," the statement said. "However, the Administration believes that H.R. 1592 is unnecessary and constitutionally questionable. If H.R. 1592 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
The statement goes on to explain that the acts covered by the legislation are already illegal under the laws of all 50 states and that states have had no difficulty prosecuting such crimes. In addition, the White House notes that many states impose penalties for these crimes that are more severe than those proposed in the bill.
I hate the 237 weasels who voted for this travesty!
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Chances the President signs the damn thing?
Which of the Weasels were Pubicrats????....Names Please....
Wow! The Rats are pissing all over the Constitution!
Here’s the vote.
We need names.
Give us names!
Careful, there - hatred of 'Rats will be the next "thought crime" to be defined by these budding commissars.
This is curious. I called my House rep and was told this bill had gone back to committee.
The Minority Report, 1984, and It Can’t Happen Here, all in one convenient legislative package.
Might as well dress it up a little and call it the Enabling Acts.
IIRC, Bush has already said he’ll veto it. The House results are way short of a veto-proof majority, so for the time being, this travesty ought to be dead in the water.
Law can establish penalties for actions, not for thoughts, intentions or wishes. Any law that penalizes for thoughts, intentions or wishes is invalid.
Problem is that the whole judicial system is complicit and won’t accept what I just said. This means that the whole judicial system is corrupt.
Also, if you contacted your senator/congressperson, it was a waste of time. This law was going to be passed no matter what the people thought.
Judy Biggert, Mary Bono, Mike Castle, Charlie Dent, Mark Kirk, the Diaz-Balart bros & Irena Ros-Lehtinen (Cuban trio = gay-friendly), English, Mike Ferguson, Rod Freylinghausen, Jim Gerlach, Wayne Gilchrest, Jim McCrery(?!), Frank LoBiondo, Ray LaHood, Kuhl, Platts, Jon Porter (?!), Deb Pryce, Dave Reichert, Saxton, Chrissy Shays, Greg Walden, Walsh.
Mostly from liberal states, though some of them are in many respects conservative.
Apologies to those whose first names I couldn't recall.
This will last about 2 days before the supreme court strikes it down for violating the equal protection clause.
Doreen Vigue, a former co-host on WRKO used to push Hate Crimes by saying that “sexual Orientation”, “Race” etc, was “Added Value”. She would say that phrase slowly and clearly so us Troglodytes could absorb its profundity. Her assertion that those traits are “added value” over a cookie cutter White guy proves the violence that Hate Crime Laws do to the 14th Amendment.
Exactly! Thanks for listing them.
Judy Biggert, IL-13
Mary Bono, CA-45
Mike Castle, DE-AL
Charles Dent, PA-15
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, FL-21
Mario Diaz-Balart, FL-25
Phil English, PA-3
Mike Ferguson, NJ-7
Rodney Freylinghouse, NJ-11
Jim Gerlach, PA-6
Wayne Gilchrist, MD-1
Mark Kirk, IL-10
John "Randy" Kuhl, NY-29
Ray LaHood, IL-18
Frank LoBiondo, NJ-2
Jim McCrery, LA-4
Todd Platts, PA-19
Jon Porter, NV-3
Deborah Pryce, OH-15
David Reichert, WA-8
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL-18
Jim Saxton, NJ-3
Chris Shays, CT-4
Greg Walden, OR-2
James Walsh, NY-25
Most all of them come from districts in blue states, or else from socially liberal districts that just happen to be in red states (i.e., LA-4, IIRC, contains part of New Orleans).
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